Caitlyn Jenner (Photo: Getty Images)
On Friday, the Social Security Administration released the most popular baby names of 2015 and, once again, parents favored Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Noah, Liam, and Mason. While that’s all business as usual (let’s shake it up, moms and dads!), one of the names that fell out of favor at a dramatic rate was one we heard a lot of last year: Caitlyn.
When Caitlyn Jenner, 66, adopted the name, which she said was inspired by watching the Miss America pageant, during her transition, it was already on the decline, Laura Wattenberg, author of the Baby Name Wizard blog and book, tells Yahoo Celebrity. “At the time she chose it, I calculated that the typical Caitlyn would have been a 17-year-old high school junior. It’s neither a brand-new name nor a name of her own generation. It was literally nonexistent when she was born.”
Related: How Caitlyn Jenner Picked Her Name
According to the numbers released by the SSA, Caitlyn (as well as other forms of the name such as Caitlin and Kaitlynn) declined by “almost a third last year, which for a common name is a very high percentage,” Wattenberg says. However, “when you consider that the name announcement came halfway through the year, it could have been sharper than that.”
Adds Wattenberg, “I think that it’s just too much of a coincidence, to be anything but the Jenner effect. Though you shouldn’t necessarily take it as a slam on Cailtyn Jenner as much as that the image of the name shifted and it became associated with controversy. A lot of times, given a choice, parents just wouldn’t want to step into that.”
But there were worse controversies in the name world. “The name Isis virtually disappeared — as you might expect,” says Wattenberg. “So it’s not that dramatic that it’s become a pariah name. There are far too many Caitlyns out there for that to be the case.”
As far as celebrity-inspired name trends, this year there is no Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, or Duck Dynasty phenomenon. However, there has been a surge in the popularity of royal names. The names of Chris Brown’s daughter Royalty, Lil’ Kim’s daughter Royal, and Kourtney Kardashian’s son Reign are up a combined 87 percent for the year.
Royalty, the name of Chris Brown’s daughter, and Reign, Kourtney Kardashian’s son, are two fast-growing names. (Photos: Instagram)
“Before the new data came out, I had been looking at the amazing rise of every single royal and exalted name, but it’s even more dramatic this year,” Wattenberg says. “Royalty and Reign both sort of came out of nowhere. Neither cracked the Top 1,000 this year, but Royalty came close.”
Additionally, “Kingston, like Gwen Stefani’s son, is still rising fast — as are pretty much any names with King and Prince,” she says, adding, “I won’t be surprised if Prince has an extra boost in 2016 for obvious reasons.”
Prince (Photo: Getty Images)