Not content to wait until the end of the year to reveal how much pop culture has influenced the way that people named their babies in 2014, Nameberry has released the Top 100 lists for newborn boys and girls names at the halfway point for this year. The frontrunners thus far are Imogen for girls and Asher for boys, and while I’d love to think that more parents have been reading Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, I’ll assume that Imogen is simply popular because of stars like Poot and possibly Heap. As for Asher, well, that is actor Judd Nelson’s middle name, so that one is open and shut.
When it comes to the pop culture influence on the boys list, the Top 5 reads like a Who’s Who in Who’s Named After Books that Schools Used to Let Kids Read, with Atticus at No. 3 and Finn at No. 4, while Elvis Costello gets a little love with Declan as the No. 2 name behind Asher. According to Nameberry, though, no boys name has made a bigger leap in the first half of 2014 than Archer, which debuts at No. 42. There’s simply no mistaking the reason for that wonderful choice.
On the female side, Cora comes in at No. 4 on the girls list, perhaps a nod to the queen from Once Upon a Time, while Hazel and Katniss rank at 13 and 14, respectively, because your daughter won’t fit in 14 years from now if she’s not named after characters in young adult books. But the biggest debut in this year’s Top 100 for girls reveals the true power of Game of Thrones fans, as Khaleesi has jumped all the way to No. 18. The Mother of Dragons could pose an incredible threat to the innocence of last year’s Top 10 names for girls, as Sophia came in at No. 1 (perhaps from Princess Sophia?), Emma at No. 2 and Olivia at No. 3, which isn’t so innocent because I assume it’s based on Scandal, as women are obsessed with Scandal.
Here are the Top 100 lists for each gender, along with my expert analysis on the relevance of some of the names. Go ahead and tell me I’m wrong on some of these if you dare, but I’m not. I’m always right about this.
1. Imogen – Hehehehehe, Poots.
2. Charlotte – As in “The secret lies with Charlotte,” from National Treasure.
3. Isla – Based on the 1987 Madonna hit “La Isla Bonita.”
4. Cora – A tribute to former MLB middle infielder Joey Cora.
7. Amelia – Earhart had a decent 2014, with people possibly solving her disappearance.
10. Claire – As in Dunphy.
11. Alice – A reference to the TV series about Mel’s Diner that ran from 1976-1985, and was based on Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
13. Hazel – A sign of the overdue comeback of Sister Hazel, or the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars.
14. Katniss – The inspiration for a character in the hilarious The Starving Games.
16. Evangeline – Based on the Bad Religion song of the same name.
17. Ivy – As in Operation Ivy. Punk names are huge in 2014.
19. Maeve – The sounds someone makes when yawning.
25. Beatrice – Named after Beatrice Quimby, which offers permission to all of her friends to nickname her Beezus.
27. Aurora – Either based on Alkaline Trio’s “F*ck You, Aurora” or adult film star Aurora Snow. Either way, asking for trouble.
32. Elodie – It’s a French name or something.
37. Willa – A tribute to pop singer Willa Ford.
38. Clementine – A name given to children born with abnormally large feet (shout out to folk ballad fans who get that one).
41. Caroline – A response from the growing movement of people demanding that Lea Thompson’s 90s sitcom make a return to syndication.
44. Aurelia – Like the girl from Love, Actually.
47. Poppy – Heroin fans are big on this one.
55. Aria – A popular name for babies that were conceived in a specific hotel in Las Vegas.
58. Wren – Maybe from Pretty Little Liars, but a guy is named Wren. Regardless, a wren is a bird.
60. Cordelia – Possibly after Cordelia Foxx from American Horror Story: Coven.
61. Chloe – After the 2009 erotic thriller starring Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried.
62. Mae – Based on the Gaslight Anthem song.
64. Luna – From Harry Potter, obviously. How could you not know that, you dork.
65. Rowan – A female tribute to Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson.
67. Stella – For the beer daddy was drinking when he pulled an “Oops,” am I right fellas?
71. Merida – Princess Merida from Brave, this is a name that only works for redheaded children.
72. Anna – From Frozen, a name to give a second daughter to show her that she’s not important or unique.
73. Lily – Named for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Lily Aldridge. Dads can deny it all they want.
76. Piper – Actress Piper Perabo, star of USA’s Covert Affairs and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
79. Sadie – Another Alkaline Trio song. Big, big year for punk references.
83. Gemma – As in Gemma Arterton, who starred in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a movie that is best described as “financially successful.”
88. Elsa – A name given to a girl that will eventually be locked in a castle for being different.
91. Phoebe – Named for the former violent criminal and masseuse who tried to seduce clients, otherwise a beloved character on Friends.
97. Delilah – An opportunity for people to say, “Hey there, Delilah” and give the Plain White T’s one more second of relevance.
100. Hadley – An obvious female tribute to Haddaway, the “What is Love” singer.
5. Oliver – Platt, the star of Ready to Rumble.
7. Silas – YOUR SILAS IS DEAD!
8. Jasper – The bearded old man from The Simpsons.
9. Milo – Of Milo and Otis fame.
11. Ezra – A tribute to the 90s band Better Than Ezra.
12. Emmett – The first name of Doc Brown from Back to the Future.
13. Harper – The biggest androgynous name of 2014, apparently.
18. Rowan – The second biggest androgynous name, and a huge reminder that people love Mr. Bean.
22. Liam – As in Liam Gallagher of Oasis, which is a huge blow to Team Noel.
24. Jack – Chosen for Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock, although John Francis would make a much more powerful full name.
26. Beckett – A name given to boys who are familiar with standard trading card values.
28. Hudson – As in Hudson Hawk, the most underrated movie of Bruce Willis’s career. Read about it in a feature on March 19, 2015.
29. Evelyn – No clue, but this is a terrible idea and it needs to stop. Trust me. Signed, a boy named Ashley.
30. Kai – The homeless hitchhiker has left his mark.
41. Bodhi – Finally, Point Break gets a little credit.
42. Archer – This is better than Sterling.
43. Oscar – After the baby from Ghostbusters II, which was the significantly lesser of the two films.
46. Django – Sure, why not?
47. August – It’s cool, because then your child only has to memorize 11 months.
51. Zachary – Home Improvement star Zachary Ty Bryant has always been a big cultural influence.
61. Ryder – As in actor Ryder Strong, another apparent sign of the popularity of Boy Meets World.
71. Zane – As in Billy, obviously.
72. Nico – Named for Steven Seagal’s character Nico Toscani in his debut movie, Above the Law.
74. Avery – Inspired by James Avery, Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
75. Dylan – One of the five greatest rappers of all-time.
76. Ryker – Named for the place where he’ll probably spend 20 years of his life.
80. Greyson – There are still a few Cougar Town fans out there, it seems.
82. Knox – This isn’t a name.
84. Ronan – Recognition of Robert De Niro’s most underrated film.
85. Xavier – As in the X-Man, Xavier McDaniel.
87. John – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING!
94. Charles – A very common name, yes, but this year it is inspired by an eventual resurgence of Charles in Charge, one of the best sitcoms ever made.
100. Max – A tribute to the restaurant from Saved by the Bell.
*This post was written by a boy named Ashley, so if you’re offended by any of these harmless jokes, suck it up, rub some dirt on it, and ask your uniquely-named child about life in 18 years.