From The Chronicles of Narnia to Game of Thrones, fantasy film and fiction appear to be big influencers when it comes to how we name our kids.
The Social Security Administration announced the official list of the most popular baby names of 2012 on their website this afternoon. The organization compiles the list each year from Social Security card applications for births in the United States.
This year both the top spots went to repeat winners. Sophia was the most popular baby girl name for the second year in a row, and Jacob continued its 14-year streak as the most popular baby name for boys.
Mason, a name popularized by Kourtney Kardashian when she became a mother, holds steady at the second spot on the boy list. In fact, The rest of the top 10 lists stayed primarily the same, with two exceptions. Classic favorite Elizabeth moved from 11th to 10th most popular girl name, ousting Chloe for a spot on the list, and Liam shot to the 6th most popular boy's name from 15 last year, edging ahead of Daniel.
A statement from the Social Security Administration attributes Liam’s rise to the popularity of actor Liam Neeson. “Perhaps Liam’s new found success can be attributed to Liam Neeson’s recent major roles in Battleship and the popular Taken, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Clash of the Titans franchises,” they said.
Arya, the fastest riser on this girls list this year – going from spot 711 to 413 – is very likely a nod to the fierce swordfighter Arya Stark on the popular HBO series Game of Thrones.
Names that might come with high expectations – and potentially large egos – like Messiah and King zoomed up the list this year. But fastest rising boy name, Major (up to 483 from 988), sounds like a nod to the military.
Other rapidly moving names include Gael (408 to 146) and Perla (642 to 452). The increased popularity of these two traditional Spanish names hints at the increasing Hispanic-American makeup of the population.
Top Baby Names of 2012: