Obamas & Twilight Impact Baby Names

In two or three years, will we see lots of books with characters named Isabella and Jacob? It’s likely.

Obama’s and Twilight’s Names are Popular: Barack and Malia

The Social Security Administration tracks the most popular names and says that the changes this year bring Isabella and Jacob to the top. However, President Obama’s family has had the biggest impact on names, followed by the book/movie, Twilight.
The name Barack rose in popularity from 1,993rd to 2,424th in popularity. Not a bad rise percentage-wise. But Barack was outdone by his oldest daughter, Malia. The name Maliyah (a variant spelling) rose from 345th to 192nd in popularity.

The lift for the name Jacob might have come from Twilight. But for sure, Cullen’s rise comes from the popular vampire movie. It rose from 485th to 782nd.

SSA Resource for Names

Character. But how does this affect your novel? Names evoke character. I think I’ve repeated before the story about Scarlett O’Hara. Her name was originally “Pansy.” What a difference a name made here! Of course, you can choose to contrast or compliment character qualities, so maybe Pansy would have worked? Nah! Not in Gone with the Wind!

Historically Appropriate. Probably the best use of the SSA baby name site is to scroll down to the form where you can input a date to see the most popular names by year, starting with 1880! What a great resource for naming characters in a historical novel.