Celebrity Names Blog

Hottest Baby Names of 2010: Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Hottest Baby Names of 2010: Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Photo Credit: Juan Rico/ Fame Pictures

If it seems like the Kardashians are everywhere these days, well, that just may be the case.  They've even shown up in a big way on this year's list of Most Popular Baby Names.

Two of this year's hottest baby names (as calculated by running the Social Security Administration's annual list of Most Popular Baby Names through the proprietary Baby Name Wizard Hotness formula), Mason and Khloe, are brought to us courtesy of reality television's Kardashian family. And a third Kardashian name, Lamar, is rising surprisingly fast.

If you haven't been keeping up with the Kardashians yourself, well, to be honest, we couldn't fill you in on  all the details.  Short version: Mom Kris Jenner (formerly Kardashian) and dad Bruce Jenner (yes, that Bruce Jenner) have a big blended family of entrepreneur-socialite-reality television personality children, mostly daughters in their teens and 20s whose names mostly start with K.  

At the very end of 2009, eldest daughter Kourtney gave birth to a son she named Mason. (The baby boy's middle name is Dash, as in Kar-DASH-ian).  Kourtney didn't start the Mason trend, but she may have pushed it into overdrive.  

The name Mason has been on the rise for almost two decades.   In the Baby Name Wizard book, Laura Wattenberg describes Mason as "A rare find: a handsome tradesman name that doesn't end in -er." Mason has three other style elements going for it: it's the kind of tradesman name/surname so many contemporary parents love; it's a two-syllable name with a long "a" that ends in "-n", like Aidan and its sound-alikes, the single most popular sound for a boy's name today; it's fresh yet familiar, perhaps it's Jason for a new generation? 

The visibility of Kourtney Kardashian's baby Mason on the reality tv scene in 2010 helped push that name up the popularity charts, all the way to #12.  It was the third-hottest boys' name in America, and the fastest absolute riser with 14,728 babies names Mason;  4,126 more Masons than in 2009.  

As for Kourtney's sister, Khloe, she has also clearly touched the baby name zeitgeist.  Like Mason, based on style alone, the name Chloe with a C has been rising fast for the past 20 years or so.  But ever since the Kardashians entered the pop culture landscape in 2007 with their reality show on E!, Khloe with a "K" has been giving Chloe with a C a run for her money and this is the third year Khloe makes our "hottest" list. In fact,  in 2010 there was one "Khloe" for every two "Chloes" born in America, signaling that this one-time "creative" spelling, may just be the new "alternate" spelling. (see Aidan vs. Aiden). 

While Kardashian fame propelled already-rising names Mason and Khloe to new heights, Lamar is a different story. Lamar has ranked near the bottom of the top-1000 baby names in America ever since the Social Security Administration started been keeping track of such things back in the 1880s.  Lamar is interesting in that it has enjoyed two brief spikes up into the high 300s, once late in the 1930s (think former Republican Presidential candidate Lamar Alexander) and once again in the 1970s/80s when "Le-" and "La-" names like Levar and Latasha reached fashion heights. NBA star and husband of Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom was born during that second peak, in 1979.

And now, it seems, Lamar Odom is giving the name Lamar a third run.  The name Lamar is only up 14% this year, but that bucks the trend of other La- and Le- names, which are all in decline. 

What do you think?  Are you surprised that the Kardashians have had such a big impact  on baby names? 

--J.B.

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September 3, 2014 6:12 AM
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