Celebrity Names Blog

Most Popular Baby Names of 2011: Mason Rising

Most Popular Baby Names of 2011: Mason Rising
Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet

This time last year, we wrote that the hottest baby names were keeping up with the Kardashians. So regular readers will not be surprised by today's news that Mason, the name bestowed by Kourtney Kardashian on her son at the end of 2009, has continued its swift ascent and has broken into America's Top 10.  (The other big news from the annual Social Security Administration release of popular baby names? Michael, a top-3 name for 60 years has fallen to #6. And Sophia toppled Isabella from her one-year reign at the top of the girls' list.)

If you're surprised by the swift and sudden ascent of Mason, here's the story. (for more details, read last year's analysis): 

  • At the very end of 2009, eldest Kardashian daughter Kourtney gave birth to a son she named Mason
  • Mason, a name which had never ranked lower than 786 in the U.S., began to gain momentum in the 1980s, just as the popularity of uber-popular rhyming name Jason started to decline.  (It's popularity trajectory since the 1980s is not dissimilar from Jayden -- hmm.. Jayden + Mason = Jason?)
  • Many celebrities chose the name Mason for their sons, long before Kourtney Kardashian did.  They include Laura San Giacomo, Melissa Joan Hart and Josie Bissett and Rob Estes .  A few, including Kelsey Grammer, have even named daughters Mason.
  • Last year Mason was the fastest absolute riser on the baby name charts and this year Mason has catapulted into the top-10.

While there's no question that Kourtney Kardashian jumped into an existing baby name trend with its own momentum, she no doubt kicked Mason into overdrive.  

And why not, as NameCandy.com co-founder and author of the Baby Name Wizard book, Laura Wattenberg wrote of Mason in the first edition of The Baby Name Wizard way back in 2005: "A rare find: a handsome tradesman name that doesn't end in -er."   

Are you surprised at the sudden ascent of Mason?  Do you think it will remain popular for years to come and a generation from now, will we look at Mason as a "typical" dad name, the way we look at Jason today?



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May 14, 2012 11:01 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Given the popularity of Mason, I'd say yes, it will be a typical dad name in 35 years or so.

I can't dissociate the name from the Freemasons. It's not a good association for me.

But then, I also think of tailors when I hear the name Taylor, hunters when I hear the name Hunter, etc.

May 15, 2012 2:30 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sad it's become so popular! While pregnant we considered Mason as one of our boy names, and in the end we did not choose it, but thought we'd save it for a future son. Now I'm not sure we'd choose Mason due to its popularity.

March 31, 2013 5:38 AM
By Sammy Fliss (not verified)

I am hoping that you will be elaborating further on this theme. I would like a tad more information.

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