Suggestible Parents Look to Fiction for Naming Children

Twilight Drives Cullen Up 300 Spots in Name Rankings; Atticus and Holden Stay Strong – GalleyCat

Last year was a good year for the name Cullen, which jumped nearly 300 spots in the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular names. The New York Times points out the clear connection between the name’s new popularity and Edward Cullen, the vampire star of the Twilight series.

Apparently the American public has so little imagination and/or such a tenuous grip on tradition that they look to fictional characters for baby names. Wow. I wonder what the demographics were of the parents. Are 25-year-olds fans of Twilight or is it the teen parent cohort naming their kids after a vampire? How will they explain that in twenty years? I say either stick with Biblical or traditional names or go the other way and make up something unique.

Need names for your fictional characters, or just want to make sure that the character born in 1920 could plausibly be named Brittany (no)? I recommend Name Voyager. It’s a web-based tool that shows the popularity of first names over time. Don’t distract your readers by being sloppy with the character names.