Recently I celebrated my last birthday in my 30s. And I was reminded of somethings I read in an article about 40 Effed Up Things About Turning 40. In my case these two things are sadly true*:
20. Other than the Kardashians, I don’t recognize anyone in the tabloids. Who are these people and why are they famous?
36. I say things like, “What’s the name of that actor, you know, he was in that thing?”
And that’s what I was thinking when I suddenly started hearing about this actress who is supposedly this wonderful role model, Jennifer Lawrence.
First I heard about her on a local radio station, and then I heard about her in this Babble article.
And I asked myself, “Who’s she? Why is she famous?”
And then I remembered, she played Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Katniss stood out as #13 on Nameberry’s Most Popular Girl’s Names of 2013 list.
This top 100 list is very different from the official top 100 baby names from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Nameberry is a popular baby name blog known for their extensive database of about 50,000 baby names. Their readers are way ahead of the baby name fashion curve. Nameberry readers appreciate names a couple of years before the mainstream. Nameberry’s list is made of the top 100 most viewed names on their site.
Katniss is in the top 15 on Nameberry (or at least as of October 2013), but doesn’t even make the top 1000 on the Social Security list.
Considering that Katniss is a unique name from pop culture, that was previously unknown, don’t be surprised to see it make the top 1000 on the Social Security list within the next year or two.
This places Katniss with Blythe and Clover, other names on the UBN Watch List report. All three names are outside the top 1000, but due to pop culture could easily rise in ranks to make the top 1000 for 2013.
However, Katniss’ birth numbers don’t look all that promising yet. In the table below are the number of babies named Katniss in the U.S. each year. Please note, for privacy reasons, the Social Security Administration doesn’t count a name in its database if it is given to fewer than five babies in any given year.
|Year||# Newborn Girls|
|2002||fewer than 5 if any|
|2003||fewer than 5 if any|
|2004||fewer than 5 if any|
|2005||fewer than 5 if any|
|2006||fewer than 5 if any|
|2007||fewer than 5 if any|
|2008||fewer than 5 if any|
|2009||fewer than 5 if any|
|2010||fewer than 5 if any|
|2011||fewer than 5 if any|
I wasn’t surprised that there were fewer than 5 Katniss’ born in the entire U.S. before 2008, the year The Hunger Games novel was published. But I expected to see the name creep into the data in 2008 or 2009.
Katniss did make it’s first appearance in the data in 2012, however, and might just start to climb quickly.
To get some more insight, I checked out how Katniss ranks on BabyCenter, a popular parenting website that has their own ranking system for baby names. I have found that often a name’s popularity on BabyCenter is different from its popularity on the U.S. Social Security list.
BabyCenter doesn’t show a ranking for Katniss, but shows that Katniss has gone up sharply between 2012 and 2013.
The name has also been mentioned by other baby name experts dating back to 2010:
That settles it! Katniss is going on our next Watch List Report, a list of names that I am watching. I add to the list every year and continually track each names’ birth numbers every year.
To get the latest copy of the Watch List Report, and other email updates from UBN, enter your email address below.
Katniss is not on the latest Watch List Report, but will be on the next Watch List Report which will come out after the newest U.S. Social Security list is released to the public sometime in May.
If you sign up for the current Watch List Report, you will automatically get the next Watch List Report, as long as you don’t unsubscribe before May.
Katniss might be a long shot for 2013, but is still going on the list as a long-term prospect, just like Wallis from the 2011-2012 Watch List report.
Readers: Do you feel Katniss has mainstream potential?
* The other things mentioned in the article about turning 40, like Bengay on the nightstand and an aching back, are definitely not true for me. I swear the author talks like she is turning 60, not 40.
Call me in denial, but I don’t feel that much differently than I did at 29.