Monday, May 25, 2015

Has Brooklyn Lost Its Cool? Not as a Baby Name

There's a lot debate over whether Brooklyn has peaked, with other towns and boroughs (possibly even Manhattan) vying to become the next hipster capital.

But one thing seems certain: The baby name "Brooklyn" is still going strong. It's the most popular geography-themed name in America, going to a total of 6,767 newborns last year.

Brooklyn isn't quite at its 2011 high, when it went to 7,155 babies, but it moved up from 28th in 2013 to 26th place last year.

In fact, it's so popular (ranking above Lily, Hannah, Zoe or Sarah) that no hipster would ever use it.

Earlier this month, I did a piece for Nameberry on geography-themed names. As part of my research, I looked at whether any other New York places ranked in the Social Security Administration's database.

The answer is yes, though none has taken off like Brooklyn. Hudson went to 5,199 boys and 111 girls last year. Almost 130 boys were called Bronx, plus five girls. And nearly 200 boys and 70 girls were christened Harlem.

Seven girls were named Manhattan, but Queens and Staten were nowhere to be found. (Staten Island's alias Shaolin also failed to appear in the rankings.)

It's interesting that New York place names (other than Brooklyn) are mostly given to boys. That's less common for geographic names in general, but I guess New York locations have a toughness to them that people perceive as masculine.

Even the name Jersey has attracted parents in recent years.

Now that's just cruel.