Why US babies are being called Violet and Kingston

Celebrity baby names are inspiring dads and mums-to-be

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If you’re stuck on baby names, then look no further then the nearest magazine, newspaper or computer, as new research reveals that parents take inspiration for unique and classic names from celebrity parents such as Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner.

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Baby name website Nameberry.com found that celebrity baby names have huge influence over parents and have jumped up America’s most popular baby name list, which is based on The Social Security Most Popular Name List that is released every May, for the births the year before.

Ava, chosen by actress Reese Witherspoon, Myleene Klass and Heather Locklear has shot up to number 5 in the rankings, with Jennifer Garner’s daughter Violet’s name soaring up by 200 places since her birth in 2005.

Gwen Stefani’s name choice for her son Kingston has also become popular, as it entered the lists in 2006, the year he was born, and has now risen to number 214. Willow, the name of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter, has risen from 760 to 290 and even Pink has recently selected the name for her daughter Willow Sage.

Despite having 6 children, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s eldest Maddox is the name that stands out and has proven a big hit in the US, reaching place 180.

However, celebrities are also reintroducing old fashioned names to the baby scene with choices such as Matilda, the name of Heath Ledger’s daughter, which has re-entered the top 1,000 after a 45 year absence. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s choice Violet has also flown from 372 to just outside the top 100.

“For a celebrity baby name to make it big it seems to take a combination of parental star power and intrinsic name appeal. Reese Witherspoon’s Ava caught on in a major way, for instance while son Deacon’s name was just too quirky or religious for widespread use,” said Nameberry’s Pamela Redmond Satran.

Nameberry’s predictions for 2011, based on which names gets the most views on the website, are constantly peppered with celebrity baby names in the top spots, especially for girls names. Violet is in second place while Jennifer Garner’s other daughter’s name Seraphina has shot up to number 6. Claudia Schiffer’s Clementine is in at 25, with classic choices Hazel (Julia Robert’s daughter) and Matilda reaching 29 and 23 respectively.

Although celebrity boy names aren’t as popular as the girls, Wayne and Coleen Rooney’s Kai is predicted to be number 15 in 2011 lists, with Jennifer Lopez’s Max at number 27.

It’s no surprise that Nameberry have predicted that the number 1 unisex name of 2011 to be Harper after David and Victoria Beckham’s long awaited fourth child and first daughter.

However Nameberry says that some names “fall on the wrong side of the line between distinctive and weird,” and will not catch on, for example, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s Suri, Alicia Keys’s Egypt and Mariah Carey’s twins names Monroe and Moroccan.

What do you think of celebrity baby names? Have you named your child after hearing a celebrity baby name that you liked?

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