Parents Naming Kids After Arianna Huffington? Could Steve Jobs or Gaddafi Be Next?

Thu Jan 5, 2012 6:12pm EST

Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici uncovered a rather startling trend over the past year – people may be naming their children after Arianna Huffington.

From 2010 to 2011, there was a major spike in the number of babies with the name Arianna and the numbers reveal an even larger spike in 2012 – granted from a very small sample size.

Bercovici spoke with Linda Murray, the editor-in-chief of BabyCenter, which tracks trends in baby names. She says that there has been a noticeable rise, but it’s still too early to tell if “’Arianna’ is on a rocket ride.” As of 2011, Arianna was ranked 32 on the list of most popular baby names for girls.

There is a link between popularity of name and news, and last year was big for William, Kate and Pippa given the royal wedding.

Also Read: Arianna Gives AOL TV a HuffPost Makeover

But seeing as there are not many famous Ariannas, this would suggest people are even paying attention to media news. It was in February of 2011 the AOL acquired Huffington’s Huffington Post, anointing Arianna the head of the newly formed AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

The media mogul has since been the subject of even more media attention than usual, and some see her as the heir apparent to CEO Tim Armstrong AOL.

But is Arianna well-known enough by the general populace to move the needle? Bercovici delivers some evidence that would suggest she is.

“A look at the historical trend suggests Huffington’s fame is exerting an upward pull on her name’s prevalence. According to data for the entire U.S. population gathered by the Social Security Administration, “Arianna” jumped into the top 100 names for girls in 2003, when it debuted at No. 86, up from No. 114 the year before. That was the year Huffington made headlines by running for governor of California. It hovered in the 80′s for three years, then started climbing again after 2005, the year the Huffington Post launched,” he writes.

That begs the question: what other names are eligible for a spike?

Katy Perry has had a huge year, but Katy is a pretty common name (just with a more normal spelling). Same goes for Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling. Both first names already rank in the top 20.

What about Steve Jobs? Neither Steve nor Steven can be found on that list.

How about Casey for Casey Anthony? Or Osama? Probably not.

But a little international flavor might be good. And there can only be one: Moammar, as in Gaddafi, because we’ve all learned you can spell that 500 different ways.

Any more ideas? We welcome them.

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