Watch 33 News Daybreak

Nugget of Knowledge: Music influences baby names


One writer found a link between top songs and the names of female children

(WYTV) – Where do parents find the names for their children? One obvious influence is our pop culture.

Moms and dads find names in everything from their favorite celebrities to characters in best-selling books. And, don’t forget music.

Michelle Prancl wrote a paper titled, “Brandy, You’re a Fine Name: Popular Music and the Naming of Infant Girls from 1965-1985.” She found a link between top songs and the names of female children.

When Kool and the Gang’s song “Joanna” hit the Billboard Hot 100 List in 1984, the name Joanna shot up in popularity.

The same thing happened to “Rosanna” after Toto’s song of that name in 1982.

Wait, there’s more.

Unconventional names such as “Candida,” “Windy” and “Rhiannon” were so unpopular that they had never even cracked the top 1,000. But after songs with Sunshine and warmer for Thursday, those names became hits in the 60s and 70s. They all suddenly debuted on the top baby-name charts.

But not for long.

The popularity of the name faded as soon as the song left the charts.

And the name of the moment can leave parents regretting they chose it.

A survey of British parents, for example, found that 20% no longer liked the name they picked for their child, that they were sorry those chose a name that at one time, seemed cool or clever.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on