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Game Of Thrones Names Become new Trend for Baby Names

Apr 14 2014, 1:26am CDT | by

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'Game Of Thrones' Influence Seeps Onto Birth Certificates Of The Next Generation
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Game Of Thrones Names Become new Trend for Baby Names

Sex, violence and dragons are hot these days. So hot that the premiere of the first episode of season 4 of Game of Thrones completely broke HBO Go for a few hours as hordes of fans tried to stream the show at once. Now, new baby name data for the year 2012 from the Social Security Administration in the United States indicates that an increasing number of parents are branding their Sunday night (or streaming or DVD later) obsession on to their children for life, or at least on to their birth certificates.

In 2012, 146 newborn babies were named “Khaleesi,” the completely fictional title from the mind of author George R.R. Martin assigned to the character Daenerys Targaryen, better known as “Mother of Dragons.” The name didn’t register at all on the 2010 list, the year before the series premiered on HBO. Apparently more American parents think Khaleesi is a nicer-sounding way to pay tribute to the dragon mama than Daenerys, which was the name given to just 21 babies in 2012.

We can’t get a complete picture of what states are most obsessed with the Khaleesi because the SSA won’t report data for a name unless there’s at least five instances in a state for security reasons. So, the vast majority of states only saw between zero and four infants named after the dragon mother in 2012, with the most populous states like California (30), New York (14), Florida (14) and Texas (10) leading the way. One surprising hotbed of Targaryen enthusiasm is relatively small Indiana, which welcomed just as many Khaleesis to the world (7) as its neighbor Illinois, which has nearly double the total population of the Hoosier State.

Nationwide in 2012, Khaleesi was a more popular name than several classics like Sheila, Sandy, Betsy and Betty. It is also far more popular than the other distinctive names of Game of Thrones characters. In the same year, only 20 newborn boys were named Tyrion, but a bias against people of smaller stature certainly may inform this. Joffrey doesn’t register at all on the list, but let’s count that as a good thing. It also seems that few parents are interested in naming their newborn daughter for another sympathetic female character, Sansa Stark. Sansa also doesn’t register on the list, but certainly the Khaleesi is a much more empowered character, so perhaps there’s no surprise there either.

Before rushing to judgment of parents who may assign a fantasy title to their offspring, consider just a few of the names that were more popular for 2012, like Treasure, Honesty, Remington or Monserrat. Let’s pleas judge those people first; some people just don’t get subtlety.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that Brooklyn was bestowed on 6,728 girls in 2012.

It’s still safe to say that Khaleesi has a long way to go to overtake the last fantasy-inspired naming craze. In 2012, as the third Twilight film was seeping into the culture, 4,311 girls were named Bella. Give it a few years — I’d pick the Khaleesi in a dragon mother versus newbie vampire battle any day.

To jack in to my brain and get more on the latest in science, tech and innovation, follow me here on Forbes, as well as on Twitter @ericcmack and on Google+.

 

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