Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Trendy Baby Names Tend to Fade Fast

Study Charts the Rise and Fall of Celebrity-Inspired Baby Names
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 4, 2009 -- Naming your newborn after a rising star may make you coddle and coo, yet such "monikers of the moment" fade a lot faster than they appear. Names deep rooted in culture, however, stick around much longer.

So say Jonah Berger and Gael Le Mens, who sifted through more than 100 years of information regarding the choice of baby first names in the U.S. and France. The researchers wanted to examine the ebb and flow of cultural tastes and practices, and found baby names provided good evidence of this phenomenon.

They also asked parents-to-be what names they considered for their children. Parents also ranked a list of sample names according to how likely they would be to give them to their child.

The combination of historical and survey data revealed that baby names that surge to popularity are abandoned as fast as they come along, while those that are less trendy seem to have better staying power.

Names were considered "abandoned" when the number of children given the name at birth dropped below 10% of its highest number in the past.

The more quickly a baby name rose to popularity, the faster it faded away.

Furthermore, the researchers learned that parents-to-be were actually more hesitant to choose a name that had recently become sharply popular. The researchers say their findings extend beyond brief fascinations with celebrities, but rather apply to all cultural items.

"Fads are perceived negatively, so people avoid identity-relevant items with sharply increasing popularity because they believe that they will be short lived," Berger and Le Mens write in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

So perhaps we'll see a surge of little ones named Miley or even Twilight (the wildly popular book and movie) in the coming year. But chances may be good that their spot on the list of popular favorites will disappear faster than a handful of cookies in a child's hand.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow