ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Remember when it suddenly seemed like at least 85 percent of babies were named Isabella or Jacob thanks to the Twilight effect? Well, it's time to brace yourself for a whole load of crying, puking, nappy soiling Elsas!

Although the main protagonist in Frozen is the spirited Anna, it's the more unusually named ice queen who has captured the American public's collective imagination.

Elsa is both an ancient Hebrew name and a derivative of the Teutonic name, 'Elizabeth', but its meaning in both cultures revolves around being consecrated of God or making an oath to God.

Although it has been rising in popularity at a snails pace for years, Elsa has jumped 243 spots in girls' name rankings, and now sits at number 88 in the top 100 names for American girls. That is a huge 34% increase thanks to the magic of [Frozen](movie:411685) .

Sarah Barrett, the managing Editor of BabyCentre, offers her thoughts on why;

Whilst the film's popular heroine is called Anna, Elsa offers a more unique name and is also a strong female role model. Elsa is the ice queen but she sees the error of her ways and is shown to be a sensitive, but strong and confident character

Anna Hill, Vice President of Disney UK also threw in her two cents about Elsa's rocketing popularity;

We're delighted that Elsa is a popular name for babies and it's lovely to hear that for many families, it is actually their siblings who have chosen it. We've been bowled over by the response to Frozen - it's now the fifth biggest film of all time and families are really connecting with Elsa's fight to overcome her fears and the powerful strength of the family bond which has helped her to achieve this

It's not just the name Elsa that has enjoyed bathing in the heat of success by an endearing character though. Even some highly unlikely TV shows and movie have helped to give certain names a bit of a celebrity leg up the popularity ladder.

Princess Power

The Lucky Mermaid

Ariel was only just beginning to flicker onto the radar before The Little Mermaid's 1989 release but it climbed up to number 66 on the list of most popular girls names by 1990. That is an enormous 1253% increase from its position in 1977 as the 893rd most popular american girls name. Ariel might have lost her voice, but she is one of the most influential Disney princesses when it comes to naming trends.

The Belle of the Ball

Although the name Belle has experienced wild popularity in the past, it has fallen drastically from favor by the time The Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991. Although there wasn't a huge leap in popularity, Belle was clearly a slow grower because the name has been on the up since Belle donned her iconic yellow ball gown.

Enchanting Esmeralda

Okay, so she isn't technically a princess, but Esmeralda lords it up over the name game. After the feisty Romani dancer burst onto our screens in 1996, the name Esmeralda doubled in popularity leaping from the 401st most popular American girl's name in 1995 to clock in at 134th by 1998.

TV Winners

The Allure of Arya

The name Arya has witnessed one of the most drastic jumps in popularity thanks to [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) casting public attention on the usual name. Arya means 'noble' in Sanskrit, but despite it's lofty origins it was slumping at the bottom of the popularity scale until recently. In 2011 Arya was number 711 of the 1000 most popular American girl's names, but that all changed in 2012!

Arya made a massive jump up to number 413 after the first season of GoT making it the the fastest-trending name for a baby girl in the U.S.

Bewitching Willow

I know it's an oldie, but I love Buffy, okay?! The endearingly nerdy yet tough as nails Willow Rosenberg cast a spell on naming preferences as she bewitched us from our TV screens in the '90s. Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer was released in 1997 Willow didn't even hit the top 1000 list for most popular American girls names.

By 1998 it made the top 1000 list for the first time in naming history, clocking in at 853. Thanks in part to the visibility the name gained through Alyson Hannigan's role, Willow became the 171st most popular American girl's name by 2012.

You're Named After WHO?!

Teen Mom Trendsetters

The controversial ladies of Teen Mom have became unlikely trend-setters in the baby naming stakes. Since Maci Bookout appeared on the show with her son Bentley Cadence in 2009, both her and her babies names experienced a surge in popularity in 2010.

Maci jumped from 638 on the list to become the 232nd most popular American girl's name and Bentley did even better. The previously unusual boy's name jumped from 518 on the list in 2009 all the way up to 101st place in 2010. Staggering!

All Aboard the Duck Dynasty!

A grizzled bloke with a beard isn't the first thing to come to mind when you look into a newborn babies crib, but apparently his name is. Jase is currently the third fastest rising name for American boys.

Unsurprisingly the trend began when Duck Dynasty first screened in 2012.


Which Baby Name Would You Be Most Likely to Use?

(Source: Gawker, Baby Names World, Huffington Post)

(Images: Pictures New, Huffington Post, Fan Pop, Disney, The Hunch Blog, About, Julies Nead)


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