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The Year’s Fastest-Rising Baby Names are a Disney Sweep

May 6, 2022 namerology 2 Comments

The Year’s Fastest-Rising Baby Names are a Disney Sweep

May 6, 2022 Namerology 2 Comments

The hottest boy’s and girl’s names of 2021 have a lot in common.

Both names are four-letters ending in -a. Both were both the names of title characters in 2021 films about interactions between humans and mythical monsters. And both of those films were animated features from Walt Disney Studios, which put yet another stamp on modern American culture. Meet the year’s top rising names, Luca and Raya.

Raya was the heroine of Raya and the Last Dragon, a magical adventure set in Southeast Asia. The name was the overall fastest-rising name in the US, leaping to become a top-500 name for girls. What’s more, the name of the film’s villain, Namaari, was the year’s top new name. Together, the two represent a landmark for Asian character names in the United States.

The film Luca told the story of a young sea monster in 1950s Italy. The already popular boy’s name Luca rose by over 40%, and the Slavic version Luka was also a top-10 riser for boys. It’s a sound parents were ready for, continuing the dramatic rise of boys’ names ending in -a.

More Fast-Rising Boys’ Names

#2: Amiri
Amiri comes from the Arabic for prince and was the name of influential African-American writer Amiri Baraka. Its recent rise, though, owes to the luxury streetwear brand created by Iranian-American designer Mike Amiri.

#3: Walker
The CW Network crime drama Walker is a reboot of the 1990s series Walker, Texas Ranger. It has helped to cement Walker as a Western-styled name.

The rest of the top 10:
#4: Eliam
#5: Colter
#6: Banks
#7: Aziel
#8: Onyx
#9: Ozzy
#10: Luka

More Fast-Rising Girls’ Names

#2: Wrenley
This name continues its rapid ascent, following in the footsteps of the soaring hit Everly. The spellings Wrenly and Renley are also climbing.

#3: Mylah
Baby Mylah is the daughter of Jovi Dufren and Yara Zaya, a couple featured on the reality tv series 90 Day Fiancé.

The rest of the top 10:
#4: Navy
#5: Noa
#6: Maeve
#7: Flora
#8: Daphne
#9: Stevie
#10: Lainey


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  • Katie shore May 6, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    How are you measuring the increases? Is it in absolute number of babies or a percentage difference?

    • Namerology
      Namerology May 7, 2022 at 1:17 am

      Great question — it’s a formula that incorporates both:

      (percent change) X (square root(absolute value(raw difference)))

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