Atticus tops the list of Most Popular Baby Names for the first half of 2015, Nameberry.com reported on Tuesday. Coincidentally, the news was announced the same day as Harper Lee’s latest novel, featuring beloved literary character Atticus Finch, was released.
Nameberry’s annual half-year survey reveals the baby names that expectant parents are most interested in right now. In a recent tally, the survey found Atticus was the most-viewed moniker on their site for the first time ever, dethroning Asher, Nameberry’s longtime number one name.
“Atticus has never been as popular as it is right now,” said Nameberry co-founder Pamela Redmond Satran.
The Roman name Atticus first gained attention in the 1960s after Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” was published and inspired a film adaptation starring Gregory Peck. However, the moniker didn’t even register on U.S. Social Security lists until 1986, when nine boys were given that name.
Only in 2004 did Atticus finally make the U.S. Top 1000 list, and today it is more popular than ever at number 370!
However, with reports that literary character Atticus Finch is portrayed as a racist in Lee’s new novel “Go Set A Watchman,” it’s possible the trending name won’t stick. Nonetheless, Nameberry co-founder Satran says she doubts the new novel will have a negative impact.
“I wonder how many parents had actually read the book or are really that aware of who the character is beyond that he's really cute as Gregory Peck and has this crusading image,” she told People Magazine. “I'm going to guess there will be a lot of parents who say, 'Who cares who Atticus Finch is and what he's doing in a fictional world? I think Atticus is a cool name and I'm going to use it.’”
Want to know what other names made Nameberry’s list of most popular monikers? Here’s a list of the top 10 boy and girl names of 2015 so far.