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The Name Game: 12 Baby Name Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

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Little baby girl lying on bed,smiling and looking at camera.She got teddy bear hat on head. | zeremski via Getty Images
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With countless options out there, naming a baby can be a tough decision for parents-to-be. Some camps vie for traditional names, and some go for broke with a wildly unorthodox option, while others may look to the world of entertainment for their kid's official title.

There's really no perfect way to go about it, but here are a few surprising facts about how people around the world have been trying to make a name for their children.

Bacon: from the table to your toddler

Looking for a little extra sizzle to spice up the family name? The bacon craze of the last several years is not limited to garnishing donuts or infusing into our alcohol. Some families have opted to add a side of bacon to their lives by naming their children after the mouth-watering morning maker.

If, however, you're looking for a vegan-friendly option, it should be noted that 214 U.S. boys were named "Kale" in 2014.

A royal welcome for Charlotte

The UK's Royal Family have captivated audiences for generations. Most recently, Prince William and Princess Kate's second child, Charlotte, became the centre of attention when she was born last May. Going by website Nameberry's rankings of most-searched names, Charlotte's been a big hit, taking the top spot after receiving millions upon millions of hits throughout 2015. But, to be fair, the name has been popular for a while, also having claimed the title from 2009-11.

Atticus Returns

The arrival of To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee's long-lost manuscript for Go Tell a Watchman this year seemingly had many interested in naming their babies Atticus. While a mid-year poll listed the moniker as the top pick for a boy's name, the less than heroic portrayal of Atticus in the prequel may have contributed to it dropping to number three by year's end.

Billion Dollar Babies

Whether or not their parents were bankers or Alice Cooper fans remains to be determined, but five U.S. children were give the fiscally-minded first name "Billion" in 2014. With a name that rich, you'll hardly feel short-changed.

Names from 'Thrones'

High fantasy program "Game of Thrones" has made a huge cultural impact, with hundreds of babies across the UK taking on the names of characters like the brave Arya and the dragon-commanding Khaleesi aka Daenerys in 2014. Winter could be coming for this trend, though, as Khaleesi dropped from Nameberry's top 10 in 2014 down to the 28th spot on this year's list of most searched names.

The Rise and Fall of the Jennifer Generation

Name trends come and go, but perhaps not as drastically as it did for "Jennifer." The name surged into popularity in the early '70s, becoming the number one girl's name in Canada and the U.S. from 1970 to 1984, but it's dropped off significantly since then. The name had become so ubiquitous that author Linda Rosenkrantz's 1988 book "Beyond Jennifer & Jason: An Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby" actively suggested parents go another route. It seemingly worked. Jennifer didn't even crack the U.S.'s top 100 in 2014.

Sofia's the first worldwide

Disney titled their animated princess series Sofia the First for a reason. A recent study analyzing baby name statistics from 49 countries found that Sofia, or Sophia, is the top girl's name worldwide, with the title being most popular in Mexico, Russia and Italy. With the word meaning "wisdom," it's a smart and sophisticated choice.
For boys, the worldwide winner is believed to be Muhammad, alternately spelled as Mohammed or Mohammad.

Baby names that might not spread

You've probably heard myriad food-related names over the years, from Honey, to Ginger, to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter, Apple. No matter how delicious it may be, it seems like Nutella won't be one of them anytime soon. A couple in France attempted to name their child after the hazelnut spread in 2014, but a judge thought the idea was less than sweet, and denied the request. They opted to edit the girl's name down to "Ella."

Be careful what you call your little devils

The government of New Zealand maintains a hefty list of names parents cannot give Kiwi kiddies, with a most devilish option of "Lucifer" ixnayed six times between 2001-2013. They weren't just saying no to a fresh batch of fallen angels, though, as decidedly holier, though hardly humble options like "Messiah" and "Christ" were rejected as well.

How best to brand your baby

Naming your child is an intimate, personal experience for most, but U.S. rapper Chief Keef (born Keith Cozart) looked to his record label last summer for a bit of advice. As confirmed in a press statement by company head Alki David, the rapper and the child's "baby mama" agreed to name the boy "Sno FilmOn Dot Com Cozart" to help promote Keef's latest album, Bang 3.

Why stop at one?

Some people may find the traditional arrangement of "first-middle-and-last name" a bit too constricting, but keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to stick to this format. For instance, three months after the 2012 birth of actor Uma Thurman and former fiancé Arpad Busson's baby girl, they settled on Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. While extended and extravagant, they call her "Luna" for short.

Some classics never go out of style

Public records for U.S. baby names are available back to 1880, with the most popular male name at that time being John (9,655 documented births). The 2014 records knock the moniker down a few pegs, coming in at number 26, but the name still maintains a relatively steady presence with 10,600 new John's born in the U.S. that year. The more things change, the more they stay the same.