Deciding on a baby name is a challenge like no other. It’s a thrilling, intimidating responsibility. A name, after all, is never just a name — it’s always tangled up in the mystery of a child’s inchoate identity and is something they’ll most likely carry around with them for the rest of their life, even if they do eventually adopt a nickname.
This year, the pandemic proved itself to be the unlikely fertile ground for inspiration among some parents: pregnancy website “The Bump” announced Corona (yes, Corona) as the 100th most popular name for girls. Trends in baby names are often dictated by which way the culture happens to be moving, so it makes sense that a global pandemic that has totally upended our lives turns out to inform the names of our future generations.
It’s also no surprise, then, that BabyCenter has identified a few of its own trends this year: the names Kobe (like Bryant), Gianna (like his daughter) and Kamala (like Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee for the 2020 U.S. election) have all increased in popularity.
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Conversely, the name Karen — a popular meme shorthand commonly deployed online to evoke the spectre of any menacing, short-haired white woman who refuses to wear a face mask, demands to speak to your manager at her slightest inconvenience and loves to arbitrarily call 911 on Black people — has declined in popularity. So has Chad.
Otherwise, BabyCenter’s top 10 names for this year look a lot like the ones from last year. Sophia and Liam are still the most popular. The list is gendered, but parents today tend to be less concerned with adhering to that sort of categorization, preferring instead to just choose whichever name they like. So for your careful perusal, here are the top baby names BabyCenter has identified for 2020:
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