Most popular baby names list: Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Marvel prove strong influences

There were 37 baby boys named Thor in 2013 and 72 baby girl Skylars

Jess Denham
Friday 15 August 2014 15:24 BST
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'
Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad' (Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

From Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad to Marvel movies and Harry Potter, more and more parents are giving their babies cultural references for names.

The UK’s most popular baby names list for 2013 came out today, revealing the influence of our favourite TV shows, films and books.

Walter and Skyler White from Netflix original Breaking Bad have had a rising effect on names since the TV series aired in 2008. Last year, 72 baby girls were called Skyler, while 58 boys were named Walter, in a nod to the overwhelming popular show, about a chemistry teacher turned meth dealer.

Hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones has also made an impact on new mums and dads since 2011, with 11 Theons and six Tyrions appearing on the list of baby names given to 3 or more boys in 2013. Tywin, Joffrey, Petyr and Varys are yet to crack said list.

Thanks to Marvel’s relentless churning out of superhero movies, 13 baby Thors entered the world in 2013 while there were 37 Lokis, named after the former’s adoptive brother and archenemy.

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books have also had a strong influence, with Ronnie rising 15 places to number 90 and even three Bellatrixes making appearances. In previous years, there have been babies named Draco and Sirius.

The trend for cultural baby names has been long established, with Britney shooting up the rankings in 1999 after the release of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”.

Then there was the 2002 rise in popularity of Shakira following “Whenever, Wherever”, and Rihanna in the wake of 2007 chart-topper “Umbrella”.

Pop stars have had a strong influence on baby names in the past (Chart: ONS)
Pop stars have had a strong influence on baby names in the past (Chart: ONS) (ONS)

Since award-winning French film Amelie was released in 2001, the name has seen a hike in popularity, rising from fewer than 3 babies in 1996 to 10,095 in 2013.

For the second year running, Elsie has seen the largest rise, gaining 23 places to number 47 in 2013. This may in part be down to Idina Menzel’s character Elsa in Disney’s massive hit Frozen, although the movie was released in November last year.

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