Brooklyn’s been the source of countless trends in the last two decades—we made Williamsburg an adjective and anticipated the rise of broke teenagers using 3D glasses as ironic accessories—but the most noticeable one of all might just be the name itself: Turns out, a lot of people are naming their kids ‘Brooklyn’ now, and none of them live anywhere near Brooklyn.
Using data from the Social Security Administration, Slate created a map that reveals each state’s most popular “B” name for baby girls, which shows that while the rest of the country has got a real thing for our borough, we in New York prefer Brianna (what, no love for Becca?!). According to the data, only 11 out of every 10,000 New Yorkers name their girls Brooklyn, compared to Montana, which has a whopping 131 Brooklyns for every 10,000 female births. The gesture was not reciprocated, however; only seven New Yorkers named their daughters “Montana” in 2012. Ouch.
So, if we’re already at an era of borough-specific naming trends nationwide, what’s next? Parents in Arizona naming their children “Williamsburg”? What about “Sheepshead Bay?” (Run along, little Gravesend! Be nice to your sister, East Flatbush!)
But the real question is, why aren’t people in New York naming their daughters Brooklyn if everyone else is? Slate wonders if it’s because “Brooklyn is unpopular in the Empire State,” which is nonsense. The answer? Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s kind of tacky to name your child based on the place where you live. A different map also shows that of the four out of 100 most popular female baby names in 2012 that are also cities (Charlotte, Madison, Savannah and Brooklyn), none of them were popular near the actual place:
We’re still waiting for that first kindergarten class in Iowa where all the Gowanuses have to go by their last names.
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa