Choosing the perfect baby name can be fun, but it can also be stressful. Parents may draw on many influences, from pop culture to family history. In some cases, they choose to name their child after a place that has a special meaning to them.
24/7 Tempo reviewed newborn baby name data from the Social Security Administration for 2021 to identify some of the most popular travel-inspired baby names. We selected names that also happen to be names of famous neighborhoods, cities, or countries – usually places that are frequented by tourists, excluding those that appear fewer than 100 times in the SSA database.
Some of the most common travel-related names tend to be those of world-famous cities such as London and Sydney. Almost 1,350 girls born in America in 2021 bear the name of the U.K. capital – and more than 1,200 babies born in the U.S. last year shared a name with the Australian city.
Though the vast majority of newborns christened Sydney in this country were female in 2021, the name has traditionally been given to men, too. See, for example, “Maltese Falcon” actor Sydney Greenstreet, Tony-winning performer Sydney Chaplin (son of Charlie Chaplin), actor-director Sydney Pollack (“Out of Africa,” “Tootsie”), and astrologer-to-the-stars Sydney Omarr. (These are the 25 most popular gender-neutral names.)
Of course, sometimes it’s sheer coincidence that people’s names are the same as those of famous places. The parents who called their children Sydney, or things like Austin, Carolina, Houston, Israel, Santiago, or Skye, very likely weren’t thinking geographically at all.
In any case, baby names corresponding to place names are nowhere near being the most popular in the U.S. The No. 1 examples on this list are Hudson for boys (with 7,584 instances) and Brooklyn for girls (with 3,508). In comparison, the most popular boys’ name in the U.S. last year overall was Liam, given to 20,272 babies, and the equivalent for girls, Olivia, was bestowed on 17,728. (These are the most popular baby names of the 21st century.)
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