Don’t call me Cait­lyn: baby name plunges in pop­u­lar­ity

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

WASH­ING­TON — Don’t call me Cait­lyn.

A year af­ter Cait­lyn Jen­ner an­nounced her new name and gen­der, the pop­u­lar­ity of the name Cait­lyn plum­meted more than any other baby name, ac­cord­ing to U.S. So­cial Se­cu­rity’s an­nual list of the most pop­u­lar baby names.

In fact, the four names that dropped the most were all vari­a­tions of the same name: Caitlin, Cait­lyn, Kate­lynn and Kait­lynn.

“It was in­evitable,” said Laura Wat­ten­berg, founder of Baby­nameWizard.com. “Cait­lyn was al­ready fall­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Now it is sud­denly con­tro­ver­sial.”

The So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­leased its an­nual list of the 1,000 most pop­u­lar baby names for 2016 on Fri­day.

Emma was the top baby name for girls for the third year in a row. It was fol­lowed by Olivia, Ava, Sophia and Is­abella.

Noah was the top baby name for boys for the fourth year in a row. It was fol­lowed by Liam, Wil­liam, Ma­son and James.

In 2015, the for­mer Bruce Jen­ner, an Olympic gold medal­list, shocked the world when she an­nounced that she is now a trans­gen­der woman. The iconic cover of Van­ity Fair mag­a­zine was em­bla­zoned with the quote, “Call me Cait­lyn,” on top of a pic­ture of a very fem­i­nine Jen­ner.

Wat­ten­berg said it would be wrong to blame Cait­lyn’s drop in pop­u­lar­ity solely to the fact that Jen­ner is trans­gen­der. In gen­eral, she said, par­ents don’t want to give their chil­dren names that might at­tract con­tro­versy.

It’s one rea­son few par­ents name their chil­dren af­ter politi­cians.

For the record, Don­ald fell 45 spots last year, to No. 488. Hil­lary fell out of the top 1,000 names in 2009 and has not re­turned.

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