The Rise (And Fall?) of Celebrity Name Miley
It's often hard to predict which pop culture names will inspire parents to choose them. I would have thought that Barack might have cracked the top 1000 after our 44th president, but no such luck. Only a handful of people have used Katniss or Peeta for their offspring, despite the Hunger Games' popularity. And there's really only one Beyonce—that name, created for the singer by her parents, still hasn't cracked the top 1000.
But another celebrity catapulted her totally made up (and not even official) name into the baby name stratosphere—Miley Cyrus, who was born with the name Destiny Hope. Miley was her nickname because she was so "smiley" as a kid, and it became both her stage name and her alter ego's name from Hannah Montana, too.
The year after the show Hannah Montana hit the airwaves, the name hit the big time, becoming the 278th most popular name in the country. Its popularity peaked in 2008, and it's been on a slow and steady decline since then—in 2012, it ranked 335th.
I'm curious to see if it's going to make a much sharper trajectory into the basement with all of Miley's latest hijinks—maybe parents don't want their kids named in honor of someone so controversial. My guess? It probably will take a huge nosedive. For reference, take a look at the trajectory of the name Lindsay (a la Lindsay Lohan), which took a big bump down starting with her first brushes with the law in 2006. And Lindsay is an actual name with a real meaning behind it, so it has that going over Miley's name.
What do you think? Is Miley destined for a big drop in popularity? Or will parents still like that "smiley" message behind it?