What Makes Baby Girl Names Popular?

The popularity of certain baby girl names has been attributed to the influence of popular culture, lifestyle and a desire for originality. There is also a cyclical nature to baby name trends, with some baby girl names coming back into vogue many generations after they were originally commonplace.

The popularity of "vintage" baby names is a good example of this. Some baby girl names that were all but extinct since their heyday between the late 1800s and mid-1900s spontaneously started appearing in the 21st century. Examples include Clara, Amelia, Olive and Lillian, all of which have an old-fashioned and storied charm about them.

The resurgence in the popularity of baby girl names like Olive, in particular, might also be linked to lifestyle changes, such as an increased awareness of healthy eating. Other examples include Apple, the name given by actress Gwyneth Paltrow to her daughter, and Poppy, the name of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's daughter. Similarly nature-inspired baby girl names that have returned to favor include Fuchsia and Hazel.

The popularity of baby girl names is also influenced by popular culture, as evidenced by the surge in popularity of the name Madison following the release of "Splash," a 1984 movie featuring a mermaid of the same name.