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Kobe is up, Karen is down: Parenting website releases list with most popular baby names in 2020
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Kobe is up, Karen is down: Parenting website releases list with most popular baby names in 2020

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Alexa, what should I name my baby?

Probably not Alexa, according to a trend observed by BabyCenter, one of the world's largest online pregnancy and parenting resources.

Last week, the San Francisco-based company released its list of Top Baby Names of 2020. After sorting through data of more than half a million babies who were registered on its website, BabyCenter shared some surprising conclusions.

Sophia was, once again, the most popular name for girls, continuing her dominance since 2010. For boys, Liam took the top spot for the second year in a row, after overthrowing long-standing favorite Jackson last year.

Most of the top 20 names — including Olivia, Emma, Noah, Lucas — were no strangers to the top of the annual list. In fact there was only one new addition to that select group in 2020: Mateo.

But some of the newly unpopular names might be able to provide some valuable insight into the year's zeitgeist.

The name Karen, which in 2020 acquired a completely new — and not flattering — meaning thanks to the relentless flow of information on social media websites, dropped 153 spots after becoming "shorthand for a middle-aged white woman acting in a rude, entitled, and often racist manner in public," according to BabyCenter.

Alexa was another casualty in the baby-naming universe, falling by 121 spots in 2020.

"Amazon's voice-activated Alexa device is no doubt the reason," the company said. "Having a child and a virtual assistant with the same name could prove confusing around the house."

Some names, however, experienced an impressive rise towards total baby-naming dominance.

The name Kamala, which rose from relative obscurity, jumped up 104% in popularity in 2020.

Liberty, the name chosen by TV host and political commentator Meghan McCain for her daughter, also saw a healthy increase in popularity: it went up 69 spots.

People also wanted to honor and celebrate those who are no longer with us, the company said.

"Kobe was far and away the biggest riser on the list for boys in 2020, climbing 379 spots to number 216," BabyCenter said.

The increase in popularity can probably be linked to the tragic death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, who was killed in an helicopter crash in January.

His 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who was with him in the shocking accident, also saw a big increase in popularity, moving up 52 spots to No. 24.

"2020 has been an especially emotional year for families, filled with stress, loss, and uncertainty," Linda Murray, BabyCenter's global editor in chief, said in a statement.

"At a time like this, parents are seeking comfort by naming their babies after people they admire, especially those who've passed on. We expect this trend to continue well into 2021," she added.

 

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