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Celebrity Baby Names That Have Fallen From Grace Due to Tabloid Gossip

Celebrity baby names on Post-its around pregnancy test

We’d never considered that celebrity gossip can have an impact on what baby names are popular. But all evidence supports that there may be a link between the tabloids and what celebrity baby names that have fallen from grace.

When I was a kid, there was a girl in my Brownie troop named Kathy, and to be frank, Kathy was a mean little kid. She never wanted to share, she would pull hair and push other girls as soon as the leader’s back was turned, and if she didn’t get her own way, look out. I generally tried to stay out of her orbit, but there was one problem: Her full name was the same as mine. We were both Kathryn, spelled the same way, only I went by Katie and she went by Kathy. And I hated it. She called us “name twins” and told me I should start going by Kathy instead. (Yeah, I’m telling you, she was a total peach.) To this day, I flinch whenever someone calls me Kathy instead of Katie (which happens more than you might think!).

I was reminded of this story when I got a press release this week with this title: Half-Year Baby Name Charts with Celeb Gossip Causing Drama. (Thanks for this one, BabyCentre.) It turns out that celebrity gossip often causes some of the more popular names to take a nose-dive on the charts because they’re associated with too much turmoil. I guess the Kathy conundrum is more common than I thought.

I suppose I should have realized this, though. I have many teachers in my life, and they all have names they can’t stand because they remind them of unpleasant kids in their classes. One friend of mine married a guy who loved the name Reese and lobbied hard for their daughter to be given the moniker, but my friend’s first (awful) boyfriend had been called Rhys and it was just too close. I guess some names are just seared into our brains, for better or worse.

So I started to wonder what celebrity baby names had fallen from grace considering that some of their most famous owners are linked to over-the-top drama. Read on for the list.

Celebrity Baby Names That Have Dropped in Popularity By Mid-2023

Meghan and Harry have both dropped in birth certificate registrations according to the BabyCentre list, though the internet is divided on whether or not this is fair. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have legions of loyal fans, but there are also many out there who shake their heads at the constant media circus around the pair.

William has been on a rollercoaster ride in the name charts over the years, but in 2023, it has dropped eight places to number 49 in the top 100. We can’t say for certain, but Will Smith wasn’t exactly a Hollywood sweetheart at the end of 2022 after slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.

Louis dropped seven points on the most recent name popularity list, which may or may not be related to Louis C.K.’s admission of sexual misconduct. But based on the current sold-out shows on his comedy tour, it may also just be that Louis is an old-fashioned name that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Ryan has dropped 24 points—a pretty big fall, all things considering—but this one is baffling. Two of the most beloved actors of the day are named Ryan (Reynolds and Gosling) and yet, total tank. Is there a cancelled Ryan celeb we aren’t considering? Are people really anticipating hating the Barbie movie? Is Deadpool losing fans?

Adam is the name that has dropped the most on the list (down 37 spots!). This one could very likely be linked to Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, who was accused of having an affair on his pregnant wife in late 2022. Other women also came forward to report Levine’s inappropriate behaviour towards them.

Emily has also taken a dip, down 12 positions, and we wonder if it could be related to the constant drama that tends to surround supermodel Emily Ratajkowski. She has supported some really great causes, and spoken up for other celebrities, but she is also a controversial figure that some parents may just want to avoid.

Millie is a hard one. Actress Millie Bobby Brown is best known for her portrayal of Eleven in Stranger Things, a role for which she has received high praise and garnered many, many fans. But for a while, rumours circulated about aggressive and potentially racist and homophobic behaviour. While nothing has been confirmed, and many celebrities have spoken out in support of Brown, the attention may still make some families name-shy.

Zara fell 20 points in the most recent baby name chart from BabyCentre, and we wonder if it’s a royal family thing. Zara Philips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and William and Harry’s cousin, is arguably the most famous person with this name. With more and more people casting doubt on the monarchy, maybe this name is just getting caught in the fray.

Looking for more baby name inspiration? Check out our baby name hub for thousands of names to consider. 

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