Top Baby Names 2011: A Potpourri of Pop Culture from Archer to Kardashian

Twilight, Kardashians, and two FX shows make an appearance on 2011's most popular baby name list.

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Kourtney Kardashian and Mason Disick on October 13, 2011 in New York City, New York

When there are ten children named Mason in your kid’s kindergarten class, blame the Kardashians.

The U.S. Social Security Administration just released its annual list of baby names and Mason — the name of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s 2-year-old son — has leaped in popularity. It is now the second most popular name for boys in the U.S.

MORE: Top 10 Baby Names for 2011: Inspired by ‘Twilight’ and ‘Teen Mom’

It wouldn’t be the first time reality television made an impact on the list. Last year, MTV’s hit show Teen Mom made the names Maci and Bentley, after the young mother and son on the show, popular: Bentley was the 100th most popular name for boys after failing to appear in the top 500 in 2009. Isabella and Jacob — names ripped from the pages of The Twilight Saga — are near the top of the lists for the second straight year. (Sorry, Team Edward.) In fact, many of the names at the top of the list bear some pop culture connotations. The fourth most popular girl’s name, Olivia, could come from the popular children’s books of the same name (or from Olivia Dunham, a character on the cult TV show Fringe).  The continuing popularity of Emma, at #3, may be due to the fact it’s what Jennifer Aniston’s character named her daughter on Friends. Americans also continue to look to the bible, at least for boy’s names (no mention of a Madison or Ava in the good book). Along with Jacob, Noah, Michael and Daniel are all in the top ten.

Things get a bit more interesting (no offense, Emilys, Sophias, and Michaels!) when you head over to the Social Security Administration’s list of trending baby names. These are the monikers that have shown the greatest gains on the SSA list. School teachers of America beware, you will need to know how to pronounce Nylah, Iker, Briella and Zaiden. While the parents who help pioneer new baby names may think they are blazing their own trail,  they aren’t entirely immune to pop culture’s influence either. Aria is one of the characters on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, Archer is, of course, Archer on FX, and as for Raelynn, well, one can only hope the names stems from a love of the FX television show Justified and it’s main character Raylan Givens.
Here are the top 10 most popular names for babies born in 2011:


1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Michael
7. Ethan
8. Alexander
9. Aiden
10. Daniel

More: Prospective Parents, Take Note: America’s 10 Most Hated Baby Names


1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Madison
9. Mia
10. Chloe

And here are the top trending names for babies born in 2011:


1. Brantley
2. Iker
3. Maximiliano
4. Zaiden
5. Kamden
6. Barrett
7. Archer
8. Declan
9. Atticus
10. Nico


1. Briella
2. Angelique
3. Aria
4. Mila
5. Elsie
6. Nylah
7. Raelynn
8. Brynlee
9. Olive
10. June

MORE: See last year’s most popular baby names