Photo Credit: Murray Close
Thanks to many years of Twilight mania, it's no surprise that Jacob and Isabella topped the Social Security Administration's list of top baby names for 2009 and 2010. What's more, the fastest-rising boy name in 2009 was Cullen, vampire Edward's last name, while the second-fastest rising boy name in 2010 was Kellan -- a likely nod to Kellan Lutz, who plays Emmett Cullen in the saga.
Stand back for a similar bump in baby names inspired by the latest book-turned-movie mega-hit: The Hunger Games. For starters, the names in THG are (for the most part, anyway) cool and unusual -- two key factors for many moms and dads with baby names on the brain. And second, well, we're just going to say it: Katniss Everdeen, who is brave and strong and self-sufficient and selfless, is a way better role model than Twilight's Bella.
We don't love the name Katniss, to be honest, but we do love its shortened form, Kat, which comes from the Greek name Aikaterine, and means "pure." It's a fierce, feline nickname -- so fitting for Katniss! We even love the more traditional Katherine, already on an uptick from its recent royal association.
Higher-up on our love-it list: The trilogy's youngest heroines, Primrose (and its shortened versions Prim and Rose) and Rue (a nickname for Ruth and Rubenna that's already trending). Both names fit into the "granny chic" category that we adore -- and that loads of celebs, from Christina Applegate to Rebecca Gayheart, have made popular lately.
Then there are the guys: We love how heros Peeta and Gale have names that are simultaneously sensitive and stong -- just like their characters. Spelled with one "e" Peta is a Greek name for girls meaning stone; Gale means "storm" and is a nickname for Abigail, for girls, and Galen for boys. We see them as great unisex choices -- and bet we'll see the traditional boy name Peter make a comeback based on its close association, too.
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