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Baby Emma, ​​David or Elizabeth? Not for American parents Caitlin and Luke McNeal.

Instead of naming their children after grandparents, biblical figures, or the British monarchy, the couple chose place names that hold significant travel memories for them.

“Kinsale was when we lived in Ireland, we went on holiday to Kinsale and we fell in love with it,” said Caitlin. “Keeneland is from Kentucky, the first place we went on vacation together to watch horse racing.”

And finally there’s Sabi — “from Sabi Sands in South Africa, where we went on our first solo vacation without Kinsale.”

The McNeals are part of a growing trend of choosing baby names based on travel destinations.

The McNeal Family — Keeneland, Luke, Sabi, Caitlin and Kinsale.

The popularity of “travel-inspired” names grew 14% between 2000 and 2020, according to research by luggage storage app Bounce. The company compared a short list of destination names and travel-related words with data from the US Census Bureau and the UK Office for National Statistics, it said.

The results show an overlap in baby name choices in both countries. However, the trend of naming children after countries and cities is more pronounced in the United States than in the United Kingdom, even after accounting for population differences, the study found.

Most popular ‘travel-related’ baby names

Preston, Israel, Phoenix and Orlando appear on both lists, but Preston – which means Priest City – is the most popular overall. Read also : Netflix’s most popular movies and shows: what’s on trend June 30, 2022..

Baby website The Bump calls the name “old-fashioned and rather unusual… Although some may see it as a title reserved for the rich, Preston is the place name of a northern English town once famous for its role in the Industrial Revolution.”

American parents of boys tend to prefer local city names, while British parents have shown a preference for looking abroad, with names like Milan, Orlando and Rome topping the list.

Sydney is on the “top 10” list for girls’ names in the US and UK, but is far more popular with American parents. It is the only name that was selected more than 100,000 times in the 20-year period analyzed in the study.

However, Sydney’s popularity in the United States is declining. After peaking in 2002, the name fell from the 23rd most popular name that year to 249th in 2021, according to the US Social Security Administration.

Historically, baby names have been inspired by literary characters, biblical figures and the British monarchy. Now there is a growing trend of adding tourist destinations to the list.

London also made the top 10 list of US baby names – for both boys and girls – but it may be a little too close to home for British parents. It was selected just 220 times in the UK from 2000 to 2020, compared to 44,556 times in the US, according to the study.

Of all the names in the study, Atlas has grown the most in popularity, according to Cody Candee, CEO of Bounce. There were only eight babies named Atlas in 2000, but nearly 2,175 in 2020 — an increase of more than 27,000%, he said.

“This may be due to parents preferring more unique and meaningful names, with Atlas coming from Greek mythology and meaning ‘to endure,'” he said.

“On the other hand, there are a few names that have fallen in popularity,” he added. “In fact, there were 11 that disappeared completely, the biggest of which was Montreal, which went from 23 to 0.”

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Baby names that match country names

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“Indus is feminine for river,” said Ria Hoban. “I had my elements read by accident on a night out when I found out I was pregnant, and I was told I was a water element.”

“Also, Connor and I honeymooned in India — Delhi, North and South Goa and Rajasthan, and that region has always puzzled me. I’ve also always loved the celebrity name and [I’m] a fan of India Hick designs,” she said. is, referring to the British designer and relative of the British royal family.

In both the US and the UK, the trend of naming babies after countries is far more common for daughters. Except for Israel, Trinidad and Cuba, the names on both lists were either exclusively or far more popular choices for girls.

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Baby names that match city names

Although London, Kingston (the name of singer Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s eldest son) and Paris dominate the lists, one name is noticeably absent from this list: Brooklyn. See the article : The 50 Best Amazon Prime Video Original Shows.

That’s because the study didn’t include the names of suburbs or neighborhoods, Candee said.

Brooklyn’s popularity skyrocketed after Victoria and David Beckham chose it for their first-born son in 1999, Candee said.

If the name had been included, Brooklyn would have been “the second most popular travel-inspired name for girls in the US, with 75,948 girls named Brooklyn in the past 20 years,” he said. However, the name is less popular for boys, he said — it was chosen just 1,412 times for boys in the U.S. during the same period.

Candee also said several names were excluded from the analysis because they were used too often to be travel-inspired. Those names include Jordan, Madison, Austin and Charlotte, he said.

It is not known to what extent the other names were inspired by travel or some other association the parents may have made with the names.

One example is Hamilton. Although there are places and cities with the name Hamilton in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, the popular Broadway play “Hamilton” or Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton may have inspired some parents to choose the name for their children.

Similarly, it is unknown to what extent the parents who named their babies Paris were inspired by the French capital, the Hilton society, or Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” — or something else entirely.

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