One Baby Name Took a Huge Dive in Just One Year

Caitlyn, its variants fell out of favor after Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2017 10:46 AM CDT
Parents Aren't Calling Their Babies Caitlyn
Caitlyn Jenner poses for a portrait on Monday, April 24, 2017, in New York to promote her memoir, "The Secrets of My Life."   (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

Don't call me Caitlyn. A year after Caitlyn Jenner announced her new name and gender, the popularity of the name Caitlyn plummeted more than any other baby name, according to the Social Security Administration's annual list of the most popular baby names. In fact, the four names that dropped the most were all variations of the same name, the AP reports: Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelynn, and Kaitlynn. "It was inevitable," says Laura Wattenberg, founder of "Caitlyn was already falling in popularity. Now it is suddenly controversial." Emma was the top baby name for girls for the third year in a row. It was followed by Olivia, Ava, Sophia, and Isabella, the SSA announced Friday. Noah was the top baby name for boys for the fourth year in a row. It was followed by Liam, William, Mason, and James.

The SSA releases the top 1,000 baby names each year, and also lists the baby names that increase—and decrease—the most in popularity. All four versions of Caitlyn fell out of the top 1,000. In 2015, the former Bruce Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist, shocked the world by announcing her status as a transgender woman. Wattenberg says it would be wrong, however, to blame Caitlyn's drop in popularity solely to a wave of homophobia. In general, she says, parents just don't want to give their children names that might attract controversy. It's one reason few parents name their children after politicians. "Even parents who are huge Donald Trump supporters are unlikely to name their child Donald," Wattenberg says. (More baby names stories.)

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