America's Hottest Baby Name in 2010? Khloe

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In other news, I've just lost my last shred of hope for society. Bring on our ape overlords! I welcome your reign, Dr. Zaius!

The short answer, once again, is reality TV, that most reliable source for today's fastest rising names. Khloe Kardashian is part of America's most ubiquitous reality TV family, and over the past four years she has co-starred in four different TV series. But here's the rub: Khloe's two sisters, Kim and Kourtney, have enjoyed just as much publicity but haven't had the same meteoric effect on baby names. The number of babies named Kourtney only doubled over the past five years, and the number of Kims and Kimberlys actually fell.

So again: Why Khloe? The first place to look is generational trends. Parents today want names that feel fresh. Kimberly was one of the hottest names of the 1960s and '70s, and so by the time Kim Kardashian hit our TV screens, the popularity of that name had already fallen dramatically. Kourtney and Courtney didn't peak until the '90s—so they were a little less stale, but still well past their zenith. Chloe, though, was still on the upswing. Its popularity was rising every year, leaving the name well-balanced between fresh and familiar. And it provided an opportunity for creative spelling. Starting the name with a "K" gave it new appeal for parents with creative, contemporary tastes in names. (K is the consonant of choice for these namers, the types who choose Kamren over Cameron.)

[Slate]

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