UK Markets closed

These Marvel Baby Names Are Getting More Popular

·4-min read
The superhero characters and stories of the Marvel films have influenced many aspects of culture, including baby names.  (Photo: Jade Albert via Getty Images)
The superhero characters and stories of the Marvel films have influenced many aspects of culture, including baby names. (Photo: Jade Albert via Getty Images)

The Marvel Universe doesn’t just dominate at the box office. Its superhero characters and stories also have a hold on pop culture as a whole ― inspiring wedding themes, clothing lines, restaurants and more. Given that parents draw baby name ideas from countless sources, it’s no surprise that the Marvel world is now one of them.

The U.S. Social Security Administration tracks the baby names given to five or more girls or boys in a given year. Looking at the agency’s data, there are lots of Marvel character names, and when you compare the 2020 list to previous years, a clear upward trend emerges for many of them. While it’s hard to link Marvel’s influence to the popularity of top-10 names like James and Ava, others seem more likely to be connected to the hit films and comic books.

Peter Jason Quill (aka Star-Lord) is the lead character in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, the first of which premiered in 2014. From that year on, the name Quill has risen in popularity ― from five baby boys named Quill in 2014 to 42 boys and five girls in 2020.

Loki, a fan-favorite character in the Marvel canon, seems to have gotten a popularity boost in the baby-naming world as well. While the name appeared consistently in SSA data starting in 2001, the “Thor” and “Avengers” films likely upped its numbers. In 2010 (the year before the first “Thor” movie’s release), 55 baby boys were named Loki, but that number increased to 71 boys in 2011. In 2020, there were 130 newborn boys named Loki ― as well as five baby girls.

Tessa Thompson’s character Valkyrie first appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017. That year, 63 baby girls were named Valkyrie, but that the following year, the number rose to 75, and by 2020, it was 128.

In 2020, nine baby boys were named Bucky ― a name that has only appeared in the list a handful of times. But Bucky is also the name of Captain America’s best friend, who has appeared in seven Marvel films, including the 2018 and 2019 “Avengers” movies, so it seems natural the movies might have contributed to the bump.

The name of Marvel supervillain Thanos has also seen a boost in popularity in recent years. Thanos never appeared in the SSA data until a few one-off years in 2004 and 2007, but once the Marvel Cinematic Universe films started dominating theaters, it was in there every year in increasing numbers. In 2019, 18 baby boys were named Thanos. (The number decreased to nine in 2020, but it’s worth noting the number of babies born in the U.S. last year was down 4%.)

Some of the more traditional names in the Marvel world ― like Bruce, Carol and Tony ― have fallen down the list in recent years, but the decreases in popularity have been consistent with a general pattern of decline that started before the films. And in the meantime, more pointed choices like Banner and even the name Marvel itself are rising.

If you’re looking to add a little Marvel flair to your baby name choices but don’t want to go too far outside the box, you can look at the names parents are already choosing. We’ve rounded up 60 Marvel character names that appear in the SSA data, along with the number of U.S. newborns given each name in 2020.

Agatha ― 85 girls

Anthony ― 6,966 boys, nine girls

Ava ― 13,084 girls, 11 boys

Ayo ― nine boys, six girls

Banner ― 64 boys

Barton ― seven boys

Bruce — 579 boys

Bucky ― nine boys

Cage ― 21 boys

Carol ― 100 girls

Clint ― 132 boys

Corvus ― 10 boys

Darcy ― 194 girls, nine boys

Drax ― five boys

Erik ― 703 boys

Falcon ― 28 boys

Happy ― 10 boys, five girls

Hela ― 12 girls

James ― 12,250 boys, 63 girls

Jane ― 1,154 girls

Jasper ― 2,604 boys, 64 girls

Lemar ― 12 boys

Loki ― 130 boys, five girls

Maria ― 2,460 girls, 10 boys

Marvel ― 39 girls, 23 boys

May ― 118 girls

Monica ― 395 girls

Morgan ― 1,483 girls, 363 boys

Nakia ― 17 girls

Natasha ― 266 girls

Nebula ― 14 girls

Nicholas ― 4,024 boys

Nick ― 120 boys

Odin ― 981 boys

Parker ― 3,797 boys, 2,131 girls

Peggy ― 20 girls

Pepper ― 131 girls

Peter ― 1,747 boys

Pietro ― 29 boys

Quill ― 42 boys, five girls

Rhodes ― 123 boys, 11 girls

Rocket ― 19 boys

Ronan ― 1,255 boys, 19 girls

Sam ― 401 boys, 12 girls

Samuel ― 8,488 boys, 14 girls

Scarlet ― 682 girls

Scott ― 494 boys

Shuri ― seven girls

Soren ― 555 boys, 33 girls

Steve ― 147 boys

Steven ― 1,661 boys

Sylvie ― 347 girls

Thanos ― nine boys

Thor ― 85 boys

Tony ― 420 boys

Valkyrie ― 128 girls

Vision ― 11 boys, 10 girls

Wade ― 936 boys

Wanda ― 17 girls

Zuri ― 1,254 girls, 24 boys

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

Related...

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting