Baby names Maci and Bentley increased in popularity the most because of Teen Mom

MTV’s Teen Mom has affected baby names, as parents have increasingly named their newborns after Maci Bookout and her son Bentley.

The Social Security Administration announced that “Maci and Bentley had the biggest jumps in popularity.” For boys, Bentley had a 414 percent change, going from the 515th to 101st most-popular name between 2009 and 2010. For girls, it was Maci, with a 423 percent change, going from the 655th most-popular name in 2009 to 232nd in 2010. Maci and Bentley, who were also on 16 and Pregnant, will return to the show for its third season this summer; Teen Mom has also been renewed for a fourth season.

The name with the second-greatest jump in popularity was Giuliana, and while I can’t imagine Style’s Giuliana & Bill is popular enough to impact that, it is an unusual enough name that it very well may have been.

So yes, people actually name their kids after reality TV stars and other famous people. Among boys, the second-greatest change was Kellan (as in Lutz) and Knox (as in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s kid).

Here are last year’s most-popular baby names and those that increased or decreased in popularity the most. If you’ve never seen it, check out the Baby Name Voyager, which shows the popularity of baby names over time as you type them.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.