Skip to main content

America Is Naming More Babies “Khaleesi” Than “Betsy”

"I see no babes, only dragonspawn."


Nerdy parents are now claiming what is theirs with fire, blood, and an enthusiasm for strong female role models from pop culture: statistics from the Social Security Administration reveal that in 2012 America welcomed more babies named Khaleesi than Betsy. Adorable baby cosplay pics or it didn’t happen, SSA.

Vox reports that for privacy reasons, the SSA only releases data on names used more than five times in a single given year. 2012 was the first time “Daenerys”-named babies were reported, with 21 girls receiving a name their future teachers are doomed to forever mispronounce. Khaleesi was almost 7 times more popular as a naming option– 146 Khaleesis were welcomed  in 2012, slightly more than Betsy or Nadine. The  SSA’s statistics also show how quickly Game of Thrones became influential on public consciousness– the number of Khaleesis born each year has multiplied just shy of 30 times since the name first appeared in SSA data in 2010.

Khaleesi isn’t the only Westeros-born woman who has spawned an army of baby namesakes. The traditionally male name “Arya” has also risen in popularity with girls since George R.R. Martin began writing his series in 1996, and surged again in 2011 and 2012 following the premiere of the show.

Game of Thrones isn’t the only fictitious saga to influence parents, either. In 2012, Katniss passed Lucianne and Maude in popularity, and a lot of precocious baby Hermiones were born from 1996 to 2012. The Harry Potter naming trend was not without casualties, though; my condolences to the over 50 baby boys named Draco each year from 2002 to 2008. Your folks were being real Death Eaters. At least your namesake is a lot less creepy than all those children named after Bella and Jacob from Twilight back in 2010. Those were the most popular names for girls and boys that year. Shudder.

Personally I think it’s exciting that parents are endowing their children at birth with at least one resemblance to a strong female role model, even if that role models is fictitious. My only worry is that if I had been given a namesake like Khaleesi, my expectations might have been set a little high. ” Sure, I have a loving family and a roof over my head, but where is my army of dragons?”

Regardless, in the same way we once braced ourselves for the hilarious paradox of a geriatric Tiffany or Amber, society should prepare for the inevitable aging of today’s most fantastically named babies. You know, presuming Tywin Lannister doesn’t issue their deaths first.

(Vox via Jezebel , image via Game of Thrones)

Meanwhile in related links

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: