If you're a mom, you've probably sat through countless viewings of Moana with your kids this year, trying to keep that catchy "You're Welcome!" song from getting stuck in your head. On screening number 72 of the film, you might have started wishing it had been released before you gave birth, because now your daughter is asking for permission to change her name, and had you watched this fearless heroine while pregnant, her name would have surely be high on your baby names list. You're not alone in feeling this way because baby girl names inspired by Disney characters are evidently on the rise.
According to BabyCenter, naming your child after a Disney heroines was among the hottest baby name trends in 2017, along with coining monikers after rappers, colours and basketball players. The name Moana will have a distinctly Disney ring, since it wasn't a name most of us had heard until 2017 brought it in with a bang, or rather, with a song. But other Disney heroine-inspired names are favorites that have been around since we've been glued to our televisions as kids, and they, too, experienced a surge in 2017.
BabyCenter counts Moana and Tiana as some of the newer Disney heroines to add to the trend of baby girl names, but old-school heroines like Ariel, Nala and Jasmine are also on the rise. And thanks to the recent remake of Beauty and the Beast, your little one could be sitting next to a Belle (or two) in school in just a few years.
Moana was the Disney heroine hit of 2017. According to BabyCenter, "Spunky Disney heroine Moana made a splash with many expecting moms: The name saw a big wave of popularity, surging 64 percent for baby girls." Although considering it started in the 7,000's on their list of popular baby girl names in 2014, it's popularity could only have increased.
The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast had to have influenced Belle's popularity over the last year. BabyCenter explains, "The name of another brainy, independent Disney princess – Belle – rose 23 percent for girls."
Belle might be a little short and sweet for some parents naming their daughter who prefer a moniker with multiple syllables, but you could name her Isabella and use Belle as a nickname for short.
The name Tiana, after the heroine of the Princess and the Frog, only increased by two percent in popularity this year, but who's to say it won't see a surge in 2018. If you're a Disney fan and also consider yourself a foodie, Tiana might be a good option, drawing on the Disney protagonist's ambition to open her own restaurant one day.
If you're a millennial woman, you probably didn't escape the phase of wanting to be Ariel when you were a young girl. I know I didn't! While it's been years since most of us have actually watched The Little Mermaid, the name Ariel is still inching upwards in the name list.
Who wouldn't want Nala's energy and enthusiasm for life to be carried on with their child? Nala from The Lion King is a clever character and although Simba sometimes tries to claim her ideas as his own, she stands up for herself and sets the record straight. It's also a name that won't necessarily be picked up as a Disney heroine straight away.
Jasmine's official Disney description points to why the name is still popular today: "Jasmine is a dreamer who loves her pet tiger, Rajah. She's free-spirited, confident, and kind." Those are very inspiring attributes for any little girl who shares the name with this Disney heroine.
Have we hit peak Frozen-viewing and obsessing now that Moana is on the scene? If so, it might be just the right time to start thinking of Elsa as the perfect baby girl's name.
As a Pixar heroine, Violet from The Incredibles has a little more spunk and sass than her Disney counterparts, and though she's a teenager, dealing with true teenage woes, she is a totally kickass girl. As a baby name, it's downright lovely, and even celebrities Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are fans, as they chose the name for their oldest daughter years ago.
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