The baby name "Melania" is on the rise, thanks, it would seem, to First Lady Melania Trump
The baby name “Melania” is on the rise, thanks, it would seem, to First Lady Melania Trump.
“Melania” boasted the fifth-largest leap in popularity among girl names last year, CNBC reports, citing a new report on the top baby names of 2017 released by the Social Security Administration on Friday.
In 2016, before the Trumps took office, “Melania” was number 1,650 on the list of most popular baby girl names. The name jumped 720 spots to become number 930 on last year’s list. There were 283 baby girls named “Melania” in 2017.
The only names to surpass “Melania” in terms of surging popularity last year were “Ensley,” “Oaklynn,” “Dream” and “Oaklyn.”
Meanwhile, her husband President Trump‘s name, “Donald,” remained unchanged as the 488th most popular boys’ name of 2017, after dropping 45 spots to that position in 2016.
Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder of the baby name site Nameberry.com, tells PEOPLE, “There are usually two factors that determine whether a celebrity’s name becomes popular when they’re in the public eye: the attractiveness of the person and of the name itself.”
“Whatever your politics, Donald is an old-fashioned name that hasn’t peaked since 1934 and also carries the problematic Duck association,” Satran added, referring to the Disney cartoon character Donald Duck. “Melania, on the other hand, is an exotic spin on the familiar Melanie, with Mila also a very stylish name. And Melania Trump’s approval rating is higher than her husband’s, so on both counts — the attractiveness of her name and of her as a public figure — she comes out ahead and it makes sense that her name is rising in the ranks.”
The first lady has come under scrutiny for her involvement in the president’s controversial administration, but a recent CNN poll showed that her favorability rating rose from 47 percent to 57 percent between January and May.
CNN speculated that the increase could be due to the “sympathy factor” as the president’s alleged affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy playmate Karen McDougal made headlines in recent months. Trump has denied the affairs.
Trump’s approval rating has ticked up in recent weeks and is currently at 47 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports.
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As for other members of the first family, “Ivanka,” the name of Trump’s adviser and eldest daughter, is not among the top 1000 names for any year of birth beginning with 2000, according to the official Social Security website. But the Huffington Post reported a slight increase in newborns named Ivanka in 2017. Last year, 164 newborns were given the name, up from 112 in 2016 and 37 in 2015.
The first name of President Trump’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, dropped from No. 558 to 580 between 2016 and 2017.