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Oscars Inspired Baby Names

The 96th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 10, honoring the films released in 2023. Over the years, music, movies, and television have certainly influenced what’s popular when it comes to baby names. This year, we expect it to be no different. Here are a few names we think will rise on the most popular lists once the awards are handed out.

Just about everything was pink last year, and with the continuous popularity of Barbie, it’s no surprise that Barbie and Ken have already made their way into the names moms-to-be are considering for their little ones.

American Fiction
Jeffrey Wright is nominated for Best Actor this year for his role as Dr. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison in American Fiction (also nominated for Best Picture). Thelonious means “one who plows the Earth.” While Thelonious is described as one of the most unique names, we think this name will reappear here and there for years to come.

Killers of the Flower Moon
The epic Western crime drama stars Lily Gladstone as Mollie Burkhart in the Academy Award-nominated film. Lily Gladstone has already taken home the Golden Globe for her acting in this role, and the name Lily has seen an uptick of 1000% in searches via Nameberry. Along with the growing popularity of Lily, Mollie, a variation of Molly, has also seen an increase in searches.

Another box office hit from last year was none other than Oppenheimer. This biographical thriller stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist and director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The name Cillian has been popularized for years due to Cillian Murphy, but the recent increase in popularity is also attributed to the film’s popularity.

Past Lives
Nominated for Best Picture, Past Lives is a romantic drama film written and directed by Celine Song. The story follows two childhood best friends–Nora Moon and Hae Sung–as they navigate their relationship over 24 years. Celine, meaning “heavenly,” has remained at the top of the charts since 2012. However, it has seen a recent spike in popularity, along with Nora, which means “light.”

Poor Things
Based on the 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, Poor Things follows Bella Baxter, a young woman who comes to life through a brain transplant. Emma Stone plays the role of Bella in the film, and she has already received countless awards for her performance. Bella has remained a top favorite name since even before the Twilight days, so we’re fully certain that Bella is here to stay with the popularity of the film.

The Color Purple
Danielle Brooks is nominated for her role as Sofia in The Color Purple. This second film adaptation is based on the novel of the same name. Sofia is a variation of Sophia, a name which has remained in the top 10 in popularity for years. This variation, however, has also seen an uptick in popularity over the last few weeks. 

Elemental, the animated Disney Pixar film, follows Ember and Wade as they navigate through the elements of life together. Ember is the French variation of Amber, and while Amber is declining in popularity, Ember is rising. If you’re looking for a water name, Wade is quite the pick, considering it is popular as a male or female name. Wade means “at the river crossing.”

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