Brooklyn gains popularity as name, but not for parents in the borough

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 11:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 11:16pm


Brooklyn is now one of the most popular baby names in the United States - but not in the New York borough itself.

Over the past two decades, Brooklyn as a name for girls has surged from No 912 to the top 30 in each of the last three years. Some credit soccer star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, for naming their son Brooklyn. Some cite model and actress Brooklyn Decker. Others point to Girls and the many other TV shows and movies that tap into the borough's gritty, cool vibe.

But of the 41 states where Brooklyn is now the most popular girl's name beginning with B, New York is not among them.

"It's almost like a magical place far away that doesn't exist to them," says parent Heath Farnsworth-Williams. "For us, Brooklyn is home, and we'd have a hard time trying to make the identity of our home coexist with the identity of our child."

More than 6,600 girls born in the US in 2013 were named Brooklyn, making it the 28th most popular girl's name ahead Samantha, Allison and Sarah, according to recently released Social Security Administration data.

Brooklyn beat place names like Savannah (No 37) and London (No 85), but trailed Madison (No 9) and Charlotte (No 11). Brooklyn as a boy's name has never cracked the top 1,000.

"People want more creativity, many for the better, some for the worse," says Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder of the baby name website

Brooklyn Presta said her parents in Kansas were thinking unique, not New York, when they named her. Now 26 and living in Brooklyn, she often gets questions about whether she changed her name to fit her chosen borough. "It's kind of crazy to be Brooklyn in Brooklyn," she said.

Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams is proud, pointing out: "You don't see too many people calling their children Manhattan or the Bronx."