Research by retailer Lost Universe has revealed that parents are starting to turn to Marvel Cinematic Universe for inspiration for baby names.
Bucky, Quill, Thanos, Groot, Drax and Wanda are the names from Marvel that have seen a spike in popularity.
They have proven a popular choice since the release of the first Avengers movie, with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie proving to be one of the biggest inspirations for new parents during that time.
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Research in 2019 revealed that there has been a 112% increase in the number of babies named after TV and film characters.
Lost Universe decided to collect data in the UK and the US between the release of the first Avengers movie (2012) and today (2021) to see if some of the world’s most famous heroes and villains have had an influence, and the results proved to be quite surprising.
The data collected includes the names ranking in popularity, the total number of babies named after each character in the US in 2021, and the hidden meanings behind each name.
The nickname for the Winter Soldier, ‘Bucky’, is the name that has risen the most in popularity. In 2021, it is currently the 6,193rd most popular name, moving up 11,244 places since 2012.
3,000 parents have named their baby ‘Bucky’ so far this year, with the character becoming a real fan-favourite in the film End Game and recent series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
You can see a full list of the biggest risers and fallers below:
(Ranking change between 2012 and 2021)
Bucky (Winter Soldier) +11,244
Quill (Star Lord) +9,264
Wanda (Scarlett Witch) +2,297
Nick (Nick Fury) +230
Barton (Hawkeye) -1,718
Carol (Captain Marvel) -1,329
Steve (Captain America) -1,051
Natasha (Black Widow) -608
Bruce (Hulk) -175
Tony (Iron Man) -135
Surprisingly, Thanos is one of the names that has seen a big increase. 4,666 babies have been named after the mass-murdering Titan so far this year. The trusty team of heroes that make up the Guardians of the Galaxy have also become more common baby names in 2021. Alongside Quill, a predicted 1,333 babies were named after both Groot and Drax so far this year.
It’s maybe no surprise that after her major role in End Game and after the release of Marvel’s latest series WandaVision, that Scarlett Witch has become one of the most popular heroes in the MCU. This is reflected when it comes to baby names too. ‘Wanda’ has moved up 3,711 places in the last year alone, with 11,000 newborns inheriting the name from the powerful sorceress in 2021.
The more traditional names from the MCU are the ones that have seen the biggest decrease. Barton, Carol, Steve, Natasha, Bruce and Tony have all fallen in popularity between 2012 and 2021.
The Loki series released this year looks to have also influenced fans. Babies named after Loki have become more common, while Thor has fallen in popularity, suggesting we could have a new favourite god on the block.
Lost Universe also looked into the meanings of some of the Marvel baby names that have seen the biggest rise in popularity to offer some explanation as to why parents are choosing them:
Thanos – In Greek, the name “Thanos” is short for “Athanasios”, which means “Immortal”. Thanos can also mean noble. The name is also derived from the name “Thanatos”, who was a Greek mythological figure who carried humans to the underworld after they died. For Thanos in Marvel, his name literally means “death”.
Groot – Groot is a Dutch surname. Translated it means “big” in Dutch and it was originally used as a nickname for tall people. The name is most common in the province of North Holland.
Wanda – Wanda is a female name of Polish or Slavic origin. The name means “the tribe of the Vandals”. The Vandals (or Wendlas) were an ancient Slavonic tribe whose destructive behaviour led to the modern word “vandalism”. The name is also popularly interpreted as meaning “wanderer”.
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James Kraftman, eCommerce Manager at Lost Universe said: “After seeing that there has been a huge rise in babies named after movies and TV shows, we had to see if Marvel has had any influence since the release of the first Avengers. It’s interesting to see how popular these names have become.
"They might not be as common as the likes of Sam, Harry or Edward, but for obscure names like Groot and Thanos to have seen such a rise in popularity shows the impact of the MCU.
“We found that the more common names from the MCU like Steve and Tony have seen quite a dramatic fall, with unique names from the films providing modern inspiration. If this trend continues, we could see more and more baby Quills and Lokis.
"New parents naming their babies after Marvel characters shows that the franchise is becoming increasingly popular even after the release of End Game.
"This is something we have seen at Lost Universe too, with interest in our Marvel gifts and merchandise continuing to grow.”