‘Barbie’ movie causes 603% spike in interest as baby name

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By Dan Sears

Pink is for girls’ names.

The “Barbie” movie has grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide — and eight months from now, a million more Barbies could be saying “hi” to the world, info from one popular baby naming website suggests.

According to Nameberry, searches for “Barbie” have surged by 603% since April, when the trailer for the Greta Gerwig-directed summer blockbuster was released.

The film, which swept into theaters in July, stars Margot Robbie as in the titular role and Ryan Gosling as Ken.

Searches for “Ken” — or “Kenneth” — saw a 293% increase in the same time period.

“Barbie and Ken are piquing parents’ interest, but this doesn’t mean that will translate into actual usage,” Nameberry’s editor-in-chief Sophie Kihm told People.

Baby wearing pink in pink blanket.
There could be a few more Barbies running around in eight months’ time.
Getty Images

Prior to the film’s release, Kihm noted, “Barbie” had been a very popular name with Amish parents.

And while the spike in interest has been impressive, Kihm said the two names are not expected to crack the top 10 anytime soon.

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“Barbie and Ken are both dated names that aren’t due to come back yet, so while there may be a slight bump from the movie, neither will be among the most popular baby names of 2023,” she explained.

Still of Barbie and Ken driving car from "Barbie."
Barbie and Ken searches have both spiked since the film’s release.

Currently, “Barbie” ranks 1,896 out of 2,000 of the most popular names for 2023 on the website.

“Kenneth” enjoys greater popularity, coming in at 113 out of 2,000.

In a social media post, Kihm noted that “Barbie” debuted in the top 1000 in 1961, two years after the Mattel doll was released.

However, by 1969 the name had fallen off the charts again.

Still of Margot Robbie from "Barbie" wearing pink near pool.
The film’s release caused interest in the name Barbie to spike 603%.
Jaap Buitendijk

Kihm noted that “Barbara” — which “Barbie” can serve as a nickname for — fell out of style in the ’60s, when it came to be seen as old-fashioned.

“In 2022 [Barbie] was used for just 27 baby girls,” she noted.

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