The Baby Name Wizard, the self-proclaimed "field guide" to baby
naming, has come out with its 2010 Name of the Year. I should be
perfectly clear: This isn't an endorsement, a condonation or a sign
of the continuing intellectual progress of American society. It's
simply, as site creator Laura Wattenberg says on the Baby Name Wizard
blog, "a recognition that this name captures our moment in
time, both reflecting and shaping the naming culture around
The 2010 Name of the Year? To resounding applause in the 848
area code and sounds of forehead-slapping almost everywhere else
... The Situation. This is, of course, the nickname of Mike
Sorrentino of MTV's "Jersey Shore," a tanned, buff buffoon best
known for his GTL catchphrase (gym, tan, laundry) and his abs,
which you might have caught on this season of Dancing with the Stars.
I could find no evidence, anywhere, that anyone has actually
named their baby The Situation, though such a case is surely not
far off. But maybe it's just the pinnacle of the "name as
marketable brand" phenomenon.
Names (and ridiculous nicknames) today are more than names: They
are marketable real estate. Plus or minus a few underscores,
they're our Facebook usernames, our Twitter handles, our e-mail
addresses (remember the days of ERfan4ever@yahoo.com? Not anymore).
They're the reason, Wattenberg points out, that Lindsay Lohan
for $100 million.
In other baby-name news, Twilight was so 2009. Isabella was
dethroned this year by Sofia, dropping all the way to No, 8. While
official report from the Social Security Administration won't
be released until the spring, it's nice to that that in this
shifting, trend-tastic world of baby names, Mike Sorrentino
will be able to make a few bucks.
Interestingly enough, we'll also get to see whether the reality
star's given name, Michael, will continue its silde. After reigning
as the most popular name for boys every year from 1961 to 1998,
Michael has slipped in recent years, finally dropping to No. 3 in
If Snookie appears anywhere on that list, I think we can all
agree the apocalypse isn't far off.
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