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Brooklyn now popular name, but not in NYC

by MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press on June 17, 2014 10:25 AM

NEW YORK — Maybe it’s the ultimate sign that New York City’s up-and-coming borough has finally arrived. Brooklyn is now one of the nation’s most popular baby names.

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 one thing is clear: Of the 41 states where Brooklyn is now the most popular girl’s name beginning with B, New York is not among them. Real Brooklynites say naming your child Brooklyn is strictly for out-of towners.

“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 U.S. in 2013 were named Brooklyn, making it the 28th most popular girls name ahead of stalwarts Samantha, Allison and Sarah, according to recently released Social Security Administration data.

Brooklyn beat out such place names as Savannah (No. 37) and London (No. 85), but trailed Madison (No. 9) and Charlotte (No. 11). Brooklyn as a boy’s name is still rare, having 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 naming website Nameberry.com, who notes Brooklyn is often favored as a unique-sounding mashup of the more conventional Brooke and Lynne.

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