I have a bold prediction to make. In a couple of years, you’re going to start meeting a lot of little girls named Kat.
That’s because, according to the website nameberry, the name Katniss is going to be very popular this year.
The reason nameberry thinks that Katniss will be among the most used names in 2013 is that Katniss was among the most viewed names of 2012. Evidently, nameberry is a website where parents-to-be go to find names for their kids-to-be. And why not? Nameberry bills itself as “the unique baby name guide by the world’s leading experts.” Of course, if they were so good at naming things, their site wouldn’t be called nameberry.
If you think it’s odd that a name that has never even been a name is likely to become a popular name, then you are not familiar with The Hunger Games, the best-selling trilogy and mega-hit movie about a dystopian society in which a teenaged girl named Katniss Everdeen has to compete against other kids in a televised competition that is sort of a combination of Survivor and American Idol, only instead of getting voted off, you get killed off, and nobody ever says “you could sing the phone book.”
I’m a huge fan of The Hunger Games, but I’m not sure I’d name my daughter after the protagonist. I can see the attraction, though. The character is everything a father wants his daughter to be: strong, confident, good-looking and really excellent with a bow and arrow. But I’m not a big fan of monikers that condemn your child to a lifetime of having to spell her name for people: “No, that’s ‘Kat’ with a ‘K’ and ‘niss’ with an ‘i’ not ‘ness’ like Eliot Ness, whom I haven’t heard of because it’s the year 2022, and I am nine.”
Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up with a bunch of little Katnisses running around. After all, one of the most popular names of the past few years has been Isabella, who is from the Twilight books and movies, and who I think had a vampire’s baby or got eaten by a werewolf, or slept with her director, or some such thing, so if you’re willing to name your daughter after her, anything goes.
At least Katniss is easy to pronounce. There’s not too many ways you can say it. That’s in contrast to the girl in the Harry Potter books, whose name no American knew how to pronounce until the movies came out. “Her-moyne?” “Her-mo-ine?” The only reason I knew it was “Her-mine-e” is because I remembered an ancient British actress named Hermoine Gingold. The audience for whom the Harry Potter books were intended had no such reference, unless they were addicted to old episodes of The Love Boat.
There’s a series of books out now called The Pure Trilogy, which isn’t a trilogy yet because only one book has been released (the second book, Fuse, arrives this month), which I think is even better than The Hunger Games. Pure has been optioned for a movie, and the lead character is named Pressia, which I assume sounds like “pressure” but without a New York accent,* and you can just imagine all the horrible little kids in first grade calling her “Prussia” instead and making fun of her because her name sounds like a defunct pre-World War I country.**
That could become a popular name as well, and it almost makes me want to write a Young Adult novel with a female character whose name is not quite so lyrical. I mean, Katniss might be a strong role model for little girls, but what if her name had been Schmutzface?
I bet it wouldn’t be getting too many views on nameberry then.
See you soon.
*Although I suppose it could be “press-e-a.” We’ll have to wait for the movie.
**I have a really good imagination.