'Cullen' ranks at No. 485 on 2009 list of most popular names for baby boys

Twihards, what hath thou wrought? According to data released yesterday by the Social Security Administration, “Cullen” — as in the popular Twilight character Edward Cullen (played in the related films by Robert Pattinson) — ranked as the 485th most popular name for baby boys born in the U.S. in 2009, up a whopping 297 spots from 2008. Call me old-fashioned, but if you’re going to engage in a passionate display of fandom for any franchise, why not get yourself a Cullen tattoo? I mean, at least if you wind up regretting that decision in 20 years, you’ll just have to pay for a little laser treatment, not a decade’s worth of therapist bills FOR YOUR INNOCENT CHILD who might end up being totally Team Jacob anyway. (Jacob, for the record, ranks at No. 1 for the eleventh straight year.) Or, here’s a wacky thought, if you’re really into the glittery vampire, name your child Edward (which, incidentally, ranks at No. 137, up 11 places from ’08).

Okay, I’ll get off my Judgy McJudgerson soapbox now. You can view the 1,000 most popular names for boys and girls here. Once you’re done perusing it, be sure to post any additional observations about pop-cultural trends in the comments.

p.s. “Oprah” doesn’t even crack the top 1,000? Sounds like somebody needs to create a Harpo subdivision to remedy that situation, no?

Comments (102 total) Add your comment
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  • Sam

    Honestly people so stupid to name their kids Cullen should not reproduce

    • KS

      I’m surprised the article didn’t mention that the #1 girl’s name is Isabella… as in BELLA? We have Twilight domination across the board. BLECH.

      • Kelsey

        Isabella’s been gaining in popularity for a few years, though. I remember it was one of the names Ross and Rachel were going to name their baby (they decided on Emma). Twilight may be helping to sustain Isabella’s popularity, but it didn’t start it.

      • mary q contrary

        It might not have started it, but it never would have reached number 1 so quickly, or at all, without a push from Twilight. As for Cullen, I think it’s kind of funny, because a friend of mine is married to a man name Cullen. She loved his original name, and wanted to name her son, should they have one, after his father. Now she’s totally pissed, because she hates the Twilight franchise, and knows that if she names her son Cullen, everyone will think she’s a moron.

      • 4rocket

        Honestly, if I knew that my parents named me after a character in a crappy vampire book/movie, I would HATE them for life.

      • Hannah F.

        Isabella was still top 10 in the years before Twilight’s leap to fame. I’m guessing it has to do with Matt Damon naming his daughter this, like how Emma took off after Friends.

      • Anoop Desaad

        I have four kids and named them:

        Avatar Cameron for my newly born boy
        Twilight Meyer for my 2 year old daughter
        Harry Rowling for my 5 year old boy
        Arwen Tolkien for my 8 year old girl.

        Neat huh.

      • Bob

        Avatar Cameron looks nice.

        What did you do pick up the title or character name and add the author’s surname? LOL

    • Idiots

      Just another sign that this country if full of bat crap crazy f*cking idiots.

    • bambam

      omg you know any boy named cullen is going to be nicknamed ‘glitter’ in school.

    • stan

      And to think… The time we just spent reading this crap could’ve been spent learning a new word in Chinese or doing 20 pushups. I love America!!! We have our priorities straight!!!

    • KatyCharles

      As long as Renesmee doesn’t make the list, I don’t think we really have to worry. There are FAR worse names than Cullen, people.

  • jodipo

    My 16 year old son is quite upset. his name is Cullin

    • M

      LOL..I know you never know…when someone in the entertainment biz is going to ruin your name!

    • anonymous

      He will not be dateless for prom, though, if he knows how to play it.

  • Isolde

    Cullen as a boy’s first name has been around a long time. I have a cousin in his mid-to-late 30’s whose name is Cullen as well as the teenage son of a friend of mine. Obviously, this was pre-Twilight. I don’t think it’s a bad or stupid name at all. That said, it’s not one of my favorites either, but to each his own.

    • Colleen

      My son Cullen was born in 2002. I had never heard of Twilight before the summer of 2007. The only time he doesn’t like it is when people call him “Colin.”

  • Jeffrey Mahacek

    Twilight or not, I like the name.

    • Gabrielle

      Agreed. It sounds old-fashioned in a good way. It’s likely lot’s of people who aren’t even that interested in the Twilight franchise heard the name and thought it had a nice charm to it.

  • Emma

    If your child is Team Jacob they’re probably silly anyway so no harm done.

    • Janet

      ahhahahah too true.
      Pedowolf is a jerk anyways.

      • aleksa

        “Pedowolf,” I love it! Can I borrow that term to torment my twelve year-old?

      • Hannah F.

        Better than an abusive stalker? Eh, they both suck.

  • Cullin

    I enjoyed having the name Cullin for the past 32 years, was happy it was unique. Not so much anymore…stupid Twilight

    • aleksa

      You know, the name in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s the fact that Twi-tards have commandeered it that really blows.

  • therealeverton

    There are much worse names, Jacob being one of them. It’s so Old Testament! How about Herod, or Barabbos!

    I have to say I’d never have thought of Cullen as a first name, and I’m a guy with, what many people consider, an unusual first name.

    It’s Everton by the way, which is all the better here in Britain, and other parts of Europe, because it happens to be the name of one of the better & bigger Football teams over here. Everton Football club; are the 4th most successful team in English league History. The name gets me many questions!

    • Rebekah

      Herod and Barabbas are New Testament. Just sayin’.

      And for OT, I’m a fan of Melchizedek and Ham. Who doesn’t want to be named Ham?

      • J

        The son of Mr and Mrs Cheese.

    • Skip182

      Actually, LOST is likely to bring back Jacob…

  • Holly

    What’s even crazier is that if you look up the popularity of the name “Bella” it went from 122nd most popular in 2008, to 58th in 2009.

    • Jane

      What’s even crazier is that people care about name popularity.

    • Amanda

      And Isabella is No. 1 for girls.

    • melissa

      Isabella is #1! lol

  • Tim Lade

    What’s even crazier is that your name is Jane…Plain Jane perhaps? Good times.

  • tvgirl48

    Wasn’t Isabella going up for girls before the Twilight craze anyway? I don’t think that can be entirely attributed to Twilight. But Cullen? I had never ever heard of that as a first name before. Is it more popular in Britain or something?

    • Kelsey

      Yes! Isabella and Emma both went WAY up in the mid-2000s, probably because of the Friends baby storyline. And Jacob has been popular for YEARS, so I don’t think that has much if anything to do with Twilight, either.

    • jodipo

      Cullin is an Irish name, meaning Handsome

    • B

      There’s Cullen Jones, the swimmer who competed with Michael Phelps during 08 Olympics. He was on the fabulous relay team.

  • Eve

    I read an article once about somebody who named their daughter Renesme Bella.
    I’m not against naming your kids after characters, as long as those characters have names that won’t doom their children to mockery and general depression.

  • Ambient Lite

    I actually like the name itself, but agree that it’s tacky to carry over your Twi-session to an actual baby.
    Of course, I don’t think it being 485th most popular is anything to fret about either. According to the list, there were more babies named Talon, Kennedi (yes, with an ‘i’), Ximena, Cash, Jaxon, Miracle, Ronald, Paisley, and Lyric than there were Cullens – and I’d be more worried about them.

    • Ambient Lite

      Oh, and apologies to parents of children named Talon, Kennedi, Ximena, Cash, Jaxon, Miracle, Ronald, Paisley, and Lyric who were offended by my comment. I’m sure you had a good reason for naming your child that way (shrugs).

      • mary q contrary

        Don’t apologize to them. They knew what they were in for, and if they didn’t, they’re stupid. I named my youngest son Walt Demby, and I take all kinds of shit for it. But I just let it roll off my back, because A) you can’t do anything about people’s small-mindedness, it’s part of what makes the world go round, and B) the name Demby was my Granddaddy’s middle name, and naming my son after the best man I’ve ever known, who passed away 5 years ago, was a no-brainer for me. Not everyone is going to like the names we choose, but if we’re confidant in our choices, the insults and mocking just roll right off.

      • anon


      • Hannah F.

        Ximena is a traditional Spanish name.

    • suzyq

      I was playing at a park with my kids and the other mom started callling her kids: “Starbuck, Apollo, Serena time to go!” (This was prior to the BSG reboot by the way…)
      I suppose out of control fandom has no limits.

  • Tasha

    I named my dog Buffy

    • Shelly

      I want dogs named Buffy and Angel, but hubby says he draws the line there LOL So instead I end up with Bruschi and Fenway. Stupid sports :P

      • Nic.

        One of the great things about having pets is being able to give them names you should never give to children. My cat was named Scully :) I think Buffy and Angel are fantastic names for dogs.

      • anon

        You from Boston?

    • Natascha

      Are you my alt twin? My dog is Buffy the mouse slayer, lol and seems we have the majority of the same name

    • aleksa

      I wanted to go with Buffy and Spike when we were looking to adopt a couple cats, but the ones we got already had names.

      • Skip182

        You know you can change those, right?

  • tigersgirlgv

    My sister wanted to name a son Cullen after a former quarterback at her alma mater. She was sad when Twilight came out and she figured she couldn’t anymore because everyone would assume she named him after the Cullens.

  • Valley Girl

    What? Renesmee wasn’t #1? WTF! LOL

    • All That Glitters

      LOL :)

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