Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm, as the hugely popular cellphone game has led to tons of kids and grown-ups getting outside in search of the elusive critters. And according to at least one report, moms and dads love it so much they’re probably naming their kids after actual Pokémon.
According to a press release from BabyCenter, there’s an uptick of names that may be associated with Pokémon GO. They say names of actual Pokémon, like Roselia, Onyx (actually spelled Onix in the game) and Eevee, are all on the rise, according to their data. They also say names like Star, Ivy and Shay are also rocketing up, and while those aren’t actual Pokémon names, they may be related to Pokémon like Staryu/Starmie, Ivysaur and Shayman.
OK, we get it. With some of these names, including the increasingly popular name Ash (the iconic Pokémon trainer featured prominently in the Pokémon anime shows), it definitely seems like they could be related to the recent release of this massively famous game. But don’t get too worked up with worry about the names of our future generations.
It’s a bit of a stretch to say moms and dads are totally naming their babies after Pokémon, no matter how crazy the current craze may be. BabyCenter told the The Huffington Post that they collect baby name data when moms and dads sign up for the site. Parents are asked to include the names and ages of their kids in order to give them a customized online experience. As the game is only a few weeks old (it came out in early July), it’s doubtful that all the data only includes future baby names and/or those of newborns. In other words, it’s likely someone named their daughter Roselia six months ago and their son Ash three years ago instead of having a baby and thinking, “Pokémon GO is awesome, and that’s what I am inspired by for a baby name, so Eevee it is.”
Also, the names that are rising in popularity aren’t necessarily ones that are in this initial release. For Pokémon newbies, the franchise releases a batch of Pokémon at a time (called generations). Roselia in particular wasn’t even a thing until the third generation, and she’s definitely not in Pokémon GO quite yet. Likewise, Shayman (actually spelled Shaymin in the game) is also not available for today’s Pokémon GO collectors.
So sure, some of these baby names seem like they’ve stemmed from the wild popularity of Pokémon GO. But really, there is no need to freak out quite yet. Naming a baby Star is not naming a baby Staryu, and naming a baby Ivy is not naming a baby Ivysaur. Now, if in a year there are a ton of babies being named Pikachu or Squirtle that are actually showing up in Social Security Administration‘s baby name data, then we’ll talk.
Until then, the fact that parents are registering on a website with names that seem to reflect a game that’s not even a month old probably doesn’t mean there are tons of babies-to-be with Pokémon names. So don’t panic… just get out there and catch ’em all.