It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t at least know the general story of Harry Potter and the main characters of the series. Whether they read the book, went to midnight releases of the new volumes and the films, or just saw the movies when they came on ABC Family, it’s one of the most significant fantasy stories in the modern era. Even those who roll their eyes anytime the Wizarding World is brought know that Harry Potter has had significant cultural impact — and it’s had an impact on baby names, too.
Beyond the people who proudly proclaim what house they belong to, or those who debate the storyline and how things could have gone, lots of parents are giving their babies Potter-inspired names. But the most popular Harry Potter-inspired baby name over the past few years is surprising.
According to The Wall Street Journal, parents have long looked to pop culture for baby name inspiration, from Game of Thrones to the Marvel movies. Harry Potter isn’t any different and the people who grew up with the stories are now becoming parents themselves and “they have given their children names straight out of the roll-call at Hogwarts.”
We would expect to see an increase in baby names like Ron or Harry or Hermione – and that’s what happened according to Nameberry, a baby name site that tracks baby name popularity. But what we didn’t see coming was the Harry Potter-inspired name that was the most popular one. It wasn’t Harry or Hermione – it was Luna.
“Only 144 Lunas were born in 2000,” The Wall Street Journal wrote, “a name shared by the kind-but-weird Luna Lovegood of the series—compared with 7,770 Lunas born last year.”
Luna isn’t a name only in the Harry Potter series so it’s not clear that we can attribute that whole spike in popularity to the Harry Potter world. The name was more popular in 1880 than in 2009, according to Nameberry. But Luna isn’t the only name that’s jumped thanks to the world of wizards – villain names jumped, too.
“No U.S. newborns in 2000 were named Bellatrix, a character who chases Harry Potter across several novels, but last year 21 of them were born,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Also on the rise: The number of kids named Draco, best known to fans as the name of Harry’s Hogwarts nemesis Draco Malfoy, going from 15 children to 101 little Dracos last year.”
Good for Luna, though. She’s an underrated character — and she was never evil like Draco was.