Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Hey Alexa: Why Isn’t Anyone Naming Babies ‘Alexa’ Anymore?

Back in 2015, when Amazon launched its Echo speaker, the company needed a name for its built-in personal assistant software. CEO Jeff Bezos, being a huge Trekkie, decided to name it Alexa. The name is virtually synonymous with the company, but back then, parents were still naming their daughters Alexa.

For every 100,000 female babies born in the United States, 311 were named Alexa for a total of 6,050 baby Alexas in 2015. But the name has declined significantly since then in popularity, according to data from the Social Security Administration and culled by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen.

In 2017, just 3,883 baby girls were given the name Alexa.

Via Family Inequality:

You have to feel for people who named their daughters Alexa, and the Alexas themselves, before Amazon sullied their names. Did they not think of the consequences for these people? In the last year Alexa essentially ended as a (human) name, possibly the worst two-year case in U.S. history of name contamination. [Correction] Another bad year for Alexa. After a 21.3% drop in 2016, another 19.5% last year.

Cohen also determined that Malia was up 15.4% than the previous year. In 2017, babies were named Malia (1416) nine times more than Ivanka (167). You can determine from that what you will.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering how Apple’s Siri program compares, it doesn’t. As ReCode points out, Siri has never been a popular baby name and Apple’s service only worsened that prospect. The name peaked in 2009 with 120 female babies named Siri, which was two years before Apple’s Siri would launch. Last year only 20 female babies were named Siri.



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