Each year, thousands of names vie for our attention in movies, television, music, headline news and more. How does one name step up to win the hearts of hundreds of expectant parents? This year, the recipe boils down to two words:
Beautiful and deadly.
The action film Colombiana featured Zoe Saldana as a (literally) drop-dead-gorgeous assassin named Cataleya. The name comes from the Cattleya genus of orchid, with a spelling that eliminates the unfortunate "cattle." The combination of sumptuous meaning, sumptuous sound and Ms. Saldana in a role with appeal to both sexes vaulted Cataleya from rarity to the #479 name for American girls. Outside the top 1,000 names, half a dozen different spellings of the name rose almost as fast.
Here are more of the hottest names for girls, as calculated by the BabyNameWizard.com Hotness Formula:
#2 Adley. Country singer Adley Stump only made it to the second round of "The Voice," but that was long enough for parents to pick up on her cowgirl-ready name. (The singer who beat her out, RaeLynn, also inspired some country-minded namesakes.)
#3 Litzy. Mexican actress and singer Litzy starred in Telemundo's Una Maid en Manhattan in 2011 and 2012.
#4 Kenia. 19-year-old Kenia Monge was tragically murdered in 2011. Americans frequently memorialize young female crime victims with baby names.
#5 Paisley. This cowgirl continues to soar in country music territory. (Think singer Brad Paisley, not paisley-print fabric.)
#6 Harper. You just can't stop this name, a celebrity favorite that blends contemporary surname style and literary pedigree.
#7 Aria (and #8 Arya). Twin names that exemplify the trim and liquid trends of the moment, and are enjoying a second straight year of dramatic rise. The two spellings link to two very different TV images: Arya is featured in "Game of Thrones," Aria in "Pretty Little Liars."