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“Khaleesi” overtakes “Betsy” in US baby names

Naming your child is a big deal. You are - in part - determining their popularity at school, the potential nicknames that will haunt them through puberty and their general level of social comfort until they can undo your bad work by deed poll. So our hearts go out to the 174 Khaleesis born in the USA between 2011-2012.

According to data collected by the US's Social Security Administration, the entirely fictional title Khaleesi was given to 146 girls in 2012, overtaking the likes of 'Betsy' and 'Nadine'.

While the name has existed in George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire for over a decade, it wasn't until HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation gained huge popularity that Khaleesi registered as a name choice (the SSA only releases numbers for names used five or more times in a year), with 28 girls receiving the Dothraki title in 2011.

While an attractive set of vowels and consonants, calling your newborn 'Khaleesi' is an altogether odd choice. Its meaning in the fictional Dothraki language is that of "wife of the khal", the warlord leader of a khalasar or tribe. It's the equivalent of naming your child "queen", but with the connotation that the king is a pillaging, raping, murderous thug.

This isn't the first time that Game of Thrones has influenced baby names. 'Arya' has surged in popularity in the US in recent years, with 754 girls receiving the name in 2012. Notably, before 2003, the majority of babies to receive the name Arya were actually boys.

It must be noted that 174 occurances still makes Khaleesis an immensely uncommon name in the US - but the ball is in motion. It might not be long before your kid starts hanging out with Hodor, Tyrion and Drogo. Just try not to be mean to Joffrey, okay?

(Via: Vox)

(Image: Rex)