Amazon Alexa Is Making 'Alexa' As A Baby Name Less Popular Among Parents

By Tanya Diente, Parent Herald May 15, 08:59 pm
The percentage of female babies born and named Alexa has decreased since Amazon introduced its Echo speaker product in 2015. The tech uses a smart assistant named Alexa.
(Photo : David Becker | Getty Images)

The percentage of female babies born and named Alexa has decreased since Amazon introduced its Echo speaker product in 2015. The tech uses a smart assistant named Alexa.

The percentage of parents naming their daughters Alexa has dropped in 2017 from 2015 after Amazon debuted its Echo speaker product in 2015 and introduced its smart voice assistant "Alexa."

Percentage Drop

According to a study published by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen, the percentage of newborns named Alexa dropped by 21.3 percent in 2016 and 19.5 percent in 2017.

Data Cohen obtained from the Social Security Administration revealed that last year, only 3,883 babies were named Alexa. That is 311 for every 100,000 female babies born. This is a significant drop from 2015, when 6,050 babies were named after the famous talking computer crewmember in the sci-fi film Star-Trek.

Suffice to say that Amazon contributed to the decrease in the popularity of the name Alexa. In 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed to the public how they came up with the name Alexa as a smart voice assistant. He said that he and his friends pretended to be Star Trek characters and agreed on Alexa when it was time to choose a name for the Echo voice assistant.

Since then, the company has released its line of Alexa-voiced tech merchandise, including the Fire Tablets with Alexa and the Fire TV Stick with Alexa. The series of Echo products also still use Alexa as its smart assistant. These include the Echo Dot, Echo Tap, and Echo Show.

Perhaps Bezos and his team did not think of the consequences when they decided on naming the smart assistant as Alexa. Specific reasons for the decline in the percentage of female newborns named after the Star-Trek character are unclear. Perhaps parents who own Alexa-voiced products do not want to mistake their daughter with the AI, or they simply do not want to call their child after a virtual assistant.

Other Less Popular Names

Contrary to Apple's Siri, the name peaked in popularity two years before Apple launched the smart assistant on iPhones in 2011. Although it has never been a popular name, 120 female babies born in the United States were named Siri in 2013. That is about six per 100,000 girls. In 2017, 20 babies were named Siri or about 1 in every 100,000.

Meanwhile, other names that dropped in popularity aside from Alexa include Donald and Mary. Donald, a nod at the current U.S. President Donald Trump, continues to slide from popularity. In 2017, it declined by -4.3 percent. Mary dropped by another 4.3 percent.

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