By Eric Goldschein
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The baby name Brooklyn is gaining popularity all over the country, particularly in places you might not expect.
In fact, the name has risen from virtual obscurity in the early 1990s to one of the most-used names in America: Brooklyn ranks number 34 overall in the nation.
While Brooklyn doesn't appear on 2010's top 100 most popular names in New York state, it's the seventh-most popular name in Mississippi, alongside Biblical names like Mary, Elijah and Joshua. And in Utah, South Dakota and North Dakota, it's the sixth most common.
What makes our fair borough's name so inviting that it is being bestowed on the nation's children at an increasing rate? It may have to do with its gender-neutral use by celebrities, including female model and actress Brooklyn Decker and the young man named Brooklyn Beckham, son of soccer player David and pop star Victoria.
Perhaps an increasingly food-obsessed nation is looking to name its progeny to honor our legendary thin-crust pizza.
One interesting theory comes courtesy of a Utah parent, who told the New York Post that "Everyone in the country has an emotional connection to what happened on 9/11, and Utah is a pretty patriotic state. When we were picking out names, we wanted to commemorate the spirit of the city."
Indeed, if people want to make an emotional connection with New York, Brooklyn is the way to go. Naming a child Manhattan is too clumsy; Staten Island too long; Queens sets the child up with high expectations; Bronx is more a dog's name than a human's. Brooklyn, which comes from a Dutch word meaning marsh land, hits the spot.
Borough President Marty Markowitz was only surprised that the name wasn't more popular. "The Brooklyn brand is already known around the world, so I’m thrilled that more and more American families are making Brooklyn even more of a ‘household’ name. From the gorgeous Brooklyn Decker of DUMBO to parents who named their children Brooklyn—such as David and Victoria Beckham and the late, great Donna Summer—the name connotes ‘edgy, innovative and brash.’ I mean, what parent wouldn’t want to call their kid Brooklyn?”