Vampires, first family are inspiration for new baby names

WASHINGTON -- Mom and Dad may be looking to popular vampire books and the first family for baby names: Cullen is on the rise for boys and Malia for girls. But Miley and Jonas are down, proving that acclaim can be fleeting.

Isabella is now the top baby name for girls, Jacob for boys, the Social Security Administration said Friday. Isabella's climb to the top in 2009 ends Emma's one-year reign. Jacob is on an 11-year run at the top.

''Anything can influence baby names, from pop culture to literature to music and celebrities,'' said Jennifer Moss, author of ''The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book'' and founder of Babynames.com.

Barack still didn't crack the top 1,000 for boys, but a version of the president's daughter's name, Malia, was the fastest riser for girls. Maliyah moved up 342 spots, to No. 296, while Malia, which is how Obama's daughter spells it, came in at No. 192, rising 153 spots.

Many of the top names -- and the fastest risers -- match the popular ''Twilight'' series of books and movies about teen romance and vampires.

Edward Cullen is one of the lead characters. Edward moved up 11 spots, to No. 137 on the list, and Cullen was the biggest riser among boys' names, up 297 spots to No. 485.

Edward Cullen is, of course, a vampire. His girlfriend? Bella, a common nickname for Isabella.

Jacob is another character in the stories, but Jacob's rule at the top started well before the first ''Twilight'' book was published in 2005. Isabella has been in the top 10 since 2004.

''People seem to be a little bit more creative, inventive and flexible with their daughters' names,'' said Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue. ''With boys, I think we tend to be a little bit more consistent. The names don't change quite as much.''

A little more than 22,000 girls born in 2009 were named Isabella, followed by Emma, Olivia, Sophia and Ava. Nearly 21,000 boys were named Jacob, followed by Ethan, Michael, Alexander and William.