The votes are in, folks, and the data is staggering. For the first four years of the new millennium, the most popular name shifted around between Buddy and Max, just as it had since time before time.* And then, in 2005, the rumblings of change were felt — Bella was coming.
*Could be a slight exaggeration.
By 2008, almost every state in the continental US was reporting Bella as its most prevalent new dog name. But why? Here is one theory.
The Twilight Effect
Whether you like Twilight or not, the fact of the matter is that once Stephanie Meyer’s teen vampire romance series hit bookshelves in 2005, it took the world by storm. So much so, in fact, that it has impacted some far removed areas of our lives — one being that since Twilight’s release, the prevailing dog name in America became “Bella,” the name of the series’ protagonist.
Correlation does not prove causation, but the data is pretty convincing. Prior to the book’s release, Bella was barely a blip on the map. The first states reporting a large influx of Bellas came in 2005 — the year Twilight was published.
Did the publication and eventual film adaptation of Twilight change the way we name our pets? Who will be the next pop culture icon to influence the naming of pets on such a large scale?