Will a Hurricane Ruin The Name Irene Like it Did Katrina?

Hurricane Irene (Detail)
Will Hurricane Irene Ruin the Name?

You’ve got to feel for those parents who named their daughters Katrina pre-2005. After August of that year the name Katrina no longer had it’s original meaning of ‘pure’. Instead it had a far more sad and solemn context with loads of baggage in the form of the deadly hurricane that hit New Orleans. To many when they meet someone with the name Katrina they don’t think of it like a name like Kate or Katherine or Kelly. Katrina – it is a loaded with memories of the devastation, death and destruction.

Will Irene be one of those names that would be forever associated with disaster?


Time will tell.  Hurricanes names are recycled and rotate about every six years, unless the hurricane is a particularly horrendous one like Katina then it is retired, not unlike a baseball legends jersey number. But the damage to the cities, and the names themselves have been done.

And there is a direct coloration with the popularity of a name and when it is affiliated with a disaster. Pre-Hurricane Katrina the name ranked consistently in the 200 range from the 236th most popular to the 280th. After Hurricane Katrina the name plummeted in popularity to it’s lowest point since 2000 at 867th.

How does Irene rank these days? In 2010, it hit its’ lowest point ranking at the 694th most popular from 467th ten years ago. Will Irene’s popularity plummet even more?  We’ll just have to see what Mother Nature brings. And the next Hurricane whether it’s Don, Katia, Rina or Whitney some of the other hurricane names in rotation their popularity in baby naming with no doubt be affected. Would you avoid picking a hurricane name?

Photo: Flickr

Superstitious? Check out the meaning of Katrina, the Scandinavian variant of Katrina!

Article Posted 5 years Ago
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