Will Pixar’s Heroine Start a New Baby Name Craze?

Merida from Brave film

Everything from cars to toys to rats has held the spotlight in Pixar’s movies over the past decade and a half, but with their most recent project, Brave, coming to theaters this Friday, a spunky and empowered girl named Merida gets her chance to shine.

So how did a Scottish heroine with blazing red hair and archery skills to rival Katniss Everdeen’s get the unusual name Merida? As far as we can tell, Merida is not a traditionally Scottish name and has never been particularly popular in the U.S.

According to the Mom365 Baby Name site, it is a form of Maria, the latin version of Mary. Merida is also the name of several places, including Merida, Spain and the name of a popular destination on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Although Merida is not your traditional damsel in distress, as we have seen from past Disney princesses, the popularity of these films can give a boost to the names, as it did with Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Past Pixar names, on the other hand, such as Woody, Remy, Nemo and Sulley haven’t been affected by the films, but we have a feeling that is more due to the fact that they aren’t attributed to humans in the films.

We’ll soon see how Pixar’s latest fairs at the box office, though with their track record, it is sure to be a pretty big hit. Perhaps next year we will see Merida becoming a fast riser.

What do you think of the name Merida? Do you think ‘Brave’ will give it a boost in popularity?