You’re about to have a baby and realize that you need to name the thing, so where do you go? Perhaps to your favorite literary or film character? Maybe you look to members of your family whom you’d like to honor by naming your child after them. Or perhaps you take to the internet to search for baby names until one jumps out at you. Nameberry is a website created exactly for this purpose, and each year they predict which names will be the most popular in the upcoming year. Some of these name trends are in line with the times and make sense, but there are certainly a few up-and-coming baby names that are a bit puzzling.
First, let's talk about leading ladies. 2017 has been a year of strong women speaking out against injustice. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest trends in female baby names are names that mean strength, like Matilda and Bridget, or names that mean wisdom and intelligence, such as Sophia and Pallas. Hooray for encouraging the girls of the future to be smart and strong!
People are also honoring strong women by naming their baby girls after goddesses and heroines. Nameberry predicts that little ones with the names Freya, Luna, Arya, and even Sojourner will emerge in 2018.
Apparently, there are recent studies that have identified the names most likely to get into top colleges, “serious” girl names, including Eleanor, Margaret, and Ruth. Parents may opt for these names for their future overachievers.
Presidential names such as Kennedy or Madison for girls and Tyler or Jackson for boys are already popular, but may become even more so. Other presidential surname-names like Clinton, Ford, Grant, Lincoln, McKinley, and Monroe are also predicted to spike in popularity.
Superhero movies and characters are as popular as ever, and that is influencing new parents in their name choices. Names like Aurora (X-Men), Rey (Star Wars), Logan (Wolverine) and Everett (Captain America) are on the rise. According to Social Security statistics, Kylo, the villain of the latest Star Wars films, is the fastest rising boy name. It’s a cool name, but these new parents know that he’s an evil character, right?
Nameberry has found that the top boy names were more likely to be impacted by fashion shifts than girl names, because for most of history, boys were named more conservatively to preserve lineage and inheritance. Now, more stylish names like Atticus, Jasper, and Milo will move up in the name rankings.
If you didn’t know, there is a “consonant of the moment” and that consonant is S, according to Nameberry. They predict the rise in popularity of names like Snow, Sasha, Sunday, Sayer, Stellan and Lucas.
Many of these S names for boys draw inspiration from ancient Roman clans, like Amias, Augustus, Aurelius, Casius, and even Rufus. Nameberry also includes the Hebrew Amos, and the Aramaic Thaddeus. Talk about honoring your ancestors!
You might want to brush up on your Welsh knowledge, because you may meet many little ones born in 2018 with names of Welsh origins. This is perhaps the strangest new baby name trend, with unique girl names like Anwen, Bronwen, Eira, and Wynn, and hard-to-pronounce boy names like Emrys, Gower, and Rhys.
In 2018, the name endings most likely to favor the opposite gender are –er and –i. Traditionally, names that ended in -i were girl names, and names that ended in -er were boy names. The world has decided it’s time for a change. For girls, names like Harper, Aster, Ember, and Juniper are coming into their own, and for boys, Ari, Omari, and Rafi are joining popular names like Eli and Levi.
America in the 1890s saw widespread enthusiasm for boyish/unisex nicknames for girls, often ending in ie. We might be bringing back that trend with names like Billie, Charlie, Frankie, Lennie, Teddie, Mattie and even Vinnie. So cute.
The third highest-climbing girls’ name in this year’s baby name statistics is Saoirse, seemingly after actress Saoirse Ronan. Contradictory to the spelling, the name is pronounced Sur-sha. Now that the name is getting popular, maybe Saoirse Ronan won’t have to explain its pronunciation to everyone she meets!
Ophelia may have been a tragic character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but because of its similarity to the popular Olivia, expectant parents are giving the name a try. It’s a beautiful name, and the Lumineers came out with the song “Ophelia” in 2016, so I guess I can see it happening.
No, not a sandwich, A sandwich! Like a name that starts and ends with the letter A. This name trend applies mainly to the gals, with names like Aria, Ava, Angelina, and even more bizarre names like Alyvia, Alazha, Azalea, and Alleea. What’s next, naming a child Hakuna Matata?
Nameberry voiced their opinion on a trend they hope will soon disappear: naming children after brands, specifically firearm brands like Remington and Beretta. They’re not the biggest fans of the names Gucci or Armani either. Wait, so does that mean I can’t name my child KKW Beauty?