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Category: Trends and Predictions

Billy and Bob are Back in the Playground

vintage nicknames

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The nickname-name trend is nothing new. Who among us hasn’t known a baby Max or Maggie or Sam or Ellie? Or even one of those with a whiff of vintage nostalgia, like Millie or Josie?

But lately there’s been a new twist on this phenomenon, especially seen in the celebrisphere. Several stars have resurrected some of the All-American Boy nicknames of the Depression Era, like Billy and Johnny and Tommy, and haven’t hesitated to plunk them right onto their babe’s birth certificate. In particular:

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posted by: Nick View all posts by this author
names getting longer

By Nick Turner

Baby-name fads have come and gone over the decades, but one trend has held true: Names are getting longer.

A hundred years ago, boys’ names were typically less than two syllables. John, James, George and Frank were all popular picks, and there were no three-syllable names anywhere in the top 20.

In recent decades, that changed. Three- and four-syllable choices like Alexander, Nicholas, Joshua and Christopher surged in popularity, turning America‘s baby names into more of a mouthful.

By the 2000s, the average syllable count for a top 20 boys’ name had climbed to 2.25 — up from 1.8 in the 1880s.

Girls’ names, meanwhile, have gotten even longer. A Top 20 female name had an average syllable count of 2.75 last year. That compares with 2.05 in the 1880s.

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A peek inside the Nameberry bubble

nameberry bubble

By Josie aka Whirligig

I have a theory that Nameberry has its own naming fashions, like our own microclimates. We follow the lead of the rest of the world but also have our own periods of sunny weather and rainstorms. This might be quite an obvious assumption but I wanted to delve deeper into Berry activity to get some supporting data on first and middle name combos.

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hot baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

What are the hottest baby names today, those zooming toward the top of the popularity list?

Identifying which names are moving fastest toward the top is an art, but there can also be some science to it.  We asked the Wizard of Nameberry, our engineer Hugh Hunter, to plot the upward trajectory of 20 names that have been vaulting up the charts over the past decade.  He crunched the numbers and came up with a Hotness Quotient: a number that plots each name’s relative hotness and stands for the number of places it will jump each year if it continues moving up the ranks at the same pace.

We tracked all the names on our list from 2001 through 2013; entering the Top 1000 more recently than that skews the HQ unfairly high.  Eloise, which reentered the Top 1000 in 2009, for instance, has an HQ of 145, nearly three times as high as our Number 1 name Adeline, while newcomer Jax, which entered in 2005, stands at 96, twice as high as our top boys’ name Finn.   But these names are unlikely to continue moving up at this velocity.

Here, our ten hottest girls’ and ten hottest boys’ choices., with their individual Hotness Quotients:

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Portuguese Baby Names: The aristo trend

portuguese baby names

By Filipa Lopes of nomes e mais nomes

You would think that living in a country with restrictions concerning names could make your baby name choices a lot more difficult. Sure, we don’t have to stick to Portuguese names and we can use a large number of beautiful, international, eclectic names like Noah, Giovanni, Ingrid, Siena or even Suri, but dealing with a law that defines which names and spellings are and are not approved can be very frustrating.

You may like Kevin, for example, but you have to use Kevim; yet weirdly, Katie and Kelly are approved. And in addition there is the rule that specifies that your first name must indicate your gender. Ariel, Ruby and Zoé are adorable, but they are considered masculine names in Portugal, so they can only be used as girls’ middle names. A little bit confusing, right?

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