Category: Trends and Predictions

US vs UK Baby Names: Vive la difference!

US vs UK 2015

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Now that the 2015 statistics for England and Wales have finally been released, it’s interesting to take a look at how the rankings compare to that of our transatlantic cousins in the US.

Over 50% of names in both the US and England and Wales Top 100 are identical, perfectly showing that were are far more united in our taste in names than we are divided. We share many of the same media and celebrity influences — hello, Mila and Aria — as well being better connected by the global world wide web.

Indeed, many of the highest risers in E&W this year have taken cues from the US: NoahJaxon, Carter, Elijah, Harper, Penelope, Evelyn are all recent and rising additions in the UK which are longstanding to American parents. Similarly, the likes of Scarlett, Eleanor, Charlotte, Lydia, Oliver, Henry and Liam — perennial staples in Britain since the 90s — have gained favour in the last decade in the US.

We continue to transport our favourite names back and forth across the pond (after all, one country’s popular favourite is another’s undiscovered gem), looking to each other for fresh-yet-usable inspiration year on year.

However, the differences are equally fascinating as the similarities, demonstrating our unique cultural heritages and differing national viewpoints:

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Celebrity Baby Names: Word names are hot!

Celebrity word names

Once dismissed as crazy celebrity choices – remember Apple and Pilot – word names, for babies, thanks mostly to those celebs– have gone mainstream. From rising River to why-not Wolfe, many of the best boy names in 2016 are borrowed from the dictionary. They’re stylish, meaningful, and different, but still easy to say and spell, and starbaby parents from Liv Tyler to Terrence Howard have embraced the trend. Here are twelve of the best recent word names–they just might inspire a bold boy name choice for your own son.  By Abby Sandel.

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Popular Baby Names: 50 shooting stars

50 popular baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

What are the most promising of the names rising in popularity?

This year 164 names—more girls’ than boys’ –made up the elite group of popular baby names that rose more than 100 places. (fyi: At the top for each gender were Riaan, with an increase of 1360 spots and Alaia, with 2012). And the new gender fluidity is shown in many of these choices (hello, Ms Elliott and Ms Lennox).

These jumps brought several of these popular baby names into the Top 1000: look for those that are marked with an asterisk.

So here are our picks of the brightest of the shooting stars:

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Girl Baby Names: 15 Daring, Darling D Names

girl name letter d

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Can you guess which initial letter is one of the very few that’s missing from the girls’ Top 100 list?

No, it’s not Q (Quinn) and it’s not Z (Zoe). Surprisingly enough it’s the letter D. Yes, the era of Debby and Diane and Danielle as girl baby names is long over. The only D name coming close is Daisy—a Top 25 name in England and Wales— which is 183 in the US.

But why? There are dozens of delightful D girl baby names that deserve more use—and here the Nameberry picks of 15 of the most interesting neglected candidates.

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Invent-a-Baby-Name Challenge Champs!

Invent a name winner

By Abby Sandel and Linda Rosenkrantz

Whew!

If we’ve ever had the slightest doubts about the creativity of the Nameberry community, they are hereby gone forever.

When we announced our latest Invent-a-Baby-Name challenge two weeks ago, we expected something like the healthy response we got last time—which was 222 entries.

This time we were overwhelmed by 590 separate responses. And since we generously invited you to not limit yourself to a single suggestion,  some of the comments packed with dozens of names, as you opened the floodgates to your inventive ideas, bringing the total number of names well into the several thousands. Our intrepid intern, Laura, counted 5,665 separate entries!

After painstakingly (and exhaustedly) considering every single name, we soon realized that it would be almost impossible to narrow down the winner to just one name.

And so we have broken it down into seven of the most highly represented categories—after realizing that inventing a name doesn’t have to mean completely creating one out of whole cloth, but could also include transforming words and surnames and place names that haven’t been used for real-life kids before into viable baby names. In fact, one of our prime criteria was wearability–could we see this name actually being used?

The overall winner for 2016 is at the very bottom of the post, but first, let’s look at some of the best invented names entered this year, with the favorite name in each category in boldface type!

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