Category: baby name popularity list
Kids who defy gender stereotypes – and how best to parent them – is a hot topic these days. The New York Times recently featured a story on boys in tutus and girls with Mohawks on its front page. And when the J. Crew catalog carried a photo spread of its fashion director painting her 4-year-old son’s toenails pink, it sparked an outpouring of both criticism and support.
Whatever your feeling about pedicures for boys, names that push the gender envelope are among the hottest baby name trends. The most recent statistics on names making the biggest leaps up the popularity ladder show names that break with both feminine and masculine conventions leading the lists.
For both sexes, these include truly unisex names such as Quinn and Karter and names long favored for one sex jumping gender lines (Charlie going to the girls’ side and Terry to the boys’). There are also girlish spins on boys’ names and vice versa, such as Danna and Jayleen for girls and Rhys and Emmett for boys.
And then there are the names that are used almost exclusively for one gender but carry qualities usually associated with the other: I’m thinking of the hard-edged Kinley or Kenzie for girls and the soft-sounding Greyson and Jasper for boys.
Here, 20 gender-bending names that crowd the tops of the fastest-rising lists for both girls and boys, in order of how many places they’ve moved up the ladder.
When we parse the annual Social Security list, we usually focus on the top names–what’s the new Number One, which names have made it into the Top 25, even the Top 100. But there are many names on the Popularity List that actually aren’t all that popular– certainly not commonly enough used to deter parents who are looking for a distinctive name.
In the lower depths of the list, there are a number of neglected names that were given to fewer than 350 babies across the country last year, real hidden gems sprinkled among the more unusually configured Cloes, Alyvias and Jovanys. These are appealing names that are recognizable to all, with real history and meaning, but which would still stand out in a crowd (or in a pre-school).
Among them are:
DIXIE — One of the most engaging of the saucy showgirl nickname names, with an added dash of Southern spice.
JUNE — Springtime month name starting to come back into bloom.
JUSTINE –An elegant name with deep Latin roots and a righteous meaning.
MARIN — A shimmering water name, distinctive and sophisticated.
TAMARA –With both Russian and Hebrew roots, has a dramatic, creative image.
TESS — Has a lot more substance, strength and style than most single-syllable names; a good middle name choice too.
CONRAD –A solid, serious name with literary cred.
DARWIN –Perfect for the son of scientists, but also appealing to any parent looking for a name with a stylish sound and historic significance.
FLETCHER –An occupational (arrow-maker) name with an abundance of quirky charm.
KILLIAN — Dynamic Irish saint’s name; only possible drawback is tie to the trendy brew.
REX — One of the few trendy x-ending boys’ names with a real–even regal–meaning.
One of nameberry’s hidden wonders is its lists of names that peaked in every year from 1880 to 2007, the most recent one counted. These lists, created by our brilliant yet anonymous (ironic, huh?) software engineer, give a snapshot not of the most popular but of the trendiest names at any given moment.
It’s possible to look at the peaking names and their variations to pinpoint trends current and future. Some directions evident in the 2007 list include:
THE AD NAMES
In 2007, we see the peak of Addison: no surprise there. Also peaking are Addisyn, Addyson, Adison, and Adyson. A little further removed are Adalyn and Adelyn. And from there it’s only a quick hop to Adrian and Adriel (and not such a stretch to include all the Aidens in this group). Look for other Ad- names to follow: Ada, Adelaide, Adelia, Adeline, Adair. Adolph, not so much.
THE EL NAMES
THE DOUBLE L NAMES
THE SOFT G NAMES
Two attractive celebrities, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and chef Giada De Laurentis, might be behind this trend. The most popular of this Latinate group is Gianna, but also included are Giana, Giuliana, and Giselle, plus Giovani and Giovanni for boys. On deck: Gia and Giulia?
THE JAY NAMES
THE RY NAMES
SPIRITUAL NAMES: HEAVEN and EARTHLY
Spiritual names at their peak include Deacon, Genesis, Journey, Harmony, Haven, Messiah, Miracle, and Nevaeh, Serenity, Sincere, and Zion. But on a less heavenly note, 2007 also saw the ascendance of Cannon, Gunner, and Maverick.
Coming up tomorrow: Names you’ll be hearing a lot more of.