Category: baby name trend
by Abby Sandel
Congratulations to Storybook’s most famous couple on the arrival of their second son. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas welcomed Hugo Wilson last week. The Once Upon a Time stars are also parents to son Oliver Finlay, and with the arrival of Hugo, might be among the best boy namers in Hollywood.
Hugo is a name with history galore, and literary ties, too. It’s the Number One name in Spain, and it’s big in Scandinavia, Australia, and the UK. The new Goodwin-Dallas baby is in good company, all over the world.
But Hugo is also at the forefront of an important trend. O ending names for boys are fast becoming go-to choices for parents after something just a little different. The sound is stylish and unexpected, but many of the names feel vintage, even traditional. They also work beautifully to honor Spanish or Italian roots.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Not so long ago, the only names starting with the letters Au that were getting any traction were Audrey and Austin. But lately—have you noticed?—a lot more are now attracting attention. The once male name Aubrey is now in the girls’ Top 20, and then there are the members of the golden Aurelia family, several varieties of August, the word name Aura, the seasonal Autumn, and more.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
For some time now we’ve been seeing a profusion of soft El-starting names, from Ella to Eleanor, Eloise, Elliot, Ellery, Elodie, et al. And now we’ve begun to notice some of her stronger, sharper, Ev-starting cousins coming into the picture, ranging from the ancient Eve to the nouveau Everest.
Eve—The simple, strong, Biblical Eve is clearly the mother of this family of names, with remarkable vigor for a three-letter name. It derives from the Hebrew word for “living” and was named by Adam ‘because she was the mother of all living,” and is now ranking at 558. Clive Owen is among the parents of an Eve.
Eva—Eva, the Latin form of Eve, is now a Top 100 name, perhaps gaining from some Ava-overflow from Ava, and influenced by the popularity of Eva Longoria and a few other sexy stars. It’s a true international favorite—Number 7 in the Netherlands, 13 in Scotland and 25 in England, and is pronounced as, yes, Ava in several cultures. One Ev-name that isn’t getting much love is Eva’s pet form, Evita, which hasn’t shaken its string connection to the longtime Argentine First Lady, Eva/Evita Peron.
When it comes to names, a small change can make a big impact. Ella-ending names have been loved for a while for their elaborate elegance. To find fresh alternatives, simply swap a vowel in the suffix: Illa-ending names are just as graceful, but not nearly as ubiquitous, as their Ella-ending cousins.
The most popular illa-ending name, Camilla, has steadily climbed the U.S. Social Security list over the past decade, but is still relatively uncommon compared to its super popular ella-ending counterpart. There were over thirty Isabellas for every Camilla born in 2011, the latest year Social Security statistics are available.
Here in our baby name bubble, in case you haven’t noticed, we tend to parse every element of every name for hints of incipient baby name trends. This would include first syllables, middle letters (like the current x), and endings like en and er for boys.
Just recently we’ve been noticing some suddenly increased attention focused on a group of Latinate names starting with the syllable Cas, which seem to be marching ahead in tandem. They all have a soft a sound, eliminating such oldies as Casey— and the Cas element is often pronounced Cash.
Here are the main contenders in this latest of baby name trends:
Cassia—This lovely, elegant name carries the scent of cinnamon, which is what its meaning is in Greek.
Cassian —Has the stylish Roman feel of names like Atticus; associated (not in the best way) with Julius Caesar, and also with abolitionist Cassius Clay, who inspired the birth name of Muhammad Ali. Variation Cassian is an ancient saints’ name primed to burst onto the modern scene ala Asher.