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New Baby Name Trend: The Lu/Lou boys

loo

By Linda Rosenkrantz

After a rash of girls’ names beginning with the ‘Loo’ sound—Lucy and Lucille and Luna and Lulu–we’re suddenly seeing an even bigger bounce for boys’ names with that beginning syllable—spelled in a variety of ways, from Luca to Lewis to Llewelyn. So could Lou be about to be the new Jake/Sam/Ben?

We’ll start with those on this year’s Top 1000 list, in order of popularity—all but one of which were up in the new rankings:

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baby name predictions

By Abby Sandel

The US Social Security Administration is expected to release their annual list of the most popular baby names at the end of the week, just in time for Mother’s Day.

There are unofficial lists galore, including the ever-stylish Nameberry 100. But the Social Security data is the most accurate and complete record of all births registered in the US in calendar year 2014. Plus, they share a complete list of every single name given to at least five newborns in 2014.

It’s a lot of names. And yes, around here it’s like Christmas morning and the Super Bowl all rolled into one!

Will you be watching to see if your favorite names have become more popular? Are you hoping that a certain trend is over? Or are you cheering for a handful of names to catch on?

Here are nine questions I can’t wait to answer when we finally see the data on the most popular baby names.

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eclectic baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

It’s tempting to predict the future.  Difficult, too.

Last week, I stumbled across this 1994 article in the L.A. Times.  Nameberry’s Pam predicted the stylish names of the future would be Felix and Frances, Charlotte and Claire, Hazel and Dexter.

Twenty years later, it’s all come true!

But it’s also become increasingly difficult to imagine what’s next for names, and the most recent high profile birth announcements illustrate why.

In our anything-goes age, possibilities abound.  From Arabella to Zhang, the names parents are choosing make for an eclectic bunch.

And yet there are definite trends to spot and celebrate in this creative and daring age.

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Sibling Names: The latest from London

British sibling names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

We love combing the birth announcements in the London Telegraph for baby name trends and ideas.

Each time we issue a report, we look for a different focus — unusual names, fascinating middle name combinations — and today it’s sibling names.

While we hate to exclude singletons with such wonderful names as Aurelia Liliana Rosabel and Tiago Rafferty Redfern, the sibling names were even juicier.

Some observations: The newest vintage names being unpacked from mothballs in England are Martha and Herbert.  Some of the most charming combinations mix ethnicities (Emiko and Freddie) or match first letters (Orlando and Ophelia).  Out-of-the-box middle names include word names, place-names, and surnames such as Spark, Houston, and Allgood.

Oh, and, as usual, these British parents manage to find baby names that are distinctive and adventurous and gorgeous without resorting to (almost ever) strange inventions or kree8tiv spellings.

Our picks from the latest announcements:

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posted by: Prooffreader View all posts by this author
mythological baby names

By David Taylor, prooffreader.com

There is no doubt that mythological names from a variety of ancient cultures have become increasingly popular with baby namers. The graphics below will make this visually—and eminently—clear.

mytholgirls

mytholboys

 

As you can see, mythological boys’ names were pretty negligible until the mid-1990s, after which they’ve had quite an explosion, with boys named Phoenix, Odin and Ares leading the pack.

Girls were more often named after mythological figures in the past, but their use has increased as well, and the actual names have changed. In 1940, Minerva and Vesta were the most popular (a virgin Greek warrior goddess and a virgin Roman goddess of the hearth … I’ll let you draw any patterns from this). Now it’s Isis (certain to decrease in light of the news from Iraq these days), Thalia (which had quite a momentary spike in 1993) and Persephone. Also on the list is Eris, an unusual choice as she’s the Greek goddess of strife, who was pretty much responsible for the Trojan War.

Analyzing name categories like this is a unique challenge; the starting material is a simple list of names, with no indication as to what parents were thinking. Many names happen to be mythological, but exist as common names from other traditions (for example, Ora was a common girls’ name a century ago, and only coincidentally happens to be a Balto-Slavic goddess as well). To eliminate these cases, I limited the list to Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian names, since they were by far the most heavily represented in this American baby names database. (It’s too bad I had to eliminate the Celtic, but so many of those names are both mythological and common names, like Brigid and Dylan.)

The object of the exercise was to come up with a list of names that, all things being equal, prospective parents would probably have known were mythological, and that people their children meet might reasonably be expected to know are mythological. Therefore, names like Amon had to go; he’s an Egyptian god, but he’s also a Hebrew name. I made use of nameberry.com’s name origins database (with some confirmation rom others) to make judgment calls when a name’s mythological nature was unclear.

Of course, in a process like this, you can’t have an overall count, because the names are manually curated and the result would be extremely curator-dependent. Therefore, I charted the Top 10 names that were left after the culling, which of course is also curator-dependent, but far less so.

 

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