Category: baby names trends
You have only to look at the popularity lists to know which names are used most widely now. There’s Sophia, Isabella, Emma, and Olivia for girls; Jacob, Mason, and Ethan for boys. Which reminds us: Have you seen our new, searchable U.S. Top 1000 list? It’s awesome; have a peek.
Beyond the most popular names are the names we might think of as most stylish today. These are represented on the Nameberry Top 1000 list, which gauges the names that are viewed most often on our site, updated monthly. While the U.S. Top 1000 list tallies names used most frequently for babies born in 2012, the Nameberry Top 1000 surveys names capturing the most interest from prospective parents in 2014 — so it’s more theoretical, and up-to-date.
Based on the Nameberry list, we’d place the following baby names atop the current style wave. What many of them lack in popularity, they make up for in stylishness.
Here’s my true name confession: We almost named our youngest son Pike.
So sue me.
I still like it. Sometimes, about as often as I miss that bright orange sweater I gave away in 1994, I wish we’d actually named him that. We like fish! In fact, little coulda-been-Pike grew into a boy who loves to fish!
But we chickened out, and Owen he became.
I could confess to other name indiscretions I contemplated but now it’s your turn to tell all.
Did you spell your name with an i at the end with a little heart drawn over it when you were 13?
Attempt to change your name to Sigourney when you were in college?
Did you contemplate a baby name crime: name-napping, perhaps, or….well, I can’t think of any other baby name crime, but maybe you can confess to one anyway.
Trendy baby names have been around a lot longer Miley Cyrus or any of the famous Kardashians. From the dawn of recorded U.S. baby name history — aka 1880, when the federal government began keeping records — we’ve adopted names inspired by current events and popular people and culture, only to leave them behind for a new inspiration the next year.
The inspiration for name trends a century ago may have been politicians and war heroes rather than reality stars, but the definition of trendy baby names was the same: Names that spiked in popularity thanks to an outside influence, then sank from view along with its original bearer.
An organization called Flowing Data has calculated the trendiest names in US history, a fascinating look at which names burned the brightest only to fade the fastest.
Hyperlocal is a word you hear a lot today. There’s hyperlocal news and hyperlocal food, hyperlocal weather and hyperlocal — yeah, baby names.
What are the name trends where you live? Which popular names ring through every playground and crowd every class list? What kinds of names are considered cool, and what names do you NEVER hear?
In my diverse liberal suburb of New York City, for instance, names that are ethnically distinctive and unconventional when it comes to gender identity are definitely cool. Names you hear a lot include Henry (there are three on my short block), Zoe, Izzy, and my younger son’s name, Owen.
Please tell us where you live to help put your hyperlocal baby names report in context. If you’re not comfortable revealing your exact locale, you can say “a gentrifying neighborhood of London” or “a prosperous town in Silicon Valley.” But something vaguer like “a conservative small town in New England” works too.
Yes, there are baby names that have had longer runs at the top of the popularity list. Mary and John, certainly, and, more recently, Michael, who ruled for 44 years, yet none of them came to be seen as an epidemic or to signify a whole generation in the way that Jennifer did, though she was Number 1 for a mere fifteen years.
But in that time, between 1970 and 1984, there were 859,112 little Jennifers born in the US—enough for online Jennifer identity-loss support groups to spring up as they matured, enough for future parents to bemoan “I don’t want my child to be one of five named Jennifer in her class,” and enough for us to call our first book Beyond Jennifer and Jason. Jennifer became a one-girl baby names trend.
But why Jennifer? A once obscure Cornish form of the old Welsh Gwenhwyfar, aka Guinevere, a name that was hardly heard here before 1938—except for an appearance in a 1905 Shaw play– and which didn’t enter the Top 100 till 1956.