Category: cool girl names
Our tally of the 100 most popular girls’ names of 2012 on Nameberry is in, and we have a new Number 1: Katniss.
The predominance of Katniss is more a testament to the power of the Hunger Games franchise than to baby name trends.
Our Number 2 girls’ name Charlotte, which has been Nameberry’s most popular girls’ name every year until now, is more reflective of a name that will actually be chosen by parents. Imogen, which has moved up from Number 6 to claim the Number 3 spot, is another choice we see on the rise in the real world, though it has yet to break into the U.S. Top 1000.
The girls’ names that have risen the most places since our 2011 count are:
Around this time every year, we peek behind the Nameberry curtain to see which names are the most popular with our visitors. This Top 100 for each gender, which reflects views of the name pages on our site, indicates which names have captured the most interest since the start of the year.
The girls’ list is evidence of both pop culture events along with future baby name trends. Some analysis:
– The Hunger Games is the obvious inspiration for Katniss at Number 1. We don’t ever expect to see Katniss — or Primrose or Rue — in the U.S. Top 100 for real live baby girls. But the appeal of the heroine inspires a great amount of curiosity about her unusual name.
– Celebrities and their babies attract a lot of page views, which sometimes translate into baby name trends. Names high on the Nameberry list thanks to celebrities and starbabies include Harper, Seraphine, Penelope, Violet, Isla, and Scarlett. And these are all names that will continue to rise in the national name statistics as well, we predict.
Our conclusion: No matter how unusual they are by the numbers, these names are drawing considerable buzz. And that’s bound to translate over the coming years into usage for a lot more babies.
Besides their incipient popularity, these names share several appealing qualities. Most relate to nature, but in a fresher, less obvious way than the Lilys and Roses we’ve heard so much of in recent years. Many have deeper roots than they first seem, plus intriguing cultural connections.
And is it coincidence that four of the 11 start with the letter C, and seven contain the letter L? We don’t think so.
Our picks for 11 unusual girls’ names we see destined for stardom.
As the authors of, literally, the book on Cool Names, you’d think we’d know everything there is to know about cool baby names.
But the definition of cool is so fluid and so subjective, it’s difficult to point to one name, or one group of names, and proclaim it as universally cool.
Yet sometimes, you know cool when you see it. I was reading about the British actor Damian Lewis the other day — the redheaded hunk on Homeland — and noticed (of course) that the names of his children with fellow actor Helen McCrory are Manon and Gulliver.
Huh, I thought. Now THOSE are cool names. Undeniably quirky, but cool.