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Category: girl names 2012

Baby Names 2012: What’s Hot Now

arya

The hottest baby names 2012 – those attracting the biggest spikes in views on Nameberry for the first six months of this year – are an astonishing group: Highly unusual yet strangely familiar, heavily influenced by pop culture yet boldly individualistic.

The strongest baby name influences right now: Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and ancient Rome.  Many of the hot names relate to nature and to worlds beyond our own.  And most share a transcendence of traditional gender identity, containing elements of names for the opposite gender if not crossing over to unisex territory.

Nameberry’s hottest names of the year, which we predict you’ll be hearing lots more of in the future, are:

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Name lover Kristin Alexander, creator of the blog What She Said, went crazy over baby girl names.  Her story:

“BRAHNwyn!” he said incredulously. “BRAHNwyn?”

“Well, when you say it like that, it doesn’t sound very pretty,” I pouted.

Granted, Bronwyn was a guilty pleasure. I didn’t really expect my husband to go along with it as the given name for any daughter we might have. But must his voice take on that grating nasal edge when he said it out loud? He sounded like a goose honking.

No more than eight weeks up the duff, I was still newly pregnant when my husband and I began discussing potential baby names for our unborn child. I had just informed him that I really liked the name Bronwyn Rose for a girl, but admitted that with the last name of Alexander, I was worried about her initials spelling “bra.”

“That’s your only concern about the name Bronwyn?!” my husband asked in amazement.

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kristenblog

Remember Kristen, the mom who was suffering from Baby Name Desensitization Disorder and just couldn’t settle on a name for the little brother she was expecting for Colette and Weston?  Well, her problem turned out not to be BNDD or even Boy Name Ambivalence but something much more dramatic.  We’ll let her tell the story:

With four weeks left till my due date, my midwife sent me for a series of ultrasounds. The baby is very healthy, but there is  one detail that now has my head spinning, eyes crossing, and hair standing on end. During the ultrasound they informed us we were having a GIRL! Yes, a girl! A GIRL!

We are thrilled and excited and can’t wait to meet this little girl who has played an awesome practical joke on us! Man, she will fit into this family just great! But after years of ignoring all things having to do with girls’ names, Jeff and I have no clue where to start.

What is popular? What is trendy? What is classy?  What is just weird? What is wayyy overused? Right now we are calling her lil Shocka Khan, Shocka for short, but hopefully we can replace that soon!

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Baby Names: A New Wave of “A” Names

Aapple

Baby names that start with the letter A have been on the rise for several years now. with choices such as Ava and Aiden high on the popularity list, Asher and Adelaide rising fast, and names such as Abel and Aurora poised to take off.

In our last blog about names that start with A, we pointed out all the reasons parents love them: Besides their high fashion status along with other vowel names, studies show that children whose first names begin with A might earn higher marks in school, get into better colleges, and even live longer.

In that 2010 post, we listed A baby names on the Most Popular list along with those that were becoming more stylish.  But the appetite for A names is so healthy that parents are searching for ever-newer and fresher varieties.  Nameberry’s behind-the-scenes popularity data shows a wave of unusual A names attracting interest from baby namers.

Hot new A names you might not have considered before include:

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Abilene

Abitha

Acadia

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It’s easy to confuse popularity with stylishness.  Many baby names feel “popular” when they’re merely stylish: We’re hearing them a lot, they’re in step with the baby name fashions, and we worry that if we choose them, our little Matilda is going to be one of many.

And perhaps if you live in some edgy, baby-centric enclave – Park Slope, Brooklyn, say, or Bernal Heights in San Francisco – that will be true.  But for the most part, the numbers tell a different story, with many of the most stylish names used by very few parents.

One note: Names can be popular and stylish, so many of those in the popular column also qualify as stylish.

Looking just at girls’ names today, here’s a statistics-based reality check on what’s stylish vs. what’s truly popular.  (Numbers in parentheses represent how many babies were given that name in the most recent U.S. count.)

Allegra (114) is stylish, though Arianna (4,797) is popular

Aurelia (209) is stylish, but Amelia (5,417) is popular

Azalea (164) is stylish while Violet (2,531) is popular

Beatrix (123) is stylish while Alexa (5,012) is popular

Blake (240) is stylish, while Payton (3,561) is popular

Carter (158) is stylish while Kennedy (2,803) is popular

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