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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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Baby Names 2010: The Hottest Trends

Baby Name Trends

What are as the hottest 2010 baby names trends?  Here, our 15 top picks:

MOST FASHIONABLE CONSONANT

L, by far, with the booming fashionableness of almost every L name for girls, and most especially those with two L sounds: Lila, Lola, Layla, Leila, Lily, Lillian, Delilah, Tallulah, even Lulu and Lucille.

NEW “IT” VOWEL

E, with Emma taking over from Emily (now number 3) at the top of the girls’ list, and a range of E names for both boys and girls rising through the ranks: Ethan, Eden, Eleanor, Emmett, Eli, Eliza, Elijah, Ella, Evan, Eva, Eloise, Evangeline, Elliot, Esme, et nearly al.

LATEST GENDER-BENDING TREND

Male-female name equivalents: Auden and Audrey, Isaiah and Isabella, Theo and Thea.  In fact, an association with a popular name of the opposite sex is enough to propel an unlikely choice to prominence: Edison on the coattails of Addison, for example, or Malachi hitching a ride with Makayla.

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sweetadeline

Here at nameberry, we’ve been known to scrutinize trends down to a single letter (are V names in?) or syllable (la-beginnings) or sound (oo), as in Talllulah.  The other day, thinking about  the names that are emerging as as among the hottest for girls right now, I suddenly realized that several of them have something in common–and that is that they are all three-syllable names ending in the suffix ine:

ADELINE

CLEMENTINE

EMMELINE

EVANGELINE

GERALDINE

JOSEPHINE

OTTOLINE

This is a pattern that hasn’t been seen in the US for a long time–if you don’t count classics like Caroline and Madeline.  The ones that are feminizations of boys’ names, such as Geraldine and Ernestine, fell out of favor at a time when a) women didn’t want to be thought of as appendages of men even in their names, and b) the particular male names they derived from were sounding particularly fusty.

But this doesn’t seem like such a burning feminist issue these days, when many parents are  eager to honor their dads and forefathers as namesakes for their kids of either gender.  And besides–who knows?–names like Gerald and Ernest could make a return at any time.

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