Category: name news
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Baby names trends are constantly evolving, but I’m struck by a theme in this week’s baby name news. It’s the continuing rise of Modern Choices with Roots. This week’s appellations weren’t as out there as Rainbow, but they’re not all conventionally established names, either.
Baby name style is a highly personal thing, and I’m always surprised by the names on birth announcements. Sure, I can guess with sometimes frightening accuracy what parents will have shortlisted for baby #2 or #3, but they’ve already showed their hand by then. Until they’ve hinted at what they’re thinking of for their firstborn, baby name style is surprisingly tough to guess.
Over the summer, I met three siblings, all living in the same area, each with a daughter about the same age. The three girls’ names could have easily belonged to sisters, even triplets: Annabelle, Georgia, and Phoebe. The women of the family clearly share the same general style – so much that I’d guess there must have been some consternation when they found out they were all expecting daughters within the same year.
For every situation where two former roommates both want to use Ethan James for their sons, there are plenty of cases where, no matter how much sisters or friends have in common, name style is simply not one of them. You roll your eyes when your BFF suggests Kestrel, only to hear your sis describe Eleanor as too old-fashioned.
There are some weeks when even name mavens like Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel have to dig deep to find nine newsworthy names, but of course Abby always comes through. Here are The Nameberry Nine for this week.
It finally happened. After weeks and weeks of effortlessly identifying nine newsworthy names, this week I was stuck. There were two celebrity births, a nicely named girl and boy, but neither was the newsworthy delight I’d anticipated.
Suddenly I understood the laments of expectant parents everywhere: there are all of these names, nice enough names, but they’re not the right ones for us. It was a Name Drought, a feeling of deprivation in the midst of plenty. While waiting to learn our second child’s gender, I had a similar feeling. We had a girl’s name all set, but if our daughter had been a second son? We might still be calling him Baby.
It happens with sports and fashion and baby names, too. We’re all trying to guess The Next Big Thing. Looking backwards it seems inevitable that Isabella would become the most popular girls’ name in the US. And of course the Aiden–Jaden–Hayden craze was bound to happen, thanks to a recurring character on an HBO series, a Hollywood titan, and a pair of young actors. Right?
Except that not every name that seems poised for popularity takes off. Lourdes remains obscure, despite her high-profile mom. Ditto Suri. We’re all in love with Adele right now, but as a given name, she’s still many paces behind Adelyn and Adalynn.
Prediction is much too much fun to give up, of course. So here are eight names spotted this week that just could be on the rise – plus one with a fascinating backstory.
There will always be new names.
And yet, week after week, there are always names that surprise. I met a toddler called Zinnia yesterday, just in time for the bloom to appear on Nameberry’s list of best new flower names. Even those of us who spend our free time obsessively pouring over lists of names and offering up ideas on the Nameberry forums are probably taken by surprise by some of the things we hear – and not just once in a blue moon, but every week.
This week’s list is all about names that took me by surprise. They were brand new – at least to my ears.