Category: name trends
With the new US popularity list due out in less than a month, we thought it would be fun to look at today’s most popular baby names and guess which similar choices might move in to replace them — if not at the next tally, then at some point in the future. Â Our picks:
Sophia â€“ Sister names that might theoretically replace the gorgeous classic Sophia include her cuter, more irreverent French cousin Sophie, which has risen from obscurity over the past 30 years to reach Number 51, and Seraphina, which has never been in the Top 1000 but is finding favor thanks to its choice by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.
Yes, there are baby names that have had longer runs at the top of the popularity list.Â 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 USâ€”enough for online Jennifer identity-loss support groups to spring up as they matured, enough for future parents to bemoan â€śI donâ€™t want my child to be one of five named Jennifer in her class,â€ť and enough for us to call our first book Beyond Jennifer and Jason. Â Jennifer became a one-girl baby names trend.
But why Jennifer?Â A once obscure Cornish form of the old Welsh Gwenhwyfar, aka Guinevere, a name that was hardly heard here before 1938â€”except for an appearance in a 1905 Shaw play– and which didn’tÂ enter the Top 100 till 1956.
Nameberryâ€™s predictions for Â baby names 2013:
It’s the scourge of every self-respecting berry: A name you love, a name you’ve treasured forever and maybe hoped to keep as your own special gem, hits the Top 100….the Top 10….or even, nooooooooooo!, Number 1.
What name does it most pain you to see leaping up the popularity list right now?
Did your heart sink, for instance, when the lovely Sophia hit Number 1? Â Did you groan when Kourtney Kardashian named her new baby Penelope, surely lighting a rocket under that classic name which was already getting more popular? Â Or maybe you‘ve always planned to name your first son after Great-Grandpa Aidan, only to see that Irish classic swamped in the sea of Aidens and Aydyns.
For many of us, a name getting too popular ruins it as a viable choice. Â We’ve had friends and colleagues email us asking us to back off from recommending their children’s names — Eliza or Milo or Finn — because they’re getting too popular. Â A little bit of style confirmation can be nice; too much and a name gets lost in the glare of attention.
Tell us which wonderful names and longtime favorites you most hate to see getting more popular — which have already been “wrecked,” which are in danger of overexposure now, and which you’re afraid might trend in that direction.
The high-profile letter V is found in many stylish baby names right now, but letâ€™s not discount the potential of its neighbor, the power vowel U. Just consider the popularity of names like Lucy, Ruby, Jude, and Luca–and there are any number of other, similar names with promise:
â€˘ June was one of the fastest rising names, climbing over 100 places to #470
â€˘ Luna broke the top 300
â€˘ Juniper broke the top 1000
â€˘ Elula became Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohenâ€™s pick for their second daughter and was one of Nameberryâ€™s hottest baby names of 2011