Category: names for girls
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.
There’s a new generation of mom names, not the midcentury Kathys and Sues that are fast becoming grandma names, but the names of young moms today, born for the most part in the 70s and 80s, their names acquiring a more grownup image as they’ve grown up themselves.
This blog was inspired by the discussion of mom names over on the forums. On that board, berries are discussing their own moms’ names plus the names of moms they know who have young children.
Of course, not every name of a twenty-or-thirty-something mother qualifies as a mom name. What does?
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.
Maybe because Nameberry attracts such serious name lovers, many visitors to the site can’t settle for choosing just one name for their babies.
I’m not talking about the trend toward picking two middle names but about the taste for baby girl names that have two very different versions: a classic, elaborate, elegant, formal name with a cute, modern, spunky nickname that may be very distinct in sound and feel.
These two-for-one names seem to work best for girls, as evidenced by a recent message board rundown of the possibilities. And of course it’s a phenomenon we’ve come across frequently on Nameberry before.
Many parents, in fact, say they’re only interested in baby girl names that go two ways. And most don’t want to settle for the obvious, traditional short form — Penny for Penelope, for example — but are seeking a proper name and an inventive short form.
Some examples of fresh two-for-one names for girls, with thanks to our wonderful berries for some of these creative ideas:
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.)