Category: names of the future
There’s an entire generation of new baby names that are moving rapidly up the popularity list and that distinguish themselves by being recently minted–and by the fact that grandparents do a double take the first time they hear them. For even if they existed as surnames or place names or occupations, they’ve rarely been used before as first names. Many of these new baby names are morphed versions of names that were used in another form earlier, while others have been spun from thin air.
Some are clearly celebrity-sourced—as when Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale gave their son a name inspired by their own personal associations with the island of Jamaica—and it wasn’t long before the name Kingston jumped onto the list. Similarly, the singular name Miley has spread like wildfire with the fame of its onetime exclusive bearer.
Putting aside the legion of offshoots and variations—in rhyming and spelling—of names related to Riley, Ryan, Bailey, Aiden, Tyler and Tyson, which already seem so 20th century– we’ve come up with a list of some of the most prominent nouveau names. Although a precise demarcation can’t be drawn, and some of them were coming onto the radar in the 90s, these are the new baby names that definitely have a 21st century feel.
To check out the latest trends in French baby names, we turned to a true expert, Stéphanie Rapoport, creator of the popular site meilleursprénoms.com and author of L’Officiel des Prénoms 2010. For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis on French baby names.
And for those whose high school French is as shaky as mine, we asked Stéphanie to give us a recap, which she’s been kind enough to do:
“Baby names in France have never been shorter: exit Sébastien, Alexandre, Frédéric, Caroline, Nathalie, Angélique—the popular names of the 1980’s. Emma, Léa, Clara now take the limelight as the most popular feminine names, while Lucas, Enzo and Nathan dominate the masculine ranking tables.
Ending sounds are also shaping to a large extent what becomes trendy and what does not. Fashionable feminine names tend to end in the vowel ‘a’ (Emma, Sara, Léa, Clara, Lola, Éva, Louna and Lina being in the forefront). Then there’s the explosion caused by Lilou, a new name which has led to the discovery of Louane and renewed interest in hyphenated names such as Lou–Anne. For boys, names with ‘eo’ vowel juxtapositions abound, as in Léo, Théo, Mathéo, also o-endings (Hugo, Enzo) and names ending in ‘an’—Nathan, Ethan, Kylian, Evan, Esteban.
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.
Here at nameberry, we’re not so much in the business of tracking which names are popular now – the Social Security Administration does that more accurately than we ever could – but of predicting which names are going to be popular in the future. The reason for all this prognosticating: Many parents want to know which names that sound fresh and stylish today might be in for overexposure tomorrow.
To that end, we’ve come up with our picks for the top baby names a decade from now. Some of these are already rising rapidly through the ranks; others might still be considered cutting edge (but won’t be for long). And because we’re not perfect, we give alternative choices for each slot.
Here, the top baby names for both girls and boys for 2019.