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Category: spelling of names

Baby Name Trends: View from the Peak

Baby Name Trends

One of nameberry’s hidden wonders is its lists of names that peaked in every year from 1880 to 2007, the most recent one counted.  These lists, created by our brilliant yet anonymous (ironic, huh?) software engineer, give a snapshot not of the most popular but of the trendiest names at any given moment.

It’s possible to look at the peaking names and their variations to pinpoint trends current and future.  Some directions evident in the 2007 list include:

THE AD NAMES

In 2007, we see the peak of Addison: no surprise there.  Also peaking are Addisyn, Addyson, Adison, and Adyson.  A little further removed are Adalyn and Adelyn.  And from there it’s only a quick hop to Adrian and Adriel (and not such a stretch to include all the Aidens in this group).   Look for other Ad- names to follow: Ada, Adelaide, Adelia, Adeline, AdairAdolph, not so much.

THE EL NAMES

Heirs of Ellen and Elliot, we see Elias peaking for boys.  And the much longer girls’ list includes Elaina, Eliana, Elle, and Ellie.

THE DOUBLE L NAMES

Girls’ names with the lovely two-l sound peaking in 2007 include Layla and leyla,, Leilani, Lilah, Liliana in various spellings, plus Lily herself.  Lorelai and Lyla are also at their peak.

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Is V the New Z?

Baby Name Trends

We’re noticing a lot of V’s — as in vivacious and vibrant — popping up in cool names these days. There’s Vivienne, of course, the name of Brad and Angelina‘s twin daughter, and also the name of Rosie O’Donnell‘s youngest child.  Then there’s Olive, the name of Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen‘s daughter; Viggo, newborn son of Taylor and Natalie Hanson; River, the son of Keri Russell; and Ever, the name of model/designer Milla Jovovich’s baby.

Name hotties with Vs in the middle include Olivia, Nevaeh, Ava, and Eva. Other rising stars (and starbabies) include Savannah, Evan, Devon, Avery, Heaven, Haven, and Violet. Many names that start with V have been out so long they’re starting to come in again: Veronica, Virginia, Valentina, Victor, and Vincent, which definitely took on a new sexy glow thanks to Entourage’s leading man Vincent Chace and real life leading man Vince Vaughn. Like Z, X, and O before it, V seems to be the cool name letter of the moment.

Some other V-inclusive names you might want to consider:

CALVIN

CLOVER

EVELYN

FLAVIA

GENEVIEVE

GROVER

HARVEY

JOVIE

MINERVA

OCTAVIA

SEVERINE

SYLVIA

WEAVER

XAVIER

And then of course there are several less obvious but still attractive names that start with V:

VALERIA

VAN

VENN

VERA

VERENA

VERITY

VERNON

VILLARD

VIRGIL

VIVECA

VIVIA

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baby name zooey

You’ve probably noticed that Aiden is now way more popular than the original Irish Aidan.  And also that Zoey is catching up with Zoe, while other names like Isiah, Kaleb, Camryn and Sienna are either ahead of or breathing down the necks of their conventionally spelled cousins.  Sometimes the reasons for these changes are clear-cut, sometimes it’s just something in the ether.

Not that this is a new thing.  I remember the first time that someone asked me to spell my first name.  “Huh?”  “Well, is it Linda with an ‘i’ or Lynda with a ‘y’?  Without my really noticing, Lynda had become a spelling alternative in the wake of  the popularity of Lynn.  Something similar has happened with Aidan/Aiden.  When the epidemic of rhyming ‘en’-ending names erupted–Jaden, Braden, Caden et al–it was a logical development to make Aiden a legitimate member of that family.  And when ‘K’-beginning boys’ names became a rage, Kaleb began pursuing Caleb up the list.

The case of Zoe/Zooey is a little different, as the spike of the latter version can be pretty much traced to a single phenomenon–’Zoey101′–the Emmy-nominated teen sitcom starring (now teen mom) Jamie Lynn Spears, which appeared on Nickelodeon in 2005.  And the publicity surrounding Jamie Lynn’s big sister Britney’s second son helped spread that spelling of Brayden.  The rise of the British actress Sienna Miller spurred the spelling change of the Italian town of Siena, actress Jorja Fox legitimized the phonetic spelling of Georgia, and Gossip Girl hottie Chace (originally his middle name) Crawford has the spelling of his name chasing Chase.

In terms of image, rather than spelling, Scarlett Johansson challenged the long-term connection of her name to Gone With the Wind spitfire Scarlett O’Hara, just as the charms of Jude Law have managed to erase the age-old associations of his name to Judas.

More recently we’ve seen a couple of starbabies who might have some influence on the future spellings of names: Brooke Shield’s Grier (rather than Greer) and Angie Harmon’s Emery (rather than Emory).

Can you think of any others?

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