Category: trendy girls’ names
But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those girls’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest this summer over last.
Some of the names here bear a relationship to those on the most popular list: Aveline instead of Adeline, for instance, or Indigo rather than Scarlett, or Clover as opposed to Ivy or Poppy. While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed.
Our list of secretly popular girls’ names 2011 (look for the boys’ list next week):
Some stylish names share a first initial: Vowel names are particularly popular right now, for instance. Other times, it’s a rhythm or ending sound: Boys’ names with two syllables that end in N or R are big these days.
Still other fashionable names share an ethnic origin such as Irish or a gender identity like unisex or girly-girl.
But the names here, among the most popular AND the most stylish names of our day, have something much more illusive in common. You might even find yourself adding many of them to your shortlist without putting your finger on their mutual appeal.
The secret: An L in the middle.
That might seem like a little thing, but we posit that the L sound, particularly fashionable now too as a first initial, rings all kinds of positive bells in our subconscious, relating to such uplifting qualities as lovely and lilting and, well, even uplifting.
It’s no accident that the following L-in-the-middle names are stylish these days, particularly for girls. Some examples:
Alice (plus Alyssa and sisters)
Brooklyn (plus most names that end in lyn)
Celia (and Cecilia, Cecily etc)
Scanning the popularity charts of some of the current most popular and stylish baby names (yeah, that’s how I spend my spare time), I noticed something fascinating the other day. Many of them – Ava, Ella, Peyton, Aiden, Emmett, even number one Isabella – were at the very bottom of the Top 1000 in 1990.
That means that they were rarely used when the parents of today – most popularly named Jennifer and Melissa, Christopher and Jason – were born, but were starting to rise up the charts by the time Jennifer was drawing hearts around Jason’s name in her Geometry notebook.
By that theory (who says baby name trends prediction isn’t a science?), we should be able to predict which names will be most popular 20 years from now by combing the bottom of today’s Top 1000.
Of course, not every name down in the 800s and 900s is destined for baby name greatness. But we see the following as likely popular choices for your grandchildren.
Here at nameberry, we’ve been known to scrutinize trends down to a single letter (are V names in?) or syllable (la-beginnings) or sound (oo), as in Talllulah. The other day, thinking about the names that are emerging as as among the hottest for girls right now, I suddenly realized that several of them have something in common–and that is that they are all three-syllable names ending in the suffix ine:
This is a pattern that hasn’t been seen in the US for a long time–if you don’t count classics like Caroline and Madeline. The ones that are feminizations of boys’ names, such as Geraldine and Ernestine, fell out of favor at a time when a) women didn’t want to be thought of as appendages of men even in their names, and b) the particular male names they derived from were sounding particularly fusty.
But this doesn’t seem like such a burning feminist issue these days, when many parents are eager to honor their dads and forefathers as namesakes for their kids of either gender. And besides–who knows?–names like Gerald and Ernest could make a return at any time.