The Best Baby Names of 2022
What are the biggest baby names for 2022? The top choices we’re watching for the year ahead?
We’ve rounded up 50 baby names that hit all the hottest trend notes for 2022. These names combine all the right ingredients for success right now – blending a fashionable sound and style with influence from pop culture, current affairs and societal trends.
The top names we’re watching run the popularity gamut from cool classic August – a recent royal baby name – to the as-yet-unheard-of Rhaenyra – heroine of the upcoming prequel to Game of Thrones.
Yes, we expect 2022’s new parents to continue to find inspiration in pandemic escapism! We’ve studied the year’s biggest music, film and TV productions, as well as recent celebrity birth announcements, to identify the cool names most likely to catch on.
We’ve also drawn on international popular names data and our own internal popularity charts to reveal the baby names and trends attracting the most attention right now.
Best Baby Names 2022
Nameberry’s reigning top boy name is also one of the fastest rising across the English-speaking world, currently ranking in the Top 50 in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and England and Wales. With its genial old-timey feel and cool O ending, Arlo looks set to fly high in the US as well.
Already a fashionable choice, August has enjoyed plenty of time in the sun over the past year – featuring in high-profile birth announcements from Mandy Moore, Pete Buttigieg and the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie.
A surprise new entry to the Nameberry Top 100 last year, Aurelius is a whole lot of name getting a whole lot of attention from our visitors right now. Sister name Aurelia is already hot, and Atticus and Augustus have paved the way for extravagant ancient boy names to make it back onto modern birth certificates.
This sweet and sassy vintage nickname was at its peak in the 1920s and 30s, making it ripe for revival in 2022. It received a double boost recently when Taylor Swift's song "Betty" revealed it as the name of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s youngest daughter. But we expect it to pick up even more momentum following the death of the iconic Betty White in December.
The pandemic has seen meaningful middles like Hope and Joy cropping up more often in birth announcements, unseating the ubiquitous Rose. Blythe is a sweet yet strong vintage up-and-comer with a joyful meaning perfect for these trying times.
Despite its rarity as a name (currently at #925 in the US), Bridger is a sound on everyone’s lips right now – from singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers to the hit period drama Bridgerton. And with woodsy boy names booming, this is surely one to watch for 2022.
Everyone’s talking about Bruno following the release of Disney’s latest animated musical Encanto! The movie’s catchiest track – which has shot up the Billboard Hot 100 to #5 this week – is bound to put bouncy Bruno back on parents’ radars.
Lovers of Callie and Calliope will appreciate this obscure yet wearable flower name, worn by a fierce queen in Netflix’s hit show The Witcher. The show’s heroine Cirilla is also likely to push her pretty name higher up the charts – although Apple-esque nickname Ciri might limit its rise.
Ludacris and Eudoxie Bridges named their newborn daughter Chance in 2021, rebranding it as a fresh unisex word name with an optimistic meaning for our post-pandemic world.
Christina Ricci surprised us all last month when she announced the name of her newborn daughter Cleopatra, who will go by Cleo. Both forms are on our watch list, but it’s cute and spunky short form Cleo that has the most potential in 2022.
Speaking of surprising celebrity birth announcements: no one saw the name of Scarlett Johansson’s second child coming! Cosmo is a fun and funky pan-European choice that finally feels ready to shake off its twin associations with cocktails and Kramer. And the name of the patron saint of doctors feels especially apt right now.
Bridgerton gave this gentle vintage gem a slight boost in the latest official data, but a huge upsurge in pageviews over the past twelve months suggests that 2022 will be Daphne’s time to shine. An extra year of sunlight has shaken off the last of the cobwebs, making it feel fresh again to a new generation of vintage name lovers.
Harry Potter fans are celebrating a double anniversary this year: 25 years since the publication of the first book, and 20 years since the release of the first film. Naming trends have moved on a lot since the late nineties and early noughties, when only a smattering of little Dracos were registered despite the popularity of the franchise. Now, with demonic names such as Lilith, Loki, Mazikeen, Azrael and even Lucifer firmly on the baby naming map, Draco has emerged as an edgy O-ending possibility to be embraced by parents who grew up with Harry and his classmates.
Nameberry’s top girl name for 2021 was not – to our surprise – celestial superstar Luna or any of the airy, vowel-rich girl names beloved by our visitors, like Aurora, Aurelia or Ophelia. Instead, this pretty yet sturdy traditional choice came out on top. Eloise feels both sensible and storybook, both feminine and tailored. We think it ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of parents in 2022.
Legendary names are moving on from the traditional canons of Ancient Greece and Rome. Egyptian Osiris entered the US Top 1000 for the first time last year, and Welsh Emrys is a new entry to the Nameberry Top 100 in 2022. Like its English counterpart Ambrose, it has a warm, strong sound that makes a style statement without feeling over the top.
Disney’s Cruella, released in May last year, stars Emma Stone as Estella Miller, aspiring fashion designer turned extravagant antiheroine. Estella puts a fresh spin on contemporary classic Stella, with the same pretty yet steely international appeal.
Blending nature, mythology, and chic vintage charm, Flora hits so many style notes right now. Our site visitors agree – Flora entered the Nameberry Top 100 for the first time last year, and we expect to see it follow the likes of Nora, Cora and Freya up the official US charts as well.
However you spell it, this ultimate woodsy boy name has serious appeal to parents dreaming of rugged pandemic escapism. The retro Forrest spelling remains significantly more popular for now, but its ties to Confederacy will likely turn more modern parents towards this streamlined, nature-inspired version.
Despite its popularity in the UK, America is yet to embrace Shakespearean heroine Imogen – but that could be about to change. Imogen was the eighth most viewed girl name on our site last year, suggesting that plenty of parents are now considering this chic choice.
Like popular O-enders Leo, Hugo and Otto, this compact name packs a lot of punch into just a few letters. Today's parents are increasingly looking for names that travel seamlessly between languages and cultures, without feeling too basic or ubiquitous. Ivo is a perfect international option which retains its special spark and style.
A gentle Biblical classic which has enjoyed a quiet resurgence in recent years as Noah starts to lose ground. Jonah’s peaceful and optimistic meaning of “dove” is likely to appeal to parents as we enter the third year of pandemic-induced uncertainty.
HBO’s The White Lotus was a runaway success in 2021, and its popularity could push the name of one of its young stars, Kekoa Kekumano, up the US charts in the wake of contemporary Hawaiian hits like Kai and Koa.
Snappy S-ending names are big business for boys, and we foresee this trend expanding across the gender spectrum in 2022. Hollis is a tailored nature-meets-surname option which is used almost evenly for boys and girls right now – one of the new nonbinary names leading the charge away from traditional gender divisions.
Another gender-neutral rising star – and this one comes with cool unisex nickname potential, too. Previously considered an out there, hippie-esque choice, Indigo has been on a steep upward trajectory for both sexes for several years now, and looks set to finally break into the Top 1000 for girls in 2022. Watch this space!
Wren was the new Rose in the middle slot – short, sweet, nature-inspired, flows with everything. And now Lark is the new Wren! Stylish celebrities including Jennifer Connelly and Milla Jovovich were early adopters, and Call the Midwife star Helen George used it for her daughter’s first name in November.
The Pantone Color of the Year for 2022 is "Very Peri": a bold bluish-purple, bright yet cottagecore, reminiscent of sunny Mediterranean borders in full bloom. With Violet already an established favorite, we see the trend for all things purple extending to more unconventional blooms like Lilac and Lavender.
Interest in the Queen’s childhood nickname was first piqued by The Crown, but then Harry and Meghan shocked the world by choosing Lilibet for their daughter in June 2021. We’d be surprised to see it catch on as quickly as Archie – which shot into the Top 500 a year after the young royal’s birth – but Lilibet certainly makes an intriguing addition to the popular Lily family of names.
Another nonbinary name par excellence, Lux is a sleek and lively choice that’s rising for both sexes – while remaining very evenly gender-balanced. Its sharp, punchy sound and optimistic meaning of “light” feel perfect for the current naming climate.
The “Mae” sound is huge in girl names right now: think Mabel, Maisie, Esme, and of course Mae itself. But Irish import Maeve is surely the biggest winner of all, boosted first by Westworld and more recently by the hit Netflix show Sex Education. It's currently the reigning #1 girl name with Nameberry visitors.
The Scandi chic aesthetic has spread from our homes and closets to our baby names, with stylish Nordic names like Freya and Soren shooting up the charts. Magnus is a rare yet established choice in the US – a cool and quirky route to Gus for those who find August has become too popular.
Mirabel Madrigal is the beautifully named heroine of Disney’s Encanto, and the name has a beautiful meaning too: “wonderful”. We fully expect both Mirabel and its frillier French spelling Mirabelle to enjoy a big boost in 2022.
A fun and funky choice that puts the super stylish “oo” vowel sound from names like Luna and Juno right up front – in spelling as well as in sound. Actor and model Amber Heard named her daughter Oonagh in April 2021.
Amazon’s eagerly anticipated Lord of the Rings reboot is shrouded in secrecy, but one character name that has been aired is that of the series’ main antagonist: Oren. A smart and simple Hebrew name popular in Israel, Oren seems like a sure-fire hit thanks to its similarity to fashionable boy names like Owen and Soren.
Cute retro Otis vaulted into the British Top 100 last year as the fastest rising boy name, boosted by Asa Butterfield’s character in Sex Education. It looks set to soar in 2022 alongside fellow old school O name Otto.
Ottilie recently enjoyed several months as Nameberry’s #1 girl name, following a high-profile birth announcement from British influencer Zoe Sugg. Ottilie is already a hit in the UK, where it now ranks just below the Top 100. Although pronunciation could be a stumbling block in the US, we think American parents will start to fall for its quirky charm in 2022.
Despite only premiering in November, The Wheel of Time quickly became Amazon’s most watched original series of 2021 – and it’s back for a second season in 2022. Most characters have fittingly fantasy-esque names, but hero Perrin Aybara’s smart and upbeat moniker feels like it has serious baby name potential, especially now that retro nickname Perry is starting to feel fresh again.
We’ve been watching adventurous yet homespun Prairie for a while. With its sweet sound, nature meaning, and literary connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House on the Prairie, it seemed like only a matter of time before a celebrity birth announcement boosted it into the limelight – and up the charts. And now that Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer have used it for their youngest daughter, Prairie's time may finally have come!
A decade ago, we’d have said that its unconventional spelling and mysterious pronunciation makes Rhaenyra an unlikely pop culture hit – but that was before Daenerys, Khaleesi, Mazikeen and more swept onto the baby naming stage. Now, the heroine of upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon looks likely to inspire at least some little namesakes in 2022.
Scholarly and cosmopolitan, Rhodes is one of the most stylish of the new S-ending boy names making their mark on the American namescape. Emma Roberts chose this smart and storied option for her son in December 2020, but we think 2022 could see it start to make gains on the girls’ side too.
Fashion-forward French parents are skipping long forms like Rosemary or Ramona and putting sparky nickname Romy straight onto the birth certificate – it currently ranks at #14 there. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave it an extra shot of publicity in December, when he used it for his newborn daughter.
Could Rue be the next Rose for both genders? Blending parents’ love of short, sweet middles and gender neutral names, Rue is a stylish pick cropping up in more and more high-profile birth announcements of late.
Shiloh made headlines in 2006 when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie chose it for their daughter, but fast forward fifteen years and it’s a stylish successor to Eden poised to break into the Top 500 for both sexes in the coming years.
No longer are royal baby names limited to the timeless classics like Elizabeth, Charles and William! The most recent royal addition is Princess Beatrice’s daughter Sienna, whose name is a modern favorite in Britain and a “sweet spot” name in the US – not too out there, not too popular… for now.
We’ve seen recent celebrity sons named Saint and Sir, and now Usher has welcomed baby Sire! It’s exactly the sort of bold, powerful, aspirational word name that has big baby name potential in 2022.
On February 1, we’ll enter the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Taika is one of the coolest names meaning “tiger”, and it’s enjoyed plenty of time in the limelight lately thanks to New Zealand actor and filmmaker Taika Waititi. His next big projects are Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder and the sports comedy Next Goal Wins, both set to hit the big screen in 2022.
As Theodore cements its status as a popular modern classic, parents will feel increasingly emboldened to skip straight to cool short form Theo – already a Top 20 choice in nickname-loving Britain. The second season of Bridgerton, out later this year, features a dashing new hero named Theo Sharpe, which is sure to give the name a boost.
From traditional Oliver to trendy Wilder, American parents are in love with the energetic -er ending for boy names. Netflix’s record-breaking Arcane, based on the popular League of Legends video game franchise, could push this cool character name up the charts – hot on the heels of rising star Evander.
All of the Enzo names are trending – including the strong short form itself, which feels like a perfect alternative to the popular Ezra. Vincenzo has the benefit of two spiky consonants and an edgy new South Korean crime series to give it an extra shot of cool.
What is it with smart S-ending surnames with a watery connection? Brooks, Banks and Rivers are all hot right now, but our eyes are on Wells as the next nature-meets-surname choice to take the US by storm.
We were thrilled to see extravagant vintage pick Wilhelmina among our members’ favorites for real-life baby girls last year. With Willow, Willa and Winnie already trending in a big way, we think the Berries could be characteristically ahead of the curve on this one!