Baby Name Trends 2017

Welcome to the baby name revolution!

What are the hottest baby name trends for 2017? We looked at new trends in the culture, politics, the arts, and Hollywood to find the trends in baby names we predict will take the lead in the year ahead.
America’s new conservative turn signals a complete reinvention of baby names. The newly-dominant red staters favor names that defy convention: invented names with unique spellings and nontraditional gender identities. And parents of all political beliefs are embracing names from a range of fresh sources — gods and wild animals, spiritual beliefs and childhood heroes — that all embody power. We foresee more than mere baby name trends in 2017: We predict a full-blown baby naming revolution. — by the editors of Nameberry

Biggest Big Picture Trend: Ultimate Power Names

Royal, Saint, Augustus, Kylo – those names may have signaled power in 2016, but next year parents will skip directly to the head of the power line. Yes, we’re talking about God, whose names will be conferred on an increasing number of babies. Expect to meet lots of little deities with names drawn from multicultural mythology: Thor, Persephone, Odin, Freya, Jupiter, Luna, Atlas, Clio, Orion, Morrigan, Pandora, and Zeus.

And then there are those babies who are literally named God: Five boys in 2015, along with five named Yahweh, 20 named Lord, 27 called Savior, and 40 baby girls named Goddess. And Messiah, which a Tennessee judge tried to ban five years ago by claiming there was only one, has doubled in popularity: More than 1500 baby boys were named Messiah last year. .

And if you feel a deity name isn’t quite right for your child, you may want to go in the other direction and choose Lucifer, now back on the table along with the names of other supreme evil beings such as Lilith, a demon of Jewish folklore, and Kali, the Hindu destroyer.

baby name trends-2017

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48 Responses to “Baby Name Trends 2017”

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cmariac Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Overall good article/slideshow. Not sure about that second to last line: “why not Dog or Demon, Liar or Mudpuddle? “

KRC Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 4:14 pm

“Naming your child after a favorite literary character gives you a lifetime’s worth of intellectual credibility without having to actually (yawn) crack a book.”

Yiiiiikes. I feel like you should never name a child after a character that you know don’t know anything about firsthand. But what do I know, I just teach English.

jtucker Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Pretty good. Although I think you should have stayed away from the political side of things. While I do not necessarily like a lot of those names, I think it’s beyond the scope of Nameberry to be discussing politics, even in the very vague way it was presented. We berries are all here because we love names, and are a very diverse group.

TiffanyS Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 7:40 pm

It’s fun to see the roundup of what’s trending.
Although, I have to agree with @jtucker: the political stuff (this and that red-state/blue-state article a while back) just puts a tension where there doesn’t need to be any. Whether the editors agree with “red state naming” really shouldn’t enter into the discussion.

Shelbi Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 8:14 pm

I agree with @jtucker and @TiffanyS ! Apparently the editors of Nameberry are Democrats and of course that’s fine, but the jabs at “red states” are uncalled for and are completely out of place in an article about baby names, of all things. I live in a red state and the assertion that the election of Trump will directly or indirectly cause more parents to give their kids weirdly-spelled names or “violent” names is one of the most laughable things I’ve read all day.

mill1020 Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 8:32 pm

I don’t think they’re saying there’s a causation or even an association between “red state” names and Trump–just that it’s a sign of the times.

mckaylalove Says:

December 2nd, 2016 at 10:32 pm

I mean, political climate can affect nam trends, so I thought the red state slide was relevant. Pretending it’s not happening isn’t the way to go.

Pam Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 2:27 am

Earlier this year we did a statistical analysis of baby names that are predominantly favored according to Social Security records by states that have historically voted red compared with those that have historically voted blue. The results showed surprising differences, with popular names in red states being mostly newly-invented names with unique spellings and blue state names being far more conventional — a surprising and fascinating result. The story and the details are here: http://nameberry.com/blog/the-reddest-and-bluest-baby-names

Baby name trends are very much dependent on social and cultural and especially this year, political trends. Looking at those trends and predicting how they might affect baby names in the future is at the heart of our job.

And yes, we are opinionated, and that’s what sets our work and Nameberry apart from most other baby name sites. Readers can agree with our opinions or see things a different way — and we’d expect that most people would have a mix of reactions — but our value is in offering deeper research, broader insights, and more informed analysis of name meanings and trends. A name is an important choice that lasts a lifetime and we hope you will use what’s meaningful to you in our knowledge and opinions to fully enlighten your decision.

peach Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 10:54 am

@Pam “but our value is in offering deeper research, broader insights, and more informed analysis of name meanings and trends. A name is an important choice that lasts a lifetime and we hope you will use what’s meaningful to you in our knowledge and opinions to fully enlighten your decision.”

I quite agree Pam. Politics definitely affects baby name trends: one example is Reagan. It was practically unheard of as a girl’s name before Ronald Reagan became president. It has steadily climbed up the popularity charts ever since.

Pam Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Right, @peach. And politics aside, regular readers of Nameberry know that we are not crazy about kree8tif names like Journee and Kason no matter who picks them!

lesliemarion Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Fascinating article, and yes, if the big names in red states are Blakely, Brylee, Kennedi, and Kyleigh, then that is a fact. As the bumper sticker says, “You are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.”

And my own opinion is thank God I live in a blue state for many reasons, baby names included. And I am grateful too that Pam and Linda have opinions and are lively in them. This is the United States, folks, and our greatest strength is that we are all entitled to our own opinions and no, we do not need to agree. It does not “hurt” us to hear opinions different than our own, it strengthens us.

Some of these trends are fabulous though. Power names like Orion and Freya are lovely and mythic (although God and Lucifer are beyond the pale).

The O name trend is a delight and I’m waiting for two of my favorites to appear on an actual person: Orinthia and Otmar.

The water and literary name trends are fantastic too. My favorite literary names tend to be surnames: Millay, Cheever, Chaucer, Thurber, Keats, Shelley, Coleridge, Hardy, Tennyson, Thackeray, Longfellow, Whitman, Thoreau, Marlowe, Leopold, Lewis, Sarton, Tey, Pym, Enright, and more.

Toronto87 Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 4:43 pm

I think one trend we’ll see if moving away from girls names that end in vowels and towards names that end in consonant sounds. This probably ties into the same trend as the Downtown Abbey names.

Edith, Margaret, Mabel, Florence, Louise – all going to get big I think.

Pansy Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 5:11 pm

@peach – The popularity of Reagan as a girl’s name is due to the movie/book The Exorcist. It’s the name of the girl in it who’s possessed (spelled Regan) and first entered the US Top 1000 the year after the movie came out. That spelling has steadily stayed and grown in popularity as years have gone on. The Reagan spelling, on the other hand, was less popular and completely disappeared from the Top 1000 from 1981 until 1993 (so all of Reagan’s presidency, plus four more years). Now that the name is mainstream and less attached to the president, the Reagan spelling has become the more popular one.

As for the red/blue state study, I don’t have a problem with the data collected but rather how the results have been presented. The article Pam linked to implies that the names they list are popular in red or blue states which is very misleading. What was being analyzed was names that only show up in the Top 500 for red states or the Top 500 for blue states, which isn’t the same thing as being common or popular in those areas. By the comments listed both here and in the original article you can tell that most people took it to mean that these names were popular in red or blue states and Nameberry has made no effort to correct that misconception (just look at the comment above by lesliemarion, stating that it’s a fact that Blakely, Brylee, Kennedi, and Kyleigh are big names in red states)

You can easily pull up the Top 100 for each state and when you do, you can see that nation wide, the Top 100 names for all the states are basically the same, just in a different order. There are random names here and there that pop up but overall, naming trends are the same nation wide. I pulled up a random sampling of red and blue states stats and searched for the “Red” and “Blue” names that Nameberry had listed and found that only one or two of those names showed up in those states’ Top 100. Also, given the population of most states, by the time you get to the #100 name, it’s usually only given to 50 or less kids (unless you’re looking at a state with a massive population, such as Texas or California) and in the case of the smaller states, 15 or less kids. I can only imagine then that if you were looking at the Top 500 names per state, that by the bottom of that list, you would be in single digits. So given those numbers, a name being listed in a state’s Top 100 doesn’t even mean that it’s all that common in that state.

So yes, you can say that if your name is Addilyn it’s more likely that you live in a red state but you can’t say that Addilyn is a popular name in red states. So saying that because Trump won the election is a sign that all of sudden misspelled names and such are going to become more popular really makes no sense.

Also, Dog and Demon as baby names? Really?

readerwriternamelover Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 9:14 pm

I agree with @Pansy and @jtucker. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I think it is unnecessary to bring politics to a baby name website.

Pam Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 10:02 pm

@readerwriternamelover It is necessary to consider politics when writing about social and cultural trends that affect baby name trends.

jrocky Says:

December 3rd, 2016 at 10:12 pm

Thank you, Pansy, for the clarification. It is appreciated.

lesliemarion Says:

December 4th, 2016 at 12:09 am

I’ve wondered for awhile if a coming baby name trend might not be “ette” names.

Juliet, Claret, Etta, Jamesetta, Odette, Minette, Paulette, Georgette, Jeannette, Margaret, Linnet, Lisette, Suzette, and a whole bunch more than I can think of now. I see these names coming up more on nameberry – nothing huge, not a landslide, just wondering.

southern.maple Says:

December 4th, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Ah, yes. Red state names. I’m so glad to see Nameberry resurrecting that bit of bigotry.

VelvetEar Says:

December 5th, 2016 at 10:39 am

Weird… As a person who lives in a red state and works with one/ two year olds, I’ve never seen any of those names… I see Nora, Mason, Oliver, Piper, Eden, Coleman- stuff like that. And no one is going to name their kids “violent” names because Trump got elected.

Haids1987 Says:

December 5th, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Interesting how the first page here suggests Lucifer as a name, when the Name Sage explicitly said not to choose it just a few weeks back.

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charlesokuku Says:

December 13th, 2016 at 3:57 am

The name Messiah, since it is a Biblical name. I would prefer it. Head to this site for baby names http://www.suggestbabynames.com/meaning_of_african_girlname_ashauntee.html

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tropikaldawl Says:

June 22nd, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Please do your research properly.
Kali is not a “supreme evil being”. She is a hindu goddess that destroys the evil of the world so that goodness can reign.
This is careless and insulting reporting on your part.

tropikaldawl Says:

June 22nd, 2017 at 2:31 pm

@pam for the comment above

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