Baby Name Trends: Sleek, simple, cool names
People often ask us how we come up with our baby name trend predictions.
The short answer: It’s a mix of science and inspiration, with a dash of magic.
One of our major predictions for baby names 2015, for instance, was a trend toward short, simple names. The basis for this prediction was scientific: These names are now stylish and popular throughout Europe, and the names themselves are both fresh and easily translated to the American culture.
But now suddenly we see that trend for sleek, cool names really taking off, and here’s where the magic comes in. First, early this morning, we noticed extremely positive comments on the Nameberry pages for both Jude and Lux, perfect examples of this kind of short, modern, stylish name.
And then, just as we were beginning to compile a list of similar names we saw as fitting the same attractive mold, we opened the New York Times magazine to read about a hot new clothing company called Kit and Ace, named for two prototypical millennials who personify the cutting-edge brand.
In the baby name trend predicting world, three influences like this from three different sources — international statistics, grass-roots comments, and the fashion world — add up to a bona fide trend.
And then a fourth item drove the idea home: Abby Sandel’s Monday column right here on Nameberry, discussing all the new celebrity baby names that fit the short, simple trend.
Here, our picks for baby names that embody this major trend toward sleek, simple, cool names. Most of these move beyond traditional choices such as Bill and Anne but stop short of being word names or nature names such as Wren or Snow (though there are selections here that veer toward both the traditional and the nature categories). But the best of them, to our mind, live somewhere in the middle.
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on February 12th, 2015 at 2:23 am
Great list! One of my dearest friends from college named her daughter Nile.
I also have a friend with a daughter named Gwen, although her full name is Gwenivere.
on February 12th, 2015 at 5:38 am
I love Jude and Gray.
Seb I only like short for Sebastian, I don’t think it has the power to stand on its own.
I would feel painfully sorry for any child called Puck as the rhyming potential isn’t great!
Po? Really? Like one of the Teletubbies?!
on February 12th, 2015 at 8:52 am
Seb and Po? No! But a fun list. I love Lake. My husband does not 🙁
on February 12th, 2015 at 9:22 am
Several years ago I had a co-worker name his son Ty followed shortly by a daughter called Liv. I thought these short and simple names were really refreshing and it seems others think so too. Some of these names are really lovely.
on February 12th, 2015 at 10:29 am
I agree with this trend. I named my son River, which I love how it sounds, but find that we call him Riv all of the time and I’ve been loving it. One of our friends heard us calling him Riv and said he liked it, it sounded “very now.” So, I don’t think Riv is really a name for this list, it is an awesome nn for River.
on February 12th, 2015 at 10:33 am
Riv is great! I’ve always loved the name Reeve and it’s similar. Good one!
on February 12th, 2015 at 10:42 am
on February 12th, 2015 at 2:32 pm
Sorry, but I think that Po is a ridiculous choice. Besides that it’s a Teletubby name, it’s the German word for butt. Not a good recommendation.
on February 12th, 2015 at 3:46 pm
I just don’t think I like some of these names as anything other than nicknames. Dash for Dashiell, Jude for Judah, Link for Lincoln, Seb for Sebastian. Girl names like Prue, Nell, Rue and Tess that can stand on their own and I love, but just don’t sound right without a longer name to back them up.
I’ve considered Grey as a nickname for my future hypothetical daughter name but, since my family is of Mexican origin, I don’t think they’d like it since Grey translate to gris (grease) in Spanish.
I do, however, love Bay, Faye, Hart and Lux alone. I adore Lyle and am on the fence with Gage and Whit.
I am interested to seeing how this trend progresses since it seems like for the last few years, nobody wanted to call their kids nicknames. Isabella and Thomas were never Izzy and Tommy. Margaret’s stayed Margaret’s and never became Maggie’s (which I only disapproved of because Greta and Maisie are such cute nicknames of Margaret!).
on February 12th, 2015 at 4:27 pm
Some of these I love and some not so much. I love Fay, Lux, Liv, and Kit for girls along with a lot of the nature ones that weren’t included. For boys I like Jude and Gray.
on February 12th, 2015 at 4:46 pm
I love Jude for a girl and Gray for a boy. Quinn is really growing on me for either gender! I like Van and Win too, but they’re so short they kind of just zip right by my eyes. I think I prefer the Wynn spelling for that reason.
on February 12th, 2015 at 10:37 pm
Not my favorite trend. A few I love: Dane, Faye, Ford, Gwen, Oak, but those because they seem like real names.
Ace, Bas, Bax, Cort, Sem, Sim, Jet all sound like nicknames and like very private nicknames, something a family member or close friend might end up calling you.
Like how those closest to me have often called me Les (for Leslie). Hate the nickname as a stand-alone, but am fond of it b/c it shows affection.
No, I prefer substantial sounding short names like Roan and Keir and Anne and Rex and Giles and Meg and Elm.
on February 12th, 2015 at 11:15 pm
I’m all about this trend, especially for boys. Cass, Shai/Shay, Kai, Kit and Mac are roughly my Top 5 list for boys (as well as Jack, but that skews a little more toward the traditional side). I just hope these names don’t all take off before I can use them! Finn would be another good one for this category.
on February 12th, 2015 at 11:48 pm
Having read through a number of this type of list on Nameberry, I find it puzzling that on one hand, the authors of the list extol the virtues of names. But when you click through to take a look at the name itself, the name information has negative vibes about it (from this list I’m talking about Po, but there are certainly plenty of other names on other lists where this is the case…Doris is one that comes to mind). So which is it? Is Po a sleek, simple, cool name, or a maniacal red Teletubby?
On the subject of Po, if it were spelled Poe, I’d be much more inclined to think of it as a name, as an homage to Edgar Allen, or as a nn for Poet or Poesy. But regardless of its geographical background, Po is a maniacal red Teletubby, & w/the show coming back to TV, Po will be a maniacal Teletubby for quite a while to come.
on February 13th, 2015 at 12:26 pm
I love Jude, Cy and Leaf!
on February 15th, 2015 at 8:49 am
I don’t go for these long confections of names that have been popular lately, especially for girls. I’m also sensitive about shortening of my own name, so love this trend for one-syllable uncompressible names! Jude and Hawk(e) and Gage and Dove are great from this list. Other favorites: Lane, Knox, Nash, Eve, Creed, Fox, Pearl and Sage.
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