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Baby Names 2010: What Names Are Heading This Way?

May 11, 2010 Pamela Redmond

What will baby names 2010 (and 2011, 2012, and onward) look like? We can get a lot of clues from which names are moving up fastest on the Social Security most popular names list of 2009.

While we reported the major news from the list earlier this week – Isabella climbing to number one for girls, with Ethan rising to number two for boys while longtime favorites Christopher and Matthew fell off the Top Ten – today we look deeper into the list to identify less obvious but perhaps more important trends in baby names 2010.

What we see:

THE RISE OF THE QUIRKY CLASSIC GIRLS’ NAME

We wouldn’t presume to claim sole responsibility, but the list does show that many of the nameberry-loved quirky classic girls’ names are clearly on the rise.  (A few of these, such as Charlotte and Penelope, are cited in the celebrity section.)  These include, in order of popularity (with 2008 popularity figures in parentheses):

EVELYN 39 (from 54)
AMELIA 55 (from 68)
ELEANOR 218 (from 256)
NORA 197 (from 216)
ANNABELLE 156 (from 188)
ELIZA 278 (from 328)
GENEVIEVE 288 (from 325)
CORA 303 (from 322)
JOSIE 294 (from 314)
IRIS 317 (from 341)
JULIET 319 (from 451)
ADA 573 (from 598)
EVE 562 (from 655)
JUNE 662 (from 863)

THE INFLUENCE OF GLOBALIZATION

Many names on the rise for girls, and a few for boys, point to a European influence, particularly Latinate and Irish. Prime examples:

ANNABELLA
GEMMA
LIAM
LILIANA
LUCA
LUNA
MAEVE
MATEO and MATTEO
VALENTINA

CELEBRITY INSPIRATION

Some of the biggest risers show a clear celebrity influence, either because they’re attached to stars, to the characters they play, or to their children. Jacob and Isabella, the number one names, both have a Twilight connection – though we suspect Stephenie Meyer picked the names for their popularity rather than their popularity being (overly) influenced by Twilight. The fastest-rising name for boys, Cullen, is taken directly from Twilight.

While some celebrity-influenced baby names – notably Seraphina and Esme – have not yet made it onto the Top 1000, the following are showing increases:

Celebrity Names

ANDERSON
CHACE
EVANGELINE
ISLA
KHLOE
PENELOPE

Celebrity Baby Names

BECKETT
CHARLOTTE
CRUZ
EDEN
EMERY
HARLOW
HARPER
HAZEL
JUDE
KINGSTON
KNOX
LEVI
MADDOX
MALIA
OLIVE
PIPER
ROCCO
ROMEO
RYDER
SASHA
SHILOH
STELLA
TRIPP
VIOLET
VIVIENNE
WILLOW

Character Names

ALICE
BELLA
MAX
CULLEN
DEXTER
ATTICUS

ALSO LEAPING UP THE LIST

Not easy to classify, but also moving up are these names for boys:

ACE
ASHER
BRAXTON
CHARLIE
COLT
DECLAN
DESMOND
EASTON
ELLIOT, ELLIOTT
EVERETT
GRAHAM
GUNNER
HUDSON
JAX (up over 250 places)
JAXON
OLIVER
OSCAR

Check out our trend predictions for 2011!

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About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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