Baby Names 2011: The Hottest Choices in Every Category

Click here for the new list of most popular names.

What choices do we see leading the way for baby names 2011? Here, we look at some of the most popular categories for parents and pick out the specific names we predict we’ll be hearing much more of this year and in the decade ahead, based on nameberry statistics.

Biblical Names 2011

Biblical names have been popular for several decades now, which means parents are forging into new territory in search of biblical names that haven’t been overused.

Girls: Delilah, Jemima, Magdalene, Ruth, Susanna
Boys: Abel, Asher, Eli, Gideon, Levi

Celebrity Names 2011

The hottest celebrity names are either the names of newly-hot celebrities such as Isla Fisher; the fresh-sounding names of new celebrity babies, such as Flynn; new ways to use the names of megapopular celebrities, such as Anniston for Jennifer; or rediscovered names of celebrities such as Isadora Duncan.

Girls: Anniston, Evangeline, Isadora, Isla, Seraphina
Boys: Arlo, Dexter, Flynn, Penn, Rufus

Hero Names 2011

Hero names are most often drawn from the world of politics, but may come from science, art, or – veering into one of our other categories – literature.

Girls: Ada, Eleanor, Hillary, Kennedy, Mandela
Boys: Barack, Clinton, George, Jackson, Lincoln

Literary Names 2011

Literary names are one of the hottest categories for 2011, inspired by both writers and their inspirational characters.

Girls: Anais, Darcy, Eloise, Isolde, Ophelia
Boys: Archer, Atticus, Dashiell, Holden, Truman

Nature Names 2011

Nature names, like biblical names, are a category that’s been hot for so long that parents are moving beyond obvious choices like Lily and Rose in search of new ideas.

Girls: Clover, Dahlia, Ivy, Juniper, Lark
Boys: Cole, Jasper, Oak, Ranger, Rider

Nicknames 2011

Nicknames in 2011 have grown up and taken their proper place on birth certificates. Not short for anything are these hot choices.

Girls: Daisy, Edie, Kate, Maisie, Minnie
Boys: Buddy, Buster, Jack, Theo, Will

Vintage Names 2011

What’s old is new again in another popular category, with new old names being rediscovered and enjoying new appreciation. Among the hottest vintage names now are:

Girls: Aurelia, Clara, Cora, Imogen, Theodora
Boys: Arthur, Everett, Hugo, Jasper, Thaddeus

Go here to see the hottest baby name trends for 2011.

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34 Responses to “Baby Names 2011: The Hottest Choices in Every Category”

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spotlightstarlit Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 2:09 am

I cannot stand the thought of my “secret” Evangeline (picked this name when I was nine and stand by it, as do many now) and my Shakesperian Ophelia getting more and more known in the name-world. Shhh… they are my secret… 😉 *Not anymore, it seems*


Bella <3

charpenj Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 7:30 am

Where did you get this data?

pam Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:27 am

Charpenj, we looked at number of views of individual names on nameberry in January 2011 vs. January 2010. These are among the names with the biggest gains.

Baby Names 2011: 14 Hottest Trends to Track Now – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:35 am

[…] Here are the hottest baby names 2011 in every category! […]

tarat3232 Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:35 am

shhhhhhhhhhh Thaddeus is MY name! 🙂 This list is fabulous–Love Isadora, Eleanor, Magdalene, Jasper, Rufus, and Gideon.

Lola Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:42 am

Not Jemima & Rufus! Those are my front runners. 🙁 I also love Arthur & Dahlia. I’d be thrilled to see more of those!

gingerkid Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 9:48 am

Nooooooooooooooooo!!!! Practically ALL of my favorite names are on this list!

British American Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 11:05 am

Strangely enough I was dreaming about the name Isadora last night!

My husband doesn’t like Jemima as a first name, but he might let me put it in the middle spot.

We have a boy name and a girl name picked for our gender-unknown baby due soon and one of those names is indeed on this list! Though not really because of the category it’s suggested in. 😛

katybug Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 11:53 am

I’ve loved Magdalene/Magdalena ever since reading Bridget Jones’s Diary 10+ years ago (one of Bridget’s friends is named Magda). I hope it becomes juuuuust popular enough to not be considered “weird” but not epidemic.

Also loving Anais.

I have a childhood friend named Buster (on his birth certificate), and while it was cute on a little boy, I don’t think it wears well on a 30-something man. Ditto for Buddy.

Elle Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I think it would be easier for me to reply about the names that I don’t like! LOL! I love almost all of these names.

My absolute favorites that I would name my own child would be…
Susanna – I like Susannah
Isadora – Perfect Isabella replacement
Flynn – Fun and spunky!
Ada – LOVE Adah!
Eleanor – Beautiful classic!
Ophelia – This is such a why not to Olivia for me!
Dashiell – Love Dashiell!
Theo – Fantastic name!
Theodora – Absolutely beautiful!
Thaddeus – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Thaddeus!

mcope24 Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I’m surprised that Harper didn’t make the literary names list. It seems to be everywhere these days.

Macy Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Dont really think some of those will make it big whatsoever.

Ryder is already popular, spelled this way. Oakley will be more popular than Oak for sure. Will? George? Arthur? Darcy? Minnie? Mandela? Can’t see those making an impact at all.


March 4th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I love Clover! Ever since I saw The Good Shepherd with Angelina Jolie’s character Margaret, nicknamed Clover, I’ve had it on my list. Now that we have a Bay, though, I think we might have to cross that one off because I don’t want to be the crazy leaf family.

I like Ivy and Imogen as well but I think they’re going to be huge and Ivy’s already in the 300s. None of the boy names excite me too much.

Trustedwriter Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Ahhh, I love all those vintage names. I hope all the names I love don’t get too popular, though! I already steer clear of too-popular names, and I don’t want to have to give up names I love down the road!

Nyx Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I love to see these names gaining in popularity. For those who are worried, I don’t think that many of them will make the uber-trendy/popular “every Dick and Jane” sort of list. But I do think that you’ll find if more likely to see the occasional Clover or Everett in future classrooms. I was shocked to see an Ari, a Cyprian, and an Emory in my 4 year-olds class (yes, it was a good shock).

And, on a different note, I am soooo glad to see Susanna on the list. I absolutely love my name (Suzanna), and would be more then happy to share it with others 🙂

JLS123 Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Noooooooooooooo I love Evangeline, Seraphina, Dahlia and Isolde, why are they getting so up there :(!

British American Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Oh and the last baby born that I know, is named Everett. 🙂 It’s a family name for them.

Kara Says:

March 4th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I just decided on Flynn for my third son due this summer….and was loving the fact it is not in the top 1000! Perhaps all my searching and posting on the site about Flynn has rocketed the numbers! LOL! I think it is a gem, fun, spunky, Celtic and all boy. I also love the girl names…probably me searching several of those before I found out I was having another boy!

TeacherMA Says:

March 5th, 2011 at 1:41 am

I want to throw Mila in as a possibility of a “new”/”on verge” hot celebrity name, given the rise of Mila Kunis. Plus, I’ve been seeing it more frequently in people’s lists.

brannon Says:

March 5th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Having a Minnie in July x

Sparkle Says:

March 5th, 2011 at 10:15 am

Evangeline and Dahlia. Those are MY names!

Alyssa Says:

March 10th, 2011 at 2:58 am

Really need nameberry to quit promoting Thaddeus… we picked it 3 years ago and I’d love it if it stayed quiet just a LITTLE while longer. I feel like I’m seeing it pop up more and more frequently in the last few months.

iris1973 Says:

March 27th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I’m in minority in that I am *happy* to see a name I am about to use on your list. My beloved Gran passed away last year, and I plan to use her name, Ruth, as the middle name of our second daughter. I’ve always seen Ruth as a “Granny” name for obvious reasons, and worried that my daughter might dislike it for that reason once she got older. But if the name has a revival and takes off, perhaps she will see it as just as “cool” and youthful as her first name. Keep promoting Ruth! 😉

kaybee3 Says:

March 30th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I feel like Jasper, Cole, Jack/Jackson, Eli, Asher, and Levi, and Isla for girls, have been very popular in my area for the last couple years…

kaybee3 Says:

March 30th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Oh, and I was surprised not to see Harper up there too. But, not surprised at all the comments….we are nameberry guys…that’s why all our favs are up there. not to worry though, I think it’ll take some time for these wonderful gems to catch on in the mainstream.

carlayy123 Says:

April 26th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

i absolutely adore the name seraphina!!!

carlayy123 Says:

April 26th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

and evangeline!!:)

Allie6 Says:

June 16th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Loving the name Paxton and Orlando x

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July 2nd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Rachael22 Says:

July 22nd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I love the name Jasper. If I have a boy that’s the name for him! Juniper is such a beautiful and unique name! I love the names Clara (Clarissa could be her long name) and Cora (Cordelia). But my absolute favourite name in the world is Rosemarie. It’s so beautiful and sweet and can be shortended to: Rose, Rosie, Marie, Roza etc. Also if I have another daughter I would name her Alexis after my childhood best friend who I unfortunatly don’t get to see anymore. I really like old names, too. They’re beautiful and meaningful:)

Cherity Says:

August 10th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I am the minority here, but I do not like the name Seriphina. I do not get why it is so popular on here. Many people I have ran it by seem to have the same opinion. Oh well, to each his own.

kipper Says:

August 15th, 2011 at 8:38 am

I have 2 boys, Flynn and Eli ( i had my flynn before orlando had his) I am happy with my choice and can’t imagine them as anything eles now. I will probably have another child and 2 of the girls names i really like are on this list as well!

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[…] See the hottest names for 2011! […]

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