Baby Names 2012: The Hottest New Choices

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Baby names 2012 are already proving themselves to be very different from last year’s choices, with The Hunger Games taking over from Twilight as the primary cultural influence on names, the hottest boys’ names taking a cue from the girls, and musical names trumping Hollywood for inspiration.

In an analysis of nearly 3 million views of Nameberry’s individual name pages in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year, these names are enjoying the biggest jumps in attention.  Here, our picks for the top baby names 2012:

Rue – Credit The Hunger Games, which has turned the spotlight on a range of exotic botanical names for girls, from the heroine’s name Katniss to gentle Primrose to Posy and Clove.  But the hottest choice for babies, according to the Nameberry statistics, is sleek, simple, if somewhat mournful Rue, the name of the agile young girl who meets a tragic end in the series.  In real life, however, we see Rue as having a bright future.

Emmett and the -ett boys – There’s a new wave of boys’ names that take their cue from the girls: Emmett rising on the coattails of wildly popular sister names Emma and Emily, Everett following the trail blazed by Eva, Beckett getting notice thanks to Becca.  Think of -ett at the newest “it” ending for boys’ names, following yesterday’s –en and –er.  But Emmett is the hottest of them all, partially thanks to Twilight’s Emmett Cullen.

IvyBeyonce and Jay-Z may have already trademarked their newborn daughter Blue Ivy’s name, but that can’t stop parents from choosing the name for their own babies.  While Blue is hot and we predict will inspire a new taste for color names, from Indigo to Scarlett, we see Ivy as the real winner in the equation.  Ivy had already risen into the Top 300 and we see it moving much higher, a la other I-beginning hotties such as Isla, Isabel, and Number 1 Isabella.

Weston, Wesley, and West – Go west, young men, toward these names that not only evoke but come right out and denote the Western region.  All variety of West names are hot this year, but Weston, the choice of The Office’s Jenna Fischer for her son, is the hottest of them all.

Adele – Singing star Adele triumphed at The Grammys and she’s triumphing in the baby name arena as well, with this French diminutive of Adelaide reentering the Top 1000 for the first time in nearly half a century.

Grayson and Gray – Is Grayson the new Jason?  This more sober, surname-y spin on one of the most popular boys’ names of the 1970s, now the name of many a new dad, is one of the hottest new choices of 2012, along with shorter form Gray.  Hot new television series Revenge, which focuses on the Grayson family, may be having an influence.

AriaAria is a musical new A name, at once familiar and exotic, new to parents and to Nameberry’s hot list.  A names have become parental favorites, making up the most popular first initial and shown by studies to encourage children to get high marks in school.  A child named Aria seems destined to be a star.

CyrusCyrus makes our hot list not by virtue of any one celebrity or cultural reference but by a range of influences propelling it up the ranks: An ancient royal name, it’s got a fashionable S ending, is the surname of pop star Miley, and sports the cute nickname Cy.  Like cousin name Silas, it’s a vintage choice finding its way back into favor.

EstelleSweden’s royal couple named their baby daughter Estelle earlier this year, which is one reason for its increased attention on Nameberry, but there are other reasons we see Estelle as one of the hottest new names of 2012.  It’s related to the popular Stella but more unusual, it carries the appealing meaning “star,” and it ends in a consonant rather than a vowel sound, which we predict will be the hot new trend for girls’ names following several years of trendy a-ending names such as Isabella, Sophia, and Olivia.

CatoCato might be a villain in The Hunger Games, but the popular series turned attention on a name that fits into a couple of other hot trends.  It’s an ancient Roman name that, like brothers Atticus and Cassius, is being resurrected by modern parents.  It’s got the stylish O ending.  And it kind of sounds like Kate, a name in the spotlight thanks to the new future Queen of England.

Blythe – Names that mean happiness, from Felix to Felicity to Hilary, have an obvious appeal for new parents, and Blythe is one of the freshest.  Most closely identified with Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom actress Blythe Danner, the one-syllable name has never been in the Top 1000 but could be a top middle name choice of tomorrow.

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54 Responses to “Baby Names 2012: The Hottest New Choices”

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Elisabeth Rae Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 10:45 am

My cousin and his wife had an Adele last year, not based on the singer, but I told them to expect more little Adeles nonetheless.

To me, Cato will always envoke memories of the O.J. trial and “I do not recall…”

I very much prefer Estella to Estelle, but I’m not sure why. It just sounds more modern. Estelle still sounds grannyish to me.

It seems hard to believe that Blythe could become popular but hey, who knows!

R_J Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I think there is a granny vibe to Estelle. But the again, I used to think that about Sophia (due to the Golden Girls). Now it’s on little girls everywhere.

LOVE Cyrus and the nickname Cy.

pam Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I hear you, Elisabeth Rae, on Cato, but I think that reference has been superseded. And after a very long trend toward a-ending names, we do see the beginnings of the tide turning toward the consonant sound at the end, Louise instead of Louisa, Elise and not Eliza.

R_J — yes, Cy is great, as is Si!

shieldsc Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Ivy is my absolute favorite girl name and it has been for a while, but my hubby vetoed it. And Cyrus was on my list for a boy.

The Hunger Games Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

[…] Hunger Games has inspired some of the hottest baby names in 2012. According to Nameberry two of the hottest names are tributes. Rue – You might know her as the smallest and youngest […]

dotmyiis Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I would use Rue in a heart-beat. I’ve loved it forever and I feel like now it has had enough publicity to be recognized as a name!

Reeny Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’ve always had a soft spot for quaint Primrose, although using it now would appear inevitable reference to the Hunger Games.

Aria has been a known name in New Zealand (where I’m from) for quite a while and I’m sure is in the top 100. It’s a beautiful name. Interesting to note how it’s still reasonably unknown in the U.S.

Scrambledmegs Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I think that seeing the name Aria as the character on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars made it more usable. It reminds me of a softer version of Ariadne, another name I would never have thought to use before seeing it on a character, Ellen Page in Inception.

edenlyla13 Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Aria is one of my favourites! I also love allt the Hunger Games names!

thetxbelle Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I’m really surprised that people are willing to overlook the meanings of Rue and use it as a name. A literary character with the name is one but I imagine a real life Rue would be embarrassed to have a name that means street and sorrow or regret.

Fashion ModREn » Miley Cyrus, Adele & ‘The Hunger Games’ — 2012′s Most Popular Baby Names Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

[…] NameBerry.com has released its official list of predictions for the hottest boy and girl names in 2012, and some of them might be surprising — yet totally familiar.  […]

‘Hunger Games,’ Adele, and ‘Game of Thrones’ references top pop culture baby names | Vogue Entertainment News Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

[…] pop culture babies are coming! Baby naming website Nameberry has made predictions of what the most popular baby names of 2012 will be based on an analysis of […]

vicioustrollop9 Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

thetxbelle – Name meanings don’t stop people from using/loving a name a lot of times, because to some people the meaning doesn’t matter so much. Rue is lovely regardless of meaning. Much like Claudia, which means “lame,” and has been used for many years.

rachelemma Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Ivy is quite common in Australia already.
And Aria is the name of our yearly musical awards (like the Grammy’s but in Australia). But I do still think some would use it even here.
Blythe has been my favourite name since 2006. It makes a great first or middle name. Looking thorugh birth announcements in the paper today – I found a Charlotte Blythe! I was very impressed as I’ve only ever seen a couple of Blythe middle names on Nameberry.

auroradawn Says:

April 10th, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Rue is a wonderfully evocative name to me. I was very small when I first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, in which Pa sings Ma a song beginning, “So green grows the laurel/And so does the rue,/So woeful, my love,/At the parting with you.” Later I read Elizabeth Goudge’s Eliot Family books, and the title of the second one, “The Herb of Grace,” refers to the narrow-leaved rue, which country folk in England used to grow over graves in the churchyards. One of the characters comments on the meaning of rue: “Rue is repentance. Rue is compassion…I’ve got it–single-mindedness.” Rue is referred to in Shakespeare as the herb of grace; in the Victorians’ language of flowers, two of the most common meanings assigned to rue were “grace” and “repentance.”
I’ve summed up my two biggest problems with this name thusly:
Me, with newborn daughter in my arms, meeting stranger: “Hello. This is my daughter, Rue.”
Stranger: “Is that Rue like in the Hunger Games, or Roo like in Kanga and Roo?”
For me, it may have to remain a guilty pleasure name; or it might make middle name status someday.

‘Hunger Games,’ Adele, and ‘Game of Thrones’ references top pop culture baby names | Baby Healthcare Advice – simple and handy tips for baby healthcare Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 12:37 am

[…] pop culture babies are coming! Baby naming website Nameberry has made predictions of what the most popular baby names of 2012 will be based on an analysis of […]

Fashionable Tide » Miley Cyrus, Adele & ‘The Hunger Games’ — 2012′s Most Popular Baby Names Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 12:51 am

[…] NameBerry.com has released its official list of predictions for the hottest boy and girl names in 2012, and some of them might be surprising — yet totally familiar.  […]

skizzo Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 1:16 am

Emmett, Weston and Grayson seem to have been hot for a while, so I dont really consider them drastically different from last year at all. The only different one is Cato, but I prefer the danish spelling Kato, as it removes any cat- related references. I find Cinna and Seneca more interesting.

‘Hunger Games,’ Adele, and ‘Game of Thrones’ references top pop culture baby names | CoinOpPop Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 3:52 am

[…] pop culture babies are coming! Baby naming website Nameberry has made predictions of what the most popular baby names of 2012 will be based on an analysis of […]

» Cato and Rue Among 2012′s Top Popular New Names « Mockingjay.net – Your Source for Hunger Games Movie News Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

[…] coming in the next few years? How about pets? Kimmy already has a kitty cat named Rue!Source: Nameberry You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a comment Name Mail (will not […]

Surprisingly, ‘Rue’ And ‘Cato’ Beat Out ‘Katniss’ As Top Baby Names For 2012 Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

[…] where the latest study from Nameberry differs from other “top names of x year” list is which names actually ranked highest. […]

The Hunger Games’ influence on baby names | Hunger Games Fandom Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

[…] Nameberry.com has just release its picks for 2012′s biggest baby names as influenced by pop culture.  Since The Hunger Games have been a pretty big deal so far this year, of course some of the names from the series will find themselves on real life children.  Looks like the two name most attractive to expectant parents are Rue (so cute, right?!) and Cato (I’m not going to lie, I prefer this name to both Gale and Peeta!).  So, do you agree that these are the best two names from The Hunger Games? […]

Rin Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Blythe is my top girls name. I absolutely adore it 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get the chance to use it one day!

linzybindi Says:

April 11th, 2012 at 9:27 pm

When I was pregnant with my son (now 4) we had Blythe picked out for a girl. I still plan on using this name in some fashion. I absolutely love the meaning!

Cyrus is a great Biblical name! I wish people could adjust their thinking away from Miley on this one.

Rue is another one I have been liking for a while. I’ve never read The Hunger Games so I don’t have a connection there but this is very lovely and cute! Maybe even a nickname for an adorable little Ruby!

Surprisingly, ‘Rue’ And ‘Cato’ Beat Out ‘Katniss’ As Top Baby Names For 2012 | Celebrity Mess Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 2:11 am

[…] where the latest study from Nameberry differs from other “top names of x year” list is which names actually ranked highest. […]

The Hunger Games inspires new baby names : My Hunger Games Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 5:14 am

[…] to Nameberry.com, The Hunger Games has become an inspiration for people when choosing a name for their […]

Top Baby Names for 2012! « Life's Important Things: Shopping, Gossip, & "Whatnot" with Taylor Scott Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 8:38 am

[…] Nameberry has just released their list of the top 16 trending names for the year. The top names of the year have many connections to pop culture and celebrities – especially The Hunger Games! […]

‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight’ Are Influencing Baby Names? Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 8:45 am

[…] Nameberry, which bills itself as “the unique baby name guide by the world’s leading experts,” analyzed nearly 3 million views of its site’s individual name pages in the first quarter of 2012 to create a list of the hottest names going right now. […]

Hunger Games-Inspired Names Included On 2012′s Hottest Baby Names List | The Hunger Games Trilogy Fansite Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 10:26 am

[…] to NameBerry, Rue and Cato are included in this year’s Hottest Baby Names. Rue, the tribute from District […]

The 16 Most Popular Baby Names Of 2012, So Far Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 11:46 am

[…] some strange baby names recently, most of them coming from celebrities in Hollywood.  However, Nameberry released their list of the 16 most popular baby names of 2012 and so far you can tell that pop […]

Sci-Fi Congress: Which sci-fi film toppled Twilight with the #1 baby name of 2012? Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

[…] baby name site Nameberry just released its list of “the hottest new choices” in baby names for 2012. Using […]

Portal Jogos Vorazes » Blog Archive » Jogos Vorazes inspira nome de crianças Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

[…] foi rastreado pelo Nameberry.com, Rue é a escolha número um para as meninas este ano – o nome baseado numa personagem […]

The Hunger Games Is Now The Single Biggest Cultural Influence On New Parents | Giant Freakin Robot Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

[…] Nameberry reports that while in the past Twilight was the biggest modern cultural influence on what parents might name their kids The Hunger Games has taken its place. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean everyone’s naming their daughter Katniss. While the names Katniss, Primrose, Posy, and Clove have seen a big jump in popularity one of the biggest names of 2012 is going to end up being Rue. […]

‘The Hunger Games’ inspires baby names | Baby Healthcare Advice – simple and handy tips for baby healthcare Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

[…] popular baby names website Nameberry came out with a list of up-and-coming baby names for 2012 and revealed that “The Hunger Games” […]

Hunger Games inspired baby names | Hunger Games Fan Central Says:

April 12th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

[…] Nameberry, a popular baby name website, brought a list of up-and-coming baby names for 2012. Parents are now starting to name their newborns after characters of The Hunger Games and you know what? Katniss and Rue are included on the top list. […]

Sci-Fi Congress: The Hunger Games Is Now The Single Biggest Cultural Influence On New Parents Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 12:29 am

[…] Nameberry reports that while in the past Twilight was the biggest modern cultural influence on what parents might name their kids The Hunger Games has taken its place. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean everyone’s naming their daughter Katniss. While the names Katniss, Primrose, Posy, and Clove have seen a big jump in popularity one of the biggest names of 2012 is going to end up being Rue. […]

Jocurile Foamei, inspiraţie pentru părinţii care îşi botează copiii | Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 2:34 am

[…] Nameberry analizează trendurile în materie de nume pentru copii, iar săptămâna aceasta a anunţat care […]

» Blog Archive » Jména pro děti inspirovaná HG Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 6:44 am

[…] Na Nameberry, webových stránkách věnovaným jménům dětí, je v letošním roce vidět nárůst jmen zvolených z populárních Hladových her. […]

‘Hunger Games,’ Adele, and ‘Game of Thrones’ references top pop culture baby names | Sixteen Magazine Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

[…] pop culture babies are coming! Baby naming website Nameberry has made predictions of what the most popular baby names of 2012 will be based on an analysis of […]

Which ‘Hunger Games’ Characters Are Inspiring Popular Baby Names? Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

[…] to Nameberry, there are a couple of District names that will be influencing parents this year. However, it […]

What’s in a Name? | Partial Objects Says:

April 13th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

[…] a website devoted to baby naming, has analyzed the page views of its own site and come up with a list of names likely to be the most common choices this year. (Go here for the same story, one meta-level […]

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April 14th, 2012 at 4:20 am

[…] over from “Twilight” as the primary cultural influence on baby names, according to […]

The 16 Most Popular Baby Names Of 2012, So Far « MIX 105.1 Says:

April 16th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

[…] some strange baby names recently, most of them coming from celebrities in Hollywood.  However, Nameberry released their list of the 16 most popular baby names of 2012 and so far you can tell that pop […]

Alex27 Says:

April 17th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Aria, Adele Rue and Scarlett are my favourites

allgreenmemo Says:

April 18th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Aria is an obvious reference to Game of Thrones.

The Hottest Most Popular Baby Names Of 2012 [List] « WWMX-FM Says:

April 26th, 2012 at 6:37 am

[…] Nameberry analyzed 3 million name pages from 2012, compared them to the same time period in 2011, and came up with this list of trending names and the reasons why. […]

Hunger Games baby names and other trends | Drink – Play – Love Says:

April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 am

[…] so 2011. This year, your baby’s only cool if it’s named after a tribute. According to Nameberry, the most popular picks are Rue for girls and Cato for boys (I know his character is unlikeable, […]

Maxwell Drew Johnson « myfavouritename Says:

May 2nd, 2012 at 1:56 am

[…] some other classic celebrity names like Inspektor Pilot or Moses. Maybe it will take off (a recent study shows that this is probably the case) and maybe when we see how absolutely gorgeous she is (as I […]

catcher5 Says:

October 9th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

We’re thinking about Rue as a nickname. I’m due in March and if it’s a girl we’re really leaning towards naming her Ruby Charlotte, and calling her Rue for short. I think that will be a good way to bypass all the negative associations because people don’t generally think about that for just a nickname.

billige lån Says:

March 28th, 2013 at 9:57 am

billige lån…

Baby Names 2012: The Hottest New Choices – Nameberry – Baby Name BlogBaby Name Blog – Nameberry…

Cult TV and films influencing baby names | Lianzi Fields Says:

June 24th, 2013 at 10:00 am

[…] 6. Cato (also from The Hunger Games)See the full blog post here . […]

The Hottest Baby Names In 2012 Says:

February 28th, 2014 at 8:25 am

[…] Baby names 2012 are already proving themselves to be very different from last year’s choices, with The Hunger Games taking over from Twilight as the primary cultural influence on names, the hottest boys’ names taking a cue from the girls, and musical names trumping Hollywood for inspiration […]

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June 3rd, 2014 at 10:11 pm

[…] O diminutivo de Primrose foi o nome mais escolhido por fãs de Jogos Vorazes, apesar da previsão do Nameberry que dizia que Rue seria o queridinho dos leitores da trilogia. A previsão teve o mesmo fim de […]

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[…] O diminutivo de Primrose foi o nome mais escolhido por fãs de Jogos Vorazes, apesar da previsão do Nameberry que dizia que Rue seria o queridinho dos leitores da trilogia. A previsão teve o mesmo fim de […]

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