Baby Names 2012: What’s Hot Now

The hottest baby names 2012 – those attracting the biggest spikes in views on Nameberry for the first six months of this year – are an astonishing group: Highly unusual yet strangely familiar, heavily influenced by pop culture yet boldly individualistic.

The strongest baby name influences right now: Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and ancient Rome.  Many of the hot names relate to nature and to worlds beyond our own.  And most share a transcendence of traditional gender identity, containing elements of names for the opposite gender if not crossing over to unisex territory.

Nameberry’s hottest names of the year, which we predict you’ll be hearing lots more of in the future, are:


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An ancient Irish name that means cloud and was borne by several high kings, Niall seemed an unlikely hottie until Niall Horan of the rock band One Direction came along and made it cool again. He pronounces it like the river – Nile – which gives it a nature element as well; pronouncing it like Neil definitely makes it more old school.

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