Category: Trends and Predictions

by Joe Satran

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains some spoilers for Game of Thrones through the end of season 7. Read at your own risk!

HBO’s Game of Thrones is so popular that it verges on national myth. Everyone, it seems, knows the bare outlines of the series. And for millions of viewers, it’s a more familiar story than the Bible. Few other fictional worlds this side of Harry Potter have had its cultural impact.

A lot of the show’s appeal derives from its fully thought-out, immersive world. Every facet of the universe was designed with care by George R.R. Martin, the writer of the book series on which HBO based its show. And baby names are no exception. Martin devised a whole new world of baby names for his books — one loosely based on, but by no means contiguous with, our own. The character names in the A Song of Ice and Fire series are as distinctive as those of any fictional world since Lord of the Rings.

Most of Martin‘s characters’ names are based on specific names in the real world, but they usually have a slight tweak — anything from one letter changed or added to a new suffix. The final season of the show won’t air until mid-2019, but to help you through the lull, we’ve decided to do a full analysis of 51 prominent names from the world of Game of Thrones. Click through below to find out which Game of Thrones names are usable in the real world — and which ones definitely aren’t.

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By Eleanor Nickerson

What’s hot in England but still outliers in the US?

In many cases, England and America cross over on the lists of rising baby names. The likes of Theodore, Ezra, Evelyn, Willow, Violet, Bella, Luna and Clara are rising pretty equally in both countries. And, while England takes the lead with names like Arlo, Oakley, Elsie, Ivy, Esme, Eliza and Thea, they are also rising not far behind in the US. The same can be said in reverse for Lincoln, Carter, Harper, Penelope, Aria and Aurora in which America leads the way.

This post looks at those select names that are on the rise in England and Wales – possibly set to be the next big thing – and are either going the opposite way in the US or have plateaued below the US Top 300.

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Polish baby names

by Emilia Lind

Maybe you have Polish heritage and want to give your child a baby name relating to Polish culture. Or maybe you’re simply interested in naming trends around the world. Here’s a list of the ten hottest names for boys and girls to give you some idea of what’s most fashionable in Poland today.

Some of these names are traditional, some more modern, but certainly there are several that could be, or already are, used more widely.

girls

Julia

Julia has been the queen of names since 2001, when it reached Number 1 after climbing the charts through the 1990s. Polish parents seem to like gentle, feminine sounding names for girls, and Julia definitely is in this class.

Thanks to Julia, names like Julianna or Julita are rising too, although much more slowly. Julka, Juleczka, Julcia or Julisia are the most common nicknames.

The initial J takes on a vowel sound somewhat like a Y, making the pronunciation YOOL-ya.

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Harry Meghan baby name

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the next big even we can look forward to is a royal baby — and a royal baby name.

The name possibilities for Harry and Meghan’s theoretical children are wider and more wonderful than they’ve been for big brother William and Kate. As Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson did when they named their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, Harry and Meghan can choose from a more expansive lexicon of royal names. And as evidenced in their wedding, Meghan is likely to assert her American heritage and personal beliefs in the baby’s name.

Here are our 10 ideas for what the royals might name their firstborn:

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There’s no two ways about it: unisex baby names are red hot right now!

The latest Top 100 lists for both boys and girls are peppered with unisex names, from once-unisex options now all but abandoned for one gender, like Evelyn and Madison, to names that are increasingly leaning one way or the other, like Aubrey and Avery, Riley and Cameron.

But there’s a difference between unisex baby names and gender-neutral ones.

Truly gender-neutral baby names are still, on the whole, a pretty rare phenomenon. Just take a look at our comprehensive list of the 50 most popular gender-neutral baby names in the US today: only the top two or three (Charlie, Finley, Skyler) feel anywhere near mainstream. The rest of the list is populated by under-the-radar or plain invented picks, like Campbell and Ridley, Ocean and Timber, Kylin and Eastyn.

So, today we’re asking you to nominate your gender-neutral favorites — the names you like equally well for girls and boys. (You can find the thread that inspired this question here.)

What’s your favorite name on Nameberry’s truly gender-neutral list?

Are there any unisex names that you prefer on the less popular gender?

Are there any 100% male names you’d consider for a daughter, or female names you’d love to use for a son?

What do you think of the trend for unisex names in general? What’s behind it, and where might it be leading?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or head on over to Facebook or Twitter to join the conversation!

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