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COVID Impacts Baby Names

November 13, 2020 Sophie Kihm
covid baby names

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing what and how parents name their babies, according an exclusive new Nameberry survey.

About 12 percent of the 132 survey participants who are trying to conceive, are expecting, or have welcomed a child in recent months say the pandemic has affected the baby names they are considering.

Cora and Cove Off the List

Ten percent of respondents actively looking to name a child during the pandemic say they’ve crossed names that sound like coronavirus or Covid, most notably Cora and Cove, off their lists.

Until the pandemic, Cora was a name heading straight to the top of the most popular girls’ names list, ranking at Number 71 in 2019. Cove is a trendy nature name that jumped 43 percent from 2018 to 2019 in the standings for baby boys.  We expect to see both Cora and Cove will likely see a decline in use in the 2020 data.

Other names participants state they are no longer considering for their children include Coralie, Clover, Oliver, Chloe, and Coretta.

Strong, Spiritual Names Thrive

Names with positive meanings or emotional ties are more appealing post-pandemic for more than ten percent of the active namers. Expectant parents said they’re now more interested in names with positive meanings such as peace and happiness, or names that convey positive physical attributes, such as strength and health.

Specific names on participants’ lists include Frida (meaning “peaceful”), Vivienne (“life”), and Aurora (“dawn”).

Half of all participants who said the pandemic has changed their approach to baby naming are now thinking about names that honor loved ones. The names of mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have been added to expectant parents’ lists.

Other active namers are now considering modern hero names, such as Jacinda — as in Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand — and heroic names from Greek mythology, including Orion, Perseus, and Persephone.

Has the pandemic affected your choice of baby names?

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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