Fall’s Biggest Name Trend: Econames
Total Bellas star Brie Bella, mother of three-year-old Birdie Joe and newborn Buddy Dessert, revealed she would have chosen the name Branch or Blossom for her child if she’d had a girl. “People thought I was crazy, but I thought Birdie and Branch would just be like the sweetest, cutest little girls,” said Bella.
Bella’s name choices are among the hot category of econames, which have seen a big uptick this Fall. As with any trend, celebrities are leading the charge. Recent starbabies with econames in the first or middle include Meghan McCain’s Liberty Sage, Teyana Taylor’s Rue Rose, and Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix’s River. Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom gave their daughter, born in August, a triple econame, Daisy Dove Bloom.
What is an Econame?
An econame is a type of nature name that has a strong and obvious connection to the natural world. They’re favorites of environmentally conscious parents who hope to raise down-to-earth and eco-minded children. Additionally, many econames are unisex or even gender-neutral, a quality parents are prioritizing more and more.
Below, the top five trends among econames:
The quirky botanicals are the largest and fastest-rising subcategory in econames. Lily and Rose will forever be classics, but many of today’s parents are searching for unexpected floral names for their daughters. These botanical names project a quirky and unique image, despite many of them ranking well within the Top 500.
Pan-botanical names such as Meadow and Blossom are on the rise, as well as names associated with specific plants, including Clover and Marigold. And although Daisy has seen only modest gains in the past few years, we expect the arrival of Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s daughter Daisy Dove might give it some momentum.
Tree names, with their strong and gentle presence, took off following the success of Willow, which rose to prominence over the past decade. However, despite Willow’s clear gender alignment — over 99.5% female — most tree names work equally well on girls or boys.
If you want true gender parity in your econame, a word name is the way to go. Word names associated with trees, including Arbor, Leaf, and Branch, are newly gaining attention, and their gender-neutral status only adds to the appeal.
But the most classic tree names are the names of trees themselves. Names of particular species are evocative of the tree’s qualities. Willow suggests flexibility and elegance, while Sequoia connotes strength and longevity.
Animal names as a whole are hip right now, but among them, it’s bird names that have really taken flight. Sweet songbird Wren is the most common of them all, having quietly risen up charts since the early 2010s. It broke the Top 500 in 2017 and now ranks at Number 428.
Celebrities especially love to use animal econames as middle names, exemplified by trendsetter Zooey Deschanel’s daughter Elsie Otter. This year alone there have been starbabies named Osian Lark Elliot, Ripley Nightingale, and Tysun Wolf.
Water names are the most serene subset of econames and in this year of global unrest, a tranquil, low-drama baby name may be exactly what you’re looking for.
The ruler of them all is River, a gender-neutral choice that ranks in the Top 250 for both girls and boys. River will continue to rise in popularity, especially after the arrival of Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix’s son, who was named after Phoenix’s late brother. But we also have our eye on Ocean, which sits closely outside the Top 1000 for both girls and boys.
The most common earthy econame is Sky, which ranks at Number 816 among baby girls. It’s the environmental answer to Skye, the significantly more popular Scottish place name. Like Sky, Forest ranks below it’s more classic spelling, Forrest. In the case of these names, the omittance of a single letter changes the entire feel and connotation of the name.
What are your favorite econames?