The Hottest Names of 2020
If you’re eagle-eyed — and have been looking at the right names — you might have spotted a ? fire emoji spring up on some names in our database. (To see what I mean, look at the page for Abraham.) What does it mean? These are the hottest names of 2020, and we’ve got the data to prove it.
We looked at the viewer figures for all our name pages over the last month, compared it with the same period last year, and found which names had the biggest rise in views over that time. And the results are fascinating.
That’s not the pages that got the most views, which we keep up-to-date in the Nameberry Top 1000. It’s the ones with the biggest increase, the ones not many people were looking at last year but now they really want to know about.
Does this mean we’ll see a lot of babies with these names in the official charts for 2020, or 2021? Well, it depends. Some of the highest climbers are slightly unusual names that have been in the news or on our screens recently. Most likely many readers were just intrigued by them, rather than seriously considering them for a baby.
But names that fit into existing trends, that feel similar-yet-different and have no obvious pop culture background? They could well be ones that parents-to-be are considering.
Let’s look at the highlights of the hottest names this year. And if you see that fire emoji while you’re exploring Nameberry, you know you’re onto something sizzling.
The fastest-rising girl name in this period was Kamala, as in Vice Presidential candidate Harris — no surprise given the coverage of how to pronounce her name. Also near the top of the list we see Avatar character Katara and Azula, the Family Chantel effect, and some cutesy nicknames.
A note about the percentages: we compared pageviews for names in August 2020 versus August 2019. On average, traffic increased by 17%. We’ve added the fire emoji to all the names that increased by significantly more than that: 40% or more.
The fastest-rising boy name of all, Isaias, is up largely due to the hurricane last summer of that name. But the storm might have stirred up interest in the names from expectant parents, given that it’s also got Biblical origins and the stylish final s.
The way our database works, unisex names have separate pages for girls and boys. This isn’t because we insist on classifying names by gender but because unisex names have different popularity trajectories and cultural references — and occasionally even derivations and meanings — for girls and boys. But you choose whether to look at the girl or boy versions from a unified landing page, from which these statistics on the hottest unisex names are drawn.
When you hear an interesting name on the news, in a celebrity birth announcement, or in the latest TV series or movie, what do you do? Look it up on Nameberry, of course!
Some of these, like Kylo, are already showing a corresponding rise in the charts — in fact, we’re not sure why Kylo is so much more popular this year than it was last year. Others are probably more of theoretical interest than actual baby name material.
Beyond Atlas and Atticus, parents are looking ever wider in the world of gods, goddesses, heroes and other figures from ancient myth and legend. (And Legend itself is among the hottest names.) Most are from Greece and Rome: here are 20 of them.
One of the biggest cultural influences on the list was the Indian subcontinent. Of course, some of the rise in views of these pages is due to the rise in visitors from south Asia. And is also from parents from other cultures looking for the next Bodhi, Here are some of the most hottest Indian names.
Nothing compares to the runaway success of Isaias, but these biblical names are also getting big this year.
Maybe it’s because the most popular names for England and Wales came out recently, but our readers are all over the cute nicknames that rank highly in those countries. Dixie, Nixie and Pixie on the list? The “ix” sound could be one to watch.
A is the most popular first letter for girl names and the second most popular for boys. So it’s no surprise that there are lots of A names on the hotlist. Here’s a selection. (At the other end of the alphabet, we’ve written a whole nother post about the hottest Z names.)
We’ll be coming out soon with an A to Z guide to our hottest names, marked with a fire emoji. Until then, let this be your guide.
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on October 18th, 2020 at 7:26 am
The interest in Isaias was almost definitely due to the hurricane earlier this year. People were probably looking up how to pronounce it.
Clare Green Said
on October 18th, 2020 at 5:37 pm
@max1035 Of course! Thank you!
on October 20th, 2020 at 11:45 am
I made a post about this name before- it’s a really underrated Indian/Hindi name for boys. It’s Abhra, just pronounced ab-ra. The pronunciation is really simple, it has a nice sound, and the meaning of it is “cloud.”
I’ve always loved the name ever since I first heard it.
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