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Kindercore Names Evoke Nostalgia

Kindercore Names Evoke Nostalgia

Malibu BarbieBambiWednesday. What is this trend of referencing childhood nostalgia with baby names?

We're calling it kindercore names. Kindercore, coined in 2019, is the design aesthetic characterized by decor in primary colors and simple shapes.

Like this style, kindercore names harken back to childhood. Specifically, kindercore names reference beloved characters in children's literature, television, movies, comic strips, toys, and more.

Per usual, this is being played out in the celebrisphere for now, but it’s only a matter of time before mainstream parents follow suit.

Although some kindercore names — think Eloise and Felix — are currently popular, most names in this style are just emerging.

Here, 21 of the most eligible kindercore names:

Arthur

US rank: Number 155 UK rank: Number 4

Already a hit in the UK, Arthur is the latest of the classic boy names to be revived among American parents.

Bambi

US rank: 12 baby girls UK rank: 4 baby girls

We explained everything you need to know about Bambi on our TikTok after Molly-Mae Hague announced her daughter’s name. With the recent trend of girl names that end in I, more baby Bambis may be in the future.

Barbie

US rank: 37 baby girls UK rank: <3 baby girls

Here’s a trivia tidbit: Barbie is a common name among the Amish, which accounts for many of its uses each year. Trisha Paytas recently used it as a middle name for her daughter Malibu.

Blossom

US rank: 69 baby girls UK rank: Number 337

Blossom is reasonably common in the UK but has never been given to over 150 American baby girls in a single year. It last peaked in 1925, meaning it’s ready for revival, according to the 100-Year Rule. Scarlett Byrne and Cooper Hefner welcomed twins named Blossom Pearl and Marigold Adele last March.

Casper

US rank: Number 1120 UK rank: Number 210

Casper has been a Nameberry fave for a while (it’s much fresher than Jasper!) but some parents are hesitant due to associations with the Friendly Ghost. It’s been on the rise since the mid-2010s, and Casper may soon rejoin the Top 1000.

Cosmo

US rank: Number 1922 UK rank: Number 752

Cosmo made headlines in 2021 when Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost used it for their baby boy. For today’s younger set of parents, the name has strong ties to The Fairly OddParents. Among the older parents — Seinfeld.

Ernie

US rank: 18 baby boys UK rank: Number 335

Originally a short form of ErnestErnie may work even better as a standalone name in today’s naming climate. Celebrity chef Stephanie Izard has a son named Ernie Valentine.

Grover

US rank: 23 baby boys UK rank: <3 baby boys

Grover was featured as a hipster baby name in two top shows of the 2010s — Girls and Portlandia — yet that wasn’t enough to start a Grover revival.

Junie

US rank: 64 baby girls UK rank: 4 baby girls

The Junie B. Jones (full name: Juniper Beatrice) book series began in 1992, and this perpetual “almost six-year-old” had a name two generations ahead of her time. It certainly fits in with the baby names of today, and parents are using JuniperJunie, and Juni in record numbers.

Lilo

US rank: 41 baby girls UK rank: <3 baby girls

Lilo & Stitch introduced many now-parents to this multicultural name — found in Hawaiian, German, and Hebrew. Especially as Hawaiian names are trending, Lilo may be one to watch.

Linus

US rank: Number 1564 UK rank: 10 baby boys

It’s no secret we at Nameberry love Linus and think it can be rescued from its security-blanket image. It has plenty else going for it, from the mythological creator of music to Nobel Prize winners.

Minnie

US rank: 63 baby girls UK rank: Number 418

M-ie names — MillieMaisieMarnie — are trending, but there hasn’t been much love for Minnie. We’d love to see Minnie make a comeback, but some parents may fear it’s too mousy.

Phineas

US rank: Number 1411 UK rank: 12 baby boys

Younger parents grew up with Phineas & Ferb, associating the name with this triangular fellow. Phineas has risen in use along with most other boy names that end in S, but has never been as popular as it deserves.

Polly

US rank: 63 baby girls UK rank: Number 156

Barbie isn’t the only doll name in town! Polly — as in Polly Pocket — might be an even better choice for a baby girl today. After an almost 50-year hiatus from the Top 1000, Polly sounds like a fresh and feisty alternative to Molly.

Ramona

US rank: Number 794 UK rank: 19 baby girls

Hipster parents with a penchant for children’s literature have quietly revived Ramona over the years, although the name retains its quirky edge. We also like Quimby as a girl name (it's a good alternative to Quinn!). It was used for just six baby girls in 2021.

Sylvester

US rank: 68 baby boys UK rank: 20 baby boys

Could Sylvester make a comeback? Sylvan names like Silas and Sylvie (and Sylvan) are currently chic, but this one has a strong link to Looney Toons — not to mention Stallone. Model Emily Ratajkowski has a son named Sylvester Apollo.

Velma

US rank: 14 baby girls UK rank: <3 baby girls

Mindy Kaling’s recent Velma adaptation has the name back on our radar. Critics panned the series, but we’re much more interested in the name. We’re warming up to Velma, but the rest of the population might need a decade or two to catch up with us.

Wallace

US rank: Number 897 UK rank: 18 baby boys

The nickname Wally takes this one off the list for many parents in the UK, but American parents are turning to Wallace as a fresh traditional boy name. The lovable Wallace & Gromit ties work in its favor.

Wednesday

US rank: Number 1802 UK rank: 7 baby girls

We’ve spoken a lot about Wednesday lately as the new Netflix series is drawing lots of attention to the name. But today’s parents are likely to know Christina Ricci’s portrayal. Wednesday is poised to seriously rise, along with another day name — Sunday.

Wilbur

US rank: 25 baby boys UK rank: Number 451

The name of the sweet pig from Charlotte’s Web is the last remaining character name in limbo — AveryFern, and of course, Charlotte, are all fashionable choices. Wilbur is geek chic in all the right ways, and we hope parents start to see its merits.

Woody

US rank: 12 baby boys UK rank: Number 360

Americans are hesitant to embrace this old-school nickname due to an unfortunate bearer (Allen) and a euphemism. But Woody is beloved by UK hipsters, which may eventually convince Americans to embrace it once again. That, and the beloved Pixar character.

More Kindercore Names


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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. 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.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.