The Nameberry 9:This week’s newsiest names are right smack on trend
We know that Sophia and Ava, Jacob and Mason will probably stay in the US Top Ten for another few years. But like many a name nerd, I’m fascinated by what’s next. Will there really be more babies called Viggo, Juniper, January, and Walker? We can only hope.
There won’t be many, of course. Even amongst the name obsessed, a relatively small percentage of us dare to use a truly cutting edge name. Sometimes we have a partner in naming whose tastes are more conservative. Besides, our shortlists often range from William to Wilder, and there’s quite a bit of pressure to go with the equally stylish but more common of the two.
Of course, Isabella was once dismissed as too flowery and Aiden and Jayden as too weird. Should Leo crack the Top Ten and Camden creep into the 25 most popular, many will embrace them as normal names and raise an eyebrow at whatever comes next.
Last week’s most newsworthy names matched up quite nicely with the predictions, both for 2013 and for 2012, the year that is now drawing to a close. It turns out that the Nameberry crystal ball is pretty accurate.
The nine newsiest names for last week were:
Lion – One of the 14 predictions was the rise of leonine names, for both boys and girls. Hawaii Five-o’s Alex O’Loughlin is a new dad to baby Lion. O’Loughlin’s cub isn’t the very first baby Lion. Seven boys received the name in 2011. Leonine names pick up where 2012’s prediction of fierce names left off.
Leonid – Take Lion and mix in some astronomy and you’ll arrive at Leonid. The meteor shower is at its peak at this time of year. Leonid is a Russian spin on the Leo names, and he’s among the rarest of them. Add a syllable, and he becomes Leonidas – and another trend prediction, the continuing rise of ancient names.
Alexei – While we’re speaking Russian, could the new Keira Knightley-Jude Law version of Anna Karenina bring back some elaborate Russian appellations? I’m a fan of Alexei, the first name of Law’s character. The letter A was last year’s Now Vowel, and a powerfully popular letter for boys’ and girls’ first names in theUS.
Aden John Tanner – It’s another letter A name, this time for actress/reality star Tamera Mowry-Housely and her husband, Adam. But is Aden pronounced like Aiden? Or does he sound more like dad’s name, Adam? I’m betting it is the former, but I couldn’t find an interview with the new mom to confirm. Tamera’s twin sister and frequent co-star, Tia, has a son of her own, 18-month old Cree. Between the cousins, here’s guessing that Cree will be the more influential of the two.
Magnus – Actress Elizabeth Banks has welcomed a second son, a little brother for Felix. Magnus is a big name for a little boy, and one that we are already hearing more often. Will Ferrell’s three boys are Magnus, Matthias, and Axel. It’s also another name highlighted in the 2013 Trend Report, thanks to the growing interesting in Scandinavian names. Plus, M was named Consonant of the Moment in 2012.
Miller – Scott Wolf and wife Kelley are the latest to welcome a baby boy Miller. David Duchovny, Stella McCartney, and Melissa Etheridge all gave the name to sons in recent years. Wolf’s older boy is Jackson Kayse. Miller makes for a logical brother name for Jackson, or even a substitute for parents seeking something less popular.
Millie – Are you watching Made in Chelsea? It’s a reality show import from the UK, something like a British spin on The Hills, but with much more money. The first season has just arrived in the US via The Style Network. The names are delicious: Caggie, Cheska, Fredrik, Hugo, Rosie. Millie Mackintosh is a member of the main cast. She’s BFF to it-girl Catherine “Caggie” Dunlop. Millie is also identified as part of another 2013 trend to watch: the rise of mid-century nicknames.
Hephzibah – Okay, Hephzibah isn’t in the trend report. But she does feature in a conundrum tackled by Swistle this week. If you were the seventh generation of women to share a name, would you dare break the streak with your firstborn daughter? If the name was Elizabeth or Katherine, we’d all be adamant that number eight should share in the tradition. But what happens when the name is Hephzibah? Perhaps it is some encouragement that one of the 2013 trends is that we’re embracing longer, elaborate names like Macallister and Penelope. Could Hephzibah be wearable after all?
Plum – Let’s end with one last trend, the rise of non-name middles. You’ve heard that anything goes in the middle spot, and more and more parents are taking this to heart. A recent list of birth announcements at Matilda Magazine included Matilda Plum, along with kids sporting the unexpected middles Jubilee, Hawke, Gray, Fern, Marsh, Zephyr, and Tuesday. Parents are clearly on board with this prediction.
Have you spotted some great examples of the 2013 – or 2012 – trends in action? Which names do you think are likely to be the most successful? And could Hephzibah work today?
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on November 19th, 2012 at 1:51 am
Well Caggie is a new one for me. It’s had to put a fresh spin on Catherine, but I think I like it. Millie is an all time fave.
Perhaps it’s how I pronounce Hepzibah, but it always makes me think of a new strain of hepatitis. Hep Z to be precise.
on November 19th, 2012 at 3:01 am
I follow a blogger who has girls Milla Plum (pronounced MEE-luh) and Gemma Bird. It seems she calls them Plum and Birdie most of the time. I think it’s pretty cute though not my style!
on November 19th, 2012 at 7:39 am
Hephzibah is one of those dusty old names that is definitely growing on me. Zibby? How cute is that? (There was an Elizabeth in a movie I saw recently called Zibby.)
on November 19th, 2012 at 1:56 pm
I find the sound of Caggie very unappealing, and I feel the same about Maggie and Aggie. They put me in agony (pun intended).
on November 19th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Growing up with an unusual, totally out there name, I would never name a girl Hephzibah. Zibby is a cute but childish nickname. Of course, there is Ziba as a nn, but that’s out-there, too. Both, however, are nice nicknames for Elizabeth. (And I do feel totally sorry for the woman who was seventh in her family named Hephzibah and must decide whether to risk her daughter’s or family’s scorn).
You make a good point about top names. Once upon a time, not so long ago, in the grand old year of my birth- 1998- when Sophia was considered unique and out there; when Piper was considered eccentric and hippy; Isla was always pronounced is-lah or ees-lah; Angel was still a girls’ name and Addison was considered male. The top 50 of 2010 was much different than the top 50 of 2000, besides the perennial favorites. Who knows? In ten years, Seraphina could be number one, and Isabella has left the top 100.
on November 19th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
I absolutely love Plum as a middle name.
on November 19th, 2012 at 4:37 pm
It’s pretty neat to see how these are right on trend. Personally, I’m hoping Viggo in particular rises a little–enough to make it recognizable–but not too high.
And Hephzibah? It’s a name I could see a celebrity using, and then, who knows? It might catch on. I wouldn’t be sorry, since it’s a symbolic Old Testament name chosen by God for Israel and the meaning is beautiful; but personally I have always thought it both looks and sounds ugly. I think it would be very hard to live with unless it went mainstream.
And I don’t have an answer to the conundrum of whether to break the tradition, though I would have thought a new mom named Hephzibah would have had a harder time with it growing up than her daughter will have, in what seems to be a more odd-name-tolerant climate.
on November 19th, 2012 at 6:04 pm
I love to see the Leo names getting more popular. They are some of my favorite names because I love lions.
I know a little Magnus that is almost a year old. I also knew a Millie a few years back who was a friend of my mother. It wasn’t short for anything. It is cute.
Plum is cute as a middle, but I really see it becoming overused in a few years with the trendsetters. Wren is also another one that I see becoming more used with the trendsetters.
Hephzibah is a name that I should not put down since it is such a biblical name, but it just does not look appealing for an everyday person. Maybe a literary character who can make it spunky. I guess like a pp society is becoming more tolerant to certain names but the older generations may find it very strange.
on November 19th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Milla Plum and Gemma Bird are gorgeous!
@clairels – I like Caggie, but then I’m a fan of Maggie and Aggie, too.
@Aurra – It is a dreadful dilemma, isn’t it? I couldn’t break the streak … but then, I didn’t grow up as Hephzibah.
@Pam – Zibby is genius!
on November 19th, 2012 at 11:14 pm
I’m crazy about Alexei and Magnus – in fact they sound like a cool set of twins.
on November 20th, 2012 at 3:42 am
Magnus is cool, if a bit soft sounding. Though, to be honest, I think of the Mortal Instruments character before I think of a celebrity offspring.
I have a soft spot for Plum as a middle name. I doubt I’d ever use it in real life, but it’s fun to think about.
PLUM | Matilda Magazine Said
on November 20th, 2012 at 8:23 am
[…] only one to notice this great naming choice – you may have also seen it in Abby‘s regular Nameberry Nine Post this week. So I thought it would be good to have a closer look at Plum today – the little […]
on November 20th, 2012 at 12:13 pm
I love the name plum!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on November 20th, 2012 at 12:13 pm
I sooooo love the name plum!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on November 20th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
I keep seeing Magnus… and in my head, I keep saying it “Mang-gus” and it’s so wrong. Miller is about the only one I can get behind… its my MiL’s maiden name. And in her family, her only brother had daughters, so no one has carried it on. I’m not 100% sure on it, but it’s been in my sphere of naming lately.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 5:53 pm
We just named our baby girl (born in September) Millie and everyone just LOVES it when we tell them her name! We decided on it while watching the show “Parenthood” last spring… the mom character, named Camille, was called “Millie” (as a nickname) on just one episode and when we heard that, my husband and I turned to each other and said “That’s it! That is so CUTE!” So Millie it is! We didn’t name her Camille or Millicent or Mildred… we decided that if we wanted to call her Millie, just name her Millie.
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