These Are the Top Names of 2022 So Far
What are the most popular names of 2022?
Baby name popularity is of prime interest to expectant parents, but we won’t find out the official rankings until well into 2023 – not much use if you’re naming a baby this year!
Official baby name data published by agencies such as the Social Security Administration is out of date as soon as it’s released. The latest US popularity charts – topped by Liam and Olivia – represent babies born in 2020.
So if you want to find out what names parents-to-be are considering now, a little detective work is required! This is our roundup of Nameberry’s most viewed girl and boy names of 2022 so far.
Experience has shown these lists to be an excellent indicator of a name’s future popularity. For example, names like Maeve and Isla, Milo and Jasper from 2019’s Nameberry Top 5 went on to leap up the official charts that year.
Other top names, like Ottilie and Wolf from this year’s list, are likely to stay rare for a while yet. They have been boosted into the spotlight by recent high-profile birth announcements – leading to lots of Nameberry searches – but we’re unlikely to see them break the official US Top 100 in 2022.
And longtime popular names that are now trending downwards in real terms – such as Abigail and Addison for girls or Michael and Mason for boys – are absent from our Top 100 entirely.
The top baby names for 2022 listed here are likely to be up-and-coming choices that feel fresh and cool to this year’s crop of new parents. Read on for the full list and some key trend takeaways for 2022.
Top 10 Names of 2022 So Far
Both are currently well outside the official Top 100 in the US. Maeve, which has been given a big boost by the hit Netflix series Sex Education, ranked at #173 in 2020, and Soren sits all the way down at #510. Its soft yet strong sound no doubt appeals to parents looking for rarer alternatives to the likes of Owen and Silas.
Two girl names entered the Top 10 for the first time this year: Elodie and Ottilie. They pick up the stylish sounds of longtime top Nameberry names like Eleanor, Eloise and Ophelia – but with a bit more edge.
Ottilie is rare in real life – not even among the Top 1000 girl names in the US. But it’s a rising star across the pond in the UK, where it currently ranks at #123. It saw a huge spike in interest back in August last year, when influencer Zoe Sugg gave it to her daughter, and has remained popular on Nameberry ever since.
Top 10 Girl Names of 2022 So Far
Interestingly, the top boy names on Nameberry have proved far less stable since this time last year. Six new boy names entered the Top 10: Soren, Theodore, Felix, Oscar, Hugo and Royal. Of those, only Theodore has featured before.
Royal is the big surprise here! We were stumped when it suddenly started trending in March – so much so that we asked our social media followers to help us solve the mystery. The most likely catalyst is the new Amazon Prime series Outer Range, starring Josh Brolin as rancher Royal Abbott.
Royal currently ranks at #404 in the US but it checks a lot of trend boxes right now. It’s an aspirational word name with a retro feel and now a cool pop culture namesake to lend it extra visibility. Watch this space!
Top 10 Boy Names of 2022 So Far
Find the full Top 100 names for each sex below.
Coming In, Going Out
Since this time last year, 20 new girl names and 28 new boy names have entered the Nameberry Top 100. The time for more adventurous, trend-driven girl names and more traditional, stable boy names has passed!
Heading in for girls are names with a more streamlined sound: Olive joins Olivia, Sophie replaces Sophia, and Ella overtakes Eliana.
Girl names beginning with M and S are also enjoying their time in the sun. As well as new top girl name Maeve, M names Margaret, Margot and Mira joined the Top 100, along with four new S names: Sadie, Saoirse, Scarlett and Sophie.
Here are the girl names that entered the Top 100 this year:
And here are those that left:
Boy Names Heading In and Out
Heading in for boys are long, strong names with ancient roots. Dimitri, Evander and Lysander in; Dylan, Eli and Liam out.
Boy names beginning with L are the biggest risers this year, with Lachlan, Leon, Linus, Lucifer, Lucius, Luke and Lysander all joining the Top 100. Also notable are the number of A and J names – historically the two most popular initials for boys – dropping out this year.
Here are the boy names that entered the Top 100:
And here are those that left:
Biggest Name Trends of 2022 So Far
A quarter of the way through the year, we’re already starting to see some prominent themes emerging in the names our visitors are searching. Here are some standout trends for 2022 so far.
Dangerous Baby Names
Blame it on Maverick! Names that spell danger – in some cases, quite literally – are getting a lot of attention right now.
The highest ranking on our charts is Wolf, the name Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott initially announced for their son, born in February. Also popular are Harry Potter villain Lucius and his demonic soundalike Lucifer.
It’s unlikely that many parents are really considering Lucifer for their baby boys – although 54 were born in 2020 – but it’s certainly seeing a strong uptick in interest this year. Azriel, the name of the Angel of Death in several religious traditions, is a less overt alternative that is rising rapidly in the US on the back of its fashionable sound.
Below The Radar Names Rising
We’ve seen a big increase in the number of super rare names appearing in the Nameberry Top 100. Last year, only ten names ranked outside of the official US Top 1000. This year, the total stands at 23 – with unique boy names especially well represented.
For girls, lucky nature name Clover feels particularly apt for the turbulent times we’re living through. For boys, rare Cas- names like Casper and Cassian look set to follow Cassius and Caspian up the charts.
And unique celestial names we expect to hear more of include Cosmo, the name of Scarlett Johansson’s baby son, as well as Zephyr and Elio, meaning “sun”.
ELO Names for Girls
There’s a definite sound theme dominating our top girl names for 2022 so far! Aurelia, Ophelia, Eloise, Isla, Elodie, Ottilie, Esme, Eleanor…
Girl names featuring prominent E, L and O sounds are overtaking the “A sandwich” names – those starting and ending with A – that have dominated in recent years.
Among the names to drop out of our Top 100 this year are Amara, Amaya, Anna and Aria. They have been replaced by fresher E, L and O heavy choices like Lola, Evie and Olive.
Here are some of our favorite examples from this year’s Top 100.
Soft vs Spiky Names for Boys
Softer sounding boy names, like new Nameberry #1 Soren, are on the rise – but so too are spiky, striking choices with an edge, like Knox, Zane, Phoenix and Enzo. The top boy names with our visitors are increasingly split between these two camps.
A select few names manage to bridge the divide: like Felix, with its calm meaning and quirky X ending, or Ezra, with its strong Z sound tempered by the conventionally feminine final A. But many fall squarely into one category or another.
Here are some of our favorite soft names for boys:
And some of the spiky boy names trending this year: