Quirky Favorite Baby Names in 10 Top Cities
New York baby namers love sleek, streamlined girl names like Rose and Claire, while Dallas favorites like Willa and Evangeline bring a touch of Southern charm.
Scottish namers are drawn to rugged boy names with a local flavor, such as Innes and Struan. And in Auckland, New Zealand, you'll find Māori boy names like Kiwa and Nikau among the top hits.
In an up-to-date study of the most searched baby names across the Anglosphere so far in 2023, Nameberry analyzed views of our name pages from visitors in ten cities in seven countries on three continents: Auckland, Chicago, Dallas, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Toronto.
Top City Baby Names 2023
In order to pinpoint the quirky favorites in each city – the names particularly beloved there compared to elsewhere – we focused in this study on the English-speaking world, allowing us to track differences in tastes and trends in places drawing (as far as possible) from a similar linguistic and cultural name bank.
City-dwellers around the world, we found, share cosmopolitan name tastes and favor fashion-forward baby names that generally rank higher in large urban centers than they do nationally. Trending choices like Maeve and Margot, Arlo and Ezra are attracting a lot of attention in all of the cities on our list.
But Nameberry visitors from each city also have quirky favorite names as divergent as Bondi Beach and a Brooklyn brownstone!
Many of these unique name favorites reflect their city’s style and culture, such as cozy Gaelic Fiadh and Tadhg in Dublin, hipster-chic Ottilie and Rupert in London, and attention-grabbing Aire and Lilith in Los Angeles.
But many of the cities’ name preferences are not so predictable. Why are Aucklanders so intrigued by the Greek girl name Xanthe? Why do so many visitors from Edinburgh search old-school nickname Bunty? Why is Zidane Toronto's top quirky favorite for boys? If you have any insights, let us know!
Let’s take a closer look at the tastes and trends in each city.
Parents in New Zealand's most populous city favor sharp sounds like K and X, as in names like Kaia, Saskia, Kiwa, Nikau and Xanthe.
Māori boy names Kiwa "ocean guardian" and Nikau "palm tree" showcase the importance of Māori language and culture in New Zealand. And Scottish names like Angus and Monty hint at the long history of Scottish immigration to the city of Auckland.
The Windy City's quirky favorite names are a mix of vintage grandeur – think Beatrice, Cordelia, Ambrose – and modern style – think Esti, Beckett, Wells. But all have a contemporary sensibility, feeling very in-tune with national name trends right now.
There's a definite Southern twang to Dallas' quirky favorite names! Dallas namers love girl names with strong yet feminine sounds, like Anastasia, Astrid and Evangeline. For boys, dynamic modern surnames like Knox, Hayes and Nash are particularly popular here.
Irish baby namers love to celebrate their language and culture through the names they choose. All of Dublin's quirky favorite boy names and almost all of the local favorites for girls come from the Gaelic language.
The one exception, Bambi, was recently chosen for their daughter by boxer Tommy Fury and his girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague. Tommy is a member of a famous boxing family in Ireland, where the sport is very popular.
Distinctly Scottish names abound in Edinburgh's most searched list! Vintage beauty Flora is gaining attention in other places too, but nowhere more so than in Scotland, where it's a very traditional choice.
Other quirky favorites in Edinburgh include place and nature names with ties to the local landscape, such as Ailsa, Innes and Struan.
Telegraph favorite Ottilie is, unsurprisingly, particularly popular in London! Londoners gravitate towards stylish vintage names that are poised on the brink of a comeback: think Bonnie, Mabel, Marnie and Rupert.
Upscale nickname names like Archie, Etta and Kit are also beloved by our English visitors, who often skip the formal name and put the nickname straight on the birth certificate.
LA's favorite baby names are not a shy and retiring bunch! Names with big, bold sounds and famous namesakes reign supreme here: think Cassius, Lilith, Zelda and Aire.
California's high Spanish-speaking population also makes itself felt in the list of names particularly popular here. Choices like Amara, Elio, Aziel and Diego are fashionable cross-cultural choices.
New Yorkers favor strong, streamlined traditionals like Rose, Claire and Graham, as well as names with a more romantic literary feel, such as Caspian and Seraphina.
There are also many Hebrew choices that are particularly popular in the Big Apple, which reflects the city's large Jewish population.
Sun-drenched Sydney dwellers love names with a bright, beachy feel: think Aurelia, Elodie, Jasper and Flynn. Aussie name tastes tend to be closer to those in the UK and New Zealand than in the US, so you'll also find plenty of cute nicknames and stylish vintage revivals on Sydney's list.
Toronto's quirky favorites make for a list as diverse and eclectic as the city itself! The names particularly favored by Torontonians include established modern classics like Chloe and Ethan, up-and-comers like Ayla and Rowan, and cool vintage choices like Georgia and Arthur.