Trendy Baby Names: And why not?

Trendy Baby Names: And why not?

For her round-up of the Nameberry 9 newsiest names this week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel asks us to think about why we sometimes shy away from trendy baby names.

I’ve heard parents fret that they can’t use Harper now that the Beckhams have bestowed it on a daughter. Suggest that you might name a son Jayden and you’ll be warned that the name will be considered trendy, dated, damaging to your child’s future career. What’s worse, we scan message boards, wondering if our favorite name will be the next rising star.

But why all the worry? Generations of parents have sought out stylish names, even if they haven’t talked about them in quite those terms. My dear grandmother nearly named a daughter Loretta after Hollywood-star-turned-television-host Loretta Young.

We can trace the rise of many appellations to television, celebrities, literature, and other pop culture influences. Even so-called classics often owe their revivals to pop culture. Would Charlotte be the favorite she is today without Sex and the City? Statistics link the character with the name’s resurgence.

Let’s embrace the influences that bring great new names to our attention, even if they’re promoted by the most unlikely of sources.

This week’s nine most newsworthy names are all potentially stylish, even trendy:

Rosie – Reality star Kourtney Kardashian is expecting baby #2, and apparently her firstborn wants a say in her name. Kourtney reported that Mason is campaigning to name his baby sister Rosie. Is it me, or does that make young Master Disick the best baby namer in the Kardashian clan?

Hawkins – The Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and wife Candice Crawford have named their son Hawkins Crawford Romo. Hawkins: one-half Downton Abbey butler and one-half bird of prey.

Eugene Pip – English actors Billie Piper and Laurence Fox were sure to choose an appealing name for their second child, since big brother is Winston James. But their choice is downright fascinating. Eugene seemed unsalvageable until this moment, even after Mad Men’s Betty gave the name to her youngest child. As for that miniature middle, it is rich with great expectations.

Petula – Speaking of unlikely choices, Angela at Upswing Baby Names highlighted Petula this week. She sounds vaguely botanical, but isn’t – instead, singer Petula Clark’s appellation was invented by her dad. In our era of Lucy and Ruby, Amelia and Stella, Piper and Penelope, Petula fits right in.

Olivia – NCIS’ Michael Weatherly and wife Bojana Jankovic may have chosen a common name, but they have a great story to tell. Bojana comes from the Slavic boj – battle, making mom’s name combat-worthy. Olivia, with her images of olive branches and peace, makes for a nice counterpoint.

Stella Aubrey Rayne – Speaking of meaning, I am often suspicious of names formed by combining names of parents or grandparents. But this story from The Toronto Star is proof that the concept can work. The graceful smooshes were formed from grandparents’ names Audrey and Bevan, Ron and Mary Jane.

Tallie – Endless name inspiration has come from fiction, so Babble’s list of names borrowed from New York Times bestsellers is full of promise. The list includes Tallie, a character in Danielle Steel’s Betrayal. Could she be the next Hallie? Could Tillie be the new Lily? And why aren’t we using the letter T more?

Cameron KaiulaniFox News LA correspondent Courtney Friel has welcomed a daughter. Yup, baby Cameron is a girl. Hawaiian middles seem to be something of a trendlet these days. Friel’s older child is Cash Hudson. Dad is Carter Evans, so the C names are all in the family.

ZayneMindy McCready – a country singer whose bio reads something like the lyrics to a country western song – has welcomed a second child, son Zayne. Big brother is Zander. Both names are zippy and very much on trend, but unlike Cash and Cameron, they feel like they cross the line from close to too close.

Do you worry that the names you choose could be perceived as trendy? Would it bother you if a name came from pop culture? Or do you look to novels, movies, and television for fresh inspiration?

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About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.