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Top Baby Name Trends for 2017 from Nameberry

January 12, 2017

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Photo credit: Noe & Zoe

Choosing the perfect name for your baby can feel overwhelming.
Some parents-to-be prefer to wait until the baby is born before naming their child, and some may have had a name ready even before the baby is conceived. Whichever route you wish to go, it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of research.

Last year we saw the rise of Olivia, Charlotte and Ava for girls, while Tommy and Milo were the top-ranking names for boys. So what’s in store for the year ahead?

We caught up with baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran of baby name blog Nameberry to hear out about their predictions for 2017. Who knows, maybe the name of your future baby is hidden somewhere in this post!

BABY NAME TRENDS FOR 2017

THE TREND: Literary Names
THE NAMES: Eloise, Holden, Matilda, Romeo
PAMELA SAYS: “Naming your child after a favourite literary character gives you a lifetime’s worth of intellectual credibility without having to actually (yawn) crack a book. But there’s power in these baby names too, the power of literature to endure and inspire no matter what’s happening in the world. The most favoured names are those that summon the childhood magic of reading, the names of storybook characters such as Eloise, Maisie, Sawyer (for both genders), Matilda, Ramona, Fern, Alice, and Holden. Even more upscale: Shakespearean names, from Juliet and Romeo to Cordelia, Ophelia, Cassio, Orlando, and even Puck. And then there are authors’ names, last and first: Austen, Bronte, Poe, Wilde, and Angelou; Dashiell, Willa, Louisa, and Zadie.”

THE TREND: Ultimate Power Names
THE NAMES: Thor, Persephone, Luna, Zeus
PAMELA SAYS: “Royal, Saint, Augustus, Kylo – those names may have signalled power in 2016, but this year parents will skip directly to the head of the power line. Yes, we’re talking about God, whose names will be conferred on an increasing number of babies. Expect to meet lots of little deities with names drawn from multicultural mythology: Thor, Persephone, Odin, Freya, Jupiter, Luna, Atlas, Clio, Orion, Morrigan, Pandora, and Zeus.”

THE TREND: Hottest Vowel: O
THE NAMES: Oliver, Osiris, Otis, Oona
PAMELA SAYS: “In the recent past, boy names ending in O were the cat’s meow—Milo, Theo, Arlo–and then came girls with that o-sound ending—Harlow, Marlowe, Margot, Juno.  Now that vowel has run around to the beginning position and we’re seeing an explosion of baby names starting with O. For girls, the movement has been led by Olivia, the #2 name for two years, followed by Olive, and now Ophelia, Octavia, Olympia, Oakley and Oona. For boys, Oliver, Owen, and Oscar have been popular and will be followed by Orson, Otis, Omar, Otto, Oberon, Osias, Osiris, Osmond, and Oz.”

THE TREND: Feminist Heroine Names
THE NAMES: Simone, Eleanor, Frida, Zelda
PAMELA SAYS: “We may still be waiting for the first female president, but parents are adopting the first names and sometimes surnames of feminist heroines as honorifics for their daughters and sometimes sons: Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), Ada (Lovelace), Simone (de Beauvoir and Biles), Emmeline (Pankhurst), Bell (Hooks), Eleanor (Roosevelt), Rosa (Parks), Vita (Sackville-West), Zelda AND Fitzgerald, Georgia AND O’Keefe, Frida AND Kahlo. Sojourner AND Truth. Parents are also looking to first and last names of female ancestors on their own family trees.”

THE TREND: Water Names
THE NAMES: Bay, Lake, Ocean, Kai
PAMELA SAYS: “Parents have taken a deep dive into the cool and refreshing pool of names related to water. A trend jumpstarted by River Phoenix and sister Rain, it continues to broaden and deepen, but sans the old hippie vibe. Most prominent are bodies of water—Bay, Lake, Ocean/Oceane, Rio, Brook, and especially River for both sexes. But we also predict the rise of related names such as Harbor, Bayou, Aqua, Ford, Marin/Marina, and Delta, and specific waterways like Nile, Arno, Hudson and Caspian.  Also on the upswing:  name with aquatic meanings —Tallulah, Mira and Kai.”

THE TREND: Fierce Animal Names for Babies
THE NAMES: Lynx, Bear, Hawk
PAMELA SAYS: “Baby names don’t have to be names anymore: They can be place names, surnames, colour names, and yes, animal names. Bear has gone from Crazy Celebrity Baby Name (Alicia Silverstone, Kate Winslet, Jamie Oliver) to mainstream choice, given to 134 baby boys in the US last year. Other fierce animal names on the rise for babies, mostly boys: Fox, Wolf, Lynx, Tiger, Falcon, Hawk, and Lionel. Coming soon: Puma, Jaguar, Python.”

THE TREND: Inspirational Names
THE NAMES: Justice, Grace, Zen
PAMELA SAYS: “When Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna named their newborn daughter Dream, a baby naming trend was not merely born but launched out into the wider world. Inspirational names have been on the increase for a few years now, and include such positive virtue names as Justice, True, and Grace along with names that suggest serenity such as Pax, Bodhi, and Zen. The Puritans used virtue names like Mercy and Patience (both growing in popularity again) to inspire those qualities, and parents today are re-embracing the practice.”

THE TREND: Prepster Name for Boys
THE NAMES: Hayes, Ames, Winston, Niles
PAMELA SAYS: “A fresh generation of preppy names for boys reflects the new gang of rich, privileged guys leading the country. Hot and getting hotter is the sophisticated sending, as in Brooks, Hayes, Briggs, Yates, Ames, Oakes, Niles and Collins. And then there are the longer, loftier, ancestral-sounding surnames, including Anderson, Winston, Remington, Kensington, Montgomery, Whitaker and Winchester.”

THE TREND: Downton Abbey Names
THE NAMES: Rosamund, Edith, Marigold
PAMELA SAYS: “Yes, this addictive Masterpiece Theater British period drama may have ended its six-year run, but its impact on girls’ names will only continue to grow in 2017.  The attractive (and not so attractive) members of the Crawley family managed to resurrect some dusty Victorian names and give them new life.  We expect to see more of the already-popular Cora and Violet along with Sybil, Rosamund, Edith, Isobel, Daisy, Elsie, Marigold, and—perhaps most surprising of all—Mary, in the coming year.”

With thanks to Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry X

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