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Choosing a name for your baby can be the first step for some parents-to-be, while others might prefer to wait until the baby is born, but whichever route you wish to go, it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of research. 2017 saw a lot of changes in the political climate and the rise of female superheroes like Wonder Woman, will this affect the trends for the year ahead? We’ve teamed up with baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran of baby name blog Nameberry to hear about her predictions for 2018.
THE TREND: Strong female names
THE NAMES: Diana, Arya, Luna, Freya, Margaret
Pamela says: This may not have been the year the US got its first woman President, but 2017 started with the Women’s Marches and summered with Wonder Woman. That propels us into 2018 with an emphasis on powerful women and strong female names, a theme that can’t help but influence parents naming daughters in the future. Other winners are names that mean intelligence or wisdom, such as Sophia and Pallas, names that mean strength such as Matilda and Bridget, and especially names of heroines and goddesses, such as Freya, Luna, Diana, Arya, and yes, let’s even go all the way to Sojourner.
THE TREND: Consonant of the moment – S
THE NAMES: Sunday, Sage, Sasha, Snow, Saskia
Augustus, Rufus, Iris, Anais
Pamela says: S is the unusual case whereby the fashion for using the letter at the end of names has inspired a growing taste for names that begin with S. Shining even more brightly next year will be Snow, Story, Sunday, Sage, Sasha, Sayer, Soren, Stellan and Saskia along with s-enders that go far beyond Lucas and Alexis. Many of the sweetest s-ending names for boys derive from ancient Roman clan names: Amias, Augustus, Aurelius, Cassius, Justus, Lazarus, Linus, Ozias, and Rufus. But we also love the Hebrew Amos, the English Brooks, and the Aramaic Thaddeus. The girls’ side is slighter, but look for such s-ending girls’ names such as Anais, Frances, Iris, Venus, and even the biblical Lois.
Photo Credit: Noe + Zoe and Aden + Anais
THE TREND: Superhero Names
THE NAMES: Kylo, Harley, Logan, Ivy, Rey, Wade
Pamela says: Superheroes dominate the multiplex and their names are taking over the world. A prime example is Kylo, the antihero of the Star Wars movies and the fastest-rising boys’ name according to Social Security statistics. Other superhero names taking flight are, for girls, Aurora, Darcy, Grey, Harley, Ivy, Jubilee, May, Pepper, Remy, and Rey.
For boys, superhero-influenced names on the rise include Bishop, Cain, Captain, Everett, Falcon, Logan, Odin, Rhodes, Rocket, Thor, Wade and Walker.
THE TREND: Welsh names
THE NAMES: Owen, Gareth, Gwen, Rhiannon, Idris, Rhys
Pamela says: Maybe because we’ve grown so fond of those Game of Thrones dragons, the next best undiscovered source for names is Wales, whose symbol is the dragon. Perhaps the best-known are the -wen ending names, such as: Anwen, Bronwen, Rhonwen, Gwen and Owen. But other hot Welsh choices are Bryn, Carys, Eilonwy, Eira, Eluned, Rhiannon, Seren and Wynn for girls.
While Gareth, Idris, Lloyd, Rhys, Emrys and Vaughn are popular for boys.
THE TREND: Boyish nicknames for girls
THE NAMES: Billie, Lou, Charlie, Max, Frankie
Pamela says: Unisex names weren’t invented in the 21st century, or even the 20th. The 1890s saw a craze for boyish nickname names for girls, often ending in ie, a trend we see stirring to life again. It’s a way to give a girl a unisex name without taking it too seriously, so that grandpa Frank might inspire granddaughter Frankie. Celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg, Drew Barrymore and Jessica helped propel this trend forward, with names such as Bertie, Billie, Charlie, Frankie, Gus, Lennie, Lou, Mattie, Max, Teddie and Vinnie.
THE TREND: Names ending with –er and -i
THE NAMES: Levi, Eli, Harper, Juniper
Pamela says: Back in the olden days, names that ended in ‘i’ were for girls and names that ended in ‘er’ were for boys. But those two constructs are starting to skip gender lines. Many of the trending girls’ names borrow the boys’ -er ending: from the popular Harper and Skyler to newcomers Aster, Ember, Juniper, and Sailer. For boys, Eli and Levi are opening the door for Ari, Omari, and Rafi.
THE TREND: Presidential names
THE NAMES: Taylor, Kennedy, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Harrison
Pamela says: Presidential names will get more popular for both girls and boys. Kennedy, Madison and Taylor are already popular for girls, while Carter, Jackson and Tyler rank for boys. But other Presidential surname-names set to rise include: Ford, Grant, Harrison, Hayes, Jefferson and Lincoln. We also can see these distinctive Presidential first or middle names becoming more popular: Quincy, Abraham Franklin, Theodore and Calvin.
With thanks to Pamela Redmond Satran X