Baby Names 2011: 14 Hottest Trends to Track Now
2011 signals a lighter feel in the air and a more optimistic outlook for our kids. With the economy improving, we predict a respite from the heavier names of the past few years. Here are 14 hot trends in baby names.
For baby names 2011, we predict the merging of two major recent trends: very proper proper names—think Louise and Arthur,
Beatrix and Abraham—with lighter-than-air, even silly nicknames: Lulu, Bee, Bunny, and Bram. You get two very different names for the price of one, which can be an advantage to children as they grow up too: You can be Lulu at the nightclub, Louise on the Harvard app. We see parents reaching further to come up with two names that are linked in highly creative and not-always-obvious ways. A few examples of nicknames and their formal name origins: Cub from Caleb, Ace from Alistair, Fanny from Stephanie, and Plum from Victoria (a type of English plum).
Related to the two-for-one trend is a taste for choosing a nickname first, then finding a name for the birth certificate. Parents are starting with Josie or Zee—the name the child will be known as—then searching for the formal name, be it Josephine, Zachary, or Zebedee.
Alarming Genre Switches
Is it because more and more people view their pets as child equivalents? We’re seeing more dog names for babies (Buster, Buddy) and baby names (Chloe, Zoe) for dogs. Though Marley, which jumped as a baby name inspired by Marley & Me, may be trailing off.
Lightest New Beginning
Ha, as in ha ha ha, for both girls and boys: Hayden, Harry, Hazel, Harrison, Harper, Hadley, Hank, Haven, Hal, Hart, Harriet, Hattie, Hale, Harley, Hartley, Harlow. No Harlots reported as yet.
The Latin us for boys, replacing en and er. Atticus (with its modern literary cred) is a current fave; other cutting-edge countrymen: Aurelius, Augustus, Cassius, Maximus, Amadeus. Not to mention other stylish s-ending boys’ names such as Amos, Miles.
A new spin on ancient African day names, with everything from month names like and May to holiday and seasonal names such as Winter and ">Easter, to day and even time-of-day names such as Sunday and Midnight getting on the calendar.
Most Unlikely Comeback Name
Stanley, a new entry to the British Top 100. Other geezer names up for reconsideration: Ernest, Harvey, Arthur, Walter, Warren.
Newest Gender-Bending Trend
Names that are truly androgynous, used even-handedly for both sexes: Paxton,
Sasha. What’s most notable is that parents are no longer backing off from using a name for boys once it becomes popular for girls.
Freshest Flower Name
Azalea. As Lily, Rose and Daisy start to lose their bloom, more exotic blossom names—Dahlia, Poppy, Lotus, Lilac, Acacia, Marigold, Camellia—will take their place.
Consonant of the Future
R, not as in old-school Robert, Richard, and Rhoda, but as in such rich and robust newcomers as Rufus (there it is again), Rupert, Ray, Rosamund, Raphael, Roman, Romy, Romilly, Remy, Rory, Reed, Rhys, Rowan, Ronan, Reeve, Ripley, Roscoe, Reuben, and Ruby.
"O," The It Vowel
We’ve been O lovers for decades, but the vowel has really come into its own with the ascendence of twin names Oliver and Olivia to the top of the British popularity list. O is supremely stylish as both a name beginning and ending, including such choices as Oscar, Owen, Orson, Otto, Orlando, and Milo for boys; Olive, Olympia, Octavia, and Ophelia for girls.
Names inspired by the objects and creatures of the heavens. These include planet names like Mars and Jupiter; star names such as Orion; angel names from
Seraphina to Gabriel; and names that reference the heavenly realm such as Stella and Luna.
Nevaeh, heaven spelled backwards, may have inspired the trend but we see it trailing off.
Most Improbable TV Character Inspiration
Jumped the Shark
Twilight names. Names from this franchise have been red hot since the Stephanie Meyer books and movies appeared, but parents are beginning to say “Hey, I don’t want people to think I named my kid after a vampire.” So Bella, Edward, Cullen, Emmett, Jasper, Esmé and Felix, hot over the past few years, may be approaching a downturn.
More Baby Names
Still haven’t found the perfect name? Baby name experts Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the authors of popular books such as The Baby Name Bible and Beyond Ava & Aidan. Learn more about Linda and Pamela at Nameberry.
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