Our pals over at Nameberry, a site run by bestselling authors Pamela Redmond Satran andLinda Rosenkrantz, see the following as the twelve hottest trends of 2012:
1. Biggest Big Picture Trend: Modern Hero Names
Mariah Carey herself adhered to this trend by naming her bouncing baby daughter Monroe, as in the iconic blonde-bomshell. As observed by Nameberry, such surname names can pay tribute to fictional, historical, and/or modern day heroes. Other examples include: Landry, Gatsby (from that great American novel you might have heard of–or maybe even read–once in your life), and Palin (ermm, yah, you betcha’ . . . you know the one we’re talking about).
2. Trend Trying Hardest to Have It All: Same but Different Names
The act of taking a popular name, such as Emily or Isabella, and putting a unique spin on it so as to achieve a classic — yet unique — name.
3. Most Aggressive Trend: Fierce Names
As asserted by Nameberry, these somewhat violent times we’ve found ourselves in have inspired parents to name their sons borderline violent things, such as Bear, Fox, Lynx, Breaker, Wilder, Ranger. Hmm. . . Perhaps I will name my son Volcano — that’s fierce and badass.
4. Hottest Direction in Baby Naming: West
Western sounding names (Weston, Wesley), but also names inspired by the West. Round ‘em up lil’ cowboys!
5. Now Vowel: A
New and unique names beginning with A, such as: Acacia, Ada, Anais, Annelise, Anouk, Aria, Athena, and for boys, Alistair, Ambrose, Aragon, Archer, Arthur, and Augustas.
6. Consonant of the Moment: M
M names. Yay! To name a few, ones that are trending on Nameberry: for girls, Maeve, Magdalena, Maisie, Marguerite, Marlo/Marlowe, May, Mila, Millie, and Minnie, and for boys, Magnus, Micah, Miller, Milo, and Montgomery.
7. Strongest, Bravest Trend: Adjective Names
The movement away from “noun” names and toward adjective names, such as: True, Brave, Sunny, Golden, Happy. Soccer player Gabriel Zakuani has taken this trend to heard and named his son “Trendy.” These names just seem so incredibly classy. I think we should start a verb trend next. I’ll send the next person to name their child “Running” or “Jumping” a ten dollar Starbuckscard.
8. Most Surprising Comeback Name: Betty
Oh hi, Betty. Maybe this is a nod to the irreplaceable Betty White? January Jones also brings this name to life through her Mad Men character Betty Draper.
9. Coolest Middle Names: New Connectors
10. Most Unlikely Baby Name Inspiration: TV’s Evil Grandpa
A tribute to the “the gun-toting, pot-dealing grandpa Arlo Givens on television’s Justified.”
11. Name Trend Ready To Jump The Shark: The –ley Names
Basically, just tacking -ley to the end of anything and calling it a name. Nickley Sanfordley? Should that be my new pen name?
12. Sweetest Ending: Vintage Nicknames That End in –ie
Nicknames ending in -ie were apparently all the rage in the nineteenth century, and now they’re making a comeback!
Thanks, Nameberry for all this awesome research you’ve done! It’s so interesting to see how prominent forces in pop culture — and even those existing outside of our celeb realm — influence the way parents choose to name their children. Quite fascinating.