Baby names are changing faster than ever. According to Nameberry, the major trends for 2013 draw from the names of Roman gods and the wilder side of nature, tap new international name sources, and include a surprising taste for secrecy.
Here are Nameberry’s predictions for baby names in 2013.
1. Superstorm Sandy. There will most likely not be a rash of people naming their superstorm babies Sandy, but statistically we will see a surge of names that pay homage to the devastation, whether it be subconsciously or on purpose. Nameberry predicts names with a Sandy-like sound, such as Alessandra or Cassandra, or Sander. Don’t be surprised to see Sand, Dune, Beach, or Storm have risen in popularity. I don’t see the draw unless my child was conceived during hurricane Sandy while the power was out. I think it’s crazy.
2. Names from across the pond. Leon has been a top name in Germany and high in Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and even Ireland for a decade—and it’s headed to this side of the pond. Other leonine names include Leonie, Lionel, Lev, Leopold, and Leonora. We have had Leos and Leons in our family for decades, so I say bring on the leonine names.
3. Non-names as names. Using any word with personal significance as a middle name takes the trend toward using an adventurous and meaningful name in the middle to new heights of quirkiness and creativity. Everything from Ballerina to Bear, Sweetheart to Seven as middle names is following more conventional first names. I think these are really cool, but what if it puts your kid in a box? I mean how awful would it be to be named Ballerina and you want to play soccer or you can’t dance to save your life?
4. Meaningful geography. Reese Witherspoon named her baby son Tennessee, in honor of having been raised in Tennessee. I think this is really cool, but I was raised in Chicagoland and I think that would be a silly kids' name. But if the city or state can parlay into a cool name, I say go for it.
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5. Vintage names. Vintage nicknames from the Mad Men era are back in style, with the most fashionable choices for boys. Nameberry has seen a new generation of kids with names like Hank and Hal, Ray and Fay, Millie and Monty, and Lous of both genders. I am personally a huge fan of vintage names for kids. I’m sick of the Jennys, Debbies, and Lauries of my day.
6. Ethnic name group most likely to rise: Scandinavian. I think Latin names are sexier, but Scandinavian names are not without their charms. There is a rise in Scandinavian baby names like Stellan, Viggo, Liv, Kai, Mangus, and Axel, but there are other appealing choices as well, including Freya, Linnea, Astrid, Soren, Leif, and Lars. I am a huge fan of Alexander Skarsgard and anything that comes from Scandinavia including IKEA, so I say bring on the Scandinavian names.
7. Double "L" names. Names like Lily, Lila, Lola, Leila, and Layla have been in fashion for a few years now and may be reaching the end of a great run, but I still love them. They are feminine and beautiful, so let’s keep them around for a few more years.
8. Botanically inspired. My own middle name is Asuzenna for the zinnia flower, so who am I to judge baby namers who’ve started to look to their gardens for inspiration. Hottest botanical names at the moment are Clover and Poppy. The herbal names from The Hunger Games are also popular, Rue, Primrose, and Katniss.
9. Names inspired by the North. 'Tis the season to name your child after cold weather. Winter is becoming more popular than Summer and Autumn. March and January are also popular these days. The names Frost and Snow have also gained popularity. I’m on the fence about this trend. I’ve not fully embraced it. I'd hate to be the woman named Frost because one "no" and she will surely be frigid.
10. Consonant of the moment: W. William may have something to do with the popularity of the dashing young Prince William. Suddenly, there is a laundry list of W-names resurfacing. For boys, there are West, Weston, Wesley, Warren, Walker, Walter, Winston, Wilson, Wilder, Wylie, and Wyatt. For girls, Wila, Willow, Winter, Winnie, Waverly, and Wilhelmina have made a comeback. Personally, I am married to a W and I think they are great, strong names. Glad to see there will be more in the world.
What do you think of Nameberry's 2013 predictions of the most popular names? Are any of them ones you've considered for your own little one?
Image via Sergiu Bacioiu/Flickr