Baby Names: Hottest Trends for 2009
Photo by VikkisMommy185
Got a baby due in 2009? Then you're in the market for a baby name!
Baby naming experts Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, of the baby name site nameberry, have come up with their top 15 baby-naming trend predictions for the year ahead. Of note: Not even baby names can escape the state of the economy. The current somber mood may bubble up in some surprising ways when it comes to the names new parents pick.
Here are the trends to look for in 2009.
Top Baby Name Trends for 2009
Biggest Big-Picture Trend: Depression Era Names
The hit TV show Mad Men, set in the early 60s, reintroduced names that were all the rage when the show's characters were born in the 1930s: Don, Betty, Joan, Peggy. They're plain names fit for hard times, and we're sure to see more of them in the hardscrabble months ahead: Dorothy, Helen, Ruth, and Frances for girls; Thomas, Edward, Frank, Raymond, and Harold for boys.
Plus stylish new occupational names -- Gardener, Ranger, Miller -- are likely to gain in appeal for both boys and girls as actual jobs become more scarce.
Most Surprising Comeback Name
Leon, middle name choice for Brangelina twin Knox, had become a joke in the U.S. but was on the rise in Europe, where all lion-related names -- Leo, Leonora, Lionel -- are tres chic. Leon and Leonie are the number one names in Germany, and for the first time in decades, have style potential in the U.S.
Best New Trend Inspired by a Celebrity Baby Name
Jessica Alba's infant Honor has ushered in a new appreciation for virtue names -- Faith, Hope, Patience, Mercy, Justice, True, and Pax are all rising through the ranks.
Hottest Gender-Bending Trend
There's a switch going on in what's popular -- now we're seeing more boy names that end in a vowel sound and girl names that end in a consonant. Examples: Ezra, Eli, Noah, Hugo for boys; and for girls, Annabel instead of Annabella, or Gwen instead of Jenna.
Ethnic Name Groups Most Likely to Rise
Hawaiian and Russian, thanks to First Daughters Malia and Sasha, short for Natasha, Obama.
Trendiest Trend-Related Trend
Names that are considered too trendy by stylish parents before they ever even really get popular, by virtue of their association with other, trendier names or with high visibility celebrities. Examples: Ada, fresh yet too close to mega-popular Ava. Pearl, too much like groovy Ruby. Roman, son of Cate Blanchett, and Matilda, daughter of Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger.
Girl Trend Ready to Jump the Shark
Names that end in -ella, from Isabella to Gabriella to Bella and even Ella herself. The long trend for that extra-syllable "a" ending is about to end.
Boy Trend Ready to Jump the Shark
Names that rhyme with -aden: Braden, Caden, Jaden, Xaden, you've had your moment in the sun.
Coolest Middle Name Trend
Names that carry powerful meaning, launched when people adopted the middle name Hussein in solidarity with Obama. Less name than symbol, the new middle name may carry political meaning, convey ethnic background, stand in for a place, animal, character, or thing that has meaning for the parents.
New "It" Vowel
"I," with the rise of such iNames as Isaiah, Iris, Isaac, and Isla.
Most Fashionable Consonant
"V," vivifying names wherever it falls: Olive, Vivienne, Eva, Victor, Avery, Violet, Evan, Nevaeh.
Name Trend That's Best for the Earth
Green Names, which include the recycling of grandma and grandpa names such as Mabel and Max, and also nature names drawn from water (Bay, Lake), trees (Birch, Oak), and flowers (Violet, Poppy, Iris.)
Trend Most Likely to Cross the Ocean
The hot British baby-naming trend of using nicknames from Millie to Alfie to Dixie and Dot is coming our way, as a light-hearted antidote to tough times.
Most Surprising Celebrity Name Inspiration
Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post was the media star of the 2008 election, is an attractive and influential person, but hardly the kind of tabloid hottie who usually inspires thousands of baby namesakes. But joining Ashton and Angelina, the name Arianna has ascended with Huffington's renown, reaching number 70 in the last year counted and certain to zoom higher.
Trend We'd Most Like to See Die
Scary, violent names like Talon, Cannon, and Gunner.
+++ What do you think? See any names here that inspire you when it comes to picking one for your new baby?