We may not even be into the new year, but parenting experts have already made their predictions on the most popular baby names of 2018.
According to a recent trend report from Nameberry, some of the most popular upcoming trends include monikers influenced by powerful women, unexpected heroes and the theatre.
“I’m surprised at how many of the biggest trends in baby names approach gender from many different directions,” says Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry. “It was surprising this year how central it was to so many other trends, from strong female names to boyish nicknames for girls to fashionable names for boys to unisex presidential names.”
She adds this is an exciting trend because parents aren’t focused so much on “girl” names and “boy” names.
“It used to be that feminism in names was a one-way street: It was cool for girls to get more masculine or powerful names, but not for boys to get more feminine or decorative names,” she continues. “Now we see these qualities going both ways, with girls’ names getting more serious, boys’ names getting more decorative, both meeting on a more equal level.”
Redmond Satran adds trend predictions are based on 30 years of name research and analysis. Nameberry measures internal statistics on which names parents are searching for the most, and what parents are talking about on their forums.
“And then there’s an element of art too, gauging what’s going on in society and pop culture and seeing how that connects with statistics on names.”
BabyCentre, which also released findings on upcoming name trends in November, focused on pop culture and events like the royal wedding of 2018.
Here are some of the trends forecasted by both Nameberry and BabyCentre for the new year.
Strong female leads
Since films like Wonder Woman were such hits in 2017, Nameberry suggests names inspired by strong female leads are expected to be popular in the new year.
“A handful of studies have identified the names most likely to get into top colleges, which include serious girls’ names finding new appeal with baby namers, including Eleanor, Margaret, and Ruth,” Redmond Satran says.
Other winners are names that mean intelligence or wisdom like Sophia and Pallas, names that mean strength like Matilda and Bridget, and heroines and goddesses like Freya, Luna and Arya, Redmond Satran notes.
World Cup fever
With the FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia in the summer of 2018, BabyCentre predicts parents may also venture out into the sports world. Names like Harry, Raheem, Marcus and Jamie (all professional soccer players) are said to be popular.
Fashion-forward names for boys
Redmond Satran says in 2017, boys’ names were heavily influenced by fashion shifts.
The royal family
With so many royal news stories to expect in 2018 — including a royal baby and another royal wedding — BabyCentre notes names like Harry and Meghan could also start trending in the new year.
“In 2017’s top 100 boys’ names, Albert is at number 82 and Arthur is at 28. Both names could become even more popular with BabyCentre parents if chosen by the royal couple,” the site notes.
Ending in ‘er’ and ‘i’
Gone are those days when names ending in “er” referred to boys’ names and “i” was referred to girls. “Many of the hottest girls’ names borrow the boys’ workmanlike -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,” Redmond Satran says.
Names like Aurora (X-Men), Harley (Suicide Squad), May (Spider-Man), Odin (Thor), Rhodes (Iron Man), and even Rocket (Guardians of the Galaxy), are all set to be on trend for 2018, Nameberry predicts.
“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,” Redmond Satran says.