In 2012, “Aiden” reigned king among male names and “Sophia” was his queen; 2013 is predicted to be a year populated with many newborns named “Isabella” and “Jacob”. Is it because many expecting mothers are diehard Twilight fans? Not necessarily. Pop culture media can influence baby name trends in numerous ways. While some parents might be inclined to name their child “Emma” (the second most popular girl’s name in 2012) as intentional homage to the increasingly popular actress Emma Stone, the media’s portrayals of famous individuals and characters shapes our subconscious associations with names. Additionally, by repeated exposure to particularly stories or a name, it is in the front of our minds so, when parents are grappling to find suitable names, it is one of the first options that is conjured up. One such example? Hurricane Katrina spurred an increase in names starting with “K,” as simply hearing the name on a consistent basis planted the seed in parents’ minds.
As a population, we do take our baby naming cues from the rich and famous; similar to how we do with fashion, we trust that celebrities are ahead of the baby-naming curve and look to them to tell us what the wave of the future is. However, as what was once “unique” becomes average, stars continue to try and differentiate their offspring and continue to seek the unordinary. Whether they are icons or every-day-citizens, most parents reach to name their children something that is distinctive and unique, and yet familiar enough to be easily recognized and pronounced. This notion explains why names that were abandoned in yesteryears as being too typical (like Pearl, Charles, Monty and Florence) are expected to make a comeback, as well as the increasing trend of families tweaking the spelling of otherwise common names.
In the hunt for something new, parents are increasingly creating new names, finding inspiration in locations (Camden, Tennessee, India) surnames (Kennedy, Hawkins) and even technology (Mac, Siri). Parents are increasingly looking beyond the American border for inspiration. While we are inspired by the likes of Prince William, Scandinavian and Irish names provide variety that doesn’t seem too much of a stretch. Additionally, there has been a rise in names inspired by ancient Rome and Greece, examples including “Cassius,” “Titus” and “Antonia.” Parents are also finding ideas in the natural world with names like “Clover,” “Juniper” and “Violet” fervently growing.
Tell us in the comment section below whether or not you’re a fan of these budding trends and what you personally forecast for the upcoming year.