Seven Top Trends for Baby Names in 2021 That Are So Darling
Posted on January 21 2021
Baby name trends can tell you a lot about what was going on at any given moment in history.
Take for example all the way back when the Puritans started immigrating to America. At first, they stuck to Biblical names to prove their devotion to religion before switching to moral attributes, such as Faith and (believe it or not) Steadfast. Parents in the 18th century were more inspired by the American Revolution. Just think—how’d you like to have George Washington as your first name?
The ways news, culture, and politics can impact our names isn’t always so heavy-handed. More recently, Hurricane Katrina’s grip on news coverage led to a jump in the popularity of names beginning with “K” by nine percent in the following years, as parents were so surrounded by the sound.
On a whole, American names have become more and more unique as the years go by. In 1900, 91 percent of children had names from the top 1,000 most popular names. One century later, that number dropped to 75 percent of girls and 86 percent of boys sharing names from the top 1,000 most popular names.
There will still always be favorites amongst expecting parents, and there were quite a few clear trends in 2019.
According to Social Security, names ending with ‘A’ sounds took seven out of the top ten spots for girls—Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, Isabella, Amelia, and Mia. Grandparents, get ready to say ah-h-h! The same wasn’t true for the list of popular boys names, which skewed a mix of classic and modern, with Liam, Noah, Oliver, and Mason making up part of the top ten.
While Social Security hasn’t released the most popular names of 2020, BabyCenter.com’s list is a trusted source for making accurate predictions each year. Its list has Amelia/Emelia climbing to number one for girls, with Oliva, Ava, and Charlotte all making reappearances for 2020. Newcomers were Aurora, Violet, Arya, and Luna—which all perfectly fit themes and trends we'll talk more on soon.
But that's enough about the past. Let's talk about the future of what we'll call our little ones. Below, we’ve pulled some of top trends for 2021 baby names, according to Nameberry, to help inspire you and your expecting loved ones.
1. Magical Names
Much of the past year has left us yearning for a hero, and we all want to imbue our children’s future with the courage and strength needed to weather difficult times. For these reasons, magical and heroic names are one of the top trends for 2021. This includes names of traits you’d find in a hero, like Brave and Noble, as well as the names of Greek gods, including Adonis, Artemis, and Athena.
2. Cottagecore Names
While many of us were cooped up in 2020, we have names that evoke nature on our mind for 2021. If it could be a Taylor Swift song, it could be a top name, and Nameberry says vintage and ethereal names will be popular for girls and woodsy, earthy names will be popular for boys.
Think Bear, River, Opal, and Rowan.
3. -ari Names
Unisex names have been on the rise, and the latest trend in the unisex category is names that end in -ari, which often have roots in Japanese or Swahili cultures. Akari, Imari, and Amari are all beautiful examples of this style of name.
4. Billie Eilish-Inspired Names
No, we are not joking. Because of her massive popularity (and her very long name—Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell), the record-breaking pop star is inspiring parents to choose names with boyish charm and Irish roots. Nameberry predicts Billie will reenter the top 1,000 most popular names for the first time since the last century, with Frankie, Connell, Finneas, and Stevie also gaining speed.
5. Avian Middle Names
The celebrity trend that Nameberry says is the most likely to take flight: Avian middle names. Citing Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s sweet choice of Daisy Dove and Kiley Casciano and Matthew Davis's artistic choice of Ripley Nightingale, you have a whole flock of options to inspire you for this trend. There are classics, such as Robin, and more unique choices, including Wren, Falcon, Lark, and Phoenix.
6. Long ‘A’ for Girls
‘A’ sounds continue to have a strong hold on popular names for girls, and Nameberry predicts Long A sounds will be popular in 2021. We love Ada, Esme, Hazel, and Maeve, but the list goes on and on.
7. Geographical Names
While our generation was more likely to be named after a place (looking at you, Savannah, Georgia, and Jackson), the direction for baby names these days is exactly that—a direction. We don’t think we need to mention what celebrity mega family has helped popularize this trend, but North, West, Westley, Everest, and Everrett are just a few of the names inspiring us to look around at all of the possibilities in 2021.