The Future of Baby Names—Popular Trends
Posted on July 23 2018
You might not know very many people named Bernard today, but around 150 years ago, in the Victorian era, it was one of the most popular names around.
So, what’s happening in baby names in 2018? Are we seeing any trends take off? Right now, the future of baby names seems endless, but here's what you can expect in the immediate future.
Gender Neutral Names Win
Over the last 100 years, there’s been a trend in the U.S. toward gender-neutral names. For example, in 1910 only 5% of babies named “Charlie” were girls. In 2016, 51% of Charlies were female. Another example is “Blake,” which was only a male name until 1951. Now, one-quarter of American Blakes are female.
As for why gender-neutral names are becoming so popular, it has to do with their versatility. Gender-neutral names give children the freedom to avoid sexism based on their names as well as stereotypes. The good news is that almost any name can be gender neutral if you want it to be. However, some of the most popular gender-neutral names include:
- Jaden (top 20 most popular baby boy name for 10 years)
Strong Female Names
Another trend is specific to baby girls. While 2016 didn’t see us elect our first female president in the U.S., it was still a great year for female empowerment with Women’s marches, the #MeToo movement, and more. And that emphasis on powerful women has been reflected in girls’ names in 2018.
To jump on this trend, you should choose a girl’s name that means intelligence or wisdom or one inspired by one of the amazing women in history. Examples include:
- Sophia (meaning intelligence)
- Bridget (meaning strength)
- Freya (goddess of love, war, and death)
While people aren’t naming their babies after President Trump or President Obama yet, there are many kids being named after earlier presidents. And don’t think this is a trend just for little boys. It’s popular for girls as well. In particular, parents are naming their children using surnames. Some of the most popular options include:
- Kennedy (girls)
- Madison (girls)
- Reagan (girls)
- Taylor (girls)
- Carter (boys)
- Jackson (boys)
- Tyler (boys)
While we started this article out by telling you that you probably haven’t heard Bernard around, that might not be the case for much longer. In 2018, people are going old school and opting for classic traditional names. We’re talking names that take you back to the past and have never really gone out of style and never will. Check out your parent’s old yearbook for some classic options such as:
Fantasy and Mythic Names
If traditional sounds boring and you have no interest in U.S. presidents, then the trend towards mythic and fantastical is perfect for you. More than ever before, parents are looking towards mythology, such as the Greek gods and heroes, as well as fantasy, like Game of Thrones, for name ideas. It’s a mix of pop culture as well as ancient history that’s completely updating naming conventions as we’ve always known of them. There are endless name options in this space including:
- Harry (Harry Potter)
- Castiel (Supernatural)
- Khaleesi (Game of Thrones)
If names of gods, goddesses, and fantasy characters are popular, it’s no surprise that superheroes are also having their day. Not only are superheroes dominating the movie theater. They’re also taking over boys’ names throughout the U.S. In fact, Kylo, from the Star Wars movies, is one of the fastest-rising boys’ names according to Social Security statistics. But that’s not the only superhero/anti-hero name to take off. Other popular hero names include:
- Harley (Suicide Squad)
- Pepper (Iron Man)
- Bishop (X-Men)
- Logan (Wolverine)
- Rocket (Guardians of the Galaxy)
- Jubilee (X-Men)
- Wade (Deadpool)
The best part about naming your child in 2018 and beyond is that anything is available to you. Baby names are currently covering the full gambit from incredibly unique to vintage. Nothing is off limits. It’s all about what you want and which baby names best fit your personality. So, don’t be afraid to be unashamedly you!