Heidi's Klum's catchphrase, "One day you're in, and the next day you're out," might as well have been spoken about baby names. Over the years, we’ve seen names come, go, and even make a few comebacks. So, to help you find the right name for your baby-to-be, we polled the nation’s leading baby name experts on what we can expect from the coming year. Here are the baby name trends that will rock the name runway this year.
No, this doesn’t mean Rain, Ocean, and Agua are going to be big this year. It means names are becoming increasingly soft-sounding, ditching hard consonants for a whole lot of vowels, says Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, Revised 3rd Edition: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby. Raindrop names, which go by the same premise but are much shorter, are also booming.
Examples: Liam is the sixth most popular boy's name, while Ava is sitting pretty at number five for girls, according to the latest available data from the Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names. Amelia, Anaya, Aliya, and Eliana are also popular.
Eccentric Family Names
“Family names have been big for a while, but we see parents more willing to revive quirky names from great grandma and grandpa,” says Pamela Redmond Satran, co-creator of NameBerry.com.
Examples: Authur and Edith are making a big comeback, and more and more parents are using grandma’s maiden name as a first name, Satran says. McGuire does have a certain ring to it.
Boys Names as Girls’ Middle Names
Forget feminized boys' names like Henrietta and Georgina. Now, boys' names are moonlighting as girls’ middle names.
Examples: James is leading the pack, according to NameBerry.com. In fact, Autumn James, the name of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brian Hallisay’s baby girl, was the second most popular celebrity baby name of 2013, says a BabyCenter.com survey of more than 5,000 moms.
Names Ending in “et”
Names ending in "et" (think: Scarlet) are nothing new, but they're becoming increasingly popular, says Wattenberg. While the actual spelling is a pretty big trend, the sound is probably the more important factor.
Examples: Charlotte was the 19th most popular U.S. baby name in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration. Other options include: Emmet and Everet.
Latin American-Inspired Names
We’re seeing a surge in traditional Latin American names, suggests research from BellyBallot, a website where expectant parents can create their own ballot of potential baby names to let friends and family vote on their faves.
Examples: Lola, Maria, Carmen, Sierra, Ernesto, Diego, Santos, Miguel, and Luis are leading the pack, says site editor Lucie Strachonova Wisco.
“New” Biblical Names
Going back 2,000-plus years and showing up on the Social Security Administration’s popular baby name list year after year, Biblical names are nothing new. But lesser-known Bible names such as Caleb, Levi, Luke, Isaiah, Naomi, Shiloh, and Judith are getting a rebirth. “Parents want something more traditional, but still unique, for their kids,” says Strachonova Wisco.
Examples: Wattenberg predicts Old Testament names will top the list for boys this year. Consider Noah, the name of Michael Bublé and Luisana Lopilato’s son.
Thanks largely to celebrities, people feel oversaturated with out-there names and are turning to unique spellings of more tried-and-true names to set their babies apart, says Strachonova Wisco. Made-up names are becoming less popular, in favor of unique spellings of more common names, she explains.
Examples: Izak, Karder, Riyan, Kooper, Mykel, Emhily, Brooke, Lynn, and Meeya are among the most popular unconventionally spelled conventional names, says Strachonova Wisco.
TV- and Movie-Inspired Names
OK, this trend isn’t exactly new; just think about how the name Emma skyrocketed right after Ross and Rachel named their baby that on Friends. “Pop culture, especially TV shows and movies, can turn a relatively unheard of name into the baby name of the year,” says Strachonova Wisco.
Examples: Hayley and Camille from The Originals, Piper from Orange Is the New Black, and Ichabod and Katrina from Sleepy Hollow are all on the up-and-up, says Strachonova Wisco. Also, as more British TV shows (think: Game of Thrones, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey) are taking the States by storm, so are traditionally British names like Owen, Trevor, Eva, and Annabel, says Jennifer Moss, founder of BabyNames.com.
Between Hogwarts, Thor, and vampire everything, “fantasy is huge right now,” says Strachonova Wisco. Case in point: The name Luna Encinas (which Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem chose for their daughter) earned fourth place in BabyCenter.com’s most-liked celebrity baby names survey.
Examples: Luna, Camilla, Gaia, Tristan, Damon, and Thor
Virtuous Names for Boys
We’ve loved names like Hope and Noel for girls for a long time. Now, boys are joining in on the oh-so virtuous trend.
Examples: Justice and Noble are big for baby boys right now, says Satran.
Related: Cool and Unique Boy Names