A recent Time poll on Millennial parents found that 60% of them think it’s “somewhat, very, or extremely important that their child’s name be unique.” That stat is quite a jump from generations past (44% of Gen-X’ers found it important, and only 35% of Baby Boomers said the same), but it likely comes as little surprise to most of you reading this article. For today’s parent, naming your child something creative, unexpected, classically cool, and definitely not replicated within your friend group has become a sort of competitive sport within itself, which often leads to parents shielding their precious moniker from judgement (or copycats) until the birth is announced alongside a shiny-new hashtag.
Of course, like anything “unique,” once the cat’s out of the bag, floating around via social media, and perhaps unconsciously inspiring others, these at-one-time-special names become a part of the zeitgeist, and soon there are entire communities of children with somewhat predictable, similar names. We find this whole baby-naming process utterly fascinating, leading us to watch the annual Social Security Administration Top Baby Name reports like a hawk, as well as the new offspring names of a wide variety of cultural tastemakers.
After taking all of this information in, we’ve definitely got a few theories ourselves on what baby names we think we’ll all be seeing a lot of in 2016 and beyond. And we’re not talking about the names popular with the masses—Emma and Olivia, Noah and Liam, etc. Instead, we’re most interested in the more indie baby names chosen by a particular “style set,” if you will, that are bound to rule.
Our predictions? In the same way that fashion trends swing back around, so many old-school names (think: your grandmother Lydia, Ruby, etc.) suddenly feel very fresh. We see this trend especially hot for girls, along with naming one’s daughter with a nod to the fashion world (Chloe, Stella, Coco, Dries), or channeling one’s Earth Mother vibes (Iris, Willow, Violet). Meanwhile, we’re anticipating boys names to remain of the more classic variety (James, Lou), mixed with some last-names-as-first-names options (Ford, Harrison, Cohen), references to nature/animals (River, Bear), as well as old names that now sound incredibly cute (Gus, Auggie, Jasper). And now, without further ado, our predictions for the “unique” baby names that are about to start trending…
Did we leave any of your favorite “unique” names off our list? (Of course we did!) Fill us in on the comments below…or keep them locked up for your own use.
Rose (in any variation)