2021’s Top Baby Naming Trends: From Hope & Optimism To Cottagecore
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Photography by Ayanna Kimani's Daughter Nia, Photographed by Nicki Sebastian
They’ve brought us the Top 200 baby names of 2020 (Luna, Arlo, and Milo included), and now the baby name trend-trackers at Nameberry have boiled down what they’re calling the 10 hottest over-arching trends when it comes to baby names in 2021. After the turbulence of 2020 (which has and will no doubt continue to bleed into 2021), perhaps it’s no surprise that the first—and biggest—trend of all seems to be monikers infused with some much-needed optimism and hope.
Take a look at the breakdown of all ten 2021 baby names trends—plus dozens of name inspiration to go with ’em—below!
Trend #1: Magic Names
Think fables, superheroes (and anti-heroes), Greek gods and goddesses, and words that inspire bravery, strength, and power (sometimes quite literally).
Examples: Adonis, Artemis, Brave, Cyrus. Delilah, Evander, Guinevere, Jupiter, Kali, Kylo, Legend, Lilith, Loki, Lucifer, Messiah, Mazikeen, Noble, Ophelia, Oz, Pandora, Persephone, Powerful, Savita, Titan
Trend #2: Cottagecore Names
For those with dreams of homesteading and immersing themselves in nature (especially folks of the Millennial and Gen Z variety), come these idyllic names that conjure the woodsy, natural world.
Examples: Bear, Clover, Faye, Fletcher, Flora, Jane, Maisie, Opal, River, Rowan, Silas, Wilder
Trend #3: Gender Bend -ari Names
The hottest unisex name trend is those monikers that end with -ari. Often with roots in Japanese or Swahili, the letters within these names can be mixed and matched to make them extra unique.
Examples: Akari, Amari, Azari, Camari, Emari, Imari, Jahari, Kamari, Khari, Kiari, Sakari, Zamari
Trend #4: Billie Eilish
Nameberry predicts the name Billie will reenter the Top 1000 most popular names in 2021, for the first time since the last century. All thanks to the teen pop star born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. Plus, expect to see a surge in Billie-inspired names, including other “boyish” nicknames for girls.
Examples: Baird, Billie, Connell, Eilish, Finneas, Frankie, Jessie, Josie, Pirate, Stevie, Sunny, Teddy
Trend #5: Japanese Origin Names
More and more U.S. parents are looking to Japan as inspiration for their baby’s name. Especially hot are those monikers that end with an “i.”
Examples: Aiko, Akuma, Amaya, Azami, Chihiro, Goku, Kaori, Kyomi, Midori, Mika, Ren, Yuki
Trend #6: Goodbye Cora & Cove
Nameberry expects names with Cov- and Cor- roots to take a nose dive in 2021, thanks to their possibly too-close association with the dreadful words COVID and coronavirus.
Examples: Cora, Coral, Coralie, Coraline, Cordelia, Corey, Corinne, Cove
Trend #7: For Ever Ever
Turns out people really like the word “Ever,” in all of its forms.
Examples: Ever, Everard, Everest, Everett, Everlee, Everleigh, Everly, Everlyn, Everlynn, Evers, Everson, Everton
Trend #8: Long A (For Girls)
Whether made with an “a” or an “e,” the lovely long A sound is particularly hot for girl names in 2021.
Examples: Ada, Adelaide, Ayla, Esme, Haven, Hazel, Layla, Mabel, Maeve, Phaedra, Reina, Vega
Trend #9: Bird-Inspired Middle Names
A rash of celebrities—and non-celebrities, alike!—are starting to use sing-song’y bird names as middle names for their new hatchlings. And we can’t blame them!
Examples: Birdie, Dove, Falcon, Hawk, Lark, Nightingale, Peregrine, Phoenix, Robin, Sparrow, Swan, Wren
Trend #10: Day Names
Perhaps inspired by Harry Potter star Rupert Grint’s new baby Wednesday, Nameberry is forecasting a rise in day names, especially Sunday and Tuesday.
Examples: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
To get a more thorough explanation of each of these trends, head over to Nameberry!
For more baby name inspiration, be sure to read through the top 200 names of 2020 (which are sure to go strong in 2021), the baby names that defined the past decade, the most popular baby names of 2019, and the hottest monikers around the globe—from Iceland to Japan.
Share this story