Hot baby names for 2012? 12 trends to follow!

Pamela Redmond Satran, developer of baby naming trend site Nameberry.com, has created a list of the top 12 trends for baby names in 2012. It is fascinating to see which names will be popular and what is happening in society to catapult those names to the forefront.

Here are six of the 12 trends Satran highlighted for The Huffington Post. For the full list in slide show form, click the link:

1.Surnames of heroes – Monroe (as in Marilyn), Landry (as in Tom) Palin (as in Sarah).

2. Names that are similar to the most popular name yet different:  “So Number 1 girls’ name Isabella gives rise to stylistically-related choices Arabella and Annabelle; Olivia, the top name in Britain, spawns spelling variation Alivia; Emma and Emily promote brother name Emmett.”

3. Firce names: “There are fierce animal names such as Bear, Fox, Wolf, Lynx and a range of names from Leo to Lionel that mean lion, and then there are the perhaps-even-fiercer names like Breaker, Ranger, and Wilder.”

4. West and Western-sounding names: such as “…West and Weston and Wesley, along with Western-sounding names fit for a new generation of ‘lil cowboys: Boone and Bo, Wyatt and Wylie, Cole and Colt, Zane and Shane, and even Maverick.”

5. A names: “…Fresh A names attracting attention on Nameberry include for girls, Acacia, Ada, Anais, Annelise, Anouk, Aria, Athena, Aurelia, and Azalea, and for boys, Alistair, Ambrose, Aragon, Archer, Arthur, Augustus, and Axel.”

6.Adjectives for names:  “…True, Noble, Brave, Strong, Loyal, Loving, Sunny, Golden, Royal, Happy. One UK soccer star and his fashionista wife tried to beat this trend by naming their son Trendy.”

I would tell parents wanting to do the same but different trend it is a huge mistake. We named Lilina for an Italian relative but later found out there was a popular Hispanic name very close to her name (Liliana) and she is constantly called that. I don’t know that we would have changed our mind but it’s no fun correcting everyone all the time. (See an example in the afternoon blog today.)

Another trend from the slide show is ie endings on nicknames coming back and I like that. Satran says the y will be replaced by the ie – like Lottie, Haddie, Addie. I think those are cute.

What do you make of the “fierce” names or the adjectives? I think you often hear of people picking names because they supposedly mean “warm or heart” or “gentle,” it’s just now they are using the actual adjective.

What’s the oddest trend or worst trend? Are you following any of the trends if you are an expectant parent? Did you know you were following a trend or did you just like the name?

Are these names better or worse than the other recent trends?

174 comments Add your comment

HB

November 22nd, 2011
6:39 am

Marilyn Monroe, Tom Landry, and Sarah Palin are fictional?

shaggy

November 22nd, 2011
7:14 am

Nadine…Oh Nadine, the praises I sing to thee. I have known two Nadines in my younger days, both smokin HOT! I think they both grew into their names.
Just thought I would share that…rather than write how only an idiot names their kid “Breaker”…oops I wrote it anyway.

TnT's Mom

November 22nd, 2011
7:56 am

Just remember whatever you name your child may sound cute, fun or interesting when they are a baby, but they have to live with the name the rest of their life. And keep in mind the spelling. I have spent my entire life having to spell my name as it is an uncommon spelling. Tami – not Tammy.

As I named my children, the spelling was my first concern and the type of nicknames. I really like the name Patrick and have family members named Patrick and Patricia, but cannot stand the name Pat – too ambigious. So, we used Patrick for a middle name.

MomOf2Girls

November 22nd, 2011
7:58 am

Don’t forget to take into consideration initials as well. We changed our daughter’s middle name just before naming her because we realized her initials would be GAG.

usually lurking

November 22nd, 2011
8:10 am

Ah yes, important to look at trends to make sure what NOT to name your child. When my oldest son was in the infant room at daycare, 4 of the 6 boys were named Nicholas.

Techmom

November 22nd, 2011
8:24 am

Our friends had a baby girl last week and had the hardest time picking a name. Literally on the 3rd day as they were leaving the hospital, they wrote something down and crossed it out and changed it. Original top 3 choices were: Reagan, Monroe & Paris. Most people liked Reagan but the nurses kept saying that it had been a very popular choice lately. I really like Monroe (not for Marilyn mind you) but they live in Monroe county and I thought it would be different. It’s a tad bit masculine for a girl but nonetheless, I like it. They initially wrote Monroe down and then changed it on the way out to Paris. Of course my husband’s reaction was, “after that stupid floozy who’s only popular b/c her parents are rich??” But location names seem to be popular lately (India, London).

I’m surprised at the rise in traditional names for boys like Jack. I know 3 people who’ve had boys in the last couple of years who names their boys Jack.

The other trend in the south seems to be the dual first names: Hannah Grace, Katie Jo, Mary Susan, Mary Beth, etc. I know the Mary Susan and Mary Beth at my son’s school were passed down names but there really are a bunch of the girls with two first names.

Chesty LaRue

November 22nd, 2011
8:27 am

I named my daughter Tumbleweed Hair LaRue

LaQuidra

November 22nd, 2011
8:30 am

I like to go back to my African roots, so I named my son QuTinta Barack Green.

LeeH1

November 22nd, 2011
8:38 am

In the Bible, parents named the boy child after a male relative, usually of the father’s side. In my family, we continued this practice, and name the girl babies after a woman, usually on the mother’s side of the family, sometimes using the surname of the mother’s or grandmother’s family.

Naming a baby something current and fanciful only shows the parents are not ready for parenthood, because they are willing to name their child for life with a humorous or difficult name that will shape them all life long. Think of the song, “A Boy Named Sue”.

Manipulation of another person from a position of authority is not love.

Doris M

November 22nd, 2011
8:42 am

Please be mindful in naming your child. Of course, it’s your child and you can name him/her anything you want. But that child has to live with the name. So give a name that the child can spell; that another persons can pronounce; that doesn’t have some silly initials, etc.

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

November 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

Manipulation of another person from a position of authority is not love.

Can’t the same be said for you method of naming children? Really?……The bible? The same book that tells of a talking snake? A guy that lives in a whale? Another old man that manages to procure 2 of every species on this planet and place on a large boat? Really?

Penguinmom

November 22nd, 2011
8:46 am

@hb – that was my thought as well. Perhaps the ‘non-’ was left off?

I would avoid the most popular names/trends unless a name was a family name or one I just absolutely adored and had planned to use all along. My own name was popular (made the top 10) around the time I was born and, as a result, I know several people in our group of friends with my first name. I still go by first name and last initial at times in order to tell the difference. Since my maiden name is also fairly common, I actually had a classmate in 6th grade with the same first and last name as me and have run into many others with my whole name as well (not counting the middle name).

So far, only my eldest’s name (nickname actually) is at all common. When we named him ‘Trey’ (as a nickname), I didn’t know many people with that name but now we hear it regularly.

JJ

November 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

On my Dad’s side of the family, the first born male son takes his father’s first name as his middle name. This tradition was good for about 5 generations. Unfortunately, it stopped with my brother, who had two girls……

When naming a baby, stand outside and YELL that name 10 times. If you still like it, go for it…..

I named my daughter after me. We both have the same first names, similar middle names (with unusual spelling)…..I go by my first name, she goes by a shortened version of her middle name.

When my sister in law had the first niece, we were told her name. She had this name picked out the moment she found out she was pregnant. About 3 days before the baby is born, she announces she has changed the name, and would be shortened, and spelled a certain way. We all show up at the hospital after the baby is born, we have balloons and other things with her specialy spelled name on them, and as we walk into the room, my SIL looks at me and says, “That’s not how I’m spelling her name”…….LOL…so my niece has all this stuff with a different name on it….

Making baby Jesus cry for over 2000 years.

November 22nd, 2011
9:00 am

I think we should use more verbs for babies names. The indians did.

Drinks Like Fish
Runs With Scissors
Tax The Rich
Shoes For Fun

I like those names.

MatthewH

November 22nd, 2011
9:02 am

In 2008 we named our son Monroe after my great-grandfather’s middle name. We have received several compliments on his unique name. I would hate to think that anyone believes we named him after Marilyn Monroe.

Fred

November 22nd, 2011
9:04 am

I love the made up names. They are so cool. So are the misspelled names. Come on folks, you can PRETEND you did it on purpose to be “cool” but we all know you were just stupid and couldn’t spell so your kid is stuck with a misspelled name.

I Love Life Cereal

November 22nd, 2011
9:05 am

Can’t the same be said for you method of naming children? Really?……The bible? The same book that tells of a talking snake? A guy that lives in a whale? Another old man that manages to procure 2 of every species on this planet and place on a large boat? Really?

Spare me the anti-religious rant.

Your post is “ate up” with FAIL.

Gordon Sumner

November 22nd, 2011
9:10 am

I agree….More verbs.

Sting

Jim Bob

November 22nd, 2011
9:15 am

C’mon, give the boys real names! Bob, George, Stan, Carl, Jim, and Mike. Then start over with Bob, again.

poor kids....

November 22nd, 2011
9:16 am

more kids being set up for having their resumes thrown in the trash on the first cut when looking for their first jobs…..

A B Normal

November 22nd, 2011
9:22 am

I get the “african roots” thing and I fully respect those who truly research and bestow names that have real meaning within their heritage. But c’mon people . . . “LaShontiqua RaDeia?” That’s setting up a kid for failure, not to mention it’s simply made up from various vowels and consonants randomly ordered to sound “african.” HR people avoid employment applications with names they can’t readily pronounce!

JJ

November 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

I love the name Scott. Had my daughter been a boy, she would have been named Scott.

AlsoMomOf2Girls

November 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

@MomOf2Girls – My husband’s initials are GAS. Needless to say, his mom didn’t think that through well at all. However, it suits him to a ‘T’ :).

I go by a shorten version of my middle name. From the time I began school, I constantly had to tell teachers “I don’t go by my first name, I go by my middle name but not my full middle name, I go by a shortened version of my middle name”. To make matters worse, my first name is Lara, pronounced like Laura, but everyone pronounced it ‘Larah’ (like Sarah). So not only was I telling people I didn’t go by that name, I had to tell them they were pronouncing my first name wrong. AND my middle name is one you usually find spelled with a ‘C’ but mine is spelled with a ‘K’.

So I decided a long time ago that whatever I wanted to name my child, it would be their first name and they would go by their first name. Then I just picked a middle name that went well with the first.

I feel so sorry for teachers these days. Parents think they’re being cute or different with names and spellings but really some are just creating more trouble than necessary.

catlady

November 22nd, 2011
9:34 am

As a teacher, I have heard some of the “most unusual” names you can imagine (I am being kind here). I had a boy called Ivy. He was Something Something Something the Fourth, so they called him IV. He sure hated that.

I’ve had others that were, ahem, eyebrow raising.

My kids are named for members of their families–great grandparents and great great grandparents. My son has continued the same tradition. Being so old, some seem a little odd, but the boys ere named for men who were well-respected in their communities. My daughter has used basic, good Anglo names that have withstood the test of time. My granddog is named after Greg Maddox.

When I was in the hospital recovering from the birth of my first child, my roommate was recovering (quickly) from the birth of her 13th! She had run out of names, and was on the phone to get her older, teenaged kids to come up with a name!

I was named after my grandfather. I was “supposed” to be a boy and there was no girl name picked out. My father refused to let my mom name me my grandfather’s name anyway, with Mary stuck before it, so they compromised on his nickname, which has worked out fine.

One assignment I give my kids at school is to find out why their parents gave them the name they did. We have lots of fun telling those stories.

Maddernheck

November 22nd, 2011
9:39 am

I agree with ‘poor kids’. Give your child a name that will serve them well as a child into adulthood. Thank goodness we’re past the Muffy and Trey trends. Grandma Muffy? Really? President Trey? Get real. My children have wonderful names – Emily and Daniel. Fine for children, and has served them well as they move into young adulthood. And no nicknames. I named them Emily and Daniel folks – not Em and Danny. Respect that.

Denise

November 22nd, 2011
9:41 am

My first name is Angele. It is usually spelled Angelle (even though Iknow of 2 others with one L). When it is with 2 LLs, I’ve never heard it mispronounced but I get AngelA 9 times out of 10. Ticks me off. I guess people either think Mama can’t spell or was trying to be “different” or “unique”. Negative. My name is not Angela. I love my name (even though I didn’t love my great-grandmother for whom I am named) so I’m not upset about having it but I do get annoyed at having to correct people over and over on how to pronounce it. I can see the first or second time but dang. I won’t get into the fact I have 2 middle names. Denise is the first.

My sister-in-law spells my niece’s name Kenadie instead of Kennedy. So far so good on her teacher not having any issues mispronouncing it but she’s only in preschool and the teacher meets the parents first. Hopefully she won’t have too many issues as she progresses through school but she should be fine after correcting folks the first time. My sister-in-law got a little too “creative” with 2 of her sons’ names – combining hers with their fathers’ – and I’m hoping they don’t have issues later on but who knows. They are easy to pronounce but if I saw the resume I might give it the side-eye. Thank goodness they are young and by the time they go for jobs the people hiring them will have crazy names too so it probably won’t be a problem.

Roekest

November 22nd, 2011
9:42 am

It’s official! Baby names have been co-opted by trailer parks and public housing!

LaQuidra

November 22nd, 2011
9:44 am

A B Normal
November 22nd, 2011
9:22 am

I get the “african roots” thing and I fully respect those who truly research and bestow names that have real meaning within their heritage. But c’mon people . . . “LaShontiqua RaDeia?” That’s setting up a kid for failure, not to mention it’s simply made up from various vowels and consonants randomly ordered to sound “african.” HR people avoid employment applications with names they can’t readily pronounce!

It sho didnt take long for the racists to reply!

Ms. KP

November 22nd, 2011
9:44 am

LaQuidra like we really believe you are African. Anyone who was really embracing their “roots” or heritage woud not have made that comment especially using Barak. You tried but you fooled no one but yourself. I tried to do like everyone else and ignore it but that was really stupid.

HB

November 22nd, 2011
9:46 am

@AlsoMomOf2Girls, I also grew up going by a shortened version of my middle name. It didn’t cause too many problems down South, I think because was pretty common there to go by a middle name, but boy did it confuse yankees when I moved north. Switching to the full version of my middle name has helped (as an adult, I like it better anyway), but I still have to explain it a lot.

LaQuidra

November 22nd, 2011
9:48 am

Whats your point? Barack is not an African name? I cant name my child after what I preceive to be a great man? How dare you call me stupid!

motherjanegoose

November 22nd, 2011
9:52 am

@ TWG…how do you pronounce your daughter’s name…is is Lil E na? I can see where it could cause a problem as I always thought it was Lil E ana. I was simply not looking closely. Sorry!

I Googled it and found this: http://www.babyhold.com/list/Italian_Baby_Names/Liliana/details/

so now I am REALLY confused! I think it says Iliana is Spanish and Liliana is Italian!

@ also….yes, the teachers have their plates full of names one cannot even pronounce. I have looked at name tags on children and thought what? Add on the fact that we have many more cultures in the metro area, than we used to, and those names are here too! To me, a cultural name is one thing but a made up name or even one that seems misspelled could be asking for trouble.

I did not want my two explaining themselves upon being introduced. Everyone in this house has a first, middle and last name that most folks would have NO trouble pronouncing. My two also have names that could be written quickly in school. No struggling for a child to form a long line of letters. That comes from being a teacher. My maiden name was difficult, as it was Dutch and nearly everyone misspelled it or mispronounced it. Thankfully, my married name is two syllables and easy.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
9:54 am

@HB, that was my first thought as well. Scary that the Huffington Post doesn’t know the difference between Fiction and Non.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
9:55 am

If you name our kid Fox or Ranger, you suck.

JJ

November 22nd, 2011
9:57 am

LOL MJG – my maiden name is scottish and so many people mis-pronounce it, and it’s 10 letters long. I prayed to marry a man with a short last name, and I got Jones. HAHAHA…be careful what you ask for…..

Rachel

November 22nd, 2011
10:03 am

Just my opinion but using surnames as first names is dumb.

HB

November 22nd, 2011
10:03 am

Jarvis, if you click on the link, HP actually has a longer description that is correct (”Such surname names may honor heroes real or fictional, contemporary or historic, from the arts, sports, or the world stage, and work for girls as well as boys”), so I don’t think the error is theirs.

E

November 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

People, people, people…

Give your kid a normal name. This is not supposed to be about you.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

@catlady, the story about the 13th child’s name being hard to come up with hits home for me. My grandmother was one of fifteen. Her youngest brother, the fifteenth was Jr.

We assume my great grandparents ran out of names.

Jesse's Girl

November 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

I wonder…and I’m sure someone likely has….if anyone has written a piece recently regarding the affect that afrocentric names have on children and their success in life? Although….I think Petunia Ann sounds equally as stupid as Shaqualonda.

CS

November 22nd, 2011
10:09 am

A friend of mine has 4 kids with unique names. She wanted something different for her son, but felt you cant get as out there with a boys name as a girls. She ended up going with Emeryk. I think she hit the mark with unique yet still strong and masculine. I liked the spelling Emerick better, but she went with a y instead. Her daugters all have pretty feminine names.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
10:10 am

Jesse’s, the book Freakanomics points to evidence that it isn’t in fact the unusual names that cause people difficulty when they grow up.

The authors suggest that rather it is the impact of being the offspring of someone dumb enough to name their child something unusual to begin with. Bascially it took a dumb people to name the child Petunia Ann in the first place, thus Petunia Ann has been given less intelligent genes and has been raised by untintelligent people.

The name was correlated to the problem not the cause of it.

put away the naming smock

November 22nd, 2011
10:13 am

It’s sad for the kid when the mother takes the naming responsibility as an opportunity to display her creative/artistic side.

Paint a picture instead. Or take piano lessons.

RxDawg

November 22nd, 2011
10:14 am

“LaQuidra like we really believe you are African.”

I don’t

RxDawg

November 22nd, 2011
10:15 am

Oh neverming, misread your post. Looks like were on the same page.

The Committee for Normalcy in Baby and Subdivision Names

November 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

Names, names, names . . . everybody trying to sound faux preppy these days. Just remember that for all the Camdens, Brandons, Madison, and Wylers that you were all born and raised on grits and grease just like the rest of us.

RK

November 22nd, 2011
10:19 am

Firce names? Speel cheek?

Mason - age 8

November 22nd, 2011
10:24 am

My parents make me talk with a southern accent. We live in Johns Creek.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
10:26 am

Committee, you had me right up to Brandon.
I’ve always known lots of Brandons, and I was born in 1975 into a middle class family in Stone Mountain.

The Committee for Normalcy in Baby and Subdivision Names

November 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

Actually, I met to say Brenden. Or for that matter Cooper, Peyton, Hamilton, Barkley, and Jasper.