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

MamaP

November 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

My son’s middle name is Pierce, for Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H. He was my TV hero as a kid.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
10:32 am

@CS, Freakonomics also points directly to alternative spellings as a sign of uneducation. Replacing the “Y” with an “I” or vice versa for example.

Tiffani and Brandi are two they list for “least-educated” parents’ preferred names for girls.

Gray

November 22nd, 2011
10:37 am

If I EVER run into a kid named Palin, I am going to back hand the kid’s mother and father. UGH!!!!!

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
10:39 am

All these names sound like kids on “Toddlers and Tiaras” …. especially the unisex ones like Cooper, Peyton, etc. Whatever you do, please don’t name your child PALIN, how disgusting.

Ann

November 22nd, 2011
10:42 am

Let’s pretend like we live in the old south and give our kids surnames for first names! Yay!

Jen

November 22nd, 2011
10:43 am

We gave our son a family name, Luc, after my husband’s great grandfather (who he actually knew until his g-grandfather passed when he was 10), who was from France.

American brains, however, have trouble with the 3-letter spelling. When they see it written down they convert it to: Lucy, Louis, and Lucas. And sometimes they just start respelling it Luke.

I’m not into names after celebrities or locations. I’m all about digging in the family tree for a name.

Just Call Me Ski

November 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

Met a grown woman recently whose first name is “Leprechaun”. Seriously.

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
10:48 am

@Just Call Me — did they call her “Lepper” for short, LOL

ATL

November 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

Any name is better than “Apple.” Heck, why don’t we name our kids “Computer” or “Desk?”

Relationship Expert

November 22nd, 2011
10:54 am

Babies having babies and babies naming babies are contributors to the baby name fiasco.

MomOfNo1

November 22nd, 2011
10:54 am

Congrats, people. You’re ensuring your child’s future as a stripper.

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
10:58 am

I’m surprised there aren’t a bunch of 20-year old Oprahs running around, thank God for that.

Donna Wright

November 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

Remember also that if you call your child a nickname or by their middle name, there will be numerous times when they must go by their legal name. Hospitals, insurance, passports, (which means plane tickets) and many more times when you must enter it on a computer. My husband has had numerous instances of pre-prepared nametags waiting on him with his first name on it when he goes by his middle name. At our church when we are looking for one of our members in the hospital or for surgery, we have lots of times when we can’t find them because we don’t know their “real” name–particularly if they have a common last name. Try to make the first name the one you will call them–its just easier.

JJ

November 22nd, 2011
11:08 am

Neighbor’s kid is pregnant with a boy. They are trying to pick names. So far these are what they like…..

Ryder.
Erik
Cooper
Harley
Anthony

I like all but Harley. That’s a good name for a dog, not a boy…Eric is my favorite so far.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 22nd, 2011
11:14 am

HB – I don’t know what I did wrong there – you are totally right — I will check the original list and correct — something went awry!

Just Call Me Ski

November 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

I think “Awry” is a great name for a baby – especially one that wasn’t planned.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

JJ, what’s with the “k” at the end of Eric?
Did you ask that? Isn’t that the Viking-spelling of the name?

Speaking of Hawkeye Pierce...

November 22nd, 2011
11:25 am

…I always liked B J Hunnicutt’s name – he was named after his mother and father – Bee Hunnicutt and Jay Hunnicutt…..

And......

November 22nd, 2011
11:28 am

…just what is wrong with the name Palin????

We have a friend who named her son Payton, after Walter Payton, and her daughter Carlin, after
George Carlin…

Burnt Weenie Sandwich

November 22nd, 2011
11:32 am

I’ve always liked the name Blanton……Or Carling…..Or Mel

Whenever I hear the name Palin...

November 22nd, 2011
11:37 am

…I think of a beautiful woman who is really smart and knows how to use what the good Lord gave her…

Unlike someone named Barack, who is an effing joke of an individual – why would anyone name their kid that name when that is the image that it immediately brings to mind…

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
11:44 am

@Whenever, I’m a Republican, and if being a folksie-over-the-top grandstanding quitting distraction from what the Party is trying to do, is “smart”, I guess I agree with you.

JJ

November 22nd, 2011
11:44 am

@whenever – I agree……

@Jarvis – I like it spelled with a K. They are leaning towards the “C”….but I like things a little different. Like I said earlier, my daughter’s middle name is common, but I put a beautiful twist on the spelling. Now every time I hear her name, it puts a smile on my face….

Whenever I hear the name Palin...

November 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

Enter your comments here

Uh, jarvis...

November 22nd, 2011
11:56 am

…who said anything about the “Republican Party”? I was talking about the name and what it projects TO ME…..

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
12:02 pm

Palin, Sean and Rush are the worst names I can imagine…. think obnoxious bobbleheads on your dashboards. You could also run down the Dugger list with all J’s – equally disgusting.

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
12:05 pm

@Whenever I hear the name Palin – I WANT TO TOSS, ditzy bubblehead who can’t speak intelligently and can’t debate, that’s obivously why she is a quitter. Quitters are not role models.

Anj

November 22nd, 2011
12:09 pm

You may name your child after a relative, but ONLY if the relative is deceased. Since the unfortunate tradition of naming children for living relatives is not common for girls, it’s usually the boys who get stuck with nicknames like: Junior, Little John, MiddleName and so on which creates confusion at a minimum and lack of identity at worst.

Do not use “creative” spellings. My name is rare, but has only two spellings that I know of. Girls have it worse this time, with the dropping of doubled consonants (one “l” instead of two), the frequent substitution of “y” for almost any other vowel, or the addition of vowels or consonants.
If you want a special name, pick one that isn’t common as Dianne or Dian or Dyan or Diane or….

Children are cute, but their names should not be unless you never plan on letting your children grow up. Or unless you want them to develop a permanent attitude. Terry Pratchett’s “Adora Belle Dearheart” usually glared at new acquaintances to help squash any remarks concerning her name. The glare escalated to a cutting remark if anyone impulsively commented.

Yes, I have seen many actual children’s names that made me wince. “Trane, Cole” was one. “_____, His Highness” was another.

If you have a common surname, please consider picking a less common first name. One doctor called the lab up INSISTING his patient had the wrong test results. We informed him that he had the wrong patient, and that there were three Dakota _____s currently admitted as inpatients. (Check the birth dates, check the patient ID #s please.) Yeah, at that time “Dakota” was a popular first name. There are procedures to make sure the correct account/patient/document are assigned to the correct individual, but people can be careless and hasty.

GreatATLGuy

November 22nd, 2011
12:11 pm

Grady Nimora was one…. the mother thought the nurse at the hospital was saying that….

shaggy

November 22nd, 2011
12:46 pm

I wish my parents would have capitalized when they named me “shaggy”.
Thinking about it makes me feel shy and fragile. I’m gonna go curl up in a fetal position again……

Freedom From Insanity

November 22nd, 2011
12:55 pm

As mentioned previously, the “made-up” names – i.e.: LaQuandra, Shanequa, Dontavious, etc. are truly turn-offs for HR people reviewing resumes. If you want a unique name, perhaps the middle name could be used for that purpose and a more normal name for a first name., Times are tough enough without having your children immediately ignored when they apply for a job. I understand all the reasons behind unique names, but give your children a boost-up rather than a slam-down.

Just so long as...

November 22nd, 2011
12:57 pm

…no one names their kid GreatATLGuy – that name conjures up an image of someone who hasn’t a lick of common sense at all…

And, please...

November 22nd, 2011
12:58 pm

..spare us the Ledasha and Female names, too…

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
1:05 pm

@shaggy, I feel the same way about jarvis.

jbm

November 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

I think Blanket if so far the strangest name. Why on earth did MJ do that?

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
1:28 pm

@jbm, that kid actually has the same name as his older brother. The King of Pop called him blanket….well cause he was a freak.

Burnt Weenie Sandwich

November 22nd, 2011
1:32 pm

Doesn’t the world end in 2012?

mamadeux

November 22nd, 2011
1:34 pm

Rules for naming your child:

1. Avoid any name that your child will be embarrassed to call themselves when they’re 50. Adjectives for names? Ugh. Stupid is an adjective. Would you name your kid that?

2. If you can’t put “Dr. ” in front of a name, don’t use that name. Dr. Bear Smith? I don’t think so.

I hate masculine/ambiguous girl names, too. Girls should NOT be named Monroe. End of story.

kartgirl00

November 22nd, 2011
1:40 pm

My mother decided to give all 3 of her daughters middle names that start with ‘A.’ I’m the only one that goes by my middle name. I gave my oldest 2 children family first names and they too have been cursed by going by their middle names (year after year having to explain to teachers that they are not William and Connie but J & L). With my new marriage came a new son and a new tradition. Hubby’s family passes down part of the father’s name to newborn. Elijah (Eli) got his daddy’s first name as his middle name who got his dad’s first name who got his dad’s middle name. I spent a lot of time deciding on names because I didn’t want my child to deal with a childish name when he was 60. Two out of my 3 kids go by their traditional names (Ok so they go by their nicknames, shortened versions of their name) and my poor daughter got stuck with a “trendy” name more used for a boy. She HATES her name, her whole name. But I blame that one on her dad. She has 3 boy friends who have the same name she goes by. So sorry. We are currently working on baby #4 and I am constantly trying to find a new name that won’t sound silly in 50 years or will cause my child any stress in school. In the end, you have to ask, how’s this name gonna look on a diploma, desk name plate or on a headstone?

Icky

November 22nd, 2011
1:48 pm

Anyone who would name a child after a waste of oxygen like Sarah Palin shouldn’t be reproducing anyway.( Look what she named her kids, BTW!)

Lisa

November 22nd, 2011
2:10 pm

Nothing quite says “My parents are rednecks!” like naming a child Cadence, Kaydance, or any other variation on the musical term.

GWB

November 22nd, 2011
2:14 pm

Sarah Palin is my hero…..I absolutely LOVE what she has done to shake up politics……and anyone who doesn’t like her, is AFRAID of her!!!! I believe she would be an IDEAL president, better than the current administration. She don’t take no crap!!! All wars would be over, all lifelong senators would be limited to 1 term, and all the nonsense in Washington would come to a screeching HALT.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
2:15 pm

@Anj, do people often tell you that you’re bossy?

Cat Mom

November 22nd, 2011
2:19 pm

Too many kre8tiv spellings out there these days from misguided parents trying to be unique when, really, they’re setting their kids up for a lifetime of hassles–including the possibility of being passed over for a job. Studies have shown that employers can look at identical resumes from job candidates and trash the one with an unprofessional looking/sounding name in favor of someone with a more traditional name.

Parents should always look at potential initials before naming their children to avoid anything embarrassing. I would take it a step further and Google the proposed name to make sure there’s not a notorius criminal or adult entertainer with the same name.

Frederick Allan Gaffney (check the initials)

November 22nd, 2011
2:28 pm

If there’s a “Blanket” – there should also be a “Pillow”.
Be aware of what the initials spell, especially when they are written on the gym clothes!

Cat Mom

November 22nd, 2011
2:30 pm

To AlsoMomOf2Girls:

I was named after the character Lara in “Doctor Zhivago,” but my mother purposely spelled my name Laura because she didn’t want people pronouncing it “Larah” as in Sarah.

Every now and then, people pronounce my name as “Lora,” which I admit sets my teeth on edge. I prefer the same pronunciation of the letter “a” as with the name Lars.

Somebody named "Icky"...

November 22nd, 2011
2:34 pm

…making fun of anyone’s name just ain’t right…

Anj

November 22nd, 2011
2:57 pm

@jarvis,

Heh! My kids might, but don’t say anything because I’m The Mom!

As for the other things I said – been there, seen that. Working at a Children’s Hospital exposed me to a lot of “trendy” baby names. Grew up with at least one boy who used “Junior” or his middle name to avoid being confused with his father. I always felt sorry for those boys.

jarvis

November 22nd, 2011
3:11 pm

I use a variation of my middle name. No need to feel sorry for me. I love my name.

Just Ed

November 22nd, 2011
3:27 pm

Tontela Teonyata, Jatori Lamont, Deltinaud Toussaint, Anjani Saquaa,
Caimien Jamal, Tahja Tayshawn, Kenyonnus Demarcus, Cicley Latonna,
Tamika Lashun, Jabrosky Jontavious, Wayneston Lamarihal, Travesis Jamal,
Uriel Javier, Ladarious Jamall, Karice La’Belle, Shameka La’Shay,
Robbie Quishod, Latoyn Anwon. These are the names I have seen within the last month in a local paper, the last names have been omitted. They were ALL listed in the Police Blotter. Just saying, give the kids a chance….