Hot baby names for 2012? 12 trends to follow!

Pamela Redmond Satran, developer of baby naming trend site, 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


November 22nd, 2011
3:40 pm

I work with a girl named Scott and her sister is named Brooks. The old south surname thing.

Mr. R

November 22nd, 2011
3:50 pm

PLEASE… No more Tamika, Shanequa, Taneeka… Their resumes go right in the trash.


November 22nd, 2011
3:58 pm

We generally use family names. My sister went to a professional conference and met someone with her same maiden name (SAW). So my sister has a new collegue she knows is also a relative, because of the family name.


November 22nd, 2011
4:04 pm

@LN – that happens to my husband also. All the people in the country with his last name can trace their roots back to 3 brothers who came over from Germany. So, if we ever meet someone with his last name, we know they are related in some way.


November 22nd, 2011
4:10 pm

@Cat Mom: If the spelling of your name is “Laura” how can you get angry at folks for calling you “Lora”? If I were to call out your name in a crowded firehouse, would there be something on the paper/computer/whatever saying, hey, don’t pronouce it “Lora” but “Lara” cause that’s how she likes it?

Curious about that, I am. I have a friend that her first name is Jacqueline. I’ve known her forever. My friends and I spell her nickname “Jackie”. She hates that. She wants it to be “Jacqui”. Well, that’s fine and all but if you don’t tell people, expect it to be spelled (or pronouced) as how 99.9% of how folks do.

That is not fair, Mr. R...

November 22nd, 2011
4:11 pm

…you cannot necessarily blame a kid for her parents being dumba—-most of those kids were named during the “Roots” generation, so they should not pay for the sins of the parents, unless, of course, they live up to those names…

Mr. R

November 22nd, 2011
4:21 pm

No one said it was fair… I said it happens

My bad, Mr. R...

November 22nd, 2011
4:30 pm

…I took it to mean that YOU threw their resumes in the trash just because of their names…

Mr. R

November 22nd, 2011
4:32 pm

I didn’t, but I worked for someone who did once.

Cat Mom

November 22nd, 2011
4:36 pm

@Wayne: I don’t get “angry” if folks call me “Lora.” It’s not like I ignore them and refuse to respond. It’s just annoying for my name to be occasionally mispronounced. Lar-a (sounding it out here). If it were spelled Lora, then I would expect to be called Lor-a. I just don’t get how you see the letter “a” and say the letter “o” instead. That’s all I’m saying. When I meet people, I introduce myself as Lar-a. Anyway, it rarely happens. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

A B Normal

November 22nd, 2011
4:38 pm

Sticks and stones . . . . .

Ricardo Cabeza

November 22nd, 2011
4:42 pm

Heard a woman had triplets at Grady . . . named ‘em “Marethra, Sharethra, and Urethra!” Love it!


November 22nd, 2011
4:46 pm

I use a nickname of my middle name and have never had any problems with. So not sure why others have that problem.

As for different spellings, my family is very guilty of that one. I have an Addyson, Allyson, Aryan. Yes, you read that right. Her name is Aryan. I could give you a few more, but you get the picture.

Someone mentioned that they don’t like the name Payton (Peyton) as a first name, I kinda like it, as that is my last name, with an a. That’s what I have to correct people on. It doesn’t bother me if I have to spell my name out for people, there are worse things in life. That is why I am posting this under Alias, as I use my first name other days.

@Mr.R…You are right, not fair, but it does happen. I have several coworkers that are black and they have names like Brenda, Connie and Pam.THey said that their parents gave them these names, because they didn’t want them made fun of for “typical” black names.


November 22nd, 2011
4:53 pm

Enter your comments here


November 22nd, 2011
4:56 pm

@Cat Mom: You’re right, you didn’t say angry – my bad and I apologize.

Must be regional as I’ve never hear Laura pronounced any other way than “Lora”. Maureen and Taurus are also pronounced as if ‘au’ were an ‘o’. Huh. Are those pronounced differently as well?


November 22nd, 2011
4:58 pm

hear – heard


November 22nd, 2011
5:03 pm

My name is Sara and I’m a transplant from the north. When I got my first job as a teenager down south, I was a cashier. A customer saw my name tag and asked, “How do you pronounce your name?” I didn’t quite understand because I had never heard “Sara” pronounced as anything but “Sara.” So I told her and she said she was just wondering because her sister in law spells her name the same way and they pronounce it SAY-ra. I was like, “It’s not a spelling thing. It’s a southern thing.”

Yo Mama

November 22nd, 2011
5:53 pm

I think these gonna be the hot names in ‘12 :
Cheeto, Limbo, Curtis, and Lamongilo, K-Martina, Abolitia, Velveeta, Genataleah, Catfish, Leeroy, CoCo Puffs, and Pluto, Jack-Daniels, Penelopy, Buford and Lamongilo……Alovera, Mayboline, Gingivitis, Brill-Cream, Cru-Ex, Niquil, Gangsta-Q, and Dafodill..Demarktorias Abolitia, Kookitia, Rambaquardi, Sallmonella, Turquas, Verachella, Turquas, Pin Dropper, Ice-Daddy, Couponita, Zendoria, Shathethe

Can't win...

November 22nd, 2011
6:54 pm

Named my daughter a name that, it turned out, was popular for a while. I spelled it the correct, original way, but NOBODY spells it that way, because of all the “creative” spellings of the same name. I have the same problem with my own name.

THEN, I named my second child something that sounds the same as another name. Again, we spelled it the original way, but, when you say it, it sounds similar to another. She has to spell it for everyone.

Gator Actual

November 22nd, 2011
6:57 pm

What about Crystallina Chandalleria? Fri’Chickenisha? Flirtisha? Lemonjelo?

What a name

November 22nd, 2011
7:59 pm

People really need to take into consideration what they name their child. I am a black female and I gave my children names that can be pronounced Tyler, Derek & McKenzie. I don’t get all the Q/W names Qdare, Wykeisha, Laquinta, Paquita, Ryeisha. I have heard some that are far worse. Please people these children have to grow up and get a job in the real world one day. Stop with all the ghetto names!


November 22nd, 2011
8:44 pm

I was born on Christmas day…thank goodness my mom didn’t get too creative with that! My name does end in an “i” though and they aren’t poor or uneducated. My husband’s name is a surname, but when you’re mom is a cousin of Bear Bryant I think that’s o.k. It may be a southern thing but I think that’s cool. I’ve taught a lot of children and the strangest name I’ve ever come in contact with was a little boy named Catfish. North Georgia Mountains…no lie.


November 22nd, 2011
8:45 pm

I disagree with Tami. I have an oddly spelled name, and I have loved it my entire life. It set me apart! :)

I’m not digging the “West” name trend!


November 22nd, 2011
8:52 pm

What I find interesting is that parents who have migrated from another country will often name their children very “American” names in an effort to help their children fit in while black Americans will name their children African names.

Our neighbors are Vietnamese, their children are Haley and Harrison. We have two boys in our Scout troop whose parents are Jamaican, their names are Timothy and Keith.

I don’t understand all the people in the south who name their boys “girl names” (Stacy, Courtney, Lynn).

My grandparents evidently weren’t much on picking middle names; two of their children only have a letter for their middle name (J & K, not Jay & Kay!) Cracked me up when I found out.


November 22nd, 2011
9:04 pm

My fave new name is Sativa. Also my fave plant.


November 22nd, 2011
10:45 pm

The types of names that I don’t like are:

1. Names that are an activity or profession: Hunter, Fisher (I know someone who named their kid this), Mason, Miller, Taylor, etc.

2. Names that rhyme with the latest trend: Bailey/Hailey/Kaylee, etc., Jayden/Hayden/Braden/Payton/etc, Madison/Addison/etc

3. Names that are a geographic location: Dakota, Brooklyn, Asia, London, India, etc

4. Names that are typically a last name: Davis, Madison, Miller, Mackenzie, Harrison, Welles, Remington, Jackson etc. While some of these may be family names, they still sound stupid as first names.

5. Names that used to be typical for one gender, but have now been used so often for the opposite gender that they are now considered to be typical for that gender (usually boys’ names adopted by girls): Tyler, Jordan, etc

6. Any made-up name

7. Any typical name that’s spelled uniquely: I don’t care how different and special it makes you feel, everyone else automatically knocks down your IQ at least 10 points and thinks that your parents are either morons or trailer-trash.

p.s. My real name is not Ally, Allie, Allison or anything remotely close to any of those. It was just a random name that I chose.


November 22nd, 2011
11:45 pm

My MIL worked for many years as a volunteer on the maternity ward at her local hospital. When the “interesting” names startede cropping up, she’d be fascinated by the moms struggling to spell their child’s name — “How do you spell Sha-nee-qua?” She’d invariably answer, “S-U-S-A-N”. A couple even wrote it down that way . . .


November 23rd, 2011
4:46 am

I’m all for unusual names if they have a special meaning, but being unique just for the sake of being unique is stupid. Also, if you think about it, all names are “invented” names. The wierd ones only sound wierd because you don’t hear them all the time. Purposeful misspellings are my biggest pet peeve. Give your baby a name to live up to.

Rubes never get it

November 23rd, 2011
7:02 am

Although not a fan of random African sounding names, I would have to disagree about the HR people automatically filing your resume in the trash. Example “Condolezza”

I stuck with names that were popular in 1900 and before.

My recently born relative is named Talullah. Hope she is really beautiful (which she is) or is really tough.


November 23rd, 2011
8:24 am

@Ally..Guess you don’t like half of the names in my family then..My granddaughter is named Kaylee..Kay after one of her Mom’s best friends and Lee after her Dad, Grandfather and Great Grandfather..So it might be a fad name, but it has meaning to it..

As for Payton, my oldest sister is 66 years old and she went to elementary school with a kid name Payton, so I don’t consider it a “new name”..

I also have a sister that went to high school with a kid named Ernest T. Ernest.What the heck is up with that? Why would you do that to your kid? I have a niece that is due with her first child (boy) Dec. 9 and he will be named Cullen Toy..She’s not naming him Cullen after the Twilight movies, he is being named after both of his great Grandfathers on his Dads side of the family..I’m sure that she will have to explain that one over and over…


November 23rd, 2011
8:25 am

Some of these names just go to show what happens when we let “Stupid People” breed.

I say Birth Control in the water and when you can prove you are not stupid, you can have the pill that will allow you to have a child.

Rubes never get it

November 23rd, 2011
8:41 am

What do you bet that with that laundry list of “dislikes” Ally, who chose her own name, is single?

This one takes the cake

November 23rd, 2011
8:53 am

My cousin is an elementary school teacher and we laugh at the begining of every school year when she gets a new set of odd names. But the one that’s most memorable to me was Abcd. Yes you read that correctly. Abcd pronouced A besity( like Obesity w/ an A)!

The other trend I’ve seen is naming all of your kids with a like genre. The perfect example; I know of a woman who named her children Emerald, Sapphire, Gem, Ruby, and Diamond. Emerald and Gem are the boys. I think its sort of stupid but hey, that’s me.

And I also know of families where the parents names beging with the same letter so all of the kids have to follow that trend. (i.e. Emily and Everett name their kids Evan, Erika, and Emmett.


November 23rd, 2011
9:01 am

DB…I wanted to hit LIKE for your comment…thanks for the laugh!

Longtime Educator

November 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

Teachers always have a difficult time naming their own kids if they’ve been teaching a while…too many bad memories attached to a name if it was a problem student!


November 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

I’ve always like the name Crystal Chanta Lier. No joke. True name. So was X-Ray Smith. And the classic Female Jones (pronounced fe-MA-le).


November 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

@ longtime…yes that was true here!


November 23rd, 2011
12:24 pm

We had an applicant one time and her name was (is) La____a. She said it was pronounced Ladasha..Really? What type of drugs was your Mom on? Needless to say, she didn’t get hired…


November 23rd, 2011
1:17 pm

Had a friend who named his son after their mattress–Jamison. Thank God they didn’t conceive him on a Sealy Posturpedic!


November 23rd, 2011
1:22 pm

My top ten baby names for 2012:

1. Thug
2. Newt
3. Zygote
4. Deductible
5. Mace
6. Gerbil
7. Mogen David
8. Snotty
9. Borat
10. Ferb


November 23rd, 2011
1:24 pm

Longtime educator–So, so true. It really cuts down on the possible names. I have an especially hard time with folks who call their kid by the initials. Every boy I have ever known who was called by his initials was a terror! (I know someone will correct me on this, but it has been my experience!)

I guess Mike and Becky...

November 23rd, 2011
2:43 pm

…missed the request yesterday at 12:58pm to spare us the Ledasha and Female stories…

soon to be dad

November 23rd, 2011
2:44 pm

@Daddy74: Nice! I’m especially fond of #3 and #4. We were just going to go with the first names of our fathers for our upcoming son, but I’m thinking about plucking one off your list…

On an unrelated note, I took a college class with a girl who was named “Sh1theade” pronounced ’shih-theed’. Dead serious.


November 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

@I guess..I read that, but guess you didn’t..It doesn’t say spare us the stories..Again, if peopel would stop giving their children silly made up names, we might not have as many stories..

Have a great Thanksgiving..


November 23rd, 2011
3:48 pm

I love my name, which is Kenya. I usually get compliments and have had minor teasing ;) but, it’s so different I just LOVE it. I dont know about naming my child Golden or Ranger though. They sound like pet names to me…idk


November 23rd, 2011
3:50 pm

I taught for several years and one of the little girls in my class was named La-a and it was pronounced Ladasha. I think I should have called child services.

Random story

November 23rd, 2011
4:57 pm

My sister likes to tell a story about a woman she met while volunteering. This lady, Shonda, and her husband Marvin became pregnant with twins and decided to name the kids, a boy and a girl, after themselves: Shonda and Marvin, Jr. When the twins were four or so, Shonda got pregnant again and for some unknown reason allowed little Marvin, Jr. to name his new little brother. Marvin, Jr. took a cue from Mom and Dad, I guess, and named the baby Carvin. So now the family is Shonda, Marvin, Shonda, Marvin and Carvin. Sheesh.


November 23rd, 2011
5:27 pm

…they refer to their twins as S&M…

Gator Actual

November 23rd, 2011
6:14 pm

A man was out of town when his wife gave birth to twins – one boy, one girl. His brother, however, was there. Then next day, the new dad got to the hospital and saw his beautiful new children. The brother said that the nurse told him they had to have names for the babies, and since the father wasn’t available, he said he named the girl Denice. The new dad thought about it and said that was really nice. He asked his brother “What did you name the boy?” The brother replied “De-nephew!”

I’m so bad!


November 23rd, 2011
9:55 pm

@jarvis, one attractive option for a name would be Walker, but I believe the traditional spelling is “Texas Ranger,” not just “Ranger.”