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 23rd, 2011
11:52 pm

Well I decided to just name my daughter Madison because I’m not a fan of ghetto names and I don’t want my daughter to be judge based off of her name.


November 24th, 2011
10:27 am

Quite frankly, I dont see how anyone should have the right to judge what people name their children. Sure, some names may be stupid, weird, ugly to you, but in the end its not your business. If I could have a baby n let them pick their own name, that’s exactly what I would do. But it cant happen that way so unfortuanatly my baby may be.stuck with a name they hate. N I dont care if u choose the most common names for you kids, in the end, your child may hate the name emma or ashley just as much as river or plant or tumbleweed. the fact is that each one of us r unique, thats y we choose different jobs, hobbies, favorite colors, names for our children. When our children are born, we have no idea what type of person they will be. All we can hope is that they r kind hearted, helpful, smart, successful, etc. ….no matter what their name is. All in all, its your child who will make the name.

Mary Corbett

November 24th, 2011
10:37 am

With girls being named typical boy names (Taylor, Aden, Morgan, Jordan, Nelson), one never knows by looking at a name whether it’s a girl or a boy. Very confusing. What ever happened to naming children after a beloved family member, a name that sounds like a name and actually has a family connection and meaning? I predict in the future children will be named after nouns. (Table, Chair, Window, Chest, Sofa, etc.) Or colors. (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, Brown, etc.)


November 24th, 2011
10:41 am

And to the people who ” throw resumes in the trash” just because of the persons name, is disqusting. I am a person of many faiths, but one belief I hold ontp deeply is… Thou shall not judge!!! ( especially someones name)


November 24th, 2011
10:52 am

N to the person who listed names in the police reports, here r some names I found in my local police reports….john, josh, linda, taylor, matthew, sarah, and robert. Hmmm…better not give your kids these names either….or else they will be doomed to be a criminal


November 24th, 2011
5:33 pm

I remember someone named their baby Kuta Kenya and TommyHawk. Others name their kids riduculus names such as Shanwichiacheu


November 24th, 2011
6:25 pm

More proof that those having children should not be having children, they are naming their kids in an attempt to satisfy their own narcicism.

I weep for both the present and future of our society.


November 25th, 2011
1:21 am

Maddernheck, if your kids want to be called Em & Danny, YOU need to respect THAT. Their names aren’t about you. My parents saddled me with a name I always hated. I refused to be called by that name, and changed it as soon as I could.


November 25th, 2011
1:24 am

Mary Corbett, I couldn’t agree more. I loathe boy/genderless names for girls. Naming a girl Jordan or Taylor is like naming a boy Melissa.


November 25th, 2011
11:51 pm

Wow – one of my favorite topics – names that people name their kids. I could rant and rave about this for days. My aunt was a kindergarten teacher and there was a set of twins in the school named Winner and Loser. Actually, Loser turned out to the be winner and Winner wound up in Jail (you can look it up on Google). Then there was the boy named “Ovary.” Let’s see, a few weeks ago, went to a sporting event. Some women were yelling “Go Oceans.” Turned out that Oceans was a little girls’ name. She had two sisters: Harbor and Breezy. Thank goodness there wasn’t a boy in there -he’d probably be named Lighthouse. I HATE NAMES LIKE THIS. These “unique” names aren’t unique -they’re setting up the child to have a weird name. Look at all those dumb Hollywood names. I cringe whenever I hear of these names. Both my first and middle name have unique spellings and it’s always been difficult. No one ever gets it right. When I became a parent, I made sure my child had a nice simple name – very pretty and simple and everyone spells it correctly and no one mispronounces it.

Elder Flower Child

November 26th, 2011
2:26 pm

Something I read in email.. .A woman was really upset because everyone was mispronouncing her daughter’s name…Lei-ya. People called her Leeya, Layya, Ly ya. It is actually pronounced ‘Ladashya….the mom says, ” Da dash don’t be silent”.


November 26th, 2011
3:03 pm

When did ‘Trey’ become a given name? It has always been a nickname for ‘The Third’, as in the third male in a family to be given an ancestor’s name. Example: John Smith, III.

It is just cruel to give a child a name that will bring ridicule, abuse, or teasing while they are in school, and that includes calling a child by his/her middle name, or a name that no one can pronounce.

My friends had trouble finding me on FB because my first name has a unique spelling, and even life long friends would search under the common spelling.

For those of you who have unusual spellings: how many time have you completed a registration form, either by printing, typing, or by computer, and arrived to find your name tag has been misspelled??


November 26th, 2011
5:50 pm

I learned to spell phonetically. I am a teacher and have taught multiple kids whose names are misspelled and I would continue to mispronounce names that are misspelled. I chalk it up to ignorant parents who didn’t learn how to read.

Lady Scot

November 27th, 2011
12:30 pm

I once had five children named Amanda in my third grade class of 18. All were called Amanda and tw of them had the same last initial!

Lady Scot

November 27th, 2011
12:31 pm

Correction:two, not tw. :<(


November 27th, 2011
2:39 pm

I would use my real name here but instead will say… I have an old family name. I have my grandmother’s first name and my great grandmother’s middle name. It is old worldly and I love it. I also loved not being one of the million Stephaine, Brittany, Amber, Amy, Jennifer, and Julie in my classes… instead could simply go by first name and not be Jenn1 or have to use my last name. Made me feel like Cher or Madonna….Though, I still occasionally find that people forget my last name for lack of use…lol.

Stick to your family names and get rid of this trendy “walmart-ish” bulk naming. As to the off spellings, they will make your child feel like they don’t belong when no-one can spell it. (something my kid sister really struggled with growing up)

And kudos to the pointer about innatials… I found out when I was about 6 that had my dad not caught it mine would have been @ss…. lol…. how thankful I am to be ess.

It's just me...

November 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

I can’t stand it when parents have to give their multiple children names that start with the same letter. I have NEVER been a fan of these: Heather, Tiffany, Dakota, Cody, Tyler, Dustin, Dylan, Misty, Ashley or Candy. And the newer ones: Adison, Ansley, Paisley (even Ainsley), Tristan, Jackson….I could go on and on. I like traditional names like Andrew, Natalie, Rachael, Henry, Adam…etc.


November 27th, 2011
6:45 pm

Being in education I have seen and heard so many made up names it has become laughable. I love the beginning of the year when I can write my mom(who was also in education) all the new and unique names.


November 27th, 2011
7:43 pm

Like @AlsoMomOf2Girls, @HB & @Kartgirl00, I also go by my middle name. Though I like my middle name better than my first, I wish it was my first name. There are several major issues with going by middle names, one in particular for girls:

1 – School & role call. I would hear the teacher calling, “Jennifer,” “Jennifer,” and not realize it was me until she finally said my last name or called it at what I thought was an appropriate point in the alphabet to assume it was me (especially from a generation with lots of Jennifers).

2 – Peers or anyone who finds out that you go by your middle name. So very many of these people are dense enough to ask, “Well then, what is your real name?” As if your middle name isn’t a real name, just some fake name you like to be called. Another favorite is, “Why did you choose to go by your middle name?” Maybe when some kids get older or become adults, they make some choice about their names, but I went by what my parents chose. End of story.

3 – Marriage. It is legally acceptable to drop your given middle name in favor of your maiden name on all legal documents without filing for a name change in court. All you need is your marriage license. Not so with your first name – can’t drop it, move your middle name up & put your maiden name in the middle without filing additional name-change paperwork & paying the additional fees. I have legal documents with all 4 names just so the name I go by will actually be on there. Also have some that no longer include my maiden name, which I hold more dearly than my first name.

Even though my 2 children are boys, they both go by their first names so they won’t have to endure the frustrations I have throughout my life as a “middle name” person.


November 28th, 2011
10:22 am

We named our daughter, after extensive discussion, following my wife’s Irish heritage. Simple name. Gaellic for “Mary” = Maura
It’s always mispronounced! Even by those who have been corrected previsously and repeatedly.
We then honored the Maternal Great Grandmother “Jane” as the middle name… thus we get accused of being stoner hippies for naming our daughter Maura Jane… yeesh. You just can’t win.

Robert - Atlanta

November 28th, 2011
11:37 am

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

One is an air-head with loose morals who tried to get by on her looks.

A Texican football coach.

The other was very beautiful and starred in The Misfits with Clarke Gable.

K's mom

November 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

Because I am pregnant, this is a huge topic at our house. We have chosen a first name and have narrowed middle names down to two. Our 18 month old is named for my husband’s grandfather and this one will be named for my grandmother and I am pushing for his middle name to be after my grandfather.

We do not do trendy names or weird spellings. My name was so common that I always had 3-5 other people in my class named the same thing.I also use the brain surgery test for names. If I would not let a person named what i name my kids do brain surgery on me, that name is immediately marked off the list!


November 28th, 2011
1:44 pm

I had a boy cousin named Joyce, and another boy cousin named Plenty. He was the 11th child.


November 28th, 2011
3:06 pm

So tired of Cooper,Connor,Colton, Hunter, Hayden, Bella, Isabella, Peyton, Morgan, Avery, Maddie (or Madeline, spelled 50 different ways), Ava, Wyatt, Emma, Ella, Grace or Kate (currently used as the token middle name for girls-mine is Ann, the token middle name for girls in the late 70’s), last names as first names, and made up names.

I had a conversation years ago about “what’s in a name?”. It occured over adult beverages and we decided our kids were to be named Big Screen TV and Blue Bird of Happiness. Sounds about as good or even better than what people name their kids now.