For some people, choosing a name for their baby can be stressful. When you think about all of the millions and millions of names out there, choosing the perfect one can be harder than it sounds. Sure, we all encounter names throughout our lives that we like and think, someday I will name my son or daughter that name, but when that time comes all those names go out the window. So the first step is usually eliminating the names that conjure up images of people that we would like to forget (your ex-boyfriend, the boss that you hated, your college roommate who borrowed your clothes and never gave them back etc.). A lot of people stay away from names that can be shortened or names that have nicknames associated with them. Then of course you get lots of ‘baby name suggestions’ from friends and family that you feel obligated to consider. So you consult books and websites and any other media you can find and eventually you narrow it down to a ‘short list’ of names that you like and you choose from that. But getting those names on that ‘short list’ is the stressful part. Do you look for more common names that are easy to pronounce and spell, so your child does not constantly have to pronounce and spell it to everyone? Or do you look for something that is more inspirational, creative or unique? However you choose them, baby naming is an art form and baby name trends do follow a pattern, and 2014 is no exception.
Everything Old is New Again
In recent years, baby names have made a turn back toward more traditional ‘family names.’ Girl’s names such as Dorothy, Edith, Isabella and Agnes are making a comeback and boy’s names such as Henry, Richard, William and George are back on the popular names list this year. Ironically, the name George is now expected to be one of the top male baby names of this year after it was announced in June of 2013 that Prince William and Kate Middleton had named the royal heir George. So why the trend back to traditional names? Many people seem to be looking back into their family tree for names for something ‘different’ or to simply honor a lost relative. Or maybe those names have been out of the name pool for so long that they are somehow new again. Interestingly enough, this trend also suggests that these traditional names are more widely being used as middle names as well.
Gender Neutral Names are ‘In’
Usually when parents choose baby names they choose a boy’s name and a girl’s name for their baby. At least that’s what our parents did, back in the days before ultrasounds and before we knew what we were having. But the truth is ultrasounds are not always 100% accurate in determining the gender of a baby, so most people have two names, just to be safe. The good news is the trend today is toward gender neutral names (names that work for a boy or a girl). Names such as Alex, Chris, Jordan, Kelly and Riley are great examples of gender neutral names that are popular in 2014. With so many names to choose from, it is easy to see why parents would go this route and choose only one name.
Oh Holy Name
With a trend toward more traditional names it is not surprising that biblical names are becoming more popular again. Boy’s names such as Noah, Jacob, Silas and Levi and girls’ names like Naomi, Chloe and Elizabeth are all back in the top 50 baby names of the year. Although giving a baby a biblical name is not new, these lesser known names from the Bible are becoming more popular among parents looking for something different. Some say that if you are looking for a new name, read the Bible.
The Pop Culture Effect
With TV, movies and music invading us from every direction it’s no wonder the baby names of 2014 reflect what is ‘popular.’ Names like Gatsby, Dexter, Theon, Alcide, Jax, and even Edward and Bella have made the transition from movies and television to popular baby names. It is important to note though, that pop culture goes out of ‘style’ as fast as it comes in. Names that ‘mean’ one thing today may mean something totally different tomorrow, so use caution when naming your baby Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars or Renesmee.
Celebrity Baby Names
When most people think about unusual baby names they probably think about celebrity baby names. Fair enough. Some celebrities seem to always push the envelope when it comes to baby names. The names Kingston, Zuma, Romeo, Cruz, Apple and Moroccan come to mind. It seems like when a celebrity is pregnant people start to expect an unusual name for some reason. But not all celebrities go to that extreme when it comes to baby names. Names like Wyatt, Ava, Taylor and Charlotte have been used recently by celebrities to name their children.
Picking an Unusual Name
So, how do you choose a baby name when there are literally millions of names to choose from? How do you choose one that is not too over the top, but also allows your child to stand out? The good news is there are plenty of unusual and creative names to choose from, without resorting to calling your child North. Boy’s names such as Jett, Quinn, Liam and Owen and girl’s names like Zoe, Mia, Avery and Madison now top the list of popular names in 2014. Whatever name you choose for your baby remember to choose something that they can ‘live with’ as an adult, that’s not so complicated that they need to explain it everyone and they will feel comfortable with. Stay away from names like Tragedy, Cheese, Farmer, Felony, Danish and my favorite, Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii which, by the way, is illegal to name your baby if you live in New Zealand.