Are you expecting a little one in 2023? While the likes of Noah, Olivia, Amelia and Oliver are predicted to continue to nab the top spots in the baby name rankings, we speak to the experts to reveal the other baby name trends expected to emerge this year.
Experts Predict: Baby Name Trends for 2023
Top Spot Baby Names
“In baby naming names with the “O factor” – meaning a strong O sound – are always in style; due to the Etymology of words,” explains SJ.
“O is the most distinct vowel in the English language so it uniquely balances with any surname: most surnames begin with a consonant, meaning vowels are popular for our forenames; only 1.5% of UK surnames begin with O and 3% begin with A so they flow.”
Otis and Maeve are also slowly becoming more popular, with Otis moving up 112 positions since 2017, and Maeve has moved up a staggering 483 positions, perhaps due to the Netflix series Sex Education.
A strong O also inspires confidence while remaining soft and approachable – which is why we see it used in many top companies from Google, Yahoo, and Amazon.
“Names ending in the open “AH” sound are all over the charts as again they lead more phonetically into strong surnames, but it also adds a syllable which we find adorable when choosing names,” says SJ.
Romantic-Style Baby Names
Romanticising your life is a lifestyle and mindset shift born out of social media. SJ suggests some top romantic-style baby names below.
- Adonis went up a huge 200 places for boys last year and Aphrodite entered the UK baby name register for the first time.
- Daphne shot up 84 chart places after Romantic regency show Bridgerton and Simon saw a surprising uptick too after falling out of popularity drastically the last 20 years.
- Valentine. Romantic sweetheart names like Bay, Honey and Valentine are all spiking in the “rare but rising” category we keep at the consultancy.
- Romeo. These names are becoming mainstream but even Love and Hart jumped into the register of UK Names for the first time in 2022.
Upcycled Vintage Baby Names
“If daring new trends seem too ‘fast fashion’ for you, a timeless trend is upcycled vintage baby names. We essentially go further and further back in time each year to find forgotten names; then bring them back to life with a little ‘upcycling’,” says SJ.
Short nickname versions are all over the charts and SJ recommends adding names like Lennie and Winnie to your list to be ahead of the curve in a classroom full of Albies and Elsies.
“Or, we love digging up forgotten names like Mostyn; Boaz, Eunice and Gladys which all sound so beautiful on a sweet little baby.”
‘Main Character’ Names
Main Character Energy is a lifestyle buzzword that’s transcended into baby names with modern parents picking bigger, bolder more iconic names for their babies.
- Wednesday is hitting name lists after the hit Netflix show. There were seven girls named Wednesday last year, and works as a word name as it has a unique, whimsical sound and comes with the cute nickname Ness. It was even chosen by Harry Potter star Rupert Grint for his daughter. The consideration is setting your child up for a lifetime of questions about their actual birthday, whether they are as morbid as their namesake and of course, Wednesday being a pretty dull day. We advise parents really consider if they would have loved having a bold stand-out name for themselves; before choosing it – and if so, go for it!
- Sunday is the most popular day of the week, chosen by a few celebs, bringing a relaxed, cosy vibe.
- Maverick has shot into the charts and seems ready to keep rising with the resurgence of Top Gun. It went up over 40 spots in the charts already.
- Thor was also on the up – the god of thunder was an inspiration for parents-to-be who love the short, strong name for its Norse, mythological vibe.
- Villanelle even entered the UK baby name popularity lists for the first time from Killing Eve’s dark heroine.
- Marilyn was trending up 600 spots.
“While we all personally carry associations with names from people we meet in life; picking a cult character name means bestowing a list of character traits on your newborn that they may find a burden growing up – so pick with intention and don’t be swayed by fast fashion and you’ll be sure to love it forever.”
Futuristic & ‘Dark Academia’ Baby Names
If you want something really unique, look to one of these two trends. “Baby names are set to go futuristic this year as we embrace a glittering future; maybe one involving space travel and smart-tech homes for our babes – for modern parents this trend is also escapism from the pressure of today’s world,” explains SJ.
Dark Academia is anothr gorgeous aesthetic that has finally lit up the baby name charts. Far from being a “phase”, goth glam is here to stay and it overlaps with the whimsical literary trend of Dark Academia which appeals to parents-to-be who love gothic novels, disruptive ideas, the arts in all forms and the broody academic side of life.
- Cassiopeia. A constellation in the northern sky, Cassiopeia is the mythological queen who boasted of her beauty. This name is perfect for 2023 embracing maximalism, celestial, myths and gorgeous nickname options Cass, Cassie and Pia.
- Vesper means evening star and is such an on-trend name. When picking a unique name one that sounds familiar often bridges the gap and makes it “wearable”.
- Io (io) has been popping up on name lists as we help parents pick from a shortlist at our baby name consultancy. Pronounced Eeee-Oh this is one of Jupiter’s moons and is named for a young mythological girl who caught the eye of Zeus and was turned into a bull. A character played by Gemma Arderton in Clash Of The Titans has bought this more mainstream.
- Elsinore named after Hamlet’s house is a perfect name for the dark academia trend.
- Casimir meaning Destroyer Of Peace has the secret society vibe and disruptor of the status quo meaning that feels totally modern.
- Devin meaning dark poetry is also a stunning name that is also genderless.
[credit – SJ Strum and protectivity.com]