The year 2018 was a busy time for babies in the celebrisphere.
There were three new Kardashians with three distinctive names: Chicago, True and Stormi. And there were three new royals (or semi-royals) ― William and Kate’s Louis Arthur Charles, Zara Tindall’s Lena Elizabeth and Pippa Middleton’s Arthur Michael William.
And there was no lack of creative outliers ― Koala Kulture Kiari, Beech, Titan, Leafer and Ezer all arrived in 2018. But let’s move on to the ones Nameberry considers to be the best choices.
Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano
This may be our absolute favorite this year. It’s such a perfect combination of an underused vintage beauty paired with a solid cultural history and soulful meaning, plus it’s a lovely nature name that feels fresher than similar middles May, Fay and Ray.
Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma
An interesting combination: a cutting-edge surname name adopting the boys’ trending s-ending, softened with the sweetest of old-fashioned flower names. Sister Haylie Duff went in a completely different direction (see below).
Betsy Mack and Emory Joann
Hillary Scott and Chris Tyrell
The Lady Antebellum singer and her fellow-musician husband’s identical twin girls’ names moved as far as possible from the matchy-matchy. Cute Betsy is suddenly joining Betty as a revival possibility, while the gender-neutral Emory was chosen to honor Tyrell’s grandmother Emily ― in fact all four names have family ties.
Claude Indiana Emmanuel
Taylor and Natalie Hanson
Natalie gave a hint in her most recent Nameberry blog that the name of her sixth child ― boy or girl ― would be that of a main character name in a George Sand novel, and so it is. This latest Hanson, who will be known as Indy, joins siblings Jordan Ezra, Penelope Anne, River Samuel, Viggo Moriah and Wilhelmina Jane.
Margaret Brennan and Yado Yakub
“Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan chose this Irish classic (it’s the Irish version of Edmond, and we see it as a definite possible successor to Aidan). Eamon is already No. 132 on Nameberry’s list of popular names. And like many other moms, Brennan used her surname as a middle.
James Van Der Beek and Kimberly Brook
The sweet Welsh name Gwendolyn (also spelled Gwendolen) joined those of her Van Der Beek sibs ― Emilia, Annabel, Joshua and Olivia. Gwendolyn, now ranking at #379, was most popular in the 1950s. One notable namesake is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks.
Haylie Duff and Matt Rosenberg
The second Duff sister on this list chose one of the most energetic and high-spirited of names, originally a diminutive of Louise, Lucinda or Lucy. It was used previously by designer Betsy Johnson and by Paul Simon and Edie Brickell. Though it’s been off the national list for over a century, it ranks at No. 429 on Nameberry. And for middle names, Gray is the new Blue.
Pete Wentz and Meagan Camper
Unlike the names of Pete’s older kids, Bronx Mowgli and Saint Lazslo, Marvel ― though it sounds like a made-up Marvel comics word name ― is one with a legitimate history and was actually on the popularity list from the 1890s to 1941, reaching a high of No. 480. We could see some other little Marvels in the future.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
This high-profile couple scored a hit with their first child, Luna Simone (helped a bit by Harry Potter) and have made another excellent choice with Miles Theodore. Both names have musical references ― to singer Nina Simone and jazz great Miles Davis. Sleek Miles has been moving fast up the popularity list, now at No. 110, together with equally on-trend cousin Milo.
Jack Osbourne and Lisa Stelly
Minnie has gradually lost its tight ties to full-name Minerva and to Mickey’s girlfriend to stand in line to join cousins Millie, Mamie and Maisie. Maya Rudolph chose it to honor her late mother, singer Minnie Riperton. Theodora and Theodore (see above) are becoming popular middles for one and two-syllable firsts.
Joy Williams and Nate Yetton
Grammy-winning singer Joy Williams chose this peppy flower name for her daughter. It entered the U.S. Top 1000 for the first time in 2016 and is now in Nameberry’s Top 100. Interestingly, this is the same first-middle combo used by former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager, who called her presidential grandfather Poppy.
Aaron Paul and Lauren Parsekian
The “Breaking Bad” star said that he and wife Lauren Parsekian chose this word name to honor the wonderful story of their love affair. Combining it with the feminissima spelling of traditional Annabel makes an interesting pairing.
Runners-up: Axel Strahl (Seth Meyers), Beckett Richard (Michael Phelps), Billy (John Stamos), Ennis Howard (Kirsten Dunst), Francisco (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Genevieve (Kate Upton), Giulietta (Jessica Chastain), Hart (Miranda Kerr), Ivey Joan (Jamie Lynn Spears), Philomena Clementine (Billy Corgan), Polly (Erika Christensen), Romeo Alejandro David (Alex Baldwin), Santiago Enrique (Eva Longoria), Sebastian Piers (America Ferrera), and Vida Amber Betty (Michael Buble)