As we make our way through the final quarter of 2022, trend forecasters are looking ahead to next year to predict what will be all the rage in style, food, design and even baby names. On the names front, the experts at Nameberry published a list of 10 baby name trends set to influence parents’ choices in 2023.
“We identified these trends through a combination of data analysis — names that are rising throughout the United States as well as names that are rising on our internal charts, based on page views,” baby naming expert and Nameberry Editor-in-Chief Sophie Kihm told HuffPost. “We also consider the newest names that have appeared on the charts along with the names being used by celebrities and other tastemakers, whom are often ahead of the curve on baby name trends.”
The Nameberry experts also shared interesting examples for each trend and offered some advice to parents expecting a little one in 2023: Forget about popularity standings and go with the name you love.
“The top baby names today are used much less frequently than they were generations ago, and the name pool overall is getting more diverse,” Kihm said. “This is great news if you want to use a popular name, because your child is unlikely to have more than one other child in their class with their name. Similarly, if you are drawn to more unusual names, it’s become much more societally accepted to give your child a unique or unfamiliar name.”
Nameberry’s trend categories draw from pop culture, history and even adjectives. Keep scrolling for their top 10 trends for 2023.
1. Maximalist Names
“The old adage that ‘less is more’ has lost its luster, and more is back to being more!” Nameberry’s Emma Waterhouse wrote in the report.
Parents in 2023 will lean into extravagance and drama, taking inspiration from old myths, pop culture hits like “Bridgerton” and “The Witcher,” and trending maximalist aesthetics like dark academia and regencycore.
2. Names So ‘Out,’ They’re ‘In’
Just as “Stranger Things” catapulted Kate Bush’s ’80s hit “Running Up That Hill” back to the top of the charts, the Netflix show might have a similar impact on the baby naming realm. Look out for retro ’80s names (and ’80s pop culture-inspired choices) making an appearance on birth certificates in 2023.
3. Gilded Names
With the name Goldie entering the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 list in 2021, the folks at Nameberry see the spark of a full-on golden trend. Maybe Harry Styles’ hit “Golden” helped play a role or maybe parents just want a little more optimism.
Whatever the reason, there are countless opportunities to choose a name with a bright feel, whether a direct nod to the metal or something with more of a sunshine vibe.
4. Neo-Cowboy Names
“Amazon’s new sci-fi Western ‘Outer Range’ propelled its protagonist’s cowboy-cool name, Royal, straight to the top of the Nameberry charts this year — surprising even us!” Waterhouse wrote.
In addition to character names from “Outer Range” (and “Yellowstone” and “1883”), the experts see a clear interest in names with endings like -ett, -er and -s.
5. Traveling Lite Names
Although maximalism might be in, plenty of other parents will still prefer a simpler approach. More specifically, there’s an interest in shorter names ending with an i with a cross-cultural vibe ― easy enough to recognize and pronounce across multiple languages and locations.
6. X-tra Names
The letter X is a common factor in many of the top rising names on Nameberry. And it’s not just names that start with X ― there are plenty of picks with X endings or an X in the middle.
7. Adjective Names
“From the responses we’ve gotten, many people are surprised that adjective names are rising in popularity,” Kihm told HuffPost. “This is something people heavily associate with celebrities, like Nick Cannon who has children with adjective names like Powerful, Golden and Legendary.”
Still, she added, the data indicates that everyday parents are increasingly going with adjective names as well. “These are modern virtue names that feel intentional and active, so we’re only going to see this trend continue to grow,” she said.
8. Grandpa Names For Girls
One of the most interesting trends on Nameberry’s list is the idea of “grandpa names” on the rise for baby girls.
“Short and often nicknamey, these new old names feel sweet and in-step with the current fashion for all things retro and vintage, yet still a little edgy and subversive,” Waterhouse wrote.
9. Blue-Green Names
Parents draw inspiration from nature, places and even colors. In the realm of hues, blue-green names are apparently having a moment. From dark greens to bright blues, the shade name (and related nature name) possibilities are endless.
10. Mix-And-Match Names
Many parents in recent years have taken to inventing their own names by adding -lynn, -leigh and -syn to traditional choices. The folks at Nameberry predict a shift toward other endings like -aire, -ett, -iel, -lani, -land and -wyn.