Did you know Oliver has been the top baby boy name in New Zealand for 10 consecutive years?
When you’re expecting, choosing a name for your new mini-me can make for a lot of stress and indecision – especially when you want to stay stylish without blending in with everyone else.
Nameberry creator Pamela Redmond has shared her picks for the top 10 baby name trends predicted to be leading the next generation.
Girl Names For Boys
Names like Morgan, Taylor, and Cameron have long been used interchangeably between the sexes for years, but a new rise in parents opting for traditionally feminine monikers for their children has seen more options come to the forefront.
Take celebrity baby boys Wren, son of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and Rihanna and ASAP Rocky’s Riot Rose, as a sign that feminine names for your baby boy are more stylish than ever.
Suggested names include Artemis, Eden, Florence, Romy, Cleo, Willow and Hazel.
Feminine Feminist Names
Riding off the Barbie wave, hyper-femininity is back – but just because Barbie is spearheading the change doesn’t mean you’ll start meeting a lot of babies named Malibu in 2024.
“There have been many headlines claiming we’re going to see more babies named Barbie, but that’s simply untrue,” Redmond writes.
“The influence of Barbie on baby names will be less direct but more important.”
However, these names aren’t necessarily meant to build your dream of your baby being a girly-girl – androgynous names are also finding new powers of femininity.
“Androgynous surnames like Conley and Malone remain feminist choices, but girly and elaborate names like Lavender and Dorothea now also feel empowering, along with once-slight diminutives such as Honey and Lulu,” Redmond continued.
Suggested names include Billie, Matilda, Pippa, Gwen, Clover, Dorothea, Lavender and Tallulah.
Baby Men and Women
Out with the new, in with the old: there’s a stigma against giving your baby a name that seems better reserved for an adult, but they’ll reach that age anyway, right?
Redmond writes there is “an undeniable shift towards more serious, indeed, adult names for babies.”
“Parents are looking forward to their children growing into their ‘adult’ names rather than growing out of their baby ones.”
Suggested names include Agnes, Duncan, Georgina, Heath, Sylvia, Lars and Rita.
Transient, aerial, and trendy, names that send your heart soaring to the sky are expected to come into style.
While weather-related names such as Sky and Sunny have long endured, Redmond writes that “atmospheric names are almost entirely modern, without the baggage of traditional names” and are more likely to be picked up by Millennial and Gen Z parents who understand the fleeting nature of a moment.
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott have outdone this trend with their two children: Stormi, 5, and Aire, 1.
Suggested names include Aura, Soleil, Zephyr, Ice, Rain, Solana and Storm/Stormi.
Social media’s homesteading trend will blend into real life with parents picking name that sound just as at home on a rural farm as they do holidaying on the French Riviera.
“The natural glamour names coming into fashion are earthier, clunkier choices with patina,” Redmond writes.
“These names are classy but in a subtle way – they feel at home on the homestead or at a five-star hotel.”
Suggested names include Asha, Cillian, Estelle, Magnus, Phoebe, Guy and Vera.
Main Character Energy
The Gen Z obsession with “main character energy” means everyone sees themselves as the protagonist these days – so why not give your child a name that has already proven its weight?
From Harry Potter to Disney, taking the names of our favourite fictional characters for our own kids may have seemed slightly alternative; finding inspiration in our favourite movies, shows, books, mythology, and more is set to become trendy.
“Even names without a pop culture connection can capture main character energy,” Redmond writes.
“Bold and dramatic names that draw attention through strong sounds and ambitious imagery have the same effect, and will be rising alongside names in the zeitgeist.”
Suggested names include Anakin, Esmeralda, Jetson, Ophelia, Sylvester and Persephone.
Gentle Parenting Names
The gentle parenting trend seems likely to lead to a generation of equally calm and sensitive names.
“We’re seeing a direct correlation with gentle, soft-sounding names,” Redmond writes.
“Parents are favoring names with calm auras and mellow sounds. Vowels feature prominently in these names, along with fluid consonants like C, F, L and S. Girl names that end with A are both popular and gentle.”
Suggested names include Ansel, Ines, Casper, Liana, Rhys and Soraya.
Set your child up for success by choosing a name inspired by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“We’re also predicting an, ahem, astronomical rise in STEM last names as first names, from Darwin to Kuiper,” Redmond writes.
“Among STEM enthusiast parents, using a scientific surname is a way to pay homage to a personal hero and share their passion with the world.”
Suggested names include Astra, Cosmo, Octavia, Nova, Seven, Solstice, and Zenith.
The rise in names ending with “-ia”, Redmond says, can be traced back to Kai breaking Nameberry’s Top 100 list in 2019.
“Names that end in -ai come from diverse backgrounds, making them particularly attractive to parents raising multicultural or multilingual children,” Redmond writes.
“Found in the Bible, along with Japanese, Shona, Hawaiian, European, and Indigenous cultures, -ai names are easily translated across languages and cultures.”
And if the traditional “-ia” names don’t appeal, why not just create your own?
Suggested names include Cai, Lorelai, Mordecai, Sinai and Zai.
Musical Icon Names
Just as timeless as your favourite tune, looking towards musical inspiration for our baby name can open up a trove of unique and edgy names.
Be they the icons – Janis, Iggy, Jett – or the songs themselves – Lola, Rhiannon, Graceland – names inspired by songs never seem to go out of style.
“Rock and roll icon names like Cobain, Joplin, and Bowie are an edgy way to get in on the last names as first names trend, and names inspired by songs or bands – think Nirvana, Rhiannon and Zeppelin – have that badass baby name image that modern parents covet,” Redmond writes.
Suggested names include Cobain, Bowie, Joni, Lennon, Priscilla, Stevie and Ziggy.