Choosing a name for your child holds the power to shape the self-esteem and their identity, and can even influence how they are treated and seen by others. Why so much weight on a name? Well, the permanence of it is an important factor of course. Even though parents can change their child’s name, for the most part, you can’t name your child Susan at birth, then change to Anna at Thanksgiving and back to Susan at birth. A heightened awareness of branding is another important factor, especially in our era of celebrities – your name can become your brand for the rest of your life.
And then there is the belief that your name, or “brand”, can even affect your child’s self-confidence to their grades in school and their future professional success. Certain names can happen to have a lot of expectations on them and first impressions. A generation ago, ethnic, androgynous and invented names, were not as widely accepted. But today, things are changing and we are seeing a wider variety in diversity of names.
In the early 2010’s, we saw a lot of Emmas and Liams, the top girl and boy names for the past 5 years in America, it’s fun to look forward and see what baby name trends will bring us in 2018. Baby names tend to reflect our pop culture, or popular songs or TV shows or movies of the time (hello Daenarys, Thor and Katniss).
But what will come up this year? If we look at the current trends and movements of 2018, we can probably easily predict upcoming names that will be heard in your future child’s class.
Girls: Women’s Movement
With the current trends in a new women’s movement and with strong women leadership on the horizon, it might be safe to say that names of strong women, goddesses, deities and leaders will be popular in our girls’ names list and our daughters of the future. Some examples may be:
- Freya – One of the “last of the Romantic travelers,” Freya Stark was the first European woman to enter Iran. It is also the name of the Norse goddess of beauty and love.
- Adira : Hebrew name meaning strong which can be an excellent substitute for Ariana and Ava.
- Matilda: Matilda was first introduced to the English-speaking countries by the Matilda of Flander, the queen of William the Conqueror.This vintage name means ‘might strong.’
- Emersyn: Emersyn is the female variation of the name Emerson and means ‘bravery or powerful.’ People who like the names like Emma, Emery, and Emmy would work well with this name.
- Indira: This name has two powerful references. One is Indira Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, who balanced her high profile career with motherhood. And the other is Indira Gandhi, the first woman prime minister of India.
- Elizabeth: This name is one of the most famous queens of England and the UK, Elizabeth the First, and also the current monarch Elizabeth II, whose life was featured in the recent Netflix series, The Crown.
- Rosa: Rosa Parks was the first lady of American civil rights movement and honestly, Rosa will outnumber Rose.
- Michelle: Even though the Beatles popularized this name with the same name title song in the 1960’s, Michelle will make a comeback after strong hold former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Boys: Fashion Forward Names
Usually girls’ names were up for the more unique fashion forward names, but we are seeing a trend in boys’ names being less conservative (like John and Michael) and going to trendier names, such as:
- Milo: A well-used name in medieval Europe, it predates brother-name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles. This name has gained popularity with a lot of celebrity parents such as Ricki Lake and Alyssa Milano.
- Jasper: Though it has Persian roots, the name is one of the few boys’ names to be named after a gem, and has gained a lot of popularity due to the Twilight series.
- Atticus: Not only one of the main characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus was an important Roman literary figure named for the Greek region around Athens, andhas continuously risen since entering the US Top 1000 in 2004.
- Cassius: Another Latin name on the rise, Cassius is a Shakespearean name. Cassius Clay was an abolitionist and it was also the birth name of Muhammad Ali.
- Kai: This is a strong, evocative, exotic name that crosses many cultures: “sea” in Hawaiian, “forgiveness” in Japanese, “willow tree” in Navajo, and “food” in Maori that has been popular as both a first name and a middle name.
- Jude: Thanks to the popularity of the Beatles (again, their influence) with the song ‘Hey Jude’ and the actor Jude Law, Jude is no longer associated with Jesus’ traitor Judas or the tragic Jude the Obscure from Thomas Hardy.
- Finn: The Irish name from mythology is starting to charm the American charts, both for girls and boys names.
- Ozias: This unique Greek name can gain even more points by using the nickname Ozzie or Oz.
- Alistair: This name has an old school feel to it, but it was a Scottish and Irish hidden name until the 20th century. It’s the Scottish form of Alexander, and has a cool twist to it.
- Louis: For those who are a fan of traditional royal names such as Henry or Edward, this is less common but packs just as much punch with 18 French kings having been named Louis. You can choose whether to keep the French pronunciation, without pronouncing the ‘s’ or keep a more English saying and use the ‘s’.
- Felix: From a Roman cognomen meaning “lucky, successful” in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It is also a common name among Popes and now celebrities who name their sons Felix such as Gillian Anderson and Elizabeth Banks.
Important Things to Consider
Before naming your child, you should also consider how you are going to spell the name and whether or not it will have consequences to them. For example, Bryanna may be a unique way of spelling Brianna, but it might be harder to find gift items and souvenirs, and your child may need to constantly remind others on how to spell their name.
Once you and your partner chose the name, does it sound and feel right? Can you imagine your baby as an adult with this name? If you feel that the name is not right, it is important to discuss with your partner your issues and hesitations right away.
Do you or your partner like a certain name because it is a part of your culture or heritage? Does your family have a specific naming tradition that you or your partner would like to keep? Sometimes family names have been passed down generations and can always be modified to become a middle name instead of a first name, or vice versa.
An original Circle 4 Parents blog.
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