Baby Names With Momentum: According to a study published in Topics of Cognitive Science, U.S. parents gravitate toward baby names that are on the rise, as opposed to those that are treading water or losing steam. Based on data from the Social Security Administration, we predict that the following names, whose popularity grew significantly between 2007 and 2008, will emerge as front-runners in 2012.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Aiden, Alijah, Brady, Braylon, Caleb, Hugo, Lucas, Mason
2012 Baby Girl Names: Ainsley, Amari, Brooke, Fiona, Gabriella, Hailey, Jayla, Kendall, Mia, Mila, Paige, Valentina
Retro Baby Names: Since baby names tend to follow boom-and-bust cycles, many monikers that haven’t been popular for generations are now becoming modern mainstays. (For example, before its recent resurgence, the name “Sophie” hadn’t cracked the top 100 list since 1915.) In 2012, we expect the following vintage baby names to make a contemporary comeback.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Gavin, Isaac, Jacoby, Liam, Nathan, Sebastian, Wyatt
2012 Baby Girl Names: Audrey, Charlotte, Claire, Hazel, Madelyn, Silas, Sophie
Religious and Biblical Baby Names: For many people in the United States and around the world, the bible is the single most influential tome ever written. As it turns out, the religious text is also the source of many of the most enduring names of all time. Some have been popular for decades, while others have been more obscure, but we believe these religious and biblical baby names will make a strong showing in 2012.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Aaron, Asher, Gabriel, Joseph, Joshua, Luke, Noah, Solomon
2012 Baby Girl Names: Ann, Delilah, Eden, Esther, Jane, Naomi
Baby Names Influenced by the Economy: Women’s hemlines aren’t the only thing that fluctuates based on the stock market. As it turns out, baby names are also influenced by economics. While financial experts can’t agree on how long the current recession will last, baby-naming gurus concur that during downturns, parents revert to classic, straightforward monikers that evoke the ruggedness of previous generations.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Ace, Cash, Diego, Jacob, Owen, Ryder, Shane, Tucker
2012 Baby Girl Names: Aubrey, Carly, Daphne, Elsa, Harper, Harley, Heidi, Lola, Marley, Riley, Stella
Baby Names Inspired by Celebrities: Not surprisingly, some of the most popular baby names also belong to the hottest stars in Hollywood. And generally, parents opt for names that belong to up-and-comers, as opposed to established glitterati (it’s worth noting that Angelina, Jennifer, Lindsay, Paris, and Jessica have all lost popularity over the past five years). Which celebrity names will charm the masses in 2012? We’re betting on the following.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Anthony, Brody, Chace, Jonah, Jonas, Penn, Sebastian, Tristan
2012 Baby Girl Names: Blake, Evangeline, Hayden, January, Leighton, Miley, Scarlett, Taylor
Baby Names Inspired by History and Politics: Given the significant challenges facing the nation, politics will continue to play a major role in the national consciousness-and in baby naming. In 2012, a year of mid-term elections, we can expect to see increasing popularity among names belonging to modern-day leaders, White House staff, political commentators, and former heads of state.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Abraham, Anderson, Barack, Carter, Immanuel, Jackson, Jefferson, Tyler
2012 Baby Girl Names: Arianna, Eleanor, Hillary, Kennedy, Madeline, Madison, Reagan, Taylor
Baby Names Inspired by Places and Space: A few years back, it seemed as if every celebrity was naming their baby after a destination (Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx, while Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale got their inspiration from Zuma Beach, California). Although neither of those names is sweeping the nation yet, several place names-most are cities or countries, but some refer to celestial bodies-appear to be gaining momentum.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Dallas, Essex, Lincoln, Leo, Orion, Phoenix, Santiago, Trenton
2012 Baby Girl Names: Aurora, Brooklyn, Camden, Catalina, Charlotte, China, London, Sydney
Baby Names Inspired by Sports: The stars of the 2012 Vancouver Olympics will not only motivate future champions; chances are, they’ll inspire parents seeking baby names. Regardless of who wins the gold, figure skater Evan Lysacek and ice hockey player Natalie Darwitz are expected to make a strong showing. In addition, football heroes and tennis stars will sway some athletically inclined parents.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Brady, Colt, Colton, Daniel, Eli, Evan
2012 Baby Girl Names: Bethanie, Melanie, Natalie, Peyton, Serena
Baby Names Inspired by TV, Movies, and Music: In every decade, pop culture produces a number of favorite baby names. In 2012, parents may be inspired by recent hit movies like Amelia and Where the Wild Things Are, as well as hits like Twilight and Lost. In fact, we believe the critically acclaimed drama Mad Men could spark a return to early 60s-inspired monikers, while popular music, musical concepts, singers, and classic songs are a perennial source of inspiration.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Campbell, Charlie, Cooper, Edward, Grey, Max, Sterling
2012 Baby Girl Names: Amelia, Bella, Betty, Isabella, Joan, Kylie, Layla, Mariah, Melody, Peggy
Baby Names Inspired by Time and Nature: Although “days of the week” names (Tuesday, Wednesday) have all but faded into obscurity at this point, some seasons and months are still gaining ground. In addition, as the green movement continues to grow, many parents are finding inspiration in elements of the natural world, including animals, flowers, gemstones, and explorers.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Asher, Colt, Heath, Hunter, Jasper, Jett, Marco, Stone
2012 Baby Girl Names: Autumn, Camila, Giselle, Ivy, June, Lily, May, Ruby, Violet, Willow
Baby Names Inspired by Writers and Fiction: Famous books, beloved protagonists, and great writers continue to inspire many expectant parents to choose names with a literary bent. Some increasingly popular names date back to Greek and Roman mythology, others were first popularized during Shakespearean times, and others refer to more modern scribes and works of fiction.
2012 Baby Boy Names: Atticus, Beckett, Finnegan, Harper, Holden, Logan, Oscar, William
2012 Baby Girl Names: Alice, Chloe, Charlotte, Genevieve, Harper, Juliet, Luna, Penelope, Phoebe
Trends for Twins: When it comes to baby naming (among other things), parents of twins face double the challenge. Many opt for names that begin with the same letter, rhyme or sound similar, or have the same meaning. Some come up with anagrams (Amy and May, for example), while others choose names that appear to have no relation to each other. In 2012, we predict the following combinations will be among the most popular baby names for twins.
2012 Twin Boy Names: Caleb and Joshua, Elijah and Isaiah, Ethan and Evan, Isaac and Isaiah, James and John, Landon and Logan, Logan and Lucas, Matthew and Michael
2012 Twin Girl Names: Addison and Avery, Ava and Emma, Ella and Emma, Faith and Hope, Gabriella and Isabella, Jayden and Jaylen, Olivia and Sophia
2012 Twin Boy/Girl Names: Adrian and Adriana, Aiden and Ava, Caleb and Callie, Jordan and Jayden, Hayden and Hunter, Madison and Mason, Natalie and Nathan, Samuel and Sophia.