As 2022 nears, new parents are leaning towards baby names that represent hope and spirituality, while embracing a trend of gender-neutral monikers.
On Sunday, baby name inspiration website Nameberry published a list of the top 10 trends we can expect to see in 2022, with the outlet noting that “new parents of 2022 are seeking names with style and substance that mark a positive turning point in the turmoil of the past two years”.
According to Nameberry, one of the biggest trends will be “playful” names, as the baby source expects that parents will be drawn to names that are both fun and “whimsical”.
To highlight the trend’s popularity, Nameberry acknowledged celebrities who have recently chosen “sweet, whimsical terms of endearment” for their children, such as Sadie Robertson, who named her daughter Honey.
In addition, the outlet suggests that we can expect to see more babies with names such as Pixie, Moxie or Cricket, “as well as super cute, high-energy nicknames like Coco, Lulu, Teddy and Ziggy”.
The trend will also include animal-themed monikers such as Bear, Bee, Dovie and Birdie.
According to the name source, animal names aren’t the only nature-inspired choices we can expect to see in 2022, as it predicts that “escapist nature names” will be in demand among new parents, with Nameberry noting the increasing popularity of options such as Prairie, Dune, Sequoia and Capri.
The site expects that popular TV shows such as The White Lotus, which was set in Hawaii, will play a part in this trend, with name options including Reef, Coast and Ocean all likely making an appearance over the next year.
The HBO hit show won’t be the only show to influence baby names either, as Nameberry hypothesises that Netflix’s Bridgerton will inspire parents to choose antique options like Daphne to Hyacinth, which the outlet says are already “rising rapidly up the Nameberry charts”.
In addition to the Regency England-inspired names, the site assumes that the show’s actors will serve as inspiration for parents, with Phoebe for Phoebe Dynevor and Regé, for Regé-Jean Page, expected to increase in popularity.
The next trend on Nameberry’s list comes as a result of “society’s increasing openness to gender fluidity as a concept and an identity,” according to the name source, which notes that it is seeing an increase in typically female names used for male children.
According to Nameberry, some of these names are goddess-inspired, such as Artemis, Echo and Nyx, while nature names like Indigo, Sunny and Wren have also seen a crossover. The trend also predicts names such as Sasha, Blair and Laurie will continue to be chosen for newborn baby boys.
The lean towards unisex names will be especially transparent in choices of R names, according to Nameberry, which expects that the trend of “energetic unisex R names starting to take off” will continue into the new year.
With this trend, the name source predicts that new parents will be open to choices like Reign, Riot, Rogue or Rumor, as well more unique options such as Royal, Rye and Riggs.
As we make our way into the third year of the pandemic, parents will also be looking for names that inject spirituality, with Nameberry believing “baby names in 2022 will continue to reflect parents’ hopes, dreams and aspirations for their children, born into a time of uncertainty and change”.
In this category, verbs such as Praise, Dream, Revere, Promise and Shine have grown in popularity, while other spirit and soul names include options like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s son Psalm or Sanskrit names such as Veda and Rishi, which the outlet says are “trending in a big way”.
With the future uncertain, new parents will also be looking to the past for inspiration, as retro baby names are expected to be on the rise in 2022.
According to Nameberry, this trend, which conjures “up images of simpler, sunnier, more stable times - the idealised 1950s childhood of gingham tablecloths, home-baked cookies and lemonade stands,” includes monikers such as Betty, Bobby, Constance and Etta, as well as choices like Ned, Mae, Goldie and Ralph.
Interestingly, one of the biggest trends we can expect next year is parents opting for baby names ending with an S, according to Nameberry, which notes that this category ranges from surnames like Banks and Wells to “cool vintage names from Lois to Ignatius”.
The upcoming year is likely to see an increase in parents opting for musical names as well, according to the trend list, which predicts that “fashionable music-inspired choices like Aria, Lyric and Cadence will be joined by ever more adventurous options, from Calypso to Rhythm to Symphony,” which are all seeing an increase in popularity.
The final trend predicted for 2021 is the result of parents looking overseas for inspiration, as Nameberry has seen an influx in mothers and fathers “looking to our European friends for inspiration” and “seeking out stylish choices that feel fresh and surprising in an American context”.
According to the baby name website, the trend won’t focus on culturally distinct names, but rather those “whose origins are harder to pin down,” with the outlet explaining that it expects to see “sleek Scandinavian, Slavic, Gaelic and Germanic names” increasing in popularity.
The names likely to be chosen include monikers such as Bastian, Astrid, Svea, Oona, Viggo, Rafferty or Magnus, while Scarlett Johanson’s baby name Cosmo has already made it to the list.
Nameberry is the world’s largest website devoted to baby names, with the outlet boasting a database of more than 70,000 names.