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Hottest baby-naming trends, revealed

Everyone wants to pick the perfect name when they have a baby on the way, and more and more parents are opting for unique names to help their child stand out in a crowd. From the look of the “hottest baby names of the year” list, that can lead to finding inspiration in surprising sources.

Each year BabyCenter does a survey to suss out popular, upward trending and unique baby names, which always yields a few favorites (Sophia, Aiden) and a couple of surprises (Frooti, Pi), and this year is no different.

In 2015, parents have chosen names that draw on everything from beloved fictional characters to Instagram filters. If you’re looking for a unique moniker for your impending little one, this could be just the place to start.

More: The baby names guaranteed to land on Santa’s naughty list

It’s no surprise that as more and more technological natives grow up and have babies of their own, they’ll pull inspiration from some of their favorite apps and social networks. The surprising dark horse names of this year, in fact, will be particularly familiar to moms and dads who spend time on Instagram. Take a look, and see if you can spot your favorite filter (or top baby name choice!):


  • Lux
  • Reyes
  • Kelvin
  • Ludwig
  • Amaro
  • Hudson


  • Valencia
  • Juno
  • Willow

Of course, just because these are popular filters, or in Lux’s case, editing tools, it doesn’t mean they don’t have gorgeous meanings behind them, as they had long before selfies were a thing. Ludwig calls Beethoven to mind and means “great warrior,” while Reyes means “kings.”

Juno is the Queen of Greek Gods, while Valencia is “brave” or “strong.” So while all these names have a modern appeal, they’re rooted in tradition, making them great names for parents who want a little of both.

More: From unique to classic: Find your baby name style

Then there are the bookworms. For parents who spend a little less time with their eyes on their phones and a little more time with their nose in a book, fictional characters, particularly from young adult novels, held major sway.


  • Augustus
  • Jonas


  • Katniss
  • Hazel
  • Aysel
  • Hermione

Fans of The Fault in Our Stars will recognize Augustus and Hazel right away, while Jonas from The Giver is making a comeback. Katniss and Hermione require no explanation, but Aysel comes from My Heart and Other Black Holes, a book that tackles the heavy topic of teen suicide.

More: Baby girl names inspired by Christmas

One surprising source of inspiration is royalty. Maybe it’s got something to do with the Duchess of Cambridge’s, Kate Middleton’s, disgustingly adorable kids, or maybe it speaks to a larger attitude about our kids, but there are definitely a number of upward trenders that have turned titles into given names.


  • Royal
  • Reign
  • Kaiser
  • Sovereign
  • Emperor


  • Royalty
  • Duchess
  • Princess

Equally interesting were the number of names that parents pulled, quite literally, from the sky:


  • Star
  • Jupiter
  • Sunny


  • Venus
  • Gaia
  • Cassiopeia
  • Luna
  • Soleil

Since so many of our celestial bodies in the West take names from Greek or Roman mythology, many of these names, particularly for girls, will be immediately recognizable. Venus was the goddess of love, for instance. The constellation Cassiopeia, on the other hand, gets its name from a very beautiful but very arrogant mythological queen. And Soleil is the French word for “sun.”

See any of your top picks on this list? The biggest takeaway here is that most of these names are unique enough to stand out but recognizable enough to stand on their own.

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