Good news for curious parents-to-be (and name nerds like myself): The projected trends for the rest of 2019 are here! We got the inside info on the predictions for 2019’s top baby names thanks to Pamela Redmond Satran, name expert and founder of the website Nameberry. “Parents are looking to new sources for baby names that embody personal meaning and that are also unique,” Redmond Satran tells SheKnows. So what are those new sources? Expectant parents, take note!
From fresh global sources to the latest spin on nature names to the hottest initial (it’s F), we’ve got the details on what names to expect in the maternity ward this year. So, if you want insight into upcoming trends (whether to jump on a bandwagon or steer clear), read on and find out what the future top picks will be.
Nameberry reports that some of their most popular names of 2018 are Atticus, Olivia, Finn, Genevieve and Rose; yes, we know, we predicted many 2018 baby name winners way back when. Vintage picks include Amos, Clementine, Cordelia and Otto. We’ll probably see these names continue to rise in 2019.
One new source of inspiration: Asia and Africa. Names from Asia and Africa that may not have emigrated to the West previously are gaining popularity, Redmond Satran says. Other more global choices are emerging: Maori and Xhosa names; Greek, Korean and Israeli names. Eastern names, like Bodhi, Manu, Kali and Zen will also gain popularity, according to Redmond Satran. Here are some of Nameberry’s predictions for trending global names:
The new nature: Gem-inspired
The nature trend continues, but it’s branching off into new territory. “People are searching beyond flowers to new nature sources for names, such as gems and colors,” Redmond Satran says. I have a little girl named Ruby, which is already pretty popular (along with Pearl), but we’re hearing other gem names lately, such as Emerald, Bijoux, Onyx and Garnet. Nameberry concurs, and their sparkling predictions are:
Speaking of Ruby, vibrant color names are on the way out. Goodbye, Blue and Poppy; hello, Fawn and Mauve! Other muted hues on the upswing: Moss, Lilac, Ivory, Ash and Gray/Grey. Instead of bright Violet, 2019 parents will opt for softer Lavender.
Nonbinary names will also see a surge in 2019 — no need to go pink or blue. Parents are embracing gender-neutral monikers. “And they are looking for meaning in spiritual names and names that move beyond gender stereotypes,” Redmond Satran tells SheKnows. These new gender-neutral names don’t end in “-son” (which literally means “son of,” indicating a male name) like previously popular names Madison, Addison and the like. And we’re not talking about names that were once traditionally masculine and crossed over, like Elliot, Charlie or Ashley. These are names that never had a gender to begin with. Here are Nameberry’s nonbinary predictions:
For boys, old-school nicknames will be big in 2019. (I have a Gus, so I might be on-trend with this one, although Gus also goes with the “old man chic” names currently popular.) Think Ace, Buddy, Jimmy, Sonny and Spike. Names that were formerly considered generic, like Johnny, are currently appealing to the hipster crowd.
Hottest initial: F
The first letter that’ll be trending in 2019 is F. Fashionable F names include Fern, Felix, Florian, Frost and Finnian.
Trendy vowel: U
F may be the coolest initial, but U is the big vowel favorite. It’s possibly new Prince Louis (or a Kardashian) inspired this trend. Names like Reuben, True, Louise, Juniper and Hugo are going to rise in 2019.
Middle names, animal-style
Parents are getting fierce with middle names. We’ve seen Bear popularized (especially by celebrities like Alicia Silverstone) but more animal names are up-and-coming, especially in the middle place. Some of Nameberry’s picks include Falcon, Otter, Koala, Lynx, Tiger and Hawk. The entire animal kingdom is fair game!
Celebrities have always influenced baby names, but what’s becoming more and more popular are celebrity last names. This is a huge trend that will continue in 2019, says Redmond Satran. Nameberry’s picks for celeb surnames on the rise are Lennon, Jolie, Hendrix, Bowie, Monroe and Wilder.
Say goodbye: Em names
While those are the sources of inspiration Nameberry predicts for 2019 babies, there’s one trend that’s dying down: Em names. Emma, Emerson, Emily, Emeline, Emmett, Emme — their time in the sun has come and gone. Emily was in the top 25 for 35 years, and at No. 1 for 12 of them, Nameberry points out. Then Emma swooped in, and it’s been in the top 25 since 1998 and is still in first place. But we’re all Em’d out, so for 2019, Nameberry predicts these names will start to fade away.