Nameberry just announced the most popular baby name trends for 2023, and, honestly, it's better than New York Fashion Week. Over the decades, we've seen it all. Country names were the big fad (and still are, with a twist) for a hot second. Earthy names or hippie names have also had their time in the sun. Your older daughter might have an old lady name, or you might have gone with the "old trend" of using a rainbow color name or a name from fantasy. Of course, naming trends aren't something you have to follow — as a matter of fact, they often happen by sheer accident.
Many baby name trends are based on what's happening in the world around us. You're not the only person obsessed with shows like Yellowstone or Big Sky who thinks a rustic western name is in the cards for your future outlaw. Hence, those names become popular. While many people might shy away from names that are "trendy," you like what you like. Trends come and go, but those perfect eyes, 10 tiny fingers, 10 tiny toes, and oh-so-perfect name for that oh-so-perfect baby are here for, well... a lifetime.
What makes next year’s naming trends different than previous years?
The naming trends for 2023 mark a sign of the times and a shift in our country's mood. "There's a pop, upbeat, bright, 1920s/1960s vibe around. Feeling of a new world, dancing as fast as we can. A complete reinvention of mood and style," says Nameberry founder Pam Redmond. "As in the 1920s and '60s, there's a wish to leave everything from the 'before' times behind. In the '20s, it came after the flu epidemic, World War I, the revolutions. In the '60s, it followed World War II and the conservative 1950s. At both junctures, feminism was a force. Social mores loosened a lot."
Nameberry also notes that while you can see a clear shift in mood, the naming trends also line up with the fractured state of our country. Parents are still seeking to find individual or rare approaches to naming and looking for ways to make their families and their children stand out. The various trends don't blend into each other either, and even within trends, naming fanatics are seeing splits or fractures. In essence, there are also "micro-trends." While lists of top names often had very clear and obvious winners, like Olivia or Aidan, there's a little less of the heavy-handed use of certain names. Life is a mixed bag right now, and so too, it seems, are naming trends.
What are the biggest 2023 naming trends?
1. Maximalist Names
Many parents are no longer finding the need to use restraint when naming their children. "Simple and sweet" just doesn't cut it. Or, as Nameberry puts it, "The old adage that 'less is more' has lost its luster, and more is back to being more!" Popular Maximalist names include:
2. Names So "Out," They're "In"
The '80s are back in a big way, but not in the way names usually cycle. Instead of seeing a resurgence of names popular in the '80s, trendwatchers are seeing references to '80s pop culture. A few examples:
- Ferris (Bueller? ... Bueller? ....)
3. Gilded Names
We're gonna blame this one on TikTok's obsession with Smashmouth. All that glitters is gold? Nameberry shared that the nickname-turned-real-name, Goldie, made it into the Top 1000 Baby Names last year, but that's only the beginning. After dark and trying times, parents are turning to shimmering, glittering names, like:
4. Neo-Cowboy Names
"Neo-cowboy names evoke this rugged ideal, but they also feel bang on trend for 2023," shares Nameberry. "Think stylish name sounds like the -ett, -er and -s endings, or choices with recent celebrity endorsement, like Brando, Tex, and Wilder." Other popular picks include:
5. Traveling Lite Names
Taking the opposite approach to maximalists are parents using short, simple names that pack a unique punch. Two syllables and four letters make up all the names on their list of examples:
6. X-tra Names
If there's an X at the beginning, middle, or end of a name, this is the year to use it. Need inspo? Consider:
7. Adjective Names
Celebs have been on this trend for ages, as Nameberry points out. Take, for instance, Nick Cannon's naming prowess. One of his first children is Moroccan, and now, one of his youngest is Legendary. Names that hold obvious meanings and perhaps give your kids lofty aspirations or high standards are now on trend. This includes:
8. Grandpa Names For Girls
This takes the "old lady name" trend from earlier in the decade and gives it a new, spunky twist. This time we're "gender-bending" grandpa names and nicknames, such as:
9. Blue-Green Names
Color names have become narrowed in on the cool tones of blue and green. Let's hope the colors' calming effects translate right along with monikers like this:
10. Mix and Match Names
Parents have moved on from -lynn, -leigh, and -syn, thankfully. They've settled on new ending name components, often with an old British twist. And those same endings can be attached to literally any beginning word. A taste:
You can find the full list of 2023 baby name trends at Nameberry.