When it comes to classic baby names, there are two stories we like to tell. Sometimes it’s that classics have been abandoned. Time to name your baby Chicago, Koala, or , because nobody would dare call a kid or in the year 2018.
The other story? Classic baby names are back. Everyone is taking a page from Middleton’s book, and sticking to the most enduring of choices, naming their children and .
Neither of these extremes is true.
Instead, classic baby names rise and fall, just like every other kind of name. though we’d never call them trendy, it’s easy to see that they do trend, just as surely as and , and .
The new most popular baby names list reveals some of the hottest of the classics. In many ways, stylish, traditional baby names are the perfect compromise. They feel fresh and current, but they’d be equally at home in nearly any decade.
RISING CLASSIC GIRL NAMES
– One-part legendary queen, one-part inspiring First Lady, sounds romantic and serious, daring and capable. rose six places to Number 35 last year. This name also proves that it often takes a century for names to cycle in and out of fashion. back in 1918, ranked Number 26.
– Boosted by ’s sister, soared 34 spots to Number 140. Originally a form of , today stands on its own. If you’re worried that your might become or , naming her just sidesteps that issue, and gives your daughter a name that feels modern and traditional at once.
– As gentle as , as enduring as , rose to Number 438 this year. A decade ago, ranked Number 828. It’s gained nearly 400 places over the last ten years! Like , was an early twentieth century favorite. A handful of celebrity children and a popular Pope have boosted the name, too.
– Beautiful and fearless, the Biblical has inspired countless parents over the centuries. became a mid-century favorite, as in and and . But shorten to instead and it feels surprisingly fresh. Another reason this name climbed 45 places to Number 846? It’s the baby on The Walking Dead.
and – before the newest prince was named, – names were rising. They logically follow , , and up the charts. Plus, nicknames like surely appeal to some families. jumped 75 places to Number 752; gained 88 spots to reach Number 805. Back in the 1910s, ranked in the Top 20, so both names could have farther to go.
– is still on Gilligan’s Island, a sweet name from the middle of the twentieth century. But feels richly elaborate, jumping 91 spots to Number 749. Meanwhile, , , and all fell slightly. So did – with a single ‘n’ – even though it remains more popular than – for now.
,, , and – has occupied the middle name spot in big numbers for years, but lately it’s getting more love as a given name. It’s up a dozen spots to Number 141. If that’s not impressive, consider that ten years ago, languished in the mid-300s. , , and were all up, too – the last gaining an impressive 164 places.
– The Old Testament was known for her loyalty. The name became a Top Ten favorite at the turn of the twentieth century thanks to the birth of “ ,” President ’s daughter. Now the name is back again, up 33 spots to Number 265. As for nicknames? belongs on the same playground as cozy, casual favorites like , , and .
RISING CLASSIC BOY NAMES
– Back around 2010, Cox’s Town character mentioned this as a favorite boy’s name. A year later, named her son . It’s climbed the popularity charts ever since, with another 28-spot jump taking this regal name to Number 244.
– The real name of legendary singer Sinatra, and the name of the current Pope, this former Top 100 mainstay had fallen out of the Top 500 just ten years ago. Today it’s reversed course, reaching Number 461, a gain of 20 places (and over 150 in the last decade). Based on the name’s history, it’s easy to imagine it continuing to rise.
– With longer boys’ names like and so in favor, why not ? British parents love , and there’s a heroic character by the name. currently stands at Number 494, a far cry from its former Top 100 status. But that’s a gain of 19 spots.
and – A Germanic name with a great meaning – heart – and the Latin form, , have been worn by saints and kings over the centuries. Straightforward has rebounded to Number 836, up sixteen places. Meanwhile, energetic reached Number 418, up a dozen spots. With and other –o ending boy names so popular, almost certainly has farther to go.
– before and delighted the world with their new prince’s name, was going places. This traditional choice rose by twelve this year; it’s gained over the last decade. Bullock welcomed son in 2010; a year later, took the world by storm as part of pop sensation One Direction. The royal baby’s arrival could push this traditional pick even higher.
and – Speaking of royals, there was much speculation that a new prince might be named , for his great-grandfather, the of Edinburgh. It didn’t come to pass, but has been attracting attention ever since and argued over the name on The Office back in season eight. The single-L spelling rose ten places to Number 425; meanwhile, also gained ten spots, to land right behind at Number 426.
and – is to as is to . One is casual and modern; the other, more traditional and buttoned-down. But both the short and long forms are very much in favor today. , o-ending rocketed 65 spots to land at Number 289; meanwhile continued to ascend, coming in at Number 62, a twenty-spot gain.
– Like , comes by its –r ending naturally, a first name that fits with surname favorites like and . It’s less common than , but nearly as familiar. Now it stands at Number 265, up 37 spots. of distinguished men have answered to the name, from journalist Cronkite to poet to Disney himself. Time for a new generation to join them!
Did any of your favorite classic baby names make this list?
BONUS: And here we have the nuggets unearthed from the forums last week:
• Lots of new 2017 name data nerdery! Kudos to @mccharlie for compiling this awesome preliminary list of the , and to @enthusiast for this neat list of all the .
• It’s striking how many of the fastest-rising names for boys and girls on the latest list are either invented names or creative adaptations: think Arlowe and Westlyn, Oseias and Rhyatt. much do you think ?
• Lots of intriguing new inspiration to be found in this longlist of !
• Full names with fun noun nicknames, for a brother or sister to ““. this idea, and !
• And last but by no means least, a fantastic old list from @davisellu of European royal and aristocratic boy names. I’m so ! Here’s the , too.
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