6 Subtle Name Trends Shaping the Naming Landscape

I made a bit of a splash the last time I wrote about baby names. I somewhat rashly named the post “6 Bad Baby Name Trends“, when in reality the trends aren’t bad, they just aren’t my taste. I appreciate the dialog that came as a result. I enjoyed writing on the topic so much, I thought I would give it another go.

Like I mentioned last time, I love naming trends. I am completely fascinated with them, the possible reasons behind them and what they say about society.

So, here are six subtle naming trends that are influencing the biggest naming hits (without us even realizing it).




  • Storm Names 1 of 6
    Storm Names
    Any publicity is good publicity, right? Turns out if the right name is used for a storm, it can change the trajectory it's on. Katrina was in sharp decline when one of the most memorable Hurricanes of the generation hit. The name had an uncharacteristic jump in 2005 - the year of the storm.
    Source | Baby Name Wizard
  • Names Ending in N 2 of 6
    Names Ending in N
    Did you know that 1/3 of boys have a name ending in "n" now? Names that have been around for generations (Nathan, Brandon, etc.) mixed with a new crop of names (Aidan, et al) have created an army of boys names ending in "n".
  • Victims 3 of 6
    This phenomenon is similar to that of the Storm Names. After high profile crimes against women and girls, their names almost always rise up the charts (even if the name has fallen off the charts, like in the case of Laci Peterson). Both Natalee (Holloway) and Caylee (Anthony) bumped up after the constant news coverage.
    In this day and age, we are far more likely to name our kids after a victim than a hero.
    Source | Baby Name Wizard
  • Long Vowels 4 of 6
    Long Vowels
    One of the broadest trends is the popularity of long vowels. It spans every style, and is universally evident. This is the reason Grace has been resurrected and Pearl lags behind. And the reason that George sounds more dated than James. I noticed even in our name hunt, we were definitely drawn to names with long vowels (including the name we settled on - Tate)
    Source | Baby Name Wizard
  • Faux Antiques 5 of 6
    Faux Antiques
    Faux antique names sound like the embodiment of age gone by. And that image is an illusion. It's not that names like Ava, Chloe, Olivia, and Isabella weren't used, but they weren't heard often and were far from typical. None of them ever cracked the top 200. They are 40 times more common now than they were in the early twentieth century.
    Source | Baby Name Wizard
  • Names that Flow 6 of 6
    Names that Flow
    One of the most common markers of a feminine name is the classic "a" ending. But the letters preceding the "a" are what is shifting. Rather than hard or "plosive" sounds (B, P, D, T, G or K), they are softer consonants [liquids (L and R), fricatives (F, V, S, Z) and nasal stops (M and N)]. Plosives are like a speed bump in a word, whereas the softer consonants flow much easier. See the difference between Ada vs. Ava or Brenda vs. Brianna
    Source | Baby Name Wizard

Have you noticed any other subtle naming trends?

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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