What’s in a name: parents in 2015 naming babies after Instagram filters, characters
When a woman announces she’s pregnant, there are two questions that everyone asks: what is the gender, and what will the child’s name be.
Well, the second part of the question is often a point of contention for new parents; there are just so many names to chose from!
However, there are some names that are just more popular than others, and parenting website BabyCenter released its annual baby names lists showing the most popular names, the names gaining polarity, and big trends in baby names for 2015.
First up, what was in this year:
Most popular girl names of 2015:
Most popular boy names of 2015:
The only new name to enter the top 10–for either boys or girls–was Madison. That baby girl name replaced Madelyn.
Other names that jumped in popularity this year for girls include Paisley, Camilla, Maria, Violet and Eliana. Meanwhile, boy names that surged in popularity included Muhammad, Lincoln, Oliver, Ian and Carson.
It’s also important to remember that the “most popular” can be different from the “trendiest.” There were several defining trends in baby naming this year, and some were quite surprising. Here we break it down for you:
- Instagram babies: Many young parents are part of the social media generation, and it shows in their choice of names. Some of the names that saw the biggest rises in popularity were filters and tools on the photosharing social media website Instagram, a subsidiary of Facebook.
- Boys: Lux, Ludwig, Amaro, Reyes, Hudson and Kelvin
- Girls: Juno, Valencia and Willow
- Royalty: Most of us will never know what it means to wear a crown, but some parents certainly want their kids to come as close as possible. With the relatability of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the excitement reached a fever pitch when they announced her first pregnancy. Then, on July 22, 2013, Prince George was born. The fervor died down a bit after their wedding and his birth, but it picked up again this year with the birth of Princess Charlotte in May.
- Boys: Reign, Kaiser, Royal, Sultan, Cesar, Emperor, Prince, King, Noble and Sovereign
- Girls: Royalty, Royal, Duchess, Princess and Regina
- Teen fiction: The young adult books-to-movies craze has been pushing full steam ahead since 2001, when the first “Harry Potter” movie was released in theaters (or 1997, when the book was published, if you want to get technical). In recent years it seems that every new YA book must be made into a movie or television show, and parents are riding the wave when it comes to their children’s names.
- Boys: Thomas, Adam, Jonas, John, Augustus
- Girls: Hazel, Hermione, Rainbow, Aysel, Elanor, Mia and Frankie
- Heroines from video games: In a similar fashion to fictional young adult stories, parents focused on names of powerful women from video games and history to honor their baby girls.
- Joule, Meryl, Helena, Rayne, Jade, Joanna, Jill, Kat, Yuna, Lulu, Mileena, Kitana and Zelda
- Planets: Outer space has always fascinated people, but in recent years Hollywood has delved deeper into NASA’s wheelhouse. With the release of “Gravity,” “Interstellar” and “The Martian” in recent years, people have a renewed interest in looking up to the stars, and it shows in name choices.
- Boys: Jupiter, Sunny and Star
- Girls: Stella, Venus, Gaia, Soleil, Cassiopeia, Luna and Moon
- Gender neutral: Recently, there’s been a major push back against traditional gender binaries. Target took heat earlier this year for having signs in stores’ toy sections indicating boy and girl toys, and within months quickly changed their aisle signs. Barbie ads starred a little boy for the first time. And now names are dropping traditional barriers. This year, some names rose in popularity for both boys and girls:
- Carson, Amari, Karter, Sawyer, River, Rory, Phoenix,
- Boy names for girls: Going along with the gender neutral trend, parents took notes from celebrities and began using some traditionally boy names for girls:
- Wyatt, Lincoln, Maxwell, James
- The last major trend evident in 2015 baby names was so-called “vices.” Parents picked names related to alcohol, drugs, jewelry and other “fun” things when deciding what to call their kids. Hey, not everyone is ready to give up their partying days quite yet!
- Boys: Bud, Haze, Diamond, Wilder, Keno, Miller, Danger, Colt, Cash and Blaze
- Girls: Cash, Miller, Wilder, Reno, Brandy, Skyy, Harley