Early Trend Forecast for Baby Names, a.k.a. the “100 Club”

This month, we’re talking to the experts! Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard” was kind enough to chat with us about one of our favorite topics – baby names! We asked her about upcoming baby trends and the scoop on the “100 Club.” Enjoy the Q&A below and don’t forget to click through for the top 40 “100 Club” names. These are definitely not your typical traditional names!

  • Adalia

    Adalia

    Meaning: Noble.

  • Adiel

    Adiel

    (Obscure biblical name, rising with the huge popularity of -iel names among Spanish-speaking parents)

  • Adley

    Adley

    (Country singer Adley Stump, a contestant on The Voice)

  • Aries

    Aries

    Most comonly associated with the astrological sign, Aries is of Latin origin and means “ram.”

  • Annabeth

    Annabeth

    (The female lead in the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” tween/teen books. Note that the first middle schoolers who started with the series’ debut in 2005 are just entering their twenties today, so this name could climb further.)

  • Axl

    Axl

    (The spelling Axel is a traditional Scandinavian name. Axl is the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, and a character from the video game Guilty Gear.)

  • Brayleigh

    Brayleigh

    (A natural remix, using the popular root of the boys’ name Brayden in the mold of Brayleigh, Bryleigh, Brynleigh and more.)

  • Boone

    Boone

    (Country singer Eric Church’s young son, Boone McCoy [note McCoy, below]; the name Boone had already risen somewhat due to a character on tv’s Lost)

  • Cambrie

    Cambrie

    This name has had a very steady rise in popularity!

  • Brayton

    Brayton

    (As a perfect cross between Brayden and Payton, this name feels inevitable.)

  • Eisley

    Eisley

    Eisley, pronounced “eyes-lee,” is uncommon but very phonetically similar to the very popular name, Ashley. It is thought to be an Americanized surname from the Swiss surname Eisele. As a baby name, Eisley means “cheerful.”

  • Cairo

    Cairo

    Meaning “victorious one” in Arabic.

  • Gentry

    Gentry

    (A country/cowgirl name; forget the common word and think of country music act Montgomery Gentry. Compare to Paisley.)

  • Carver

    Carver

    Old English in origin.

  • Guinevere

    Guinevere

    (Proof that “newly popular” doesn’t have to mean “new” or “unfamiliar.” Rising in the wake of the recent popularity of Genevieve.)

  • Castiel

    Castiel

    (An angel on the tv series Supernatural; the name is based on rabbinic stories of an archangel Cassiel.)

  • Hartley

    Hartley

    (A new “Andro-Girly” choice that requires no creative spelling, Hartley balances its androgynous surname style with the hint of romance. Expect to see more of this name.)

  • Creed

    Creed

    The meaning of Creed is ‘guiding principle’.

  • Irie

    Irie

    (Jamaican word referring to a state of good feeling)

  • Dakari

    Dakari

    (An alternate spelling of the African name Dakarai. The clearer pronunciation of this version appeals to American parents.)

  • Layan

    Layan

    Of Arabic origin meaning soft and gentle.

  • Damani

    Damani

    (Rising in multiple spellings. This spelling often includes an apostrophe: D’Amani.)

  • Love

    Love

    The most important thing in the world ;).

  • Jad

    Jad

    A shortened version of Jadon.

  • Marlowe

    Marlowe

    (Literary surname rising in the wake of Harlow; a daughter of actress Sienna Miller)

  • Isa

    Isa

    It originates from the word isan which means ‘iron’.

  • Palmer

    Palmer

    Previously used as a boys name only, it’s becoming more popular for girls as well.

  • Eason

    Eason

    (Fashionable surname, would make a deadly set of triplets with Ethan and Easton.)

  • Pippa

    Pippa

    (Pippa Middleton, England’s royal sister-in-law)

  • Kiyan

    Kiyan

    (Son of basketball star Carmelo Anthony)

  • Story

    Story

    Another gender neutral name. Story Elias Elfman, is the son of actress Jenna Elfman. This could easily work both ways.

  • Koa

    Koa

    A Hawaiian name meaning “fearless man.”

  • Tala

    Tala

    (This simple little name has separate origins around the globe, from Tagalog mythology to medieval Scandinavian ballads to D.C. Comics. Yet it never reached the 100 level until this year.)

  • McCoy

    McCoy

    An Irish name!

  • Zendaya

    Zendaya

    (Actress/singer Zendaya of Shake it Up)

  • Noam

    Noam

    An unconventional pleaser, Noam is a modern Hebrew name from the same root as Naomi. It appropriately means “pleasant.” The name is often associated with linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky.

  • Sutton

    Sutton

    (Actress Sutton Foster of Bunheads)

  • Ruger

    Ruger

    (Firearms manufacturer; see previous note on the rise of gun-inspired names)

  • Zaya

    Zaya

    Meaning “a victorious woman.”

  • Zayn

    Zayn

    (One Direction singer Zayn Malik)

  • Want More?

    “The Baby Name Wizard” is one of the best books on baby names that I’ve read to date. It was my go-to ‘name bible’ during all three of my pregnancies and offered more than just a list of names. You’ll find extensive research on names, trends, usage and popularity over the last hundred years. This is more than just your standard baby name book!

    Buy it now through Amazon.com

Q: What is the “100 Club” and how do you think they’ll affect naming choices for 2013?
A: My “100 Club” is a list of names that reached the popularity level of 100 or more babies for the first time this year. You can think of them as an early trend forecast: As a group, they give us a sense of what parents are thinking about, and where name fashions might be heading.
Q: Are there certain name trends you’ve noticed this year?
A: For girls, almost-androgynous names are soaring. Names like Hartley, Marlowe, and Eisley take their style cues from unisex surnames, yet have a feminine sound. On the boys’ side, parents seem more willing to give their sons word-based names than in the past. (That used to be more of a girls’ style — think of Lily, Grace, and Pearl, or place names like Savannah and Asia.) The boys’ 100 Club includes “meaning” names like Creed, Cairo, and even Ruger.
Q: Instead of one middle name I’ve noticed many parents are using 2 or 3 instead. Is this a popular practice? What are your thoughts on middle names?
A: America has traditionally followed the one-middle-name rule. But as we have smaller families today, and as parents are less willing to sacrifice style to name children after relatives, I’m hearing from a lot of parents who want to squeeze in extra middle names as family homages. It’s better than hurting your relatives’ feelings, but the extra names do make for practical headaches.
Q: What are the best baby name resources for first-time parents?
A: If you’re not around young kids much, you might be surprised by what names are popular today. Looking at the top names in your state is a great way to get a feeling for the name landscape. To find ideas to fit your personal style, I’ve designed The Baby Name Wizard book to let you start with just a couple of names that appeal to you. The book will lead you to more ideas that share a similar style and feeling.
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