With a brand new calendar year right around the corner, two things are certain for 2019: Babies will be born and babies will be named. The business of tracking and predicting popular baby names has never been stronger, and the newest list of baby name trends to look for in 2019 is here.
The editors at Nameberry—Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond, authors of 10 books on baby names—use their database of 50,000 names developed over two decades to analyze trends from the past year and forecast the names to watch for in 2019.
When you hear categories such as “Muted Colors”, “Jewels”, “Famous Last Names,” and “The Letter F” you are probably not thinking about baby names but rather a competitive round of Jeopardy. But even Alex Trebek (Alexander was No. 36 on the list of most popular boys name of 2018, by the way) would be surprised to hear some of the expected trends.
According to Nameberry, bold color names like Scarlett and Ruby will give way to softer, muted-hue names such as Ash, Ivory, and Moss. Nameberry also sees a rise in “less common gem names” for both girls and boys. So long, Pearl and Amber; hello. Topaz, Amethyst, and Garnet.
You should also expect an uptick in names beginning with “F” (Fern, Felix, Frost), long an underused letter for first names. And among vowels, the editors predict long-overlooked “U” will get a turn in the spotlight, as names like Luna, Luca, Jude and Tallulah become fashionable.
Not everyone’s interested in a new-fangled name, though. Nameberry expects the trend of vintage nicknames for boys to accelerate in 2019. So expect to see more Archies, Alfreds, and Johnnys next year—not to mention a smattering of Sonnys, Ikes, and Aces.
Other category trends we can expect: three-letter names (Kit, Ida, Hal); gender neutral names (Briar, Royal, Revel); famous last names used as first names (Bowie, Hendrix, Lennon, Beckham); and lots more animal kingdom names used for middle names (Bear, Falcon, and Fox).
You may yearn for the simpler popular names of a bygone era, but consider this fair warning that, if Nameberry’s forecast proves accurate, your next grandchild could be named Obama Falcon and Topaz Tiger.
Lips zipped, Grandma and Grandpa! Your only job is to love the baby, not critique his or her name.