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If you asked me for the top sources of inspiration when it comes to trendy baby names, my first thought would be pop culture. Actors or characters in a movie or book such as Katniss, Hermione, or Edward, would be the first to come to mind.
According to BabyCenter, I’m not so far off. Young-adult fiction is dominating the baby naming scene with Hazel (The Fault in Our Stars), Eleanor (Eleanor & Park), and – I had a good guess – Hermione (Harry Potter). In fact, it’s more than just the characters. Authors like Rainbow Rowell and John Green have acted as inspiration for baby names as well.
Chapter 1. The Not-So Typical
Where 2015 name popularity inches toward the strange is when we get away from actual names altogether. As it turns out, Instagram has become a source for baby names … and I’m not talking about the people in the photos.
Parents are actually naming their children after Instagram filters and photo-editing tools.
“The Instagram-inspired name Lux is up 75 percent on our list of baby boy names, and it’s slightly up on our list of baby girl names too. (Though technically not a filter, the photo-editing tool balances exposure, adds brightness, and makes images pop),” reads the BabyCenter article.
Oh, there’s more.
Ludwig, Amaro, Reyes, Hudson, and Kelvin are among popular boys names while Juno, Valencia, and Willow have gained ground for girls. Names that have dropped in the rankings include Sierra, Walden, and Lark.
“… don’t be surprised if you meet baby Mayfair, Sutro, Rise, or Brannan in 2016,” reads BabyCenter.
This phenomenon reminds me of the string of parents who named their children after ESPN, the sports network.
Chapter 2. Royal Babies
Another trend in 2015 was naming babies after royals, but don’t assume (as I did) that this means Katherine and William topped the charts. No, parents are quite literally naming their children with titles.
For girls that meant names like Duchess, Princess, and Regina. In fact, the name Royalty went up 88 percent for girls and Royal went up 14 percent. For boys, names like Royal, Reign, Prince, King, Noble, and Sovereign gained popularity.
“Parents liked royal titles from history too,” reads BabyCenter. “On our baby boys’ name list, Kaiser rose 45 percent, Sultan jumped 26 percent, and Cesar gained 16 percent. Perhaps the most surprising trending baby name is Emperor, up 12 percent.”
Chapter 3. Babies in Space
Particularly on the girls side was a rise in space names. Venus, Gaia (the Greek mother goddess and personification of Earth), Soleil, Moon (Frye?), Cassiopeia, Luna, and Stella were all outta this world in 2015. Come on, the pun was funny.
These names aren’t as strange as some of the others on this list, especially since Venus Williams and Soleil Moon Frye are current public figures. I, personally, recognize the name Luna from the kids show, PJ Masks, which includes a character named Princess Luna. Stella – Latin for star – is also not a far-fetched name.
This trend wasn’t as popular on the boys’ side. While Jupiter, Sunny, and Star were on the radar, none of them came even close to cracking the top 100.
Chapter 4. Party Kids?
Okay, back to the strange trends. Apparently, naming children after vices was a thing in 2015.
“For baby boys, Bud gained 69 percent in popularity, Haze rose 62 percent, and Blaze climbed 8 percent,” reads BabyCenter. “Diamond leaped 58 percent, Cash added 11 percent, Danger and Colt each shot up 12 percent. Miller gained 15 percent, and Wilder and Keno (the casino game) jumped 17 percent.
“For baby girls, Cash jumped 46 percent, Miller gained 35 percent, Wilder jumped 4 percent, and Reno gained 4 percent. Sky (like the vodka) rose 3 percent, Brandy added 4 percent, and Harley climbed 2 percent.”
Other trends for 2015? YouTube stars, video game characters, and people who passed away this year, like Bobbi Kristina Brown and Percy Sledge.