The excitement of pregnancy brings many new conversations, challenges and topics to research and one of the discussion points that tends to last the full nine months is that of a name for the baby. Whether you know the sex of the baby or not, the name is something you can bounce around, scribble out and re-write, screw up and throw away and wholeheartedly argue about right until the baby arrives, and to be honest, it is not until that little bundle of joy is in your arms that a name can feel right…….or wrong.
It helps to do some research though, and even if you have a few contenders in your head already the sheer number of different names that are out there is bound to trigger some thoughts and ideas. Which is why we sought out the top ten baby names for 2018 in the hope that it might help.
Of course some names are timeless, some are charmingly retro and have become fashionable again and some are popular due to famous people emerging in films, sport and television. A name may even be ‘fashionable’ and you don’t even know where it came from, but while a lot of people have a maverick streak and like to be a bit leftfield with baby names, the top ten in both girls and boys names is pretty safe and comfortable.
Amazingly, the top three names for both girls and boys have remained the same since 2017, and indeed, only one name out of both lists is a new entry into the top ten for either sex, which is Mila, a name of Russian origin that has moved up from 18th place for the girls.
Statistics on Babycentre.com show that Emma was hugely popular in the 1880s, but in modern times didn’t become trendy again until around 1990. Today the popularity of actresses Emma Stone and Emma Watson keeps the name at the top of the pile. The use of Olivia was virtually unheard of until the 1970s, and in third place, Ava – a name with German origin – is a great example of a classic name becoming popular again. Made famous by the actress Ava Gardner, the name has become very popular since 2000, possibly also guided by the fact it is a variation of the name Eve.
For boys, Liam became popular in the mid-90s, not surprisingly around the time that the rock band Oasis ruled the airwaves and the front pages, while Noah is a name with religious origins but has been popular since around 1990. Logan originates from Scotland and again, was virtually unheard of until the 1980s.
It is hard to predict when fads and fashions will change and when less fashionable names now will become ‘retro’ and therefore chic again. Although you could comfortably put some money on ‘Meghan’ rising in popularity during 2018. It currently sits at a surprisingly low 1120 in the list, but that in itself is up 403 places since 2017, so you would expect the impending royal wedding to shoot that into the top 100 before we can say “give us a wave from the balcony”.
The current trend for girls to have two-syllable names ending in ‘a’ is sure to change back to ‘y’ at some point, while the penchant for boys to end their names with an ‘n’ will no doubt pass, and might also see a third syllable become popular. But all the same, it would be wise to keep an eye on the pop charts, Netflix and our Twitter feed for some clues as to what might be popular next year...