Experts are predicting a whole lot of loosening up when it comes defining what’s considered a baby name in 2017. The trend is for tiny people to have very powerful names – or something much gentler and more old-school.
The name game
Trending names were either gentle, old-fashioned and virtuous or the polar opposite, embodying power, passion and strength.
Here’s Pamela’s top trends for 2017:
(Because who doesn’t want to be named after someone magical and kick-ass?!)
Pamela’s calling this trend ‘the power name’ and it’s perhaps an indicator of how disempowered many people feel?! Parents are setting their kids up for success from the get-go, giving them a strong and sometimes even mythological name, which will hopefully steer them well in life (and convince people they mean business!)
Think Persephone, Luna, Apollo, Juno, Jupiter, Orion, Cleo, Zeus, Thor, Pandora, Avalon, Aurora, Echo, Freya, Hercules, Mercury,
Favourite books are inspiring baby names more than ever with characters from stories, as well as author names – including surnames – hitting their stride.
Eloise, Maisie, Alice, Matilda, Bronte, Zadie, Angelou and Ramona all get a look-in for girls.
For boys, Romeo, Orlando, Poe, Puck, Sawyer and Wilde rated special mentions for 2017.
Many parents are apparently set to select the ultimate in girl-power names, presumably in the hopes of inspiring strong, independent daughters.
Names such as Frida (Kahlo), Zelda (Fitzgerald), Simone (de Beauvoir), Eleanor (Roosevelt) and Rosa (Parks) were on the list alongside other feminist icon monikers.
The world’s favourite period drama is not only inspiring tea parties, gin cocktails and civilised parlour games, it’s behind an enduring and very English baby name trend as well.
“We expect to see more of the already-popular Cora and Violet along with Sybil, Rosamund, Edith, Isobel, Daisy, Elsie, Marigold, and—perhaps most surprising of all—Mary, in the coming year,” Pamela says.
Taking a cue from the natural world, parents are again hat-tipping the power theme.
Names might be animal themed. Think: Puma, Jaguar, Tiger, Falcon, Bear, Fox or Hawk.
Or they could be inspired by geographical locations or watery features: Bay, Lake, Rio, Brook, River, Ford, Nile or Caspian.
Other notable trends included preppy names (Hello, Niles and Brooks!), celebrity-inspired names (Dream, Pax) and virtuous names (Patience, Mercy, Truth.)
“For 2017, we foresee a continual broadening of what can be considered a baby name. There will be more word names and place names and unexpected hero names (Bowie took off soon after the singer’s death this year), and every category will be stretched to its extreme,” Pamela says.
While Pamela notes that pretty much anything goes now, when it comes to US parents naming their little bundles of joy, in Australia we have some clear restrictions on what we can call our kids.
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages regulations state that they may refuse to register a prohibited name. A name may be prohibited if it’s considered to be:
Obscene or offensive
Containing symbols without phonetic significance
A statement or a phrase
Featuring initials or acronyms
A name of or reference to a public institution or public office
Contrary to the public interest
Containing a title or rank
Insulting or intimidating to a person or group
So you might just want to check with your local Births, Deaths and Marriages officials about the appropriateness of your ‘anything goes’ name, before you order the invitations for baby Pompom-Cupcake’s naming day..!