2023’s biggest baby names are going to be inspired by maximalism, grandads and neo-cowboys
Written by Amy Beecham
Would you name your child Astrophel, Sloane or Sovereign? Nameberry has published its predictions for the most popular baby names for 2023 – and there are some unexpected inclusions.
What a year 2022 has been, with ups and downs and twist and turns none of us could have predicted. And while we’re definitely entering 2023 cautiously amid a recession and ongoing cost of living crisis, there’s also a very real sense that the new year might just bring us a much-needed sense of release.
“There’s a pop, upbeat, bright, 1920s/1960s vibe around. It’s the feeling of a new world, where we’re dancing as fast as we can and there’s a complete reinvention of mood and style,” explains Pam Redmond, founder of naming website Nameberry. “As in the 1920s and 60s, there’s a wish to leave everything from the ‘before’ times behind.”
And while this sense of escapism is affecting everything from how we shop to how we act, it’s also influencing how the children of 2023 will be named.
So just what are the monikers set to be popular in 2023? Well brace yourself, because they just might be the most unique yet.
Popular baby names for 2023
Shyness has no place in 2023, it seems. The old adage that “less is more” has lost its lustre, and more is back to being more. Parents are evoking opulence, decadence and drama with their names this year, giving way to the likes of Amadeus, Astrophel and Mazikeen, which are among the fastest-rising names on Nameberry.
Nameberry has also predicted the popularity of names hailing from myth and legend: think Draco, Cleopatra, Lazarus and Persephone.
Names so out they’re in
The site also predicts that 2023 will see the start of a revival of 80s inspired names by ahead-of-the-curve admirers of retro style. Names in this category include character names from 80s pop culture classics, like Ferris, Marty and Sloane, as well as Stranger Things names and others with the same cosy, even kitschy feel.
Get ready to meet a flurry of Dallases, Rens and Sandys, then.
It’s also no surprise that shimmering, shining, gilded names are shaping up to be one of the top trends of 2023, with parents actively seeking names that feel bright, luxurious and optimistic. Because isn’t that what we all need right now?
Aura, Apollo, Halo, Lux, Orla, Zola, Suvi, Sovereign and Sterling are among those climbing the ranks.
Harking back to the wild west but with a modern edge, prepare to meet a Brando, Tex or Wilder in 2023. Abbott, Beck, Django, Foster, Reeve and Rhodes all made the slightly more alternative list. Each to their own, we guess.
Travelling lite names
Unlike the last few years, when global hubs like India, Paris and London may have reigned supreme, a different type of cross-cultural name trend has emerged for the new year. According to Nameberry, rather than referencing specific places, these monikers travel seamlessly between languages and cultures without feeling too strongly tied to any in particular.
Examples include: Xavi, Suki, Rumi, Tavi, Mimi, Nori, Yoli and Esti.
2023’s favourite letter of the alphabet? X. Placed at the beginning, middle or end, X is without doubt the coolest letter of the moment. Beaux, Calix, Huxley and Onyx are all expected to be popular, alongside Dixie, Felix, Fox and Moxie.
These picks pretty much speak for themselves. Epic, Glorious, Bright, Divine, Eternal or Heavenly, anyone?
Grandpa names for girls
Perhaps one of the sweetest name trends for 2023 is the so-clunky-they’re-cute grandpa names for baby girls. Andie, Max, Drew, Gene, Davie and Lenny all play into this idea of reinventing tired trends in novel ways.
Colour-inspired names are nothing new (can we expect a rise in Magenta following the Pantone colour of the year announcement?), but 2023 in particular will see an increase in those inspired by forests and seas alike. Azula, Cerulean, Fern, Moss, Sapphire and Wave have all made the list.
Mix and match names
Finally, in 2023, we’re getting creative – and inventing our own names. According to Nameberry, it doesn’t matter whether or not these names happen to have history as authentic surnames, place names, on-trend international names, and so on – as long as they sound and feel like a vibe.
Think: Aylani, Bowyn, Dariel, Emberly, Kailo, Levitt and Oakland.
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