Nature, nostalgia and Bridgerton: see what’s inspiring 2022’s biggest baby names

Written by Amy Beecham

Ever met an Albion, Capri, Moxie or Righteous? That might change soon. Nameberry has published their predictions for the most popular baby names for 2022 – and there are some interesting picks.

As we continue to emerge from 18 months of lockdown restrictions during the pandemic, it is clear that almost everything about the way we live our lives has changed somewhat. Our working patterns look different, as do our social lives – and it seems that even the way that we name children won’t escape this new world order.

According to the experts at Nameberry, monikers in 2022 will “blend fun and fantasy with more serious themes of hope, strength and spirituality” to mark the new post-pandemic era.

With zany pickslike Ziggy, Ocean, Nova and Shine all making the list, it seems that the new parents of 2022 are indeed seeking names with style and substance that mark a positive turning point in the turmoil of the past two years.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just plain intrigued, here are some of the top predictions for popular baby names in 2022.

Popular baby names for 2022

Playful baby names 

High-energy picks like Coco, Gigi, Ozzy and Pixie seem to be leading the pack post-pandemic, alongside Teddy, Sonny and Lulu.

Nameberry has also predicted the popularity of traditionally cutesy nicknames like Baby, Bear, Bee, Birdie, Buddy and Dovie being chosen as a much more informal first name. 

Nature-inspired baby names

Nameberry also predicts that parents will be dialing up the whimsy with uber cool choices like Capri, Dune and Taiga over the next year.

Geographic names are also expected to prevail (perhaps because we’ve been unable to travel for so long), giving us the likes of Bali, Bay, Coast, Reef, Horizon and Prairie.

Arid prairie landscapes are going to inspiring the parents of 2022, apparently

Bridgerton-inspired baby names 

Lady Whistledown would be most impressed.

The magic of Netflix’s most successful original series ever is continuing well into 2022, with parents inspired not just by the delicate and dainty character names, but also by the actors that played them, hence the heightened popularity of Regé and Phoebe. 

Expect the playgrounds of the future to be littered with Albions, Cressidas, Euphemias, Daphnes, Ruperts and Simons once again.

It seems it wasn’t just the steamy romance that captured the attention of Bridgerton’s viewers – it was the delicate names too

Soulful baby names

According to Nameberry, “spirit and soul names are powerful and evocative, drawing on ancient myth and diverse religious traditions – but with a thoroughly modern twist.” Think Dream, Jericho, Praise, Promise and Revere.

That logic certainly does explain the strong yet simple picks of Alma, True and Veda, though we can’t help but wonder if the growing popularity of Rishi is somewhat inspired by the furlough-providing chancellor…

Retro nostalgia baby names 

Whether we were back in our childhood bedrooms or simply mourning memories of trips and outings gone-by, most of us experienced a nostalgia-tinged lockdown in some capacity. And that seems to be something the parents of 2022 aren’t letting go of any time soon.

They’re loving Betty, Bobby, Goldie, Gene and Gus for their future little ones.

Sweet and sunny picks like Etta, Louie, Nellie and Ray have well and truly made a comeback, alongside the likes of Susie, Victor and Ned.

Actress Goldie Hawn sees her name spring up in popularity once more

Chic European baby names 

Nameberry is predicting that 2022 will mark a shift away from culturally distinct names like the Irish Saoirse or the Italian Gianni and toward the vaguer pan-European names whose origins are harder to pin down.

Indeed, Iskra, Lars, Stellan and co have a slick Scandinavian feel to them, perhaps partly inspired by our love of Nordic noir. Dimitri, Astrid, Bastian, Petra and Rafferty are also predicted to reign supreme.

Gemma Chan’s stylish yet sensitive character Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians will be a popular 2022 pick

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Images: Netflix/Getty/Warner Bros

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