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What's hot in baby names
Every year we analyze thousands of baby names, searching for trends among the top baby names of the year and other names climbing the charts. In 2018, major baby name influencers include a mega-popular online game, reality TV families, food, and … mindfulness! Read on for the details.
As we look for ways to relieve stress and anxiety, Westerners are adopting Eastern spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. For some new parents, the search for a more Zen lifestyle is inspiring baby name choices, too.
For baby girls, the name Peace jumped 66 percent, Harmony gained 15 percent, and Hope rose 10 percent. Shanti (meaning peace in Sanskrit) is up 34 percent for boys.
Names that pay tribute to the natural world also gained popularity. Dawn (up 16 percent), Aurora (up 17 percent), and Rainbow (up 26 percent) are climbing the charts for girls. For boys, Ocean (up 31 percent), Fern (up 55 percent), and Sky (up 38 percent) are on the rise.
The online multiplayer game Fortnite is officially a cultural phenomenon, attracting more than 125 million players in its first year. Celebrity enthusiasts like Drake, Travis Scott, and Joe Jonas helped hype the game.
It may seem strange for a third-person survival game to inspire baby name choices. But plenty of Millennial and Gen Z parents are playing – and are drawn to Fortnite-inspired names like Ramirez (which jumped 57 percent for boys).
Names of the "skins" used to costume players also caught on as baby names. Leviathan is up 46 percent for boys, Bunny jumped 30 percent for girls, and Rogue gained 47 percent for girls and 21 percent for boys.
The professional Fortnite player Dakotaz gave the name Dakota a boost, too – it's up 13 percent for girls and 6 percent for boys.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan continues to influence baby names, with three high-profile pregnancies and babies (Stormi, True, and Chicago) this year alone. Some parents took cues from first-time mom Kylie Jenner (Stormi, her daughter's name, jumped 63 percent) or Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna (Dream, their daughter's name, rose 42 percent). The name Nori (the nickname of North, daughter of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West) jumped 14 percent among girls.
As for boys, Kim and Kanye's Saint leapt 42 percent, and Reign, the name of Kourtney's third child, is up 27 percent.
Kim and Kanye's names are gaining in popularity, too. Kanye rose 22 percent on the boys' name list, and Kim is up 19 percent for girls. Looks like many people are still keeping up with reality TV's most famous families.
Image credit: Tracy Bailey Jr/BFA/Shutterstock
Names you can taste
As fast food and processed snacks lose ground to clean eating and Paleo diets, more new parents are choosing baby names that reflect their love of healthy foods. For girls, Kale (up 35 percent), Kiwi (up 40 percent), Maple (up 32 percent), and Clementine (up 15 percent) are on the rise. Herbs and spices are also sparking name ideas for both girls and boys: Think Saffron (up 31 percent for girls), Rosemary (up 20 percent for girls), and Sage (up 15 percent for boys).
The all-American Gaines
Fixer Upper's Chip and Joanna Gaines walked away from their super-popular HGTV show, but they're still setting trends in design, furniture … and baby names.
Their Texas-based company, Magnolia, is a thriving lifestyle empire. And Joanna Gaines has millions of followers on Instagram, where she shares snippets of her life as a mother, interior designer, and entrepreneur.
So we weren't surprised to see the names of the Gaines' kids – and their business – climbing the baby name lists this year. For girls, there's Magnolia (up 21 percent), Emmie (up 13 percent), and Ella (up 8 percent). For boys, there's Drake (up 23 percent) and Crew (up 4 percent).
Image credit: Brian Ach/Invision/AP/Shutterstock