There are still a few months left in 2021, but we already have an idea of what baby naming trends will look like for next year. Retro names—like Charlotte, Aurora, and Sebastian—continue to dominate as they did in 2020. But if you want your child to be a trend-setter from the moment they're born, it's better to look ahead. The name experts at Nameberry recently projected the most common sources of inspiration for parents in 2022. If their predictions are accurate, these will be the top baby-naming trends next year.
1. Playful Names
Perhaps a rebuff to the older, adult-sounding names currently topping lists, playful names are expected to be on the rise in 2022. Think names that are more likely to be used as pet names (both for people and literal pets) than appear on birth certificates.
Examples: Baby, Buddy, Sonny, Coco, Teddy, Lucky, Lulu, Ziggy
2. Earthy Names
As people start traveling again, Nameberry expects our wanderlust will inspire next year's baby names. These names can evoke real dream destinations or features of natural landscapes.
Examples: Bali, Sequoia, Lotus, Forest, Meridian, Capri, Ocean, Zephyr
3. Regency Names
Baby-name trends often reflect the popular television shows of the era. Netflix's Bridgerton was such a hit that Nameberry predicts names from Britain's Regency era will soon become popular in the U.S.
Examples: Eloise, Daphne, Benedict, Phoebe, Rupert, Francesca, Simon, Genevieve
4. Gender-Neutral Boy Names
As society's attitudes toward gender shift, so do baby naming patterns. Expect to meet a lot more baby boys with gender-neutral names in the coming year.
Examples: Artemis, Shiloh, Blair, Nyx, Indigo, Sasha, Scout, Wren
5. Spiritual Names
Names that derive from religion, mysticism, or some other form of spiritualism are expected to be popular in 2022.
Examples: Alma, Kali, Shine, Praise, Promise, Creed, Jericho, Veda
6. 1950s Names
Retro names have been hot in recent years, but this trend zeros in on the 1950s specifically. To some parents, these mid-century names may capture an idealized time in American history.
Examples: Betty, Frank, Sally, Louie, Polly, Mae, Ralph, Vincent
7. Musical Names
Parents love naming their babies after songs, and in 2022, more of them may name their children after the technical aspects of their favorite music. Many of the terms you might have learned in band class are expected to top baby name lists next year.
Examples: Allegra, Caprice, Minuet, Rhapsody, Strummer, Madrigal, Calypso, Symphony
8. Pan-European Names
Unlike other names of clear European origin on this list, the exact country of origin of some these monikers may be hard for some to identify. These names have a chic, modern vibe, though, and are expected to be a hit with parents in 2022.
Examples: Astrid, Dimitri, Stellan, Petra, Cillian, Tova, Lars, Viggo