Episode #79 – Top Names of 2021
Speakers: Jennifer Moss, Mallory Moss

J: I’m Jennifer Moss.

M: And I’m Mallory Moss

J: And we’re the founders of BabyNames.com.

M: And we’re sisters, too (singing)

J: Yes, by chance, not by choice.

M: Heyyyyy.

J: I love you, anyway.

M: Aww thanks, I love you, too.

INTRO 

J: Our first segment is… interesting names we found since the last episode.

J: One of my favorite French Detective shows is back with another season – PROFILAGE! And the lead actress’s name is Odile (That’s of course, French, and it means Rich, Wealthy). We all know that the O names for girls are TRENDING v– we’ll talk about it a little later in the show, and I would like to put Odile out there as a contender. Her full name, by the way, is Odile – I am going to mispronounce this last name so I went to Forvo, and it has actual native speakers say the names, and here it is from an actual French dude: (Frenchman saying last name).

M: I am grooving on the name Kyler. The only Kyler I know is Kyler Murray from the Arizona Cardinals. His name is unusual and I am ironically not a fan of rhyme time names like Tyler Kyler Jaden Kaden but in this case it’s growing on me. It’s also not a made up name…it’s German for a church or a monk’s cell, or I guess where a monk lives. Yeah, Kyler Murray. Go Cardinals. For girls I heard Loria without a G. 

J: Oh like Gloria without a G? That’s interesting.

M: Exactly. And I really like it. I actually think Loria and Gloria are cute. Gloria kind of reminds me of the recent trend of flower names, because like Morning Glory/Gloria. So if Loria and Gloria and Kyler and Tyler are working, I guess rhyming is growing on me. 

J: But not for twins, you guys, not for twins.

M: Noooo! No, not for twins.

J: OK, and before we start our topic of the episode, our topic of the year, I do want to do a shout out to the American Name Society which is now taking nominations for the Name of 2021 and they have different categories, they have the overall name of the year but then they also have personal name, trade name, tech name, product name. It’s fun to vote on them and nominate – and anyone can nominate for the name of the year – so I will put the link in the show notes and I want you to go – especially if you are a name enthusiast – go and nominate some great names of the year.  

M: Absolutely, go for it!

J: Yeah. and now our topic of the week, month, and year: It’s the top most popular names of 2021 as determined by our database of users. This year, we are doing it a little different because we have included gender neutral names. I will do this explanation in case you’re just tuning in, how our charts are a little different than the US Social Security charts. First of all, we combine the stats of names that sound exactly the same, like Aidan and Aiden. Although this year I have separated Olivia and Alivia because I have determined that those are really different names. They aren’t very homophonous, they don’t sound exactly the same. Our charts are derived from the names that people are adding to their favorite name lists all throughout the year. So it really predicts the actual naming trends from one to three years because our users are either pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. So it kind of predicts what is coming up with the coming birth trends.

M: It DOES predict it and in fact we will see that with one of those most important names on the list.

J: OK! And, something I just learned, because I went to look at the stats, we’re not primarily US based anymore. When we started this website 25 years ago, we had 80% of our users from the United States. Now, this is the first year that our audience is UNDER 50% so it’s not a majority US, which I think is fantastic. So 49% is United States, 10% UK, 8% India, 6% Canada, 4% Australia, and the rest of the 23% is from all over the world. And get this Mal – even ONE person from Vatican City!

M: Ooh, I bet it was the pope looking up his name. 

J: Well, Pope Francis – welcome to BabyNames.com. Your name means FREE and I think that describes you very well. From what I hear, I’m not Catholic, but I read you are open and inclusive and we respect and appreciate that.

M: By the way, his birth name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and of course Jorge comes from the same root as George, meaning “Farmer.” 

J: So he’s a Free Farmer – and I guess you could say that! Now without further adieu – here are the top 20 names for 2021. Number one: we have Oliver and Charlotte. Charlotte has moved up to that number one spot. We KNEW Charlotte would move up soon because, why Mal?

M: The royal princess was born in 2015 to William and Kate. 

J: Right! And she’s now 6 and it’s just rising up on the charts ever since.  

M: Number 2 is Theodore and Aurora. 

J: They both sound very similar. They have that OR in there, which I think is interesting because what we find sometimes is that the rankings on both sides of the chart kind of match sometimes. I think Theodore and Aurora match very well – those you could use for twins. 

M: Yes, that would work. It wouldn’t be too much. It would be Theo for the boy and 

J: Maybe Rory for the girl?

M: Yeah Rory for the girl. Exactly.

J: Just don’t be Dory and Rory.

M: Yes, please don’t be Dory and Rory.

J: Number 3 we have got an Irish name. Declan and Violet on the girl’s side.

M: And the V girls are becoming more popular like Violet and Vivienne. However, Vivian lost traction.

J: Yeah interesting. And of course Vivienne was a Brad and Angelina baby back in the day. I think that kind of started the V girl trend. 

M: I think so, too.

J: Number 4 is Finn with both spellings: FYNN AND FINN and….Luna.

M: OK, I’m tired of liking Luna. I think it’s a great name but now it’s too popular for my taste. 

J: See, that is what happens!  You know, you like a name and you think it’s really cool and unusual but then it hits the top 10 or top 5 and you’re like I’m over it. Alright, number 5?

M: Number 5: I’m glad to see both these names go down. Liam, which I don’t even know where these baby Liams are, because I’m not running into them. 

J: I don’t see ‘em, Liam!

M: And even though one of my favorite young women is named Amelia, the name Amelia is getting overused. Even with the -Em’s. 

J: What’s interesting is that of course Liam is the number one name in many countries if you listened to our international episode. So it became super trending all across the world. But on our charts, it’s going down already, which means it’s going to start dropping in the next one to two years, I predict. I want to say that Liam and Amelia both have the -LIA component, too. So those kind of match, which I think is really interesting. 

M: Well, what I think is interesting about #6, Silas and Hazel, is that they’re both really old-fashioned names. 

J: Definitely. And of course we have said this before, Hazel is our grandma’s name. Number 7, another family name, is Henry. I love Henry. I think it is becoming one of those names that is super popular that we need to back off of now. I’m glad Ava is going down because that has been on the top 10 for a long time but it’s slowly decreasing in popularity. 

M: Yeah, Ava has been a hold out of the Sofia, Ava, Olivia days. Olivia is still quite popular but I am glad to see some of these go down. 

J: And as I said in all the This or That episodes, I love Avalon so if you need an alternative to Ava, use Avalon.

M: (Singing) Avalon. That’s a pretty song, I like that. OK and going up in number 8 is (and a big up) is Jasper. Now I think that Jasper is proof that Twilight still matters. 

J: Still relevant and I cannot believe it but I guess all those tweenie-bops – what were they called? Twi-hards? – they are all having babies and they are now coming back and holding strong. Really amazing. 

M: Absolutely and you know what? Ironically, what did not go up in number 8 but went down is Aria/Arya, which is showing that Game of Thrones is not as relevant as it used to be. 

J: It’s been off the air for a couple of years. They haven’t come up with the prequel yet so I think it’s just losing in the zeitgeist world there. And number 9 is Ethan and Freya/Freja. I combined the spellings of FreYa and FreJa, which is the Nordic spelling. Freya is one fo those goddess and god names that are becoming very popular now and I can’t believe it hit the top 10 but there it is.

M: Ethan went down. Not by much but it did go down. I think Ethan’s a great name and I would like to always recommend Eitan as an alternative.

J: Ya.

M: 10: Aiden and Aidan. Oh my gosh.

J: Can I recommend that we stop with the Aidans already? I guess it’s going to become a classic name like Michael because it has been a hold out forever.

M: It has. It is just about to leave the top 10, though, so we’re going to see where it goes on the main charts. 

J: Right.

M: And then there’s Scarlett, which is going up, and you know that’s very interesting because I don’t understand why Scarlett would be going up now. I can only think of Scarlett Johannsen. 

J: Scarlett Johannsen, that must be it. She’s still relevant, she’s very admirable and she’s a great actress. You know she plays very strong, fun characters, so it must be from Scarlett Jo. Number 11: Asher has made a big jump and Ivy. I like Ivy; I think that’s a beautiful name. It’s easy to spell and easy to pronounce. Who doesn’t know how to spell Ivy? 

M: Everyone knows how to pronounce Ivy and everyone associates it with Poison!

J: No, I don’t think so. Because of the DC Universe?

M: I do like the name Asher. 

J: Well, I like Archer better. Asher reminds me of ashy. 

M: Well, I like Asher and I don’t like Ivy. 

J: Number 12 is two “O” names: Owen and Olivia, which is #1 on the US charts right now. We have it at number 12 and decreasing. So I predict that it’s maybe going to stay on the US charts for a couple of years but then it’s going to go down fast. 

M: Yeah, it won’t leave the charts but it will probably leave the top 10 very quickly. Alright 13: we have Leo and Adelaide.  

J: Leo is one of your favorite names!

M: I do love the name Leo. 

J: Adelaide just reminds me of Singing in the Rain. Wasn’t that her name?

M: No, it’s not Singing in the Rain…

J: Yeah it’s Guys and Dolls. And there’s actually a song called Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.

M: Adelaide’s lament. (singing) “A person could develop a cold!” 

J: Okay. Great show, Frank Sinatra. 14 is Alexander and Isla finally going down just a bit. You know that has been trending, probably because of actress Isla Fischer. I had not seen Isla anywhere before she became popular and a star so Isla Fischer definitely brought that name into everyone’s consciousness. 

M: And I’d like to point out with 15, these names are rising. They are a little on the unusual side, but they are both cartoon characters from a long time ago. That is Felix and Audrey. 

J: Oh that’s right. So that’s kind of funny because they are matched a bit. 

M: Yeah isn’t that weird? That’s kind of a weird coincidence.

J: Well, probably because Felix and Audrey were created in a time when those names were popular, back in the early 20th Century, and now they are cycling back again.

M: Yeah it just happened to be a coincidence that they both hit #15.

J: I just, you know for those of you who know the Odd Couple and have grown up with that movie and t.v. series, Felix and Oscar are both such iconic characters, I can’t think of naming a baby either.

M: I think that’s just changing now because of our age. I think that’s aging out. In #16, we have Levi going up and a big up is Wren for the girls.

J: Oh a nature name, Wren. A wren is a bird. Just don’t use Birdie.

M: I think it’s a beautiful name. 

J: Yeah, I’d rather you name your baby Wren than Birdie. Please. Okay?

M: Well, I kind of like Birdie.

J: Number 17, let’s move on, is Gabriel (losing some rank a little bit) and Nora/Norah, with both the A and the AH. Interesting.

M: I think it is interesting because here we go, and I am going to say 18 on purpose here, and that is Elijah is going down, too. So Gabriel and Elijah: two Biblical boy names that have been very popular – top 10 – are showing a decrease.

J: Yeah. The Biblical names are dropping just slightly. 

M: I’d also like to point out that with 18, Maeve and ugh, I can never pronounce this Saorsie are both down. And I wonder if we’re going to see a trend away from Irish girl names.  

J: I don’t know but they have been popular for a long time. We have a whole episode about that. We have two: one about Irish names and one about pronouncing Irish names with Dusty Rhodes. OK, number 19, Caleb – another Biblical name that’s dropping slightly – and Lily with both two Ls and three, is going up a little bit. 

M: I was like three L’s, what do you mean, and then I remembered the first L. 

J: Yeah, it starts with an L, too.

M: Well, Lily is only going to skyrocket because of Harry and Meghan, and I anticipate that both Lily and Charlotte are both going to be in the top 10 –

J: But she’s not Lily, she’s Lilibet. 

M: No one is going to want to do Lilibet much –

J: You mean because it’s so identifiable? 

M: Because that’s going to be a direct obvy, you know, and in this case, if they do Lily, they could say, “Oh I just always liked the name Lily” when they are secretly a huge Meghan and Harry fan.

J: Right. That’s true. And number 20, two names that I love, Sebastian (which is dropping a bit/still reminds me of the crab) and Ophelia, a Shakespeare name. And we’ll talk a little later about these O names but Ophelia is so beautiful. 

M: Well, Jennifer, tell me more about our next section. 

J: Yes, so this is new. I tabulated the gender neutral names so these are names that people are adding to their list and saying it will be their baby’s name no matter what the gender. I think this is really important because gender neutral names are trending, and we are learning more about gender being a spectrum, and so I’m just going to rattle off the Top 20 and then we’ll just give our impressions of them, okay?

M: Mmmhmmm.

J:  

  1. Quinn (that is a Glee name and it was a female but I know boy Quinns, too)
  2. Rowan
  3. Willow
  4. Logan
  5. Sage
  6. Asher (we talked about Asher)
  7. Ezra (traditional Hebrew male name)
  8. River
  9. Kai (Mal: Hawaiian for ocean)
  10. Harper
  11. Luca
  12. Avery
  13. Charlie
  14. Aspen
  15. Artemis
  16. Echo
  17. Eden
  18. Orion
  19. Riley
  20. Noah

What do you think, Mal?

M: I am shocked by #20. I have never heard of Noah for a girl, have you? 

J: I have. I have seen a couple female Noahs. Yes.

M: Wow, I haven’t.

J: And I think it may be because it ends in a soft vowel, the A, similar to Luca and those types of names. And Ezra. You know, people assume that Ezra is a girl’s name if they don’t know the traditional history of it because it ends with an A, but it is traditionally a boy’s name.

M: Wow.  

J: And we talked about it in our Italian names episode, too. That not all names that end in A are female. 

M: Right.

J: I love Avery. That’s one of my favorite names. That’s another alternative to Ava that you could use.

M: I’ve always loved Kai from the beginning. It’s been gender neutral from the beginning. As soon as it hit the charts, it was boys and girls. I haven’t met too many female Logans. But that doesn’t mean anything. I’m 53.

J: Right. You know, I haven’t heard Echo but I have a big joke on my name list. I have Echo as a first name and Echo as a second name. Everybody down thumbs it. I think it’s funny. It’s a joke, you guys. Echo Echo. If you use it as a first name you have to use it as a middle name. I mean, c’mon.

M: NO.

J: But don’t because one of our rules is “Don’t make your baby’s name a joke.” It’s just my personal joke. I love Orion. We talked about that in our names from space episode. 

M: Not a fan of Artemis. 

J: I like it. Artemis is the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation, and chastity, and childbirth.

M: Yeah, she’s like the opposite of Diana. 

J: Right. Diana is Roman and Artemis is the Green equivalent. So I like it. I remember, “Wild Wild West” a tv series from the 60s, Artemis was male. Artemis Gorden – and he was a really cool character. OK, now we are going to talk about some names that were beyond the top 100 that we are picking out that we think would make cute, contemporary baby names. You go first, Mal.

M: Well, for girls I picked Callie, which I think is a great name, and Natalia. For boys I liked Grady and Dash. 

J: Well, I like Dash if it’s a nickname for Dashiell, if you give him the formal name Dashiell, but Dash is cute on its own, too. I know a Grady and he’s a lovely individual, he’s the husband of my friend Colette. And I just love both those names: Colette and Grady. Now my names that I picked – that I think are really interesting – are Fiona, Calliope, Nyx which means night, Clover, Andromeda at 132 (one of our names from space). And for boys I like Lachlan which I think is kind of cute, and Ambrose which I have to identify with Cousin Ambrose from Bewitched but I like it. I think that would be so cute for a little baby. Now, then we see Rhett, and we talked about Scarlett previously so maybe there is a Gone With the Wind connection. Although that’s kind of dropped out of pop culture as it’s been criticized a little more for glorifying slavery. And then Odin is sitting at 162. I need to point out that there is a white supremacy identification with Odin and they use the name Odin as kind of a dog whistle for their cause so be very careful. I know parents were starting to use it with the whole god/goddess mythology trend but please look that up before you consider Odin. And then, I thought it was really interesting that Finnick popped up on the boy’s side. It was not a name until The Hunger Games. He was a contestant, a tribute as they say, in the Hunger Games and now it’s jumped onto the charts. For gender neutral, I think Cairo is a cool name. Now I’m not sure if this is where it’s from, but there’s a Netflix series called Money Heist where a very smart professor puts together a team to infiltrate the Bank of Spain. It’s really a fun series. So he doesn’t want anyone to talk about their real names so he assigns city names to each one of these people. 

M: Oh you’ve talked about this before.

J: Yeah, and there’s Cairo and Denver and Nairobi. I have to do an article, I have to do a blog post about Money Heist because it’s really a cute way to integrate names into the episodes. So I wonder if Cairo is coming from that. And then I noticed at the very bottom of the charts is Ka-ata-killa, which is the moon goddess in pre-Inca mythology. It’s an Incan name, although it might have been for their fictional characters and maybe not their real babies. 

M: Yeah, and I don’t like “killa” as part of any name.

J: Yeah, it sounds like “killer” but I bet it was for writers who were picking a name for fiction or their online screen name or something. Now, Mal, what names surprised you most on the charts?

M: Well, I already said that Noah surprised me as a gender neutral name. I think also “Sol” I’ve seen.

J: Better call Saul!

M: Yeah, Better call Saul, but for girls! 

J: It’s SOL so that means sun in Spanish. 

M: So like sun?

J: Yeah, not “Better call”

M: OK I was thinking Saul. And then for girls: Aaralyn. I have never heard it before, I guess it’s like Carolyn without the C and it’s two A’s like Aaron. Never heard of it. And I’m really surprised that Matilda got anywhere close on this list. 

J: That’s because Mom used to call us Matilda Mary, or whatever. That was her favorite joke name.

M: Still, it is an odd name. Are people just looking for alternatives so they can still nickname their baby Maddy? 

J: Maybe. Or Tillie?

M: I don’t think anyone is looking to name their baby Tillie.

J: Didn’t she name her dog Matilda and nickname it Tillie? 

M: I know it was Tillie. I don’t know if it was Matilda. No one else could be remotely interested in this. I kept getting stuck in the L’s. So Leif, like Leif Garrett, L E I F. And AWFUL: Lysander.

J: What? I like Lysander. It’s a good old fashioned romantic name. I mean what’s the difference between Lysanader and Alexander? They’re similar.

M: They are similar and I guess you could consider it an alternative for Alexander, but what are you going to call Lysander for short? 

J: Yeah.

M: It’s not Lys. It’s not Ly. 

J: Sandy!

M: Sandy, yeah. I guess Sandy.

J: OK for me, I thought it was really funny that Pearl, Opal, and Molly were grouped in the 170s. They just seem like very old fashioned, farmy names.  Heidi? Those really surprised me. There’s Delta, like Delta Burke the actress…

M: Delta Variant

J: Yeah, Delta variant. I wonder if that’s going to go down. Don’t name your kid Omicron, either.

M: No thank you.

J: But they are very Southern sounding names. I see Hermione at 451 and we said that was very interesting that it never hit the charts but now it’s becoming a little more accepted. I see Pepper and I think I love Pepper. It’s so cute.

M: Wasn’t Pepper the name from – oh what was her name – who was that blonde actress that played a cop: Pepper. 

J: Oh yeah, Angie Dickenson. 

M: Angie Dickenson.

J: Yeah, no one remembers that. It was back in the early 70s.That’s your age. OK, then Elvira hit the charts.

M: Boo.

J: Maybe for a dog or a cat. But I wouldn’t name your child Elvira at this point, it’s just too iconic. I think Aiden hanging at #10 is weird. And Tobias at 62. I think that has to do with Outlander  actor Tobias Menzies. Ansel, Lysander I had also, and Clyde. 

M: That’s a dog’s name Clyde.

J: Awwww, Clyde. And then I see MOSS At 529. I know that MUST be an homage to our family. 

M: Yeah right.

J: Also Aloysius, another one of our family names at 530. And then on the gender neutral list, Cricket as a given name. I’m not sure I would condone that.

M: I actually like the name Cricket.

J: Alright, I think of Sue’s friend Cricket but that was her nickname. Fable (interesting), Alchemy, I can’t pronounce this of course Eire (the Irish name for Ireland), ABERCROMBIE

M: And Fitch?

J: Just Abercrombie. And finally Dandelion.

M: Boo.

J: It’s a flower name. So there you go.

M: Are you going to call him Dandy for short? You know what would be a cute name for Dandelion? Leo.

J: Or Dell. But Leo would be cute. Alright, now we are going to go over names we hate from the charts. Mallory gets to go first.

M: Well, my number one is Ivy. 

J: Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?

M: No. I hate the name Ivy.

J: What is your problem with the name Ivy?

M: I don’t know what the problem is but I know what I hate and I hate Ivy. I am sorry to all you people who are out there naming babies Ivy. It’s like poison ivy and it’s like ivy crawling all over and capturing you will you try to get to the castle.

J: Well, it is a parasitic plant.

M: Yeah, I’m just not a fan of the name Ivy. And this name is just ridiculous: Valkyrie. (Signing and humming Flight of the Valkyries). No to Draco. That’s just getting silly because of Draco Malfoy. I also don’t like the name Nyx.

J: Because you’re nixing something?

M: I just don’t like it.I don’t care what gender it’s for. It’s just like saying NO. It’s like naming your baby NO. 

J: I mean Nick is a name. So Nyx is similar. People think it’s exotic probably. Alright, you know I hate Birdie at 447. We don’t need to go into that. We did a whole episode about that. Halo – I don’t know if that refers to an angel, which means it’s a huge expectation name, or the video game? But either way I hate it and would not recommend that you name your baby HALO. And conversely, Lucifer and Hades are both on the boys’ side. I hate those. Just stop with that already.  That is not doing your son a good service in life. Jethro, I just can’t help because of the Beverly Hillbillies; anyone from our generation will laugh at Jethro cuz he was a caricature of the country bumpkin.

M: Like Ellie Mae. 

J: Same with Ellie Mae. 

M: I also hate Remington and anything that has to do with weaponry. I think that’s stupid and not helping your child at all especially in this day and age when they are getting slaughtered at school. 

J: OK, I hate anything with an -eigh. Analeigh especially – people please do the kid test – better yet the 13 year old boy test. They’ll let you know how Analeigh will fare in middle school. HINT: NOT WELL. And you know I cringe at all exalted/title names – but that’s a different episode.Now let’s go into names we love. Mal, what do you love?

M: No more Luna, like I said, I’m tired of Luna. I will always have a fond part in my heart for Luna. But now I like Stella, so I’m going from the moon to the stars. 

J: Both Italian.

M: Yes. I like Italian names. I like Eliza. For boys, Hugo (which is a family name) and Matteo. So yeah I guess these are all Italian names.

J: Hugo is a family name?

M: Yeah, Uncle Hugo. He always smoked a cigar.

J: (laughing) I don’t remember an Uncle Hugo.

M: It’s on the family tree. I have pictures of Uncle Hugo. 

J: Do you remember Uncle Hugo?

M: I don’t remember Uncle Hugo but I remember talking to Grandma about Uncle Hugo.

J: I do not remember Uncle Hugo. Alright. I love the name Zendaya, like the singer. I love the name Fauna, as in Flora AND…. I’m a fan of all the O names – we’ll talk about that a little later on. Teaser teaser. I’m a fan of Echo. I like Story on the girls list, November on the gender neutral list, and of course the Caitriona Balfe spelling of Caitriona that can only be influenced from Outlander. And one of my favorite names from TV and I’m OVER THE MOON he’s back: DEXTER! You know, we talked about the serial killer aging out and now with the reboot what’s going to happen to this name? I wonder. I would totally name a kid Dexter.

M: You would name a kid Dexter and not Hades?

J: Yeah, Dexter is a real name. Hades means hell.

M: I don’t know. I don’t think you can go with Dexter for a baby.

J: So Mal, what trend are you spotting in all these names for 2022?

M:  LIke I said before the Royals: Charlotte, Lili, even Spencer was up there. Still Twilight (Jasper) but Esme is down. Some of the biblical names are missing traction I already said, Gabriel and Elijah but Levi and Asher are more popular. Wtf is up with Rhett and Scarlett? I would like to say celebrity names are still creating a lot of buzz, we saw Maren like Maren Morris, and Idris of course like Idris Elba. 

J: (Whistles) Yeah, baby. I heard something about him and James Bond. I’m not sure if it’s coe to fruition or not or if it’s still just a rumor but that would be great.And I liked his little Western  that was on TV, too. Idris as a cowboy. Idris as anything, I don’t care. 

I’m seeing a new Zen trend. I think I just coined that term. We mentioned it in our Zen and New Age names, but I see more on the list this year! On the girls side: Sage, Verity, Serenity, Dove, Joy at 366, Haven, Dawn, Solstice, Indigo, Clover, Genesis, Celestia. BOYS Bodhi, River, Zephyr, Alchemy, and Destiny.

Did you see Lunette down there on the list? In the 700s.

M: Gasp, Lunette!

J: That might just take over for Luna.

M: I might just have to say go Lunette.

J: We mentioned the O names – Oliver, Olivia, Ophelia at 20, Odette, Olive at 99, Opal, Octavia, Orla, Odessa, Oriana, Ocean, Odelia, Oona, On the boys’ side: Oscar, Otto, Odin, Orion, Oren, Otis, Orson and Onyx!

And then the god/goddess mythology names are holding strong, as we spotted the trend last year, the flower names for girls are holding strong. Some new flower names I’ve spotted are Dahlia, Flora (literally flower in Latin), as well as Fleur which means flower in French

M: Fleur Delacroix. 

J: Yeah, Poppy,  Lavender, Saffron, Blossom, Hyacinth, Primrose (Hunger Games), Amaryllis, and Posy. More flower names are blooming. 

M: Just not Marigold, please. I am not a fan of Marigold.

J: AND I was waiting for this to happen: I see a little trend that is popping up and that is names from the 50s are hitting the charts – I’m seeing Janice and Cheryl, Joyce, and Johnny. I think we need to do an ep on Mid-Century names as I have a HINT they are going to start coming back. I’d like to see some Nancys, Donna, Susan, Gary, Doug, Beverly, Sharon, and Debby coming into the zeitgeist so I think that will be cute.

M: Not me so that should be a good episode.. 

J: To see the full lists of names from 2021, go to BabyNames.com and to discuss all of these new names and new trends, join us in our facebook group! Just search for The Baby Names Podcast.

[MIDROLL AD BREAK]

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AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR…CELEBRITY BABY NEWS!

M: Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and wife Lauren have announced that they are expecting a new baby. I am looking forward to their name choices because I have always been fond of their first child’s name: Story Annabelle, who is now 3.

J: So that started the Story trend, I guess. I love that name. Jen Lilley of Christmas movie fame and husband Jason Wayne have revealed that they are having a girl. They asked for name suggestions and popular recommendations were No-el (I guess for Christmas) and Lillian (likely in honor of her last name). The baby who is due in May has 3 older siblings: Kayden, Jeffrey, and Julie Evangeline.

M: E News Presenter Erin Lim and husband Joshua Rhodes became parents in November to a baby girl they named Saylor Cielo Rhodes. Cielo was her grandma’s nickname and is Spanish for sky.

J: Or heaven. I don’t like that spelling for sailor, though, SAYLOR, it just looks like you didn’t know how to spell it. Unless it was someone’s surname in the family then I would accept it but otherwise ICK. Actress Scarlett Hefner (who played Pansy Parkinson in the Harry Potter series) and husband Cooper Hefner are expecting twins. Is he related?

M: Yeah the son.

J: OK. They shared this news on Thanksgiving. Their first child was born in August 2020 and is named Betsy Rose.

M:  Seth Myers and wife Alexi welcomed another child to their family of A-Named-Children. The new baby sister, who is named Adelaide, Really guys go see Guys and Dolls. It’s such a cute movie. 

J: (Singing) I got a horse right here, his name is Paul Revere…

M: That’s right. Anyway, Adelaide follows 5 year old brother Ashe and 3 year old brother Axel.

J: Yeah, I didn’t see any Axels on the list. It’s diving fast. 

M: It will be interesting to watch that trend. 

J: Victoria’s Secret Model Martha Hunt and fiance photographer Jason MacDonald announced the birth of their first child. Daughter Emery (as in board) was born on November 6th.

M: OK I’m just going to read this exactly and then we can spend time…

J: Picking it apart?

M:Aaron Carter and partner Melanie Martin have had a boy whom they have named Prince Lyric Carter. Aaron says that Michael Jackson nicknamed Aaron the “prince of pop” and so he decided to name his child Prince. I don’t really have much more to say abou that except we are happy that Prince is healthy after his emergency c-section.

J: You know we talked about this because they announced the name of the child before the birth, and we said if you’re going to name a child Prince, name him after Prince Rogers Nelson instead of someone who was allegedly a child molester. 

M: Allegedly???

J: And I don’t want to talk about it – it’s ridiculous. James Van Der Beek from Dawson’s Creek and ife Kimberly have had their sixth child together. Six! The baby boy is named Jeremiah, which means God will uplift. They are going to use the nickname Remi, which I think is really cute and different.

M: I do, too. I think Remi works for Jeremiah. They don’t have to call them Jerry.

M: Here are a couple of parents who just announced that they were expecting: Taylor Dye (from the duo Maddie and Tae) and husband Josh Kerk are expecting a girl in Spring 2022. And LA Rams wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr and girlfriend model Lauren Wood are also expecting, but no word yet on the gender of this little receiver.

J: OK.

M: I thought that was cute.

J: Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto and husband Cory Tran have announced the arrival of their son Rumi-Ray. Rumi was a famous Persian poet, so it could be a nod to him. Either way, Slumdog Millionaire is one of Mallory’s favorite movies of all time.

M: Talk about a great, feel good movie.

J: My feel good movie is not only Amelie but Life is Beautiful. 

M: Comedian Colleen Ballinger and husband Erik Stocklin announced the birth of twins on November 6th. Colleen, whose internet fame comes from her character Miranda Sings, said they named their children Maisy Joanne Stocklin and Wesley Koy Stocklin. 

M: Loving the name Maisy!

J: Julia Stiles is pregnant with baby #2 with Preston J. Cook. Their first child together was son Strummer.

M: I wonder if he’s named after Joe Strummer from The Clash? 

J: I don’t know. Strummer as in I’m strumming the banjo. 

M: I think more like strumming the guitar. Zach and Tori Roloff are expecting their third child together in Spring 2022. They already have a boy Jackson and a girl Lilah Ray. 

M: Country Singer Thomas Rhett and wife Lauren have had their fourth daughter, whom they named Lillie Carolina. Their first two daughters were born in 2017 — they found out they were expecting during the adoption process. Willa Gray was adopted from Uganda and Ada James was the surprise! Their third daughter was born in 2020 and is named Lennon Love.

M: Well I’m fond of any family of 4 girls because that’s what we came from. Lastly, our heart goes out to Whitney Port and Tim Rosenman regarding their recent miscarriage. We wish them peace and love during this difficult time 

J: …and to everyone else going through this same experience.

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J: And now our last segment… LETTERS FROM OUR LISTENERS. Why don’t you take this one, Mal?

M: Because it annoys me. But I will read it anyway.

***

Hi Jennifer and Mallory,

I have listened to every podcast and loved every one of them. 

J: Does that annoy you?

M: No it does not. Thank you so much. Maybe I like you a little more now.

I am having trouble coming up with a girl name for a sibling for Scott Fredrick Louis. If I have a second boy his name would be Roman Zacharie Louis. I want the sounds to match and the number of letters to match. 

Scott Fredrick is after my mum’s step grandfather and my dad’s father who died when I was 13. The second middle name for girls will be Louise after my middle name. I need 5 letter first names for girls.  Alice is a family name but my name is Ellen and my nickname is Ellie, some people say Allie instead of Ellie. it could get a little confusing.

The first girl’s middle name will be Yszobel and the second girl’s middle name will be Bettina. 

Thanks very much,

Ellen W.

OK, this is what annoys me about this letter. You’re letting your own heuristic, some type of matrix, be necessary for the baby name process. It should be what names do you like not what fits in this strange algorithm no one else is going to catch.  

J: Nobody is going to know it but you. 

M: They are all five letter first names and three syllable middle names. I think it’s too much. You’re putting too much pressure on us AND YOU to pick a name for this baby that is meeting some unrealistic expectation of syllables and sounds. 

J: It has to sound similar and have the 5 letters?

M: Yes, and I did come up with a couple. Like Ariel, which I think is beautiful.

Ariel Yszobel I think works. And Gemma, Gemma Bettina.

J: Alright, ok, I have nothing to say. Jemma with a J is pretty. 

M: But she doesn’t want pretty names, she wants five letter names. That’s my point.

J: Right. The number of letters could be a zillion names.It could be Aries; it could be Bobby.

M: I’m sorry I know we have been nicer lately and have not done the “no holds barred” thing with your letters but this one…

J: How about Quinn? OK now we’re done.

M: Alright, Jennifer, want to take the next one?

J: Hello!

Just wondering if someone may be able to help with the correct Irish Pronunciation of Èala?

Is it pronounced A-La 

Or I-La?

Regards,

Mairéad 

 

J: That’s interesting because Mairead is an Irish name. Is she Irish and does not know how to pronounce it?

M: Maybe she just wanted to hear us say it! We’ve been set up!

J: I know the pronunciation is AY LA with a tiny diphthong. I’ve added it to the babynames.com database and it means swan or noble.

M: Wonderful. I love it.

J: I love it too! Don’t forget to join us in our facebook group and if you have a question don’t hesitate to write us at podcast@babynames.com. Have a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.

M: Love you guys, you are the best.

J: Love you, happy holidays!

Mallory Moss is the co-founder of BabyNames.com and co-host of The Baby Names Podcast. Mallory has a PhD in psychiatric nursing and has written articles for The Huffington Post on names and name trends. She has one grown daughter, Veronica, who lives in Austria.