Trends in baby names are fascinating because they're constantly changing. As some names fall out of fashion, others gain in popularity, reflecting what's going on in pop culture and lifestyle at any given time. Cottagecore-themed names have enjoyed a real moment this year. So have names inspired by the Netflix hit Bridgerton.
The experts at Nameberry have predicted several trends for baby names in 2022, and it definitely makes for interesting reading. Bridgerton-inspired names and music-themed names are predicted to remain popular, joined by "playful names" with "a strong element of fun". Think Buddy, Teddy, Pixie, Gigi and Cricket. After an incredibly testing 18 months, these relatively lighthearted names are more appealing than ever.
Names with a strong retro flavour are also tipped to increase in popularity because according to Nameberry, they "conjure up images of simpler, sunnier, more stable times". Many of these names are heavily redolent of the 1950s and Hollywood's Golden Age – think Betty, Frank, Gene, Constance, Goldie and Mae.
Names beginning with the letter "R" are also predicted to become more popular in 2022, especially ones that sound short and snappy. "We're seeing a whole bunch of energetic unisex 'R' names starting to take off – from recent celebrity baby names Rhodes, Row, Rio and Rue to edgy word names like Revel, Riot and Rogue," the Nameberry experts say.
Meanwhile, chic European names are expected to be embraced because they feel "as at home in Copenhagen as they do in London, Amsterdam or Vienna". According to the Nameberry experts, this makes names like Bastian, Astrid, Stellan, Lars and Petra particularly appealing to "sophisticated world travellers".
Numerous "non-binary" or unisex names also make the list – think Laurie, Marlowe, Scout, Blair and Wren – as do names evoking images of nature and escape. These include Bay, Prairie, Ridge, Sequoia and Taiga.
"After a long period of closure and confinement, we’re all dreaming about the perfect getaway – whatever that looks like for you," say the Nameberry experts. "We expect to see beachy baby names get a boost, especially in the wake of the hit HBO series The White Lotus, set in an idyllic Hawaiian island resort."