Looking Ahead! Top Baby Name Trends For 2022
A lot has happened over the past two years that has made us feel a little hopeless, a little powerless, and sad at times. But you might not know it by looking at 2022 baby name trends. Here, our strength and resilience have us reaching for better times in the years to come. Translation: Baby names are looking up, around, and in new directions in 2022! Find out what's in store.
2022 Baby Name Trend: The Changing Tide
While baby name trends have always turned over from one period to the next, lately it’s almost as if a decade’s worth of changes are happening in just a few years! The more access we have to information about others’ lives around the world, the more we adjust and adapt our own preferences—and at record speed. As for 2022, parents-to-be are largely influenced by the most popular baby names that closed out last year…but that’s not all. We examined what baby names expecting parents and naming enthusiasts are searching for, favoriting, and saving on the Web. These are the trends to look out for, as well as hot baby names that are climbing the unofficial charts.
2022 Baby Name Trend: Variations on Popular Faves
So many of the old-standby-names of the past few years are getting too popular for some expecting parents. Those names are now being usurped by newer monikers that are just different enough from the original. In 2022, you can expect these picks to fall, as fresh darlings kick up in popularity:
August → Magnus: The nickname Gus is a favorite, but the summer month name August just might get dethroned at the hands of Magnus, a less heard, but just as handsome “Gus” alternative that means “greatest.”
Ella → Eloise: Over the last decade, parents have fallen in love with the name Ella, and today the opening El- sound in girls’ names remains prevalent. However, a different El name is set to outpace Ella in 2022: Eloise, which means “healthy” or “wide.”
Harper → Harbor: Naming buffs were delighted when the quirky name Harper made major waves in the past decade, but now it’s become a bit ubiquitous and the rarer gender-neutral baby name Harbor is poised to be the next big one.
Luke → Lux: Luke will still be important, but the flashy Latin alternative (meaning “light”) is getting a lot of views on the name search sites.
Mia → Maeve: The single-syllable Irish moniker Maeve (translates to “she who intoxicates”) is one of the most popular girl names at the moment…meaning we might see the similarly simple M name, Mia, head down a few rungs.
Oliver → Bridger: The dignified British boys’ name Oliver was crushing it at the top of baby name charts in 2020, but in 2022 it looks like Bridger (meaning, “one who lives near the bridge”) might be elbowing in.
Sophia → Stella: S names are strong, but the popular Sophia will likely get a nudge down the most popular names list this year, while the more whimsical Italian baby name Stella (meaning “star”) will inch up.
William → Wells: The old English baby name William was one of 2020’s top baby name picks, but it’s being searched for way less today. What’s getting more hits? Wells, a name that was in the 900s just 5 years ago.
2022 Baby Name Trend: French & Italian Baby Names
While European baby names have always been cool, American parents-to-be are saying sì! and oui! more than ever to lyrical Italian and illustrious French baby names. Suddenly, Elodie could outrank Emma, and Aveline may just yank Miss Ava out of her close-to-the-top baby name spot. Some names to look out for:
Adelaide: This French version of an old German baby name meaning “noble” was popular in 2021 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Brio: Short baby names are also a trend, and this four-letter, gender-neutral Italian name meaning “vivacity” or “zest” is perfect for the current moment.
Bruno: Thanks to Disney’s Encanto and the incredibly catchy song about a character with this name, the classic Italian/Spanish boys’ name will be a biggie this year.
Capucine: The elegant Capucine is a French flower name…that also bears a strikingly similar sound to a favorite European coffee drink. Its popularity is primed to travel across the ocean to eager Americans any minute now.
Celine: The French girls’ name meaning “heavenly” is so right for this moment in time, not only for its fresh and soft sound, but the beautiful meaning.
Enzo: This adorable Italian baby boy name is a version of Henry that parents-to-be are favoriting, left and right. Vincenzo is a longer alternative with nickname options.
Elodie: Parents looking for creative Ellie alternatives need look no further than this stunning French name that means “foreign riches.”
Mirabelle: A French name translating to “miraculous,” Mirabelle has the makings of an up-and-comer for sure.
Ottilie: This little beauty is one you’re sure to start hearing soon. Ottilie is a French stunner that means “prosperous in battle.”
Rue: It means “street” in French, and is also a simple, gender-neutral name parents are loving right now.
2022 Baby Name Trend: Royal and Nobility Inspired Names
Anglophiles aren’t the only ones loving British baby names right now. Many expectant parents are inspired by the present day Royal Family (Archie, Charlotte) and the Netflix hit series Bridgerton. Your little lad or lass will be in excellent company if you select one of these hot 2022 names.
Arlo: This Irish/English boys’ name is Archie-adjacent and an absolute favorite of baby namers across the globe.
Daphne: Bridgerton’s female protagonist has this stunning moniker that’s seen a sharp rise in popularity since the show first aired. Plot twist: Daphne is actually a Greek baby name, meaning “laurel tree.”
Lillibet: When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle named their daughter Lillibet, a shortening of Elizabeth, it sparked global intrigue! If history repeats itself, this name will be huge in the next few years…just like her royal cousin’s name Charlotte.
Phillipa: Both a Bridgerton name and the long version of Pippa (Duchess of Cambridge’s sister), Phillipa is a perfectly perky British pick that means “lover of horses.”
Romy: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson named his 2021 baby girl this lovely, gender-neutral name that’s trending. Romy means “citizen of Rome.”
Sienna: Princess Beatrice gave birth to her little love, Sienna Mozzi, in the fall of 2021…and her name has been widely searched ever since.
Sire: This gentlemanly English name is getting a surprising boost as of late. It means “royalty; father.”
Theodore: The diminutive, Theo, is a Bridgerton name, and the long form just plain sounds British and royal. This old-fashioned “gift of God” name is new-fashioned once more.
2022 Baby Name Trend: Hope and Happiness Names
People are looking beyond the doom and gloom of a global pandemic and toward happier, healthier times. With this new wave of optimism comes a crop of baby names that either mean, or sound like, hope and happiness.
Golden and glowing word names like Honey, Sonny, Bee, and Pixie are trending.
Names that mean “happy,” like Asher, Blythe, Felicity, and Jolie are also on fire.
Names that mean “light, bright, and clear” like Clara, Lux (detailed above), and Oakley are being searched for—and given to little ones—in staggering numbers.
Names that mean “hope,” like Esperanza and these hopeful picks will continue to rise in the years to come.
2022 Baby Name Trend: Unique Flower and Nature Names
Floral names like Lily and Violet have been on the rise for the past decade, but they’re soon to be overtaken by rarer blooms, like Astrid and Iris. Here’s why: Once floral and nature baby names started to get popular, parents began scrambling to find more unique slants, like the ones below.
Bali: This Sanskrit place name brings lush beach scenery to mind. Talk about getting away from it all!
Ember: “Burning” into our minds is this newcomer to the popular baby naming lists, Ember is an edgy pick for a little boy or girl.
Hyacinth: This name could’ve hopped on the British list too, as it belongs to a Bridgerton character.
Juniper: You’re likely to hear this spirited flower name more and more in the months to come.
Ocean: Few nature names can capture the beauty and depth of this one, apt for a boy or girl!
Prairie: It might be the first time you’re hearing this rare nature pick, but certainly won’t be the last.
Reef: An alternative to Reed or Lief, Reef has cool-kid surfer vibes and a modern gender-nonconforming feel.
Other Name Trends to Look Out for in 2022
In addition to the splashy picks listed above, you’ll also likely see a lot of baby names in the coming year that follow these trends:
Names that end in S for both boys and girls, like Atlas, Banks, Collins, and Rhodes, have a refined air and are ranking high on name sites.
Nonbinary or gender-neutral names are being given to boys in larger numbers than in the past. Trendy gender-neutral names of the moment include Blair, Holland, Shiloh, and Wren.
Spiritual word names are further proof that Americans are looking for deep, hopeful anchors in life. Some names poised for popularity in 2022 are Brave, Dream, Psalm, and True.
Vintage names are still on trend, but now parents-to-be are tapping even rarer older names like Alice, Hank, Luisa, and Silas.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.