It might be too late for the rest of us but if we’re looking at naming trends for 2020, it seems most of the babies who broke out this year can reasonably expect to one day grow up to be the pusher of embossed, business cards in eggshell. ‘Strong’ or ‘safe’ names such as Arthur, Theo, Harvey, Leo, Hugo and George are trending for boys, while Madeline, Luna, Willow, Violet, Audrey and Sofia are hugely popular for girls, according to Ashley Fell, Director of Advisory, McCrindle Research.
While the trend to opt for unique names continues, it seems many more of us are turning towards the traditional, with old favourites making a comeback. “Grace was a moderately popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, coming to a near decline from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s. Over the last five years it has been consistently rising in popularity and for two years now has been in the top 10,” Fell explains.
“Charlotte is another example of a near-extinct name that has had a significant resurgence. In 1989, it debuted back in the Top 100 for the first time in the modern era, at 86th, and by 2013, it achieved first position on the list, which it has retained for four of the last five years.” Boys names such as William and Jack are also examples of this trend.
While old-fashioned names carry a certain weight and history to them (not to mention, the possibility of our kids avoiding spending a considerable whack of time in juvie), it could also be that many of us are merely influenced by COVID-19 and life under lockdown.
“Our research showed that 52 per cent of Australians spent more time with their household members and listed this as a positive of social isolation,” says Fell who adds we’re more likely to be naming our children after our grandparents or asking for their input before making it official.
This isn’t to suggest other COVID-19-related names aren’t making waves; already we’ve seen one couple name their twins – born during initial lockdown – Covid and Coronda, while UK parenting site Baby Centre is reporting an increase in names inspired by lockdown activities. Tiger (courtesy of the travesty that is Tiger King) is making its mark, while Schitt’s Creek’s David and Alexis are also picking up momentum. No news yet on whether ‘Pivot’, ‘Unprecedented’, ‘Zoom’ or ‘Breaking News’ will follow suit but Fell insists we can largely expect traditional baby names in 2021.
“Some of the trends that I think we will see a continuation of is the botanical flare for girls with names like Lily, Poppy, Jasmine and Olive being popular and we can expect to see the continuation of shorter names winning out over longer ones, like Jack over Jackson and Ella outranking Isabella,” Fell says. “In true Aussie fashion, we will also see the trend of shortening names and adding an ‘ie’ on the end. Rose to Rosie, Savannah to Sadie and William to Billy.”
Our advice? Name your baby ‘Iso’ at your own peril.