Parents turn to baby names like Faith and Hope to get them through uncertain times
Parents are turning to virtuous baby names such as Faith and Hope to boost their moods during turbulent and uncertain times, a study has found.
The trend was started by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who named their son Saint following his birth in 2015, sparking a revival in the traditional charity-style names as young parents copy with their own tots.
Dubbed ‘modern virtue names’, monikers rising in popularity include Felicity, meaning good fortune and happiness, and Verity which stands for truth and honesty.
Boy’s name Frank is also popular as more than a quarter (26%) of expectant parents say they are considering a ‘modern virtue’ name for their baby.
Baby name experts say choosing one of these names is a way for millennial mums and dads to signal their disapproval at the tough economic and political conditions and push for more positive times ahead.
The annual Baby Name Predictions report from parenting site ChanneMum.com - which first identified the rise of the name Corbyn - doesn’t list the top 100 most popular names but instead identifies hottest rising trends that will be among the most popular names in three to five years.
It found that space-themed names look set to be the most popular among parents-to-be.
Inspired by British astronaut Tim Peake’s epic International Space Station mission, 51 per cent of expectant parents have space-related names on their list of potential names, including Luna, Stella, Nova and Orion.
And while the fashion for gender neutral names is continuing, a fresh phenomenon for ‘gender crossover’ names will emerge in 2018.
Among the most popular choices are Teddy, Robin and Noel for girls, alongside Carol and Aubrey for boys.
Almost two in five (37%) young parents are considering using a gender crossover name, making it the third most popular trend for 2018.
And a third of mums and dads (31%) are even considering ‘bad boy and girl’ names inspired by gangster chic, ranging from Ronnie and Reggie to Harley, Quinn and Kato - currently among the most popular boys’ names in the US.
The study of 1,517 expectant parents found bird names including Wren, Phoenix, Paloma and even Birdie are taking flight, especially with young parents, where almost a third (28%) are considering a feathered name for their baby.
Alongside this, botanical names are beginning to push out flower names, with Ferne, Bay, Basil and Sage popular with a quarter (24%) of parents.
Bling babies are also being given names meaning ‘money or wealthy’ with one in eight families picking finance-related monikers. Top choices include Ottilie, Elodie, Rafferty and even Cash.
Finally, after being favoured by the upper classes, Shakespearean names are gaining popularity with the wider population, with 11 per cent of parents considering them.
The most popular are Hero, Balthazar, Ophelia and Juno.
But despite having over 30,000 names to choose from, according to the Office of National Statistics, UK parents are finding it harder than ever to agree on a name.
A huge 46 per cent disagreed with their partner over what to call their baby - and 52 per cent admitted it was ‘hard’ to find the right name to suit their tot.
More than a quarter of parents now seek out unique names or spellings no-one else has while one in 11 monitor baby name trends to ensure their name is not a ‘top 100 choice’.
However, as two thirds (65%) of parents quizzed believe a name can influence a child’s life, a worrying one in twenty (5%) went on to regret their choice of baby name.
One in 100 even said they went as far as trying to change it.
The study also showed the most-disliked baby name trend is double-barrelled names, such as Lacey-May or Tyler-Joe), with more than half of parents dismissing it.
More than a quarter (27%) also hate the trend to have a surname as a first name, which is popular for boys, including Harrison, Carson or Beckett.
ChannelMum.com founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Choosing a modern virtue name is the ultimate in virtue signalling, showing you believe children really are the future.
“Many of the modern virtue names are absolutely beautiful and picking a positive name will hopefully carry your child through life with confidence and charm.
“And space names are a good way to look to the heavens and remind us all that there is more to life than the events going on on earth.”
TOP 8 NAME TRENDS FOR 2018
1. Space names, e.g. Luna, Stella, Nova, Orion - 51%
2. Gender Crossover names, e.g. Teddy, Robin and Noel for girls, Carol and Aubrey for boys - 37%
3. ‘Bad’ boys & girls name e.g. Harley, Quinn, Ronnie, Reggie, Kato - 31%
4. Bird names, e.g. Wren, Phoenix, Paloma, Birdie - 28%
5. Virtuous names, e.g. Saint, Hope, Faith - 26%
6. Botanical Names taking over from flower names, e.g. Ferne, Bay, Basil, Sage 24%
7. Names meaning Wealthy or Money, e.g. Ottilie, Elodie, Rafferty, Cash - 12%
8. Shakespearean names, e.g. Hero, Balthazar, Ophelia, Juno - 11%
Most disliked name trends:
Double-barrelled names (e.g. Lacey-May, Tyler-Joe) - 51%
Children names after sports teams - 40%
Unusual spellings - 40%
Families using the same first letter for all their children (e.g. Kim, Khloe) - 28%
Surnames as first names - 27%
Children named after music stars - 22%
Children names after films - 20%
Giving a child more than two names before the surname - 14%
Tough names - 14%
Names predicted to begin to fall OUT of fashion over the next three to five years:
Donald (Trump effect)
Olivia and Oliver for being too popular