One of the best parts of the coming new year is
Nameberry's annual roundup of the past year's top baby names, with contenders this year including Olivia, Cora, Atticus, Asher, and Ava. But what's even more fun to dig up is Nameberry's predictions for the top baby names of 2018, and this year's picks, which were released on Thursday, are looking to be chock full of Girl Power.
While 2017's hits were mostly classics — Olivia, Amelia, Charlotte, and Ava, all of which made the top 10 this year, have
topped the lists for the last few years — Nameberry predicts 2018's list will have an emphasis on "powerful women and strong female names," thanks to important pro-female movements in 2017 like the Women's March and the success of Wonder Woman . Nameberry also says we can expect some presidential names for both boys and girls, as well as some gender-benders, and a lot of names that start or end with the letter "S." Here's what's on tap for 2018, and do remember that if you end up going with one of these hot monikers this year, you're going to be stuck writing extra initials on a lot of lunch boxes in the future:
Nameberry predicts that this year's notable surge in pro-female power will popularize names for strong women, and Eleanor, beheld by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, two other English queens, the one-and-only Eleanor Roosevelt, and my personal favorite,
Eleanor Shellstrop, is poised to make a comeback. Though considered an English name, it's actually coopted from Provencal French for "other Aenor," the aforementioned Eleanor of Aquitaine's mother. It's meaning is unknown, but that doesn't make it any less fearsome.
Another strong female contender, Ruth is a Hebrew name meaning, "
compassionate friend," notably derived from the namesake biblical character, who left her own people to accompany her mother-in-law back to Bethlehem. Other heroic Ruths include sexologist Dr. Ruth and, of course, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who could definitely take me in a fight.
Nameberry also says
names that have to do with wisdom will be popular for girls this year, and Sophia, which derives from Greek, means just that. Sophia isn't exactly new to this list, though — it was the most popular name from 2011 to 2013 and the fourth most popular name in 2016, though it was knocked off the top ten this year.
There's no need to explain why this strong female name would make it on the list —
Game of Thrones' Arya Stark is the butt-kicking, name-kicking (and still flawed!) feminist icon we'd like to see more of in the future.
Nameberry says we can expect more presidential surnames showing up in trend lists this year, thanks, likely, to last year's presidential election. Clinton, an English name meaning "
hilltop town," has been tapped as one option for males, though interestingly it saw a decline in popularity around the time Bill Clinton became President. Maybe it's time for a comeback?
Other potential Presidential surnames-turned-baby names include Wilson, Lincoln, McKinley, Jefferson, Ford, Grant, and Hayes.
Franklin, an English male name meaning "free landholder," might also start cropping up more in light of renewed interest in presidential names, even though Nameberry has it all the way down at #423 for now. Other presidential first names Nameberry predicts will be popular include Abraham, Ulysses, Chester, Theodore, Grover, and potentially even Barack.
Atticus neared the top of the list in 2017, and Nameberry expects it to stick around, thanks to a rising popularity in fashion-forward boys' names. The Latin name, meaning "
from Attica," rose to fame after Gregory Peck played Southern lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and has recently been bestowed upon a few celebrity children, putting it back in the spotlight.
Nameberry says Wyatt's another fashion-forward name they expect to climb the charts this year. The English name, meaning "
brave at war," is intended for boys, though Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis named their daughter Wyatt in 2014.
Nameberry expects "S" to be the popular consonant this year, with names like Snow, Story, Sage, and Sunday rising to prominence. Also on the list is Sasha, a gender-neutral Russian name meaning "
defending men." Popular Sashas include skater Sasha Cohen, Sacha Baron-Cohen, Sasha Obama (real name Natasha) and, of course, Beyoncé alter-ego Sasha Fierce.
Nameberry expects Welsh names to spike in popularity this year, thanks in part to shows like
Game of Thrones. Carys means " love" in Welsh — other popular Welsh names to look for are Eira, Rhiannon, and Seren, while boys can look forward to Gareth, Idris, Lloyd, and Vaughn.
It might be strange to name your child after a super-conflicted semi-villain who murdered one of the most beloved characters in pop culture history (who also happened to be his father!). But Nameberry says Kylo, a variation on Kyle, has spiked in popularity thanks to Kylo Ren in the new
Star Wars series, and they expect that trend to continue this year. Other superhero names on the rise include Rocket ( Guardians of the Galaxy), Aurora ( X-Men), Everett ( Captain America), and Ivy ( Poison Ivy).
2017 was the Year of Saoirse Ronan, thanks to her spectacular turn in the Greta Gerwig film
Lady Bird. But even before that, Saoirse's Irish name, meaning "liberty," started cropping up on birth certificates. Expect to see more little Saoirses in 2018.