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Baby names

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012

Here are some popular baby names parents are choosing for their new little boys and girls.

By Cassandre Cadieux
Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012

What's hot in baby names?

Every year there seems to be some sort of modification in the way parents-to-be choose their baby names. Whether it be an influence from pop culture, drawing from a pool of names that we now consider vintage or something else entirely, the flux ebbs and flows just like any other trend.

Here are some of the more popular names we've seen this year, and don't forget to check out our Baby Namer tool to see what your favourite names mean!

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: Tolchik/iStockphoto

Nature baby names

New parents have been drawing on the natural world around them to choose the perfect name for their little ones, including Hazel, Ivy, Olive, Sage, Gale, Wolf(e), Hawke and Cliff.

Even celebrities are on this bandwagon, including Pink and Carey Hart with their daughter Willow Sage as well as Alicia Silverstone's Bear Blu

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: IakovKalinin/iStockphoto

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Literary baby names

Literary figures are playing an important role in the choosing of baby names for both boys and girls. From the classic pieces of literary fiction, names such as Emma and Darcy are growing in popularity (although Emma's always been highly ranked), and Phoebe and Holden from ​Catcher in the Rye​ are being favoured.

Daisy and Jay, from ​The Great Gatsby​, are also reemerging, and may become even more popular after Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the book comes to the big screen this Christmas. A final front runner is Gray, taken from John Grisham's The Pelican Brief​. This one could also be inspired by the current bestseller, ​50 Shades of​ Grey.

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: PinkBadger/iStockphoto

Last names as baby names

Drawing on the tradition of using family names as a child's middle name, a new trend for this year is to use last names (usually the mother's maiden name) as first names. Names such as Carter, Cooper, Quinn, McKenzie, Cassidy and Taylor are popular, and also make great unisex names, another big trend this year. 

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto

Superhero baby names

With movies such as The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises​ and ​The Amazing Spider Man​ breaking box office records, it is only natural that superhero-inspired names would be on the rise as well.

There are quite a few baby boys being named Clark (Superman), Logan (Wolverine), Thor, Tony (Ironman) and Xavier (Professor X), while baby girls are getting Selina (Cat Woman), Storm, Diana (Wonder Woman) and Natasha (Black Widow). 

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: justnartist/iStockphoto

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Combining baby names

Parents-to-be seem to be having a hard time choosing between two names, since new name combinations are emerging this year. Girl baby names like Abiann, Keilyn, Brooklyn, Emmalee, Kiana and Melrose are on the rise. The tradition is much less popular for boys at the moment, but Alaric is another great example.

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: barsik/iStockphoto

Pop culture baby names

There's no doubt that North America is heavily influenced by our popular culture (whether we like it or not), which is why there is no surprise that events of the last year have affected baby name trends. This year we see a rise in names from popular movies from ​The Hunger Games to Twilight​ as well as a certain singer and an almost-royal.

For little girls, names such as Adele, Pippa, Rue, Bella and Esme are gaining traction, and little boys are being named Emmett, Cato, Cyrus, Jacob and even Grayson (from the hit TV show Revenge).

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: brentmelissa/iStockphoto

Unisex baby names

The newest trend in baby names is to choose a name that could work for both boys and girls. The unisex name, as made popular by Jessica Simpson herself earlier this year, by choosing to name her daughter Maxwell Drew, both names traditionally chosen for boys. 

This year names such as Ryan, Harper, Parker, Avery, Casey, Jordan, Jamie and Rory are being favoured for both little girls and little boys.

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: MazsaS/iStockphoto

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Vintage baby names

Naming children after parents or grandparents has always been a tradition. What's happening now, however, is that people are choosing vintage names for their children that aren't already in the family. Names such as Hattie, Addie, Amelia, Beatrice, Oliver, Harrison, Felix and Oscar are gaining popularity, and are adorably cute.

Celebrities are on this bandwagon as well! Katherine Heigl named her child Adalaide, Maggie Gyllenhaal chose Gloria and Jessica Capshaw (from ​Grey's Anatomy​) named her little girl Poppy

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: talymel/iStockphoto

Cowboy baby names

Parents are bringing the West to the forefront by choosing cowboy-inspired names for their little ones. Watch closely for Hunter, Chase, Weston, Colton, Bronson, Rex and Wyatt to be popular names for boys in the next few years. 

There has yet to be very many cowboy-inspired names for girls, but there is sure to be something adorable emerge soon! 

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: kroach/iStockphoto

Colour-inspired baby names

Even before Beyonce and Jay-Z named their little girl Blue Ivy, choosing colours as baby names has been a growing trend. While the typical colours such as blue, red and green are usually excluded, names such as Violet, Skye, Jade, Hazel, Ruby and Topaz are on the rise. 

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: scanrail/iStockphoto

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More baby names

Baby names: 10 popular trends in 2012Photo: SC/FameFlynet Pictures
This article was originally published on Jul 26, 2012

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