PARENTS

Best Baby Names 2017: 10 Monikers That Defined The Year

Parents were influenced by nature, Disney girl power and more.

12/07/2017 14:24 EST | Updated 12/07/2017 14:24 EST
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In 2017, we saw plenty of new and familiar baby name trends take the spotlight. Unisex names, for instance, continued to reign supreme, while monikers inspired by Disney girl power started to gain traction, BabyCenter reports.

But there were also a ton of hot topics and buzzworthy people that we bet parents took inspiration from when choosing their child's name this year. So after taking a look back, we rounded up 10 of the best baby names of 2017 based on the year's hottest trends and topics.

These picks certainly defined one hell of a year!

1. Gal

A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot) on

Gal is a Hebrew name meaning "wave," and it belongs to Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. 2017 has been a big year for the heroine, who inspired kids and adults alike by bucking gender norms and portraying what real women look like in DC's feature film.

While the superhero name trend might not be as popular this year as it was in 2016, we'd be surprised if this badass female hero didn't inspire parents' name choices. After all, 2017 was a pivotal year for feminism and Wonder Woman is a feminist icon after all.

We love the name Gal because it's a common unisex name in Israel, proving the moniker is trendy and truly embodies the feminist spirit.

2. Indigo

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That's right — colour names aren't going away anytime soon! This trend has always been hot among celebrities, which is likely why these monikers have remained popular for so long.

According to BabyCenter, the gender-neutral name Blue (à la Blue Ivy) shot up 14 per cent for boys and nine per cent for girls in 2017. While we can't argue that Blue is pretty unique, we chose Indigo for this list because it's a little more rare, but still has that cool factor.

Other unique colour names that climbed the charts in 2017 include Hazel, which is up 88 per cent for boys and 25 per cent for girls, and Lavender, which is up 27 per cent for girls.

3. Emilia

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Of course we couldn't get through this list without a name inspired by HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Emilia comes from actress Emilia Clarke, who plays the fierce mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi. "Game of Thrones" names first began cropping up in U.S. Social Security data in 2013, when 241 babies were named Khaleesi and 1,135 babies were named Arya.

Now that the series is quickly coming to an end, the fandom has only gotten stronger, which is why Emilia is one of our top names for 2017. This charming moniker is a great choice because it pays homage to the pop culture phenomenon without being too out there.

4. Kendrick

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Rapper Kendrick Lamar is having a moment, so it's no wonder this name is climbing the charts! The 30-year-old released his fourth studio album this year and received the most nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards, behind Jay Z. And to top that all off, the rapper continued his philanthropic work this year by headlining Rihanna's annual Diamond Ball charity event and by donating a modified van to a Dallas fan who uses a wheelchair.

If parents want to name their child after a good role model, Kendrick is it. Plus, did we mention Kendrick means "royal ruler" or "champion"? Clearly this name is a winner.

BabyCenter reports the name Kendrick rose by nine per cent in the past year, while other names of rappers-turned-philanthropists have also been on the up, such as Chance, which jumped 21 per cent in 2017.

5. Soleil

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This beautiful moniker follows the nature name trend. While River is popular among celebrities, with both Paulina Gretzky and Jeff Goldblum choosing the name for their sons this year, we think Soleil is a standout.

We love this French moniker, which means sun, because of its warm and humble vibes, plus its charming sound. Nikki Reed and Ian Somerholder also chose it for their newborn daughter, Bodhi Soleil, in July.

Nature names have always been popular among parents, which is what makes Soleil so trendy. Other unique nature names we love include Ember (up 47 per cent for boys and 28 per cent for girls in 2017) and Willow (up 32 per cent for girls), according to BabyCenter.

6. Henry

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace on Nov. 27 2017.

It's been a big year for Prince Harry (a.k.a. Prince Henry of Wales), who created a ton of buzz with his relationship and engagement to "Suits" actress Meghan Markle. But while we love the royals, Prince Harry isn't the only reason the name Henry made this list.

Nameberry released its top 100 baby names of 2017 and Henry was one of the new boy names to make the top 10. Although the baby name site didn't offer an explanation for the rise in popularity, we're crediting the prince and parents' love of classic names for the renewed interest.

7. Diana

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Diana, Princess of Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Speaking of royals, 2017 marked the 20th anniversary since Princess Diana's death. With a flood of documentaries and revelations that came to light this year, the world has arguably never been more fascinated with the late royal. That's why the name Diana is one of our top baby names of 2017.

Additionally, Diana is the name of Wonder Woman's true identity and, as previously stated, 2017 was a big year for the heroine. Plus, Diana is also the name of the Roman goddess of the hunt, and considering parents have always been fans of mythological names, this moniker proves to be trendy in more ways than one.

8. Kian

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Kian is another name that made Nameberry's top 100 list for 2017. This moniker stuck out to us because it's uniquely Irish and is the perfect way for parents to pay homage to cultural roots.

Irish names have been growing in popularity, which is likely why the name Liam has topped BabyCenter Canada's most popular list for two years in a row!

In addition to Kian, we love the Irish names Maeve, meaning "joy" or "she who intoxicates," and Cavan, meaning "grassy hill."

9. Selena

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The name Selena might not follow a top trend, but this gorgeous moniker has certainly made a statement this year in the form of singer Selena Gomez.

The 25-year-old had a busy year, making headlines for her new music, her Netflix-produced show "13 Reasons Why" and her personal life (R.I.P. Abelena). Not to mention the fact that she braved a kidney transplant and opened up about it after winning 'Woman of the Year' at the Billboard Women in Music event.

Not only is Selena a kickass role model for parents to name their child after, but we love it because of its smooth sound and beautiful meaning ("moon goddess").

10. Belle

Moana is the new Elsa when it comes to Disney names climbing the charts. In February, Nameberry reported that the Maori name (meaning "sea") skyrocketed 467 per cent in the past year!

But while we love the name Moana and the free-spirited Disney heroine, the name has the potential of becoming too popular too quickly, which is why we chose Belle as one of our picks instead.

Belle is a more humble moniker that still follows the big Disney trend. Since the live-action "Beauty and the Beast" was released this year, the independent, feminist character has inspired a number of parents as well. BabyCenter reports the name rose 23 per cent this year.

Nala and Tiana are two other underused Disney names we love. These monikers rose eight and two per cent, respectively, in 2017.

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