Written by Anne Donahue for BabyPost.com
We're almost through the first few months of 2013, so we can officially stop looking back at last year. That being said, there's going to be some big names on the docket for 2013, so here are our picks for the trendiest baby names of this year. Spoiler alert: they're getting classy.
Anne/Ann -- This isn't an attempt to popularize this writer's name, PROMISE. But thanks to the Royal Baby-to-be, traditional English names are making their comeback in droves. Which explains . . .
Betty -- No, there isn't a princess or queen named Betty -- yet. But "Betty" is short for Elizabeth, which not only piggybacks on the traditional trend, but the retro flair outlined by the likes of Lily Allen and her daughters, Marnie and Ethel.
Isabella -- The number one searched name last year according to Parenting.com, you can't help but think this is both a tribute to the pop culture phenomenon (read: Twilight), and to 2013's vintage influence.
Related: The 10 Best Baby Name Sites
Pearl -- The popular names of decades past are finally making a comeback, and giving a baby who can grow into her name is the perfect way to set the bar high. Or to pay homage to the Downton Abbey era.
Daisy -- Considering The Great Gatsby is going to be one of the year's biggest movies, one of the book's lead names is bound to show up more than once this year, especially since -- like the rest of the names -- it defines "timeless." Well, either that, or babies will just be named "Carey Mulligan."
Bertie -- No, you're not reading incorrectly: Bertie is among one of the top-searched male names for babies born in 2013, so if you needed further convincing of vintage influence, you have here the only argument you need.
Gus - Does anyone remember Road To Avonlea? Apparently so, since Gus is another "top" name for the year, proving that it won't only be girls who will be given names once deemed old-fashioned. The moral of the story? There's nothing wrong with staying classic.
Jacob - A name that's been sticking around for the past few years, "Jacob" maintains its place in the "top names of . . ." lineup, with no signs of slowing down in 2013. The best part: it obviously has nothing to do with Twilight at all.
Kennedy - Last names for first names are a big trend in 2013, with this tribute to the famous president reigning supreme over others. The runner-up? "Grant." Which, arguably, falls perfectly in-step with the "older English names" trend we're seeing big time.
Max - Blame it on (or thank?) Max Greenfield of New Girl, but Parenting.com has pegged Max as a favourite of 2013. Well, anyone who loves Schmidt as much as we do love Schmidt could have told you that.
The lovely <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Antonia" target="_hplink">Antonia</a> has plummeted straight off the popularity charts over the past 15 years, which is good news if you’re looking for a strong classic that you won’t hear every day. A royal name that originated as a feminization of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Anthony" target="_hplink">Anthony</a>, Antonia was immortalized in literature as the title character of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Willa" target="_hplink">Willa</a> Cather’s novel My Antonia. Antonia is a classy choice, but short forms Tonia and Toni take the name downmarket. Stick with the full form.
The golden <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Aurelia" target="_hplink">Aurelia</a> was a Roman name borne most famously by <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Julius" target="_hplink">Julius</a> Caesar’s mother. In more modern times, it was the name of poet <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Sylvia" target="_hplink">Sylvia</a> Plath’s mother. We see Aurelia rising again after a half-century slumber along with other names from ancient Rome. Sister name <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Aurora" target="_hplink">Aurora</a> is already in the Top 200.
It’s hard to believe that indie darling <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Clementine" target="_hplink">Clementine</a> is not in the U.S. Top 1000, but she’s been off the list since the early 1950s, a statistic we see changing one year soon thanks to her choice by several high-profile celebrity parents including <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Ethan" target="_hplink">Ethan</a> Hawke and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Rachel" target="_hplink">Rachel</a> Griffiths. Popular in France and Britain, Clementine is the feminine form of the Latin Clement, which means mild or merciful and was the name of 14 popes.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Cordelia" target="_hplink">Cordelia</a> is one of the most lovely of Shakespearean names, the name of King Lear’s sympathetic daughter based on a legendary Queen of the Britons whose name was also spelled Cordellia. A name whose roots are given as both Latin and Celtic that may mean heart or daughter of the sea, Cordelia has been sliding down the U.S. charts since 1880, when it was close to Number 200, vanishing from the Top 1000 six decades ago. Cordelia is a proper-sounding long form with a range of friendly nicknames, from <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Cora">Cora</a> to <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Delia">Delia</a> to Lia or <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Cory">Cory</a>.
To some, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Harriet" target="_hplink">Harriet</a> may be the quintessential old lady name, but we see it as cute and lively, with adorable nicknames such as <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Hattie" target="_hplink">Hattie</a> and Etta. Harriet is also attached to a range of worthy heroines, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe to abolitionist Harriet Tubman, from the vanished heroine of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to Harriet the Spy.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/India" target="_hplink">India</a> barely misses the Top 1000 -- it stands at Number 1001 -- so it may not lie outside the magic circle for long, though this lovely place-name has been heading straight downhill for the past decade. Movie mogul <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Harvey" target="_hplink">Harvey</a> Weinstein and designer wife <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Georgina " target="_hplink">Georgina</a> Chapman have a newborn daughter India, as does Avenger star <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Chris" target="_hplink">Chris</a> Hemsworth, so that celebrity attention may nudge it upward again. The India of Gone with the Wind was <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Ashley" target="_hplink">Ashley</a> Wilkes’ sister and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Scarlett" target="_hplink">Scarlett</a> O’Hara’s frenemy.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Louisa" target="_hplink">Louisa</a> may be the perfect choice for a bookish child who admires Louisa <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/May " target="_hplink">May</a> Alcott, the author of Little Women, and is also pleased by the connection to namesake characters in both <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Charles" target="_hplink">Charles</a> Dickens and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Jane" target="_hplink">Jane</a> Austen. Louisa and sister name Louise have for centuries traded places as style favorites, with Louise claiming far more recent popularity: It was in the Top 100 for the entire first half of the 20th century. But both are off the Top 1000 now and it’s Louisa that has more fans: 194 girls received the name in 2011, versus 123 for Louise. Lou and Lulu are its stylish nicknames.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lucinda" target="_hplink">Lucinda</a>, which feels almost like a midcentury smoosh between <a href="http://http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lucy" target="_hplink">Lucy</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Linda" target="_hplink">Linda</a>, has more historic heft as a name than you might guess: It was invented as an elaboration of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Lucia" target="_hplink">Lucia</a> in 1605 by Cervantes for the great classic novel Don Quixote. How cool and impressive a pedigree is that? Popular in the 19th century and again in the middle of the last century, Lucinda has dropped from sight except among cognoscenti who know it’s a well-seasoned long form with a healthy roster of fashionable short forms, from Lu to Lucy to Lucia to Cinda to Cia.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Mabel" target="_hplink">Mabel</a> still sounds like the name of a saucy silent screen star, ala Mabel Normand, but she’s definitely ready for her comeback along with style cousins <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Matilda" target="_hplink">Matilda</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Sadie" target="_hplink">Sadie</a>. Mabel is originally a short form of Amabel, an older name than <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Annabel" target="_hplink">Annabel</a>. Mab was a fairy queen in a Shelley poem.
A more outré choice than some of the other classic girls’ names here, <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Marcella" target="_hplink">Marcella</a> is rooted in the ancient Roman family name Marcellus or <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Marcus" target="_hplink">Marcus</a>, which relates to Mars, the god of war. Don Quixote’s Marcela, pictured here, was the most beautiful woman in the world. And the classic Marcella is shaking out her marcel waves and is ready for a new modern life.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Margo" target="_hplink">Margo</a> and Margot, sound-alike short forms of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Margaret" target="_hplink">Margaret</a> which means “pearl,” both lie outside the Top 1000 but are being revived by hip parents who love the o ending and the name’s traditional-modern crossover feel. Two classic movie characters bore the name: Bette Davis’ iconic Margo Channing in All About Eve and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Grace" target="_hplink">Grace</a> Kelly’s Margot in Dial M for Murder.
This medieval variation of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Mary" target="_hplink">Mary</a>, made famous by Robin Hood’s Maid Marian and The Music Man’s Marian the Librarian, has received a huge modern dose of sex appeal by French actress Marion Cotillard. Both the <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Marion" target="_hplink">Marion</a> and Marian spellings lie outside the Top 1000. <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Sarah" target="_hplink">Sarah</a> <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Jessica" target="_hplink">Jessica</a> Parker and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Matthew" target="_hplink">Matthew</a> Broderick named one of their small twin daughters Marion.
<a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Mercy" target="_hplink">Mercy</a> is a Puritan virtue name that fell out of the US Top 1000 way back in 1889 and has only reemerged recently thanks to its choice by Madonna for her young adopted daughter. While Mercy feels more religious than secular sisters <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Hope" target="_hplink">Hope</a> and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Charity" target="_hplink">Charity</a>, a Dickens character named Mercy was nicknamed Merry, which definitely gives in a different feel.
This Biblical girls’ name is another classic with two perfectly proper spellings -- Susanna and <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Susannah" target="_hplink">Susannah</a> -- both outside the Top 1000. Susannah was the New Testament heroine of the story of <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Daniel" target="_hplink">Daniel</a> and the Elders. It derives from the Hebrew <a href="http://nameberry.com/babyname/Shoshana" target="_hplink">Shoshana</a>, which means lily and which is receiving some new attention of its own thanks to the Zosia Mamet character on Girls. The most stylish name today in the Susan family, a fashionable short form would be Sanna, not Susie or Sue.
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