Baby names can be hard to choose, especially in 2020. Whether or not you have kids or are planning on it at some point, you likely have a few baby name ideas in your head that you’re drawn to or put off by. Maybe you think it’ll be cool to name your baby after a celebrity. On the other hand, maybe you want a super unique name that no one has ever thought of before. Whatever the case, there are millions of baby names out there, some more popular than others.
But do baby names actually matter? Well, sort of. In an interview with BBC News, Dalton Conley, a sociologist at New York University, said that children with more unique names benefit from their different-sounding monikers and any potential teasing they suffer because of it. “They actually benefit from that experience by learning to control their emotions or their impulses, which is of course a great skill for success,” he explained. Still, a lot of parents are curious as to what baby names are out for 2020. Read on if you’re curious.
Nowadays, when people hear the name Alexa, they probably think of the Amazon technology assistant of the same name. While the Amazon Alexa might be a popular and useful device, that doesn’t mean the name Alexa has grown in popularity. After all, can you imagine how frustrating it would be to have your device answer you when you’re simply calling for your child?
Well, it seems that plenty of people have thought along those exact same lines. In fact, according to The Telegraph, significant research in 2018 found that “the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved last year compared with 2017 because of the increased use of the Amazon technology assistant.” Additionally, according to Behind the Name, the name Alexa for a baby girl has been pretty steadily declining since its peak in 2015.
As for the meaning of the name, it comes from the name Alexander, which means “to defend, help,” the latter of which is exactly what an Alexa device does.
For whatever reason, the name Chase for a little boy has been decreasing in popularity over the years. Although, to be honest, it was never really that popular of a name, so, by 2020, it will hardly be used anymore. Perhaps because Chase feels pretty expected and self-descriptive, people aren’t as into it these days. According to The Bump, the name Chase came from people using it as a nickname for a hunter. Since then, “it has been adopted as a first name, closing in on the top 100 boys’ names since 1995,” the site reported.
Additionally, according to Behind the Name, the name Chase has been on a steady decline in popularity since 2015, and, in 2018, it was ranked as 112th in a list of most popular boys’ names in the United States. To be honest, Chase just hasn’t been all that popular, and, as baby names get more and more unique each year, a name like Chase isn’t going to stick around as one of the more popular options.
The baby name Aubree for a girl is definitely an interesting spelling of Aubrey, which people tend to like, but it’s actually been going down in popularity since 2013, according to Behind the Name. Still, the meaning of Aubree is pretty fascinating. According to The Bump, Aubree means “fair ruler of the little people” and comes from German descent.
This trendy spelling definitely helped the name spike in popularity, according to the site. “Then Aubrey’s bright –ee ending made it fashionable for girls and open to the unconventional and modern spelling of Aubree,” The Bump reports. However, with so many other cute, feminine names becoming more popular, Aubree has been on the decline. In fact, the site ranked it as the 210th most popular name for girls, while Behind the Name listed it at No. 110 for 2018. Aubree is an interesting name, but one that people won’t be as crazy about in 2020 as they used to be.
Baby names definitely go through cycles in the United States. Names that were once popular tend to fade away before making a huge comeback at some point, much like flare jeans or crop tops. Still, the name Tyler for a boy has decreased in popularity for years now, meaning no one is going to want to use it in 2020.
According to The Bump, the name, which means “a worker in roof tiles,” oddly enough “zoomed to popularity in the 1980s and ’90s,” but the moniker hasn’t gone back up since. Behind the Name ranked Tyler as the 119th most popular name for baby boys in 2018 — the lowest it has been since 1979. Perhaps Tyler will make a comeback one day, but, for now, it’s just not favored as it once was, and instead people are drawn to names that are more interesting and haven’t been used before.
The name Isabelle for a baby girl is certainly pretty, but it’s surprisingly not that popular among parents. According to The Bump, the name Isabelle means “God’s promise,” and it comes from the names Elizabeth and Isabel in Hebrew.
Behind the Name ranks Isabelle as the 113th most popular name for baby girls in 2018, although the name has risen and fallen quite a bit in popularity over the years. It seems that more and more parents are trending towards using more unique names for their kids. “There’s just a longer-scale trend toward uniqueness and individualism that isn’t necessarily rooted in these economic cycles,” Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, told LiveScience.
As time goes on, parents are ditching the traditional and common baby names and opting to name their children something more unique that will help them stand out. Isabelle, we gather, just doesn’t make the cut anymore.
A lot of parents choose to name their baby after one of their favorite characters on TV. For instance, couples who love Friends might name their daughter Rachel, or someone who is obsessed with Game of Thrones may name their son Jon. But for all the awesome characters, there are just as many bad guys, mean girls, and those who are just plain awkward. Such is the case with the name Kevin. It’s not particularly cute, and, for some, it might remind them of the character of the same name from The Office, who wasn’t exactly brilliant.
According to The Bump, though, Kevin means “handsome beloved,” and it was a super popular name for boys for over 40 years. Behind the Name ranked Kevin as the 125th most popular name in the United States for a boy in 2018, a position that has been steadily dropping since the 1960s. Kevin probably won’t be used that much as a baby name in 2020 — that’s for sure.
Annabelle is a super cute name for a baby girl — for some people. For others, the name Annabelle might conjure up thoughts of antique doll and satanic cults. Obviously, that isn’t to say that anyone who has a baby named Annabelle is going to end up being haunted, but there’s definitely a reason it isn’t too popular, and the 2014 horror film Annabelle that centered on a horrifying doll might just be to blame.
According to The Bump, Annabelle is derived from Hebrew and has a pretty religious meaning: “favored grace.” But as sweet as that is, the name is just not that popular these days. Annabelle was ranked as the 141st most popular name for baby girls in the United States in 2018, per Behind the Name. The name’s popularity has been dropping at a high rate since 2014, likely due to the film of the same name.
There probably won’t be too many baby Annabelles in 2020, and that might be a good thing.
While Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid is charming, kind, and helpful, that doesn’t mean his character matches his name. In fact, the name Eric actually means “forever or alone, ruler,” according to The Bump, and that’s not exactly a positive, happy meaning. The name comes from an old Norse name of similar sound, although it wasn’t always a common name.
In fact, the name didn’t really gain traction until the 19th century, when a children’s book entitled Eric, or Little by Little by Frederic William Farrar came out in 1858, according to Behind the Name. Since then, Eric has been a pretty common baby name, but it’s been declining in popularity for quite some time now. According to the site, Eric was the 160th most popular name for boys in the United States in 2018, and the name hasn’t ranked higher than 100 since 2010. Basically, Eric was never really that popular of a name, and, in 2020, it will barely be used.
With millennials, it’s obvious that classic and traditional baby names are on the decline when it comes to picking out what they will call their baby. In fact, baby name expert and author Duana Taha told Today’s Parent that choosing a traditional name these days is almost taboo. “For one thing, that’s boring,” she said. “For another, it can be culturally short-sighted.” But that isn’t to say that some names might be a little too unique. For instance, no one will be using the name Mya anymore in 2020.
The name, which means “great one” or “mother,” according to The Bump, is a variant of Maya (minus one of the letters). Mya was semi-popular in the early 2000s, but has since dropped in popularity, according to Behind the Name. In 2018, Mya was ranked as the 197th most popular name for baby girls, which means it’s not all that beloved. Perhaps because most people think to spell it as Maya, parents have decided to forgo the name altogether and spare their child some future frustration. Whatever the case, there probably won’t be many baby Myas in 2020.
The name Patrick isn’t exactly cute, but there might be another reason it isn’t that popular. There is no denying the fact that SpongeBob Squarepants is an iconic show with memorable characters. Most of those characters have pretty strange names, including the titular character, SpongeBob, and his grouchy neighbor Squidward. Then, there’s Spongebob’s best friend, the inept starfish Patrick. Many people who’ll welcome a baby in 2020 may have grown up watching SpongeBob Squarepants, so the name Patrick could be tainted for them.
However, the meaning of Patrick is actually pretty spectacular. According to The Bump, Patrick means “patrician” and “noble” and is of Latin origin. Additionally, one of the first known usages of the name Patrick was by Saint Patrick in the fifth century, according to Behind the Name. Patrick was the 189th most popular boy name in the United States in 2018, per the site, and has been declining steadily in popularity since the 1990s.
Patrick Star may have been a funny character, but “baby Patrick” just doesn’t have a ring to it that parents in 2020 are going to love.
Fiona might just not be the right 2020 baby name for a sweet girl. After all, the name instantly harkens an image of an animated ogre from the beloved children’s movie Shrek, so it might not be the best choice for a daughter. However, the Irish name, which was reportedly contrived by a 19th-century Scottish poet, is actually one of the most popular girl names in Ireland, according to The Bump.
In America, however, Fiona isn’t too popular. The name means “fair” or “pale,” and came in as the 222nd most popular baby girl name in the United States for 2018, according to Behind the Name. Basically, no one really uses it all that much, and that’s totally understandable. As millennials are getting older and having babies, they aren’t likely to use names that conjure up a less-than-desirable image in their head. Sure, in Shrek, Fiona was headstrong and resilient, but she was still an ogre, which isn’t exactly something parents want to think of when they look down at their precious newborn.
There are parents out there who choose to name their baby after a big pop culture event. However, there are also some moments from pop culture that might have ruined potential future baby names for 2020. In 2019, both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries about the ill-fated Fyre Festival, which went viral in 2017 for reportedly being a total scam. But there was a certain player in the Netflix Netflix documentary who caught the eye of viewers and soon became a viral sensation all his own.
Andy King, who said in the documentary that he was asked to “take one for the team” and give someone, um, oral relations in order to “secure a vital shipment” of water, was an overnight sensation among viewers. However, because of that, the name Andy probably won’t be very popular in 2020. In fact, in 2018 it was ranked the 369th most popular name for boys in America, according to Behind the Name, already a low ranking. With the Andy King debacle, that’s likely to go down even further in the coming years.
Much like Joe and Joseph, the name Mary might make you think of religion or the bible, as Joseph and Mary were Jesus’ parents. However, that doesn’t mean the name Mary is innocent of any negative connotations. One of the most popular shows of 2019 was the second season of Big Little Lies, which was the highly anticipated follow-up to the HBO miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley. However, in Season 2, a new character was introduced: Mary Louise Wright, the subtle but cruel villain played by Meryl Streep.
That said, Streep’s character was despised by just about everyone who watched the show, so there probably won’t be too many baby girls named Mary in 2020. And though the name has a cool meaning — “star of the sea,” according to The Bump — Mary hasn’t been a popular baby name for years. In 2018, it was the 126th most popular girl name in the U.S., per Behind the Name, and it probably won’t be making a comeback any time soon.
One television show that gained popularity in 2019 was the Lifetime-turned-Netflix drama You. The series, based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, follows the main character, Joe, as he stalks a young woman to whom he is attracted, Beck. The series takes a dark turn when the audience learns that Joe has a violent streak in addition to his stalker behavior. All that aside, You became a sensation in 2019.
With the popular show featuring a murderer named Joe, it wouldn’t be shocking if no one named their baby Joe in 2020. After all, who wants to be named after a creepy killer? Really though, the name Joe, derived from the Hebrew Joseph, hasn’t been a popular baby name choice for a while. According to Behind the Name, Joe ranked as the 695th most popular baby boy name in the United States in 2018. Though Joe may have a religious background, as it means “Jehovah increases,” according to The Bump, it’s definitely going out of style.
The year 2019 saw the return of the beloved Bachelor Nation spin-off show Bachelor in Paradise for its sixth season. Viewers excitedly tuned in over the summer to watch the ridiculously attractive cast search for love on the beaches of Mexico and, of course, for all the drama that comes with it. But no one was prepared for the drama that former Bachelorette cast member Blake Horstmann would bring with him. The Bachelor Nation member came to the beach having already hooked up with several girls there and then lied about it. It wasn’t a good look, and it definitely tainted the name Blake for all future parents.
Of course, Blake wasn’t really all that popular before Season 6 of Bachelor In Paradise. According to Behind the Name, Blake was the 158th most popular name for baby boys in the United States in 2018. So Horstmann didn’t necessarily ruin the name Blake, but he also didn’t do it any favors. No one is going to want to use the baby name in 2020.
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