Now that the 2010s have officially ended, it’s time to look to the future. Or is it just the present? We guess it’s both. But either way, it’s time to leave the last decade’s most popular baby names in the past and look to the future… or present. Or both. How do we do that? Well, we scoured the internet for trending baby names and attempted to put together a list of names we expect to explode in the 2020s.
While Emma and Liam remain the top most popular monikers in the U.S., 2020 is sure to shake things up in the baby name game. So whether you’re seasonally-inspired, a Disney superfan, or influenced by pop culture, this year is going to have a little something for everyone. Read on for our 2020 most popular baby name predictions.
This stunning Arabic name means “trustworthy,” “honest,” and “faithful.” Variations include Amna and Ameena. You could also spell the name Aminah, Ameena, or Ameenah.
This name has its roots in Arabic and is therefore more popular in the East than in the West. For now. A literal princess (Princess Lalla Amina of Morocco) has had this name, as have politicians, diplomats, artists, and musicians from Morocco, Tanzania, Russia, Egypt, and even the United States. It’s a world-class name for your world-class baby.
Billie is poised to be big in the new decade, thanks a lot to musician Billie Eilish, who has exploded in popularity with Gen Z over the last two years.
Of course, Billie Eilish is hardly the only famous Billie. Let’s not forget Billie Holliday, the iconic jazz singer. Whether you credit Billie Holiday or Billie Eilish with this one, there’s no denying that this androgynous name is set to have a major moment.
Billie is a great name that works for boys and girls, so if gender-neutral/androgynous names are your thing (and you don’t mind people humming “Bad Guy” at your baby), we think Billie is a great choice.
(Hey, look! It’s Billie Eilish in the GIF above!)
Greta is another name that we anticipate will grow in popularity in the 2020s. We’d like to think that young climate change activist, Greta Thunburg (17), who has made waves all year and become somewhat of a cultural icon, is the real force behind this name moving up the ranks.
Greta, which is a classically feminine name, comes from German and means “pearl.” Aside from Greta Thunburg, other famous Gretas include Golden Era actress Greta Garbo, director Greta Gerwig, whose new film adaptation of Little Women is winning over critics and audiences alike, and Fox News journalist Greta Van Susteren.
If you had to take a guess, what would you say the name Isla means? If you said “island,” you are… absolutely correct! But to be clear: Isla means “island” in Spanish, whereas its roots in Scottish refer to an island off the coast named Islay.
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This Spanish and Scottish name is growing in popularity and so happens to be the name of one of our fav famous red-headed mamas, Isla Fisher.
Plus, with this name, you’ve got a built-in theme song for your baby: “La Isla Bonita” by the one and only Madonna!
News recently hit that Hillary Duff’s Lizzie McGuire character is coming back, making us sure that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this adorable nickname for Elizabeth.
Lizzie, which is most often a nickname for Elizabeth, means “oath of God.” Of course, you can always make a nickname an actual name and go all in on just Lizzie. In fact, we love that idea. And with Lizzo’s rising popularity, we think we’ll be seeing more Lizzies than Elizabeths!
Thanks to megastars like Chrissy Teigen, this celestial name is steadily climbing the popularity charts and is showing no sign of slowing down.
You probably already know this, but Luna means “moon.” Therefore, this name is destined to evoke the sky, the stars, and the big, mysterious world that lies beyond our earth. And what more could you want from a baby name, really? Of course, if you name your baby Luna, you automatically have something in common with Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, which is pretty epic in and of itself.
Marlowe has its origins in English (we’ve heard of it…) and means “driftwood.” Huh. We didn’t know that! But we like driftwood, and we love the name Marlowe.
Parents are getting creative with the spelling of this sweet name, so go forth and put your own spin on Marlowe, Marlo, or Marlow. Arlo (or Arlow) is a similar name that is also gaining popularity very quickly.
Marlowe was the last name of Christopher Marlowe, who some people believe wrote all of the plays credited to Shakespeare. Novelist Raymond Chandler named his most iconic detective Philip Marlowe, so this name has history, strength, and a real cool-factor.
Nova is an increasingly popular name choice for a girl. It is of Latin origin and means “new.” According to Nameberry, Nova was a fairly popular name in the late 19th century and earlier part of the 20th century and is only just now starting to pick back up in popularity.
Nova has an energy, a power that we love. We can see celebrities choosing this name for their little girls, so if you opt to go with Nova now, that means you beat celebrities to the trend. Pretty cool, huh?
Posie, which is often spelled Posey, is a name with origins in English and it means “a bunch of flowers.” Posie is one of those names that feels super old-school, but when you bring it forth to modern times, it still somehow feels fresh and new. Like a freshly-cut bunch of flowers, you could say. In 2020 and beyond, we anticipate that his throwback delicate flower name will come back in a major way.
Reese, which has its origins in English and Welsh, means “ardent” or “fiery.” We’d say those adjectives come to mind when we think of Reese Witherspoon, who has been a fiery, passionate, and inspirational force in Hollywood for more than 20 years.
Interestingly, Reese used to be predominately a boys’ name, but Witherspoon’s popularity has almost single-handedly turned it into a trending girls’ name. Her power! Still, we love the idea of this name for either a boy or a girl. You really can’t lose with this one.
This cool Irish and Welsh moniker can be used for boys or girls. It means “little poet or fair.” Though it is most commonly used as a girls’ name, the variation Tegan has been trending in the boy names arena for some time now. (Also, Tegan of Tegan and Sara, a popular singer-songwriting duo, is a female; So really, this name, or any of its variants, will work for either your little boy or little girl.)
Pop culture has definitely put this name on the list, thanks to the leading women Yara Greyjoy and Yara Shahidi. Its origins are in Brazilian and Arabic, and the name is said to mean “water lady” or “small butterfly.” Several famous Yaras — including singers, actresses, beauty queens, and models — have made it big in countries like Brazil, the Netherlands, and Egypt.
Archie is really having a moment. Of course, that is mostly due to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry naming their first child Archie. (Still can’t get over that perfect name choice!) So yes, this one is almost guaranteed to skyrocket in popularity over the next 10 years. Of course, the Archie comics are still popular — Riverdale, anyone? — which has also helped the name gain traction.
Originally a nickname for Archibald, Archie has become its own thing over time. It means “genuine, bold, or brave.” It is currently more popular in the U.K. than the U.S., and the royal baby situation isn’t likely to change that, but Americans love this name too.
This is another unisex name that can be used for boys and girls alike. It’s a name with English origins, and it derived from Augustine. Of course, it is also one of the hippest cities in the Southwest: Austin, Texas, baby! Destination names may or may not be your thing, but city names like Austin are here to stay. Expect to continue seeing this name throughout the new decade.
Did you know: Diego is the Spanish version of the English name James! It means “supplanter, one who replaces.” There’s a Saint Diego, and a famous painter named Diego Rivera. Diego is also a popular character from Dora the Explorer. (He’s Dora’s cousin!)
This name is expected to grow in popularity because it’s a genuinely authentic Hispanic name that pairs well with almost any surname. So yeah, you’ll be hearing this one on the playground for the next few years at least.
This charming Irish name means “fair or white” and was the name of the great hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool. John Boyega’s Star Wars character is also called Finn. Actor Finn Wittrock, who has appeared on several seasons of American Horror Story, is another famous Finn that gives the moniker a cool edge. Finn also has origins in Old Norse, where it has ties to the indigenous Sámi people.
This versatile name can be short for Christopher for a boy or Katherine for a girl. It’s also strong enough to stand as its own name; no nickname required. Its origins are English, and though it is often used as a last name (Eartha Kitt, anyone?), we love how quickly its gaining popularity as a first name for both sexes. And yes, a certain Game of Thrones star (Kitt Harington) has certainly only helped increase its popularity over the last decade.
This gorgeous Italian name has become a popular choice for baby boys. It is the Italian equivalent of the name Luke or Lucas, and it means “man/citizen of Lucania” or “bringer of light.” That said, some believe it actually has its origins in Latin and means “sacred wood.” Either way, Luca is a wildly popular name throughout most of Europe and the near-East. It has been gaining traction further west for many years — Hilary Duff has a son named Luca! — and we expect that it will, at last, reach peak popularity in the coming decade.
It should be no surprise that this Spanish name is a version of the ever-popular Matthew, meaning “gift of God.” The Italian variation of this name, Matteo, adds an extra ‘T’ to the mix. Mateo has been quickly climbing the ranks of popular boy names, hitting the Top 100 in 2015. It’s only going up from there, though. In 2018, it was the 37th most popular name. That won’t be changing, as several celebrities, including actor Colin Firth, have named their kids Mateo.
This Greek name means “dark red” and, of course, represents the mythical bird that rose from the ashes. Given that the phoenix has become a symbol for strength and rebirth, we are hard-pressed to think of a better name for your future baby. Additionally, we think this is a good choice for both boys and girls. Phoenix is pretty popular as a last name (Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix), but we’re excited to see this name take center stage in the next decade.
So there you have it: Our predictions for the biggest baby name trends of 2020 and beyond. What do you think? Did we miss anything obvious? Do you like these names? Which names do you hope to see a surge in popularity in the new year/new decade? Let us know by dropping a comment below!
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.
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