Is Adele the new Emma? Is Grayson the new Jason? The ladies at Nameberry, who track popular baby names for a living, think so.
Most parents across the U.S. aren't going as far as some celebrities in giving our precious little ones an, ahem, unique name (like Alicia Silverstone's son Bear Blu or Jeremy Sisto's children Charlie-Ballerina (a girl) and Bastian Kick (a boy). (And we don't announce the birth and subsequent name to our 1 million+ followers on Twitter, either. Just another way the rich are different than us everyday folks.)
But parents are taking a look at popular culture and taking a cue from what catches their imaginations, according to the trend-spotters at Nameberry.
"Baby names 2012 are already proving themselves to be very different from last year's choices, with The Hunger Games taking over from Twilight as the primary cultural influences on names, the hottest boys' names taking a cue from the girls, and musical names trumping Hollywood for inspiration," according to a story posted Monday.
Some of the newest baby names of 2012 are shaping up to be Rue (Hunger Games), Ivy (thanks, Beyonce and Jay-Z), Estelle (a twist on Stella favored by Sweden's Royal couple), Cato (Hunger Games again), Weston (or a variation, West), and Adele (inspired by the wildly popular singer/songwriter, of course).
Naming kids after movie characters doesn't appeal to me. (Yes, I know Hunger Games began as a series of books but it didn't become a national obsession until it hit the big screen.)
Popular singers - I'll give a pass to that because, well, at least they're real people. And Adele has a nice ring to it.
Nature-inspired names can be beautiful, Take Willow, a name chosen by the singer Pink and others for their daughters. It's beautiful. I'm also partial to actress Jessica Alba's name choices for her two daughters - Haven and Honor.
But classic names are always best, IMHO. You can't go wrong with a Katherine, Jonathan, James or Emma, in my book, anyway.
My sister and brother-in-law took a matter-of-fact view in naming their two kids. Their only rule? It had to look good on letterhead (this was the 90s, when people still used letterhead). But they were thinking ahead, making sure their precious little ones' names didn't somehow give them a disadvantage in the business world.
That could backfire, however, depending on what field they go into. Something tells me the offices of Facebook in 2036 will be full of Posys, Cloves, Emmetts and Atticus's. Poor Kate might just be out of luck.
Finally, my 9-year-old has informed me repeated that she plans to change her name when she's old enough to do so. Not because she doesn't like her given name. She just prefers the name she thought up: Jane.
By Julia Bollman, publisher of SmartParenting
Photo via iStock