The Top Baby Name Trends of the Year

If timeless baby names seem a little boring and tired to you (another James or Elizabeth?), there's always a fresh new naming trend to consider. Here's what's hot and happening in baby names this year.

Sleeping newborn baby AnikaNes/ Shutterstock

Unisex Baby Names For decades, the trend was clear: If parents started using a boys' name for a girl, it swiftly became a pure pink name, never to be seen on the boys' side again (think of names like Meredith and Ashley). But these days, parents don't seem too worried about that crossover, and some baby names are trending heavily for both boys and girls. Charlie is almost equally popular for boys and girls, where it appears in the top 250 names. River, Remy, Remington, Sage, Lennon, Finley and the whole slew of occupational names (Sawyer, Carter, Hunter, and the like) are all red-hot for any kid, regardless of sex.

K for Boys, Not for Girls Parents once were keen on K names for girls -- even if they had to swap out a C for K. (Think Khloe, Kassidy, Karly, Kendall, and Kayla.) But while many of those names are dropping in popularity, the names on the rise for boys often contain a K. We're talking Kingsley, Kingston, Karter, Killian, Kyan, Kash, and Kaysen.

Great Geographical Names Brooklyn and Austin may still be the most popular examples, but there are plenty of other exotic locales on the rise for baby names. Thanks to a telenovela, Montserrat (and alternative spelling Monserrat), the name of both a Caribbean island and a mountain in the Catalan region of Spain, has become hugely fashionable. But other favorite picks pulled from the map include Aspen, Milan, Malaysia, Holland, Houston, Camden, Dallas, and Hudson -- and many of these are in vogue for both boys and girls.

Fun Florals Rose, Violet, and Lily have been favorite nature-themed names for the ladies, but now parents are picking from a fresh set: Magnolia, Azalea, Juniper, and Meadow.

Bod for Boys The "Bod" beginning has become hot for boys. Bode was the biggest riser on the boys' side, moving up more than 600 spots, thanks to ski racer Bode Miller. Bodhi was the choice of several celebs, including Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, which may explain why the name rose nearly 200 spots into the top 700. Other on-the-rise picks include Boden and Bodie.

Seasonal Names for Girls Month and season names are on the rise for baby girls. We're seeing big leaps in the popularity of names like June, April, Winter/Wynter, and Summer. (August and Augustus were popular for boys.)

God Names People are hitting their old-school mythology books again, and choosing the names of gods and goddesses for their kids. Apollo, Ares, Athena, Odin, Freya, Atlas, and Titan all appeared on the up-and-comers list this year.

Pop Culture Phenoms As usual, pop culture definitely influenced baby name picks. New parents couldn't "Let it Go," and Elsa leaped forward nearly 300 spots into the top 300. Khaleesi, the royal title from Game of Thrones, rose 265 spots to enter the top 1,000 for the first time (though it's interesting that the character's actual name, Daenarys, hasn't caught on). Anakin (aka Darth Vader) is enjoying a renaissance in the lead-up to this year's new installment of the Star Wars franchise -- the name moved up nearly 300 spots and entered the top 1,000 for the very first time. Star-crossed lovers Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars made significant strides forward, too -- Hazel is now nearing the top 100 names, while Augustus moved more than 100 spots to end up in the top 600. And as mentioned above, Montserrat/Monserrat, from telenovela Lo que la vida me robó, caught on fire -- each spelling rose more than 500 spots, and both are now squarely in the top 600 names in the United States.

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