What’s old is new again, at least when it comes to hot baby names for 2014. New parents are looking not to celebrities, but to the Bible for inspiration, say those who track naming trends in the United States.
Names like Joshua, Noah, Michael, Abigail, Hannah and Sarah have been popular for the past decade or more. In fact, Jacob has occupied the top spot in the boys’ names rankings since 1999.
However, according to the experts, parents will be choosing lesser-known biblical names for their children born in 2014. The folks at BabyNames.net, who run an online “Belly Ballot” service for friends and family to weigh in on expectant couples’ favorite name choices, have noticed some of these more obscure biblical names recently rise to the surface.
Based on four-months worth of recent data from 3,500 registered couples and 25,000 votes from their social circles, they have come up with some strong predictions for the coming year.
“The popular names for boys will be Levi, Caleb, Isaac, Luke and Isaiah,” says columnist Julie D. Andrews, who follows celebrity baby-naming trends for the site. “For girls, we are going to see Naomi, Shiloh and Judith.”
Of course, in Israel, biblical names — even more obscure ones — are nothing new. And although it is not popular now, there was once a time when it seemed almost every other American Jewish girl was named Judy. But in mainstream America, where parents have recently been taking cues from celebrities (think North, Bear and Blue Ivy), traditional names seem downright revolutionary.
“We’re also seeing people turning away from invented names like Jayden, Brayden and Kayden,” Andrews adds. “People are fed up with the competition to come up with creative names without meaning.”
Instead, they are returning to tradition and stability, she says. “There are stories, allegories, lessons in life attached to these biblical names.”
But Americans, individualists that they are, are still going to be creative.
“Look for biblical names, but with unusual spellings like Mykel and Izak,” warns Andrews.