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On the horizon
We investigated the pulse of pop culture and the media, along with baby names data, to make our best guesses of names to watch in 2020.
The 1920s, also known as the Jazz Age, was a decade of economic prosperity and unprecedented connection – thanks to the increasing popularity of the telephone and radio in American homes. As we embark on the '20s of the 21st century with 5G networks and smartphones in nearly every pocket, we can't help but notice similarities in tech innovation. And we foresee popular names from the 1920s coming back into vogue. Frank is already up 17 percent, Barbara is up 11 percent, and Richard and Ruth are both up 10 percent, with Virginia and Tony close behind.
Although we hope that history doesn't repeat itself too closely, we'd welcome some of those classic names and carefree vibes.
Powerful female athletes
Professional women athletes are coming in hot this year. Simone Biles broke a number of records, winning more gold medals than any other gymnast in world championships history. Sprinter Allyson Felix beat Usain Bolt's gold-medal record at the World Championships less than a year after suffering from preeclampsia and giving birth via c-section, giving new meaning to the term "supermom."
Reigning tennis champions Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka have already seen their names go up in popularity. The U.S. women's national soccer team, led by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Carli Lloyd, surely made an impression on expectant parents by winning the World Cup to much fanfare. And with the 2020 Olympic Games looming, we're betting that Olympic hopefuls like track and field star Dalilah Muhammad will make a mark on baby names.
Because Hulu and ESPN+ weren't enough, Disney added another streaming video platform to its arsenal in November 2019. Disney+ features content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, 21st Century Fox, National Geographic, Star Wars, and a number of exciting original series. We'll keep an eye on names from new TV shows like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series ( Troy, Gabriella, Nini, Ricky), The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal).
The Disney princesses have always been powerful forces in the world of baby naming, and with their movies streaming into more homes, we predict a boost in Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, and Belle. The same goes for names from Marvel (Peter, Tony, Bruce, Natasha, and Carol) and Star Wars (Luke, Leia, Rey, Finn, and Poe).
Country music is exploding and crossing over with genre-bending megahits like "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. The CMA Awards in November acknowledged the industry's much-criticized gender disparity by celebrating legendary women throughout the ceremony, a smart move to get more millennials feeling good about country.
Maren is up, as in Maren Morris, who won a CMA Award for album of the year and is expecting a baby herself in 2020. Kacey also saw an uptick, an unusual spelling that could be a nod to country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, winner of six Grammy Awards, including this year's album of the year.
In 2020, we expect to see a boost in country music names inspired by stars like Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Montero Hill (Lil Nas X), Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Shania Twain, and Kelsea Ballerini.
With so much attention on personal pronouns, and increasingly more people referring to themselves as "they" rather than "she" or "he," it makes sense for new parents to sway toward gender-neutral names.
Nonbinary names – monikers that don't prefer one gender over the other – have already seen an uptick in popularity. These include Ari, River, Cameron, Sam, Tatum, Corey, Frankie, and Emery. We'll keep an eye on this emerging category in 2020.