Once you put two and two together and realize that your missed period, fatigue, sore breasts and nausea are early pregnancy symptoms, chances are you're going to immediately start brainstorming names. Naming a child is one of the most exciting aspects of getting ready for baby. It takes a lot of thought for some people, while others already know what their favorites are. Regardless of your name preparedness, it's always interesting to see what the most popular baby names are for a given year. So what are the best and worst naming trends of 2014? Have a look.
- Traditional names: Some names get chosen year after year, and there's a reason why they're classics. Many are easy to pronounce, won't make your child embarrassed about his or her name and might even be a family moniker. Names like Devin, Elias, Sam, Victor, Danielle, Marissa and May are part of this traditional category. Some have been on the Social Security Administration's most popular name charts since 1881, when the SSA first started tracking names.
- Hipster names: Hipster names tend to be pretty artsy, and many might even be revivals of vintage names. Old faithfuls like Atticus and Caroline are two examples, while newcomers like Greyson and Ember are starting to hit the scene. Other hipster examples for girl names are Allegra, Carmen, Imogen, Pearl and Vera. Boy hipster names include Allen, Blodwen, Declan, Joss and Nelson.
- Great-grandparent names: This trend basically includes any name that was popular several decades ago. Just think of the oldest, most grandma- or grandpa-like names you can. The trend is particularly strong for girls names, like Adelaide, Cora, Dolly, Dorothy, Edna, Eleanor, Gertrude, Leonora, Mabel and Sylvia. But guys names like Calvin, Gus, Harry, Henry, Leo, Max, Oswald, Percy and Walt work too.
- Destination names: Ever loved a place so much that you wanted to bring as many aspects of it as possible into your everyday life? It seems to be happening a lot lately when it comes to names. Boys names like Dallas, Carson, Hudson, Austin, Jackson, Orlando and Trenton are hitting it big, and that's just the American ones. There's also worldly examples like Zion, Zaire and Santiago. For girls, names like America, Aspen, Cheyenne, Helena and Virginia are popping up everywhere. Paris, Sydney, London, Catalina, Kenya and Malaysia are global examples.
- Royal names: Dowdy-sounding royal names have gotten more popular with the rise of the British royal family. George is a clear front runner, but there's also names like Albert, Margaret, Arthur, Maud, Helena, Louis and Mary. Look to your favorite long-dead royalty names if you want more inspiration.
- Boys' middle names for girls: This is a random one, but apparently a lot of people are giving their little girls boys names as their middle names. Jessica Simpson's celebrity baby, Maxwell Drew, is one example. There's also other masculine middle names appearing in celebrity babies' names such as James, Charles and Thomas.
- Spice and herb names: Who knows what the reasoning is behind this one (maybe pregnancy cravings?) but more parents are naming their kids after herbs and spices. Case in point: Saffron, Sage (popular with multiple celebrities), Rosemary, Poppy, Bay, Juniper, Cassia, Cinnamon, Cayenne and Lavender. If it'll add taste to a meal, it'll add flavor to your child's name.
- Pope Francis I-inspired names: The Pope's been giving people a lot of name inspiration apparently. One popular one, Francesco, has been the top boys' name in Italy for several years, but names like Frances, Francisco, Francesca, Frank, Frankie, Francine and Francis are showing up everywhere these days.
- Names that start with C: There's something about this consonant that's got parents thumbing through that section of baby name books trying to find the best baby names. It's versatility might be a big draw, as it can sound like a hard C or an S. Regardless, anything that starts with C is capital-C Cool. Consider names like Cassius, Cassia, Cassian, Caspian, Cyrus, Clarissa, Clementine, Cordelia, Clara, Charlotte, Claire, Clover, Cedar and Cadence.
- Virtue names for boys: It's trendy to give boys big, bold names that make them sound pretty hardcore. This includes Noble, Valor, Justice, Loyal and True. It's still pretty popular for girls too, like Hope, Faith and Mercy.
- Names with weird spellings: Take your favorite name, then switch around a couple of letters to make it more unique. That's what a lot of parents have been doing lately, choosing names like Karl, Naythyn, Rylee, Gwineth and Vivianna. It's an easy way to compromise between a favorite classic name and a penchant for individuality.
- Long names for boys: Short, two-syllable boys' names have been pretty popular lately, like Liam, Mason and Jayden. But longer names are starting to be more on trend, like Anderson, Finnegan, Giovanni, Maverick, Remington and Sebastian.
- Greek names: Greek-inspired names are on the rise, and might see a lot more popularity in the months to come. Mythological names like Penelope, Persephone, Chloe and Calliope work, and so do others like Theodora, Evangeline, Olympia, Cyrus and Elias.
- Literary or historic hero names: Pick your favorite book or historical figures, then choose from a list of those names to find your baby's trendiest options. Names like Huckleberry, Dashiell, Scarlett, Atticus, Chaplin, Zane, McKinley and Lincoln are getting hotter.
- Brand new names: Be creative and make something up entirely – that's what a lot of parents are doing these days. Names like Adelei, Bryony, Fiorella, Maven, Nera, Solstice and Zephyr are quirky-cool for girls. For boys, why not Adalius, Grey, Lachlan, Malone and Rush? The options are endless in this category.
- Boy's names ending in N: See ya later Aidan (and Brayden, Hayden, Jayden, Zayden, etc.). All those new two-syllable, N-ending names had their moment and are beginning to decrease in popularity.
- Joke names: North is a cool name. North West is not. Do your kid a favor and don't use his or her name to make a joke or a bad pun. He or she will probably just end up changing it, and who wants to go through all that paperwork?
- Baby boomer names: Old-people names are cool, but baby boomer-generation names are still too new to come back into fashion. Forget about names like Gail, Gary, Kathy, Janet, Jeffrey, Patricia and Paul.