Baby names in 2022 will blend fun and fantasy with more serious themes of hope, strength and spirituality.
The pandemic has highlighted our need for escapism and adventure, but also for stability and connection. The new parents of 2022 are seeking names with style and substance that mark a positive turning point in the turmoil of the past two years.
A striking number of our top trends for next year are unisex, reflecting a shift in the way the new generation of parents approaches traditional gender norms.
After two years of turbulence, the new parents of 2022 will be drawn to light, bright, playful baby names with a strong element of fun.
Fashion-forward celebrity parents have already started to skip the formal name entirely, opting to put sweet, whimsical terms of endearment like Buddy, Honey, Lucky and even Baby straight onto the birth certificate.
Here are some of the hottest playful baby names we’ll be watching in 2022.
Escapist Nature Names
After a long period of closure and confinement, we’re all dreaming about the perfect getaway. We expect to see beachy baby names get a boost, with a Hawaiian twang thanks to the hit HBO series “The White Lotus,” along with names that evoke wild, rugged, expansive landscapes.
Here are some of the coolest escapist nature names for babies now.
The biggest Netflix original series of all time, “Bridgerton,” turned our ideas about Regency England, and its vintage names, upside down.
Farewell, polite Jane and Elizabeth, and please do sit down, sensual, elaborate Hyacinth and Euphemia. Other iconic “Bridgerton”-inspired Regency names we expect to her more of, especially for girls:
Nonbinary Names for Boys
With society’s increasing openness to gender fluidity as a concept and an identity, more and more parents are willing to consider more feminine names for boys. These might include mythological names, word and nature names, and unisex names that previously leaned female.
Here are some of the best nonbinary names we expect to hear more often on baby boys.
Spirit and Soul Names
Spirit and soul names are powerful and evocative, drawing on ancient myth and diverse religious traditions – but with a thoroughly modern twist.
We see the rise of Christian word names like Praise, Promise and Shine. We’re also hearing more Sanskrit names and names from ancient myth and legend, alongside an alarming number of angel and demon names.
Here, some of the spirit and soul baby names that will appeal to parents in 2022.
Names Ending in ‘S’
S-ending baby names feel so much fresher in 2022 than “N,” “R,” “A,” and even “O” in the final spot —and not just for boys. We predict that the smart “S” ending will feature increasingly prominently on the girls’ side too in coming years.
Particularly trendy categories for “S”-ending names right now include snappy surnames, cool vintage names, and ancient and mythical names. But we’ll be watching out for this trend across the style and gender spectrum!
Below, a selection of hot “S”-ending baby names for 2022.
Retro Nostalgia Names
Bright, primary colors are dominating the home design scene for 2022. And the retro baby names on the rise will follow suit, conjuring up images of simpler, sunnier, more stable times — the idealized 1950s childhood of gingham tablecloths, home-baked cookies and lemonade stands.
Here are some of the sweetest and sunniest retro baby names.
Next Wave Musical Names
Nick Cannon gave the middle name Mixolydian — it’s a musical mode — to one of his twin sons earlier this year.
We can’t see that one catching on anytime soon, but it is an illustration of how much more creative musical baby names are set to become, especially following the release of Disney’s musical comedy “Encanto” late this year.
Below, a selection of the freshest musical baby names now.
Punchy ‘R’ Names
Short baby names really pack a punch, and that strength and simplicity will naturally appeal to parents in 2022.
We’re seeing a whole bunch of energetic unisex R names starting to take off, especially as middle names.
Here are some of the punchy unisex R names we expect to see more of this year.
The coolest Euro-chic baby names of 2022 feel as at home in Copenhagen as they do in London or Amsterdam or San Francisco, appealing to sophisticated world travelers.
Here, a selection of the best quirky classic European names internationally chic right now.
Visit Nameberry for more baby name trend predictions and the trendiest baby names of 2022.