Chances are you could think of at least 50 names you really liked before you fell pregnant. Now, it seems as though every name you can think of has something wrong with it: the abbreviation is awful, it might not suit your baby’s personality, or it reminds you of that girl you sat next to in Grade 2 – the one who always smelled of NikNaks. Perhaps these lists will provide some inspiration…
Most popular names of 2017/18
According to Stats SA, South Africans were loving these names in 2017/18:
The fact that Enzokuhle is the favourite for boys and girls alike shows that parents are feeling hopeful; translated from isiZulu, the name means “do good”.
Most popular baby names globally for 2018
2019 baby name predictions
So far, it looks like moms have been taking a few tips from their grannies and grandpas – a lot of those names have more than a whiff of vintage about them.
But what about this year? There are plenty predictions out there, depending on the source you consult, but one thing is clear: popular culture – whether in the form of a series like Game of Thrones, movies like Black Panther, or video games – still have clout when it comes to choosing a name for your baby.
However, there are going to be loads of other influences, too, according to Nameberry. Here are a few to look out for:
Soon, it won’t be unusual to hear of an American called Minenhle or a South African with an Israeli name. Nameberry says that just as our political and economic stages are bearing the marks of globalisation, so too are our names. And why not? After all, what’s commonplace to us might sound wonderfully exotic and unique to people in other parts of the world.
You may have noticed that those “tick your gender” boxes on forms are falling out of fashion. The world is definitely becoming more accepting of gender fluidity – and this is reflected in names like Story and Journey.
Her name may have seemed outrageous back in the 90s, but Dharma of Dharma and Greg (remember that sitcom?) is finally getting some sound alike friends, as Eastern spiritual practises replace Biblical names. Get ready to meet Bodhi, Lakshmi and Tannith.
It makes sense to name someone as infinitely precious as your baby after a gem, right? The people who have opted for names like Ruby, Emerald, Jasper and Opal think so.
It seems like naming really is a case of “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. If last year’s most popular names sounded like a roll call of a senior citizens’ meeting, this year’s names sound like a bunch of teens at a 1950s soda shop: think Johnny, Jimmy, Ace, Sonny and Billy.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.