These are the top baby name predictions for 2019

Here’s what all the coolest babies will be answering to in 2019. By Lisa Witepski


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…

ALSO SEE: 8 tips to help you choose the perfect baby name

Most popular names of 2017/18

According to Stats SA, South Africans were loving these names in 2017/18:


  • Enzokuhle
  • Melokuhle
  • Amahle
  • Lethabo
  • Amogelang
  • Omphile
  • Lesedi
  • Rethabile
  • Lutando
  • Thandolwethu


  • Enzokuhle
  • Lethabo
  • Melokuhle
  • Lubanzi
  • Amogelang
  • Siyabonga
  • Bandile
  • Junior
  • Bokamoso
  • Mpho

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”.

ALSO SEE: Our top 10 unique baby names and their meanings

Most popular baby names globally for 2018

What about the rest of the world? A report on noted that the following were the most frequently clicked-on names on naming expert site, Nameberry:


  • Olivia
  • Amara
  • Cora
  • Isla
  • Charlotte
  • Aurora
  • Amelia
  • Rose
  • Ava
  • Genevieve


  • Atticus
  • Milo
  • Jasper
  • Jack
  • Asher
  • Silas
  • Theodore
  • Wyatt
  • Henry
  • Declan

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:

Global names

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.

Non-binary names

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.

ALSO SEE: 22 classic baby names

Eastern influence

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.

Precious stones

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.

Old school

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.

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