This is the most important decision of all. Adjustable belts and Haagen-Dazs cravings may be a reality during pregnancy, but it’s all temporary. The only thing that will last forever? Name.
2022 promises to be a big challenge for new mothers. Hunting for the perfect baby name usually means months of scouring the internet for inspiration—these lists are mostly read (but never used).
This is a list that will not be wasted. Trendy baby names that strike the right balance of edginess and not-too-Hollywood already exist. It’s just a matter of finding them. Tossing moms-to-be all the trendiest in the world, here are 25 baby names that are perfect (but, surprisingly, no one is paying attention yet).
• 25 ARLO
Short, brash and gender neutral, Arlo is the #2022 Ready baby name that should skyrocket on the charts. Something about the wide, open vowels and simplicity appeals to new moms more than ever – names like Arlo are hot, we’re not surprised. With Spanish origins (but a completely international feel), Arlo may be from the 16th century, but the name seems brand new. Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl chose this for her girlfriend. Elsewhere we’ve seen this name in Justified and Brooklyn 99. Definitely one to stay on the list.
From someone whose mother’s name is Stella, trust us. “You must be joking, is my name trendy?” Yes this. Stella is one of those effortlessly elegant names. It has a carefree feel, a “star” meaning, and that signature double “l” ending that adds a ton of class. Of course, the name has super prestigious connections. This is the name of the famous designer Stella McCartney. Shorter than Estrella (and a little more fashionable), Stella is just perfect for a girl born in 2022.
Piper has a light-hearted and carefree feel to it. This gender-neutral name was #GirlsOnly for a while, but we’ve already crossed gender barriers. This Old English name has the charming meaning of “pipe or flute player” – handy when it’s time for a lullaby. Piper is one of those names. You imagine Piper and see a big smile, hair blowing in the wind and something unusual. Of course, being on this list, Piper is a trendy name that is not a “wacky rarity”, but for some reason, it is still not in the eyes of anyone.
Is it the same letter at the beginning and at the end? These are all kinds of unique. Esme is an ultra-cool girl name that packs a ton of beauty into its four letters. With the meaning “dear, beloved, emerald” you have three times as many reasons to consider it. If she is respected, loved (it’s easy) and shines like a gem, Esme might just be her name. This name of Persian origin has historical ties to the Middle East, loads of originality and is trendy without even trying.
Here we are looking at names that no one wants. Ellen may be one of the most popular girl names in the world, but if you press “k” at the beginning, you will get the most trendy boy name in the world. Take it from someone who once babysittered baby Kellen – the other moms in the playgroup couldn’t forget the name. The German origin and the meaning of “slim” give this name an unusual poignancy, but Kellen doesn’t even need it.
Meaning “gift” or “gift” in French, Cado is a word that will make most little girls in France jump for joy. However, not many branch moms. This awesome word is actually also a name. With this “eau” ending, you will immediately hear the unique French sound. Kado offers the complete package (literally). The initial “s” is clear, the vowels are wide open, but there’s one downside – you may find it gets very demanding around the holidays!
These days, flower names can be a hit or miss. While Rosie or Petal were popular in their time, they are starting to fade into the background. Nature is something moms like Kylie Jenner and Gisele Bündchen have drawn inspiration from, but none of them have chosen this stunning name. Cherry evokes images of long summer days, shade under fruit trees, and stunning Japanese cherry blossoms. Cherry is upbeat, quirky, super trendy without being pretentious.
This time, ten years ago, no one outside of Holland had even heard the name Doutzen. The Victoria’s Secret Angel and model Doutzen Kroes arrived and the world seemed to wake up. Ironically, even though this stunning girl has modelled the most stylish clothes in the world throughout her career, no one paid any attention to her name. Doutzen is a Dutch girl’s name that begins with a soft “d” followed by two vowels, and then the biggest trendsetter is added – “z”. We love it.
Pax. Short, statement-esque, but not overly complicated, Pax is the gender-neutral name that comes with a meaning of “peace.” 100% feeling modern (but with Latin origins), Pax is one of the few trendy names that squeezes in classical charm with the freshest feel there is. You’ll struggle to shorten this one for a nickname, but we think Pax is perfect.
The smile just feels so fitting, right? Here’s the thing. When you look at a baby name and you’re immediately picturing that infectious smile, you’re onto something. It’s called the perfect baby name. Riley is the gender-neutral name that’s got mommies-to-be fighting. With Irish origins and a meaning of “courageous,” you’re looking at a mighty meaning behind a name that sounds playful and upbeat. The Mindy Project and The Client List have girls named Riley, while we see it for boys in the Twilight series and Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Those names that end in “i”– we’re literally still getting over them. Lumi is the beautiful baby girl’s name that has a meaning of “snow,” a “LOO-me” pronunciation and let’s face it, it’s stunning. While Lumi is pretty common over in Finland, we’ve yet to see it work its way into other parts of the world. Something about this name just twinkles. It’s like all the fairy lights in the world lit up at once. With a slight wintery feel (but so much luminosity), Lumi would be perfect for anyone due in colder months.
Before you think that Kylie Jenner’s baby Stormi has put this name on everyone’s radar, remember that there’s a distinct difference between Stormi and Storm. Also, hate to break it to you, but Kylie has trademarked Stormi. Weather and nature are now proving more inspirational to new mothers than ever. Christina Aguilera chose Rain and Summer. Megan Fox chose Journey River. Storm is the strong, bold, and powerful gender-neutral name that speaks for open skies, thunderstorms, and that fresh smell after rain. It’s a winner.
Wren is the bird-centric name that comes with an edge. Sure, there are names like Birdie, Robin, and Sparrow. With a silent “w” opening though, Wren is outdoing them all. This gender-neutral name is actually quite rare. In 2012, only 250 girls in the US were named Wren. We’ll assume the mommies who picked it had a second sense for trend-setting names. Pretty Little Liars might have a Wren, but for the most part, this boy or girl’s name has stayed off the radar.
There’s something super sophisticated about names with accents. While the most common is the “é” you’ll find in Khloé or José, the accent on this one just won’t be something anyone has seen before. Sören is the Danish and Norwegian name that’s a diminutive of Severus. Way less stern (although with a meaning of it), Sören has a soft sound, a simple ring, and links to a 19th-century philosopher. The name has featured in The Matrix Reloaded, Underworld, and Charlie and Lola.
Feminine, fun, and simply stunning, Tabitha is the girl’s name that shortens so beautifully to Tabby. “Gazelle” is the meaning of this Aramaic-originated name, although hearing it out loud, you’d never know that the origins are as exotic as the Middle East. Bewitched made Tabitha popular, but for the most part, the name is strictly off-the-radar. Soft sounds are what make Tabitha so beautiful, and the innocence of the name was enough for Beatrix Potter’s Tabitha character. An absolute stunner of a name.
Location baby names have been all the rage for a while. Victoria Beckham chose Brooklyn, the 2000s gave us Paris Hilton, and Kim and Kanye named their baby girl Chicago. What we see less of though, is London. Flying the flag for quintessential British elegance, London is the capital city that works great as a name for both boys and girls. You’re more likely to see it with girls– including alternate spellings of Londyn, where the TV show, Flaked, got its character. Chic, unusual, and oh-so-trendy.
With Kate Upton picking this name for her girl, Genevieve is a little more on-the-radar than it used to be, but let’s face it– your average mom still isn’t choosing it. Longer girl’s names can be tricky. Either they sound too long or the letters can feel cluttered. Genevieve is the French-originated name that takes soft sounds and spreads them out beautifully with feminine vowels. Something about this name has us picturing snowy Swiss resorts and chic Parisian streets. If she’s going to be stylish, Genevieve might be just the ticket.
There’s a slight hipster feel to the name Otis. This boy’s name still makes us think of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the dock of the bay,” but Otis has moved on from its old-school blues origins. Otis disappeared off baby name charts in the 90s and 2000s, but it’s making a slow comeback. With German origins, Otis manages to pull off being foreign (without the awkward “how do I pronounce this?”). Olivia Wilde picked Otis for her son, while we see the name in The Walking Dead.
Nicki Minaj’s Queen album has an entire track dedicated to Coco Chanel. The original French fashionista, Coco Chanel founded the luxury French fashion house. If you’re wondering why the brand appeals to girls across the globe, it could have something to do with that name. Two super-short syllables do repeat each other here, but the effect is awesome. Coco is gender-neutral. Friends’ Courteney Cox picked it for her baby girl, The Rugrats in Paris had a Coco, and now you can too.
It’s the highest mountain in the world. Climbing it has long been mankind’s mission, biggest challenge, and biggest achievement. Everest might be a world-famous mountain, but when it comes to the name, it’s like nobody has heard of it. Everest is the gender-neutral, mighty name that scoops up the beauty of nature’s peaks with all the strength in the world. Lying there as a newborn, it’s hard to picture your baby scaling cliff-faces, but if he or she has inherited your strength, this might just be a name to consider.
If a location name like Paris or Brooklyn is a little too “Hollywood” for you, Adelaide is the one you just didn’t see coming. This girl’s name might be a sunny Australian city, but it’s got the cred to back it up as a name. “Noble” is the meaning of this name, which is actually the way trendier variant of the German name, Adelheid. The Grey’s Anatomy actress Katherine Heigl chose this for her baby girl. The name features in The Sims, Guys & Dolls, plus The Aristocrats.
Super-short with its three unusually-placed letters, Sia is the baby girl’s name that could not be more on-trend for 2022. “Victory” is the meaning of this Old Norse name, so don’t think it’s all brand new. At the same time, with the singer, Sia, this name has a new-gen feel that’s spot on for a baby born in 2019-2022. Three-letter names are already popular. Ava and Mia top charts for baby girls, but Sia is the quiet trendsetter name that’s managed to stay off-the-radar
Gwen Stefani zoomed in on this one for her baby boy. By and large, though, Nesta finds itself sitting in that pile of super-trendy names that nobody is really aware of (while we scratch our heads because of it). “Pure” is the meaning of Nesta. This gender-neutral name is the Welsh variation of Agnes. While Agnes is stunning, it does run the risk of sounding a tad old-fashioned. Nesta has a bountiful feel, a beyond-beautiful meaning, and the sound is just
For a name with just four letters, Anke is doing pretty good on the trendy front. It’s got the wide, open vowels. It’s got the statement “k.” This girl’s name definitely isn’t one that the teachers in school will have heard before (unless you live in Germany). Anke is the variant of Agnes that gets its #2022 swag from the unexpected ending, two-syllable layout, and the fact that it’s utterly unique. Fully off-the-radar, fully trendy, and beautiful in its own way, Anke is the underdog girl’s name that’s got a ton going for
If any name out there gets both a #Trendy and #OffTheRadar, it’s Harlow. This gender-neutral name has a meaning of “army,” although with its easy flow and gentle sound, you’d never guess the power behind it. As an Old English name, Harlow also manages to pull off a touch of classic charm with a sound that’s brand new. 1930s glam from Jean Harlow got this name on the Hollywood circle, but aside from Nicole Richie choosing it, the name has mostly stayed off-the-radar. It’s quite simply adorable.