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Naming Fashions for the Future

What lies ahead for naming fashions? It's always dangerous to etch anything in stone when it comes to predicting the future, but, hey, I have some gypsy blood in me, thanks to my Romanian ancestors. So, as Madame Sonia, seer into the future, great prognosticator and fortune-teller, here are a few of the images that I see shaping up in my crystal ball of baby names.

  • (Even More) Rugged Individualism.

    The search for something that's truly unique is such a strong naming fashion that it is bound to continue and grow even stronger in the next decade. Although, I think the current craze of making names unique through unusual spellings will die down somewhat, I don't see created names going away any time soon.

  • Destiny Names.

    One of the newest trends to make itself known in the baby-name arena is choosing a name (or names) that indicate the parent's dreams for their child or reflect what that child's fate may be. Some parents rely on numerology or astrology to guide them; others choose destiny or virtue names from other cultures.

  • Beliefs and Ideals.

    With all the uncertainty and concern over the future and what it might bring, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a return—at least in girls' names—to some of the more common virtue names used by the Puritans and Quakers, such as Hope, Honor, Grace, Faith, and Charity.

  • Even Less Sex.

    Look for a decided increase in unisex names, with the names currently in this category increasing in use as well as new names being added. What I don't think you'll see is a large growth in transgender names. In other words, there probably won't be a lot of boys named Sue or girls named Bob.

  • More Digging.

    The use of ethnic or cultural names will definitely grow as we continue to embrace our past after years of assimilation. Many names that are still somewhat rare today will become more common, and more names will be added to the naming pool. I think we'll also see some bolder cultural combinations as parents gain confidence in this naming fashion.

Alphabet Soup

Onomancy is the belief that a person's name can be used to predict his or her fate.

The strongest naming fashion in use today—and, more than likely, for the future—can be summed up in two words: anything goes! Under this umbrella heading is a wealth of sub-fashions, some decidedly better than others, some with broad appeal, others with a very narrow focus. They use names from all the main categories but often in ways that make them decidedly part of today's world, not something from the past.

More on: Choosing a Name

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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