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Pro baby namer reveals what popular names reveal about the parents who pick them

"I'm seeing a major trend towards using nicknames as first names."

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By Amy Reast via SWNS

A professional baby namer has revealed what the 2022 top 200 list says about parents - and reckons sending more time online is making people choose more nicknames.

Taylor A. Humphrey, 34, works as a baby name consultant and doula running her business, What's In A Baby Name.

She rakes in thousands every year advising expectant parents on the perfect names for their little ones.

BabyCenter revealed 2022's top 100 baby names so far - and Lily got the top spot for girls, with Muhammad the number one for boys.

Taylor said the list for the first half of this year has been impacted by the pandemic.

She said many of the top spots are now taken by shortened nickname versions of names - like Evie not Eve, Lottie not Charlotte, and Leo not Leonardo.

She said countless Zoom quizzes, virtual drinks and family Facetimes during lockdown have made people less formal, and more conversational.

Taylor, from San Francisco said: "I'm seeing a major trend towards using nicknames as first names.

"Perhaps as we spend more time online, connecting with friends, family and colleagues via URL, our sense of formality is diminishing.

"That seems to be reflected in our linguistic and onomastic choices.

"For girls, you see diminutives such as Evie (Eve), Sophie (Sophia), Gracie (Grace), Lottie (Charlotte).

"For the Boy's Top 100 list, you see a great many more diminutives being used such as Theo (Theodore), Leo (Leonardo, Leonard, Leon), Charlie (Charles)."

But the naming expert also noticed some other trends emerging from the list.

Taylor identified that for girls, names with roots in mythology and nature were very common.

Newborn baby first days with his father
(Photo by ESB Professional via Shutterstock)

"Names like Matilda, Isla, Freya, Luna, Aurora, Willow, Poppy, among others, all contribute to a delightful sense of whimsical, ethereal femininity," she said.

"Even names like Grace, Nur, Maeve, Olive and Rose, which are among the very few one-syllable names found on the top 100, add to this playful, mystical aesthetic."

But for boys, parents are "gravitating towards two-syllable, sturdy, masculine names" - unlike in the US, where gender-neutral monikers are becoming more popular.

She added: "Another trend I'm noticing is that the names on the Boy's Top 100 list are largely metaphorical.

"These names on the whole, have meanings that are not obvious when saying the names themselves.

"For example, Freddie, short for Frederick, might conjure an image of the late, great, Freddie Mercury. But the name means "peaceful ruler," which is not the exact imagery that comes to mind when you say the name Freddie."

"Compare this to the Girl's Top 100 list which is full of literal and descriptive names such as Ivy, Daisy, Poppy, Willow, Ruby, and so on."

But Taylor noted that it may look different by the end of the year, when all the data has been recorded for 2022.

She concluded: "I'm looking forward to seeing the final tally on each of these names at the end of the year!"

Taylor can be found on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

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