Naming your baby can feel like a monumental decision. And for good reason – studies have shown that a child’s name can do anything from make him or her more likely to get a good job and appear more attractive, to subconsciously biasing teachers against them and negatively affecting their self-esteem.

A name can do many things: it can convey your cultural or family background; it can set expectations of your socioeconomic status; it can honour a relative or prestigious figure, hark back to tradition, or indicate an emphasis on individuality and modernity.

In short, your baby’s name is one of the first defining aspects of his or her identity and its impact has been shown to extend well into adulthood. No pressure then…

Which is why it’s always fascinating to see what names are predicted to top the popularity charts in the coming year.

Not only are such charts an enlightening expression of the global zeitgeist, but they give an indication of the coming years’ ‘trendy’ names; something that, depending on your preference, you may flock towards, or choose to avoid at all costs.

For some baby-name inspiration (or at least information), take a look at the lists of monikers expected to make it big in 2019:

Read more: 'Expat problems: Picking a baby name when you live in the UAE'

Muted Hue Names

This rather poetic list of colour-inspired names veer on the softer, subtler side of the pigment palette, side-lining the previously popular sobriquets referring to more saturated tones such as Ruby, Poppy and Scarlett. Similarly the name Blue is falling in popularity to be replaced by the wispier Gray or Grey, while popular Violet is now joined by other vintage pastel purple hues.


Rare Gem Names

While Pearl, Amber and Ruby have long topped the name charts for girls, more unusual gem names are now being investigated, some for boys, some for girls, and some for both.


Animal-Inspired Names

With a lot of celebrity-baby precedents, parents who want to add a touch of fierceness or individuality to more conventional first name choices are turning to animal names in the middle.

Read more: 'Picking a baby name: Why you're overthinking it'

Old-School Names for Boys

There’s been a huge revival in popularity of vintage names for both girls and boys in the past few years, with thousands of little Alfies, Archies and Freddies now descending on playgrounds alongside mini Millies, Maisies and Josies. But more recently has been a resurgence of old-school names that have a retro comic-strip vibe – names like Jimmy, Johnny and Billy.


Three-Letter Names

Four letters might be a marker of name popularity, a la Emma and Liam, but minimalist three-letter names are the sleek, sweet names of the future.


Nonbinary Names

The concept of gender has to have been one of the hottest topics 0f 2018, and parents are taking note by choosing names that eschew gender stereotypes. That means no names that end in son (eg Madison), no names that were originally boy or girl names that have migrated to the other side (eg Charlie). And if the names also evidence a gender-free ideal such as Justice, all the better.


Global Names

As the world gets smaller, the pool of international names becomes larger, with new choices from ever-more-diverse origins entering the global lexicon every day. With the appetite for unique and meaningful names expanding all the time, parents are looking to these original choices with deep roots.

Walken

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And in 10 years’ time…

Baby-naming site Name Berry has predicted that the most popular names topping the charts when your little one is about to turn 10 will include some familiar choices, along with unexpected newcomers…

Top Boy Names predicted for 2028

Liam

Mateo

Maverick

Noah

Lincoln

Lucas

Henry

Theodore

Jaxon

Oliver

Top Girl Names predicted for 2028

Charlotte

Amelia

Harper

Emma

Olivia

Evelyn

Mia

Aria

Ava

Sofia

Top Unisex Names predicted for 2028

Name Berry predicts that gender-neutral names will continue to be popular ten years from now, with some new choices rising through the ranks:

Avery

Quinn

Sawyer

Parker

Nova

Charlie

Finley

Emerson

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