What's in a name? For parents, it can mean a whole lot of things.
Some parents name their child after a grandparent to honor them, or a saint as names from the Bible are popular in a religious country like ours. Others name their kids after people who touched their life, such as the doctor who helped welcome their little one into this world, a best friend, or a career mentor.
Then there are parents who name their children after their favorite book or movie characters. Remember when The Matrix was the “It” movie and Neo was a popular baby name? How about that Filipino boy who was named after Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter’s nemesis? Or Khalessi from Game of Thrones?
The list can go on and on and includes a lot of varieties—even different spellings for one same-sounding name. So diverse that sociology and psychology professor Shirley Adiviso, Ph.D., reminds parents, “Think not only of today, because today will become the past for the child. Choose names that the child can carry well into the future.” It's safe to say that a lot of thinking goes into naming a baby.
You can imagine why BabyCenter.com took over the Internet’s baby-name registry, though unofficial. For almost 15 years now, the BabyCenter Baby Names Survey determines the top baby names and baby-name trends annually. This year, more than 340,000 parents registered their baby’s name on the website. For the top honors, Jackson still took the top spot in the boys' names list, as it has done for three years past. For the girls, the name Sophia continues to reign supreme for six consecutive years.
While classic names still top the list, it's no secret that more parents aim for unique and cool names. Not a surprise there, since celebrities have been doing so for the past few years. However, a new baby-name trend got everyone’s attention: More parents are naming their babies after Instagram filters.
“This is the first time we’ve seen technology break through as a source of name inspiration,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter's global editor-in-chief. “There’s this beautiful thing that happens with an Instagram filter. You take these precious moments in your life, and it makes them even more beautiful, it enhances them. I think people just have really warm feelings about that, and these names come into their consciousness,” she said in an interview with Today.com.
For boys, Lux (though technically not the name of an Instagram filter but of a photo-editing tool that balances a photo’s exposure) was up 75% compared to last year. Ludwig was also up 42%, as well as Amaro (up 26 percent), Reyes (up 10 percent), Hudson (up 4 percent), and Kelvin (up 3 percent).
For girls, Juno, a filter introduced just this year shot up 30 percent more in popularity this year. Valencia rose 26 percent on the girl’s list. Another filter and baby name, Willow, was deemed 13 percent more popular.
Murray also stressed that this phenomenon isn’t unlikely, since photo-sharing has been an emotional part of a parent’s journey. According to BabyCenter, almost 75 percent of moms use their phone to share photos or videos of their children, and one-third of them share photos every day.
It looks like other Instagram filter names such as Mayfair, Sutro, Rise, or Brannan, and even those which slipped down the most-popular list such as Sierra, Walden, and Lark, are set to gain traction next year. They will surely give a whole new meaning to the hashtag #InstagramBaby.
What do you think? Would you name your baby after an Instagram filter?
Sources: December 2, 2015. “Hottest baby name trends of 2015” (babycenter.com) December 2, 2015. “More parents are naming their kids after Instagram filters” (mashable.com) December 2, 2015. “Most popular baby names of 2015: Sophia, Jackson top Instagram-inspired list” (today.com)