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Hot baby names for 2013

What names are big -- and trending -- this year?

By Nameberry.com Apr 5, 2013 5:14PM

What baby names are hottest out of the gate for 2013?

According to Nameberry statistics, there are 13 unusual and surprising names attracting significantly higher views in the first quarter of this year versus the same time period last year.

baby sleeping // Getty Images


Influences include television characters and romantic literary heroes, celebrity babies and classic jazz musicians. Our picks for popping names are as contemporary as Wilder and as ancient as Phaedra, include surnames and word names and diminutives along with classic firsts.

Here, Nameberry’s 13 hottest names for 2013 -- so far.


The '60s-style name Marnie had its first moment in the sun in well, the '60s, when the eponymous Hitchcock movie came out. It is now is enjoying an unlikely resurgence, thanks to the Marnie character played by the lovely Allison Williams on HBO’s "Girls" and to its choice by pop singer Lily Allen for her younger daughter.  Interest in Marnie, a variation of a Hebrew name meaning "rejoice," has shot up sevenfold on our site over the first quarter of last year.


Marlowe and, to a lesser extent, Marlow, are enjoying big bounces in the first part of this year thanks to a bumper crop of star babies: Sienna Miller’s Marlowe Ottoline, Nathan Followill’s Violet Marlowe and Jason Schwartzman’s Marlowe -- all girls -- along with designer Phoebe Philo’s son Marlow. That's not to mention 16th-century dramatist Christopher Marlowe. The English surname, which you might think of as a fresh spin on the flagging Marley, means "driftwood" and is up more than 350 percent, primarily for girls.


Christian has been a popular name for boys for two decades now, yet interest in it has tripled in the first quarter of 2013 over the same period last year. What happened? "Fifty Shades of Grey" and its hero, Christian Grey, added their notoriety to the already-romantic image conveyed by actors Christian Bale and Christian Slater, along with designers Christian Dior, Lacroix and Louboutin.

Related: Top baby names of all time


The sweetly old-fashioned diminutive Nelly, which appeared only briefly on the Top 1,000 more than a century ago, is basking in new light, thanks to singer Nelly Furtado as well as its use as a nickname for Kardashian baby Penelope “Nelly” Disick.  Cute!  Originally a short form for Helen or Eleanor, Nelly and sister names Nellie and Nell have been off the official scope for several decades, but Nelly is up in our statistics nearly 300 percent for 2013.


Mavis is suddenly hot, on the heels of her sleek cousin Maeve, thanks to the adorable vampire heroine of "Hotel Transylvania," voiced by Selena Gomez. As with Finn, many parents mistakenly think Maeve is a diminutive that demands a more formal long form, which is another explanation for Mavis’ sudden 250 percent rise. Mavis is French for "songbird" and also derives from the Welsh word for strawberries.

Related: Worst baby names


Hunky Chris Hemsworth and "The Avengers" did for Thor what the god of Norse mythology could not: made it a popping baby name for 2013.  Views of the name Thor are up more than 200 percent in the first three months of this year, joining other newly cool mythological names such as Orion, Juno, Jupiter and Persephone.


Severine may be past its prime in its native France, but its use for the latest Bond Girl in "Skyfall" has won it new interest as a baby name possibility. With views up more than 200 percent on Nameberry in the first part of the year, Severine joins Harry Potteresque brother name Severus -- they both mean, not surprisingly, "severe" or "stern" -- as a fresh 21st-century choice.


Bruce? As in Willis, Springsteen, Jenner, Lee, maybe even your dad?  Midcentury favorite Bruce, a top 50 name throughout the 1950s, sagged under an effeminate image but now is attracting new interest as the real name of both The Hulk and Batman. This Norman (as in Normandy) place name got its original big break as the surname of Scottish King Robert the Bruce, who won independence from England in the 14th century. It’s up nearly 200 percent so far on Nameberry this year.


Wilder is a newly hot baby name that wants to have it both ways: It’s a bad-boy name as well as a literary choice thanks to playwright Thornton, who wrote the classic "Our Town," and "Little House" author Laura Ingalls. Despite those gentle references, we can’t help associating Wilder with crazier. Views of Wilder are up nearly 200 percent for 2013.


Phaedra is an ancient mythological name with a tragic back story that’s finding new life in the modern world. This Greek name meaning "bright" has a rich literary history.  But it may be the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member named Phaedra who’s responsible for the name’s 178 percent rise so far this year.


This surname of jazz great Charles was first used as a baby name by supermodel Helena Christensen. Interest in Mingus is up more than 150 percent in the first three months of this year, and other jazzy names finding new fans include Miles, Ella, Calloway, Ellington, Etta and Thelonious. Mingus is up more than 150 percent so far in 2013.


This top 10 Swedish name is attracting new attention stateside as a more exotic member of the popular floral family of girls’ names: It means "twinflower" and is derived from the name of the renowned botanist Carolus Linnaeus. It may be pronounced lin-NAY-ah or lin-NEE-ah. Linnea, also the name of a charming children’s book heroine, attracted more than 150 percent more traffic in the first three months of 2013 than it did in the same period in 2012.


Finnegan is an Irish surname meaning “fair” that many parents are choosing as a long form for the popular Finn. Also embodying literary references to "Finnegan’s Wake" by James Joyce, Finnegan has been on the U.S. top 1,000 since 2005 and now stands at No. 478. Views of Finnegan are up more than 125 percent on Nameberry in the first quarter of 2013.

Bing: Outrageous baby names

Apr 13, 2013 2:29AM
I LOVE the name we came up with for our daughter 19 years ago - "Andelyn" - with a short e sound for the middle syllable.  Her nickname is "Ande" (pronounced Andy like the boy's nickname for Andrew) with a long e sound at the end.  She has had many favorable comments about her name.  The Mormon book of girls names has it listed and Marie Osmond even came out with an "Andelyn" doll a couple of years ago in her doll line.
Apr 12, 2013 11:07PM
I am not impressed at all with this list of names! 
Apr 12, 2013 7:02PM
Nelly and Mavis reek of OLD LADY, sorry. The image they conjure up is of a weird, heavyset old lady who carries all her worldly possessions around with her in a big, old-fashioned hat box, Not pretty or youthful at all. Pass for sure. Marnie does have a 1960s hippie vibe to it, Very dated. Wasn'y someone named Marlowe beheaded on a tragic car crash in the 40s or 50s? No thanks,  Thor will get a lot of teasing, That one has a definite Viking image, I guess it's okay if one is into that sort of thing. Severine? Never heard that one. It calls into mind the nasty character Severus Snape from Harry Potter, It makes one think of severing body parts--yuck. Bruce? Too old man or comic book. Wilder is okay for a BOY, Phaedra and Linnea are BEAUTIFUL. Mingus sounds like a fungus, sorry. Finnegan is great for a cute doggie. I will NEVER understand that persistent old-lady name trend -- Emma, Emily, Mavis, Nelly. What's next? Gertrude, Mildred...no thanks, If I were a girl stuck with any of thoe, I'd change it as soon as I were legally able to do it,
Apr 12, 2013 4:34PM
These are all really, really bad names. Shoot, they're worse than old lady names.
Apr 12, 2013 11:31AM
ha i named my dog Tho,r it fit him just right, but wouldn't name my kid any of these names.
Apr 12, 2013 6:58AM
Out of all of these names Finnegan is the only one that doesn't make me want to hurl.
Apr 12, 2013 3:40AM
Bruce and Nelly are the only somewhat normal names. I am so sick of all these idiot parents and the names they saddle these kids with. I do not want to come across one more Aiden, Jayden, Caden, Hayden, Bo-baden, ad infinitum. There is also an overrun of Emilys, Jennas, Maddelins, Mackenzies, Makennas, Madisons, Peytons, Sophias, Kennedys, Brookes, Alyssas, and Sabrinas. We are starting to see a lot of Isabellas and Abigails in the grade schools, because these were the 'in' names several years ago. I went to see a softball game last year of the daugher of a friend of mine. The girls were 7 and 8 years old. There were 14 girls on the team, and there were 2 Makenzies, 2 Makennas, 2 Sophias, 3 Maddelins, and 3 Madisons.  Talk about confusion. Unbelievable!
Apr 11, 2013 12:53PM
People are hateful.  I wish they realized that their children have to go through with those names.
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