Crazy year spawns new baby name trends

Between COVID-19, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and civil and political unrest, 2020 has been quite the memorable year. Some language trend experts are predicting that in the future, phrases like “Going 2020” “Or it was a 2020 thing” will become synonymous with trouble and hard times.

But just as all the babies who were born at another tumultuous time — Sept. 11, 2001 — have now turned 18, the 2020 babies will one day be old enough to drive and vote. What will they be putting on their name badges at work or social events? Let’s look at some of the baby name trends for 2020.

According to a survey by ChannelMum, some parents changed their baby name choices to avoid any connection with the pandemic. For example, the name Violet was ditched because parents feel it sounds too much like “virus.” Ditto for names like Cora, Corin, Coren, Lochlan, and Ronan.

Many parents have been looking for ways to show positivity this year, and names representing character qualities are making a comeback. Popular choices this year include Virtue, Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience, and Constance. “True” is also a gender-neutral moniker that is popular this year.

Of the 1,500 parents surveyed by ChannelMum, more than half said they would consider a color-themed name as a token to the rainbow’s symbol for hope and positivity. Popular name choices this year are Blue, Red, Indigo, and Fuchsia.

Other 2020 baby name choices represent the courage of many frontline workers during the pandemic. Here are a few examples – Bravery, Maverick, and Hero. One in five of the parents surveyed said they wanted to give their child a “secure” name (like Constance, Harbor, or Haven). And “happy” names (like Joy, Bliss, or Felicity) or “peaceful” names (like Solomon or Pax) are also more popular now than in recent years.

Not everyone wants to steer away from the pandemic, however. An Indian couple really got into the spirit of the year by naming their twin boy and girl Covid and Corona. Mom Preet told reporters, “We wished to ease the anxiety and fear associated with these words and also make the occasion memorable.” 

Another Indian baby got a similar, er, um, gift from his parents with the name of Lockdown. His father’s explanation? “We appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to enforce lockdown and save the people from corona pandemic,” commented new father, Pawan. “The lockdown is in the national interest, and so we decided to name the child as Lockdown.”

You can’t discuss baby names of 2020 without mentioning the Musk baby. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, and his wife, the singer Grimes, welcomed a baby boy in May. However, the internet was soon buzzing with his unusual name — it’s X Æ A-Xii. Musk told podcast host Joe Rogan that the unique name is pronounced “X-Ash.” It certainly will be hard for that little guy to keep a low profile later in life with that name hanging from his lanyard on his name badges.

“Baby names reflect changing times and never more so than when the world is facing a catastrophe,” said SJ Strum, a baby name blogger who hosts “Baby Name Mondays” on her YouTube channel. “The current crisis means parents are understandably stressed and anxious, so (they are) are using their newborn’s name to celebrate new life and joy. Positive names are a wonderful way to keep focusing on the future and means that the child knows their name has real meaning.”



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