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baby names: from ancient to trending

Last year, 2013, was definitely a banner year for outrageous baby names. This year is shaping up to be the year that pushes the boundaries of what was previously considered “normal,” though.

February 13, 2014
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Gone are the vogue of names ending in -den, such as Brayden, Jayden, Aiden and the like, as well as the "x" madness of Axl and Xander. As parents strive to distinguish their children from peers, social baby naming website, Belly Ballot is predicting some shocking New Year's trends. The site collects real-time data on what names parents are selecting from around the globe.

"We've been seeing strong naming trends for upcoming 2014 babies," says Belly Ballot Editor Lucie Strachonova. "Distinctiveness is paramount. It's an exciting time to see so much variety and we can't wait to see how things turn out."

Based on naming data from more than 3,500 parents, along with 25,000 votes from their friends and family, the site has released the following predictions for 2014:

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Unconventional Spellings

Unusual and borderline eccentric spellings have become the simplest way to become distinctive. The names are still traditional in their pronunciation, yet unique in their spellings. Rules of grammar and morphology aside, this is a perfect fusion for parents who don't want to stand out, but still want to give their child a name with a modern twist. As a way of breaking from stereotype, parents choose Izak, Karder, Riyan, Kooper, Mykel, Emhily, BrookeLynn or Meeya.

It's All About Show Business

Every year there are new TV shows, movie blockbusters and celebrity babies that serve as inspiration for parents when choosing a name for their child. We saw it when Isabella from "Twilight" became the most popular feminine given name in the U.S. a few years ago, when Aria from "Pretty Little Liars" skyrocketed from absolute-zero popularity to one of the most favorite and when Addison switched its usage from a boy to a girl thanks to the attractive and intelligent Dr. Addison Montgomery on "Private Practice." 2014 favorites will be Hayley and Camille from vampire craze "The Originals," Piper from "Orange Is the New Black," Ichabod and Katrina from "Sleepy Hollow."

As for celebrity babies, odds are in favor of Milan (Shakira's baby boy), Lincoln (Kristen Bell's son), Everly (daughter of Channing Tatum) or Autumn (Jennifer Love Hewitt's newborn).

Hispanic Is Caliente

Hispanic names are more and more popular, and not only with Latino parents. With the rise in Latino community in the United States, increasing number of non-Hispanic couples are giving their children Hispanic names. The main reason seems to be the expectation that their children will assimilate more easily in the society, where Latino culture might prevail later on in their lives. They might not appear among the first 10 most popular names in the U.S., but there's no doubt their popularity will expand within the next decade. Hence names such as Lola, Maria, Carmen, Sierra, Ernesto, Diego, Santos, Miguel or Luis are likely to soar.

Return to the Bible

After a few years of innovations and experimenting, parents are restoring old customs to regain the essence of religious values - Welcome, Isaac and Naomi! Biblical names are nothing new. Names such as Jacob, Michael or Noah have been scoring the highest popularity ranks for years; but, the surge of other, previously less frequent biblical names is about to hit in 2014: Caleb, Levi, Isaiah, Naomi, Shiloh or Judith.

Mythological Names

The trend of going back to biblical names is complemented by parents going even further in history, choosing names from ancient mythology. One of the greatest perks of these names is the fact that despite being "ancient," they have that mystique and exotic uniqueness parents often seek: Luna, Camilla, Gaia, Tristan, Damon or Thor.

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