What's up next: the view from abroad
I write from an American perspective, but name trends don't stop at the border. More than ever before, a cohesive international style is emerging, with a set of names you're equally likely to encounter in Berlin, Paris and New York.
The international style favors smooth classics with a faintly antique flavor and no clear ethnicity -- think Anna for girls, Alexander for boys. The style is especially popular in Central and Northern Europe and in affluent English-speaking areas. Jet-setting American parents will be glad to find that the names travel well. They may also be interested to hear that Europe tends to be a few years ahead in the name curve. Greek names like Chloe and Elias, for instance, spread through Europe before catching the ears of American parents.
So for a new angle on up-and-coming names, I've made a roundup of half a dozen international-styled countries: Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland and Sweden. My targets were names that rank in top 20 in at least two different countries, but haven't cracked the American top 100 in the past decade.
and some prospects that didn't quite make the cut:
Eloise, Georgia, Holly, Louisa, Mathilda
Elliot, Felix, Jasper, Marcus, Martin
(The fine print: I eliminated names that were close variants of American favorites, and combined spellings like Louis/Lewis.)
Many of these names are already climbing, especially in stylish urban neighborhoods...but the world clearly stands ready to welcome a few more Simons and Claras.