The changing seasons
Most name styles are open to parents' creative impulses. Flower names may start at Lily and Rose, but they extend out to Dahlia and Poppy--or Zinnia and Lotus. Even the Bible has some untrodden name territory like Jabez and Mehetabel.
But a few sets of names are locked down tight. There are only 12 months in the year, and the fair-weather months come at a premium. Springtime, naturally enough, is fertile ground for names, with April, May and June all popular selections over the past 150 years. Yet the months don't stick together in fashion the way they do on the calendar. Check out this extraordinary cycle:
By this every-50-years pattern, we're due for a new month to surge around the 2020s. The problem is, we've run out of Spring. One possibility is to start over at May, a name which seems due for a renaissance. Another is to branch out into more adventurous seasons. Sure, the symbolism of Spring is a natural for expectant parents: growth, promise, and fresh beginnings. Parents of girls in particular like the image of blossoms and tenderness. But you could make a case for Autumn, too. Any new mother can relate to the idea of welcoming a bountiful harvest after months of hard labor. The sounds of the Autumn months, though, are a hard sell. So my dark horse candidate is January, which is both the birth of a fresh new year and a lyrical name with a traditional nickname (Jan, as opposed to Sept or Oct.)
And there's one other possibility, which is already hitting its stride. In the past generation, parents have started to throw over the months in favor of whole seasons:
Summer and Autumn are still climbing, and Winter has time for a surprise strike by the '20s to come.