What's in a name? Suelain Moy, baby naming expert and author of "Names to Grow On," has the scoop on the hottest baby-naming trends of 2008.
With 2008 being an election year, one patriotic naming trend is using presidential names. Names like Kennedy, Lincoln and Carter are on the rise. "It's all-American tradition," says Moy.
Other people are starting to invent names for their children. "They're playing with them - they're playing with the spelling," says Moy. "Now we're getting to a trend where they're actually taking letters away." Names like Madison become Adison. People are playing with the spelling of names, too. Brayden may be spelled Braidon or Braydin, or Caitlin may be spelled Katelin or Catelynne.
Other parents are forgoing traditional names altogether in favor of nouns. This is a huge celebrity trend as well. For example, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren just named their daughter Honor. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman named their daughter Sunday. "Nobody has to look up the meaning of the name," says Moy. This can lessen confusion about pronunciation and spelling later in life.
Moy adds that she feels people want to be more direct. "People are very concerned with truth and honesty," she says. Names like Justice, Hope and Charity are gaining popularity as well.
Foreign names are ranked highly, too. "I think that's because of all the global awareness... but they're also beautiful names," says Moy. In fact, 4 of the top 10 girls' names are foreign.
Other new moms and dads are looking for a name that's a little more divinely inspired. Heaven, Naveah (heaven spelled backwards), Grace and Messiah are other popular picks.
Whatever you choose to name your child, though, make sure the name appeals to you. Write it down, yell it from the bottom of the stairs, come up with possible nick names, and test it on the host or hostess at a restaurant. Remember that some parents have their heart set on one name, but once they see their son or daughter in person, decide on something completely different.
By Erin Petrun