If you're looking for the biggest baby name trends for 2018, look no further. While we've previously reported on the top 100 baby names for 2017, as the year draws to a close, predictions for the most popular baby names for next year are coming in.
In 2017, the Top 10 names for both boys and girls stayed almost the same as the year before, with only three new entries across the board (Noah, Mia and Ella). Amelia and Oliver both kept their spots at number one and are rapidly becoming the maternity yoga pants of baby names: comfy and really easy to live with. In fact, Amelia has been ranked number one for a whopping six years now, and Oliver's been there since 2013. Right behind them are names that have stayed in the Top 10 pretty consistently: Jack, Harry, Olivia and Emily.
Notice a theme there in the list for girls? Think they all sound a little similar? Look: there are eight names that sound strikingly alike: Amelia, Olivia, Isla, Ava, Ella, Jessica, Isabella and Mia. Even the two remaining names sound the same as each other: Emily and Poppy. Clearly we enjoy familiarity. (And names that end in – a.)
Looking ahead to 2018, the trend for choosing comfortably familiar names, with or without a twist, is definitely going to continue. However, there's more out there than that! Take a look at some of the other latest and greatest ways to name a baby…
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Top gender neutral baby names for 2018:
These are definitely hot stuff right now and are predicted to be big winners in the coming years as parents move toward more fluid notions of gender and identity.
- Max: A latin baby name meaning greatest. It's been popular for boys for years, but is now being used as a girl's name too.
- Alex: A cute, gender neutral baby name meaning 'defending men'.
- Charlie: Meaning 'free man', for years this has been a diminutive of Charles or Charlotte.
- Andy: Traditionally a shorterned version of the name 'Andrew', this is now becoming a more popular choice for both sexes.
The top boys names for 2018:
- Oliver: Latin, meaning 'olive tree'. The UK's most popular boys' name in several recent years.
- Reggie: Sometimes, names that look or sound similar hang around for a while. In 2018, names that start with R- or Th- will be big winners for boys. We love Reggie, a cute name meaning 'counsel power'.
- Reuben: A Hebrew name meaning 'behold a son', another name set to be popular in 2018.
- Theo: A cool-sounding baby name meaning 'divine gift'. Names beginning with Th- are set to be popular for boys this year and this is a cute choice.
- Thiago: Pronounced 'chee-AH-go', this unique baby name means 'supplanter' and is set to rise this year.
- George: Greek, meaning 'farmer'. Chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their son, born in July 2013, and third in line to the throne. If you're looking for something a little different, how about Giorgio?
- Jack: From the Hebrew John, meaning 'God is gracious'. The UK's most popular boys' name for 14 years until fairly recently.
- Harry: Old German, form of Henry, meaning 'home ruler'. Famous Harrys include Prince Harry, Harry Potter and One Direction singer Harry Styles.
- Noah: Hebrew, meaning 'peaceful'. In the Bible, Noah is said to have built an ark to save two of every animal from a flood that covered the earth
- Jacob: Hebrew, meaning 'he who supplants'. Ancestor of the tribes of Israel in the Bible. Cute nicknames include Jacob, Jaco and Jago.
- William: Old German, meaning 'strong- willed warrior'. Famous Williams include Prince William, playwright William Shakespeare and rapper Will.i.am.
- Charlie: Old German, meaning 'free man'. Popularised by Charles the Great (a.k.a. Charlemagne). Prince Charles is heir to the throne of England. Charles Dickens was one of the finest and most enduringly popular English authors.
- Henry: Old German, meaning 'home ruler'. There have been eight Kings of England named Henry, and in the unlikely event that Prince Harry found himself on the throne he would become Henry IX.
- Muhammed: Arabic, meaning 'praiseworthy'. Acknowledged as the prophet and founder of Islam. The name is extremely popular in large parts of the world. British runner Mo Farah is the Olympic and world record holder for the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.
- Tom: As we approach 2020 (can you believe it?), keep an eye out for names from the Roaring Twenties. Tom looks set to have a revival, a cute traditional name meaning 'twin'.
- Llyod: First world war names look set to be popular again this year, so how about this cute baby name meaning 'grey'.
- Finn: A lovely Irish baby name meaning 'fair or white' predicted to rise this year.
- Atticus: Meaning 'from Attica' this is a trendy name, popular with To Kill a Mockingbird fans.
- Arthur: Whilst there looks to be a spike in popularity for names that aren't technically human, such as Bear, if you're still looking for something more traditional, this cute baby name, meaning 'bear' has been around for years.
- Logan: Meaning 'small hollow' this traditional Scottish name is growing in popularity.
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The top girls names for 2018:
- Amelia: a Greek name, meaning 'industrious'. Famous Amelias include flying legend Amelia Earhart, and two Princess Amelias of Great Britain during the eighteenth century.
- Emily: a Latin name, meaning 'rival, eager'. Emily Dickinson is one of the most well- known poets of the nineteenth century. A very popular name choice in recent years.
- Olivia: a Latin name, meaning 'olive'. Olivia has featured in the Top 10 names for girls in England for several years now, including at number one.
- Ella: a German baby name, meaning 'completely'. Now becoming a name in its own right, Ella is traditionally a shortened version of Eleanor, Elizabeth and Ellen.
- Ava: Latin, meaning 'like a bird'. Famous Avas' include Ava Gardner was an iconic American actress during the 1950s–1970s.
- Meghan: With a royal wedding on the cards, this beautiful name is predicted to grow in popularity. Originally a Welsh name meaning 'pearl'.
- Mia: An Italian baby name meaning 'mine', set to rise in popularity this year.
- Jessica: a Hebrew baby name, meaning 'He sees'. A popular name over several decades, cute alternatives include Jess and Jessie.
- Isla: a Scotish Gaelic baby name meaning 'river', set to be popular in 2018.
- Isabella: 2018 is set to be a royal year, with a wedding and royal baby number three on the way. Isabella, a Spanish name meaning 'pledged to God' definitely has the royal seal of approval.
- Ada: a name with plenty of feminist connotations set to be popular in 2018, meaning 'noble'.
- Matilda: In 2018, names that end in – a or have a – v sound will dominate for girls. One of our favourite, more unique baby names following this pattern is Matilda, meaning 'battle mighty'. Cute nicknames include Tilly.
- Evelyn: Following the trend mentioned above, Evelyn looks set to be popular. A beautiful name meaning 'wished for child'.
- Ivy: A botanical baby name that has risen in popularity since being chosen by Beyonce for her first child, Blue-Ivy.
- Emmeline: Another feminist name set to rise this year, an old French name meaning 'work'.
- Nora: Following the trend in baby names ending with an -a sound, this cute choice is a traditional Irish baby name meaning 'light'.
- Aurora: A more unique Latin baby name, meaning 'dawn'.
- Victoria: Another royal baby name to celebrate a royal year, with an elegant feel to it, this traditional name means 'victory'.
- Emma: Never far from the top of most popular baby name lists, Emma does not seem to be going anywhere yet. A traditional name meaning 'universal'.
- Luna: A Latin baby name meaning 'moon' that has been rising in popularity over the past few years. A cute choice for Harry Potter fans!
This article first appeared on Mother & Baby UK.