From Dustin to Wednesday: The 2023 baby names influenced by TV shows.

After a troubling few years filled with an unprecedented level of unprecedented events, it is no surprise that baby name trends are becoming well, unprecedented.

According to Nameberry, the US website dedicated to baby names, 2023 is sure to be an interesting year as naming trends become less widespread and more fragmented. We're entering a whole new era, a 'vibe shift' and baby names in 2023 and beyond will reflect this monumental cultural leap.

Pam Redmond, the founder and CEO of Nameberry says that new parents are keen to move on and leave the last few years of doom and gloom behind.

"There’s a pop, upbeat, bright, 1920s/1960s vibe around," Redmond says. "It's the feeling of a new world, where we're dancing as fast as we can and there's a complete reinvention of mood and style."

The influence of micro-trends across platforms like TikTok, combined with feelings of tribalism after such a divisive period in history means that the cycle of what's 'in' and what's 'out', is faster and more localised than ever before.

Watch: Worst baby names revealed by Reddit users. Story continues below. 

Video via Reddit.

Streaming services and popular TV shows that help spawn these micro-trends, will also be highly influential as parents decide on what to name their offspring in the coming months.  

While we will have to wait and see if the baby name vibe shift hits Australia, here are 10 of the key trends that Redmond and Nameberry predict will reflect the new mood in 2023. 

1. Maximalism. 

This trend is all about main character energy with strong, confident and decadent 'maximalist' names that demand our attention. 

Reflected in the TV shows we have been streaming en masse such as Wednesday and Bridgerton, maximalism rejects scaling back and the Marie Kondo 'less is more' approach: This trend is all about going big or going home. Think lush regency-core or dark-academia inspired monikers.  

According to Nameberry, Amadeus and Astrophel, Myfanwy and Mazikeen are among the fastest-rising names so far this year. Other names to watch for on the maximalist list are Cleopatra, Lazarus, Morpheus and Venus.

2. 1980s throwbacks.

Baby Marty? Baby Sloane? Baby Ferris?!

These typical 80s names that are 'so out they're in', are on the rise according to Nameberry. The impact of popular TV show Stranger Things has spilled over into baby naming and the nostalgic yet cool vibes associated with Kate Bush and throwback mullets of this era are having a real moment.

Some examples that Namberry suggests watching out for are: Billy, Blane, Dustin, Ferris, Marty, Sloane and Sandy.

Baby Dustin? Image: Netflix.


3. Gilded and glittering.

It's been a rough few years, so it makes perfect sense that parents are leaning towards names that conjure up images of luxury, glitz, glamour and gold. 

Some of Nameberry's top predictions include the retro nickname Goldie as well as Aurelia, Aura, Shine, Sovereign, Soleil, Sunshine and Zora.

4. Neo-cowboy.

This trend reflects our desire to back to basics and back to a more rugged simplicity captured in TV shows such as Yellowstone, The English, Outer Range and 1883.


Neo-cowboy names are strong, classic but according to Nameberry - also bang on trend for 2023. Some popular picks already rising up the list are Royal, Ennis, Dutton, Rhett, Tex and Wade.


Baby Dutton? Kevin Costner in Yellowstone. Image: Stan.

5. Easy to pronounce names ending in 'I'.

Names that are easy to pronounce and spell wherever you are in the world, have always been popular. But in 2023 names still need to reflect individuality and personality so it is less about short names that end in 'A' or 'O' but all about the 'I'. 


Popular celebrities such as Gigi Hadid have helped to influence this trend, as did British fitness entrepreneur Joe Wicks when he recently named his daughter Leni.

Other unique, short and easy-to-pronounce names on the Nameberry list are: Bibi, Joni, Kali, Mimi, Rafi, Suki and Zuri.

6. Edgy 'X' names.

The ever-unconventional Elon Musk and Grimes may have amped up this trend by naming their two kids X Æ A-Xii (known as X) and Exa Dark Sideræl, but for the rest of us mortals adding an 'X' to a baby's name brings a dash of edgy cool. 

Though X is often difficult to incorporate into names, Nameberry predicts that the letter will see a surge in popularity in 2023. Here are some examples: Beaux, Ajax, Bronx, Dixie, Felix, Fox, Pax and Trixie.

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7. Hopeful adjectives.

We can thank celebrities for this trend towards using hopeful adjectives as baby names in 2023. Think Khloe Kardashian with True and Nick Cannon with Moroccan, Golden, Powerful and Legendary.

These inspiring, optimistic names really feel part of the current vibe shift away from minimalism and hard times, to a bright and bold future. Some examples as listed by Nameberry include Brave, Bright, Divine, Heavenly, Stellar, Valiant, Wild and Worthy.


Khloe and True. Image: Instagram @khloekardashian.

8. Grandpa-core.

For years we've seen a bunch of grandma-adjacent names rise to the top of popular baby name lists like Elsie and Mabel. But move over grandma as 2023 is all about retro grandpa names... but for baby girls! According to Nameberry, Max has been a strong contender (in part thanks to Stranger Things) but these short, nickname-style monikers deserve a trend of their own as parents look for simple names that are big on charm and heavy with nostalgia. Other top hitters to look out for include Frankie, Georgie, Iggy, Jude, Ozzie, Stevie and Teddy.


9. Blue-green nature theme.

This calming colour combination is like the Neo-Cowboy trend; all about getting back to nature. Once again the celeb babies are leading the way such as Adriana Lima's son Cyan and Michael Bublé's daughter Cielo both referencing the colour blue.

More nature based names on the Nameberry list include Azure, Emerald, Forest, Sky, Marina, Storm and Wave.

10. Mix and match individuality.

Finally, there are always the parents who couldn't give a stuff about trends and instead chose to invent their own names.

But even in this new name category, trends come and go according to Nameberry. We've seen a lot of made up names ending with -lynn, -leigh and -syn in recent times but expect this trend to fade as parents in 2023 go for more obscure endings such as -aire, -ette and -lani.

Mix and match names suggestions from Nameberry include Aylani, Dariel, Islamae, Kehlani and Romer.

Parents of 2023 - you do you! 

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty.

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