I'm a baby name expert – why names beginning with O never go out of style & the names that scream main character energy | The Sun

CHOOSING a name for your child is a massive decision for any parent to make – it’s something you want to get spot on.

While some parents will have chosen their children’s names before they are born, for others, it’s a very difficult choice to make. 

We spoke to baby name expert, SJ Strum, from Baby Name Envy, to get her thoughts on the top names for 2023.

SJ Strum is a mum of three and has named hundreds of babies.

The naming whizz explained why the top spot names such as Olivia, Noah, Oliver and Amelia are going to continue to be popular this year.

She said: “Names with the “O factor” – meaning a strong O sound – are always in style; due to the Etymology of words.  

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“O is the most distinct vowel in the English language so it uniquely balances with any surname.

“Most surnames begin with a consonant, meaning vowels are popular for our forenames; only 1.5% of UK surnames begin with O and 3% begin with A so they flow. 

“A strong O also inspires confidence while remaining soft & approachable  – which is why we see it used in many top companies from Google, Yahoo, and Amazon.  

“Names ending in the open “AH” sound are all over the charts as again they lead more phonetically into strong surnames, but it also adds a syllable which we find adorable when choosing names.“

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Not only this, but SJ Strum noted that baby names are looking to be slightly more unique in 2023.

She added: “Baby names are set to go futuristic this year as we embrace a glittering future; maybe one involving space travel and smart-tech homes for our babes – for modern parents this trend is also escapism from the pressure of today's world. "

According to SJ Strum, the names that scream 'main character energy' may surprise you. 

She continued: “Main Character Energy is a lifestyle buzzword that’s transcended into Baby Names with modern parents picking bigger, bolder more iconic names for their babies. 

“We totally embrace Main Character Energy at Baby Name Envy, the professional name consultancy.  

“However, we carefully choose names that align with the parents' own life experiences – such as special places, shared interests or inspiring people.  

“While we all personally carry associations with names from people we meet in life; picking a cult character name means bestowing a list of character traits on your newborn that they may find a burden growing up – so pick with intention and don’t be swayed by fast fashion and you’ll be sure to love it forever.”

According to SJ Strum, the names with main character energy are Wednesday, Sunday, Maverick, Thor, Villanelle and Marilyn.

She added: “Wednesday is hitting name lists. There were 7 girls named Wednesday last year, and works as a word name as it has a unique, whimsical sound & comes with the cute nickname Ness and strong female character vibes.  

“The consideration is setting your child up for a lifetime of questions about their actual birthday, whether they are as morbid as their namesake and of course, Wednesday being a pretty dull day.  

“We advise parents to really consider if they would have loved having a bold stand-out name for themselves; before choosing it – and if so go for it!

“Sunday is the most popular day of the week, chosen by a few celebs, bringing a relaxed, cosy vibe.  

“Maverick has shot into the charts and seems ready to keep rising with the resurgence of Top Gun. It went up over 40 spots in the charts already.  

“Thor was also on the up – the god of thunder was an inspiration for parents-to-be who love the short, strong name for its Norse, mythological vibe.  

“Villanelle even entered the UK baby name popularity lists for the first time from Killing Eve’s dark heroine.  

“Marilyn was trending up 600 spots.” 

As well as this, the naming guru discussed how vintage names are making a comeback for 2023.

She concluded: “If daring new trends seem too “fast fashion” for you a timeless trend is Upcycled Vintage.  

“We essentially go further and further back in time each year to find forgotten names; then bring them back to life with a little “upcycling.”

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“Short nickname versions are all over the charts.  We recommend adding Lennie and Winnie to your list to be ahead of the curve in a classroom full of Albie’s and Elsie’s.   

“Or we love digging up forgotten names like Mostyn; Boaz, Eunice & Gladys which all sound so beautiful on a sweet little baby. “ 

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