Top baby names for 2022 and their meanings

Baby name trends fluctuate every year, and we love to see what the top baby girl names and baby boy names are each year. Wondering what names are going to be big hits this year? We’ve found the most popular baby names in 2021, and we’ve even got the predictions of what the top baby names will be in 2022 as well. Whether you love traditional baby names like Olivia, or unique and unusual names like River and Kai, there’s a name out there to suit every baby, and it’s really interesting to see what names trend with each passing year. 

So whether you’ve got a new baby coming in the new year and you’re desperately seeking a name that no one else has, or know someone who is planning to have a baby and you want to throw some suggestions into the ring, or you’re just plain nosy, here are our top baby names of 2021 and 2022! 

Most popular baby names in 2021

2021 saw some fluctuations in common trends for baby names, with some interesting additions to the top 100 lists from the Office for National Statistics – this is the fifth year in a row that Oliver and Olivia have remained the most popular names in England and Wales, so classrooms across the UK will soon be overwhelmed with Olivias and Olivers! Flower names like Ivy and Rosie have replaced some traditional favourites in the top 10 list, and this also marks Charlie’s first time out of the top 10 baby boy names since 2005.

There is also quite a difference between the names chosen by older and younger mothers, with mothers over the age of 35 opting for more traditional names whilst younger mothers have been choosing more gender-neutral, shortened, and unusual names. Here are the top 5 baby boy and baby girl names from 2021:

Top 5 baby boy names for 2021

  1. Oliver – stems from the Latin and French words for “olive” or “olive tree”
  2. George – from the Greek name Georgios, meaning “farmer, earthworker”
  3. Arthur – from an old Celtic word meaning “bear”
  4. Noah – comes from the Hebrew “Noach” which means “rest,” or “repose.”
  5. Muhammad – means the Arabic حَمِدَ (hamida) which means “praised”

Top 5 baby girl names for 2021

  1. Olivia – a Latin name meaning “olive tree”
  2. Amelia – stems from the German word Amal, which means “work.”
  3. Isla – a Scottish name derived from the name of an island.
  4. Ava – another version of Eve or Eva, which comes from the Hebrew name Havva meaning “life, lively.”
  5. Mia – stems from the ancient Egyptian word Mr, which means beloved.

Top baby names predicted for 2022

When it comes to predictions for 2022, it can be quite interesting to look at current popular culture to gauge what names are gaining popularity – looking to popular television shows, we can see that cute baby boy names like Otis and Maeve for girls, have already started to rise in the ranks in 2021, so could definitely be in with a shout of climbing into the top 100 by 2022. 

As well as this, Royal baby names (both fictional and real!) made it into the top 100 lists of popular baby names last year: names like Archie, Jasmine and Aurora made it into the top 100, so we could see a similar trend playing out this year, with rises in new cute baby girl names like Anna and Elsa.  

Vintage names like Arthur, Edward and Florence have also risen in popularity in the last few years, so can be expected to keep growing, especially as the age of expectant mothers continues to get older – the average first birth for new mothers in developed countries actually occurs at age 31. 

Nameberry, one of the UK’s favourite baby name sites, have picked their top ten trends for 2022, from playful names to Bridgerton-inspired names and retro nostalgia names. Here were our top picks from their selection:

Baby boy names for 2022

  1. Theo (Bridgerton-inspired)
  2. Benedict (Bridgerton-inspired)
  3. Laurie (Non-gendered)
  4. Frank (Retro)
  5. Ozzy (Playful)

Baby girl names for 2022

  1. Gigi (Playful)
  2. Daphne (Bridgerton-inspired)
  3. Jules (Names ending in S)
  4. Goldie (Retro)
  5. Lyra (Next wave musical names)

Unusual baby names

There are some slightly more unusual baby names that are predicted to hit the top baby name charts next year too. Unique names have become much more popular in recent years, with people taking inspiration from nature, pop culture and religion to come up with some original names for their children. Here were our top picks from the Nameberry lists that we think are the best unique names to pick in 2022:

  1. Psalm – means ‘of high praise’
  2. Idris – of Welsh and Arabic origin, meaning “fiery leader; prophet”
  3. Prairie – of French origin, meaning “meadow or grassland”
  4. Etta – of English origin, meaning “Ruler Of The Home”. Short form of the name Henrietta.
  5. Sonnet – a gender-neutral name of English origin, meaning 14-line poem Or verse.
  6. Solo – a singular word name with special meaning for Star Wars fans.
  7. Rome – meaning “Strength, power”
  8. Astrid – Scandinavian name, meaning “divinely beautiful.”
  9. Cosmo – British/Italian name, meaning “order, decency, and beauty”
  10. Scout – a gender-neutral name of American origin meaning “First Explorer”

Have you come up with a more unusual name than this? Tell us over on Instagram and Twitter. Hopefully, if you are planning on having a baby soon these names will either have given you some inspiration, or at least given you some names you definitely don’t want on your list! 

If you know a couple who are having a baby soon, why not send them a pregnancy congratulations card with your favourite names inside! You could even include some flowers or a bottle of alcohol-free spirit to help persuade them of your choices… If you’re looking for more great lifestyle tips and recipes, check out our blog for inspiration and fun.