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The Era of Maximalist Baby Names Is Upon Us

"Halyziar has four other Halyziars in her class this year." -a parent in the year 2031, probably.

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Get ready to vote for President Myfanwy Jones in 2068. Be prepared to sew the name Zebedee onto a baby blanket sometime in the next year. The era of maximalist baby names is upon us.

2023 will be a year for extravagance and decadence in naming your newborn kiddo, according to NameBerry, which has dubbed itself (and heck, I’ll believe them) an “international authority on baby name style, history and trends.” The site offers a bunch of reasons for this dramatic pivot in name trends that basically boils down to the idea that nothing matters, so just name your baby something outlandish containing at least an X, Y, or Z.

Like the 1920s and 1960s, we’re living through a truly “fuck it, life is crazy” moment in time. Pam Redmond, the founder of NameBerry, explained that “there’s a wish to leave everything from the ‘before’ times behind.” That’s why we’re going to start seeing Ambrosia and Astrophel competing in MasterChef Junior in like eight years. Parents are borrowing these opulent names from fantasy, myths, and legends—basically realms other than this cursed Earth on which we live. No pressure, Halyziar, you’re just going to have to pull mommy and daddy back from the brink of insanity or transport them to an alternate universe that has adequate social safety nets.


These maximalist names do hold a weight to them and certainly demand your attention. I would much rather trust a Lysander to help me navigate the downfall of civilization than a McKenzie. NameBerry also noted we might finally be seeing the trend of ending names with -lynne, -leigh, and -cyn tapering off. Expect to see -iel, -land, and -wyn take their place. Let’s hold a moment of silence for the population of South Carolina.

Before we veered into this luxe reverie of a naming trend, babies were getting stuck with cutesy vintage names popular from yesteryear. Monikers like Edith, Hazel, and Everett had a resurgence right before the pandemic—a trend that seemed to align with the broader grand-millennial craze that had people plastering up wallpaper, drinking tea on doilies, and stopping just short of covering their furniture with plastic protectors. My guess is that after enough of us were stuck at home baking sourdough bread and embroidering roses onto our jean jackets during the early days of the pandemic, we were eager to move on. Move on we did. Goodbye Charlotte, hello Drusilla!