What’s in a name? Well it depends on who you are asking. It seems that people are getting ever more adventurous with their choice of baby names according to a new list of the most popular baby names of 2017.

Many traditional African cultures, place great importance on the name they choose for their child, which often has a unique meaning or specific symbolism. In the western world, we are now familiar with some names which at first seemed pretty out there, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches, Honeyblossom and Little Pixie (Bob Geldoff), Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow), Kal-El (Nicholas Cage), so we shouldn’t be too surprised at some of the names parents are now choosing for their offspring.

Pregnancy and parenting site, BabyCenter, has just released their annual top baby names list, which is based on the names of more than 500,000 babies born in 2017 to parents registered on the BabyCenter website.

There are no surprises in the top girls’ and boys’ names, Sophia and Jackson, no change for the last few years. But when you dig a little deeper in the list, you start to see some interesting trends.

Chance, Kendrick and Queen: Trending baby names in 2017As well as making great music, Rappers are also making an impression on parents too. Chance (as in Chance the Rapper) jumped 21 percent in popularity on the boys’ list. The artist has won accolades for his music and his work to improve public schools and fight gun violence. Kendrick Lamar was labelled “the greatest rapper alive” by Rolling Stone and has spoken out against gun violence; Kendrick climbed 9 percent.

Chance, Kendrick and Queen: Trending baby names in 2017Queen – as in THE Queen Latifah, who has been a supporter of LGBT rights, girls’ education, and veterans – ascended 41 percent on the girls’ list. Dre (as in Dr. Dre, a force in rap for decades and a major donor for an interdisciplinary arts and technology program) is up 40 percent.

Chance, Kendrick and Queen: Trending baby names in 2017Colours were another dominant theme. Beyoncé and Jay-Z fuelled a colour trend when they named their daughter Blue Ivy in 2012, and it’s still going strong. This year the name Blue sailed up the popularity lists by 14 percent for boys and 9 percent for girls, Lavender lifted 27 percent for girls, and Red rose 16 percent for boys (yup, you read that right!). Ebony (up 35 percent for girls) and Ivory (up 71 percent for boys and 42 percent for girls), also made an appearance.

It’s no surprise that beloved Disney characters inspired parents’ name picks. This year, girl names ruled. Newcomer and spunky heroine Moana made a splash: The name surged up 64 percent for baby girls. Brainy, independent Belle (from Beauty and the Beast,) rose 23 percent. And tenacious dreamer Tiana, Disney’s first African American princess, ticked up two percent.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Are parents setting their kids up to be bullied or is it just a harmless expression of their creativity?

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