These 'main character energy' baby names are set to become popular this year

Newborns are entering their protagonist era

Baby names
(Image credit: Sarahwolfephotography / Getty)

In recent months, social media has been awash with people declaring that they're entering various 'eras' - whether inspired by villains or Taylor Swift - largely fuelled by Gen Z and their love of a good trend/theme/vibe. 

And it seems that this mindset it also trickling into the world of baby names, as this year we are more likely to see parents giving their little ones 'main character energy' names, as reported via Metro

Picking the perfect moniker for your little one is a tough job, and if you're expecting it's likely that you've seen lists of everything from the most 'beautiful' baby names to the luckiest baby names

However, the emerging theme of bestowing your child with a name fit for a protagonist is expected to shake things up in 2023. 

Host of Baby Name Envy podcast SJ Strum told the publication that we can expect to see names from lead characters rising in popularity this year, explaining: "Maverick has shot into the charts and seems ready to keep rising with the resurgence of Top Gun. It’s gone up over 40 spots in the charts already.  

"Thor was also on the up – the God of Thunder is good for parents to be who love the short, strong names and enjoy its Norse, mythological vibe.  

"Even Villanelle has entered the UK baby name popularity lists for the first time from Killing Eve’s dark heroine."

So just what is behind the desire for a dramatic baby name? And does a parent's age play into the decision?

Chief marketing officer at UK leading baby brand Nuby, Helen Curran said: "Being tasked with naming your child isn’t an easy job. With such a wide variety of choices, it’s hard to set your mind on one. Therefore, it’s no surprise that new parents, especially the younger ones, are influenced by popular culture. This is giving rise to some unique names, such as Ziggy after David Bowie, Luca after the 2020 Pixar movie of the same name, and Ezra after the musician George Ezra.

"While older parents are more likely to choose traditional names, such as Thomas, a lot of names that have been passed on from one generation to another for decades are now going extinct. 

"For example, between 1996 and 2019, only 134 babies have been named Norman in the UK. The name means a man of the North and was very common following the Norman Invasion in 1066 right up into the 20th century."

So there you have it - expect to start hearing a lot of 'main character energy' baby names this year...

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.