Our names are precious, and giving a name to a new human (or a new pet) comes with a lot of responsibility. Will that name somehow affect their future personality? Might it determine if they become an artist, a doctor, or the next Ruth Bader Ginsberg?
Well, probably not. And let’s be honest, your dog probably wasn’t going to be a doctor anyway…
But names are still a big deal, and prospective parents of all types spend a whole lot of time trying to find ones that are just perfect. At Lemonade, we’ve learned just how creative pet owners can be.
Striving for total uniqueness has its own pitfalls. I say this as someone who once, in a fit of hippy sentiment, seriously suggested naming my own baby Cloud. Perhaps I was subconsciously influenced by the new trend toward cottagecore baby names?
Sometimes you might think you’ve landed on a name that no one else in the world would consider for their (fur)baby, only to realize that your quirky, cool, totally offbeat moniker is that year’s top choice in the quirky, cool, totally offbeat cities of Los Angeles, Austin, and New York. Oof.
Here at Team Lemonade, we noticed something quite interesting when the site Nameberry released brand new data on 2021 naming trends. First off, the site’s data is based on search volume, which means that it “can work as a tool for predicting which names may be destined to become more popular in the future.”
In other words: One wildly popular name for baby boys right now is Arlo, according to Nameberry. That means a lot of soon-to-be or prospective parents are currently looking up the name Arlo; so while there might not be a ton of Arlos wandering the playground at this exact moment, we can expect they might arrive later this year or in 2022 and beyond.
One name keeps popping up near the top of international search lists for girls: Luna. The name—which means “moon” in Italian and Spanish—is a #1 search in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, the Philippines, the UK, and the United States. (If any of those are surprising, keep in mind that Nameberry is an English-language site.) Nameberry admits that Luna is “one of the least likely top girl names in recent history.”
Another place where we’d seen an absolute wave of Lunas? In the data for Lemonade Pet insurance! Months ago, and continuing to the present, we’d been amused and intrigued to find that…drumroll, please…
Luna is the most popular name, among members of the Lemonade fur fam, for both dogs and cats.
Not only that, it’s the most popular name by a good measure. For Lemonade cats, Luna is more popular than the next three most common names combined. (Those names are Milo, Oliver, and Leo, if you’re keeping score.) For Lemonade dogs, Luna is 50% more popular than the names clocking in at #2 and #3 on the list: Charlie and Bella.
While it’s not uncommon for pets to have so-called “human” names—just look at our beloved office cat, Henry—Luna does seem to present a novel situation. Is it a “human” name, or a “pet” name, or a bit of both? And does its cross-species popularity among the feline and canine communities mean that we can expect a future in which all dogs and cats co-exist without snarls, hisses, and dirty looks?
Hey, we’re not fortune tellers. All we can do is report the data. Fun bonus fact? Luna is also the name of Raffi’s dog. That’s Raffi, the beloved children’s singer, inventor of the bananaphone, and unexpected artistic genius.
As far as reasons why Luna might be trending among prospective parents, Nameberry has some down-to-earth hypotheses. It might be the Harry Potter character, Luna Lovegood. Or it might be the celebs—from John Legend to Uma Thurman—who have used Luna as a baby name or nickname recently.
And if you’re still stuck for a truly unique name for your future son, daughter, or fur baby… Have you considered X Æ A-12?