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Wondering what the Most Popular Baby Names for 2011 will be?! Here are some predictions from our baby names expert!

  • Mama mia! Italian names are on the rise! While Isabella overtook Emily and Emma for top of the charts in 2010, Sophia will be making a debut at #1 sometime in the near future. Will it be 2011? Other names with Italiana flare for the new year: Gia, Gianna, Lucia, Giuliana and Roma/Romy.
  • “Little old man” names aren’t just for grandpas anymore! As parents search for something dignified yet not too kooky, look for old-timey names like Warren, Arthur, Walter and Stanley to make comebacks.
  • The O’s have it! Last year, anything with an X in it was hot stuff! This year, everyone wants to rock the O sound with names like: Orion, Otto, and Orson for boys and Olive and Ophelia for girls. Names that end in “O,” like Hugo, Milo and Valentino, are also hot with today’s hip parents.
  • The trend of picking your kid’s nickname first will be taking root in 2011. Love Ella? Name your girl Eloise! Want a Sonny? Call him Emerson! Finn? Phineas! You get the idea!
  • Short names will still make the short list this year! But instead of popular short names like Jack, Max, Ava and Mia, look for ringers like Bram, Quinn, Mae and Bree in 2011!
  • Teetotaling will be totally hot in 2011–at least when it comes to baby names! Look for the out-of-the-ordinary Temperance (which means “moderation,” as in the “Temperance movement”) to hit the charts this year for the first time EVER. Other virtuous names to watch? Patience, Liberty and Felicity.
  • Remember when tons of celeb parents were naming their baby girls Daisy for its vintage farm-girl appeal? Well, move over Daisy, ’cause this year it’s all about Maisie. We’re also betting on other names with farm-friendly appeal, like Daphne, Sadie, Elsie, Elsa and Fiona.
  • You can thank Mad Men for the upcoming ’50s and ’60s name trend that will be the rage among new parents. Think retro-chic baby names such as Lane, Archie, Henry and Sterling for the hip cats and Joan, Faye, Jane, Betty and Trudy for the dolls.
  • Parents will get riskier with nature names this year! Watch out for a “green movement” in baby naming with more unusual earthy names like Basil, Reed, Fox, Dahlia, Flora, June and January.
  • It used to be that a character with a name like Bud Bundy was something to laugh at, but in 2011, hip parents will be picking winning names like Tripp, Duke, Buddy, Beau/Bo, Lucky, Ace, Sonny, Junior and Buster for their baby boys. Hey, it worked for World Series-winning baseball player Buster Posey!