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Nominations, Please! What Was the Name of the Year for 2017?…

As the end of 2017 approaches, I invite you to look back over the year and grasp its essence, in a name. What name was unique to the events, the style, the experience of our times? What was the Name of the Year?

The Baby Name Wizard Name of the Year isn’t necessarily the most popular baby name, or even a baby name at all. It’s a personal name (or at least something in the form of a personal name) that changed in usage or significance during the year, and points to more changes around us. It highlights the way names connect to our world, shaping the meaning and texture of events.

Looking back over past NOTYs is like browsing through a time capsule. We’ve seen the political elevation of the mythical everyman in Joe, the introduction of AI to daily life in Siri, the fishbowl pressure of modern celebrity in Blue Ivy, and societal grappling with the complex legacy of history in Atticus. Each name was chosen from your nominations.

In the comments section below, please share your Name of the Year nominations and reasoning, and feel free to second and respond to other reader’s suggestions. You can cast your net wide, from silly to serious, but please keep in mind that the target is a name of the year, not a person or story of the year. The name itself should be at the heart of the story.

As you’re thinking about the year in names, keep a lookout for these criteria:

– A dramatic change in the name’s usage or social meaning

– A reflection of a broader cultural theme, or influence on broader style trends

– The “naminess” of a story or issue. How essential is the name to the event? Is it clearly a name, reflecting something about names and how they’re used and perceived, and not a “term”?

And remember that your comments themselves count, too! The number of nominations factors into in the NOTY choice, and compelling arguments in support of your candidate count most of all.


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