Baby name 'maximalism' expected to continue in 2023 with names like Maverick, Thor, Wednesday gaining traction - naming experts

Baby names in 2023 are expected to be bolder than ever.
Baby names in 2023 are expected to be bolder than ever. Photo credit: Paramount Pictures & Netflix & Getty Images.

Parents are increasingly naming their children after main characters from popular media, a baby name expert and celebrity name consultant says.

"We embrace main character energy," expert SJ Strum told

"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 (UK) 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." 

The name Marilyn is also trending up 600 spots, with parents possibly inspired by Netflix's Blonde, which is about the life of Marilyn Monroe.

Wednesday is the most recent name to inspire a new wave after the release of Tim Burton's new Addams family series on Netflix, which is named after the iconic character.

Strum said it has a "unique, whimsical sound" with the added benefit of being easily shortened to Ness, which makes it "more wearable".

As whimsical as it is, Strum also cautions that it's a "pretty dull day" of the week.

"Sunday is the most popular day of the week name, chosen by a few celebs, including Ferne McCann, and brings a relaxed, cosy vibe," she said.

"The consideration is setting your child up for a lifetime of questions about their actual birthday, whether they are as morbid as their namesake and of course Wednesday being a pretty dull day."

However, that didn't stop Harry Potter star Rupert Grint from calling his daughter Wednesday back in 2020. 

The increasing popularity of Wednesday aligns with name consultant Steph Coffield's prediction that dark and moody names will be popular in 2023. 

Coffield thinks brooding names with a 'mystical and mythological' feel will prove to be strong favourites. 

"Anything mystical and mythological has always been popular but we're going to see even darker names like Argo, Draco, Knight, Raven, Salem, Zephyr, and Zelda."

Coffield also predicts international names to continue trending this year, as she gets often gets requests from parents from different countries wanting names that transcend borders. 

Examples include Amari, Indra, Paloma, Lilia, Lorenzo and Maximilian.

This follows a trend of baby name "maximalism" which has gained traction online.

Pam Redmond of Nameberry, the largest baby naming website in the world, said parents are leaning toward names full of "opulence, decadence and drama" in response to a turbulent past few years.

Nameberry also expects to see more micro and viral trends in baby naming.

While unique names can be great, Strum advises new parents to take care with their choices.  

"We advise parents to really consider if they would have loved having a bold stand-out name for themselves before choosing it – and if so go for it.

"While we all personally carry associations with names from people we meet in life, picking a cult character name means bestowing a list of character traits on your newborn that they may find a burden growing up."