Is Isla trendy?

With all the characteristics of the uber popular [name]Isabella[/name] and [name]Ava[/name]. [name]Do[/name] you think [name]Isla[/name] is following in their footsteps?

Yes, it’s definitely trendy. It shot up to the three hundreds in just two years after rarely ever appearing in the top 1000. Trendiness isn’t the end of the world, though, and [name]Isla[/name]'s a lovely name. [name]Just[/name] too trendy for my tastes.

This is a really interesting question.

First off, I prefer not to use the term trendy. Trendy, to me, connotes a name that is tired, overused, extremely popular, and soon-to-be dated. That’s just my personal definition. I like to use the term “on trend” to connote names, or name sets, that are “hot” - for example, I might consider occupational names like [name]Archer[/name] and [name]Carter[/name], unisex names like [name]Finley[/name] and [name]Harper[/name], and vintage nature names like [name]Hazel[/name] and [name]Violet[/name] to be on trend. An “on trend” name, to me, is one that maybe is enjoying a resurgence ([name]Violet[/name]) or represents a new use for an old name or term ([name]Archer[/name], [name]Finley[/name] for a girl). We can also use a more negative classification of trendy, (Nameberry-invented?) “tryndeigh,” to describe names like [name]Kayleigh[/name], [name]Madilynn[/name], and [name]Izabella[/name], which are changed or developed to stand out from their more standard, common, spellings ([name]Kayley[/name], [name]Madeline[/name], and [name]Isabella[/name]). Then we’ve got names that are popular, usually those in the SSA Top 20 list. Selections from 2009’s list include [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Emma[/name], [name]Olivia[/name], [name]Sophia[/name], and [name]Ava[/name] at the front end and [name]Natalie[/name], [name]Grace[/name], [name]Lily[/name], [name]Alyssa[/name], and [name]Ashley[/name] bringing up the rear. These names aren’t “on trend” according to my definition - they do not represent names making a comeback, breaking the 100-year rule, or being used in a new and inventive way. They also aren’t “tryndeigh,” by the Nameberry definition. In fact, every girl’s name in the Top 20 represents the most standard spelling of the name (i.e., [name]Emily[/name] rather than [name]Emilee[/name], [name]Chloe[/name] rather than [name]Khloe[/name], and [name]Ashley[/name] rather than [name]Ashlee[/name]). So, we have a case of simply popular names. If we really break down the Top 20 list, we see some interesting trends:

  1. The majority of the names on the 2009 Top 20 list for Girls can be classified as classics. [name]Isabella[/name], [name]Emma[/name], [name]Olivia[/name], [name]Sophia[/name], [name]Emily[/name], [name]Abigail[/name], [name]Elizabeth[/name], and [name]Grace[/name] are undisputed classics, I think. [name]Olivia[/name] counts as a classic in my book - it represents a name with a firm history and Shakespearean connections. I’d even add [name]Lily[/name] onto this classics list, considering it is a diminutive for [name]Lillian[/name], the epitome of classic. So, 9 of the Top 20 names are fairly traditional, staple classics.

  2. Several of the names on the Top 20 list might be classified as “new-age classics,” which I define to be a name that has a strong history of use in a certain generation but has managed to transcend that generation with ease. Names like [name]Samantha[/name] and [name]Natalie[/name] fit this profile in my opinion, but some might even extend the definition to include [name]Alexis[/name] and [name]Alyssa[/name]. Perhaps even [name]Ashley[/name], maybe one of the first unisex names, could fit into this category.

  3. The names left on the list - [name]Ava[/name], [name]Madison[/name], [name]Chloe[/name], [name]Mia[/name], [name]Addison[/name], and [name]Ella[/name] - represent two kinds of names. The short, sweet, feminine set of [name]Ava[/name], [name]Chloe[/name], [name]Mia[/name], and [name]Ella[/name] are names with substance, and they likely will continue to be popular. However, the other set of [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Addison[/name] represents a trend of using -son names for girls, something that was really common in the past two decades. These names represent a trend in naming that is likely to die out due to overuse. [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Addison[/name] have nothing classic, like [name]Emma[/name] and [name]Olivia[/name], to fall back on, sadly.

Okay, okay, enough of all that. What does this mean for [name]Isla[/name]? If I pretend that [name]Isla[/name] is a name in 2009’s Top 20, where would I put it? [name]Isla[/name] is very similar to [name]Isabella[/name] and [name]Emma[/name], yes, but does it have that classic image and substance to fall back on? No, I don’t think so. Is [name]Isla[/name] primed to be a new-age classic? Honestly, no, I don’t see that, either. New-age classics tend to be longer names with nicknames. They are elegant and feminine, but they have a spunky side to them. All in all, they seem to fit the so-called modern girl, I think. [name]Isla[/name], to me, is most similar to names like [name]Ava[/name], [name]Mia[/name], and [name]Ella[/name]. It’s short and spunky, sweet and sassy, sophisticated and sensible. It’s definitely a chart-climber, and I’d imagine that once it achieves naming success - popularity, that is - it will hover around the Top 50-150 for a long time. Currently at #346 and having enjoyed an astronomical climb in popularity in the past - [name]Isla[/name] moved from #619 in 2008 to #346 in 2009 - [name]Isla[/name] is primed for another big jump into naming stardom. But, what might prevent this breezy name from taking that top spot? Spelling and pronunciation, for sure. When I was discussing today’s current Top 20 earlier, I noted that each name on the list represents the most conventional spelling of that name. [name]Isla[/name] does, too. However, I failed to mention above that each name currently in the Top 20 has a simple, straightforward spelling and clearly-defined pronunciation. [name]Isla[/name], on the other hand, does not. [name]Isla[/name] (EYE-la) doesn’t look how it sounds, and changing it to [name]Eyla[/name] or [name]Ayla[/name] - a completely different name (A-lah), I must note - doesn’t help that much. If anything’s going to hold back this name, it will be that. My take? [name]Isla[/name] will break the Top 100 in the near future, but the Top 20 might be hard to come by with the pronunciation woes. I’m guessing [name]Isla[/name] will settle nicely into her home in the Top 50 for awhile then retreat back to 50-150.

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

Great reply, lemon! Very articulate, informed, and thoughtful. Maybe a little long… I’m just teasing you. It was awesome.

Basically, I agree with lemon, but shorter. I think [name]Isla[/name] will rise, but probably won’t break the top 50. It might remain more of a favorite among name nuts.

Although you never know…

I would say that [name]Isla[/name] is trendy. It come from nowhere to make huge jumps up the chart. It sounds new and creative today, but in a few years it won’t be uncommon to meet a little [name]Isla[/name]. So I would say that [name]Isla[/name] is on the upside of trendy, meaning it is on-trend right now rather than oversaturated and on its way out. But I don’t think a name can be discovered by so many people simultaneously without there being a trend at play. It also shares characteristics with a trendy group as a whole right now-long ‘i’ sounds, heavy on the vowels, ‘L’ consonants.

Yep, I agree with [name]Lemon[/name]. Except for [name]Isabella[/name], Im not sure I would consider it a classic, because even though it’s old, and maybe classic in some countries, it kind of appeared out of the blue in [name]America[/name] around 1990, but that’s another topic entirely. I do think most people consider it a classic at this point, and that it will indeed prove to be a classic. But it’s kind of like [name]Samantha[/name] in that it appeared out of nowhere and became classic. Hmm, Faux-classic might be the term I’d use.

I think [name]Isla[/name] will jump to around number 75 in the next few years, and hover there for a while. A think at that point people will get used to the pronunciation and spelling issues, and I predict that it’ll rise slowly until it reaches around number 40. I think it definitely has staying power and I’m sure we’ll be seeing it for years to come.

Did I answer the question? Lol. I do think [name]Isla[/name] is trendy. I really like the term “on trend”, it’s definitely more accurate than trendy. But I personally do think [name]Isla[/name] is trendy. Now, most people (in real life) won’t think it’s trendy at all and will think it’s a unique choice. I’d wager if you used it, and then in a few years when there are tons of Islas, they’ll think you started the trend! Anyway, I would still use [name]Isla[/name], trendy or not. I think it’s so beautiful. And a girl born now with that name will shine among her peers, in my opinion.

Sorry I wrote a novel, guys. I didn’t mean to!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

PS [name]Lyndsay[/name], I think [name]Isabella[/name] is a classic because it has such a strong history of use. Maybe not in [name]America[/name], but elsewhere. It always reminds me of [name]Isabella[/name] of Castile, and she wore the name in the 1400s!

Ok, not to be a total history idiot, but which one is [name]Isabella[/name] of Castille? She’s different than the [name]Queen[/name] of Spain… Oh man, I feel stupid. Which one was [name]Isabella[/name] de Taillifer (or something like that) Anyway, I know that [name]Isabella[/name] was heavily used among royalty and that definitely gives her a lot of clout. But there are lots of names that are classic in other countries that are not common or classic at all in [name]America[/name] ([name]Jesus[/name] or [name]Jose[/name], for instance. [name]Even[/name] [name]Maria[/name]. [name]Mary[/name] is our classic, as [name]Elizabeth[/name] is our classic counterpart to [name]Isabella[/name]). It just bothers me that [name]Isabella[/name] jumped to mega popularity here out of the blue and is now a “classic” that everyone acts like they’ve loved their entire lives. And what about all the other names that are classic royal names of the past, like [name]Geoffrey[/name]. People call [name]Jeffrey[/name] dated, but shouldn’t it be classic since it’s been around forever?

I’m going to agree with [name]Lemon[/name]. [name]Isabella[/name] popped out of nowhere – or so it seems unless you are familiar with history and literature – then you realize it is quite classic. [name]Isabelle[/name] [name]Linton[/name] from Wuthering Heights? If you read 19th literature, you realize it was a frequently used name then.

Yea, you have a point. [name]Jeffrey[/name] does seem dated to me, but I would consider [name]Geoffrey[/name] to be vintage. But, they’re the same name! Hm.

Actually, I consider [name]Maria[/name] to be just as much a classic as [name]Mary[/name]. Yes, [name]Mary[/name] is our classic, but [name]Maria[/name], for some reason, doesn’t immediately scream Spanish to me. In fact, I always think of [name]Maria[/name] [name]Lucas[/name] in Pride and Prejudice - [name]Charlotte[/name]'s sister - but that’s probably because I’m a bit of a [name]Brit[/name] Lit nerd. [name]Austen[/name] uses [name]Isabella[/name], too, in [name]Emma[/name] and Northanger [name]Abbey[/name]. But, that’s just me…

Um, for your history, [name]Isabella[/name] of Castile is [name]Isabella[/name] I of Spain, wife of [name]Ferdinand[/name] II of [name]Aragon[/name]. They united Castile and [name]Aragon[/name] together in an attempt to unify Spain. [name]Isabella[/name] De Taillefer was much earlier, in born in the 1100s. She was French but married [name]King[/name] [name]John[/name] of [name]England[/name] and became queen consort. Hm.

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

[name]Bonnie[/name], you’re totally right about literature and history with [name]Isabella[/name]. But it still wasn’t in heavy use in [name]America[/name] during that time. Any clue what sparked it’s popularity? I would absolutely consider it an international classic, just not an American classic.

“It just bothers me that [name]Isabella[/name] jumped to mega popularity here out of the blue and is now a “classic” that everyone acts like they’ve loved their entire lives.” There is something legitimate in this complaint. In a way, [name]Isabelle[/name] ([name]Isabella[/name]) is both classic and trendy. It is an identifiable trend, but one that can trace out some roots. Other trends don’t have roots. But is it lack of roots that makes them trendy? Other names with roots, like [name]Geoffrey[/name], haven’t caught on as trends – yet. But aren’t they still classic?

Yeah – being dated or “classic” is in the ears of the beholder! Or the hearer, I suppose.

I don’t think of it as an American classic, but I’d like to see some data! Maybe it was more popular than we are aware. Or maybe it was in use in one class or something. I know I’m always surprised when I learn about the history of names because the facts don’t always fit our stereotypes of the history of names.

But you do have a point, lyndsay – and I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings by seeming to imply you weren’t into history or literature. That isn’t what I meant. Geesh. I’m an English major! I don’t really expect normal people to read that stuff! [name]Even[/name] I think I’m weird!

…I guess I’ve just never thought to classify my classics by country, or continent, rather. Ha!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

PS This is quite interesting. I don’t know who this person is, but this is a very nice analysis on the popularity of [name]Isabella[/name]. (

PPS I have no idea who the first American [name]Isabella[/name] was, but guess who was an [name]Isabella[/name] in the 1800s? [name]Isabella[/name] Baumfree, daughter of [name]Elizabeth[/name] Baumfree, slave of [name]Colonel[/name] Hardenbergh. Better known as [name]Sojourner[/name] [name]Truth[/name]. Guess what she named one of her daughters? That’s right - [name]Sophia[/name].

I think it started with the amazing boom in interest in fresh, contemporary-sounding baby names! People were using a bunch of names they loved then – like [name]Elizabeth[/name] – or [name]Lyndsay[/name] for that matter. And suddenly everyone wanted names like those – but just a little different. I think [name]Isabelle[/name] started with the huge popularity in [name]Elizabeth[/name] and [name]Emily[/name]. It seemed cool using these names that were beautiful, elegant – and had this history. But everyone was naming their babies [name]Elizabeth[/name] or [name]Emily[/name]! So I think people started looking around – through history and literature – for similar names that didn’t belong to every other child on the block. So they started coming up with [name]Sophie[/name], [name]Emma[/name], [name]Grace[/name] – and [name]Isabelle[/name]. They were just there in the 19th century novels, in history, in the past, waiting to be discovered.

Sorry the [name]Isla[/name] thread has been hijacked by [name]Isabella[/name], but I’d thought I’d throw in my two cents…

[name]Isabella[/name] is the Italian/Latin form of [name]Isabel[/name]. [name]Ferdinand[/name] of [name]Aragon[/name] and [name]Isabella[/name] of Castille are actually called [name]Fernando[/name] and [name]Isabel[/name] in Spain. Often in official documents in people would use the Latin form of their name (e.g. and English [name]Ann[/name] would sign her name [name]Anna[/name]).

Here’s a wikipedia entry for their daughter [name]Catherine[/name] of [name]Aragon[/name], "Her baptismal name was “[name]Catalina[/name]”, but “[name]Katherine[/name]” was soon the accepted form in [name]England[/name] after her marriage to [name]Arthur[/name].[14] [name]Katherine[/name] herself signed her name “[name]Katherine[/name]”, “[name]Katherina[/name]”, “[name]Katharine[/name]” and sometimes “[name]Katharina[/name]”. In a letter to her, [name]Arthur[/name], her first husband, addressed her as “[name]Princess[/name] Katerine”. Her daughter [name]Queen[/name] [name]Mary[/name] I called her “Quene Kateryn”

I BELIEVE there was an Italian fad in 19th century [name]England[/name], which is where [name]Isabella[/name] showed up.

Yes, definitely. It’s shooting up the ranks in popularity.

Ahhh I have been pondering this very same question! I think it is among more savvy name seekers but really most people have no clue how to say it. My sons names are [name]Owen[/name] and [name]Rhys[/name] and I am desperately trying to decide between my top girls choices - [name]Lily[/name] or [name]Isla[/name]! I have always loved [name]Lily[/name] and it was our “girl name” all along but it has become so popular…so I found [name]Isla[/name] and loved it as my back up name. I also love that it is of the British Isles - a Celtic feel like [name]Owen[/name] and [name]Rhys[/name]. However now I wonder do I want uber popular like [name]Lily[/name] or go with trendy like [name]Isla[/name]? I think I would rather stick to a classic as I feel [name]Owen[/name] and [name]Rhys[/name] are but any advice is helpful please!

[name]Lily[/name], [name]Isla[/name], or combine them and go with [name]Lila[/name]?


I would probably name your daughter [name]Gwendolyn[/name] [name]Isla[/name]. I love that with [name]Owen[/name] and [name]Rhys[/name]! :wink:

But, of your two names, I’d go with [name]Isla[/name], for sure. It just feels more substantial than [name]Lily[/name] to me, honestly. [name]Isla[/name]'s so spunky and neat!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

I don’t think [name]Isla[/name] is trendy. Is it going to get more popular? Probably. But considering it was at 346 on the SSA List for '09, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for awhile. I get the impression that most people are unfamiliar with it, if not knowing how to pronounce it is any indication. At any rate, I personally don’t get a trendy vibe from it.

But it’s my favorite name at the moment, so I might be a little biased. =)

And boysmom2-I’d go with [name]Isla[/name], hands down. And I like your boys’ names!