Category: new names for girls
By Abby Sandel and Linda Rosenkrantz
If we’ve ever had the slightest doubts about the creativity of the Nameberry community, they are hereby gone forever.
When we announced our latest Invent-a-Baby-Name challenge two weeks ago, we expected something like the healthy response we got last time—which was 222 entries.
This time we were overwhelmed by 590 separate responses. And since we generously invited you to not limit yourself to a single suggestion, some of the comments packed with dozens of names, as you opened the floodgates to your inventive ideas, bringing the total number of names well into the several thousands. Our intrepid intern, Laura, counted 5,665 separate entries!
After painstakingly (and exhaustedly) considering every single name, we soon realized that it would be almost impossible to narrow down the winner to just one name.
And so we have broken it down into seven of the most highly represented categories—after realizing that inventing a name doesn’t have to mean completely creating one out of whole cloth, but could also include transforming words and surnames and place names that haven’t been used for real-life kids before into viable baby names. In fact, one of our prime criteria was wearability–could we see this name actually being used?
The overall winner for 2016 is at the very bottom of the post, but first, let’s look at some of the best invented names entered this year, with the favorite name in each category in boldface type!
by Abby Sandel
Back in 1944, names like Judy, Beverly, and Bruce felt new. In the 1970s, Kelly, Justin, and Shawn were novel. And in 1994, we were busy naming our sons original choices like Austin and Tyler, while our daughters became Alexis and Taylor.
Parents are always dreaming up new baby names, taking our inspiration from pop culture and the past. Not every new name feels freshly minted. Some seem like throwbacks, even vintage gems. Others become mainstream so quickly that it’s hard to imagine the names haven’t always been in use.
But make no mistake: plenty of the most popular baby names in the US are recent arrivals, as new the newborns who wear them.
How to define a truly new baby name? There are eight boy names and ten girl names that have only ranked in the US Top 100 for the past five years. They’ve also (almost) never charted in the US Top 1000 prior to 1984 – thirty years ago.
But no, these names were given for the very first time to at least five American babies, earning a place on the Social Security’s extended name popularity list.
The craziest of the crazy new names? Here are our picks for the Top 12, plus a handful of other new names that should never have been:
Here’s the beautiful thing about baby names: the well never runs dry.
No matter how many names cycle through Top Ten lists, no matter how many celebrities choose truly outlandish names for their children, there are always more names. Neglected gems from years gone by, novel words never before considered names, imports from abroad.
Need proof? Look no further than the overwhelming response to last week’s Invent a Name Challenge.
Or just read the baby name blogs, high profile birth announcements, and Nameberry message boards any day of the week. Plenty of parents, from Hollywood A-listers to the family next door, are choosing inventive, daring names for their children. The boldest might surprise us with their first name choices, while others play it safe with firsts but choose sparky, unexpected middles.
There are no guarantees, of course. An obscurity you choose in 2015 could hover just outside the US Top 100 by the time your kiddo heads off to kindergarten. But that just opens the door for another group of parents to innovate with the names of their children.
Is the way we name our daughters changing?
The way we name our sons in 2014 feels different. For years we relied on Biblical favorites with a few hardy Germanic go-tos mixed in. But since the 1990s, we’ve seen names like Tyler, Mason, and Jayden reach the US Top Ten. Jackson is more popular than John, while former favorites like Richard and Steven are less and less common.
Girls’ names have always been more volatile. And yet, our ideas about what makes an appropriately feminine name were once more set. Sophia, Isabella and Charlotte might be today’s darlings, but they’re not so different from Amanda, Melissa, and Heather in the 1980s or Barbara, Cynthia, and Karen in the 1950s.