Baby Names 2013: Our newest choices
Our newest crop of baby names 2013 are a modern mix of ancient and contemporary. They include the name of the year’s coolest car made famous by an early electrical inventor, a name shared by this season’s hottest baseball player and a soldier in David‘s Biblical army, and a zippy new nickname for a classic Top 10 girls’ name.
The baby names 2013 newest on Nameberry are:
Boo as a first name first achieved notoriety as the name of the child-man in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Arthur "Boo" Radley was meant to be frightening, but only in a simple, non-threatening way. More recently, Boo has been used as the middle name of one of chef Jamie Oliver's children, the nickname in the middle of television's Honey Boo Boo, the name of the world's cutest dog, and also of the adorable little girl in Monsters, Inc. In a more basic way, Boo is a term of endearment.
- Boo as a first name first achieved notoriety as the name of the child-man in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Arthur "Boo" Radley was meant to be frightening, but only in a simple, non-threatening way. More recently, Boo has been used as the middle name of one of chef Jamie Oliver's children, the nickname in the middle of television's Honey Boo Boo, the name of the world's cutest dog, and also of the adorable little girl in Monsters, Inc. In a more basic way, Boo is a term of endearment." >
- Cleora is a virtually extinct name (there were no babies named Cleora recorded in the US in 2012) that achieved some standing in the early 20th century thanks to the craze for all things Egypt-related. A range of Cleopatra diminutives, including Cleora,, made the Top 1000 then as the ancient tombs were opened in Egypt and Theda Bara starred in the 1917 silent film hit Cleopatra. Cleora feels new via its steampunk style." >
- Este -- think Esme with a t -- comes to us via one of the rocking sisters in the musical group Haim. For long best known as the Esther diminutive used by cosmetics queen Estee Lauder, Este is a slimmed-down version that feels chicer for our star-struck times. While mother name Esther, which means “star,” has Persian origins and impressive Biblical roots, it's a name used in a wide range of cultures." >
- French Stewart introduced this one to the lexicon. French is part word name, part place name, and part surname-name, reminiscent of another recent celebrity name, Moroccan. French works equally well for both sexes." >
- Macarius is the name of several early saints: St. Macarius of Egypt was known for his wisdom, while St. Macarius of Rome founded an island hermitage in Russia. Macarius is virtually unknown in the US though its Spanish forms Macario and the feminine Macaria are sometimes used. With the revival of many ancient s-ending names, Macarius might rise again, and it does carry the user-friendly nickname Mac." >
- Tennis star Novak Djokovic introduced this new first name to the English-speaking world, though it had long been familiar as a surname. The celebrity Novak, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, might be an inspirational role model for a baby Novak. And the name Novak goes well with other stylish names that mean new, including Nova, Neo, and Nouvel." >
- Rowdy is yet another new entry in the ever-more-popular group of bad boy names. The word Rowdy originated in the US in the early 19th century to denote a rough or lawless person. Rowdy Yates was the protagonist of TV's Rawhide, played by Clint Eastwood, and Rowdy Gaines is a competitive swimmer. Another new Bad Boy name on Nameberry: Shooter, chosen by artist Julian Schnabel for his newborn son." >
- Solstice graduated from word to official first name when author Lionel Shriver used it for a character in her novel Big Brother. But of course, there were people named Solstice before: six little girls were given the name in the US in 2012. The word solstice is derived from the Old French and Latin term meaning "point at which the sun seems to stand still." There are pagan celebrations around the time of the winter and summer solstices, June 21 and December 21, the longest and shortest days of the year." >
- Sutter is a new entry to the fashionable class of occupational surnames -- it means "shoemaker" -- brought to the fore by the hero of the 2013 indie film The Spectacular Now. More masculine than Sutton and more distinctive than Sawyer, Sutter might be a good choice for the child of a shoe designer or shoe lover." >
- Tai, which rhymes with Kai -- and my and sigh -- is a unisex name with a range of international references. Tai means the equivalent of "too much" in Chinese but is also used as a Maori name meaning "the tide" and in Romanian means "yours." While it's only ever ranked in the US Top 1000 as a girls' name, during the height of the popularity of Olympic skater Tai Babilonia, Tai makes a simple intriguing modern choice for either gender." >
- Tesla, the surname of Serbian inventor Nikolo Tesla that has more recently been used as the brand name for an electric car, is gaining some use as a first name for girls. Exactly 100 girls were named Tesla in the US last year. You might think of the name as a Tessa/Isla hybrid, though with Tesla the s is not silent. There was also a rock band named Tesla." >
- Tornado and Hurricane Black are rising tennis stars whose stormy names are sure to inspire parents in search of an original, attention-getting choice. If Tornado and Hurricane work as first names at all, they're equally appropriate for girls and boys." >
- Yasiel is gaining a following thanks to superstar baseball player Yasiel Puig, a Cuban native who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Biblical Yasiel, which can also be spelled Jasiel, was a warrior in David's army. About 100 baby boys were given the name in both spellings in the US last year, a number that is expected to rise." >
- Zabelle and Zabel are fresh (to us) and ancient forms of Isabel, making zippy variations for modern lovers of that ancient name who feel the original is overexposed. One Zabel or Isabel namesake: Isabel Archer of Henry James' Portrait of a Lady." >
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on September 20th, 2013 at 8:05 am
Honestly, the only name I remotely like from the list is Zabelle. The rest are too outlandish.
on September 20th, 2013 at 8:38 am
Great to see Novak on here! My family is a collective tennis nerd and we love Novak Djokovic. I also like Cleora, Macarius (this could make a cool middle name), Sutter, and Tai.
Two things you left off:
– Boo. Where’s the cutest Boo of all: the infinitely charming little girl from Monsters, Inc.? She’s my first association with the name. “KITTY!”
– I find it interesting that you included Yasiel after Yasiel Puig, but not Yadier after Yadier Molina—he’s the St. Louis Cardinals catcher, one of the team’s biggest leaders right now, and he’s in the discussion for MVP. His name has fascinated me for a few years now, but I can’t find any information on it. My guess is that it’s a made-up variation on Javier, but I’ve heard it’s somewhat popular among Hispanic communities, so he’s not the only bearer. And I just love the sound.
on September 20th, 2013 at 8:47 am
Cleora and Macarius would be bold and unusual choices.
Solstice would make a quirky mn especially for a baby born on June 21.
But really, Boo, Rowdy and Tornado? I don’t think Nameberry should be even listing choices like these on this site. It just encourages people to think that they’re appropriate and suitable for human beings. As anyone who has survived a tornado can attest, naming a child this would only be a reminder of the trauma they went through. Nameberry is usually a place of classy, reasonable and respectable advice. I guess my expectations were too high..
on September 20th, 2013 at 9:44 am
Hermione, thank you — I have GOT to see Monsters, Inc. and I was happy to add that adorable Boo!
And Mischa, ouch. We certainly don’t believe that offering classy, reasonable, and respectable advice and including a comprehensive range of names, old and new, are mutually exclusive!
on September 20th, 2013 at 9:45 am
I do have to agree with Mischa about the use of Tornado as a name. I live in part of Tornado Alley, and there is nothing remotely romantic about a tornado’s storminess. I drove through one on May 31 to get home from work, and I prayed the whole way home. I had other family members who nearly hit a wall coming home that night, so no, Tornado is not something I would name my child. Or even a pet. It is a good song by Little Big Town, though.
on September 20th, 2013 at 10:33 am
There is a beauty youtube blogger named Estee that goes by Essie Button. I think it is an adorable name and she is an adorable person all around so it makes me like the name even more.
on September 20th, 2013 at 10:39 am
Love Solstice and Tesla. I don’t think I’d ever use any of these for a child though – they’re just not all that realistic.
Just as a note – I believe it’s Nikola Tesla.
on September 20th, 2013 at 11:23 am
I am not sure about most of these names. That being said I really like Macarius. Those old saints names are interesting.
I don’t like Boo, Rowdy, and Tornado. I agree with others that these should be encouraged as names. I will add Shooter, from a previous post to the list.
on September 20th, 2013 at 11:31 am
I actually like Zabel/le, Solstice and Este.
on September 20th, 2013 at 12:03 pm
I really like Tesla and I agree, Solstice would be an amazing middle name for children born on those special nights of the year.
I think it would be very hard to find a babysitter for two brothers named Rowdy and Tornado. I’m just saying.
on September 20th, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Macarius (Mac!) is really cool and I am loving Zabel/Zabelle. I love learning new names! I also really like Este, Tai Tesla. Novak is growing on me. Boo makes a cute nickname or pet name. I think Radley would work better for a boy’s name.
on September 20th, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Ugh…Tornado and Hurricane. Their parents obviously haven’t seen an entire town leveled and lives lost due to tornados. I’m probably being overly sensitive (I’m from tornado alley too).
on September 20th, 2013 at 12:51 pm
I do like Solstice though! It’s not something I would use, but I’d like to meet a little Solstice!
on September 20th, 2013 at 1:34 pm
Interesting!! Love the photographs on the blog as well : )
My favourite from the list being Cleora.
on September 20th, 2013 at 1:34 pm
I like Novak, but I LOVE Tesla and Rowdy!
on September 20th, 2013 at 1:37 pm
I really enjoyed today’s blog! I really enjoy seeing a whole list of names that are new to me, even if I wouldn’t use some of them; its just so interesting.
on September 20th, 2013 at 1:46 pm
I just googled Tornado and Hurricane Black and there was an article saying that their parents named them that as deliberate marketing ploy. Their mother has a background in marketing and their father is a tennis-pro, so they named their kids anticipating they were going to be tennis stars with headline grabbing names. That is pretty extreme stuff!
on September 20th, 2013 at 1:59 pm
In defense of Tornado, Rowdy, and Boo:
Tornado is an intense name. Maybe they wanted their children to grow up with that kind of intensity. I see nothing wrong with that. If there is nothing wrong with Sunny and Rain, then there should be nothing wrong with Tornado.
As for Rowdy, I love it. Partially due to the fact that I know a successful, passionate, kind adult man with the name. I would name my child Rowdy. If I have boys, that is exactly how I want them to be: boys!
Boo is intriguing. I think it would make as good of a middle as the beloved name Blue. It’s sweet and nick-name-y. It also reminds me of Booboo Stewart, and while Nils Allen Stewart is his (totally awesome) real name, as a professional, he goes by Booboo. It works. I love it.
I appreciate the fact that Nameberry offers such a wide range of names. You may rather name your son Charles, but someone else might prefer Shooter. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I like that there are so many names out there. I would be a very disappointed Berry if I only got to choose from the top 100.
on September 20th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Solstice is lovely; for me all of these names would only namke mn status if they’re lucky
It does always suprise me when I search for a name of Nameberry and it only shows forum results, yet names like Tornado (not that i wld begrudge anyone who choose to use it, mind) are listed.
How does a name ‘make it’ onto Nameberry? Does it depend on how often it was used?
on September 20th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
Ah! I just googled the article about Tornado and Hurricane. Their legal names are Alicia and Tyra – Tornado and Hurricane are their marketing ploy nicknames. I have a marketing degree too, and don’t really understand the urge to saddle your children with gimicky nicknames, but to each their own. I guess if the girls are ok with it, then I feel a little better about life.
on September 20th, 2013 at 4:11 pm
I think Tesla would make a beautiful name, and Zabelle is nice too.
I would find French rather pretentious.
on September 20th, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Looks like you’re running out of names. Boo, REALLY?
on September 20th, 2013 at 5:46 pm
I’ve also gotta say, I’d think of Tesla as more of a boy’s name… Being a surname and all. The inventor is Nikola Tesla not Nikolo. Just a heads up!
on September 20th, 2013 at 6:22 pm
I agree with a lot of other people. Boo, Rowdy, Tornado and French aren’t really good first name choices. If you want to name a kid Michael Boo/Allister Boo/Charlotte Boo/Magdelena Boo, or Benjamin Rowdy/Balthazar Rowdy/Ellen Rowdy/Eleanora/Rowdy, Sebastian Tornado/Jacob Tornado/Samantha Tornado/Elizabetta Tornado, there’s nothing I can say because at least they have a first name people can take seriously. I always find it weird that there are tons of legit names that aren’t in the database (lots of them suggested in a thread in the All About Nameberry section) that never seem to make it on the site but then you have Banana, Bloodrayne, Tornado, etc. Why don’t the legit names make it but these sorts do?
Aside from all that, I like a few on here. Boo is an adorable nickname, Cleora is very pretty and Cleo is ‘normal’, Macarius is awesome, Solstice would make a lovely middle name for someone born around that time, I’ve suggested Tesla in the boys and girls forums before, and Zabelle is interesting.
And also, as has been noted, the inventor is Nikola Tesla.
on September 20th, 2013 at 6:59 pm
I love Sutter! I went to school with a boy named Rowdy.
on September 21st, 2013 at 5:33 am
I love Este, Solstice and Zabelle.
on September 21st, 2013 at 7:53 am
Este is awful. It means ‘this’ is Spanish. Sorry, awful names all around.
on September 21st, 2013 at 7:56 am
I agree with the previous posters that the name Tornado is really not apporpriate and I’m a bit saddened that Nameberry is promoting it. I live in Tornado Alley with my family, we’ve seen a considerable amount of tornados in our area and are fairly close to the one that made national headlines this summer. We’ve lost friends and extended family to tornados.
The other names aren’t terrible, though. Not my style and maybe lower class, but they aren’t unbearable.
on September 21st, 2013 at 8:03 am
Very interesting on Tornado and Hurricane as marketing ploy names — certainly something many celebrities (and people who want their kids to be celebrities) indulge in today. We don’t support it, but we are definitely going to write about it!
on September 21st, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Had Tesla and Solstice on my list but DH still needs convincing. Feedback I got was that Solstice has too much “s”. (I do love Tesla, though…nerd-tastic)
I was also shocked to see tornado, and not in a good way. Maybe some narcissistic parents will think it is brilliantly unique, not thinking about how the very word sparks very negative feelings in anyone who has survived one of these horrendous disasters. Naming a child after any natural disaster is highly distasteful, in my opinion.
on September 21st, 2013 at 3:50 pm
@KateMP91 Ah Sun and Rain rarely kill people, as opposed to hurricanes and tornados and shooters. If some idiot wanted to name their kids, Murderer would you support that? I wouldn’t.
Also some of the people who participate live in places like Australia where these names are illegal. I wish our country was that sensible.
@Pam I agree that when people make questionable choices you should be able to write about them. I disagree you’re not encouraging them to use them since they are entered into your database as names I think encouraging them. Say someone who would never have used the name is searching your database for names that begin with S and have an O in them. Before Socrates and Sophie, they see Shooter listed as a name. You are responsible for putting out crazy suggestions, because you never what kind of psychopath may be reading.
on September 21st, 2013 at 5:06 pm
Just a note that in Australia Rowdy is a nickname for a very quiet person. A bit of reverse psychology.
on September 21st, 2013 at 5:55 pm
I know a baby Zabelle in real life, and it totally suits her (plus she’s just so darn cute!).
on September 21st, 2013 at 7:18 pm
My daughter has a German name that is difficult to pronounce in the States. Her nickname is Boo and she goes exclusively by that name and it is the only name she responds to! As fitting and adorable as it is, I would never consider it as her legal name.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 1:12 am
I love Solstice. I would never use it but it is a beautiful name.
Novak I also love as I am a huge Djokovic fan.
Tai reminds me of Thai or Tie.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 2:18 am
@EmilyVA Goodness, I hope Tornado isn’t the new Bloodrayne or Banana with the ridiculous search popularity. Ugh.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 7:06 am
When I see Zabel I want to pronounce it with a long A because that was the surname of a teacher of mine in high school. I like Zabeth, the only time I have heard it is in a novel. It’s a cute and uncommon nickname for Elizabeth.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 am
I like Este(but I would spell it Estee) and Tai.
Otherwise, I think we are stretching a little too far these days to find names. The more I see people stretch to the point of ridiculousness to find an unusual name, the more I just want to revert back to the classics. Could just be me getting older?! 🙂
on September 22nd, 2013 at 11:15 am
“I think it would be very hard to find a babysitter for two brothers named Rowdy and Tornado. I’m just saying.”
However I do agree that Tornado or any of its equally devastating counterparts are poor choices.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm
there are plenty of “out there”names on this list. My concern is with Shooter. As a non-American observer of all the gun culture tragedies in the US, I just wonder why any parent would choose this name, except perhaps as a (poorly thought out) political statement. It seems there is a news story once a week about a “shooter” wreaking havoc. Personally, I would hate to have my child associated with this.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 3:07 pm
Wow this list is terrible in my opinion… Just take random words and call them “new name picks”
on September 22nd, 2013 at 4:29 pm
Cleora has really caught my attention! Adding it to my list! 🙂
on September 22nd, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Cleora?! Tornado? This list, for the most part, is awful.
on September 22nd, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Love some, hate some. I love Estée, but Este is meh. “Este es my daughter Este” is all I can think of, keep the triple E. I’d rather name my child after any town in Oklahoma rather than Tornado, yikes. Tesla is hot, and I love it – perfect for sis Joule (or Lumen?) or maybe brother Kelvin?
on September 23rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Some interesting names to be sure! I really love Estee (prefer the double e spelling) for a girl, it sounds fresh and fun. Another berry commented that they knew an Este(e) with the nn Essie, how adorable! For the boys Yasiel sounds pretty cool and I know that Rowdy is not a favorite of many berries but I cannot help but adore it, it’s kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, I do not think I would necessarily use it for my own child, but still have a name crush on it.
My husband and I both go hunting, and we both participated in YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge when growing up. Since we were shooting guns we were/are termed “shooters”. Yes, in America (and around the world) the term shooter can bring up negative connotations, however, just because someone is shooting a gun it does not always mean they are shooting to kill someone. If a police officer is in a shoot-out with a criminal and is shooting at them they become a “shooter”, is that still negative if the police officer is doing their job to protect people?
on September 24th, 2013 at 2:18 am
@poppy528, a list of Oklahoma town names is something I actually have made: Idabell, Hollis, Guthrie- I think they could catch on.
I’m loving Estée right now as I’ve had Essie on my mind for a while! Yasiel also reminds me of Ishmael, which I love.
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