Baby Names 2014: Our 14 newest choices

New year, new names.  Let’s usher in Baby Names 2014 with the 14 newest names on Nameberry, drawn from ancient places and fresh words-turned-names, new-fangled spellings and refashioned surnames.


Betsan, a Welsh pet form of Elizabeth, is little-known outside of the U.K. but it could provide an intriguing alternative to Liz, Beth, Betsy, Betty, and Libby. Bethan is another Welsh diminutive of Elizabeth.

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47 Responses to “Baby Names 2014: Our 14 newest choices”

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moonkai Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 1:13 am

I know a gentleman around the age of 75 named MacArthur, actually. He is an intensely interesting individual, haha.

megank4 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 2:59 am

Seriously? Costello? Detroit?
No way.

freya55 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 3:34 am

How do you pronounce Kaius? It is like Kye-ous or Keys? My first thought was to pronouce it Keys, like the Cambridge College (although that is spelt Caius) but then nn Kai wouldn’t make much sense.

Dantea Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 6:47 am

Kaius (and Caius) are pronounced ky-us where Ky rhymes with My and Eye.

I like a few of these — Kaius and Tempe being my favorites.

I had to go look up Neri because I was fully prepared to say “Link’s blue fairy was named Navi.” but turns out that Neri is a tiny minor character fairy in one of the games 😛

spotlightstarlit Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 9:37 am

Neri and Costello are my favorite additions!

maggiefromcanada Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 10:05 am

I can’t say I like a lot of those names. Isabelline is lovely though, and I like Caius (but not Kaius) and Neri. I knew a woman named Nari with a very similar pronunciation, though she was Cambodian so it was obviously not the same name. Kipling is okay too and I do like the nn Kip.

katybug Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 10:33 am

I have a former coworker who gave her son Detroit as a middle name. The city has significance for her and her husband. It’s quirky but a great use of a middle name that has personal meaning.

My parents named my brother Douglas after Gen. MacArthur. I think if it was today instead of 30 years ago, they would have considered MacArthur, which is very modern sounding and cool.

author in writing Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 10:49 am

I know quite a few Kiplings, all in thier early twenties, so I am surprised to see it consider “new”.

Shenanigans Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am

I hate them all.

Pam Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 11:47 am

Given that we’ve been collecting names for over a quarter century and these are brand new to Nameberry, they’re almost by definition going to be highly unusual and definitely not to general tastes. Yet we added them because we can imagine them appealing to some parents for some reasons. And we can see a few of them — Neri and Macsen, primarily — actually becoming popular.

The point is to read this story as more of a curiosity about names being newly discovered or revived than as a guide to what you should name your baby.

MichelleKaye Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

My youngest would have been named Macarthur had she been a boy :). I love any name that gets you to the nickname Mac.

Detroit surprised me. I have never even thought about it as a name.

mill1020 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I like MacArthur and can see it working as a solid name.

But, oooh wow, Detroit. I’m originally from Detroit (well, a suburb of, but my mom lived in The D proper for a number of years when I was growing up. I would drive with my brother–we were 17 and 15 at the time–to visit her, and we were instructed to take Woodward straight there, “do not stop on the way for any reason”). From what I am hearing from folks still living there, there’s been an upswing in tourism to the city but it is to gawk at the urban decay. So, to read this story as a “curiosity” is unfortunately quite fitting. Kwame Kilpatrick, felonies and fraud, bankruptcy, industrial ruins, etc–it’s not a very positive situation overall. Even the most die-hard Detroiters I know would feel sad for a baby named Detroit, as it is currently a national symbol of downfall after decadence. I’m hoping people will wait a few years (or decades, if necessary) for Detroit to make a strong comeback before using it as a baby name.

Pam Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I do know someone who is a Detroit native who used the city name as her son’s middle name and then adopted it as her own middle name, as a symbol of pride in her hometown, no matter what its state of decay. Poor Detroit. You can’t help but root for it and it does have a history of greatness.

tori101 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 3:20 pm

My favourites…
Neri – my mother is Polish-Israeli Jew I’ve seen this choice on many occassions

: )

PetraPlum Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

A fun list to read! I enjoy Betsan, Cabe, Macarthur and I especially love Isabelline (and that pretty heart from Etsy). I believe names that have some kind of connection to more familiar ones, yet with a fresh twist will become popular for parents looking for something new. Isabelline reminds me of Emmeline, a name that adds a little something extra to a popular name. FYI, Kipling’s work is The Jungle Book, not story.

findemaxa13 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Betsan and Kipling are both rather cute. Macarthur is very cool and boss-sounding. Seriously, though: DETROIT?

PetraPlum Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

How about Miette for a new name to watch? Meaning little crumb, or a diminutive of Marguerite or Mignonette.

KateMP91 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I really like Betsan and Sender (Sadler and Driver, too). I will definitely have Betsan on my mind as an alternative to Eliza.

I kind of like the sound of Annesley and Mackson, but not really.

I also like Costello, but it would never make my list.

ClaraOswinOswald Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I love Costello, Kipling, & Neri — added those to my lists !

rainierloner Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Betsan is gorgeous! I have never heard this name before, and now I’m in love! Costello is great too, along with Annesley, Isabelline, Macarthur, Neri, and Camber. The other’s are OK. Great post, by the way! You helped me find the name– Betsan! 🙂

clairels Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

I actually love Detroit. Gotta be cool to pull it off, though.

ToNameAFlutist Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I don’t like the idea of naming someone after a city.

Saracita00 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I really don’t care for any of these, but Detroit definitely has me wondering why Colombine should still be off-limits. At least that one has a pretty flower to a pleasant literal meaning to go with it, and the infamous incident associated with it was several years ago. Detroit is just…ongoing tragedy stretched into a slow decline of widespread misery.

JenniferMariska Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Kipling has been on my list for years, for personal reasons. I’m surprised some of these are new to Nameberry!

marshmallow1207 Says:

January 10th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Mackson! I much prefer the spelling Macsen, but I love to see that name getting recognized. I know a little boy just born in November named Kaius Ezra and I loved it. I’m also liking Isabelline and Macarthur.

happy Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 12:08 am

These are all terrible names. Please don’t name your children ANY of these names. Seriously, I named my daughter an uncommon name, and two years later I am still seeking a more common name to re-name her with. Don’t burden your children with a lifetime of explaining themselves at first introduction.

AggieLou Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 2:42 am

I’m ECSTATIC to see that you’ve added Macsen to your website!! (Although I hope it doesn’t become super popular!!)

Pam Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 8:52 am

@happy, that’s an interesting perspective. If you ever want to write about that, we’d love to have a blog on the subject — email us at or

and @AggieLou, once I researched the name, I couldn’t believe we didn’t have it already!

R_J Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 11:07 am

I saw Kipling on another nameberry blog somewhere, and I adore it. So springy and happy sounding.

Legacy seems a little laughable in its sincerity–like naming a kid Legend. But it does have a nice sound as a word I agree.

Shelskott Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 11:38 am

As a native Detroiter, (who has a lot of pride for my hometown, no matter how down on its luck), I actually think it would make a very cool and meaningful middle. It’s not really my style (all of my kids have old fashioned/family names), but had I gone a different way I could totally see using it. Detroit is currently a tale of two cities: there is suffering, corruption, and blight, but it is also an entrupenurial city where a lot of young people are flocking. A very good friend of mine just opened an amazing pie business there, and lots of other artists and artisans are helping to revitalize and reshape the city.

Macarther is also pretty cool. My mom worked with a woman named McGregor which I always thought was pretty interesting!

miloowen Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

As someone with Welsh heritage, I love Macsen and Betsan, although I prefer Bethan to Betsan….And let’s add Dai to the list, one of the names in my new novel.

Kipling — as much as I loved his books as a child — has just too much colonial imperialism to it for my taste, but I’ve noticed that many parents simply go by sound and have no clue as to the history of the names they choose. Where I grew up in Connecticut, Kip was a fairly typical name.

As for Neri, there is also the Italian nickname, which is given to a darkhaired, dark-eyed daughter, as in the line from Cavaradossi’s aria from Tosca.

I’m so tired of everything being spelled with a K. Is that trend ever going to disappear?

Oleander Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I like Betsan… But would not use it. I don’t really like any of the others. Especially Camber and Detroit. I think Costello could work for some people, but I am not a fan. MacArthur is cute, but I think surnames are overused right now.

Pemdas Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Being from the Detroit area I cannot fathom why anyone would do that to their poor child. Detroit is NOT cool. It’s dark, dirty and dangerous and everyone avoids going there unless there is a sporting event.

Giinkies Says:

January 11th, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I must be an alcoholic! The first thing I thought of when I heard MacArthur was the Scotch Whiskey. Don’t name your kid after a brand of alcohol please.

imogeneve Says:

January 12th, 2014 at 5:15 am

Fun list. I enjoy Neri, Kipling and Tempe (or Temperance). I considered Tempe (briefly) for my daughter Iris, but decided to steer clear as it is a local suburb.

scribe Says:

January 12th, 2014 at 10:53 am

The first thought that comes to mind when I hear “Macarthur” is the Macarthur BART station in Oakland, California. I always thought it was a cool name and I’m glad it’s getting some recognition here.

DrHenry Says:

January 12th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I feel like a narrow minded stick in the mud, but i really don’t love these names. Betsan, I almost like. Could grow on me. Tempe has growing potential too. The worst though, is Camber, ugh. I love snowboarding and i’m always looking to buy my next board, so i feel like i’m always talking about board camber, as you know, an actual word. it seems ridiculous as a name. My guilty pleasure names are word names, but come on. MacArthur meh. The Mac names and surnames are just so played out, I can’t understand why they are still so popular. I live in a place where it seems every other person is last name, Mac or Mc so maybe that’s why I think its so silly for given names.

NjordV Says:

January 12th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Does anyone really want to name their child after Rudyard Kipling? I wouldn’t, considering he was quite the supporter of Imperialism (“White Man’s Burden”). Hope no one actually names their child Kipling!

LuMary Says:

January 13th, 2014 at 8:57 am

I like Betsan and Bethan as diminutives for Elizabeth.

Mackson has a great deal of appeal to me, too. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t care as much for a name like Mackson, as it seems like another trendy moniker a la Mason, Hudson, and Jackson. I’d rather arrive at Jack, by the way, from John than Jackson, but at least there is some presidential history with Jackson.

I like the vintage Mack diminutive of Mackson. You can also arrive at Mack from Cormac, the Mac- or Mc- names, of course, and Malcolm. The adorable picture of boys in tartans accompanying Mackson gives the name a great boost. I guess that demonstrates the power of association.

Thumbs up for Mackson!

artshark Says:

January 13th, 2014 at 10:41 am

I like Isabelline, although I wouldn’t use it myself since it’s a bit frilly for my taste, but the yellowish color combined with the anecdote about Queen Isabella not changing her underwear is….a bit icky. I wouldn’t be able to get past the feeling that I was naming my child after dirty underwear. I do like Costello though, although I probably still wouldn’t use it.

AndreaLynn Says:

January 31st, 2014 at 12:33 am

The more I hear “new” names…the more I think people are just reaching. Ugh.

emilyelizabeth73 Says:

February 7th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Sorry to say, if you name your kids Kipling and ship then off to England at any time in their life, expect to get some comments and maybe a bakewell tart shoved down in their gob for their name. Mr. Kipling is a brilliant provider of classic confectionary, but who wants to be named after a cake company?

Sahrrie Says:

February 9th, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Just pointing out that Neri is NOT a name from the Legend of Zelda series of games. The Goddess (not fairy) of wisdom you are referring to is Nayru. There is also a goddess of courage, named Farore, and power, who is Din. 🙂

Thia76 Says:

February 19th, 2014 at 4:03 pm


Betsan and Kaius

These are both new to me, and instantly appealing. I love few things more than discovering a new name, especially when I can see it has some real roots and isn’t a modern made up kinda name. With a strong meaning like “rejoice,” the name Kaius jumps right out at me. A cute nickname to boot, who could go wrong with naming a son…Kaius Emanuel: Rejoice, the Lord is with us! Doesn’t seem far out to me at all.

Jenna5128 Says:

March 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

@NjordV I immediately thought of “White Man’s Burden” too! I think Kipling (while cute sounding) is totally inappropriate for a child’s name, given the namesake’s politics & the state of some of his target countries today.

I mean, unless you’re pro-imperialism, in which case, go right ahead and name your wee babe Kipling Kurtz LastName.

MrsMandBaby Says:

April 7th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I dated a guy in college who is named for Kipling, but his mom named him Kiplin. She dropped the g so its not really new to me.

AOK Says:

May 12th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Not even if these were the last twelve names on earth.

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