Best of the New Baby Names
By Abby Sandel
One of the highlights of the release of the Top 1000 baby names? It’s a thrill to look at newcomers to the list, the names that debut for the very first time, as well as those that have made a comeback after many years’ absence.
Some of the newcomers represent a twist on an already popular name. Others seem like pop culture sensations, likely to fall out of favor just as quickly as they rise. Check out the whole list here. But we’ve found a dozen gems, all new to the US Top 1000 for 2016, that seem likely to stick around.
Move over, Isabella! Antonella is a long, lovely elaboration of Antonia, originally used in Italian. It seems like a natural choice for parents who love romantic names for girls, borrowing the best of Alexandra and Gabriella. If Antonia is more your speed, that feminine form of Anthony returned to the US Top 1000 in 2016; this year marks Antonella’s debut.
- Isabella! Antonella is a long, lovely elaboration of Antonia, originally used in Italian. It seems like a natural choice for parents who love romantic names for girls, borrowing the best of Alexandra and Gabriella. If Antonia is more your speed, that feminine form of Anthony returned to the US Top 1000 in 2016; this year marks Antonella’s debut." >
- Chloe and Zoe, Penelope and Phoebe. Now Calliope is the latest –e ending Greek name for girls. In myth, she was one of the muses. Calliope is also the name of the steam-powered organ used on steamboats and carousels at the turn of the last century. Easy nickname Callie makes this one extra wearable." >
- Louisa returned to the rankings in 2014, so no surprise that Louise has followed. The classic name peaked about a century ago, putting it right on schedule for a 2017 revival. With Lucy and Luna in the US Top 100, the Lou- sound is still white hot. 1920s icon Louise “Lulu” Brooks makes it even more appealing." >
- Mavis to a young vampire, voiced by Selena Gomez. The popular movie transformed Mavis from a 1920s antique to a very wearable choice for a daughter born today. Another bonus? It’s a bird name, putting it with nature name picks like River and Willow. With another installment of the HT franchise due out in 2018, this name could soar." >
- Poppy. Americans have tended to overlook the bright red bloom, in favor of Daisy and Lily. With high profile parents like Nate Berkus and Jenna Bush Hager embracing the name, that has started to change. Poppy also fits with so many stylish P names, from Piper to Penelope." >
- Ava and Ivy, add a dash of Sophie, and voila – Sylvie, a new-to-the-Top-1000 name that feels instantly at home. The French form of ancient name Silvia, it’s become a Nameberry favorite, and could substitute for popular choices like Evelyn or Vivian. Jason Bateman’s younger daughter is Maple Sylvie." >
- Oscar-winning actor Benicio del Toro made his name familiar to American audiences. But del Toro has been in the spotlight for years. What explains the recent rise? Parents are all about Ben names lately, including Top Ten Benjamin and surname-name Bennett. Plus, -o enders like Matteo are fast favorites. Combine the two, and Benicio makes a logical choice." >
- Rocky series was called Creed. It featured a young boxer, son of Rocky’s former rival, Apollo Creed. The movie earned Sylvester Stallone a Golden Globe, plus an Oscar nomination. But Creed could be the big winner. The name fits right in with modern meaningfuls like Bodhi and Sage." >
- Carter and Hunter are long-time Top 100 favorites, paving the way for new ends with –r picks. A century ago, Foster ranked in the Top 500. Now, it’s returned to the Top 1000, and could rise much higher. To foster is to raise, encourage, or support. That makes it another surname name with a virtue vibe." >
- Kylo comes from a galaxy far, far away – and it’s a villain’s name, too! But it could prove lasting because of the sound. The Star Wars character name combines the Ky- of Kyle and Kai with that popular –o ending. If Milo can catch on, Kylo stands a chance. After all, the original movies did wonders for Luke." >
- Ralph had fallen out of use. But today it could be the new George, an unassuming, solid choice for a son. Of course, actor Ralph Fiennes pronounces it Rafe, so maybe some new Ralphs do, too. Blogger Gabrielle Blair – a.k.a Design Mom – has six kids, Ralph, Betty, Maude, Oscar, Olive, and June." >
- Rich with spiritual significance, Shepherd is an occupational surname that has long been used in small numbers. It’s a gentle name with a distinctive sound, long used in small numbers, but out of the US Top 1000 since the 1880s. Until now, of course, when a mix of on-trend style and meaning has made Shepherd one to watch." >
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on May 19th, 2017 at 11:03 pm
I can imagine Shepard/Shepherd becoming more popular especially when considering the playground analysis. It has an obvious nickname, it is simple yet different, it can have religious/spiritual meaning, Shepard Smith lends it familiarity–and I also wonder if his coming out may make it feel less polarizing for those who aren’t the biggest fans of Fox News.
on May 20th, 2017 at 10:34 am
Calliope is stunning. Poppy is already well-used in the UK, and has been a top name here for years. Antonia is lovely. It is the most stylish feminine form of Anthony. Toni is a cute nickname.
on May 20th, 2017 at 4:11 pm
feel like the only actual new name is Kylo, all the others have been trending or growing for a few years
Abby Sandel Said
on May 21st, 2017 at 9:43 am
True – but they haven’t been in the Top 1000 in recent years. For this post, that’s the definition of “new.” We’ve got more stories coming up on names that are much less common!
on May 21st, 2017 at 1:25 pm
I LOVE Calliope! So beautiful! Definitely makes me think of the old musical instrument but if other parents are using it more, maybe my husband will warm up one day 😉
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on May 21st, 2017 at 8:33 pm
[…] of great names have gone from under-the-radar to the next big thing. Shepherd, Gus, and Fox cracked the US Top 1,000. Wilder, Arlo, Kingsley, Hayes, and Grey all climbed more than 100 places in the rankings. Even […]
on May 22nd, 2017 at 3:08 pm
I’ve been shocked to realize Calliope hasn’t been in the top 1000 before. I don’t typically pay close attention to the popularity of names unless they’re in the top 20, but I never noticed that this name was so unusual. It has been a favorite of mine for nearly fifteen years – since I read Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex in high school. I’d have assumed its appearance on Grey’s Anatomy starting in 2006 had boosted the name’s momentum more than it seems it has.
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on May 28th, 2017 at 10:52 pm
[…] year, it seems like more rarities are discovered. Calliope, Mavis, and Poppy joined the US Top 1,000. Once uncommon choices like Ophelia, Thea, and Wren all climbed more than 100 places in the […]
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