18 Hottest New Baby Names
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.
If you’re expecting a baby in 2015, chances are that you didn’t grow up with anyone with any of these 18 names. But your kids? They will almost certainly will have friends and classmates who answer to these names.
The 18 newest baby names in the US Top 100 are:
Harper – Literary Harper currently stands at Number 11, boosted by Harper Lee, author of Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird. Now that Lee has another novel on the bestseller lists, Harper feels unstoppable.
Aria – Musical Aria ranks Number 31. Other musical names like Melody and Cadence have been popular, but Aria’s rise is fueled by two television characters, Aria from Pretty Little Liars and, of course, Arya from Game of Thrones.
Skylar – Part surname-name, part-nature name, Number 48 Skylar is a modern choice for a daughter, never in the girls’ US Top 1000 before 1990. For boys, both Skylar and Skyler have slightly longer histories.
Paisley – As a colorful pattern, Paisley has been around since the eighteenth century. But as a name, Number 53 Paisley is brand new. Paisley first cracked the US Top 1000 in 2006, and has climbed quickly since.
Mila – Mila ranks Number 72, and feels like a vintage charmer. But Mila has only dipped into the US Top 1000 once before, in 1881. Following the success of Mia and Layla, Mila re-entered the Top 1000 in 2006 and has quickly become one of the most popular names for girls in the US.
Piper – Piper is Number 75, thanks to television’s Orange is the New Black, about everyone’s favorite inmate, Piper Chapman. Actress Piper Laurie scored her first Oscar nomination back in 1961, but the name was rare until the 21st century.
London – Place name London charts at Number 93. The city may have more than 2,000 years of history, but as a given name, London is new. It first charted in the girls’ Top 1000 in 1994, and reached the Top 100 in 2011.
Hadley – It’s another literary surname name starting with H! Number 99 Hadley brings to mind Hadley Hemingway, the first wife of celebrated author Ernest, and the subject of the fictionalized bestselling account of their marriage, The Paris Wife.
Jaxon and Jaxson – Number 46 Jaxon and Number 85 Jaxson are both respellings of artistic, presidential, place name Jackson. They’re definitely new baby names, and combined with the original, make this name the more popular than Number 1 Noah.
Grayson – Handsome Grayson stands at Number 63, a polished surname name, worn by fictional characters from Batman to Revenge. But as a given name, Grayson first charted in the US Top 1000 in 1984, and only reached the Top 100 in 2011.
Easton – Number 83 Easton is another surname name we’ve embraced in the last few years. While North is reserved for a Kardashian’s kid, Easton is as wearable as William. Easton is biggest in the Midwest. The name is Number 6 in North Dakota.
Bentley – The name of a British luxury automobile, Number 89 Bentley was boosted by a Teen Mom birth announcement back in 2009. Bentley previously cracked the US Top 1000 three times – in 1890, 1961, and 1962. Now Bentley joins Benjamin and Bennett on the list of formal names for Ben.
Kayden – Number 90 Kayden is a member of the Aiden–Jayden tribe. It’s also a newer favorite, first appearing in the US Top 1000 in 1999, and reaching the Top 100 in 2012. Aidan has history, but Kayden is a truly new 21st century name.
Ryder – Nearly every 21st century boys’ name is a surname, and that’s also true for Number 95 Ryder. Golf’s Ryder Cup and Ryder trucks make this name more familiar, but it’s only been heard as name since the 1990s, and debuted in the Top 100 in 2014.
Camden – Number 100 Camden is a place name, celebrity favorite, and spin on long-time favorite Cameron. London’s bohemian Camden Town district has long been a favorite with creative types, from Charles Dickens to Dylan Thomas to Amy Winehouse.
What are your favorite new baby names? Would you consider any of these possibilities for your child?
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on July 23rd, 2015 at 11:13 pm
I like Aria and Mila. All the others don’t hold any appeal at all for me. I know lots of people like unisex names, but I just can’t stand them! I like girls to have feminine names….maybe I feel that way because my name, while not unisex, is kind of plain.
on July 23rd, 2015 at 11:14 pm
Don’t like any of the boy names either…to each their own!
on July 23rd, 2015 at 11:44 pm
I dislike them all. Maybe sometimes newer isn’t better? I don’t tend to like names that sound like law firms.
on July 23rd, 2015 at 11:51 pm
Aria and Mila are nice choices but, other than that, I think the rest are mostly masculine names or just generally unappealing choices. I guess others could disagree but, I don’t think a name like Paisley holds a candle to Penelope or even Penny. A vast majority of those 21st century names are trendy and tasteless, with no character, depth or meaning as far as I can see. And, again, a vast majority of them are masculine so that’s not particularly good either.
The boy names aren’t much better though. Again, maybe it’s just because I’m a bit of a traditionalist but, names like Greyson and Cameron just don’t hold any appeal.
on July 24th, 2015 at 12:13 am
I like Mila and Camden, but I already have a Malcolm. So, even if they weren’t such popular names, I wouldn’t use them, because they sound too close to Malcolm to me. The other names didn’t really surprise or impress me.
on July 24th, 2015 at 12:59 am
If I hear Ryder or Paisley one more time I might scream. They are sooooo very popular where I live.
on July 24th, 2015 at 7:08 am
I quite like Harper and Piper for their musical sound, although I generally don’t like “er” names (know a baby girl called Parker, yuck).
I did know an Aria in school actually, way back in the 90s.
on July 24th, 2015 at 7:33 am
Aria and Mila are really the only appealing ones for me, although I don’t mind Harper.
on July 24th, 2015 at 8:01 am
Easton being in this list is so weird to me because it’s name of my hometown! I love my heritage there so much I actually thought of using it as a middle name before it became trendy. So weird! I do like it though, for my reasons.
on July 24th, 2015 at 9:07 am
I like Jaxon, but spelt Jackson. I like Aria and Skylar but wouldn’t use them and I would use Mila.
on July 24th, 2015 at 9:16 am
We used to have a cat named Paisley (she died a few years ago). It seems more appropriate for a pet than a child.
on July 24th, 2015 at 11:07 am
I will never be able to understand the appeal of Jaxson, the spelling looks so clunky to me. And I’m surprised that Kennedy is popular on girls- it’s so masculine! Poor girls.
on July 24th, 2015 at 12:25 pm
The only ones that appeal to me are Aria & Greyson (w/an e, not an a). But unless I was restricted to using only those two names for a boy & girl, I wouldn’t choose either. My opinions on the rest of them range from meh to good god no. 🙂
on July 24th, 2015 at 1:40 pm
I like Hadley a lot because of the Hemingway connection, and Aria is pretty, too. I love that you mentioned Amy Winehouse, by the way. 🙂
on July 24th, 2015 at 3:37 pm
All horrible, common names.
on July 24th, 2015 at 4:03 pm
The only one that stood out to me that I’ve always liked is Piper. Some of the others are OK but not memorable.
on July 24th, 2015 at 6:46 pm
Harper and Hadley, along with Piper, Aria, and Mila, are my favorites off the girl list. For boys, I suppose my picks are Easton, Grayson, and Camden (although I like the look, I’m just not a Cam fan). I wouldn’t use any, but see the appeal.
Instead of Hadley and Harper, I’m more inclined toward unisex surname names Hollis and Halsey – never met a Hollis, but knew a female Halsey in college. Piper feels perky, but I like spunky Poppy better, and generally prefer occupation names for boys (my favorite is Archer).
I went to college with an Easton, but disagree that North is only Kimye’s baby. I know a grown male North. Easton is handsome and a nice, less traditional Ethan alternative, but my favorite direction name is most definitely West!
on July 24th, 2015 at 8:03 pm
Jenna Bush calls her daughter, who was named for both of her grandmothers (Margaret Laura), Mila.
Kayden for a boy? The Kay part seems prohibitive. Kaden I can see.
Harper, Piper, and Fifer makes a nice trio for girls both to musical parents.
on July 24th, 2015 at 9:29 pm
I love Aria! I also like Grayson. Piper, Harper, Paisley, and Mila. Bentley is cute, but I don’t know how I feel about it being a car. And no, I am really not ashamed to like trendy or popular names because I have a whole list of everything, unique, nature, vintage, modern, etc. I love these along with names like Persephone, Bluebell, Wildflower, Margot, Marigold, Violet, Genevieve, etc. I think Aria is beautiful with a musical quality to it. Grayson/Greyson is adorable and I love the name Gray/Grey. Piper is cute and spunky, same with Harper (which also has a musical connection). Paisley is also adorable with some spunk. Mila is just very pretty. I like unisex names, just not really the others on this list, I love Quinn, Riley, Rory, and Spencer for unisex though, although I really think any name can be if you love it. But anyways, I like some of these a lot, some okay, and some not my favorites.
on July 25th, 2015 at 7:30 am
Mila is pretty. Aria sounds like an allergy nose spray to me because there is a brand where i live called Aerius. It’s all I can hear when I think of the name now!!
Don’t care for the rest. Particularly dislike Paisley – ugh.
on July 25th, 2015 at 3:12 pm
I dislike most of these. Two hot-right-now names I adore: Juniper and Archer.
on July 26th, 2015 at 4:52 am
Harper, Piper and Aubree I find sweet and appealing. And for boys’ I think Bentley is a sweet name, however, I don’t know if I could really call my future child that.
on July 26th, 2015 at 8:54 pm
I don’t see many of these names having long-term success. Mila is the most appealing. I am not a fan of Jaxon/ Jaxson. I also know a Jaxzen. His mother is Denyel, so creative spellings run in the family.
on July 28th, 2015 at 8:30 pm
I disagree about Skylar being new… I knew at least three growing up, usually with the spelling Skyler.
The only name on the girl’s list I like is Aria, though I prefer Arya which has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. I’m especially not a fan of Hadley, for either sex, but that’s because I have some unfortunate associations to it.
On the boys list, I like Grayson (prefer Greyson), Easton, and Ryder, but I’m not in love with any of them.
The Latest + Greatest 18 Hot New Baby Names Said
on July 29th, 2015 at 3:07 pm
[…] This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel. […]
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