New Baby Names: Catch Them While They’re Hot!
New baby names are those that have never (or rarely) been used until recent years, but are red-hot for children now.
Each generation wants to do things differently from the last. For some parents that means looking wider for baby name inspiration, and choosing a name that they’ve never heard on anyone else.
The biggest attraction of a brand new name — on a brand new person — is its freshness and lack of baggage. When a child’s name doesn’t have the weight of history on it, it’s theirs to shape as they wish, and no one is going to tell them it’s the same as their grandpa / boss / childhood pet.
By the same token, kids with these names may share their name with some people their age or younger, but in the grand scheme of people who are alive now, it’ll be pretty uncommon. I doubt that digital identity is the main concern for most parents, but there’s the bonus point that Aubriella has a better chance of getting straightforward email addresses and usernames than Elizabeth.
Newly popular names
Sure, some of these have been around a long time, but not many people were using them until recently. These names were brand new to the US Top 100 in the last 10 years (according to the latest data available):
Lydia (a Biblical classic returned to the Top 100 after an absence of more than a century!)
Nova (both a newly popular name, and a name meaning new!)
Every year the name pool becomes more diverse, as parents use names from countries and cultures across the globe. They may be well-known in their homeland, but they are fresh to anglophone ears. These are some that are catching on fast in the US:
New names from place names and surnames
Another big source of inspiration is last names, whether they’re from your family tree or a movie credits roll. The map is also a great place to find names that are familiar, but not common on people.
New word names
Words are an endless source of namespiration, especially those from nature and with uplifting meanings. Here are some words that have crossed over into mainstream names in recent years.
These names are new, but they feel familiar. That’s because they either respell traditional names, or combine existing elements into a new whole. There’s a lot of scope for creativity with these — here are some that are becoming popular.
New names from pop culture
The names we see on screen and in celebrity news influence us. So when a previously obscure name gets a lot of media attention, it’s no surprise that there’s an uptick in parents using it.
Pop culture names can be completely invented (hi, Khaleesi) or flying under the radar until one person rockets them to stardom (looking at you, Luna). This list includes character names from books and screens, the names celebrities give their children, and the celebs’ names themselves.
New names on Nameberry
We’re always adding new baby names to our database — many of them suggested by you lovely readers! If there’s a name you think should be here, tell us in the forums. Here are a few we’ve added recently:
Nameberry readers have (of course) great taste in creating new names. Occasionally we run an “invent a name” competition: here are the stunning winners from the last round (and you can read all the entries here).
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on August 9th, 2020 at 7:57 am
This is perhaps petty, but I am dismayed to see Lydia, the name of my four-month old daughter, included on this list because I chose the name primarily for it’s timelessness. Since records began, it has never been outside the top 1000. True it is growing in popularity, but it’s hardly a steep climb and it’s nowhere near it’s 1883 peak.
Pamela Redmond Said
on August 11th, 2020 at 3:50 pm
@Aurora31 You’re right that Lydia is timeless and I added an explanatory note.
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