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New Baby Names: Catch Them While They’re Hot!

August 7, 2020 Clare Green
new baby names

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.

New names come in many flavors and styles, from brand new inventions to borrowings from the dictionary or other languages. Here are some of the new baby names smashing the charts right now.

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):

New baby girl names

Adeline
Aria
Aurora
Brielle
Delilah
Elena
Eliana
Ellie
Emery
Emilia
Everly
Harper
Isla
Ivy
Kennedy
Kinsley
Luna
Lydia (a Biblical classic returned to the Top 100 after an absence of more than a century!)
Mila
Nova (both a newly popular name, and a name meaning new!)
Paisley
Penelope
Piper
Quinn
Scarlett
Skylar
Valentina
Willow

New baby boy names

Asher
Axel
Bryson
Easton
Elias
Ezekiel
Ezra
Grayson and Greyson
Hudson
Jace
Jameson
Jaxson
Kayden
Leonardo
Lincoln
Mateo
Maverick
Miles
Nolan
Roman
Santiago
Sawyer

New international names

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:

Ainhoa
Bodhi
Brisa
Cruz
Elowen
Giulia
Idris
Iman
Kenzo
Kian
Koa
Meilani
Nayeli
Noor
Raiden
Santino
Saoirse
Taavi
Yara
Zuri

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. 

Aston
Bellamy
Bentley
Cairo
Crosby
Deacon
Hayes
Huxley
Jericho
Kingston
Malaysia
Memphis
Milan
Nash
Sailor
Wells
Westley

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.

Bear
Briar
Cove
Genesis
Haven
Honesty
Journey
Juniper
Legacy
Lyric
Pax
Ridge
Royal
Soleil
Story
Trace
True

Mix’n’match names

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.

Alivia
Beauden
Brayson
Charleigh
Dex
Emberly
Icelyn
Kyson
Londyn
Maxton
Milani
Novalee
Oaklyn
Skyla
Zayden

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.

Anakin
Arya
Asahd
Chicago
Dream
Eleven
Hendrix
Jagger
Kehlani
Khaleesi
Kylo
LeBron
Link
Luna
Lyra
Moana
Onyx
Rue
Saint
Shiloh
Vanellope

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:

Avaline
Campion
Deuce
Forsythe
Gesina
Heimoana
Kirpa
Lan
Naseem
Providence
Rei
Sevasti
Sisa
Thorfinn
Topeka

You-made names

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).

Rosaluna
Spero
Elysian
Xenna
Mitu

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles

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