New Baby Names: Our ten freshest

Yesterday you told us about the new baby names you’ve heard and seen; today we bring you Nameberry’s newest baby names, those we’ve encountered over the past weeks and added to the Nameberry database.

It may seem odd to some people that after 25 years of writing about names, there are still new baby names to discover.  But as you berries know, that’s one of the best things about names: No matter how long you study them, no matter how much you read about them, there are always new ones out there.

Some of these, of course, are invented names, more and more every year as parents reach harder to come up with an appellation that’s unique….or at least yooneek.  Then there are those obscure names in the Old Testament or other ancient sources, names from around the world that haven’t migrated beyond their native shores, new first names drawn from established surnames or place-names or nature sources.

We mentioned a couple of our new baby names in yesterday’s blog and will offer others in future postings.  Here, ten more of the newest names on Nameberry and where we found them:

Brinsley — Another new entrant to the already-crowded space of androgynous-sounding girls’ names ending in -ley, Brinsley is a British place-name and surname that provides an alternative to the super-popular Kinsley. This one is simply in the air.

Cesaria — Cesaria is a feminine form of the ancient Roman name Caesar or Cesar, brought to our attention by the death of The Barefoot Diva, singer Cesaria Evora.  With the rediscovery of many long-dormant Latin names, this one seemed a natural.

Divine — Blame Nevaeh: Heavenly names that once may have been used only onstage — there was a famous drag queen named Divine — have now become baby appropriate.  But like Precious, Divine is a name that sounds as if it’s protesting too much.

Emese — A Hungarian name meaning mother; obscure beyond Budapest. This one was sent in by a reader in Hungary!

FiferFifer isn’t a new name to us, exactly: We knew a charming little girl named Fifer more than a decade ago and always thought it was an original, energetic choice.  But this Scottish occupational name had somehow had eluded the Nameberry database and so we added it.

Hutchings — A Scottish surname-name related to Hugh, Hutchings seems more possible as a first name when you consider adorable nickname Hutch.

MapleMaple is, of course, a tree name, one that seems to have quickly captured the fancy of baby namers.  It has a rich sound and is redolent of bright leaves and syrup; perfect as a nature name or middle name. Maple is one of the best-liked of the new tree names (like Pine and Oak) that we’ve written about.

Mercer — Occupational names are one source of fresh possibilities, and Mercer is a choice mentioned by a mom-to-be in the forums.  We hadn’t included it among Archer, Booker, and Sawyer, but it’s a great possibility for either boys or girls…who might be nicknamed Mercy.  Mercer is a French occupational name meaning “merchant.” We added this one after a mom on our forums was debating using it for her child.

Pixie — Pixie is another new old name on Nameberry, the choice in the ’90s by Sir Bob Geldof for one of his daughters that suddenly sounds more possible for the world at large, as either a spritely first name or a nickname.

Puck — We knew about the Shakespearean Puck, and the equally mischievous MTV one, and the hockey one.  But we didn’t realize until a berry wrote to us that Puck was a popular name for girls in the Netherlands.  Why?  Enlighten us, Dutch readers.

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


30 Responses to “New Baby Names: Our ten freshest”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

emilymaryjane Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 1:41 am

I don’t like most of these names

skizzo Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 4:48 am

Disappointed. These are all terrible – also where are the new boy names?

bluedahlia Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 9:11 am

Divine- Seriously? I Agree these are all pretty bad. I like Maple and that’s about it.

chelseamae Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Maple was one of my favorite choices for boys when I was in high school. I forgot about it up until now! I think I like it for a girl

NaviZ Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 10:06 am

My niece has the middle name Ovidia. I had never heard of it before, but it’s a family name on her mother’s side that has been passed down for generations. I think it’s beautiful!

pam Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 10:07 am

Just a note everyone: In case it’s not clear, the choice was chronological, not qualitative. So these are the ten names added most recently to our database, not the ten BEST names added recently to the database. On the taste side, we do like some of these but the very fact that they haven’t made it onto Nameberry until now means that they’re obscure and so not easy to like or embrace.

Lis09 Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 11:03 am

Emese is intriguing. It sounds pretty in my mind, that is if I am pronouncing it correctly. I’m guessing it’s like Felice. Does anyone know the pronunciation?

irishmom Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 11:17 am

Blech. Mercer and Hutchings are the only ones I’d ever consider.

name-obsession Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I almost liked Cesaria, but couldn’t help but think of a word I’d heard MANY times before. Cesarian anyone?
Oh, and I actually like Divine. It’s the name of the oldest child on No Big Dill. Sisters are Pearl, Olive, Azure and Clover. They’re the ones with a brother named Drummer. Super cute set!

lara_jane Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I “LOL” yesterday when I saw Puck mentioned. That’s my 4-year-old DOG’S name (officially Robin Goodfellow), and he is a Puck, indeed.

I’m guessing the new Puck babies are named after the character on Glee, although technically Puck is a diminutive of his last name, Puckerman.

Alexia Mae Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I love Fifer!!!

Housemonkey Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I love Fifer too!!!
Cesaria just makes me think of cesarian sections

gwensmom Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I like Mercer quite a bit, due to old favorite Mercer Mayer!

pam Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Yes, I think both Fifer and Mercer are great. My fondness for Pixie is already well-known. And Maple certainly has a lot of fans on Nameberry.

miloowen Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

My favourite university professor — German Literature — was a Scotsman named Pack Carnes. Pack is the Scottish version of Puck, and a name that begs consideration. I had Dr Carnes for Middle High German as well as German Lit. He was multi-lingual: first language was Gaelic, then Danish, then German, then English. He also spoke all the Romance languages and Japanese.

I’ve always liked Mercer/Merce. I wouldn’t recommend Pixie, though — the real pixies had a mean streak about a mile wide!

auroradawn Says:

January 12th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Yes, hooray for Maple! I was part of a fascinating forum discussion just over a month ago which debated the use of Maple as a girl’s name. I cited Robert Frost’s poem, “Maple,” which sparked even more wonderful discussion. And I looked in vain on the January 3rd post, listing the last quarter’s new batch of Babyberries, for baby Maple Violet, born December 7th and named out of that discussion. I know her birth announcement was posted a few weeks after she was born.

AmandaJordan Says:

January 13th, 2012 at 12:12 am

Cesaria ….cesarean section? Shutter! Divine? Rolling eyes. Hutchings…I kinda like that. Surnames for little boys are pretty cute and they grow into adulthood well.

suzy berry Says:

January 14th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I recently met 3-year-old twin girls named Pixie and Presley.

luweiaeclare Says:

January 15th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

How is Emese pronounced? I see it as EM-meh-say, but, I don’t know.

Nook of Names Says:

January 17th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Brinsley was the middle name of the 18th-early 19th Century Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan; I think it works just as well as a boy’s name :).

Emese is pronounce “Eh-meh-sheh,” with the stress on the first “e”.

Adore Maple.

arunciblespoon Says:

January 18th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

What about Melita? It means honey and is the old name for the island of Malta, havn’t heard it anywhere and has the adorable lita ending. I love Fifer.

kijanicole Says:

March 3rd, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Here is an unusual name that isn’t on the nameberry database:

Kija – it is a girls name and probably from China or another Asian country.

I have never met anyone with that name but it is my first name.

pam Says:

March 3rd, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Interesting name, Kija, and a new one on us too, though research says it’s the name of an ancient king who brought rice and writing from China to Korea. So now we’ve added the name to the database, and now you know where it comes from — China, adopted by Korea!

naitza Says:

April 14th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Here’s another name not in the nameberry database: erendira – from Mexico

Freddy Says:

October 30th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Puck is a name one would call a little child in the Netherlands by the way. It has been around as a first name for females since the 1930’s. It is an old Dutch word for leprechaun/gnome/Rascal/Rogue/Scoundrel, used mostly in à fond, affectionately way, such as “you little Scoundrel”

proudmamaerica Says:

September 21st, 2013 at 3:32 pm

our last name is hutchens… I call my husband hutchings or hutch all the time, it was his nickname from his friends in the military. How weird for it to be a first name now.

Dove14 Says:

September 22nd, 2013 at 8:26 am

I’m a bit baffled by Maple.
Maybe it’s because I live in an area with an abundance of maple trees (and consequently maple syrup, maple candy, etc.) and very close to Canada, which of course has the maple leaf on their flag. Anyone who named their child Maple here would most definitely be mocked: It would be somewhat akin to living in Wisconsin and naming your child Cheese, although obviously not that bad. I’d be very interested to see where the individuals with a penchant for the name Maple live. My guess would be more urban areas?
Besides the food connotations, I’m just not a fan of the sound of the word itself. I think it’s the “ape” in the middle that really throws me.
To each their own though, of course, and maybe it will grow on me like Olive has. (Apparently I just have a hard time swallowing food names!)

LexieM Says:

September 22nd, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Mercer might be a French occupational name but I think the connection to Mercer Infections is the predominant association for most of my friends. It’s a colloquial term for the MRSA staff infections that can be particularly dangerous for HIV/AIDS patients. I feel like it’s something parents considering this name should be aware of.

The other names aren’t my style but they are fine – I’m glad to see the data base expanding.

LunaCross Says:

May 15th, 2014 at 7:53 am

We have a dog named Mercer at my school.

JessicaRK467 Says:

December 24th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I really like Mercer for a boy

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.