New Year Names

New Year Names

Happy New Year! New Year names, celebrating new beginnings and dawning hope, could be perfect for you if you’re expecting a baby around the turn of the year.

The date may be just a number, but for many of us a new year — in whichever calendar you use — represents an opportunity to reflect, say goodbye to the year that’s been, and look ahead to the future. There are many names with forward-looking meanings, which would be especially good for a child due at the start of a new year.

This is our guide to the coolest names with meanings relating to the new year. They range from popular favorites to rare and quirky, ancient to modern, and from all around the world. Cheers!

New Year festival names

In some countries, New Year’s Eve (oh hi, Eve!) is known as St Sylvester’s Day, or simply Silvester. Forget the cartoon cat; this is an underused gem in both spellings, from the same name family as fashionable Silas and Sylvie.

In ancient Rome, the double-faced god Janus guarded the gateway to the new year. Jana was his female counterpart, and they also had Strenia, a goddess dedicated to new year gifts.

Janus gave his name to January, and international forms like Janvier and Gennaro. Check out our list of January baby names for more inspiration from the first month of the year.

Names meaning new

Brand new baby, brand new year… and a name that signifies fresh beginnings? Nova is a popular choice (with good reason), and these are some of the other names that have newness and beginnings in their meaning.


Names meaning dawn

Not only is sunrise a powerful symbol, but in the northern hemisphere the new year falls as the days s-l-o-w-l-y start to get longer and lighter again. Not surprisingly, many languages and cultures have names meaning dawn. Dawn itself was a 1970s favorite, and recently Aurora has risen to take its place in the US Top 50. Other radiant options include:


Names meaning hope

Hope springs eternal, especially at the start of a new year. The name Hope itself is evergreen with parents, and here are more hopeful names from around the globe.


New Year’s namesakes

New year babies are in good company. These well-known people have birthdays on 31 December and 1 January — and names that may inspire you.

Beatrice (Bebe) Neuwirth — Frasier actressBetsy Ross — she of the US flagDiane von Fürstenberg — fashion designerElin Maria Pernilla Nordegren — Swedish-born modelGabrielle (Gabby) Christina Victoria Douglas — Olympic gymnastHenri Matisse — artistJerome David Salinger — author of The Catcher in the Rye_Lance Reddick — _The Wire actorMary Beard — classy classics professorOdetta Holmes — singer, actor and civil rights activistOuida — aka the novelist Maria Louise RaméPark Jae-sang — better known as Psy, of Gangnam Style famePaul Revere — American revolutionary who did a midnight rideSenfronia Calpernia Thompson — longstanding Texas legislator

From all of us at Nameberry, Happy New Year!

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from the next high-rising names to how to choose a multilingual name, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and lives in England with her husband and toddler. You can follow everything she reads about names on Twitter or, or reach her at