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New Year Names

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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!

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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.

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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.

Alula
Dagny
Ensio
Future
Hana
Idony
Kensa
Mirai
Navin
Neo
Neoma
Primo
Raanan
Signy
Zera

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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:

Alba
Altan
Arpina
Eos
Oriana
Roxana
Sahar
Uhtred
Vihan
Zora

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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.

Amal
Arman
Asha
Esperanza
Hila
Nadia
Raja
Tikvah
Toivo
Von

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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 actress
Betsy Ross — she of the US flag
Diane von Fürstenberg — fashion designer
Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren — Swedish-born model
Gabrielle (Gabby) Christina Victoria Douglas — Olympic gymnast
Henri Matisse — artist
Jerome David Salinger — author of The Catcher in the Rye
Lance ReddickThe Wire actor
Mary Beard — classy classics professor
Odetta Holmes — singer, actor and civil rights activist
Ouida — aka the novelist Maria Louise Ramé
Park Jae-sang — better known as Psy, of Gangnam Style fame
Paul Revere — American revolutionary who did a midnight ride
Senfronia Calpernia Thompson — longstanding Texas legislator

From all of us at Nameberry, Happy New Year!

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.

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