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Invented Baby Names

Some parents attempt to come up with a cool name by inventing one of their own. They may alter a too-ordinary name, vary a spelling or a pronunciation, or cobble together several euphonic but previously unrelated syllables. This quest to be unique can sometimes backfire — create too cool of a made-up baby name and it might catch on (we’re talking to you, Miley, Meilani, and Maxon).

Along with Miley and Meilani, other invented baby names in the US Top 1000 include Aubrielle, Brylee, Cason, Dalary, Jaxon, Kyler, Nevaeh, and Oaklyn. Names you may not realize were invented include Elianna, Melba, Tevin, and Yalitza.

Many made-up baby names feature on-trend prefixes and suffixes, such as Bray- and Ren-, -ley and -son. The following invented baby names hold some appeal, but fair warning — some of these made-up names have already become mainstream.
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JaxonHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Jackson
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    Jaxon has been mostly climbing in popularity since it entered the Top 1000 in 1997, proving the point that many parents have decided to rev up the cool factor of Jackson and give it this streamlined spelling. (Though we still prefer the original.) Kristin Cavallari used it for her son. Jaxson is another popular spelling.

JovieHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Name of the female lead played by charming actress Zooey Deschanel in the movie "Elf," Jovie definitely has a lively, jovial sound and makes a fresh twist on old (and new) favorites like Jody, Josie, and Jolie. May be considered a short form of Jovita, Jovena, and Jovana, all feminine forms of Jove, the Roman king of gods. If you're looking for a cute, friendly, but unusual girl name starting with J, Jovie may be just the ticket.

DravenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Inspired by Brandon Lee's character in The Crow and Cuba Gooding Jr.'s in In the Shadows, this name, with its Wiccan feel, was used by a member of Linkin Park. It has ranked in the US Top 1000 since 1995.

AnakinHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader, is the antagonist in the original Star Wars trilogy. The name Anakin first entered the US Top 1000 in 2014. Its meaning is unknown but is thought to be an homage to a friend of George Lucas.

KylerHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "bowman, archer"
  • Description:

    A favorite among younger parents, this is one of the names that rose to the surface when Tyler and Kyle started to sink.
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BrysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Brice"
  • Description:

    A surname name that can transition to first -- it entered the Top 1000 in 1980 and is now firmly in the Top 100. Actress NeNe Leakes chose it for her son. R&B singer Bryson Tiller's popularity may have played a part in accelerating Bryson's rise.

EnolaHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Enola was a precursor of Nevaeh: It's "alone" spelled backwards. For decades, it was known only as the name of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Enola Gay. Not very positive. More recently, Enola has achieved some notice as the name of Sherlock Holmes' (fictional) younger sister, not a character in the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle but in the series by Nancy Springer, now a film on Netflix. This may make Enola a name worth consideration.

AliviaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Olivia
  • Description:

    While Alivia may not have achieved the megapopularity of its mother name, it's still a widely used choice. Alivia combines the trendiness of A names with the trendiness of Olivia to create a choice that's slightly off the beaten track -- slightly being the operative word here. Is the distinction the initial A earns you worth a lifetime of explaining, "No, it's Alivia, with an A, not Olivia"? Your call, though ours would be no.

GreysonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of the steward"
  • Description:

    Greyson and Grayson, nephews of Jason, are both on the fast track. Gray/Grey makes a nice nickname.

KhaleesiHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Khaleesi is an invented name introduced to the world by inventive and prolific author George R. R. Martin for his wildly popular Game of Thrones series—it's Dothraki for "queen" and is one of the titles of the character Daenerys. It entered the US Top 1000 in 2014.
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MazikeenHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Meaning:

    "harmful spirits"
  • Description:

    Neil Gaiman invented this name for a character in his comic book Sandman. It can now be seen on the TV show Lucifer.

WrenleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    With Wren gaining a lot of popularity recently, it's not surprising to see variants already popping up. Wrenley, which jumps on the Wren bandwagon and adds the trendy "ley" suffix for good measure, was given to thirteen baby girls in the USA in 2014; we haven't seen it pop up anywhere else yet, but we think it's only a matter of time.

NevaehHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Nevaeh has had phenomenal success since singer Sonny Sandoval introduced the idea of turning Heaven around and using it as a baby name. Especially popular with religious parents, Nevaeh has been in the Top 100 for a decade now, though is off its peak as the spelling spin gets less clever and more familiar.

DaxtonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    More and more parents are turning to this name as a route to the cool nickname Dax.

CasonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Cason's entire raison d'etre: It's a rhyming variation on the popular Jason, Mason and Brayson. Casen, Kasen and Kason also have crept into the Top 1000 in recent years.
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DaenerysHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary name
  • Description:

    Daenerys is yet another girls' name invented by "Game of Thrones" author George R. R. Martin that is beginning to gain some traction in real life. Daenerys was used for 67 baby girls in 2013 while one of the character's titles, Khaleesi, was given to 241 baby girls. And the name Arya, also from the hyper-popular series, is one of the fastest growing girls' names in the country.

MileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    One-time overnight success name, thanks to Hannah Montana actress and singer Miley Cyrus, Miley has fallen quickly from her peak of Number 127 in 2008. For Miley Cyrus, Miley was a childhood nickname (because she was so smiley); Destiny is her real name. Miley is a good lesson in avoiding trendy names. Popular opinion of the source can sour leaving a fresh name looking dated.

KianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Kiana (or more appropriately, Quiana) is the original polyester name, now falling fast out of favor.

KaleHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Whether you think of it as Cale with a K, or a pet form of Kalen or Kaleb, this is just the kind of short, synthetic name finding a lot of favor now, but remember -- it's also the name of a vegetable.

MaxonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name, elaboration of Max, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    The newly-styled Maxon takes its cue from Jaxon, another elaboration of a classic name on the rise. Maxon is not bad, as invented names go, yet it's hard for us to advocate for Maxon over Maxwell, Maxfield, Maximus, or just plain Max.
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GracelynHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    This name is a combination of the traditional Grace and popular suffix -lyn. Both Gracelyn and spelling variation Gracelynn work as alternatives to the highly popular Brooklyn.

OaklynHeart

  • Origin:

    American invented name
  • Description:

    Oaklyn is one of the oak-related names moving up the popularity charts, along with sister Oakley. The suffix lyn means lake in Welsh so you can think of this as meaning oak lake. The spelling Oaklynn is also found.

AmerieHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Pop princess Amerie is half Korean, half African-American. Her name may relate to Amelia, Emily, Emery, or Amory, though there's no exact equivalent among historical names. But doubtless there will be more Ameries, starting now.

VarianHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    A variant form of the Latin clan name Varius. It has been used for a major character in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft.

EvoletHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    This name coined for a character in the movie 10,000 BC, feels right on trend right now, given the popularity of Evie, Eva, Evelyn etc. In the movie, the name’s meaning is given as “the promise of life”, but some creative parents have used the alternative spelling Evoleht — “the love” spelt backwards. Other spelling variants that have appeared on the SSA list include Evolette, Evalette, Evalet and Evoleth.
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MeilaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Meilani may sound like a Hawaiian name, kind of a mashup of Leilani and Melanie, but it's actually an invention by that style-maven JWoww, AKA Jenni Farley of Jersey Shore, who used it for her daughter. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015.

RenlyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Renly Baratheon was a fairly minor character in A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO's Game of Thrones, mostly remembered as the one of the show's few prominent LGBT characters. He played a major part in season 2 of the show, when he challenged the Lannisters and his older brother Stannis for control of the Iron Throne.

DjunaHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Description:

    Novelist Djuna Barnes introduced this interesting and unusual name with an arty, Bohemian feel to the mix. She explained that it was invented by her father, saying it came about as a combination of her infant brother's pronunciation of the word moon as 'nuna' and a character in a book her father was reading, Prince Djalma, and so he "put the Dj onto the 'una'." Result: the silent-D pronunciation (as in Django) of JOON-a.

TaylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Taylor
  • Description:

    Tayla is a hybrid name, ala Sayla and Mikayla. Recipe for sudden -- if brief -- new name success: take two of the trendiest choices, Taylor and Kayla, stir, and voila...Tayla, which made it onto the hit parade in the mid-1990s.

NimHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Australian writer Wendy Orr put this name on the map with her hit Nim's Island" series of children's books, about a smart young girl who lives on an island in the South Pacific. Abigail Breslin played Nim in a 2008 film adaptation of the book.
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SavionHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name, possibly derived from Xavier
  • Description:

    Has lots of energy, perhaps due to its association with top tap dancer Savion Glover.

VanellopeHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Description:

    Vanellope is a Disney creation, given to the protagonist of "Wreck it Ralph" and now a character on Sugar Rush. She is energetic, tomboyish and very sassy.

TevinHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    This contemporary combo name burst onto the scene in tandem with the megasuccess of then-child singer Tevin Campbell in 1989, but has been losing its footing since the start of the millennium.

KyanHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Kyan is a quintessential twenty-first-century name, a twist on the twentieth-century standard Ryan. Kyan is used by the grooming guru on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Kyan Douglas (born Eddie), and increasing numbers of parents.

CambrieHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Cute but slight mix of stylish sounds Cam and Bree, chosen by Rick Schroder for his daughter.
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EmberlyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    The Kimberly of the current age, but currently less popular than either Ember or Everly.

AubrielleHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    This combination of names Aubrey and Brielle follows a ton of current name trends, so it's no surprise it has been on the rise since joining the US Top 1000 in 2012. We think this is a good option for parents wanting to use Aubrey while also desiring a definitively feminine name.

EverlynHeart

  • Origin:

    American invented name, variation of Evelyn and Everly, English
  • Meaning:

    "desired; water; island; wild boar in woodland clearing"
  • Description:

    Everlyn is one of the countless new spin on Evelyn and sisters, this generation's answer to Caitlin and Michaela. Evelyn, recently in the US Top 10, has been around as a name for a long time, once used for boys too. Ever and Everly are newer inventions, and Everlyn borrows something from them all. Nearly 70 baby girls were named Everlyn in the most recent year counted.

TreytonHeart

  • Origin:

    American invented name
  • Description:

    A trendy sounding choice--if we had to give it a meaning would be either "three cities" or "town with trees," but since it's a modern invention, you'd have to pick it for its current feel alone. Another option: TRENTON, a real place name.

TippiHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented nickname
  • Description:

    Tippi is best known as the nickname of actress Tippi Hedren, star of Hitchcock's "The Birds" and "Marnie." Hedren's real name was Nathalie Kay; her father dubbed her Tippi. Although the name will inevitably be reminiscent of Hedren, it could make a cute short form for a name such as Tiffany or Philippa.
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BraylonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Enough parents have appreciated this combinations of the sounds from Brayden and Jaylen to make it a widely used name. Its most noted bearer is former football player Braylon Edwards.

EliannaHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Elianna could possible be seen as a feminine version of Eli.

GidgetHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Gidget was the surfer girl who started it all. She was the subject of six novels by Frederick Kohner, and the 1959 film in which she made her theatrical debut, starring Sandra Dee, helped make surfing a popular sport.

MorticiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Description:

    Charles Addams invented the name Morticia for the mother in his cartoon series "The Addams Family." The name comes from the word mortician—very appropriate for this macabre mom.

KashtonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    This newly invented name takes a cool short form—Kash/Cash—and adds the trendy -ton suffix, a la Ashton, Colton, and Weston. It made its first appearance on the US Top 1000 list in 2015.
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ZellHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Two Zells of note: conservative southern senator Zell Miller, and video-game character Zell, a hero of "Final Fantasy."

RenleyHeart

  • Origin:

    and ley
  • Meaning:

    "clearing, meadow"
  • Description:

    With the sprightly "Ren" and "Wren" currently in fashion, and "ley" a productive suffix to create new names, this combination was inevitable, and is chirpy and appealing. Renley has been on the US charts for girls since 2012, and for boys since 2013. It probably got a boost from the Game of Thrones character Renly Baratheon, albeit with a slightly different spelling.

ArissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    If you're torn between Marissa and Alyssa.

CaltonHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "calf farm"
  • Description:

    The kind of hybrid name -- it sounds like a blend of the popular Caleb and Colton -- that could catch on despite its lack of pedigree.

ZabeHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Parents with a penchant for inventing names seem especially enamored of the letter Z, maybe for its counterculture feel and its extra zip.
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