Description:Spice names are increasingly appealing to the senses of prospective parents; this one, belonging to a precious spice derived from the crocus has a vaguely orange-scented-incense sixties feel.
Origin:American word name and nature name
Meaning:"a thorny patch"
Description:This word name entered the US Top 1000 for both genders in 2015, though it premiered a little higher for girls. There are still more baby girls named Briar than baby boys -- 594 vs. 361 in 2021 -- but it's rising in popularity for both. Briar fits the trend for nature names, and it also offers a fresh option for honoring a Brian.
Origin:Scottish from French
Description:Though TV's "Frasier" made the name famous, and Frazier is a well-used variation, Fraser is the original, used mostly in Scotland.
Origin:Roman mythology god of war
The name of the Roman god of war began to sound less intimidating when Erykah Badu gave it to her daughter, and musicians Thomas and Bruno Mars (the latter born Peter Hernandez) have given it a modern edge. Mars actually could make a pleasant, planetary middle name for either sex.
Origin:English tree name from Latin
Meaning:"piece of cloth"
Description:If Apple and Juniper, Oak and Pine can be baby names, why not Maple? Why not indeed. We've heard Maple starting to be used quietly, but with its lush sound and attractive image, we predict its use as a first name will grow — and its choice by the Jason Batemans — who combined it with the sweet middle name Sylvie — will only accelerate that growth.
Origin:French, feminine of Yves
Description:This French name has the elegance of other '-ette' names such as Colette and is a botanical name without being too obvious about it.
Meaning:"green river, sea friend"
Description:It might be surprising to know that this name originated as a Scottish place and surname name, as in Washington Irving. It became a popular choice for first-generation Jewish-American boys, such as best-selling authors Irving Stone and Irving Wallace, whose parents looked to surnames from the British Isles to confer a measure of assimilation and class. Irving Berlin changed his name from Israel; actor Ving Rhames streamlined and coolized it. Irving was a Top 100 name during World War I, and though we don't envision it reaching those heights again, we can see some hipster parents having their own little Ving.
Origin:Irish, diminutive of Quillan or Quiller; also English word name
Description:Quill is a unique possibility for the child of writers -- even if they do use computers rather than pens; could also serve as a rhyming tribute to an ancestor named Gil, Phil, or Bill (or Jill).
Description:Like Sky and Sunshine, this fluffy name from the hippie 1970s has floated back onto the naming radar.
Meaning:"gift of the ocean"
Description:Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the revivals of Dorothy and Dorothea.
Origin:Arabic, Hebrew, Russian
Meaning:"flower, God has helped, dawn"
Description:Zariah has three possible origins: the Arabic Zahrah which means ‘flower’, the Hebrew name Azariah, meaning ‘God has helped’, or the Russian word Zaria which means ‘sunrise/dawn’. Either way, it's a strong and striking name with a range of lovely meanings.
Description:A constellation name that could have broad appeal beyond astronomers and astrophysicists. Although they bear similarity, Caelum is unrelated to the Scottish name Callum.
Description:In classical Greek myth, Leda was a great beauty who mothered another great beauty, Helen of Troy. Leda is that rare name that is at once simple, deeply-rooted, and unique: Only 18 baby girls were named Leda in the US last year. A name used in several European countries, pronunciation is usually the straightforward lee-dah but the Italians say lay-dah.
Description:Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Although most people don't think of it like this, Indigo might also be considered among the most stylish Greek baby names in use today. Some cultural references: The Indigo Girls are a folk duo, 'Mood Indigo' is a classic Duke Ellington jazz composition, and there is a 1970's New Age theory that Indigo children possess special, sometimes supernatural abilities. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
Description:Marlow is a suave, unusual surname-name that was chosen by Celine designer Phoebe Philo for her older son. Caveat: it sounds just like the feminine Marlo and, with the addition of a final 'e', has begun to be used for girls.
Origin:French from Latin
Description:Coralie is a French name not often heard here, though she's gaining some recognition via Neil Gaiman's similar sounding spooky and lovely children's book, Coraline. Other literary appearances: Coralie is the stage name of an actress in Balzac's Lost Illusions, and a French girl in an 1850 Thackeray novel.
Coralie is currently very popular in French-speaking Quebec, and there is a contemporary French singer named Coralie Clement.
Origin:English tree name
Meaning:"tree from the genus Quercus"
Description:Oak, a symbol of solidity, strength, and longevity, is joining Cedar and Pine as a viable name, one that would work especially well in the middle.
Origin:Mineral and word name
Description:This super-charged variation of Jett is on the rise -- along with the unlikely newcomer Jetson.
Origin:Hebrew, Hawaiian, Maori, Japanese
Meaning:"grace, work, glow, flower"
Description:Many things to many peoples: a flower name, also spelled Hanae, to the Japanese; a Czech and Polish short form of Johana; and an alternate form of the biblical name Hannah in the US. It also means "craft, work" in Hawaiian and "glow" in Maori.
Origin:Hebrew, Arabic, Iranian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:As Mary falls further out of favor, her variations become more appealing, whether you're honoring an ancestral Mary or Marie or Miriam or simply love the tradition of the name.