Baby Names So Far In They're Out
One of the cornerstones of our work reinventing the way people look at baby names is our list of So Far In They're Out Names. These are trendy names, those that are very in today (or this decade) but are likely to be very out tomorrow. Being popular is not enough to land a name on this list: Names such as Emma and Noah, Charlotte and James may move in and out of fashion but they're hardly trendy. The names here are more likely to be inspired by a celebrity, by TV or movies, or by a cultural event, to rise quickly and then fade away.
Origin:Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
Meaning:"life; bird; water, island"
Description:In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning “bird.” Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning “voice” or “sound.”
Meaning:"air; song or melody"
Description:Aria has origins in both Italian and Hebrew. In the former, Aria's literal meaning, air, is meant as a musical term denoting a kind of song or melody. Hebrew Aria is a variation of Ari, meaning “lion.” In Persian, Aria is a male name, and in Indian it is considered unisex. Arya is an alternate spelling.
Description:Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.
Origin:Latin tree name
Description:Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name -- it's a small evergreen shrub -- with lots of energy. A new favorite of fashionable parents, Juniper joins such other tree and shrub names as Hazel, Acacia, and Willow.
Description:Zion has taken off in recent years, especially after singer Lauryn Hill used it for her son in 1997 and incorporated the name into a hit song. It combines a user-friendly Ryan-Brian sound with the gravitas of religious significance. The Hebrew pronunciation is 'tzeeyon'.
Origin:Italian place-name from orange-red color clay
Description:The historic Tuscan city is spelled Siena, but the Sienna spelling, used by American-born English actress Miller, is rising even faster. Cable newsperson Campbell Brown chose Sienna for her daughter, as did Kevin James.
Description:Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
Description:At the rate it's growing, Maverick soon won't seem like such a maverick anymore. Heard first in a 1950s James Garner western TV series, and then as the Tom Cruise character in Top Gun, Maverick symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit.
Description:Harper is a red hot name for girls, having jumped from obscurity to near the top of the popularity list in less than a decade; it entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2015, and has stayed near there since. Harper is a prime example of the trend of surnames that turn into boys' names and then become girls' names. Harper was rarely heard for either sex before the mid-2000s, entering the girls' list in 2004. (For boys, it was in use until 1906 when it dropped off the scope and didn't reappear until a full century later.)
Origin:Arabic and Hebrew
Description:Kayla is a modern invented name that emerged in the late 1950s. Despite its similarity to the name Michaela, Kayla most likely began as a combination of the then-popular name Kay and -la suffix. Alternatively, it may be a variation of the Yiddish name Kaila, which derived from the Hebrew name Kelila. Kayla can also be considered an Anglicization of the Gaelic surname MacCaollaidhe or MacCathail.
Description:Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby nameslist in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.
Meaning:"noise or sorrowful"
Description:Tristan -- known through medieval legend and Wagnerian opera -- has a slightly wistful, touching air. This, combined with the name's popular "an" ending, makes Tristan very appealing to parents seeking a more original alternative to Christian.
Description:Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.
Description:Brandon, a forebear of the Braden-Caden pack, had a great run of popularity over several decades, being in the Top 10 from 1992 to 1998, one of its inspirations being hearthrob Brandon Walsh played by Jason Priestley on the original Beverly Hills 90210--and it was aso the name of several soap opera characters.
Meaning:"son of Matthew"
Description:Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning “son of Matthew.” It is occasionally translated as “son of Maud,” as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.
Meaning:"wild boar in woodland clearing"
Description:Everly originated as a toponymic surname derived from the Old English roots eofor, meaning “boar,” and leah, “clearing.” It is related to the Germanic name Eberhard, meaning “brave as a wild boar,” from which popular name Everett also derived. Wild boars represented strength and courage to ancient Germanic peoples, who often took on names with animal meanings.
Origin:Hebrew, diminutive of Jason
Meaning:"the Lord is salvation"
Description:Jace may sound like only half a name -- it's usually pronounced like the first half of Jason though some may consider it a spelling-out of the initials J. C. -- but it's a popular choice for baby boys. Jace has been heard on such TV shows as Teen Mom 2 and Duck Dynasty.
Origin:Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
Description:Xander is a diminutive of Alexander, the Latin variation of the Greek Alexandros. Its meaning, “defending men,” is taken from the Greek roots aléxein, “to defend,” and andros, “men.” Zander, pronounced the same way, is an alternate spelling.
Meaning:"rye clearing; courageous"
Description:Riley originated as both an English and an Irish surname. The former was derived from British place names that got their names from the Old English words for “rye clearing.” Irish Riley is a variation of Reilly, a surname taken from the given name Raghailleach.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"worker in stone"
Description:Mason has become mega-popular; it hit as high as the Number 2 spot in 2011 and has stayed near the top of the charts since.
Origin:Scandinavian variation of Absalom
Meaning:"father of peace"
Description:A classic in its native Scandinavia, Axel has a cool rock 'n' roll flavor in the US, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose (born William). Axel is a popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, who was a son of King David, and is the name of the title character of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.
Origin:Variation of Aidan, Irish
Meaning:"little and fiery"
Description:Aiden is a variation of Aidan, the anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán. Aidan/Aodhán was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.
Origin:Sanskrit; Modern variation of Aria
Description:Arya was derived from an Indo-Iranian word meaning “Aryan” or “noble.” It is a masculine given name in Iran, Indonesia, Bali, and Sanskrit-speaking regions of India. In Hindu- and English-speaking parts of the world, Arya is more often a feminine name, the latter influenced by the similar Italian name Aria, meaning “air” or “song.”
Description:Ryder, one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson and her rocker husband Chris Robinson chose it for their son in 2004. Very popular in several provinces of Canada, Ryder was chosen by John Leguzamo for his son and adorns Boy Meets World star Ryder Strong.
Description:Hadley, most famous as the name of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, is more sophisticated, professional, and modern than cousins Harley, Haley, or Hayden. The hit book The Paris Wife, a novel told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway (born Elizabeth Hadley Richardson), has helped popularize the name, which also appears on the vampire show True Blood. Hadley could become this generation's Hailey.
Meaning:"God is my master"
Description:A biblical name getting wider notice.
Description:As a stylish name, Ryker has three big things going for it: its Ry beginning (as in Riley, Ryder, and Rylan), its two-syllable rhythm, and its er ending. A nice surprise for many is it's "rich" meaning. While this may not be a factor beyond New York City, there is an infamous prison there called Riker's Island. Ryker is one of the trendiest German names for boys in the US.
Meaning:"the son of the bailiff"
Description:Grayson, which you might think of as a Jason-Mason substitute, is on the fast track. Though--you may be surprised to know--Grayson has been in the Top 1000 since 1984, it is now more popular than ever, and is rising.
Origin:Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
Description:Whether it's due to its economic connotations, or its link to American legend Johnny Cash, this name is widely used, and has been used by several celebrities including Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.
Description:The powerful name of the powerful character played by Russell Crowe in the 2000 film Gladiator first appeared on the popularity charts that same year. Max to the max. One time considered a "too much name" name, Maximus has entered the realm of possibility.
Description:The superpopularity of Emily and Emma has recently boosted the unisex Emery, especially since it's also a starbaby via Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn. Emery now ranks among the girls' Top 100 names in the US, though Emma, Emily, and even Emilia are more popular. Emerson and Emmeline are two other popular girl names in the same vein.
Meaning:"son of Jack"
Description:Cool name Jackson is one of the celebrisphere's top favorite boy names, having been chosen by, among others, Spike Lee, Poppy Montgomery, Carson Daly, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Scott Wolf, Maya Rudolph, and Katey Sagal. After a spectacular rise, this stylish presidential name has been in the Top 25 since 2010, overtaking John as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
Origin:Spelling variation of Zoe
Description:Zoey is a modern spelling variation of Zoe, the Greek Jewish translation of Eve. Despite its Jewish origins, Zoe was historically more popular among Christians. Two early saints were named Zoe—Saint Zoe of Rome and Saint Zoe of Pamphylia.
Origin:French variation of Amber
Description:Unlike Amber, which is in decline, this name still has a bit of a glow left -- though confusions between the two will inevitably arise.
Description:Aviation enthusiast John Travolta put this fast-paced name in the lexicon when he used it for his late son, and George Lucas followed suit.
Description:Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.
Description:Easton is a stylish Ivy League-ish place and surname name, more modern than Weston, on its way up for both sexes as part of the new direction baby names are taking, as in North and West. Easton was used for her son by Jenna Elfman--and by Elizabeth Rohm for her daughter.
Origin:English word name
Description:Legend joins cousins Story, Saga and Fable in the baby name pantheon of narrative words. Unlike Story and Fable, however, Legend comes with additional weight, being used for fame ("living legend") and to denote a person who is fantastic "what a legend"). Who can live up to that?
Origin:Feminine variation of Brian
Meaning:"strong, virtuous and honorable"
Description:Many different versions of Brianna are in the Top 1000 -- a sure sign that, though pretty, Brianna's gotten more and more difficult to make distinctive. This is the most popular spelling. It entered the US list in 1976, rose to the Top 100 in 1988, then got as high as Number 14 in 1999. Country singer Trace Adkins called his daughter Brianna. Though it sounds like it might be a modern invention, the name actually appeared as far back as the sixteenth century in Edmund Spenser's poem The Faerie Queen.
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.
Description:Though it sounds so modern, Brielle is, among other things, a traditional Cajun contraction of Gabrielle, but it has now spread far beyond that community. Brielle is also the name of a historic seaport in the western Netherlands.
Origin:Variation of Brice, Scottish surname
Description:This spelling of Brice relates the name to Utah's spectacular Bryce Canyon -- and is much more popular for both genders than the original Brice. Basketball's LeBron James named his son Bryce Maximus James, and in one of his early movies, John Cusack played a Bryce in Sixteen Candles.
Meaning:"son of Madoc"
Description:Maddox, a previously obscure Welsh family name with a powerfully masculine image, suddenly came into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie chose it for her son in 2003. By the following year it was in the middle of the Top 1000, and it has risen since.
Description:Landon is a popular surname name; it's been dropping slightly in recent years but has surpassed its once more popular rhyming cousin Brandon. For some it may bring back nostalgic memories of Little House on the Prairie 's understanding Pa, played by Michael Landon.
Origin:Dutch and German, from first name Hendrik
Description:Hendrix is one of those hip rock and roll names, like Lennon, Jagger and Presley, that have been used by fellow celebs and others, to honor the seminal guitarist/singer/songwriter Jimi. And this one has the trendy 'x' ending, as well, helping to propel it up the charts and into the spotlight.
Meaning:"place on a riverbank"
Description:Remington Steele was the perfect name for an upper-crust action hero on 1980s television. Now, Remington is catching fire along with a new generation of predatory baby boy names such as Hunter, Gunner, and Colt. Or you might consider it a unisex namewith a buttoned-up British feel and the friendly short form Rem or Remy.
Meaning:"son of James"
Description:This is a strong new James varietal, sometimes shared by girls. An original way to honor Grandpa Jim, Jameson is swiftly moving up the charts, entering the Top 100 for the first time ever in 2017. Jameson is one of the hottest boy names starting with J, still the most popular first initial for boys' names. One small caveat: Jameson is also a brand of whiskey.
Description:Reign is one of a new, ahem, kingdom of word names that suggest a high-born child, joining Royal, Lorde, Titan, Saint, King, Princess, and Noble. We predicted this kind of defining name to be the Number 1 baby name trend of 2015...two weeks before Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick named their third child, a boy, Reign. Reign is as appropriate for girls as for boys. The female version is often spelled Rain -- or Raine or Rayne -- though that makes is more nature and less royal word name. Reign entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2016.
Description:For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.
Origin:Latin and English
Description:Paxton stands out from a lot of other two-syllable surname names for two reasons: the dynamic letter X in the middle, and its admirable peace association, providing the great nickname Pax.