The new millennium has brought with it many changes. Landlines have been all but replaced by smartphones and Instagram is the new photo album. The internet has changed the way the world works, including the way moms and dads choose names for their treasured tots. In the last two decades, parents have had access to unlimited naming possibilities. What does this mean? The names chosen for babies over the last 17 years are some of the most gorgeous, interesting and fitting choices of all time.
According to one expert, Laura Wattenberg of BabyNameWizard.com, the most popular names of the new millennium have a few things in common. Wattenberg told CafeMom, “Some parents turn to high-impact letters like X and Z. Others look for exotic new name sources, which might mean other cultures, other time periods, common words, place names, or memorable characters from movies or video games. (Even villain names are hot today!) It’s a very different impulse from naming after grandma and grandpa.”
She continued, “These trends all point to a bigger theme. Parents today want their kids’ names to stand out. Every one of these styles is about being new, different, and eye-catching. Parents are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to sound fresh and unique.”
Searching for a name for your baby girl that fits the description above? Look no further than the list below. The following 25 names have shot into the spotlight since the year 2000, and it isn’t difficult to understand why.
Everly is a sweet-yet-sophisticated name chosen by the effortlessly cool couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum for their little girl in 2013. Since then, this darling designation’s popularity has skyrocketed. It’s an Old English surname that means from the boar meadow.
According to Wattenberg, Everly is “the number one most popular brand-new name.” This is no surprise to anyone. It’s a fresh twist on similar classic names Evelyn and Beverly. Other spellings of this name include Everleigh and Everlee. Evie is a perfect shortening of the name that would fit any little lady perfectly, and Ever is another nickname that may appeal to those considering this charming choice. It’s three-syllable sound makes it a name that will fit flawlessly with nearly any middle name.
This stunning moniker currently ranks as the 86th most popular name for girls in the United States, and is up 9 spots in popularity since 2016. Similarly exquisite names include Kinsley, Essie and Emerson.
Skye is a delightful Scottish place name derived from the Isle of Skye, a spectacular scenic location in Scotland that boasts emerald green expanses and majestic rocky cliffs overlooking sapphire seas. The addition of the “e” at the end turns this name from a nature-inspired designation to a truly exquisite stand-alone first name that is perfect for a baby born into the new millennium.
Skye Chandler is a notable character who has made appearances on more than one daytime television drama including All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital.
Skye recently entered the top 500 names for girls, and, since then, it’s popularity has only increased. At the present time, Skye is the 349th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States. It currently ranks as the 39th most popular name for little lassies in Scotland and is the 116th most popular choice in England and Wales. Similarly whimsical names include Sage, Ivy and Jade. Skye also makes a fitting and flawless middle name.
Coraline is a breathtaking name that was virtually unheard of before it was used by Neil Gaiman for the title character of his creepy children’s novel in 2002. Since Coraline made its debut, the book has been made into a spooky and spectacular animated film, adding clout and character to this chillingly opulent name choice. So how did Gaiman come up with such a fitting name for his successful novel’s heroine? Wattenburg shared, “The name’s origin was a simple mistake: Gaiman mistyped Caroline and liked the result.”
Like Everly, Coraline is an interesting twist on a timeless classic, and has been reinvented for the new millennium. As previously mentioned, it is derived from the long-adored name Caroline, but has been given an appealing and apt make-over. Cori and Cora are two simply adorable shortenings of this name.
Presently, Coraline ranks as the 610th most popular name for girls in the United States, and has risen 95 places in popularity since 2016. Love Coraline? Other names to consider include Amelia, Adeline and Violet.
Tinley is a dainty, elegant name of English origin that means Tyne’s meadow. It is one that invokes images of wildflowers, blue skies and picnics in the sunshine. The ending -ley has been widely used and beloved for decades in names such as Ashley and Lindsey, but Tinley takes the airy and subtle suffix to a whole new level for the latest bunch of adorable babies who have recently entered the world.
While Tinley first made its way onto baby naming charts in 2011, it has been on the rise ever since its appearance. It’s a name that is unconventional without being outlandish, and is sure to appeal to more and more parents as time goes on.
Tinley is currently a bit under the radar, well within the top 1,000 names for girls in the United States, but still only ranking 825th. It has risen in popularity 34 spots since 2016. Adore it? It may be a good idea to snag it while it’s still a rarity. Those in love with the name Tinley may also wish to consider the similarly sweet names Teagan, Harper or Finley.
Adley is a lovable name oozing with a certain Southern bell charm. Originally spelled Adlai, Adley is a name of Hebrew origin that means up from the river. It’s a gender-neutral name that is often used for boys as well as for girls, yet another reason it is on-trend along with many other unisex names that have catapulted up the baby name charts since the new millennium began.
Hadley is a similar name that was hot, hot, hot in the past, but it’s renown has cooled a bit in recent years. Adley, on the other hand, has done nothing but rise in popularity since appearing on the baby naming scene. Other names similar to Adley that are currently getting a lot of love include Addie, Aurey, Aubrey and Audrey.
This winsome choice currently ranks as the 801st most popular name for girls in the United States. Love it? Ainsley, Ayla or Adalyn are other names fans of this magnificent moniker may wish to consider.
Ellis is a beautiful name of Welsh origin that means benevolent. It was once an uncommon surname, and has become an enchanting choice for little girls in recent years. It’s a hip alternative to the now seemingly overused names Ella and Elsa.
This superb name made its debut in the top 1,000 names chosen for American girls in 2015, and it’s popularity has continued to rise ever since. Ellis Bell was the male pseudonym used by the talented author Emily Bronte, but we all know the main reason Ellis is probably getting a lot of love as of late. It’s the name of the beloved fictional doctor Meredith Grey’s mother. Let’s face it, any name that appears on Grey’s Anatomy, one of the greatest medical dramas of the new millennium, is a fabulously fitting choice for a baby girl.
Two of the biggest trends of this millennium are unisex names and names that contain the letter X. Lennox checks both of these boxes with flair and style.
According to Wattenberg, “The Scottish surname Lennox follows in the footsteps of names like Maddox, balancing an aggressive style with a traditional source. Boxer Lennox Lewis and singer Annie Lennox have inspired some of the young namesakes, and a female Lennox on the sitcom Melissa & Joey has encouraged parents to use it for girls as well as boys.” Lennox is not only on-trend, it can be shortened to Lenny or Len and sounds down-right ravishing next to nearly any middle name. Any little girl would be lucky to be given such an on point moniker.
Kaydence is a melodic name that boasts the totally on-trend K beginning, as well as an interesting alternative to the ever-popular names Katherine and Kaitlyn. Kaydie and Kay are two possible beloved shortenings of this name that are options for the lucky little girls blessed with this ethereal choice.
Hollywood may have played a role in making Kaydence the top choice of many millennial parents. Wattenberg has shared that the 2003 movie American Wedding played a part in making Kaydence the sought-after designation it is today. The name Kaydence also appeared in the 2001 blockbuster hit starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow, Shallow Hal.
Also spelled Cadence or Kadence, this appealing name currently ranks as the 389th most popular name for girls in the United States, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing its rise to the top. Fans of the name this musical moniker may also wish to consider the similar names Chloe, Ava or Riley.
Talk about a star-studded name. Jean Harlow, who was born Harlean Carpenter, was one of the original blonde bombshells during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She helped to give this name the pizzazz and panache it possesses today. Nicole Richie added to it’s appeal when she and her hubby Joel Madden chose it for their stylish daughter, then subsequently named her fashion line House of Harlow. Actress Patricia Arquette also selected this name for her darling daughter.
Originally an English surname, Harlow means army, and fits right in with other names currently in the spotlight including Arlo, Milo and Marlowe. Harlow broke into the top 1,000 names chosen for American girls in 2009 and had reached the top 500 by 2015.
Collins is an unexpected yet totally cool girl’s name that recently broke into the top 1,000 names chosen for American girls. Laura Wattenberg has shared, “Until recently, no -s surname had ever come close to the girls’ top 1,000. Collins has changed that, leaping up from obscurity thanks to Collins Tuohy, the adoptive sister of football player Michael Oher seen in the film The Blind Side. Tuohy was given a family surname in classic Southern fashion, and parents who saw the movie liked the style.”
Sounds like parents who select the name Collins for their little lady have made a winning choice. It was originally a surname derived from the Greek name Nicholas, which means people of victory, and the name Colin, which has Irish and Scottish origins.
Aria is a lilting, lovely name of Italian origin that means air, song or melody. It first gained notoriety when it became a presence on baby name charts in the year 2000. This name, originally a word found in the world of music, only became more beloved when it also became a formidable presence in the fantastical land of Westeros. Arya Stark, quite possibly the most beloved of all of the characters created by George R. R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire book series, which has been made into the epic HBO drama Game of Thrones, has done nothing but add adoration and love to this enchanting name choice.
Additionally Aria is a saint’s name. Need we say more? Millennial parents can’t go wrong when selecting this strong yet feminine name for their treasured tots.
Kennedy is a presidential name of Irish origin that oozes class and style. It’s a surname that has become synonymous with prestige and sophistication. In recent years Kennedy has become a top choice of millennial parents of little ladies. It’s one that is somehow both trendy and timeless, a perfect fit for any tiny dame. The fact that it’s also a slightly gender-neutral name only adds to it’s appeal and charm. It’s a friendly choice that will most likely never go out of style.
While the meaning of this name, misshapen head, isn’t necessarily the most appealing, the name itself is instead associated with the late president John F. Kennedy, and, in more recent years, E! News host Jason Kennedy.
Presently, Kennedy ranks as the 59th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States, and is up 1 place since 2016. Fans of this lovely choice may also wish to consider the similarly sophisticated names Madison, Peyton or Reagan.
According to Wattenberg, “The film Colombiana was only a modest success at the box office, but on the baby name charts it was a blockbuster.” Cataleya (pronounced “Kah-tah-LAY-uh”) is the gorgeous name of the movie’s protagonist, played by the ever-flawless and fabulous Zoe Saldana. Understandably, the name rose in popularity faster than any other name in 2012, the year after the film’s release.
This unique and enchanting name originates from the name of the Cattleya orchid. It combines other names currently topping the charts Caitlyn and Aaliyah, making it a baby name hybrid that combines the best of popular names from days-gone-by. Cat and Leah are two possible shortenings of this name that are simply the sweetest.
At the present time, Cataleya ranks as the 446th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States. It has risen 27 spots in popularity since 2016. Adore it? Other names to consider include Arabella, Gianna or Eliana.
Royalty is an elegant high-class word name that is both beautiful and fanciful. Wattenberg has shared that baby names that pay homage to high-status figures have been extremely on-trend over the last decade. She has stated, “The exalted names are distinctive for the way they skip the inspiration journey and go straight to the finish line — and beyond, to an impossibly high winner’s podium.”
Singer Chris Brown recently selected this regal name for his little princess, and parents who do the same are most definitely winning in the baby name department. Royal is an enchanting shortening of this adorable adjective, and Roy is an equally exquisite and slightly tomboyish direction parents selecting this designation may wish to go in.
Lorelai is a magnificently matronly name that gained notice after Lorelai Gilmore became the known the world-over as the coolest coffee guzzling mom to ever live in the fictional town of Star Hollow. Actress Lauren Graham undoubtedly gave this name a boost in adoration with her quirky character on Gilmore Girls, but this captivating name may have become popular either way simply because it’s a delightful designation.
More commonly spelled Lorelei, this name is of German origin and means alluring or temptress. Parents tempted to name their baby girls Lorelei should not resist the urge. It’s a three-syllable sensation that has proven itself as a name beloved by everyone who has owned a television in the new millennium.
Presently, Lorelai is the 563rd most popular name for girls in the United States, and has risen a whopping 88 places since 2016. Those who adore this lilting choice may also wish to consider the similar names Penelope, Veronica or Leona.
Kairi is an absolutely stunning name of Japanese origin that means sea. Pronounced “KIE-ree,” this name has shot up the baby name charts in recent years most likely due to its appearance in the popular video game Kingdom Hearts. Kairi is one of seven princesses in the game, and is voiced by the lovely Hayden Panettiere.
This strong and unexpected name choice first appeared in the top 1,000 names for American girls in 2010, and has been on the rise ever since. Parents who love to game, love fantasy or just love simply stunning names should make sure the name Kairi is on their short list if they are expecting a little girl in the near future. This two-syllable name is one that will sound practically perfect with any middle or last name. Snatch it up before everyone else does. It is expected that this magical moniker’s popularity will only grow in the future.
Ellery is an interesting and still slightly under-radar-name of English origin that means island with Elder trees. Originally a surname, this moniker combines so many of the latest trends, parents who select it for their little lady are ensuring their daughter will have a name that will turn heads in a good way wherever she goes.
Ellery is slightly masculine, giving it that gender-neutral aspect, which is all-the-rage right now. At the same time, its three syllables flow effortlessly, giving it a feminine grace that can’t be denied. It can be shortened to the ever-popular nickname Ellie, or the even more adored Elle, which has recently become uber cool thanks to a certain awesome character from the Netflix original Stranger Things.
Presently, Ellery ranks as the 1,243rd most popular name for girls in the United States, and has risen 135 places in popularity since 2016. Those who adore it may also wish to consider the similar names Allory, Dalary or Eleanor.
Quinn is a name of Celtic origin that means wise. It is currently a popular choice for both genders, but, in recent years, it has been more widely used for girls than for boys. This stellar name choice began its rise in popularity in the 90s, possibly due to the television show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, a well-loved series at the time. Female characters named Quinn have since appeared on the animated MTV series Daria as well as the small screen sensations Zoey 101 and Glee.
Parents who love names that start with the ever-original Q may also like the names Quintina, Quintana, Quinta, Quilla or Queenie. While these names are all fine and dandy, Quinn is the one that really stands on its own as a simple yet stunning name perfect for any little girl destined to stand out.
Gemma is a sparkling name of Italian origin that means precious stone. It became wildly popular in England in the 1980s, but didn’t make the cut on any baby name lists in the United States until 2008. Since breaking onto the scene soon after the dawn of the new millennium, Gemma has enjoyed a steady rise up the baby name ranks.
Dante’s wife was named Gemma, and it is also the name of a nineteenth century saint. Katey Sagal plays a character named Gemma in the series Sons of Anarchy, and actress Kristin Davis chose this darling name for her daughter. Gemma is a fresh take on the long-beloved and slightly overused name Emma. Your little gem would be lucky to call this name her own.
This gorgeous designation is currently the 230th most popular name for girls in the United States, and is up 18 spots in popularity since 2016. Can’t get enough of the name Gemma? Similar names include Stella, Mila and Jewel.
When it comes to the most popular names of the new millennium, word names are considered the latest and greatest. They’re fun, unique and are filled with meaning. During the last two decades, one of the favorite word names among many parents is the adventurous and adorable name Journey, and it has risen in over 500 places in popularity in the last 10 years alone.
Journey is currently being used for boys as well as for girls. In fact, Jenna Jameson chose to bestow this name upon one of her twin boys. The fact that Journey is considered a gender neutral name only adds to its appeal in the minds of many forward-thinking moms and pops. The rock band Journey gives this name even more of an edge, and seals the deal: Journey is one of the coolest titles to ever hit the baby name ranks.
Haven is another winning word name that has quickly climbed the baby name ranks in recent years. It’s an edgy yet soft-sounding choice that manages to sound a bit cooler and more grounded than the similar name Heaven. Raven and Maven are two other choices also getting some major love recently from millennial parents.
Actress and business woman Jessica Alba really helped to give the name a boost when she climbed aboard the Haven train and assigned this safe-harbor name to her second daughter. Author Haven Kimmel, who penned the bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and medal-winning figure skater Haven Denney are two women of note with this bewitching name. Haven is also the name of a television show that contains many supernatural elements.
Juniper is a comely name derived from nature that flows like a summer breeze. The Juniper tree is an evergreen shrub that smells like a million bucks. Juniper is also a baby name that millennial parents are going gaga over. It entered the top 1,000 names for American girls in 2011, and has risen in popularity faster than nearly any other girls’ name, going up 500 spots in 2012 alone.
Margaret Wise Brown, the author of the beloved children’s books Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny was known to go by the pen name Juniper Sage. In the wildly popular Junie P. Jones books, Junie is short for Juniper. The Juniper bush often appeared in Renaissance paintings to represent chastity, and is also mentioned in the Bible.
At the present time, Juniper is the 391st most popular name for girls in the United States and is up 5 spots on the list since 2016. Luna, Iris and Ivy are similar names that may appeal to fans of this gorgeous choice.
Sloane is an alluring name of Irish origin that means raider. Originally a surname, this name has since become a baby name sensation after becoming one of the top 1,000 names for girls in 2008. Sloan without an “e” at the end quickly followed, entering the top 1,000 American girls’ names in 2011.
Sloane is the name of Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend in the side-splitting flick Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, actress Olivia Munn plays a character named Sloane on the television show The Newsroom and Grey’s Anatomy fans can’t help but swoon whenever they hear the name Mark Sloan. Sloane Rangers, upper class women in London who are ever-fabulous and stylish, buy their wares in London’s Sloane square and include the likes of Princess Di and Kate Middleton, do even more make this name a sophisticated and enchanting choice.
Aviana is a variation of the Latin word Avis and means bird. It is a melding of the currently popular name Ava and the widely-used name Ariana that is nothing short of perfection. Actress Amy Adams named her daughter Aviana, a move that has undoubtedly brought this name recent attention.
Avi and Ana are two shortenings of this name that give parents who choose it for their daughters a variety of options when it comes to nicknames. It’s three-syllable sound make it another moniker that fits well with most middle and last names. Did we mention it’s down-right adorable? Any little girl would be lucky to go through life bearing this delightfully stunning designation.
Aviana is currently the 384th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States, and is up 2 spots in popularity since 2016. Additionally, it ranked as the 863rd most popular choice for girls in England in 2016. Ariella, Ayana and Amaya are similar names that may appeal to fans of the name Aviana.
Zoey, a variation of the name Zoe, is a whimsical name of Greek origin that means life. In the last year alone, just under 7,000 parents selected this playful name for their little darlings, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. Not only are “z” names on fire at the moment, Zoe is one of the world’s current favorites.
While Zoey is the currently the most popular spelling of the name, Zoe and Zooey are other adorable options. This irresistible name has also appeared on the small screen in recent years on episodes of Zoey 101, Nurse Jackie, The West Wing and House of Cards. New Girl actress and singer Zooey Deschanel may have also had a hand in this name’s recently meteoric rise.
Currently, Zoey ranks as the 25th most popular name chosen for girls in the United States. It is up 2 spots in popularity since 2016. Love Zoey? Similar names include Ziah, Zion and Zendaya.
Sources: TheStir.CafeMom.com, Nameberry.com, BabyCenter.com, BabyNameWizard.com
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