Frankly, it’s hard to imagine that the world is still coming up with new, innovative baby names. After all, humans have been naming babies since the dawn of mankind and have developed the habit of passing these names down generation to generation. There’s even the recognized Southern tradition of giving new babies their grandmother’s maiden name as a way to keep it alive after the women marry and take on their husbands’ surnames.
Yet, in 2018 parents are still managing to think of new things to name their kids. Trends—as well as book and movie cultures—are influencing what people want to call their children and what values they want them to represent. Think of Prim from The Hunger Games. Until she came to be, most people would think that naming a daughter this would make her seem stuck up and overly proper. Now, it’s a nod to the power of a sisterly bond and a woman willing to sacrifice herself for the ideals of freedom. Keeping this phenomenon in mind—that media affects naming trends—Chip and Joanna Gaines gave their newest addition a unique, strong-sounding given name. That name is just beginning to chart on popularity lists. Read below for more surprising and standout new names.
25 Jagged Edged Jagger
The name Jagger is relatively young as a given name, first catching eyes in 2001. While the name is just old enough to drive a car and get a part-time job, most of its wearers are much, much younger than that. Nameberry says that Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were the first celebrities to jump on the trend, giving their son the name Dylan Jagger. It’s also the name of a very famous Rolling Stones frontman.
24 Nash Without The Ville
According to BabyCenter, the name Nash was virtually unheard of until the new millennium. Since then it’s skyrocketed in popularity, right now sitting in the low 200's on the charts. Like Jagger, Nash first appeared as a surname and only later moved up front. A chef with an illustrious career—Cat Cora—gave her son the name Nash in 2009. The Southern specialty chef is one of many celebs that chose the name for their boys. Also on the list are Nick Punto, Bode Miller, and Jimmy McNichol.
23 Not Your Average Kimmy
The name Kimora has been popularized stateside by former model and current fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons. As cited by Biography, the daughter of an African American father and Japanese American mother, Kimora’s unique look caught the attention of Karl Lagerfeld, who whisked her away to Paris while still in her teens. While some young starlets fizzle out, Kimora instead has grown into a brand on her own. Her name, originally a Japanese surname, fits her perfectly. It means ‘brave.’
22 Nzinga: A Ruler To Be
While Nzinga is just starting to make a splash here, the name is actually fairly historical. There was an African leader who first brought the name to notice, known as Nzinga of Ndongo. She once faced an enemy ruler who sat on a throne but made Nzinga stand beneath him. The story goes that Nzinga wouldn’t take such offense lying down. Instead, she ordered two of her male servants to bend their bodies into a human throne, upon which she sat and stared the enemy ruler in the eye. Baby Name Wizard tells us the correct way to pronounce the name is “en-ZIN-ga.”
21 It Takes A Crew
According to BabyCenter, the name Crew just entered the very end of the top 1,000 most popular boy’s monikers. The name doesn’t seem to have any meaning beyond the English word association, but that hasn’t stopped celebrities from using it for their sons. The first to do so was Joshua Morrow and, more recently, the design duo Chip and Joanna Gaines bestowed their surprise addition with the name. His name is Crew Gaines, and he joined fellow cutely named siblings Drake, Ella Rose, Duke, and Emmie Kay.
20 Skyward Avianna
Something about Aviana sounds flight related. Maybe it’s just the close sounds of Aviana and aviation. Maybe it’s that the meaning of this name, which only began to be tracked in 2012, is ‘like a bird.' According to Baby Name Wizard Aviana is the name of Amy Adam’s daughter, Aviana Olea. While Amy rocks her signature red locks, her eight-year-old mini-me is more of a delicate strawberry blonde. We wonder if Amy was inspired by her gig as Superman’s grounding leading lady. He flies, too.
19 New To Nyla
Nyla is a new name, but experts believe it is based on an older Arabic name, Naila, which means ‘to attain desires.’ Therefore, Nyla is literally a winner. She hit the charts in 2001 and—according to Oh baby! NAMES—has slowly been working her way up. Nyla’s Song is also a book written by US-based author Lettice Binion in which a woman married for 15 years ends up separating from her husband and going on a soul-searching journey to find herself. On the way, she ends up finding the love of her life.
18 Sloane On Its Own
This name, which Nameberry tells us means ‘raider,’ has made the jump from almost exclusively for boys to nearly fully feminine. If it sounds familiar, that may be because it was a fairly common Irish surname before it made its debut as a given name. The name also shows up in the title of Macklemore’s tearjerker tune, "Sloane’s Song." In it, Macklemore raps to his almost born daughter about all the things he hopes she accomplishes in her life and gives her his best dad advice.
17 Girls And Bly
There’s something unique about this newcomer—no one can seem to agree on where it came from. Some sites say it means ‘tall’ from a Native American background, other say it’s an English name that means ‘friendly,’ and finally, another said the name is of Afrikaans origins meaning ‘happy.’ While it appeared on charts in 2002, according to Baby Names, it hasn’t charted again since then. It’s considered a girl’s name, although we could certainly see it working on a boy, too.
16 Roone, Rune, And Runes
Roone is, according to The Bump, an Irish name that could be a Weasley. It means ‘red-haired.’ Aside from that, there’s very little information available yet on this unique name. However, there is a celebrity who bore the name before his passing in 2007. Roone Arledge was the man who founded Monday Night Football and was featured by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Important people of the 20th Century from the US. The name must have been somewhat recognized then, as Roone got his first name from his father, another Roone.
15 A New Jenny
Jennifer and Jenna have to move over. A new Jenny is about to take over, and her full name is Jentry. Nameberry tells us this is a spelling variation of the word gentry which means aristocracy. Elizabeth Bennett’s beau—Fitzwilliam Darcy—was part of the landed gentry. That meant he was rich, had access to society, and why it wasn’t weird as his aunt thought he would eventually marry his cousin (weird, but common back then). There are plenty of variants to this name’s spelling as well.
14 Clancy Is As Clancy Does
Clancy first splashed onto the charts in 1997 and reached peak popularity in 2002. Since then its use has been in slow decline, and it’s not currently in the top 1,000, 2,000, 3,000...well, you get it. BabyCenter says that Clancy is outside the top 8,000 names though we can’t see why. It’s short and to the point, fits the unisex trend, and means ‘warrior.’ The name does appear on celebrities like Clancy Eccles, the reggae singer, and Clancy Edwards, the US sprinter.
13 A For Alouetta
While Alouette is an older French name, the US is seeing Alouetta circulate for the first time. The Bump says it means ‘lark’ and its older sister is famous for the French song about the early bird. It comes with the cool nickname options of Lou and Etta, both of which are chic and do make the popularity charts. The name, minus the specialty -a ending, is also the nickname of Cosette from theater staple Les Miserables.
12 Zesty Zadie
We thought this was a brand-new name, like Sadie with a replacement z to make it spicy. However, we were wrong. Zadie actually started out as a pet name for ancient Sarah. Baby Name Wizard says that’s where it’s meaning comes from, since it shares ‘princess’ with Sarah. This is also the name a famous author took on, choosing to be Zadie instead of Sadie Smith. Her debut novel immediately became a bestseller. She was born in Jamaica but immigrated with her family to England during her childhood.
11 Boom Goes The...
Cannon. Nameberry has this name on their “New Baby Names on the Rise” list. Its meaning is the same as the weapon of war, though we can’t help but think of comedian and ex-husband to Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon. Not a fan of Wild’ N Out? This name might just take a historian to truly appreciate it. After all, the canon was widely in use around the 1300s after newer forms of ammunition made its way from China to Europe. It’s earliest documented use, implemented to swing the tides of battle, was in 1248 AD.
10 Presley Lady
The Bump says that this given name is found almost exclusively in the US and primarily given to little girls. However, there are male bearers of the name, like Cindy Crawford’s 19-year-old son and fellow model Presley Walker Gerber. This Presley inherited both his mom’s otherworldly good looks and ability to strut. In January of this year, he walked the runway in Paris for designer Balmain. There’s also that other Presley that immediately comes to mind. He was, after all, the king of rock and roll.
9 Speaking Of Leaders: Kingston
Kingston first hit the baby name charts in 2006 and has managed to stay relevant up to now. Baby Name Wizard says this name was chosen for Gwen Stefani’s baby boy in that year. It was once more common as an English surname and is the capital of Jamaica. That place is home to the Bob Marley museum, giving a distinctly laid back but somehow still rock and roll vibe. It’s a beautiful white building city set against a backdrop of unbelievably blue waters. Basically, it looks like paradise.
8 Let’s Take A Trip to India
India is a fairly new name in that it began being used in English speaking countries only in the 19th century. While it is used in the US and England enough to chart, those seem to be the countries most likely to have little girls called India. Fandom lists India Wilkes as one of the most famed pop culture references to this name. She was the villainess of Gone With The Wind, the woman who loved one of the many men that seems to fall at Scarlett’s feet.
7 One Little Flower: Poppy
Poppy didn’t begin to hit the charts until the year 1995, according to BabyCenter. That seems perfectly fitting since something about Poppy seems very 90’s and brings to mind the spunky women of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Step By Step. Poppy peaked in use in 2012, though it certainly could do so again. Now, it relates to a certain pink-haired character voiced by Anna Kendrick. Little girls all around the country know the words to Poppy’s “I Will Get Back Up Again,” a motto any kiddo could use.
6 Primrose is A Little Bit Proper
While Primrose seems old-fashioned, its usage as a given name is fairly new. Before it was a first name, it was a Scottish surname. Bringing Primrose to the forefront may be the bestselling book, The Hunger Games. In it, “Prim” is the younger sister of the main character, one who is chosen as a tribute in the brutal annual games that pits teens against each other despite her young age. Out of love, Prim’s older sister takes her place in the bloodbath. Baby Name Wizard says that the name has never ranked in the top 1,000 most popular.
5 A Lexus isn't Just A Car
The name Lexus has old, even ancient, roots although it didn’t make popularity charts until 1990 according to The Bump. While it was fairly well-used in the late 90’s, it has virtually dropped out of existence. This may be due to the car brand, although brands have been known to borrow from edgy sounding names. Lexus means ‘defender of me,’ a meaning that could bolster any boy or girl it is given to. The name is considered unisex and comes with the nicknames Lex, Lexi, and Lux.
4 New, Not Rusty
Nameberry tells us that Rustin is a variant of the name Russell. Like Russell, it means ‘redheaded.’ One of the most famous people to bear the name, though as a surname, was Bayard Rustin. He was a famed civil rights activist and known adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. during the fight for equality and the black vote. He was taken into custody by the police several times for both his civil disobedience as well as his unabashed openness of his lifestyle choices. That never scared him off the path of activism.
3 That’s So Seventies: Kelso
Kelso, the last name of Ashton Kutcher’s That 70’s Show character, made its modern debut in 2002. BabyCenter claims it peaked in use in 2007 but has since fallen in popularity. The name is considered a geographical name as it was a town in Scotland and is a very old surname, one of the earliest documented last names in England. Aside from appearing in the show mentioned above, Kelso also was the surname of a character on fan-favorite television show Scrubs.
2 Teigan is A Model Of A Name
While the name Teigan will have most thinking of Chrissy Teigen and her adorably Twitter documented family, it’s been in use as a given name since the 80’s. Baby Names says that it is of English origin and means ‘pretty.’ A widely viewed soap opera that airs in the UK had a character named Teigan who first appeared as a foster child but grew into a well-adjusted romantic heroine. The name—unlike crooner John Legend’s wife's surname—is supposed to be pronounced Tee-gan. Chrissy has said publicly her family pronounces their surname Ty-ghin.
1 Q For Quint
While Quinten and Quinn are staples in the name game, Quint charted in 1964 and hasn’t made an appearance since then. We’re not sure why since this name comes with cool pet names like Quinn and Win. While it may seem obvious that Quint means ‘fifth’ it additionally can mean ‘queen’s household.’ According to Nameberry, Quint is also the sea cowboy from hit movie Jaws. In the novel, the captain drowned. In the movie, his ending was rather more dramatic. The character was a WWII vet who survived the attacked on his ship only to go down later to the famous shark.
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