Back in 1944, baby names like Judy, Beverly and Bruce felt new. In the 1970s, Kelly, Justin and Shawn were novel. And in 1994, we were busy naming our sons original choices like Austin and Tyler, while our daughters became Alexis and Taylor.
Parents are always dreaming up new, creative baby names, taking inspiration from pop culture and the past. Not every new baby name feels freshly minted. Some seem like throwbacks, even vintage gems. Others become mainstream so quickly that it’s hard to imagine the names haven’t always been in use.
But make no mistake: plenty of the most popular baby names in the US are recent arrivals, as new the newborns who wear them.
How to define a truly new baby name? There are eight boys’ names and ten girls’ names that have only ranked in the US top 100 for the past five years. They’ve also (almost) never charted in the US top 1000 prior to 1984 — thirty years ago.
If you’re expecting a baby in 2015, chances are you didn’t grow up with anyone with any of these 18 names. But your kids? They will almost certainly will have friends and classmates who answer to these names.
The 18 newest baby names in the US top 100 are:
1. Harper — Literary Harper currently stands at number 11, boosted by Harper Lee, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird. Now that Lee has another novel on the bestseller lists, Harper feels unstoppable.
2. Aria — Musical Aria ranks number 31. Other musical names like Melody and Cadence have been popular, but Aria’s rise is fueled by two television characters: Aria from Pretty Little Liars and, of course, Arya from Game of Thrones.
3. Skylar — Part-surname name, part-nature name, number 48 Skylar is a modern choice for a daughter, never in the girls’ US top 1000 before 1990. For boys, both Skylar and Skyler have slightly longer histories.
4. Paisley — As a colorful pattern, Paisley has been around since the eighteenth century. But as a name, number 53 Paisley is brand new. Paisley first cracked the US top 1000 in 2006 and has climbed quickly since.
5. Kennedy — Presidential Kennedy stands at number 54. The name saw some use for boys in honor of the late JFK. But now that Kimberly is a mom name, Kennedy is a 21st-century favorite for girls.
6. Aubree — It’s easy to dismiss respellings, like number 61 Aubree, a twist on number 20 Aubrey. But alternative spellings like Kaitlyn and Zoey can — and have — become more popular than the originals.
7. Mila — Mila ranks number 72, and feels like a vintage charmer. But Mila has only dipped into the US top 1000 once before, in 1881. Following the success of Mia and Layla, Mila re-entered the top 1000 in 2006 and has quickly become one of the most popular names for girls in the US.
8. Piper — Piper is number 75, thanks to television’s Orange is the New Black, about everyone’s favorite inmate, Piper Chapman. Actress Piper Laurie scored her first Oscar nomination back in 1961, but the name was rare until the 21st century.
9. London — Place name London charts at number 93. The city may have more than 2,000 years of history, but as a given name, London is new. It first charted in the girls’ top 1000 in 1994, and reached the top 100 in 2011.
10. Hadley — It’s another literary surname name starting with H! Number 99 Hadley brings to mind Hadley Hemingway, the first wife of celebrated author Ernest and the subject of the fictionalized bestselling account of their marriage, The Paris Wife.
11. + 12. Jaxon and Jaxson — Number 46 Jaxon and number 85 Jaxson are both respellings of artistic, presidential, place name Jackson. They’re definitely new baby names, and combined with the original, make this name the more popular than number one Noah.
13. Grayson — Handsome Grayson stands at number 63, a polished surname name, worn by fictional characters from Batman to Revenge. But as a given name, Grayson first charted in the US top 1000 in 1984, and only reached the top 100 in 2011.
14. Easton — Number 83 Easton is another surname name we’ve embraced in the last few years. While North is reserved for a Kardashian’s kid, Easton is as wearable as William. Easton is biggest in the Midwest. The name is number six in North Dakota.
15. Bentley — The name of a British luxury automobile, number 89 Bentley was boosted by a Teen Mom birth announcement back in 2009. Bentley previously cracked the US top 1000 three times — in 1890, 1961 and 1962. Now Bentley joins Benjamin and Bennett on the list of formal names for Ben.
16. Kayden — Number 90 Kayden is a member of the Aiden-Jayden tribe. It’s also a newer favorite, first appearing in the US top 1000 in 1999, and reaching the top 100 in 2012. Aidan has history, but Kayden is a truly new 21st-century name.
17. Ryder — Nearly every 21st-century boys’ name is a surname, and that’s also true for Number 95 Ryder. Golf’s Ryder Cup and Ryder trucks make this name more familiar, but it’s only been heard as name since the 1990s, and debuted in the Top 100 in 2014.
18. Camden — Number 100 Camden is a place name, celebrity favorite and spin on long-time favorite Cameron. London’s bohemian Camden Town district has long been a favorite with creative types, from Charles Dickens to Dylan Thomas to Amy Winehouse.
Which name on this list do you love? Share in the comment section below.
This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel.