New One-Syllable "Meaning Names" on the Rise

Dec 7th 2016

The new sound in word names is short and swift. If you find an appealing one-syllable word, from Fox and Bear to Truth and Dream, chances are parents are turning it into a hot new name.

This rising trend aims for double impact, in meaning and sound. Unlike traditional names, word names take their punch from their meanings. The upfront meaning is what makes Maverick so different from Frederick, and Destiny from Stephanie. A sharp single syllable amplifies the style. The effect is bold and confident, but not heavy. What's more, the word origin makes these names familiar and easy to pronounce, while they still sound new and fresh as names. That's proving to be an irresistible combination.

The 40 names below have all risen sharply in popularity over the past decade. Many have also taken off as middle names, where they make an eye-catching alternative to classic choices like Rose and James. The gender labels reflect current usage; in the case of unisex names, the more common gender is listed first.

Rising New One-Syllable Word Names

Ace (M)
Bear (M)
Bless (M, F)
Bliss (F, M)
Blue (M, F)
Charm (F)
Cloud (M)
Cove (M, F)
Creed (M)
Crew (M)
Czar (M)
Dash (M)
Dove (F)
Dream (F, M)
Fox (M)
Frost (M)
Gem (F)
Hawk (M)
King (M)
Lark (F)
Lord (M)
Lux (F, M)
Lynx (M, F)
Oak (M)
Pax (M, F)
Quill (M)
Rage (M)
Reef (M)
Reign (F, M)
Rogue (F, M)
Rook (M)
Saint (M)
Scout (F, M)
Snow (F)
Teal (F, M)
Trust (M, F)
Truth (M, F)
West (M)
Wise (M)
Wren (F, M)


Read More: 41 Cool Word Names Nobody's Using



December 7, 2016 4:15 PM

Most of these are not my style ("Teal! Let's name the kid after the one color that's thoroughly date-stamped to the 90's!"), but one is absolutely horrible: are people really naming their kids Rage?

December 9, 2016 9:55 AM

I knew a young woman from China whose English name was Fox. She had picked it for herself, and at first I thought it was a rather funny choice, but the longer I knew her the more I liked it.

Another name that I've heard that is not on this list that I would add is Wolf.

December 9, 2016 2:21 PM

I think one reason Wolf is not on this list is that it has been in use as a name since pretty much forever. The article is about _new_ one-syllable names.

By Amy3
December 9, 2016 3:58 PM

@TheOtherHungarian - I was surprised by Rage too. That seems hard to spin as a positive, but I guess some people must at least try. 

December 9, 2016 8:29 PM

Yes, my grandfather who was born in the latter part of the nineteenth century was named Wolf.

By kddp
January 18, 2017 9:28 AM

I would argue that Dove is not new. "Dovie" was a fairly popular name in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I like it, though! Mostly because it does have a more traditional vibe.