98 Brand New Baby Names on the Verge

May 24th 2017

Every year, a new crop of baby names stakes its claim to a place in our culture. I call them the "100 Club": names given to 100 American boys or girls for the first time ever.

Some of the 100 Club members are doubtless one-hit wonders that will fade from view. Others, though, point to the future. This year's top-1000 name chart features many 100 Club honorees of recent years, including 2016's top risers Kehlani and Kylo.

Meet some more of this year's notable new names that just might be on the verge of big things.

Image:Wikimedia Commons

Bowie (M) – In the year of music legend David Bowie's passing, parents used names as memorials.

Finnick (M) – I've written about Finnick, a character from the Hunger Games saga, as one of the "names everyone wonders about." The popularity of the name Finn and the coming of age of some Hunger Games fans has pushed the trend from just wondering to naming babies.

Ripley (F) – 37 years after the first Alien film, kickass heroine Ripley is finally making baby name waves.


Daenerys (F) – Four years ago the name Khaleesi, the regal title of a Game of Thrones character, was a 100 Club debutante. This year the same character's given name, Daenerys, joins the party.

Lyanna (F) – Another Game of Thrones name, Lyanna leapt up in popularity after the much-discussed Lyanna Stark finally made an appearance on the tv series.

Elon (M) – Entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has raised the profile of this previously obscure biblical name.


Calder (M) – This is one of the "new generation -er names" that take their style cues from tradesman names like Cooper and Tanner but have very different cultural associations, in this case with sculptor Alexander Calder.

Linkin (M) – This spelling of Lincoln transforms the popular presidential name into a tribute to rock band Linkin Park. Some parents are motivated by the spelling of the nickname Link.

Ivanka (F) – Americans don't name after current political figures any more, but we do name after their children, who are treated more like regular celebrities. It's worth noting that these little Ivankas were born before Ivanka Trump took an official White House role, potentially moving her name into the "political" column.

Wells (M) – Last year's news headlines were filled with stories of widespread fraud at Wells Fargo Bank. The sports headlines were filled with the controversial Wells Report, with its physics-defying claims of a "more probable than not" plot to deflate footballs. It's unlikely that many babies were named after either scandal, but their names certainly stuck in parents' heads. Babies named Wells were up 40%.

The Full 2016 100 Club:

Aaradhya Abhiram
Adalind Advik
Amarah Arrow
Aoife Ash
Arlet Atharv
Asma Auden
Avalee Azrael
Aveline Baker
Avigail Beaux
Berklee Bjorn
Blayke Bowie
Brynnlee Calder
Chava Callahan
Daenerys                          Cam
Emeline Daxon
Emmi Denim
Emrie Eitan
Giulietta Eliam
Glory Elon
Haisley Evander
Harleen Ezrah
Harlyn Finnick
Harlynn Finnigan
Inaaya Granger
Ivanka Jaxyn
Josephina Journey
Jules Kainoa
Kaira Kairo
Kehlani Kaisen
Kodi Kiaan
Lailani Kion
Lakelyn Knowledge
Leen Kylo
Leylani Linkin
Loyalty Lyam
Lyanna Macklin
Maddilyn Mathis
Maddox Mylo
Majesty Obadiah
Malky Remi
Maple Ren
Merritt Saint
Murphy Teo
Oaklyn Ved
Oaklynn Wells
Pia Zabdiel



By Spam
May 25, 2017 11:37 AM

Finnick strikes me as having lots of potential because I think both Finn- and -ick are appealing upcoming sound trends....unless its too close to a curse word for parents to use it.

I would also include Ash on this list.

I have been noticing lots of Oak- names for girls...does NameVoyager include names outside the top 1000 because if so that would be a great way to analyze the Oak- names

By JayF
May 25, 2017 12:06 PM

Asma? Is that pronounced like Asthma or like Ozma? Because, I'd prefer Ozma, personally, and its attendant spelling...



May 25, 2017 4:10 PM

Asma Khalid is on NPR all the time if you want to hear her say the name.  It does sound more like asthma.

May 26, 2017 5:03 PM

I think if you name your child Finnick you really have no one to blame but yourself if he won't eat his peas.

By EVie
May 26, 2017 8:48 PM

Asma is a traditional Arabic name, and it does sound like "asthma." I had a friend with this name growing up. She was of North African descent, I think maybe Tunisian. 

May 27, 2017 7:22 PM

Wells was also a fan favorite contestant on The Bachelorette as well as Bachelor in Paradise last year. I think he's a more likely reason the name Wells saw an uptick! 

May 29, 2017 12:37 AM

We didn't go with any of these names. <3 We went a different route and what my SO thought was a made-up name but turned out to be incredibly rare was Aloria. The only definition I could find for it was "Complete." 

May 29, 2017 12:38 AM

Ash is adorable. Short for "Ashley" or just "Ash" is adorable

May 30, 2017 11:24 AM

We have a Macklin that is 5 years old. I love his name and we receive compliments on it all the time. 

June 4, 2017 7:52 AM

I prefer Esma to Asma, it doesn't resemble asthma that much. I really like Teo from the list, Teo that is a nickname for Teoman not Theodore. 

July 5, 2017 5:20 PM

Wells is definitely from the cute and non-threatening Bachelorette mantestant!

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