The Top New Baby Names of the Millennium

Oct 4th 2017

When the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve, 1999, these baby names didn't exist. Today, they're hits.

Dozens of names that were unused in the U.S. at the dawn of the millennium now rank among the 1,000 most popular names for boys or girls. Their diverse styles paint a picture of the many kinds of name trends operating in America today. Here are a few highlights that represent some major themes on the list:

Everly (F): The #1 most popular brand-new name, Everly is a perfect meeting point of sound, style and celebrity. Other "Eve" names like Everett and Evelyn have also risen sharply, along with formal-sounding surnames and classic rock names (remember the Everly Brothers?) For a final boost, the name's big surge followed the birth of actor Channing Tatum's daughter Everly. More new surnames and place names with hot sounds: Harlow, Lennox, Bexley, Huxley, Brixton

Iker (M): Meet America's favorite Basque name. Iker, a Basque word meaning "visitation," was adopted as a name a century ago, a homegrown Basque equivalent to the Spanish saint's name Visitación. Superstar soccer goalkeeper Iker Casillas has spread it to the world. More soccer-influenced boys' names: Beckham, Neymar

Khaleesi Image:

Khaleesi (F): Khaleesi is a regal title in the invented Dothraki language of Game of Thrones. It's part of a wave of new names inspired by science fiction, fantasy and video game characters, as parents look beyond our mundane reality for new name ideas. More fantastical names: Castiel, Kylo, Coraline, Kairi

Aarav (M): I can point you to prominent Aaravs, like a son of actor Akshay Kumar and the recent winner of a Tamil reality tv competition. But instead, let me point you to the double A at the beginning of the name—and to more Indian double A names: Vihaan, Riaan, Aadhya, Vivaan.

Zayden (M): Want to freshen up a super-popular name style? Put a Z on it. Other rhyming names like Jaden, Aidan, Hayden and Brayden were already popular as the 20th century drew to a close, but Zayden is brand-new to our millennium. More Z-powered names: Zaiden, Zaylee

The full list of 55 brand-new baby name hits of this millennium:

Name 2016 Rank                 Name 2017 Rank    
Zayden 185 Everly 107
Iker 235 Daleyza 238
Jayceon 249 Kaydence          387
Beckham         313 Harlow 420
Zaiden 405 Yaretzi 467
Aarav 550 Cataleya 510
Memphis 622 Royalty 532
Ayaan 627 Everleigh 573
Vihaan 663 Coraline 602
Kohen 670 Addilynn 614
Madden 673 Adley 617
Reyansh 760 Lorelai 626
Castiel 763 Collins 647
Kamdyn 810 Lennox 716
Bentlee 820 Khaleesi 765
Riaan 855 Tinley 792
Huxley 867 Zaylee 813
Brixton 875 Kairi 818
Neymar 885 Dalary 864
Kylo 901 Kehlani 873
Vivaan 936 Avalynn 875
Kashton 941 Bryleigh 886
Brantlee 953 Aubriella 903
Urijah 956 Zendaya 916
Benicio 975 Milania 946
Wesson 993 Novalee 949
    Aadhya 953
    Bexley 970
    Adilynn 978




October 4, 2017 4:51 PM

I think I hate every single name on the girls' list. I can stand Memphis and Benicio on the boys' list. 

October 4, 2017 8:20 PM

I don't think that you could have made a list that was less my style! I was also surprised to see Kamdyn, Bentlee, and Brantlee on the boys' side, since those alternate spellings scream "girl" to me. I also keep reading Vivaan as Vivian, so there's that. 

The movie Where the Heart Is came out in 2000, accounting for Novalee.

I wonder if any of these names were raised and maintained by specific regions or if they've basically become national hits.

Wait! I like Coraline. And truth be told, I actually don't mind Everly (Everleigh is not included in that statement) though I wouldn't use it myself.

October 4, 2017 8:43 PM

I do know a male Camdyn who is now a young adult.

October 5, 2017 6:24 AM

I'm surprised by the number of names for both genders that end in the "lee" sound.  (And the variety of spellings to produce it!).

October 5, 2017 10:54 AM

Aarav seems the odd-name-out here. 

Double-a names are nothing new in Indian naming traditions.

They may be particularly common in the Western context, but I don't know why that would be new in the new millennium.

Doubling the A is one of the only sure-fire ways to transliterate the letter in Devanagri and other South Asian alphabets that is pronounced with a long A. Otherwise the names are apt to be mispronounced, especially since a short A in most South Asian pronunciations is more like an -uh sound. 

October 5, 2017 1:51 PM

I like a lot of the South American and Indian names. They sound musical but not lightweight. 

October 5, 2017 3:11 PM

Wow, most of these names are radically not my style. (I like the Indian ones and a few others.) 


"Jayceon" in particular really startles me. Is it typically prnounced like "Jason"? It reminds me so much of the defense contractor Raytheon. 


By ejh
October 5, 2017 5:36 PM

I can't be the only person who sees "Wesson" and thinks of the oil...

OK, googled and realized people are probably naming boys after the guns...  It'll always be an oil to me...

By tess
October 5, 2017 8:07 PM

wow! I really do not like this list of names...and I guess that makes me officially old. I think if the Indian names were presented as a group , I might be more open. As a list of names, though, they do not delight me. 

October 25, 2017 8:37 PM

I'm disappointed that Everly is so popular now... it was not even in the top 1000 when I named my daughter that back in 2010. Oh well. When she's older she'll be able to get away with people thinking she's 5 yrs younger then she really is. Lol

October 26, 2017 8:18 AM

Is Everly after the Everly Brothers?