Every year, American parents bring hundreds of new baby names into the world. Some are ultra-modern: anime names, video game names, brand names. Others have ancient roots but are new to the baby name family. Meet 34 names that were given to five or more American girls for the first time last year.
|Alo||The trendy Yoga clothing brand Alo says its name stands for “air, land, ocean.”|
|Amihan||A Tagalog word meaning “north wind.” Queen Amihan is a character in the Filipino fantasy franchise Encantadia.|
|Anacaona||Anacaona was a poet and chief of the Taíno people of the Caribbean in the 15th Century.|
|Apricity||The word apricity means the warmth of sunlight in winter.|
|Bardot||This new hidden O name is inspired by 1950s-’60s French “sex symbol” Brigitte Bardot.|
|Beautii||A contemporary riff on the word beauty, this is one of 18 new names ending in ii.|
|Bellissima||An Italian word meaning “beautiful.”|
|Castalia||In Greek mythology, Castalia was a nymph who inhabited the Castalian spring in Delphi.|
|Cosmo||As a boy’s name, Cosmo is Italian and retro-traditional. But “cosmo” is also an informal version of “cosmopolitan,” as in the magazine and the cocktail.|
|Coyote||This nature name breaks with the usual trend of predator names going only to boys. (Though male Coyotes are still in the majority.)|
|Hanabi||Hanabi is the Japanese word for fireworks. It has been used as a name for game and anime characters, most notably a Naruto ninja team leader.|
|Hecate||The ancient Greek witch-goddess Hecate is a complex figure, portrayed in many ways both good and evil across the millennia. One Hecate is a fan favorite character in the mythological comic Lore Olympus.|
|Idun||The Norse goddess of rejuvenation, Idun was the keeper of the apples of eternal youth.|
|Katla||Katla is a volcano in Iceland, and the title of an Icelandic tv series in which long-dead people mysteriously reappear from within the volcano’s ash.|
|Kheumani||Kheumani Stevenson is a social media fashion influencer.|
|Makkari, Sersi||Superheroes from the Marvel Eternals franchise. On film, Makkari became the MCU’s first deaf superhero; in previous comics, the character had been hearing (and male).|
|Medusa||The legendary gorgon Medusa had snakes for hair, and her gaze could turn men to stone.|
|Nynaeve||Healer Nynaeve al’Meara is featured in the Wheel of Time fantasy series.|
|Ozma||Princess Ozma was ruler of the Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum’s classic books. The character has appeard in the webcomic Namesake, in which characters can travel to fictional worlds.|
|Posh||This British term means luxurious or upper-class. Victoria Beckham was called “Posh Spice” as a member of the Spice Girls.|
|Qetsiyah||Qetsiyah was an ancient and powerful witch on The Vampire Diaries.|
|QueenEsther||This two-part biblical name has deep African-American roots.|
|Ranni||Ranni is a witch inhabiting the body of a doll in the game Elden Ring.|
|Rhaenyra, Visenya||In the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen idolizes her predecessor Visenya Targaryen.|
|Seoul||K-pop meets “soul” in this place name.|
|Skipper||The Skipper doll is Barbie’s younger sister.|
|Tiabeanie||In the the satirical animated series Disenchantment, Tiabeanie Mariabeanie de la Rochambeau Grunkwitz is a rebellious, hard-drinking princess who falls in love with a mermaid.|
|Tissaia||Tissaia de Vries is a sorceress who teaches at a magic academy in The Witcher.|
|Tomyris||Tomyris was an ancient warrior queen who defeated Cyrus the Great.|
|Velour||Velour fabric is a stretchy cousin of velvet.|
|Villanelle||A villanelle is a rhyming poetic form. The “villain” sound of the word was put to good use as the name of a vicious assassin in Killing Eve.|
|Yumeko||Yumeko Jabami is the protagonist of the manga/anime series Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler.|
I like to think that you have all this information at your fingertips, but imagine it actually takes you hours of research and lots of wrist slapping so you don’t go down too many internet rabbit holes as you discover the pop culture inspirations for all these new names. Think about all the things you have learned!
Wouldn’t it be fun if at least some of the little Castalias were granddaughters of the elusive Casterdels?
Elizabeth, I do learn all sorts of things from this each year! I have to research many hundreds of names to winnow it down, and they come from everywhere. For instance, this year I learned that long male names ending in -ensky like Marvensky, Woodensky and Dawenksy are usually Haitian.
Wow! I don’t know Creole, but am surprised as that ending doesn’t fit with my prior knowledge of the language. I read Woodensky as wooden sky, which is interesting for different reasons.
And is it Dawensky or Dawenksy?
Cosmos are a common garden flower too, which parents might pull from when they’re looking for the next new feminine -o name.
At this point people are trying their hardest to slap uniquely special names on a more then regular child. People keep it simple and stop pissing off school teachers.