Keep an eye out for these baby names as they are predicted to quickly move up the popularity ladder for 2020.
Whether looking for a unique, one of a kind name, a gender-neutral favourite, a popular classic or just wanting to keep a head of the trends, here is a list of the most upward moving baby names for the new decade.
Out of respect for all the people and families affected by COVID-19, the SSA has rescheduled the release of the 2019 most popular baby names until a later date. So I’ll be using the most current, 2018 information for ranking in this post.
- Emmery / Emeri
Amara – meaning Eternal in Indian and German, Unfading in Greek, Imperishable in Spanish, Grace in West African Igbo language and Peaceful in Mongolian. This strong yet sweet name with multicultural nods is currently sitting at #193 on the popularity charts, up from #300 in 2016.
Anais – of Hebrew origin meaning Grace, also meaning Gracious, Merciful in French. This beautiful yet unusual name only hit the top 1000 in 2003 and currently sits at #848 on the popularity charts.
Emily – derived from the Roman name Aemilia, Emily is of Latin origin meaning Rival or Hardworking. This classic and strong name is often in the top 10 and although for the past few years has dropped out of the coveted spots, we are seeing another surge in popularity in the last 12 months. In 2018 it was ranked #12
Emmery/Emeri – although usually associated with a feminine name, Emmery/Emeri is a variation of the unisex Emery meaning Industrious from German origins. Both spelling variations are currently not ranked however the female version of Emery is #92 and Emerie is #688, all versions are steadily climbing up the popularity ranks. and one to keep an eye on.
Kinsley – meaning King’s Meadow and of English origin. Kinsley is a sweet name with quiet strength and is currently sitting at #63 on the popularity rank and steadily climbing. It first hit the top 100 in only 2016 ranking at #87
Luella – a sleeker spelling variation on Louella, which derived from the combination of Louise (renowned warrior) and Ella (young girl, goddess). Luella has only hit the top 1000 in the SSA popularity charts in 2017 debuting at #910. It had a rocky start dropping down to #954 in 2018, but current trends predict an upward movement in popularity for the 2019 ranks.
Mila – meaning Gracious, Dear and People’s Favor is of Slavic, Russian origin. Mila is one of the fastest upward-moving names in popularity jumping from #48 in 2016 to #14 in 2018. Considering it only hit the top #1000 in 2006 debuting at #745 this sassy and trendy name is a quick mover and one to keep an eye on.
Nola – Is a Gaelic name meaning White or Fair Shoulder. Despite its interesting meaning, this beautiful and feminine name has been gaining popularity recently now ranking in at #644 in 2018 up from #816 in 2016.
Oaklynn – May be considered an American invented name derived from the combination of Oak (Oak Tree) and the name Lynn (Lake). Oaklynn is a very recent name debuting in 2017 at #888 and currently sits at #542. A large shift upwards in the last 12months is expected for this strong and unusual name.
Samara – is a Hebrew name meaning Under God’s Rule, but is also considered Arabic meaning Result or Reward. This distinctive and exotic name has found a home in the top 1000 since 2000 but has moved around a fair bit during that time. The last 2 years, however, have seen a massive surge upwards in popularity, making 2018 it’s most popular ranking at #256 and prediction is that it will continue trending.
- Theo / Theodore
Archie – derived from Archibald meaning Truly Brave. Archie, once considered a nickname has been launched onto the popularity charts as a full first name in 2018 at #992, most probably due to the new Royal baby of Harry and Meghan. Our guess this sweet yet masculine name will continue to rise in popularity in the future.
Cassian – is of Latin origin, a variation of Cassius meaning Hollow. While this name currently is not ranked by the SSA, this unusual but solid name is just waiting to be discovered. The notable Shakespearean name Cassius also the birth name of Muhammad Ali is currently sitting at #596 on the popularity list. It won’t be long before those looking for a more unique name will stumble upon Cassian launching it into the top 1000.
Ezekiel – meaning God Strengthens is of Hebrew origin. Ezekial is a prominent prophet in the Bible and the name has been steadily climbing up the popularity charts and now proudly sits at #87 in 2018. If the name continues trending upwards, it may just become one of the favorite Biblical names of choice.
Hawk – named after the bird, and of English origin, Hawk is on the rise. Boys named after animals are currently trending and generally have a strong and fierce masculine sound. Similar names would be Fox, Wolf, Phoenix, etc Expect to see this name hit the charts in a big way.
Huxley – is of English origin and means Inhospitable Place. Despite its somber meaning, this ‘surname’ name is consistently climbing in popularity. Huxley hit the charts in 2015 debuting at #960 and has steadily climbed upwards each year to #668 where it sits currently.
Matias – Is the Spanish version of Matthias or Matthew, a Biblical name meaning Gift of God. Matias hit the charts in 2004 ranked #892 and is currently sitting at #201 in 2018. Its steady increase in popularity will continue now and in the foreseeable future.
Nash – is of English origin and is thought to mean By the Ash Tree. Nash is another ‘surname’ name that has risen in popularity in the last decade. While it has been in the charts for a while the popularity of the name had a dramatic upward turn around 2005 where it’s been steadily climbing since, and now sits at the #256 spot in 2018.
Theo / Theodore – meaning Gift of God and is of Greek origin. Theo, a shortened version or nickname of Theodore has become increasingly popular in its own right, currently sitting at #243. But that’s not to say the full version of Theodore is unpopular. Both names are increasing in popularity parallel to each other, with the now quite popular full version at #44.
Turner – is an English name meaning Works with a Lathe and while there seems to be a bit of a love/hate relationship with the name, continues to slowly climb the popularity ladder. Turner is an occupational and ‘surname’ name, is currently ranked #896, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but up.
Zayn – meaning Beauty, Grace, is of Arabic origin. The name itself sounds powerful and masculine and was one of the fastest upward-moving names in 2016 where it jumped 224 spots to be ranked #419. It now sits at #334 and although slowing in popularity, is still climbing. It’s spelling variant Zane ranks at #200 if you are after something a little more popular.
- Kailani/ Keilani / Kalani
Billie – meaning Resolute Protection is of English origin is derived possibly from Wilhelmina, Wilma, or William. Currently not ranking on the popularity charts but certainly will in the future with its association with Billie Eilish. and the upward trend for using nicknames or shortened versions of names as full first names.
Bohdi – meaning Wisdom, Englightenment not to be confused with Bodhi is currently not in the top 1000 in popularity but is becoming increasingly more common especially for a little girl, although is considered a unisex name.
Denver – is a French or English surname and place-name meaning From Anvers or Valley. It is currently at rank #677 in 2018 as a popular boy’s name but is not currently ranked for a girl’s name. Despite this, both female and male versions have had a huge upswing in popularity in the last few years with the expectancy of continuing.
Harlem – another place-name gaining in popularity Harlem is currently ranked #985 on the popular male list but not placed in the top 1000 for girls name.. just yet. With a strong cultural identity, this beautiful name is sure to rise and rise quickly.
Kailani/ Keilani / Kalani – meaning The Heavens, Sky or Sea and Sky, dependant on spelling and is of Hawaiian origin. Each variant of the name is rising in popularity with the spelling Kalani being most popular for boys. The female version of Kalani is currently ranked at #583, Kailani at #389 and Keilani scraping in the top 1000 at #995.
Lincoln – while most commonly thought of as a male name, Linclon meaning Town by the Pool, and of English origin, has been steadily growing in popularity for both a boy and girl’s name. Lincoln is currently #40 most popular name from 2018 for a boy and is not currently in the top 1000 for a girl.
Logan – meaning Small Hollow and from Scottish / Gaelic origins is becoming more and more popular each year. The female variant is currently #309 most popular name, while the boy’s name is ranked 10th on the popularity list of 2018 and both don’t seem to be slowing down.
Nova – is of Latin origin meaning New and has ties to the astrological term for a star that suddenly gets bright for a period of time. Nova is currently #56 on the popularity list for a girl and is consistently climbing. Nova for a boy debuted in 2017 and has already started to climb, currently ranked #866 and looking at continuing.
Tate – is of Norse origin meaning Cheerful. Even though a predominately male name, the popularity of Tate for a female is continually growing. While the male version maybe more stagnant at this stage ranking #495, the prediction is that it will again start to climb again with the renewed interest in the female version.
Van – is of Dutch origin meaning Of and generally used as a surname prefix. This trendy and cool name is currently ranked #827 in popularity for a boys name and while the female version is rising, it currently is not in the top 1000 for females. Both names are showing signs of small increment climbs up the popularity ladder.
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