The Top 25 New Boys' Names of the Millennium

Genny Glassman | Oct 18, 2017 Pregnancy


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While some baby names have been around forever (say hello to John, Sam, and William) -- some names are completely new. As naming expert Laura Wattenberg of BabyNameWizard.com explains, for the latest names in the popularity game, "When the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve, 1999, these baby names didn't exist. Today, they're hits." How did this amazing turn of events come to be?

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"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," Wattenberg adds. "Their diverse styles paint a picture of the many kinds of name trends operating in America today."

Trends such as first names based on surnames, Indian names with a "double A," names influenced by the growing popularity of soccer in America, names based on fantasy, and of course, names with the letter "z" in them. As language grows and changes, these trends tend to let us know what the cultural pulse is -- what matters to us now, as opposed to what we prioritized in the past. Take a look at Wattenberg's list of the top baby names from the past two decades -- it might just be completely illuminating. 

  • Zayden (or Zaiden)

    1

    Starting our list off on the right foot, Zayden is a name that is completely brand new! Zach or Aiden is a little too common nowadays -- but this name is a fine medium point between the two. Meaning "little fire," and of Celtic origin, Zayden only came on the scene in the mid-2000s, peaking in 2014 at 188 on the most popular baby names in the US.

  • Iker

    2

    Pronounced "Ee-Kher," this name has Basque origins. Iker means "visitation," and is a Christian holiday celebrating the visitation of the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. It's also one of the most popular baby names in Spain, as well as the name of famous soccer player Iker Casillas -- a World Cup winning goalie. Score! 

  • Jayceon

    3

    Looking for a variation on a name that is already popular? Try this new and trendy way that parents are spelling "Jason." That's right, Jayceon is a new variant on a beloved favorite and means "healer" in Latin and Greek. The name was popularized by the rapper The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor.

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  • Beckham

    4

    Blame it on the rising popularity of soccer in the United States, but Beckham has recently become a name that parents are clamoring for. From the British soccer star David Beckham, this name follows the trend of using surnames as first names. The name has yet to crack to top 100 baby names (currently it tops out at #359), but that will likely not be the case as soccer -- or "football" -- becomes more and more popular. 

  • Aarav

    5

    This charming name finds its origins in Sanskrit and means "peaceful" or "melodious sound." How calming! Aarav, which reached its peak popularity in 2014 at #529, has only just begun its ascent into baby name superstardom! Cute nicknames are Rav, Ravi, and Aar

  • Memphis

    6

    A name with a southern twang, Memphis is a great choice for parents who want a name that has a musical connotation. The city that Elvis Presley called home is also the birthplace of the blues and country music. As a baby name, Memphis is a hipster-ish choice that lets everyone know that a child is laid-back, cool, and musical. 

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  • Ayaan

    7

    Following the current trend of what BabyNameWizard calls "Indian double A's" names, Ayaan is a Hindu name meaning "rays of the rising sun." A positive name, Ayaan has been charging up the baby name charts. It was virtually unheard of on the US baby charts before 2007, but has rapidly caught fire, peaking at #569 in 2014.  

  • Vihaan

    8

    Vihaan is another Hindu name that follows the "double A" trend! Vihaan, which is Hindu for "dawn," or "morning," is a sweet, gentle name that is sure to catch some admirers. Surprisingly, the name has exploded on the baby name charts, appearing for the first time in 2012 and reaching its most recent peak at 559 in 2014. 

  • Kohen

    9

    Traditionally a religious name, and common as a Jewish surname, Kohen means "priest" in Hebrew. Though there are many variations, the most common is Cohen. Spelling Kohen with a K gives it a differentiation from the surname and also follows the trend of K names. And if that isn't convincing, any fan of The OC worth their salt will remember the dorky heartthrob Seth Cohen.

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  • Madden

    10

    Football moms and dads rejoice! This is a baby name perfect for any sports-loving family. Madden -- like football great, Coach John Madden of the Oakland Raiders -- is also the name of a series of video games that men are obsessed with. It is also the last name of designer Steve Madden, if a fashionable name is more appealing. Somewhat surprisingly, this name didn't catch on as a first name until the 2000s, where it quickly has taken off. It hasn't reached the top 100 yet, but give it time and this name will surely be a legend. 

  • Reyansh

    11

    A name with a sunny disposition! Reyansh is a Hindu name that means "ray of light." Indian actress Shweta Tiwari recently named her son Reyansh to much enthusiasm from her fans! Cute nicknames are RishuAnshReyan, Ray, and Aayu

  • Castiel

    12

    A baby name for a little angel! Castiel became popular after the show Supernatural debuted an angel with the heavenly moniker. Interestingly, the name has no religious ties at all, but does mean "angel."

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  • Kamdyn

    13

    A novel twist on the name Camden, Kamdyn is a new and fresh. This Scottish name, meaning "winding valley," could also be a Garden State favorite, as Camden is one of the state's most populous cities. A sweet variation on an already classic baby name, Kamdyn should be an addition to anybody's list! 

  • Bentlee

    14

    The luxury vehicle of baby names! Bentlee is a cute variation on another popular baby name, Bentley. Bentley became popular because of its association with the luxury car brand, denoting wealth, status, and elitism. Bentlee is a charming twist, almost as if two names were merged into one! 

  • Riaan

    15

    Both a Sanskrit and an Irish name with a regal spirit, Riaan is a good choice for a little guy. Meaning "little king," in Gaelic and "God's chosen one" in Sanskrit, the name has a broad appeal. It's pronounced "REE-ahn," and in Hindu culture the name is supposed to symbolize someone with a big heart.  

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  • Huxley

    16

    Baby names with the letter X are a trendy, new way to add energy and pizzazz to an already existing name. Take Huxley, for instance, which is the trendier variation on Hucksley. It is also the surname of famous science fiction novelist Aldous Huxley, most famous for his novel Brave New World. The name has an Old English origin and means "Hugh's meadow." We aren't sure who Hugh is, but regardless, Huxley is a great baby name! 

  • Brixton

    17

    An English name that has a cool and modern flair, Brixton is a perfect baby name for the anglophiles out there. Brixton is actually a district in London and is similar to the name Braxton, which has caught on in popularity recently. Brixton sounds a little posh and a little rock 'n' roll. But to us, it is just a great baby name!

  • Neymar

    18

    Soccer names seem to be trending heavily in the new millennium! Thanks to Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, this name is sure to only grow in popularity. Before this soccer legend, the name was not really heard of, making this truly a name for the new millennium. 

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  • Kylo

    19

    Alright, Star Wars fans! This name is for those super fans on the dark side! Kylo is one of the fastest rising baby names in America, made popular by the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren is undoubtedly a bad guy -- but we don't want to spoil the movie too much. Take it from us, though, a baby named after this Star Wars villain is sure to be the coolest kid on the playground. 

  • Vivaan

    20

    Another name following the trend if Indian "double A" names! Vivaan, meaning "full of life," is a musical name that is popular with South Asian families. Take it from us, a baby name with this trend is bound to go places! 

  • Kashton

    21

    Playing off a couple of different baby trends we've seen in the new millennium, Kashton is a perfect compilation of Ashton and newly trendy Kash (Cash). A little southern sounding, and very, very macho, Kashton is a rough-and-tumble boys' name that we think sounds pretty sweet!

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  • Brantlee

    22

    A modern update on a classic, Brantlee is here to stay! As a variation on the name Brantley, Brantlee has a southern charm that we can't get enough of. The name has just started to climb the baby name charts, peaking at #119 in 2013. Keep going, Brantlee!

  • Urijah

    23

    Pronounced "yoo-RI-yah," this name has Biblical meaning. Urijah is a variation on Uriah, meaning "flame of the Lord." The name started charting on the top baby names list in 2012, and has been steadily climbing its way to the top. Just in 2012, it hit 665! 

  • Benicio

    24

    A name fit for a Hollywood heart throb, Benicio -- like actor Benicio Del Toro -- is a cool and masculine baby name. Meaning "blessed," the name is originated in Latin. Other variations are Benito and Benedict! 

  • Wesson

    25

    Looking for a baby name with a little firepower? Wesson -- like the brand of Smith and Wesson guns -- follows a new trend of boys named after firearms. This baby name might just catch the attention of a family who hunts or fishes!

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