The 25 Most Popular New Girls' Names of the Millennium

Genny Glassman | Oct 20, 2017 Pregnancy
Image: Impact Photography/Shutterstock

Impact Photography/Shutterstock

We tend to think that baby names stay the same. That the same 10 girls' names get rotated again and again. But in reality, baby names follow just as many trends as fashion or food does. Now that we are firmly in the 2000s, what trends have been cropping up for this current era? Well, we asked baby naming expert Laura Wattenberg at to give us all the 411, and her insight was truly enlightening.

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Speaking about the latest baby name trends of the last 17 years, Laura tells CafeMom, "Some parents turn to high-impact letters like X and Z. Others look for exotic new name sources, which might mean other cultures, other time periods, common words, place names, or  memorable characters from movies or video games. (Even villain names are hot today!) It's a very different impulse from naming after grandma and grandpa."

She adds: "These trends all point to a bigger theme. Parents today want their kids' names to stand out. Every one of these styles is about being new, different, and eye-catching. Parents are putting a lot of pressure on themselves to sound fresh and unique." Well, mission accomplished, millennial parents, because this crop of baby names are unlike any other generation's. Take a look at which girls' baby names came out on top! 



  • Everly (or Everleigh)

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    Our first name will be no surprise to Magic Mike -- um, we mean, Channing Tatum -- fans. The talented actor/dancer and his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum named their daughter Everly in 2013. Originally an Old English surname, Everly means "from the boar meadow." As Laura Wattenberg notes, Everly is "the #1 most popular brand-new name." No matter which spelling, this name is a keeper! 

  • Daleyza


    A name that is quickly on the rise! As Laura Wattenberg explains, "Daleyza is the young daughter of singer Larry Hernandez, whose life is chronicled on the reality TV series Larrymania." The Spanish-language show is so popular that the name is rapidly catching on in real life! Last year, it hit number 236 on the most popular US baby names.

  • Kaydence


    A baby name with a musical flow, Kaydence is music to our ears!  As Laura Wattenberg notes, the origins of its rise come from an unlikely place -- the movie American Wedding. The name hit the charts in 2008, but didn't reach its peak until 2009 at #253.  

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  • Harlow

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    We've written about this classic Hollywood Golden Age baby name before, and it seems that it's just as trendy now as it was in the past! Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow, along with Nicole Richie's daughter Harlow Madden, are two likely sources of baby name inspiration. Harlow was originally a surname that has made the transition to first name, which is totally on trend for the new millennium. 

  • Yaretzi


    An unusual name that follows the popularity of "Z" names, Yaretzi is beautiful and exotic. Pronounced "yah-REHT-see," this name comes from Aztec origins. The name means "you will be loved," and only recently hit the baby name charts (we're talking like 2007), reaching #300 in 2012. 

  • Cataleya


    Laura Wattenberg says, "The film Colombiana was only a modest success at the box office, but on the baby name charts it was a blockbuster." Cataleya (pronounced "Kah-tah-LAY-uh"), the name of the film's assassin protagonist, was the fastest-rising name of 2012, and has remained popular since. Originating from the Cattleya orchid, this name seems like surefire hit! 

  • Royalty


    According to Wattenberg, exalted baby names (i.e., lofty names from high-status figures) have been a major trend in the last 10 years. "The exalted names are distinctive for the way they skip the inspiration journey and go straight to the finish line -- and beyond, to an impossibly high winner's podium," Wattenberg writes. But don't let these sky-high aspirations be a deterrent to the name Royalty. Exalted names are going to be the new normal!

  • Coraline


    This name is new for the millennium because it never existed before 2002! As the story goes, Coraline is the title character of Neil Gaiman's creepy 2002 children's novel, which became a creepily beloved animated film. "The name's origin was a simple mistake: Gaiman mistyped Caroline and liked the result," Laura Wattenberg says. See, sometimes our most lasting creations can come from mistakes! 

  • Addilynn (or Adilynn)


    As one of the fasting-rising girls' names, Addilynn is on our radar. The similarly spelled Adaline (much like the film Age of Adaline starring Blake Lively) is the #1 fastest rising baby name. People seem to be tiring of Madelyn, Madison, and Madeline and are willing to give these similar names a try. We just think these names are cute! 

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  • Adley


    Another Southern-sounding girls name that starts with "ad-"! Adley has Hebrew origins (the original spelling was Adlai) meaning "up from the river." It can also be used as a boys' name, though we think it has a sweet girlish charm as well.

  • Lorelai


    Oy with the poodles already! We plucked this name all the way from Stars Hollow, where it is almost certain that Lorelai Gilmore is the root of its popularity. A compilation of the German words for "to watch" and "a cliff," the meaning is not as charming as the fast-talking, coffee-obsessed mother of Rory. Possibly due to the popularity of the revival, the name peaked at #651 in 2015. 

  • Collins


    Typically, we think that Collins is the perfect preppy boy's name. But it actually is more popular for girls than one would think, hitting the charts at #704 on the top 1,000 baby names. As Laura Wattenberg notes, "Until recently, no -s surname had ever come close to the girls' top 1,000. Collins has changed that, leaping up from obscurity thanks to Collins Tuohy, the adoptive sister of football player Michael Oher seen in the film The Blind SideTuohy was given a family surname in classic Southern fashion, and parents who saw the movie liked the style." What a win!

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  • Lennox


    This name follows two of the major trends of the new millennium -- boys' names being used for girls, and names with the letter X. As Laura Wattenberg writes, "The Scottish surname Lennox follows in the footsteps of names like Maddox, balancing an aggressive style with a traditional source. Boxer Lennox Lewis and singer Annie Lennox have inspired some of the young namesakes, and a female Lennox on the sitcom Melissa & Joey has encouraged parents to use it for girls as well as boys." So trendy!

  • Khaleesi


    Sure, sure, this is the name of the most badass character on Game of Thrones, but until 2011 this name was virtually unheard of! That's right, Khaleesi is a made-up name created by George R. R. Martin. As Laura writes, "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." A name anyone would bend the knee over! 

  • Tinley


    This English baby name has really caught on in recent years. Meaning "Tyne's meadow," Tinley is a sweet little name that follows the -ley template (think Ashley, Tinsley, or Kinsley). The name only recently appeared on the baby name charts in 2011 and is steadily climbing. 

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  • Zaylee

    16 Images Inc.

    Another -ley baby name! Zaylee is an Australian name meaning flower. Though it has yet to make the top baby names chart, the name is a trendy new take on old favorites (like Hailey and Kailey) and uses the ever popular "Z" name trend. 

  • Kairi

    Olesia Bilke/Shutterstock

    Pronounced "KIE-ree," this name is a perfect for a couple of gamers. Originally a Japanese name, it has only recently caught on as a baby name due to the extremely popular video game series Kingdom Hearts. Following the trend of fantastical baby names, which seems to be a common theme amongst babies born in the 2000s, Kairi appears to be a keeper! 

  • Dalary


    This baby name has quickly been racing up the baby name charts! As Laura Wattenberg notes, the name sparked with fans of the hit Spanish-language show Larrymania. She writes, "(Larry's daughter) Daleyza has a new little sister named Dalary, and that name just missed qualifying as this year's #1 riser because it ranked outside the top 1,000 names." We have a feeling that next year Dalary will be #1!

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  • Kehlani

    Emotions studio/Shutterstock

    This little one is destined for super stardom! Musician Kehlani is currently one of the top-40 reigning queens -- we seem to hear her music everywhere! But as Laura Wattenberg tells us about baby trends following celebrities, "Celebrity-driven baby names are as much about name as fame. Three-syllable names ending in -ani are soaring .... Follow the sound." Good advice!

  • Avalynn


    Compilation names have been a huge trend in the last 10 years. Avalynn, which is a combination of Ava and Evelyn, follows suit. Taken separately, Ava means "birdlike" and Evelyn means "hazelnut" in French. A sweet and feminine name!

  • Bryleigh

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    A perfect name if the baby is -- surprise! -- a girl and not a boy as expected. Bryleigh, a compilation name, mixes Bryan and Leigh to make a precious girls' name that is starting to garner a lot of attention. In 2013 the name hit #839 on the name charts, which may not seem impressive, but consider that the name was virtually unheard of in 2010! 

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  • Aubriella


    If a magical name is a must, then take a look at this supernatural name! Aubriella comes from German name Alberich, which loosely translates to "elf ruler." Perhaps parents grew tired of Aubrey and Gabriella and wanted something new. But no matter what, Aubriella is the best! 

  • Zendaya


    It may be obvious where this baby name's popularity comes from, but just in case this former Disney star's name doesn't ring a bell, Zendaya is a name that is cool with the kids these days. Now much more than the star of Shake It Up, the singer and actress Zendaya is synonymous with being cool. The name itself means "give thanks." 

  • Novalee


    Not familiar with this wildly popular baby name? Novalee, a combination of Nova and Lee, is on its way to take over the school yard! Nova, meaning "new," and Lee, meaning "meadow," has a nice meaning that gives this name a calm and steady connotation. Variations include Novaleigh and Novalie

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  • Aadhya


    This baby name follows the Indian, double "A" trend! A Hindu name meaning "the first power" or "the beginning," this name seems truly special. Pronounced "aad-hya" this name is one we can see being used to commemorate a first child. So beautiful!

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