15 Unique Baby Names That Basically Didn't Exist Before The 2000s


Our generation loves inventing names. Maybe it's an obsession with originality, or maybe we're just tired of the tried-and-true names of the '90s and '80s. Whatever the case may be, there is a host of unique baby names that didn't exist before the 2000s, meaning that there were less than 100 babies with the names before 2000.

Whether you're in need of some name-spiration (see? We like invention) or are just looking to see if your child's name made the list of invented names, chances are you'll recognize some of them, as they've all been rising in popularity in recent years.

Some of them were made popular by fictional characters, others by celebrities and their babies, and several from foreign languages and cultures. And though it's tricky to say with absolute certainty that our generation invented a baby name, they all went from virtually unheard of to top 100 in the past 10 years or so. I think claiming the credit is fair.

While I can't guarantee that your daughter will be the only Arabella, or your son the only Jax in their class, I can bet that they'll have a name that is unique to their generation. And that's something most other names can't claim.

1. Arabella

Hebe Aguilera/ flickr

A popular name in England that didn't make it over to America until 2005, Arabella is now among the top 200 names. It means "yielding to prayer" in Latin and has roots in the opera.

2. Jax

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Perhaps due to the popular TV show Sons of Anarchy, Jax held number 209 on the popularity charts in 2014.

3. Cash


Meaning "hollow," this name can either be attributed to the economic state or to the late and great Johnny Cash. The latter is much more poetic.

4. Adalyn

RebeccaVC1/ Flickr

Consistent with the obsession of adding "lyn" to names, Adalyn, meaning "noble one," has skyrocketed in popularity since 2009.

5. Isla

Donnie Ray Jones/ Flickr

Pronounced "eye-la", Isla is a popular Scottish word that, despite it's unique sound, has been quickly gaining popularity in the states.

6. Beckett

Maessive/ Flickr

Another British name that took the United States by storm, Beckett means "bee house" and, according to Baby Center, has been steadily increasing in popularity since 2001.

7. Paisley

RikRok U castro/ Flickr

What used to be thought of only as a pretty pattern is now one of the most popular names in the country, landing at 53 in 2014.

8. Nevaeh

Julie Robertson/ Flickr

Though there is debate on how to actually pronounce this name (most go with Niv-EE-Ah), there's no chances of it disappearing anytime soon. Heaven spelled backwards has been in the top 100 for over a decade.

9. King

Jeremy SALMON/ FLickr

This strong monarchy name has risen as a popular boy's first name. It's simple and rich with namesakes like Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis.

10. Arya


Arya is the Sanskrit word for "noble," and ever since HBO's Game of Thrones has taken over popularity, the name has been rising along with it.

11. Zayden

Beth Nazario/ Flickr

This gender-neutral name is entirely made up and landed at number 188 in 2014.

12. Brantley

Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

This name meaning "sword or fiery torch" originates in England and according to Baby Center, saw a huge spike in popularity after 2010 (probably due to country singer Brantley Gilbert).

13. Brynlee

gier tonnessen/ flickr

Another popular 21st century invention, Brynlee was at number 234 in 2014, according to Nameberry.

14. Mila

Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Traditionally a Russian nickname for Milena, Mila has been standing on it's own in the United States for almost a decade — thanks to stars like Mila Kunis— and was at number 30 on Baby Center last year.

15. Ryker

Visa Kopu/ Flickr

The German word for "rich" has become a very popular boys name in place of names like Ryder, Ryan or Riley.