Parenting

12 Unusual Baby Names That Are Newly Popular

The contemporary baby name world is full of many different options. It's also constantly evolving. Many of the names in today's Social Security Administration Top 500 list were virtually nonexistent in the U.S. in the 1980s.

Here is a list of increasingly popular baby names today.

Girls

Aniyah is one of those names that resembles a lot of other names, from Anya to Amaya to Aliyah, but is actually a recent invention. Used for zero babies in 1985, today it stands at number 226. Aniyah was used for nearly 1500 girls in the U.S. in 2014, with spelling Aniya given to another 500+. The name may be thought of as a contemporary spin on Ann.

This newly-popular name was inspired by a type of orchid. The name Cataleya was given to nearly 700 baby girls in 2014, placing it at number 461, versus zero in 1985.

Lyric is now a popular baby name for both genders, ranking number 271 on the girls’ list and number 860 on the boys’ list. In 2014, more than 1200 girls were named Lyric, along with more than 250 boys. In 1985, that count was 10 girls and zero boys.

The celestial name Nova, which means "new," reemerged on the baby name list in 2011 after falling into obscurity around the 1930s. Since then it’s soared all the way to number 287 and was given to more than 1100 baby girls last year. In 1985, that number was 38.

This baby name has been popularized by a character on the Disney Channel show "Jessie." Zuri was used for 660 girls in 2014 and ranked number 475, but did not appear at all on the 1985 extended roster. The name is Kiswahili for "good" or "beautiful."

The name Yaretzi is believed to derive from the Aztec language family and mean “you will always be loved.” It may also be related to the goddess name Yara, popular in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries. Yaretzi, which didn’t appear at all on the 1985 roster, was given to nearly 900 baby girls in the U.S. last year, placing it at number 372. It’s currently ranked at number 58 in Mexico.

Boys

The name Ryker given to more than 2500 boys last year and ranking at number 151. In 1985, only eight baby boys were named Ryker.

Unless you're a big soccer fan, you may not have heard of the name Iker, hugely popular thanks to Iker Casillas, who plays for both Portuguese and Spanish teams. The name is Basque for visitation and is pronounced EE-keer. It was given to 1787 baby boys in the U.S. last year, ranking at number 215.

Tyler and Kyle were both already a top 100 names in the 1980s, inspiring lots of variations, including combo-name Kyler, given to 64 baby boys in 1985. Today, though, that number has exploded, with over 1200 babies named Kyler last year, ranking the name at number 288. Kyler is a Dutch occupational name that means “archer."

Jason was a top 10 name in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but in 1985 Kason had barely been stirred to life, given to only 15 boys that year. Today, that number has soared to nearly 900, with Kason -- a hybrid of Jason and Case and Karson -- ranking at number 365.

As a Biblical name, Adriel was used quietly in 1985, when it was given to 42 boys and 14 girls. Today that’s increased to nearly 700 boys and 50 girls, with another 50 baby girls named Adrielle. Adriel ranks number 433 on the boys’ list.

Of course Mom knows the name Jack, and she’s also familiar with Jackson, and she may even know that Jackson is sometimes styled as Jaxon or Jaxson. But Jaxton? Probably not, given that it doesn’t appear at all on the 1985 extended roster. A hybrid of Jackson and Braxton, Jaxton was given to 640 baby boys last year placing it at number 457.

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