50 Inventive Modern Baby Boy and Girl Names
Out with the old and in with the new. That’s at least the sentiment that modern parents are feeling when it comes to naming their children. In a world where we’re more connected than ever, it’s become more obvious how common some names are. So, many parents are opting to thwart convention and give their children creative, innovative and even sometimes fantastical names.
Many of these names actually have ancient origins yet haven’t been used as first names in modern history. Others are lifted straight from the pages of popular books and TV shows. While still others are simply imaginative variations on old classic names. But they are all exciting and charming choices for a new generation.
Here are 50 of the most popular, imaginative and modern names for baby boys and girls everywhere.
Straight from “Game of Thrones,” this female name was one of the titles of the infamous Queen Daenerys Targaryen. She was one of the most powerful and beloved characters in the show. Throughout the seasons, she was mostly referred to as Khaleesi and was often seen inspiring huge crowds with her poise and her power.
However, in the end, her character arc was arguably a bit rushed into madness. But the name is beautiful, interesting and has become popular even amongst real-life families, with or without dragons.
You may have heard of the name Hunter before. But there’s more than one way to hunt something. Some parents of young boys have decided to give their child a name that’s a little more passive but still just as potent.
With a strong T beginning and a double P in the middle, it’s also pretty fun to say. Plus, someday when they meet their lifelong partner, that partner can say, “That Trapper is a keeper,” and people who grew up in the ’90s can giggle together nostalgically.
Pronounced like Penelope but with a very powerful V in the beginning, this name can take on many meanings. If you want to go the traditional route, it can mean “weaver,” which can have all sorts of delightful symbolic meanings.
Or it can be in honor of the adventurer who was married to Odysseus. For those who want a more modern spin, it was the main character in “Wreck It Ralph,” who was fun, feisty and fantastic.
For parents opting for a more earthy baby name or hoping their little one has a green thumb, Kale can be a great option. Of course, there’s the inevitable comparison to the popular green food in a lot of cultures.
But this traditionally Hawaiian name actually means “strong” and “manly.” Plus, it has a strong consonant beginning with a very simple sound that will make people know your child means business.
Honalee is a female baby name that sort of sounds familiar but is actually very uncommon. It has a few possible origin stories, including being a transcribed variation of the word “honey” from Old English.
It also seems to be a nice way to spruce up the more popular name, Holly. Or it could take on interesting meanings like those of its similar-sounding cousin, Hanelle, which means “gracious.”
If you’re stuck between the names Lars and Nathan, here’s a quick and easy fix for you. Simply mash them together for Lathan.
While this name could be the result of mashing up the two more popular baby names, it could also come from a town in England called Lathom. That town could also be named after the Old Norse word for barn, which is hlaetha. But whether you want your boy’s name to have old meaning or be refreshingly new, this is a unique name choice.
No longer just the name for the natural force that keeps us all magically pinned to the Earth while we spin around in space, people are beginning to realize that gravity is a beautiful-sounding word all on its own. And it’s a great name for a boy or girl, though it has gained more popularity amongst parents of little girls.
Nothing escapes gravity’s force, so it’s a perfect choice for a little one you know will come into this world with incredible power.
This name feels familiar largely because it sounds like a few more popular names. It seems like a mash-up of Tristan, which means “sorrowful,” and Christopher, which means “bearer of Christ.”
It sounds like both something you’d give a brave Knight in a fantasy story and something from a playful children’s tale. This name seems to be able to become whatever you want it to be, which makes it a great option for parents who want their children to choose their own destiny.
Emma and Marie are two of the most popular baby girl names in modern times. But when you put them together, you get a really smooth-sounding baby name. This name could mean a composite of its two parts — Emma, which means “whole,” and Marie, which means “star of the sea.”
But it is also a variation of Emery, which means “industrious” or “brave ruler.” Whatever meaning you decide works for you, it’s a strong name choice for a baby girl.
Though this feels like a completely modern and possibly made-up name, this rad-sounding name has relatively simple Slavic origins. It means “root,” though it sometimes also means “happy” or “willing.”
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden named their son Raddix, which brought this name some serious PR, making it more popular even among non-celebrities.
A mix-up of Maeve and Avery, this name is both playful and full of meaning. There are multiple meanings for this name, including “intoxicating one” and “ruler of elves,” which are derived from its more well-known parts.
So, you could have yourself an “intoxicating ruler of elves.” But like any word you make up, you can also make up your own meaning simply because you like the way something looks and sounds.
If you’re looking for a fun and funky modern twist on an older name, Vyman is definitely the way to go. It may be completely made up, which is in itself pretty awesome.
But it could also be a variation of an old English name, Wyman, which means “battle protector.”
Yes, you read that right. Abcde is a name that some parents are opting to give their children, even if it’s surprising to others. These first five letters of the alphabet do, actually, create a phonetic sound that is pretty neat.
Its meaning is, much like this name, pretty much whatever you want to make it, though “first in line” might be a good meaning choice if you’re searching for one.
This is another modern baby name that actually has really old origins. It was really popular in the Middle Ages in France and has been lately making a comeback all over. It means “curly-haired.”
We think it’s fun to say, and even if your baby doesn’t have extremely curly hair, it’s one that pops nicely out of the mouth.
You’ve probably heard of Sigourney Weaver, the actress who first found fame in the “Alien” franchise. But you may not have known that her real name isn’t Sigourney. It’s a stage name inspired by a lesser-known character in “The Great Gatsby.”
So, if you want your child to have a modern-sounding name inspired by a classic novel, this is the perfect match.
Whenever you can add a less-popular letter, like an X or a Z, to a name, it automatically gives it a modern and very cool twist. Brizton takes this to the next level by replacing the X with a Z, making for an interesting-sounding and modern-looking name.
This name could mean “Brock’s town,” inspired by Brixton, its slightly more-popular sounding cousin. Or it could mean whatever you want it to. Once you add that Z, the world is your “oyzter.”
Though this may seem like a fancy “V for Vendetta” switch up to the name Ebony, Evony is actually a French name meaning “archer.”
It is a variant of Evonne or Yves and can also mean “loved” or “esteemed.”
The most famous Wilder to date is probably Gene Wilder, but you may be surprised to learn that Wilder was a made-up last name. This name has gained popularity in the past several years thanks to its, well, wild connotation. It’s no surprise that it means “wild” or “untamed.”
And if you feel like your little one is going to come out swinging and ready to wreak havoc (in the best ways), it’s an awesome modern baby name choice.
If the name Jovie looks or sounds familiar, that’s likely because it’s the character played by Zooey Deschanel in “Elf.” Even though its most famous namesake is a girl, it’s a popular name for any gender.
It can mean “joyful” or “father.” It also sounds like both “joy” and “jovial,” which will make you feel the warm fuzzies all over every time you say it.
For those who love a good Q name, Qirin is an excellent choice. It can take on many meanings, including that of its similar-sounding counterpart, Kirin, which means “mythical half dragon and half man beast.” Or it can mean something as simple as “spear.”
This name is actually from ancient Chinese mythology, but it feels very new and modern.
Like many name mashups, Lynlee has become a standalone name with lots of meaningful possibilities. Some translations say Lynlee, which is usually attributed to girls, can mean “affectionate” or “adoring.” Other translations say it means “coming from the castle.”
It could also be as earthly as “lake” or “pool.” Or maybe it’s a mix of your personal grandparent names and takes on a whole new meaning for you. No matter how you spin it, it’s a beautiful name choice.
Any water-lover already knows what a cove is. It’s a quiet place where you can escape the thrashing waves of a larger body of water.
So, it’s the ideal name for a family who feels that their baby could bring that same level of peace and calm to their lives. And while this name is generally gender-neutral, it is more often given to boys.
The name Yalitza got very popular in America after the 2019 film, “Roma,” which starred Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio. The more popular version of the name (though still somewhat rare in mainstream America) is Yaritza.
It seems to be a variation of the very popular Maria. But, like many reinterpretations, it takes on its own beautiful meaning, which is whatever you want to give it.
You’ve likely heard of Owen. But adding a B to this name isn’t just a coincidence. Bowen actually means “son of Owen.” So, it’s a particularly good choice for people named Owen who happen to be having boys.
It’s also a very modern twist on the classic Celtic name, which means “noble” or “youthful.”
This very feminine and originally Scottish name has a star-studded meaning. It literally means “evening star.”
While there is an Arthurian legend about Sir Yvain, who was one of the Knights of the Round Table, it has lately been used more often for girls. It has both a fairy-sounding and Medieval-feeling vibe, which are really appealing to modern parents.
Alexander and Alexandra are two of the most popular names in history for both boys and girls. But Lysadner is greatly gaining in popularity in large part because it sounds so similar to the tried-and-true Alexander but with a refreshing twist.
It has Greek origins and means “liberator” or “one who is freed.”
Another modern baby name straight off the pages of George R.R. Martin’s writing, this “Game of Thrones” inspired name is a perfect choice for parents who won’t back down and want their children to rise to greatness.
It’s probably a good idea to make sure they don’t embrace all the (often problematic) qualities of Cersei Lannister. But there’s a lot to admire in that character. And the name on its own is beautiful.
It may have Oliver right in the name, but Polliver is very much its own name with a very cool meaning. It means “destiny” and “luck.”
It evokes the feeling of both authority and enthusiasm. You could see Polliver serving as either the king or the court jester — both places feeling like the perfect spot for a distinct name like that.
This may sound like a name straight from “The Wizard of Oz,” and it certainly can be if that story inspires you. But it’s also a beautiful and ancient name in its own right.
In Scandinavian countries, Oz means “God,” and ending words with -ma usually means “defender” of something. So, when you put Oz with -ma, you get a “defender of God.”
For those parents who love to thwart all spellcheckers everywhere, Androw is the name for you (and your baby).
Androw is cool-sounding, simple and will drive your local computer algorithms crazy wanting to change that O to an E. It means “manly.”
It wasn’t too long ago when the name Briana was considered uncommon. Now, you can basically throw a rock and hit one (though, on behalf of all Brianas everywhere … please don’t).
But if you want the same powerful meaning of “strong-willed” that comes with the name, this playful spelling remix is the way to go.
The name Erik is relatively common, especially in Scandinavian countries. But adding a Y into the mix is something that other nations have done, including Poland.
It’s a significantly less popular spelling than its better-known counterpart, but it has the same meaning of “eternal ruler” or “powerful.”
This name was made most famous by Nicole Kidman’s character in the movie “Moulin Rouge.” It’s a French word that means “soft,” which makes sense since it’s only one letter away from satin. It can also mean “smooth” and “shiny.”
It evokes all sorts of good feelings, even outside of the ill-fated famous character’s storyline. It’s usually given to girls.
Having a child may keep you from going to too many rock ‘n’ roll concerts, but it won't’ stop you from being a fan. This name was made most famous as the nickname for Saul Hudson, the lead guitarist of Guns ‘N Roses.
But a name like Slash doesn’t just have to be a nickname. It’s an edgy-sounding modern name and can stand alone in its own right.
If you’re not sure if you like Maeve or Bree better, Maybrie may be the best choice. It’s a bit of a mashup of the two popular names, and it wasn’t very popular until recently.
It has a lot of fun nickname possibilities, too, if you’re into shortening your child’s name in the future while cuddling with (or yelling at) them.
Much like the name Keanu, Ianu has a whole lot of vowels that, when placed together, pack a meaningful punch. It seems to be made up by L. Frank Baum for the book “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz.”
It may also be inspired by an Ancient Greek name Iancu, which means “graced by God.” Until lately, it’s more typically been use as a last name. But it works perfectly as a first name, too.
Aubrielle seems to combine Elle, Ella, Bella, Brie, Audrey and Aubrey all in one place. All of those names, though, are a lot more common than Aubrielle.
Like many modern names, it can mean whatever you’d like it to. But there is a French meaning that translates to “the Lord is my strength.”
It’s not Tyler. And it’s not Kyle. It’s something even better and definitely more modern-sounding. It’s Kyler.
While it is as old as the more popular counterparts, it is only now gaining notoriety as a modern baby name. It describes a narrow hallway in a church, often simply translating as “Monk’s cell.”
Until social media influencer Kylie Jenner named her daughter Stormi, it’s likely not many people had heard of this name. Now, however, it has become significantly more popular.
For Jenner, she wanted her daughter to match the “ie” sound at the end of her name. But variations on the word (and name) stormy have been around for centuries. It typically translates as you’d suspect, to something powerful and often tumultuous.
This name seems to be a variation of different close-sounding names in diverse cultures. One translation comes from Spain, where Tadeo was the colloquial way of saying Thaddeus.
Another variation is from ancient Aramaic languages, which typically refer to Thaddai. It means “beloved’ or “heart.”
Another name lifted from the pages of a popular book, the popularity of naming your child Veruca most likely came from the Roald Dahl book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The name comes from Latin roots and means “wart.” Anyone who has read the book or seen the movie also knows Veruca Salt isn’t the most likable character ever written.
But the name is genuinely fun to say. And Veruca did know how to ask for exactly what she wanted in life, which is an overall positive personality trait.
If you love the names Ted and Kevin but don’t love the idea of your child sharing a name with millions of other people, Tevin could be the answer you’re looking for. Though it’s a gender-neutral name, it is typically given to boys.
Like many rediscovered names, there are lots of attributions in various cultures for the name throughout history. The most common meaning translates to “beautiful at birth” or “handsome.”
While it may be just now gaining in popularity in the United States, Zuri has been a particularly popular name for many people in or from East African countries.
With its simple yet beautiful sounds and its unique Z beginning, Zuri is a beautiful name choice — quite literally. The name translates to “beautiful.”
Wrenlow is a nice, more masculine version of Wrenley. It’s also a completely unique and modern name without all the baggage that comes along with having ancient origins.
It’s a fun, nice twist on the more feminine name, which means “songbird meadow.” And, as a bonus, it begins and ends with a desirable and dope-looking W.
In many languages, adding an -ie to something denotes that it is cherished or beloved in some way. Noahlie seems to do that with the popular name Noah, which means “rest.”
It is a popular name choice in Switzerland, though it's starting to become more internationally famous. It can also be spelled with fun variations, like Noahli or Noheïa.
The world is already filled with a lot of Balon names. But, until recently, they’ve typically been surnames for people. Its meaning is “bundle” or “pack.”
And it also sounds like one of the wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. So if you think your child is a bundle filled with wonder, this is the baby name for you.
It’s no big surprise that with the phenomenon that was “Game of Thrones,” there are a lot of children named after the incredibly popular characters. Daenerys, as one of the most beloved, long-standing and powerful women in the entire storyline, has inspired a whole generation of parents to name their children after her.
While it was popularized by the books (and, let’s be real, the TV show), the name actually has older origins that break down and translate into “God is my judge.”
The name Max is certainly no stranger to American homes. But some families feel Max is not enough, and Maximus may be a bit too much. That’s where a name like Maxon comes in handy.
It means, simply, “son of Max.” And Max means “greatness.” So, even if your baby’s father isn’t named Max, he could still come from greatness. And this could be the perfect name choice for them.
While this may sound like a completely made-up name, it actually comes from an older word that means “harmful spirits.” It was popularized in the comic book “Sandman”by Neil Gaiman.
But there are references in the Talmud to mazzikin, which translate to the same name meaning. As with many words, names can evolve to mean so much more than their origins. So, if this name calls to you, it can mean anything you want it to.
You’ve probably heard the name Elizabeth. And it’s likely you know one yourself. Or, at least, you know a Liz, Beth, Betty, Lizzy, Liza or Eliza, all of which are shortened versions of the very popular Elizabeth.
But many modern parents are picking up on Zabe, which is a significantly lesser-known and much more masculine variation of the same name. Like Elizabeth, it means “God is my oath” or “God is abundance.”