Family names are a point of pride for many Americans. Often someone has a name that goes back generations—a special symbol that links the present to the past. But there are some parents who would rather make their own traditions instead of recycling old ones.
These are the parents that really came out of the woodwork at the turn of the millennium, when it was thought to be the dawn of a new era. Time to throw away those baby name books and get creative. We wanted to know what they came up with.
Using our first and last names data from the Social Security Administration , MooseRoots crunched the numbers to find the popular names that basically* didn’t exist before 2000. We then ranked them by their popularity (the number of newborns with that name) in 2013.
To learn more about how we got our data, click here .
* Meaning that fewer than 100 newborns were given the name before 2000.
It seems that parents (including Angelina Jolie ) are copying more than French women’s fashion, but their names, as well.
People name their children after musicians all the time—why not Game of Thrones characters?
You’ll notice that replacing cs with ks has been a common theme in the 21st century.
The Britney of the future?
Giving your sons first names that sound like the last names of old English soldiers is all the rage.
In the new millennium, names have been featuring the consonants that were used sparingly in the past.
It used to be in style to name your children Kurt, Jimi and Janis after your favorite musicians, but why not go a step further and give them their last names? Thus came the Cashes and Lennons of the world.
A name so new age that it became the inspiration for a popular song .
Jax is the new Max.
An ode to sultry oughts singer Norah Jones, perhaps?
Another 21st century trend: adding “lyn” to every name.
This name not only has become popular in the United States, but also in England and Wales, where it was ranked 4th most popular in 2012.
Will we be seeing some Paryses and Mylans, too?
Adding ys to every name seems to also be a 21st century fad.
These boys will have a constant reminder about how their parents feel about them.
Oddly enough, “Zayden” is most popular in New Mexico (was ranked No. 71 in 2013).
This name was a hit with ska queen Gwen Stefani, as she named her son Kingston.
The name became popular starting in 2000, but especially was a hit in Spain, where it ranked No. 97.
Another one for the Jolie-Pitts who named one of their adopted sons Maddox.
With the rise in popularity of superhero movies came the rise of the name Ryker, which is one of the Hulk’s enemies . The spelling of Ryker with an i, Riker, is a Star Trek character—and there has been no shortage of Trekkies in the 21st century.
Brantley is an Old Norse and English name meaning “sword; fiery torch, beacon” and has been mainly popular in the South. It’s the 16th most popular name in West Virginia.
Another Southern trend is Paisley, which is both a bandana pattern and an increasingly popular women’s name.
The name Khloe is probably most recognized as the uniquely-spelled name of one of the Kardashian sisters, but now is on route to become a common name for many women in the near future.
Though the current relationship between Russia and America is a bit strained, American parents have had no problem giving their girls the Slavic name Mila, which is the 78th most popular name in the country as of 2013.
Though around five newborns were given this English name before the turn of the millennium, thousands of girls have been given the name since—in America and in the UK.
Bentley is the most 21st century name out there. What started as simply the name of a car model before 2000 is now the 81st most popular male name in the country.