25 Names Invented In The 21st Century That Are So Cool And Modern

21st century parents have seem to become somewhat fascinated and even transfixed with coming up with new and fresh baby names. They’re on the search for names that can replace the old fashioned names that have forever been on the Social Security Administration’s list of top 1000 names.

Parent’s of this century are looking for names that are edgier and a little more out of the box than ones of the past like. Maybe they think that there are too many Johns and Davids running around, or maybe they just want to be a little more interesting. Not only have they found and even invented names to use, they’ve created new categories to choose from and resurrected ones from old categories that have rarely been used before.

We’ve put together a list of amazing names invented by 21st century parents. These names are ones from some of our favorite categories like nature, surnames and literature that have only been in the American mainstream since the beginning of the 21st century. For parents looking for modern names that are basically modern inventions, this list is just that. Here are 25 names invented in the 21st century that are so cool and modern.

25 Jayden

Jayden is actually a modern take on an old Hebrew name. Despite its ancient roots, the newest spelling, Jayden, entered the American popularity list in 1994 and was in the top 100 since 2003. Still ranked #26 today, it’s also a stop 100 name in 7 other countries.

Jayden is a Hebrew variation of the Hebrew, Jadon or Jaden, which means “thankful.” In the Old Testament, Jadon helped build the walls of Jerusalem.

Jayden was chosen by Brittany Spears, while Jaden was chosen by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. There are also several different spinoffs of this moniker like Caden, Kayden and Hayden.

24 Zuri

Zuri didn’t enter the American popularity list until 2010. And though it’s been a slow and steady race from #980, it is now ranked #365 today.

Zuri is Kiswahili for “good, beautiful.” This moniker’s migration to America was very different than most names. It came to the American mainstream via a giraffe in a Ohio zoo who was given the name.

Zuri is considered gender neutral, and the rare “z” makes it even more appealing to 21st century parents. Lebron James used an even more rare spelling, Zhuri, for his daughter.

23 Kayden

This moniker didn’t appear on the American list until 1999, but by 2003 it was in the top 400 and in 2012 it entered the top 100, where it’s been ever since. Today, Kayden is ranked #98.

Kayden is a modern invention without a meaning of its own, but it derives from the Celtic name Cadan, which is a variation of the Irish name Cathan and means “battle.”

Kayden was chosen by Angie Everhart for her son Kayden Bobby. It’s also a popular name in other English speaking countries like England, Scotland and Wales.

22 Ryder

This bad boy moniker was at the bottom of the list in 2001 and was in the top 500 just three years later. Ryder entered the top 100 in 2014 and remains the 122nd most popular baby name today.

Ryder is an old British surname that means “calvaryman or messenger.” It’s historically been much more popular as a surname with bearers like Winona Ryder and Albert Pinkham Ryder.

Famous namebearers who were given the name are Boy Meets World’s Ryder Strong and now, Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson’s new son.

21 Juniper

This nature name was nonexistent on the American list until 2011 and has moved from the high 900s to #314 on the American popularity list and is a top 500 searched name on Nameberry.com.

Juniper is a small evergreen shrub which contains over 60 species of trees. The Juniper tree is mentioned all the way back in the Old Testament in the book of Job. It is also the name of the saint of comedy, who was actually a male.

In the children’s book series, Junie P. Jones, Junie is actually Juniper and Margaret Wise Brown’s pen names was also Juniper.

20 Caspian

This whimsical yet masculine and dapper moniker’s current popularity can be credited to author, C.S. Lewis. Caspian didn’t enter the American list until just last year, and it’s also a top 100 name on Nameberry.com.

Caspian is a place name representing the large salt water sea that sits between Asia and Europe. It’s also the name of the hero prince, Prince Caspian, in C.S. Lewis’s novel and the films, The Chronicles of Narnia. 

Caspian is only now catching the eye of 21st parents and becoming increasingly popular over the last couple of years. This one will continue to climb the charts for sure.

19 Neveah

This modern invention wasn’t around until 2001 when it entered the top 1000 baby names at #266, and by 2005 made it to the top 100, where it’s been ever since. Nevaeh is still ranked #77 today.

If you haven’t realized this yet, Nevaeh is just heaven spelled backwards. It came into existence when singer Sonny Sandoval introduced the idea to use the celestial noun as flipped around as a girl’s name.

Nevaeh has become especially popular with religious parents as a less obvious choice than Heaven. However, as this one remains popular, it’s becoming less and less canny.

18 Bodhi

Bodhi wasn’t used in the American mainstream until 2010 when it became a star baby name and first jumped on the charts. Bodhi has moved to #303 today and is also a top 300 name in England.

Bodhi is Sanksrit for “awakening, enlightenment.” In Buddhism, Bodhi is the state of enlightenment attained when someone has practiced the Eight Fold path and achieved full enlightenment.

Bodhi was chosen by Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox, Teresa Palmer and Mark Webber and Oliver Rutledge Hudson and Erinn Bartlett for their sons.

17 Rumi

This exotic Japanese import has never been featured in the American top 1000, but it is currently the 11th most searched baby girl’s name on Nameberry.com.

Rumi is Japanese for “beauty, flow, lapis and lazuli.” Rumi’s most historically known figure was actually a male Muslim known for being a mystic and poet in the 13th century.

Rumi is very popular in Japan and has been the name of several notable famous Japanese actresses, singers and models. Beyonce and JayZ chose a similar name, Remi, for their daughter.

16 Wilder

Wilder has become part of the surname trend that 21st century parents are loving. It first appeared on the American top 1000 boy names in 2015 and has moved just outside the top 500 as of last year.

Wilder is a familiar surname like as in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder, as well as Laura Ingalls Wilder and the first African American governor of Virgina, Douglas Wilder.

This bad boy moniker was given a boost in popularity when Goldie Hawn’s son Oliver brought it into the realm of possibility for parents when he chose it for his son in 2007.

15 Amara

This multicultural name has a lot going for it. Amara, pronounced a-MAH-ra, didn’t enter the American populariy list until the beginning of the 21st century. It has been slowly moving up the charts since and made it to #208 last year.

Amara has a few different meanings including its Sanskrit meaning “immortal,” it’s Italian meaning “bitter,” it’s Mongolian meaning “peaceful,” and its Igbo meaning “grace.”

Amara is also a variation of the names Mary and Miriam and might be on its way to kicking those two off the charts as it heads toward the top 100.

14 Arya

Thanks to the popular book and HBO television series, Game of Thrones, Arya entered the realm of name possibilities in the 21st century. It didn’t enter the charts until 2010, and has reached #135 as of last year.

Arya is a modern variation of Aria, which is Sanskrit for “noble, air,song.” Aria was not only used for the fierce tough girl, Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, it was also used for a character in the Eragon series.

Arya is climbing up the charts fast thanks to millennial parents. Its exotic literary appeal will most likely keep it rising fast.

13 Kai

Since 2000 Kai has been soaring up the charts to heights it’s never seen both domestically and internationally. This moniker has moved to #127 on American charts and is also a top 100 name in 6 other countries.

Kai’s recent success is probably because of how multicultural it is. It has several different meanings in several different languages. Kai is Hawaiian for “sea.” Japanese for “snow.” Navajo for “willow tree” and “food” in Maori.

Kai was chosen by Jennifer Connelly, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber for their daughters, maybe giving it an even larger boost in popularity.

12 Freya

Freya has not been around the American mainstream for very long. It didn’t enter the top 1000 until 2013, but today, Freya is ranked #305 in the States and is a top 100 in 5 other countries.

Freya, pronounced FRAY-ah, is an Old Norse name meaning “a noble woman.” In Norse mythology, Freya was an the goddess of love, beauty and fertility.

The original Nordic spelling if Frejya, however, Freya is much more popular not only in America, but it has also been popular for years in the U.K.

11 Harper

Harper first made an appearance on the American popularity list in 2004. By 2011 it was in the top 100, where it’s been ever since. Harper has done even better than that. It has been in the top 10 since 2015.

Harper English for “hard player.” It was originally a surname and then was traditionally used for boys. Today, it is much more popular for girls, not just here, but all over the world.

Harper was chosen by high profile stars like Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulis,  Lisa Marie Presley, David Spade, Dave Grohl, Martie Maguire, Tiffani Thiessen, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris.

10 Rafi

This adorable moniker is part of the 21st century nickname trend and though it hasn’t been on the American popularity list yet, it most likely will be soon.

Rafi has a couple of different origin possibilities. It is a nickname for the Italian Raphael. It is also an Arabic diminutive of Rafiq, the Spanish diminutive of Rafael and Hebrew for “God has healed.”

Rafi is the name of a famous Canadian children’s singer songwriter. This namebearer gives Rafi a softer imagery to combine with its cool boy appeal.

9 Omari

Omari, pronounced O-MAH-ree, has been popular for several years now. This moniker found a firm spot in the top 1000 in 2001. Today, Omari is ranked #512 and is also a top name in England.

Omari is another 21st century name that has a ton of cultural appeal. Omari is the Swahili version of Omar and is also Arabic for “flourishing, thriving” and Hebrew for “eloquent.”

Actor Omari Hardwick who played in shows like Saved and Light Blue has helped keep this name in the spotlight along with rapper Omari Ismael.

8 Remy

This moniker hasn’t had a long stint on the American charts just yet, but we suspect it will continue to hold a spot in the top 1000. Remy was knew to the American list in 2009 and has moved to #449 since.

Remy is French from Latin and means “oarsman.” It’s actually an older name than it might sound. Saint Remy was a 5th century saint and Saint Remy De Provence is the town in France where Nostradamus was born.

Remy has also been used for characters in House, The Da Vinci Code, New Girl and The Fairly Odd Parents. Remy was the chef in Disney’s Ratatouille. 

7 Racer

Racer is one of several new edgy bad boy names that 21st century parents are loving. This one is a millennial invention that has yet to be featured on the American list, but it will most likely be appearing soon.

Racer is a word name that was given a huge boost in popularity when it was chosen by director Robert Rodriguez. He alliterated this cool boy name with his brothers name’s Rebel and Rogue.

Racer was also chosen by Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle, who have another son name Racker. Apparently Racer is a great name for parents looking for sibling names that being with “R.”

6 Easton

Easton is a new masculine and western sounding name that 21st century have been loving since 2003. Easton entered the top 100 in 2012 and is still ranked #66 today.

Easton is English for “east facing place” and as part of the directional name trend, along with West, Weston and North, it has become popular for both genders.

Easton was chosen by Jenna Elfman for her son, but it was chosen by Elizabeth Rohm for her daughter, both helping to boost Easton’s popularity for both genders.

5 Raiden

Another cool and edgy bad boy name is this Japanese moniker that has recently become a 21st century favorite in the States. Raiden jumped into the American top 1000 in 2007 and has moved to #400 since.

Raiden is Japanese for “thunder and lightening.” In Japanese mythology and the Shinto religion, Raiden was the god of of thunder, and was actually pretty awe-striking to look at.

Raiden is a little tougher and less used than Rayden, and far less popular than the overused Jayden, making it a perfect choice for 21st century parents.

4 Winter

This icy yet warm name is catching up to other seasonal names that have been in use for baby girls for decades. Winter has moved to #449 as of last year after having only entered the top 1000 in 2012.

Winter was chosen by several celebrities like Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden, Gretchen Mol and Sean Parker, helping this moniker move into the American mainstream as a solid word name choice.

Now moving closer and closer to sisters Autumn and Summer, Winter is one of the fastest rising seasonal names out there thanks to 21st century parents.

3 Avery

Avery’s popularity over the last couple of decades has been soaring. In 2003 it entered the top 100 and in 2007 it entered the top 50, where it has firmly been ever since. Today, Avery is ranked #14.

Avery is English for “ruler of the elves.” Avery is actually a unisex name, though the use of it for girls has far surpassed its use for boys.

Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn were ahead of the curve when they chose Avery for their daughter. It was also later chosen by Amy Locane, again helping to boost Avery’s popularity.

2 Phoenix

This unisex moniker has come into the 21st century with a bang and it’s continued to make a splash with today’s parents. Phoenix first entered the top 500 in 2005 and has reached #268 today. It is also a top 100 name in New Zealand and England.

Phoenix is Greek for “dark red.” It is also a place name standing for Phoenix Arizona, as well as the name of a bird. In mythology, the Phoenix was a bird that rose from the ashes and became a symbol of immortality.

Phoenix combines several name categories that millennials love including the rare “x” ending, a nature and place appeal.

1 Kingston

Kingston is almost entirely created by 21st century parents. It entered the popularity list in 2006 and has been in the top 200 since 2006. Kingston is now ranked #134 and rising fast.

Kingston is an English surname meaning “king’s town.” It is also a town in Jamaica. It was first chosen by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale in 2006, the year it first appeared on the popularity list.

Thanks to Kingston Rossdale, this moniker has become a favorite with today’s parents and it looks to break into the top 100 in the coming years.