From Evabeth to Jaspin, Made-Up Baby Names Are on the Rise
A new wave of parents are making up their own baby names with the hope of making their kid unique. But what impact do made-up names like Maevery and Tovin have on baby name trends—and on the kids who sport them?
Names as old as time, like Elizabeth and Joseph, just aren't cutting it for new parents, according to a new study by the U.K. parenting site ChannelMum. Ninety-four percent of the 1,772 parents surveyed think made-up baby names are becoming more popular, with a third claiming unique names will not only make kids feel special, but make them stand out on (you may have guessed it) social media. So instead of becoming @ElizabethSmith39421 on Insta, they can be @AnaveahFarrow.
While unique baby names are abundant, made-up names are a little different. Rather than opting for creative spellings, like all the Xzaviars and Jaydyns out there, it seems this new wave of parents is crafting their own new names—like Sylvalie and Albion— to avoid the dreaded Aidan R. and Emma B. issue. Some new picks also mash together the favorite names of each parent, or the names of beloved family members into a new unique name—like Evabeth and Jessalie for girls, and Jaspin and Wrenlow for boys.
Still, the trend toward inventing a baby name isn't entirely creative—or entirely new. Some of the modern invented names—like Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backward) have been among the top favorites since the turn of the 21st century. (So don't pick them if you're hoping to give your child something truly unique!) Others solve a common new parent problem, where the parents can't settle on a single name—think Twilight's star-crossed lovers Edward and Bella who opted to smush their own mothers' names into Renesmee for their hybrid undead-human offspring.
According to ChannelMum's baby naming experts, these made-up names are at the top of the U.K. list of popular options:
Top 'Made-Up Names' for Girls
Top 'Made-Up Names' for Boys
Among the popular made-up names in the U.S. you'll find trendy favorites like Brayden (currently sitting at #84 on the popularity charts, Gracelyn (currently sitting in the top 350, whether you use the extra "n" at the end or not), Kyler (a Tyler/Kyle mashup currently hovering around the top 300), Daleyza (currently inside the top 300), Meilani (not a traditional Hawaiian name, but an invention by a reality star from a distant shore—Jersey Shore's JWoww came up with it), and Miley (a nickname that became the professional name of singer/actress Miley Cyrus—and a name that peaked just shy of the top 100 a decade ago).
If you're considering your own made-up name for your child, don't forget that unique names can bring their own set of headaches, as your child will constantly have to spell or pronounce the name for stumbling substitute teachers and customer service reps. (And don't even get me started on the lack of personalized keychains and mini souvenir license plates if you've got a unique name or spelling.) Is the hassle worth giving your child a name as unique as they're sure to be? That's up to you to decide.