The top girl-name debuts of 2018

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The top girl-name debuts in the U.S. baby name data last year were:

Some of the other debuts include: Annifer, Dava, Enzleigh, Katyayani, Lunamae, Mazuri, Attley, Coralena, Loujain, Townes, Gurmehar, Orabella, Vaia, Aerolyn, Elegance, Nyayla, Tillian, Universe, Yosra, Zhaviah, Zyna, Alouette, Anyfer, Bilge, Cardi, Chicago, Elite, Geles, Gentree, Ikora, Lunagrace, Menorah, Modesire, Pyrrha, Riverrose, Siloam, Versace, Willianny, Zelilah, Annajames, Arrowyn, Bellanova, Chancellor, Cloud, Ellanese, Enzo, Erabelle, Ffion, Fiammetta, Foreign, Ixora, Krew, Lunamaria, Mattel, Miqueen, Noir, Novamae, Peru, Sumnima, Tomiris, Uinise, Videlle, York

Zhavia (and Jhavia, and Zaviah) were influenced by singer Zhavia Ward, who was on the TV show The Four in 2018. Do you have explanations for any of the other debuts?

P.S. Wondering what a “debut” name is? Debut names were too rare to appear in the SSA data in any previous year (1880-2017). In order to debut, they need to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single year.

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from LotusBud0048a (public domain) by Frank “Fg2” Gualtieri

11 thoughts on “The top girl-name debuts of 2018

  1. Thank you for sharing this list so quickly! Some initial thoughts/quick Googling:

    – Anifer is the name of a character (a little girl) on a comedy novela called Papá a toda madre

    – Elanese was Zhavia’s competitor on The Four.

    – Kiyanne is a rapper.

    – Yarishna is an Instagram fitness model.

    – Laureline was Cara Delevingne’s character in the movie Valerian.

    – Aloy is a character in the video game Horizon Zero Dawn.

  2. Thank you for the explanations! I haven’t had any time to do research on the names yet, so this is super helpful.

    (I’m gonna take a quick lunch break, then I’ll be back post the boy name debuts!)

  3. Good to see the explanation of Anifer by Alex! I only found a Brazilian porn star with this name.

    Kattaleia is vexing: Of course it rides the wave of Cataleya variants, but why is this spelling featured that much? I found a pinterest collection named “Kattaleia Lynn” showing nursery and birthday related pictures. Can this be the trigger?

  4. I was a little surprised not to see more Teen Mom names on the list this year, but Attley and Enzleigh and respellings of names from the series that shot up in popularity a year or 2 ago (Bristol Palin’s daughter, Atley, and Jenelle’s daughter, Ensley).

    Chicago is Chicago West, duh.

    Dehlani is yet another spin on Kehlani.

    Foreign is probably a status name, referring to foreign cars.

    I’m puzzled by Ixora, it could be the scientific name of a genus of jasmine or after a male Indonesian singer.

    Ikora is a character in the video game Destiny 2.

    RiverRose is probably inspired by Kelly Clarkson’s daughter, who I think goes by both her first and middle name. She was born a few years ago, but was mentioned by name in plenty of press appearances last year.

    Sumnima might be inspired by CNN’s Delhi correspondent, Sumnima Udas. Or maybe not.

    I love to see Tomiris on the list, because Tomyris has been a favorite of mine for years. She was an Iranian warrior queen. I wonder who’s using the name — Persian families? I could imagine this spelling catching on in Spanish-speaking families, as well.

    Uinise looks like a Maori name, which I’m not sure I’ve seen appear in US popularity rankings before.

  5. Jentree (and Gentree) were probably influenced by a 2-year-old Oklahoma girl named Jentree Joles. A video of Jentree getting emotional while watching a movie went viral in September of 2017. (Source)

  6. What made Ezlyn so popular? I find Ezlyn Barend, a South African entrepreneur (a millionaire at the age of 25), but did she have some media coverage in the USA?

  7. @elbowin – I’m not sure yet! I’ve found a few people/places/things with the name, but none of them are likely influences. Ezlyn Barends might be well known in South Africa, but I don’t think she has much of a following/presence in the U.S. (But someone please correct me if I’m wrong.)

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