Naming a new baby is not a task to be taken lightly. Whether trendy or traditional, a name is more than just a reflection of parental tastes. It’s a signifier that follows a child into adulthood, and can significantly impact social and emotional development. A unique name or inventive spelling might seem like a good idea at the time, but be forewarned: it may not age well. Then again, it could become an instant classic.
Using information from the Social Security Administration, Stacker examined the fastest-growing baby names from 2016 to 2017. The top 50 male and female name are included in the slideshow, ranked according to increase in usage. For a name to be included on the list, it must have made the top 1,000 for at least one of the two years.
Scroll through the list and find out if your name—or your little bundle of joy’s—made the cut.
Rank in 2017: #808 (up 125 spots from 2016)
Belle, from the French word for "beauty," was a favorite name in the U.S. from the 1880s through 1934, and is currently enjoying a revival. The Disney's classic "Beauty and the Beast," which recently underwent a live-action makeover, features a princess named Belle.
Rank in 2017: #611 (up 93 spots from 2016)
Perennially popular in the U.K., Callum is a variant of Calum, the Gaelic translation of the Latin name Columba, which means "dove." Saint Columba was the sixth-century missionary believed to have converted Scotland to Christianity.
Rank in 2017: #994 (up 96 spots from 2016)
Alaric was the commander of the Visigoths, the Barbarian tribe that sacked Rome in 410 A.D., bringing the empire to an abrupt end. The name is Germanic in origin, and means "all-powerful ruler." A character in the popular show "The Vampire Diaries," carries the name Alaric (Matthew Davis).
Rank in 2017: #479 (up 98 spots from 2016)
Oakley isn't just a chic line of outdoor apparel, it's also an increasingly popular name in the U.S. It is of English origin, and the meaning is fairly straightforward, referring to a clearing marked by oak trees.
Rank in 2017: #769 (up 99 spots from 2016)
Like Reign, Rey—Spanish for "king"—is another trending name with regal associations. It may also be a shortened form of Reymon, Reymond, or Reign. The popularity of the name could be linked to 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," in which Daisy Ridley stars as Rey.
Rank in 2017: #621 (up 131 spots from 2016)
Kailani, which means "sea and sky," is just one of a handful of Hawaiian baby flourishing on the charts. Kailani Craine is an Australian figure skater.
Rank in 2017: #779 (up 100 spots from 2016)
Zyaire is an inventive spelling of Zaire, the former name for what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rank in 2017: #887 (up 105 spots from 2016)
Wesson brings to mind images of the Wild West, and is part of a larger group of names suggestive of firearms, including Gunnar, Colt, Beretta, and Trigger, all currently gaining traction. Wesson is a variant of the English surname Weston, which means "western settlement."
Rank in 2017: #711 (up 142 spots from 2016)
Reina is a cross-cultural favorite in Japan, where it means "wise," and Spain, where it means "queen." The Spanish variant is consistent with the gravitation toward names with royal associations currently in vogue.
Rank in 2017: #833 (up 111 spots from 2016)
Tadeo is the Spanish form of Thaddeus, an Aramaic name meaning "gift of God." Thaddeus was one of the 12 apostles in the New Testament.
Rank in 2017: #898 (up 111 spots from 2016)
Frankie, traditionally a nickname for Francis, derives from the Latin "franciscus," which means Frenchman. As a given first name, Frankie is also gaining traction with parents of girls as well as boys. Actress Drew Barrymore named her younger daughter Frankie in 2014.
Rank in 2017: #881 (up 159 spots from 2016)
Raylee is a distinctly modern invention, a hybrid of Ray and Lee.
Rank in 2017: #959 (up 112 spots from 2016)
Kyng, notable for its inventive spelling and regal connotations, incorporates two of the most on-point baby name trends for 2017.
Rank in 2017: #859 (up 159 spots from 2016)
Like Ruby and Pearl, Opal, Sanskrit for "jewel," is a popular 19th-century name currently enjoying a revival. Opal is the birthstone for October, making it a particularly appropriate choice for baby girls born in that month.
Rank in 2017: #979 (up 161 spots from 2016)
Another gem of a name, Emerald is is Persian for the color green. Emerald may also be riding the "Em train," given the ubiquitous of Emily and Emma. Esmerelda, the Spanish form, was the name of Samantha Stevens' zany aunt on the '60s television hit "Bewitched."
Musa is Arabic, Turkish, and Persian for Moses, which is Egyptian in origin and means "delivered of the water." American dancer Musa Cooper appeared on the hit television show "So You Think You can Dance."
Rank in 2017: #416 (up 164 spots from 2016)
Hamlet's beloved may have met an unfortunate end in Shakespeare's play, but the name Ophelia has been resurrected over the past few years. A popular name in the 19th century, Ophelia, which means "help," disappeared from the U.S. top 1,000 in 1952, returning in 2015. Musician Dave Grohl recently named his daughter Ophelia.
Rank in 2017: #650 (up 168 spots from 2016)
Katalina, an inventive spelling of the Spanish name Catalina, is also riding the "K" trend. Catalina is a variant of the Greek name Catherine, which means "pure."
Rank in 2017: #770 (up 127 spots from 2016)
Zaid is an alternative spelling of Zayd, which itself is a variation of the Arabic name Sayyid, which means "master." Zayd ibn Harithah was a favorite companion of the Prophet Muhammad.
Rank in 2017: #848 (up 176 spots from 2016)
The origins of the name Xiomara are somewhat murky, but its upward trajectory is indisputable. A Spanish name meaning "battle-ready," it may also be a variation of the Aramaic name Xiamara, which means "joyful dear." Xiomara Frans was a contestant on "America's Next Top Model" in season two, and the mother of Jane (Gina Rodriguez) on the popular TV show "Jane the Virgin," is also named Xiomara (Andrea Navedo).
Rank in 2017: #975 (up 131 spots from 2016)
Yadiel joins other Spanish translations of Biblical names, such as Matias and Tadeo, currently climbing the charts. Yehudial is one of the archangels, and means "God has heard" in Hebrew.
Rank in 2017: #387 (up 185 spots from 2016)
Everleigh is inventive American spelling of the traditional English surname Everly, which means "wild deer in a clearing." In 2009, "Twilight" heartthrob Cam Gigandet named his daughter Everleigh Ray.
Rank in 2017: #888 (up 133 spots from 2016)
Aaden is an Americanized spelling of the Irish name Aidan, meaning "little and fiery." One of the Gosselin sextuplets from the TLC hit show "Jon and Kate Plus 8" is named Aaden.
Rank in 2017: #984 (up 194 spots from 2016)
Gaining in popularity as a first name, Sunny is both an English nickname denoting an upbeat personality and a shortened form of the Norwegian name Sunniva, meaning "sun gift." The name Sunny von Bülow hit the headlines in the 1980s after the socialite slipped into a suspicious drug-induced coma in her Newport mansion.
Rank in 2017: #941 (up 196 spots from 2016)
Mylah, also spelled Myla, is an alternative spelling for Mila. Mila is the feminized form of Milo, which means "merciful." Mila is currently the trendiest girls' name beginning with the letter "m."
Rank in 2017: #727 (up 198 spots from 2016)
This melodic name is from the Greek word for lyre, a small U-shaped harp. In 2011, actress Sophie Dahl and singer Jamie Cullum named their daughter Lyra Cullum. Lyra Erso is also a character in the 2016 film "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," as well as the main character in the popular fantasy series "His Dark Materials."
Rank in 2017: #697 (up 198 spots from 2016)
The name Bonnie has never fully fallen out of fashion, but it did take a deep dive at the end of the 20th century. In 2017, Bonnie regained its position in the top 1,000, and has been climbing ever since. A Scottish name meaning "pretty, cheerful," Bonnie is derived from the French word "bonne," meaning "good."
Rank in 2017: #825 (up 156 spots from 2016)
The origins of Merrick are unclear. It may be a derivative of Meuric, which is the Welsh form of Maurice, or a Gaelic word meaning "a fork in the river or road." Justice Merrick Garland's unsuccessful nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has etched the name in the American consciousness since 2016.
Rank in 2017: #986 (up 168 spots from 2016)
Gianluca is an Italian hybrid of Gian (John) and Luca (Luke). Gianluca Vacchi is an Italian millionaire and Instagram sensation.
Rank in 2017: #690 (up 217 spots from 2016)
A nickname for the popular Emma or Emily, Emmie had its heyday at the turn of the 20th century, and resurfaced in the top 1,000 U.S. names in 2016. Homespun reality stars Chip and Joanna Gaines named their youngest daughter Emmie Kay in 2010.
Rank in 2017: #554 (up 221 spots from 2016)
Kynlee is an invented name as American as apple pie. It capitalizes on both the "K" trend, as well as the feminized suffix "lee" or "ley."
Rank in 2017: #762 (up 250 spots from 2016)
Everlee is an alternative spelling of Everleigh—#27 on the Social Security Administration 2016–2017 Change in Popularity Index. Both are feminized versions of the English surname Everly, which means "wild deer in a woodland clearing." In 2013, actors Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan named their new arrival Everly.
Rank in 2017: #942 (up 251 spots from 2016)
Oaklee joins Oakley, #45 on the Social Security Administration 2016–2017 Change in Popularity Index. Oaklee and Oakley are favorites in Utah, where both variants rank in the top 10 most popular names for girls.
Rank in 2017: #921 (up 271 spots from 2016)
Malani is Hawaiian for "she who is from the sky." Like most Hawaiian names, the inspiration for Malani comes from the islands' natural beauty.
Rank in 2017: #905 (up 298 spots from 2016)
Luella, an amalgamation of Louise and Ella, was a common 19th-century name that drifted out of the U.S. top 1,000 in the 1950s. Celebrity kids like Alabama Luella Barker, daughter of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, have sparked a new appreciation for the name.
Rank in 2017: #931 (up 211 spots from 2016)
Zayd is an alternative spelling of Zaid—#30 on the Social Security Administration 2016–2017 Change in Popularity Index. Zaid was the adopted son and companion of the Prophet Muhammad.
Rank in 2017: #846 (up 214 spots from 2016)
Jaxxon is an even more fanciful version of Jaxon, which itself is an invented spelling of the traditional English surname Jackson, meaning "son of Jack." Celebrity affection for Jackson and its derivatives helped popularize the name. In 2014 actress Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler named their son Jaxon Wyatt.
Rank in 2017: #961 (up 236 spots from 2016)
The birth of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick's son in 2015 cemented Reign as the leading example of the royal name trend. While slightly more popular for boys, Reign came in at #48 on the Social Security Administration's girls' list.
Rank in 2017: #776 (up 241 spots from 2016)
Juelz is an invented spelling of the French name Jules, which means “youthful.” It also ties into the gemstone trend that includes Emerald and Opal. Juelz Santana is a well-known rap artist.
Rank in 2017: #698 (up 317 spots from 2016)
Amora is a Spanish name derived from the Latin word amor, meaning love.
Rank in 2017: #953 (up 276 spots from 2016)
Bjorn, a Scandinavian name meaning "bear," is steadily gaining steam in the U.S. Made famous worldwide by Swedish tennis sensation Bjorn Borg in the 1970s, Bjorn has been a favorite name in Scandinavia since the Viking Age.
Rank in 2017: #957 (up 282 spots from 2016)
Gatlin is uncompromisingly masculine, conjuring images of country music and Texas barbecue. Adapted from the English surname, Gatlin means "fellow" or "companion."
Rank in 2017: #987 (up 352 spots from 2016)
Yara has Brazilian and Arabic associations. Yara means “small butterfly" in Arabic, and is the name of a native Brazilian goddess. Yara Greyjoy is also a character on the HBO series "Game of Thrones," and is the name of "Black-ish" and "Grown-ish" star Yara Shahidi.
Rank in 2017: #939 (up 294 spots from 2016)
Koa is the only Hawaiian boys' name to crack the top 50 on the Social Security Administration list, and it's also the highest ranking. Koa means "warrior," and is also the name of a tree native to Hawaii. No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont named his youngest son Koa.
Rank in 2017: #840 (up 364 spots from 2016)
Not only is Paisleigh a modern construct, it's also an invented spelling of the Scottish name Paisley, incorporating the popular "-leigh" ending. The name is believed to come from "basilica," the Latin word for "church." Paisley is also the name of an ornate teardrop-patterned fabric.
Rank in 2017: #641 (up 302 spots from 2016)
Kashton is part of the the larger group of "K" names that has taken the current generation of babies by storm. It riffs on the more traditional Cash, while taking on the masculine "-on" ending.
Rank in 2017: #593 (up 435 spots from 2016)
This classic Latin name gained traction in the Victorian period, where it was frequently employed for an eighth child. Smaller families put Octavia on the back burner, but it's currently on the upswing. Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer has popularized the name in recent years. Actor Kevin Sorbo also has a daughter named Octavia.
Rank in 2017: #870 (up 315 spots from 2016)
Kace is the highest ranking of all the "K" names on the list. It's a variant of the Irish surname Casey, which means "alert" or "watchful," or, in some instances, a shortened form of Kasey or Casey.
Rank in 2017: #629 (up 616 spots from 2016)
A modern invented name, Emberly adds the popular "-ly" ending to Ember, sometimes used as an alternative to Amber. Emberly is phonetically evocative of Everly.
Rank in 2017: #918 (up 323 spots from 2016)
Nova may mean "new," but it's been around as a name since the 19th century. Traditionally a girls' name, Nova is now trending with parents of baby boys. "Teen Mom" star Catelynn Lowell Baltierra named her second child Novalee Reign.
Rank in 2017: #736 (up 323 spots from 2016)
Colson is another surname that has found new life as a first name. It means "swarthy" or "black," and is derived from the old French name Cole.
Rank in 2017: #676 (up 749 spots from 2016)
Oaklyn is a twist on Oakley, substituting the "-lyn" suffix for "-ly." This nature-themed name means "oak lake."
Rank in 2017: #868 (up 328 spots from 2016)
Dashing and romantic, Caspian first broke into the Top 1,000 in 2017. The name is of Irish origin, and means "borrowed from the sea." Prince Caspian is a beloved character in C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia." Actress Neve Campbell gave the name a boost when she named her son Caspian in 2012.
Rank in 2017: #828 (up 840 spots from 2016)
Blac Chyna has the magic touch when it comes to choosing trend-setting baby names. Dream, her daughter with reality star Rob Kardashian, has rocketed to the top of the rankings.
Rank in 2017: #803 (up 423 spots from 2016)
This inventing spelling of Cairo hops on the "K" bandwagon. Like the more traditional spelling, the name references the Egyptian capital.
Rank in 2017: #886 (up 1,072 spots from 2016)
Oaklynn is the highest ranking of the ragingly fashionable oak-inspired names.