The rising baby names for 2024 that experts 'never saw coming' have been revealed - would you choose them?

From pop culture to the Old Testament, these baby names have surprised us

A smiling baby lying in a cot
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Even the experts are surprised by these trending baby names, here's the inspiration behind them...

Choosing a baby name is no easy task for expectant parents - especially when looking for a unique baby name that's going to stand out on the future class register. Luckily, here at GoodtoKnow we know a thing or two about the latest fashions - whether that's the most popular baby names out there or the top baby name trends for 2024.

From royal-inspired names and Disney baby names to floral baby names and other nature baby names, we've seen them all. But some popular monikers still catch us off guard - and even the experts have admitted there are some baby name trends they didn't see coming.

Sophie Kihm, editor-in-chief at baby name website Nameberry, has revealed some of the baby names (and trends) that she and the team 'never saw coming' for 2024 - and if you're looking for an unusual option, you'll want to keep reading.

Rising baby names that shocked the experts

1. Chosen

Sophie told Metro: "NFL quarterback Cam Newton used the name for his son back in 2015, which introduced Chosen to the name pool. 

"But it remained dormant for almost a decade before really taking off. Chosen is a new favourite among modern spiritual names – a trend that has been picking up steam in the 2020s."

Analysis from Baby Center has shown that spiritual names for girls are also climbing the ranks. 'Peace' rose a whopping 1,985 spots between 2022 and 2023, while 'Merit' rose 421 places.

2. Kayce

Of this unique name, Sophie said its newfound popularity is thanks to Paramount's popular Western drama, Yellowstone. She said, "We knew that Yellowstone favourite Dutton was going to be a big hit, but totally overlooked Kayce. 

"Why? It’s a spin on a dated name, Casey, plus, is confusing to spell and pronounce (it’s said like Casey, not Case). But parents proved us wrong – they’ve embraced Kayce almost as much as Dutton."

3. Love

Pop culture fans might associate this name with the cunning Love Quinn from Netflix's hugely popular TV series You. But Sophie says "Parents, well, love Love’s amorous imagery and the ever-stylish V sound."

She added that the name "seemed like a shoe-in" for one of the most popular middle names, but the Nameberry experts were surprised to see it rise through the ranks as a first name too.

4. Neriah

Sophie holds the mononymous indie singer Neriah responsible for the rise in popularity of this Old Testament name.

She said: "We were puzzled to see Neriah - a minor male character in the Old Testament - among the hottest choices for baby girls. Blame the mononymous indie singer Neriah, who is inspiring parents to use her name for their daughters."

5. Anime names

Sophie says that names like Kenji, Kaisen, and even Jiraiya - all of which are related to anime - have seen an increase in popularity in 2024.

She said, "Names from anime and manga tend to be invented choices with character-specific meanings - not the most likely source of inspiration for naming a baby. But parents are increasingly inspired by their own niche interests when naming a baby, including anime."

Looking for more baby name inspiration? We've put together a list of over 180 old fashioned baby names. Check out these cool baby names and some cute baby names too.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.