The start of a new year brings with it a sense of fresh beginnings, a new dawn dawning, and hopes for the future. These sentiments are embodied in the meanings of many new year names, including current favorites Aurora and Nova, and undiscovered gems Dagny and Von. Along with Aurora and Nova, other New Year’s names in the US Top 1000 include Esperanza, Eve, Hope, Joy, Nadia, Xavier, Zara, and Zora.

Names related to the month of January are also fit for a New Year’s baby, such as Gennaro, Januária, Janvière, and of course, January itself. A New Year’s baby is a harbinger of hope for the year to come. Here are some baby names from various cultures whose meanings reflect the feelings of a new year, especially appropriate for a baby born in early January.


The name Altan is a boy’s name meaning “red dawn.” It’s a strong and striking Turkish option with an evocative meaning.


Asha is an Indian name that comes from the Sanskrit word for hope or desire, but it is also a Swahili name derived from Aisha, meaning life. Asha is finding new life through its Game of Thrones connections, and Disney has announced an upcoming film titled Wish, which will feature a heroine named Asha.


Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. She was said to renew herself by traveling from East to West across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun each dawn.


The name Idony is a girl’s name of Slavic, Scandinavian, and Norse origin meaning “love again, renewal.” Idony was the Norse goddess of spring and eternal youth, and variants of her obscure name could come under consideration with the rest of the fashionable I pack.


Name of the female lead played by charming actress Zooey Deschanel in the movie “Elf,” Jovie definitely has a lively, jovial sound and makes a fresh twist on old (and new) favorites like Jody, Josie, and Jolie.


The name Nadia is a girl’s name of Russian origin meaning “hope; tender, delicate.” Nadia is also a traditional Arabic name, popular in the Muslim community, and also spelled Nadiyya or Nadya.


The name Neo is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name of Latin origin meaning “new or gift,” perfect for a new year names list.


The name Nova is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name meaning “new.” Nova is an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.


The name Oriana is a girl’s name of Italian, Latin origin meaning “dawn.” Strong and evocative, Oriana also has an admirable literary resume. In medieval tales, she was the beloved of the knight Amadis, she appears in at least three seventeenth-century plays, and there is an early Tennyson poem called The Ballad of Oriana.


The name Roxy is a girl’s name of Persian origin meaning “dawn.” Roxy, also spelled Roxie, is one of those high-stepping showgal names with plenty of moxie, among the many sassy nickname names on the U.K. popularity list.


A boy’s name meaning “hope”, Spero has a cool sound and a wonderful positive meaning. It tops our new year name list.


The name Toivo is a boy’s name of Finnish origin meaning “hope.” If you’re of Finnish ancestry, you may want to consider reviving this one with a positive meaning.


Vihaan comes from a Sanskrit word denoting the dawn, but has the symbolic meaning of the beginning of a new age, making Vihaan a wonderful choice for the first baby in a family’s next generation.


The name Von is a boy’s name of Scandinavian, Norse origin meaning “hope.” It’s one of those midcentury shortenings that are starting to sound cool again, though we prefer Van.


Of Serbo-Croatian origin meaning “dawn,” Zora is a meaningful literary heroine name honoring Zora Neale Hurston, an important black writer, and leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

For the complete list of new year names with expanded meanings visit Nameberry.

Make sure to capture all the sweetest moments with your little New Year’s baby—and share them with your family and friends near and far—with the Tinybeans app. The secure platform puts parents in total control of who sees and interacts with photos and videos of their kids.

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