Baby Names

40+ Baby Names Inspired by the Early 2000s That Are So Fetch


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Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

If you’re a millennial, you know first-hand just how iconic it was to grow up in the early 2000s. From rushing home from school to watch TRL to decking out your room with inflatable furniture to trying (and failing) to keep your Tamagotchi alive, the early 2000s were the years you started to really come into your own (or, in the words of the one and only Ms. Britney Jean Spears, you were not a girl, not yet a woman). And as hard as it is to believe, we’re all grown-ups now, with many of us starting families of our own. So, if you’re expecting a Baby Spice soon (sorry, I had to), why not tap into all of that nostalgia for some baby name inspiration?

While some things deserve to stay in the past (lookin’ at you, gaucho pants), when you rewind the VHS back to your childhood, you’ll find that there is actually a ton of baby name inspo sprinkled all over early 2000s pop culture. From Disney Channel Original Movie main characters to the real names of famous rappers, this list of baby names will make you say, “That is so fetch.”

Early 2000s Baby Names for Girls


Origin: Greek | Meaning: The exalted one

Remember flipping through the pages of the dELiA*s catalog and basically marking everything so your mom would know you wanted it? While the early 2000s brand isn’t as popular as it once was (it now operates as a sub-brand of online retailer Dolls Kill), the name is still a beautiful option for a baby girl.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: God’s promise

Whether you want your little girl to grow up being a proud outfit repeater or jet off to Italy on a class trip and double as a famous pop star, Lizzie—yes, as in Lizzie McGuire—is a name forever synonymous with all the fun adventures she gets up to in one of the best Disney Channel shows from the early 2000s. 


Origin: British | Meaning: From Great Britain

Britney Spears was (and still is) one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but her popularity really soared in the early 2000s. Not only did she rock every Y2K fashion trend we would have killed to have in our closets, but she also blessed us with some of the best songs of all time. Give your little one this name, and she’ll feel lucky cause… she’s a star.


Origin: Italian | Meaning: Sword

There really isn’t much Brandy didn’t accomplish in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, and your baby girl can have the same motivation to achieve greatness with this beautiful name. From starring in Moesha to battling it out with Monica on the iconic track The Boy Is Mine to being what is arguably the best Cinderella of all time, Brandy is a name for a born star. 


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Follower of Christ

You can’t talk about the early 2000s without also mentioning Christina Aguilera. She was the powerhouse vocals behind hits like Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) and I Turn to You and also gave many millennials one of their favorite Christmas albums. She’s always been outspoken, strong, and sure of who she is, so this name is perfect for any powerful little girl. 


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Queen

If your baby is like really pretty… just kidding, all babies are beautiful! But if you want to honor the timeless classic that is Mean Girls, naming your Queen B after the movie’s Queen B is a move only Regina George would respect (and not put in the Burn Book).


Origin: English and Hebrew | Meaning: God will increase

There’s something so sweet about giving girls more “traditional” boy names, and this one is a nod to the hit show Dawson’s Creek. Whether you want to name her Josephine and call her “Joey” for short or just keep it simple with Joey, this name is perfect for any wannabe resident of Capeside.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Fighting man’s estate

Have a feeling your little one is going to be quite the artist? Make sure she knows that her art matters with this name, which she’ll share with the tough girl from Tree Hill who knows you can get through anything life throws at you. 


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Heroine of God

Even if she doesn’t grow up to go to East High and star in the school musical, Gabriella is a gorgeous name fit for any special little girl. Plus, whenever she feels lost or unsure, you can look at her and sing, We’re all in this together!


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Violet

Any girl would be proud to be named after the main character in She’s the Man, who bravely fought against gender stereotypes in sports to prove everybody wrong (and rocked some sick sideburns while doing it).


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Gift of Zeus, host

Cetus-Lupeedus, could we love this name more?! If you were obsessed with this Disney Channel Original Movie (and honestly, who wasn’t?), this name is the perfect fit for any girl of the 21st century.


Origin: N/A | Meaning: N/A

We all dreamed of finding out we were secretly the princess of a foreign country when we were in high school, right? Give your little girl a small piece of that dream by naming her after the charming country featured in The Princess Diaries. Mia Thermopolis would be proud!


Origin: British | Meaning: Summer season

Whether you live in The O.C. or the Midwest, we can all agree that Summer Roberts was one of the best TV characters to come out of the early 2000s. While your daughter might not have a flip phone to use in high school, she can channel Summer’s fiercely independent spirit. 


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Little hills

Kristin Dunst’s character in the 2000 film Bring It On always had her eye on the prize: maintaining her team’s status as high school cheerleading champions. She fought hard, was fair, and demanded respect—all qualities any girl with this name would wear proudly. 

2000s baby names
Source: Etsy | elorelicrochet


Origin: French | Meaning: Sunray, light

Yes, getting into Harvard Law is actually quite hard, but if you give your little one this name, you can also tell her that, with hard work and dedication, there is literally nothing she can’t accomplish. Just ask Elle Woods!


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Advisor, truth

If you have a little kicker in your belly, you might be thinking your baby will grow into a terrific athlete. And you could be right! Giving her a name like Monica from the 2000 film Love & Basketball will help drive her and make sure nothing stands in the way of her reaching her goals.


Origin: French | Meaning: Bright, clear

Maybe you got your ears pierced at Claire’s when you were 13, or maybe you just went there for all the latest accessories (peace sign necklaces, stud earrings, and small jewelry boxes were a few of the favorites). Either way, Claire is still an adorable name that will fill you with so much nostalgia every time you say it.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Place of pleasure

Before she was the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, who remembers watching Nicole Scherzinger get her start with the girl group Eden’s Crush? The band, formed on the TV show Popstars, had one relatively successful hit, Get Over Yourself, and toured local Sam Goody’s to do CD signings. While the band may have disbanded after just two years, the name Eden is so beautiful and still very much a favorite.


Origin: British | Meaning: Noble strength

As a key member of the friend group on The Hills, Audrina was the one character who didn’t seem to get involved in too much drama (outside of the whole Justin Bobby thing). While Lauren and Heidi had years of ups and downs, Audrina kept things pretty steady and remained dedicated to things like her career in the music industry and her close relationship with her sister—all qualities anyone with this name could easily emulate! 


Origin: British | Meaning: Dark-haired, wise

Your baby girl might not grow up with secret psychic abilities and be able to see into the near future with visions, but she could possess all of the qualities of Raven Baxter from That’s So Raven, including fierce loyalty to her friends, a loving bond with her family, and a spectacular sense of humor.

Early 2000s Baby Names for Boys


Origin: Scottish and Irish | Meaning: Son of the marsh dwellers

As the host of TRL, Carson Daly rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in music all throughout the early aughts. From The Backstreet Boys to Limp Bizkit to Good Charlotte, Carson was the guy everyone wanted to be friends with. Giving your little one this name will (hopefully) set him up for a lifetime of success. 


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Bringer of light

Hopefully, your little boy won’t grow up with a complicated family life and a need to let out his frustrations on the river court. Instead, with a name like Lucas from One Tree Hill, we’re thinking he’ll be more of a hopeless romantic who always stands up for himself and the ones he loves.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Appointed

When you think of Seth from The O.C., a few key things probably come to mind: cute, funny, and, of course, Chrismukkah. Give your baby boy this name, and all of those lovable qualities (and the combined holiday celebrations) are sure to follow.


Origin: French | Meaning: Keeper of horses

Is Marshall Mathers, AKA rapper Eminem, the best role model in a lot of ways? No. But he was a huge part of early 2000s pop culture, and if you want a more unique name, this is one you definitely don’t hear very often. 


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Of Easter

Another hopeless romantic from the early 2000s, Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek always knew what to say and when to say it. No matter how hard you tried or what team you were on (Pacey vs. Dawson), you couldn’t help but fall a little bit in love with him, and that’s something that you’ll experience over and over again once you welcome your little boy.


Origin: English | Meaning: To dress cloth

John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die was rightfully taken down by a group of girls he had wronged, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t still love his name. While John is great, going with his last name Tucker is a really fun and unexpected way to give your baby a dose of your childhood nostalgia. 


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Venerable or revered

He may not have been in the movie much at all, but Sebastian was the entire reason Viola secretly switched schools and posed as her brother in order to play soccer in She’s the Man. Hopefully, your baby boy will have a sibling that’s just as protective (and will get rid of any potential Moniques). 


Origin: Latin | Meaning: The fifth

As the other main character in Love & Basketball, Quincy McCall was a heartthrob for all the right reasons: He loved his childhood crush for his entire life, he looked up to his dad, he protected his mom, and he didn’t let anything get in the way of making his dreams come true. A true champion who learned the importance of love and family in the end, any little boy would be lucky to have this name.


Origin: French | Meaning: Manly, warrior

André 3000 is one half of the iconic duo known as OutKast, who produced hit songs like Hey Ya! and Ms. Jackson. And just like the musician, your baby will be destined for greatness with this name (and will probably know how to shake it like a Polaroid picture from a very early age).


Origin: American | Meaning: God has heard

We love the name Sam (for a girl or a boy!) for two reasons: It’s the name of the now-closed Sam Goody CD store, and it’s the name of the main character from A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. It’s dripping with so many early 2000s references, and any little one would be thrilled to carry this name.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Ditch, muddy place

Another constant peacekeeper on The Hills, Brody Jenner was one of our biggest reality TV show crushes who seemed to have it all: He knew how to have fun but still steered clear of drama. Any little boy with this name is sure to be the life of the party.

2000s baby names
Source: @mrscofieldandco


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Foot soldier

Hopefully, your son can do as many activities as he wants in high school and won’t have to choose between basketball and musical theater, but just in case he does, he can turn to High School Musical for some pretty iconic songs about what that’s like. Oh, and he’ll also know how to get his head in the game.


Origin: French | Meaning: Candle Maker

Could this gender-neutral name be any cuter? Not to be confused with Ms. Chanandler Bong, the name Chandler is as adorable as the affable character played by the late Matthew Perry in Friends, which ended its 10-season run in 2004.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Acquire

Kenan Thompson was ingrained in our childhoods with everything from Good Burger to All That to Kenan & Kel. Any little boy with this name will have tons of material to reference if they want to be the class clown that always knows how to make someone laugh.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Lively

The other half of Kenan & Kel, Kel was also an iconic figure of the early 2000s. Synonymous with his love of orange soda, Kel was the fun-loving friend who always knew just how smart he was—even when he didn’t get the credit.


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Advice or decision, ruler

Whether you loved getting a Happy Meal after school or could spend hours playing in a McDonald’s Playplace, the name Ronald is such a fun take on early 2000s nostalgia when this fast food chain was truly elite. It’s also not that common anymore and provides cute nicknames like “Ronnie.”


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Spacious, fort

His full name in Lizzie McGuire may have been David Gordon, but we love the nickname “Gordo” that Lizzie and Miranda called their friend on the hit Disney Channel show. It’s a unique and rare name that you don’t hear often, and we love the trend of using a last name as a first name


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Advice or decision, ruler

You’ve probably heard the name Cosmo before, but since we’re diving deep into early 2000s nostalgia here, why not nod to one of the best lunchtime desserts of all time, the Little Debbie cosmic brownie, with this fun twist on the name? Any boy with this name is sure to be oh-so-sweet, just like the treat!


Origin: Danish | Meaning: A Christian woman

If you want your little one to grow up to be a great storyteller, why not tap the powers of iconic author R.L. Stine? His books may have given us a few nightmares back in the day, but we still couldn’t get enough of them. And while the meaning might lean more feminine, there are no gender rules when it comes to finding the perfect name for your baby!


Origin: Celtic | Meaning: Born of fire, handsome

A name that could very well be even more relevant now than it was back in the early aughts when he was merely an accessory when we played Barbie Dream House, Ken is a great option that is now associated with women’s empowerment. 


Origin: British and Hebrew | Meaning: A battle weapon

One whiff of Axe Body Spray, and we guarantee you’ll be instantly transported back to the halls of your high school where you were passing notes with your crush whose hoodie smelled of this (he also definitely wore a puka shell necklace). This is a slightly different and fun take on the name Axel that we love.

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