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Traditional Baby Names

Traditional baby names, by our definition, are those that have been used consistently in English-speaking countries for centuries -- and are still in widespread use. Traditional baby names might not be the most exciting choices in the book, but they are the most reliable. Here are some of the top traditional baby names for both boys and girls.
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  • Henry

    Gender: M Rate:

    Henry, after hovering around the latter half of the Top 100 for thirty-five years, is now at its highest point since 1956; its stylishness has increased substantially to the point where in upmarket... Read More 

  • Irene

    Gender: F Rate:

    Serene Irene, the name of the Greek goddess of peace, was hugely popular in ancient Rome and again in the United States a hundred years ago. One of the most popular names of the Roman Empire and t... Read More 

  • Isaac

    Gender: M Rate:

    Isaac has shaved off his biblical beard and leaped into the Top 30, where it's been for the past few years--outrunning cousin Isaiah--and showing signs of heading even higher. A favorite of the Pu... Read More 

  • Isabel

    Gender: F Rate:

    The charming Isabel is hugely fashionable again, a century after its first wave of success. And it's easy to see why: it's ladylike (a la Isabel Archer in Henry James's Portrait of a Lady ) and mel... Read More 

  • James

    Gender: M Rate:

    James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages, which is more popular and --yes--stylish than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite b... Read More 

  • Jane

    Gender: F Rate:

    No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan. A very old na... Read More 

  • John

    Gender: M Rate:

    John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for four hundred years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s, at which point American baby name... Read More 

  • Joseph

    Gender: M Rate:

    Joseph is one of the most classic names in American nomenclature, popular with parents from many ethnic backgrounds and having dual-religious appeal. In the Old Testament, Joseph is the twelfth an... Read More 

  • Julia

    Gender: F Rate:

    An enduring classic, Julia has so much going for it: ancient roots but a modern, fashionable feel, simplicity and sophistication, and connections to both saints and celebs, including actress Julia ... Read More 

  • Katherine

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    Katherine is one of the oldest, most diverse, and all-around best names: it's powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, and adaptable. Katherine also has a profusion of spellings, short... Read More 

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