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.
  • Laura

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any... Read More 

  • Lawrence

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Lawrence has survived from Roman times, when Laurentium was a city noted for its laurel trees (the laurel is a symbol of wisdom and achievement). It was in the Top 50 from the 1890s through the... Read More 

  • Leo

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now on the upswing partly thanks to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem... Read More 

  • Louise

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Louise has for several decades now been seen as competent, studious, and efficient—desirable if not dramatic qualities. But now along with a raft of other L names, as well as cousin... Read More 

  • Margaret

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Margaret is a rich, classic name used for queens and saints. Margaret was replaced for decades by less starchy forms like Maggie and Meg, but some stylish parents are reviving Margaret in full,... Read More 

  • Mark

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    After centuries of lagging behind other apostle names Peter and Paul, Mark suddenly caught on in the early 1950s, reaching Number 6 by 1960. It was in the Top 10 from 1955 to 1970. At this point,... Read More 

  • Mary

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Mary, the quintessential New Testament name, was Number 1 for girls until the mid-twentieth century. Though still close to the Top 100, at Number 124 Mary is used now mostly for religious or... Read More 

  • Matthew

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Matthew was the third most popular boys' name in America throughout the 1980s and '90s, and is still Number 15 (there were almost 13,000 baby Matts last year). The New Testament Matthew is the... Read More 

  • Michael

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Michael was the Number 1 American boys' name for almost half a century. Now, though, Michael has moved down to ninth place, still translating to about an annual 15,000+ babies. How has Michael... Read More 

  • Nicholas

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Nicholas, though it has lost some ground (it was in the Top 10 from 1993 to 2002), is still a popular classic that would make an attractive, solid choice. A Greek name stemming from Nike, the... Read More 

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