Top Names that Peaked in 2008
Description:Emma originated as a diminutive for Germanic names beginning with the ermen root. A very old royal name well used throughout the centuries—Queen Emma married King Ethelred the Unready in 1002—Emma is also historically associated with Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson and muse of painter George Romney.
Meaning:"God is my judge"
Description:Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning "judge," and ’el, "God." The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament describes the Jewish prophet’s life of captivity in Babylon and visions of the last days of Earth. Dan and Danny are common short forms of Daniel.
Description:Jacob comes from the Latin name Iacobus, which was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. He was the youngest son of Isaac and Rebecca and the twin brother of Esau, as well as the husband of both Leah and Rachel. The 12 tribes of Israel evolved from his 12 sons.
Description:Anthony is derived from the Roman family name Antonii, and was initially used as Antony, without the “h.” The name evolved into Anthony in the 17th century, when it was speculated that it derived from the Greek word anthos, meaning “flower.” In England, whether it's spelled Anthony or Antony, the name is often pronounced as the latter, while Americans typically utter the “h” if present.
Origin:French variation of Russian Natalia
Meaning:"birthday of the Lord"
Description:Natalie is the French variation of Natalia, a name originally derived from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birthday of the Lord.” It was historically given to girls born around Christmas for this reason. Nathalie is an additional, though less common, spelling of the name.
Meaning:"man of Adria"
Description:Adrian is derived from Hadrianus, a Roman family name meaning “from Hadria.” There were two Roman towns called Hadria, the first in Northern Italy, modern day Adria, and the second in Central Italy, known today as Atri. The name of the Adriatic Sea comes from the same origins as Adrian.
Description:Gavin, a name with Scottish roots, has stepped into the spotlight, replacing the dated Kevin, thanks in part to pop-rock sensation Gavin DeGraw and Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale.
Meaning:"God is with us"
Description:Emmanuel--spelled with one or two 'm's'-- was popular with early Jewish immigrants, until overused nickname Manny caused it to fade. Now, this important biblical name is being revived in its full glory.
Origin:Irish, English, and Scottish
Meaning:"broad eye or broad island"
Description:The energetic Brody is a name that claims different meanings and origins depending on whether you're looking at its Irish, Scottish, or English history -- and Eastern Europeans claim a version too. An alternate spelling is Brodie.
Meaning:"pleasant seaside meadow"
Description:Reggae master Bob's surname was one of the biggest risers on the popularity charts for girls in 2008, with spellings Marlee and Marely also leaping in favor. Also used for boys, Marley is one of the top unisex names in the US.
Description:A newly successful name for girls, which, like Brayden and Caden, used to be strictly for the boys. Young Heroes and now Nashville star Hayden Panettiere planted it in the girls' camp.
Origin:Spanish variation of Joachim
Meaning:"God will judge"
Description:Actor Joaquin Phoenix (brother of River, Rain, Liberty and Summer) highlighted this one, then Kelly Ripa began talking about younger son Joaquin on her daily TV show, and presto—it's now one of the hottest and most appealing multicultural baby boy names.
Origin:Spelling variation of Madelyn
Description:Madelyn is the most popular, phonetically-clear spelling of the lovely and stylish French name. Madilyn edges it toward Marilyn, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Origin:Variation of Michaela
Meaning:"who is like God"
Description:Now the best-selling version of this infinitely varied name, Makayla incorporates the also-popular Kayla. Makayla and Mikayla have now left the original Michaela far behind.
Origin:Spelling variation of Riley
Description:Rylie is a spelling variation of the more-popular traditional Riley. We recommend the "y" at the end rather than in the middle.
Origin:An increasingly well-used spelling of Caden/Kaden
Description:Variation of Caden and Kaden.
Origin:Hebrew variation of Jadon
Description:This spelling is now more popular than the original, though it's not quite as popular as Jayden or Jaden.
Meaning:"pleasant seaside meadow"
Description:The combined inspiration of reggae master Bob and the dog-loving romp "Marley and Me" catapulted this name up the chart in recent years. But what goes up....
Origin:Spelling variation of Cameron
Description:As a Top 500 name for girls for more than 20 years now, Kamryn has become a widely-accepted version of the original Cameron.
Meaning:"God is my light"
Description:It's the name of an Old Testament archangel that's symbolically given to boys born during Chanukah, but the possibility of unsavory nicknames (urinal?) make the short form Uri a better bet.
Origin:Greek variation of Jonah
Description:Jonas has a slightly more grandfatherly image than the English version of his name, but that only adds to its retro appeal. And though it may lag behind Jonah in this country, Jonas is riding a huge wave of popularity in Europe, where it ranks highly in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway.
Description:This name once seemed a bit grand and pompous for an American baby boy, but a significant number of parents are now preferring it as a substantial platform for the nickname Max, among them Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, who chose it for their twin son.
Meaning:"son of Egan"
Description:Keegan is one of a clan of spirited Irish surnames starting with K and ending with 'n'--this one with the cheery double 'e' in the middle-- that are appealing to an increasing number of parents. It derives from Mac Aodhagáin, meaning "son (or descendant) of Aodhagán," a diminutive of the Irish name Aodh--pronounced Aye.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:One trendy syllable plus another trendy syllable does not usually, despite parents' best efforts, add up to a truly creative name.
Origin:Variation of Alana
Description:The extra n makes it feel less like an feminization of Alan and more like a name unto itself.
Origin:German variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Still very Old European, conjuring up the image of a classical composer. But surprisingly, it's now been in the Top 600 in the U.S. since the turn of the 21st century, largely thanks to Heidi Klum and Seal's young son.
Description:Dayana is an Hispanic variant of Diana, notably belonging to Venezuelan actress, model and producer Dayana Mendoza. It also belongs to a South American orchid whose name derives from the surname of English botanist John Day. Its use can be partly attributed to the popularity of Diana, the Princess of Wales.
Description:A play on the spelling of Isaac that's somehow been in the Top 1000 every year since 1880. (If only by a hair: In both 1926 and 1962, it came in at number 999.) It hit an all-time peak at Number 377 in 2007, and has slumped a fair bit in the ensuing decade.
Description:Jolie is as pretty as its literal meaning; nowadays it is also seen as a girls’ name, via Angelina for whom Jolie was originally her middle name.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:One-time overnight success name, thanks to Hannah Montana actress and singer Miley Cyrus, Miley has fallen quickly from her peak of Number 127 in 2008. For Miley Cyrus, Miley was a childhood nickname (because she was so smiley); Destiny is her real name. Miley is a good lesson in avoiding trendy names. Popular opinion of the source can sour leaving a fresh name looking dated.
Origin:Spelling variation of Madeleine
Description:Given the plethora of alternate spellings, we suggest you give this creative spelling a miss and instead consider the original French Madeleine or the generally accepted Madeline to prevent a lifetime of spelling-out and mistakes for your lovely girl.
Description:While it looks like a creative respelling of the ubiquitous Aidan, Aydin has Turkish roots and means "intelligent." While there will most certainly be issues with spelling, those attracted to the Turkish lineage can be assured of a smooth path to assimilation due to the current popularity of soundalike names. The name is spelled with an ı (dotless i) in Turkish.
Description:This geographic Scottish surname is more often spelled Brody in the US. Both forms have seen decreasing popularity, which may be linked to its association with club-hopping Hills star Brody Jenner.
Origin:Variation of Jacob, Hebrew
Description:Jacoby, a surname spin on Jacob shot up the charts in the middle of the 2000's, thanks largely to the popularity of Jacoby Ellsbury, the first Native American of Navajo descent in the Major Leagues, but has been dropping steadily since it peaked at Number 423 in 2008.
Origin:Spelling variation of Natalie
Description:This version of the popular name ranks in the middle of its sisters—Natalie and Nathalie sit higher up the US Top 1000, while Nathaly sits slightly lower. While adding a y is a trendy choice these days, it will most likely create unnecessary spelling errors.
Meaning:"pleasant seaside meadow"
Description:Harley is a tough guy, while the rhyming Marley has a softer, gentler image. The name brings to mind reggae great Bob Marley, as well as the lovable dog from bestseller Marley and Me.
Origin:Modern name, meaning unknown
Description:Afro-Asian model, designer, and entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons brought this name into the public eye; it's a lot more fresh and feminine than the outdated Kim. But its star has risen and fallen with the visibility of the best-known Kimora, slipping hundreds of places from its zenith.