Names that Peaked in 2009
Origin:Spanish and Italian variation of Elizabeth, Hebrew
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Isabella is the Latinate form of Isabel, a variation of Elizabeth which originally derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba. Variations Isabelle and Isabel are also popular, with the Scottish spelling Isobel another possibility. Newer alternatives include Sabella and Isabetta.
Description:Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.
Description:Ethan derives from the Hebrew name Eitan. There are several Ethans in the Old Testament, the most prominent of whom, Ethan the Ezrahite, is praised for his wisdom. International variations include Etan and Izan.
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.
Meaning:"young green shoot"
Description:Chloe appeared in Greek mythology as an alternative name for the goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. She was referred to as Chloe in the spring months, due to the name’s relation to sprouts and growth. Chloe is also mentioned in the New Testament as the name of a Greek Christian woman.
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Caleb has two potential derivations, the first being from the Hebrew kelev, meaning “dog,” and the second from the Hebrew components kal and lev, together meaning “whole heart.” In the Old Testament Caleb is one of only two ancient Israelites (Joshua was the other) who set out from Egypt to finally enter the promised land.
Origin:Variation of Madeline
Meaning:"woman from Magdala or high tower"
Description:Madelyn is the most popular current spelling of this stylish name -- Madeline is the second most used -- but we prefer the least popular and most authentic French version, Madeleine. The advantage of Madelyn: It does clarify pronunciation and may be the best choice if you definitely want that last syllable pronounced as "lynn".
Origin:Italian feminine variation of Gabriel
Meaning:"God is my strength"
Description:Gabriella is the feminine form of Gabriel, a name derived from the Hebrew Gavri’el. Gavri’el is composed of the elements gever, meaning "strong," and ’el, referring to God. Gabriella is used among a variety of cultures in the US, including Italian Americans, Latinos, and in the Jewish community. Gabriela is the Spanish spelling.
Origin:Scottish, diminutive of Alice
Description:Widely used here since the fifties, Allison -- a derivative of Alice -- has far surpassed the original in popularity, though now it's eclipsed by Addison. Alice itself is also rising again. Ellison -- another Allison-inspired variant -- is another fresh spin. For more, see Alison.
Description:Xavier originated is use as a given name after Saint Francis Xavier, cofounder of the Jesuit order, who got his name from the Spanish-Basque village where he was born. His birthplace was Javier, the name of which was derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria, meaning “castle” or “new house.” Many Americans pronounce the initial X, as in ex-ZAY-vee-er, but it's equally accepted to pronounce the name ZAY-vee-er, closer to the French pronunciation.
Description:Peyton is a unisex surname that's not only survived but continues to grow in popularity because of its rich southern-accented softness combined with the pre-Desperate Housewives naughtiness of Peyton Place. In recent years, more boys have been named Peyton thanks to football star Peyton Manning, but the projected film of William Styron's Lie Down in Darkness which features heroine Peyton Loftis may further popularize Peyton as a girls' name.
Origin:Welsh variation of John
Meaning:"the Lord is gracious"
Description:Evan was derived from Iefan, a Welsh version of John. John is ultimately a derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan, comprised of the elements yo, meaning “God” and chanan, “to be gracious.” Evan is actually a Hebrew word itself, meaning “rock.”
Origin:American variation of Kayla
Description:A widely used name, Kaylee pulls together something from Kayla and something from Hailey, yet somehow loses something in the process. It has surpassed cousin Kayla on the charts and is one of three girls' names starting with Kthat ranks in the US Top 100.
Description:Chase, with its sleek and ultraprosperous aura, is redolent of the worlds of high finance and international banking. Chase has been well used during the last few decades, seen as a character on 24 and on several young-audience shows.
Description:Valeria -- the original form of the name, used by early Christians -- is now more popular than the Franco-American Valerie.
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:Spelling variation of Layla (Arabic); Sami variation of Helga (Finland)
Description:Beguiling and lovely, Laila is one of the lilting variations of Leila and Layla. It's the name of the former-boxer daughter of Muhammad Ali and of actor Shawn Wayans. In Finland, the Sami people use this in place of the Scandinavian name Helga.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caleb
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Kaleb is one of several boys' names starting with k that started life as a classic C name, Caleb. Kevin Federline named his boy Kaleb Michael Jackson.
Origin:Variation of Maya, Greek mythology and Central American Indian name
Description:This distinctive spelling was popularized by the R&B singer Mya (Harrison) and has inspired many baby namers to adopt Mya for themselves.
Origin:Hawaiian variation of Mary
Description:Makes Grandma Mary or Maria's name fresh and modern. A fairly unusual name made more familiar by one of Barack and Michelle Obama's young daughters.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:A popular substitute spelling for Kaden. Kevin Costner chose Cayden for his baby boy.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:More popular than the Jalen spelling. Like other names with many variants, when you count up all the alternatives, the name is much more popular than it first appears.
Description:Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen undoubtedly gave this name a boost. The French pronunciation (jiz-ELLE) gives it a more graceful, balletic, gazellelike feel.
Origin:Variation of Kamaria, Swahili
Description:A melodic name that's taking off in the African-American community.
Origin:Spelling variation of Kaylee and Caylee
Description:The -leigh suffix seems to be losing its luster; several names in this category, including Kayleigh, Kyleigh and Ryleigh, peaked in popularity a few years back but have since lost quite a bit of ground.
Meaning:"descendant of Conn, chief leader, intelligence"
Description:Quinn is an engaging Celtic surname that is on the rise for both genders. Quinn has started leaning decidedly toward the feminine thanks to a female cheerleader character on the television show Glee. It retains some testosterone from "The Mighty Quinn," the name of a movie, a band, and a Bob Dylan song.
Origin:Hawaiian variation of Mary
Description:This version of Malia (as in Obama) peaked at Number 296 in 2009, though it has lost ground since then.
Description:In the Old Testament, God changed Sarai's name to Sara, so this would make a very legitimate variation.
Origin:Latin variation of Isaiah
Meaning:"Salvation of the Lord"
Description:Widely used in the Hispanic community, as is the shorter Isai. While the original Isaiah and cousin Isaac are much more popular, Isaias commanded attention as the name of a storm in the summer of 2020.
Origin:Spelling variation of Madison
Meaning:"son of Maud"
Description:While the traditionally spelled Madison has been among the most popular names in the 21st century, this version isn't exactly unpopular. Nevertheless, the second d is superfluous.
Origin:Spelling variation of Madelyn
Description:Another example of dressing up a name with the double-N suffix, Madelynn remains far less popular than its single-N cousin.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Enough parents have appreciated this combinations of the sounds from Brayden and Jaylen to make it a widely used name. Its most noted bearer is former football player Braylon Edwards.
Origin:Feminine variation of Fernando, Spanish and Portuguese version of German Ferdinand
Description:Fernanda is very popular in the Latino community, with a lot more charm than its male counterpart. The standard nickname is Nanda, and variations include Ferdinanda and Fernandina.
Origin:French from Latin
Meaning:"youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"
Description:Julien is the handsome French form of Julian, which derives from Julius, a Roman family name. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning “downy-bearded”; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".
Description:This traditional Greek name feels somewhat more distinctive than Melissa, though after a recent upward blip in popularity, it seems to be sliding back down -- which may not be a bad thing for parents looking for a name that both fits in and stands out.
Origin:Russian diminutive of Anna
Description:Anya is a Russian variation of Anna, which came from the Hebrew name Hannah. Anya is the form found most frequently in Russia, Poland, and other East European countries, while Anja is the spelling usually preferred in Germany Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands. In the Hungarian language, Anya also means mother.
Origin:Combination name, Ana plus Lia
Description:Analia is a melodic newcomer to the US Top 1000, a fresher spin on the Olde Worlde Anamaria. It charted in the US from 2009 to 2012, and then reentered the popularity list in 2015. El Rostro de Analia is a popular Spanish language telenova on the Telemundo channel, which probably greatly contributed to its initial entry to the US list in 2009 at Number 331 when it was unranked the previous year!
Origin:Variation of Cadence, word name
Description:We'd prefer to stick with the more-familiar Cadence and avoid the overly trendy Kay- prefix.
Origin:Modern invented name, variation of Jane
Description:Janiyah’s star is definitely fading, but it will likely remain in the Top 1000 for years to come.
Meaning:"descendent of the sad one"
Description:Brennan is a winning Irish surname name, more modern than Brian or Brendan, more unusual than Conor and Aidan. The only possible problem with Brennan: people might think you're saying Brendan.
Origin:Spelling variation of Hailey
Description:Haylee dropped out of the Top 500 for the first time since 1992 recently, in step with a decline by Hailey (though the alternative Hadley is still near the Top 100). For some, Haylee is one E too many, but it reflects the broader popularity in -lee suffixes.
Origin:Native American, Spanish variation of Yara, Arabic
Meaning:"water lady; small butterfly"
Description:Possibly a derivative variation of Yara, a popular name in Spanish-speaking countries meaning butterfly, Yareli was given to more than 400 baby girls in the US last year.
Origin:Variation of Malia
Description:Oh dear! We can see where you were going with connecting this name to the classic "Leah," but it just doesn't work. We recommend sticking with the classic Malia.
Origin:Spelling variation of Allison/Alison
Description:With the still popular Allison ranking at Number 60 in the United States, and variant Alison sitting at Number 343—not to mention Allyson (Number 490 and Alyson (Number 835)—Alisson will unfortunately seem more like a spelling error than a legitimate name.