Top Names that Peaked in 2016
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.
Description:Noah was derived from the Hebrew name Noach, which itself came from the root nuach, meaning "rest." In the bible, Noah was deemed the only righteous man of his time, singled out by God to survive the great flood sent to punish the world. Noa is generally a separate feminine Hebrew name, although it's also found as a variant spelling of the male name Noah.
Origin:Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
Meaning:"life; bird; water, island"
Description:In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."
Meaning:"son of the right hand"
Description:Benjamin is derived from the Hebrew name Binyamin, from the elements ben, meaning “son” and yamin, “right hand.” In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob and Rachel in the Book of Genesis, and he was one of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Nicknames for Benjamin include Ben, Benny, Benji, and Benno.
Origin:Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
Meaning:"mine or bitter"
Description:Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning 'mine.'
Description:Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.
Meaning:"young warrior; well-born"
Description:Owen was derived from two names—the Welsh Owain and the Celtic Eoghan. Each are connected to Eugene, which ultimately came from the Greek word eugenes, comprised of the elements eu, meaning good, and genes, “born.” Owen became a Welsh patronymic surname during the Renaissance. The legendary St. Owen was a Benedictine monk who was a follower of St. Chad.
Meaning:"rye clearing; courageous"
Description:Riley originated as both an English and an Irish surname. The former was derived from British place names that got their names from the Old English words for "rye clearing." Irish Riley is a variation of Reilly, a surname taken from the given name Raghailleach.
Origin:French form of Clara
Description:Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for "clear," Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.
Origin:Spelling variation of Schuyler
Description:Newer, simpler forms of the Dutch surname Schuyler, stylish for both genders, are rising up the popularity list. Skylar is the most popular variation for girls. Skylar has been used by several celebs, including Sheena Easton and Joely Fisher.
Description:Easton is a stylish Ivy League-ish place and surname name, more modern than Weston, on its way up for both sexes as part of the new direction baby names are taking, as in North and West. Easton was used for her son by Jenna Elfman--and by Elizabeth Rohm for her daughter.
Description:Crisp and colorful, Autumn is the most popular season name now -- the only one in the Top 100 in recent years -- with Autumn's coolness only surpassed by Winter. Jennifer Love Hewitt named her daughter Autumn James.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"pipe or flute player"
Description:Piper is a bright, musical name that entered the list in 1999, one year after the debut of the TV series Charmed, which featured a Piper, and it's been a consistent riser since. Piper Kerman is the memoirist whose prison experiences provided the basis for the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
Origin:French, diminutive of Adele
Description:Adeline originated as a French diminutive of Adele, which came from the Germanic root adal, meaning "noble." Adeline was introduced to England by the Normans in the eleventh century, was very common during the Middle Ages, then vanished until the Victorian Gothic revival. Common variants of Adeline include Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adelynn, Adelina, and Adaline.
Description:Vivian, once an elderly lady name, is on the rise, along with all form of girl names that mean life -- from Zoe to Eva to those who share the vivid Viv syllable.
Description:A strong, straightforward Irish unisex surname, with a merry glint in its eye, Reagan has been leaping up the popularity lists, to become one of the top girl names starting with R. Some will inevitably link it to President Ronald, but spell it Regan and it's a Shakespearean name: a daughter of King Lear.
Origin:Feminization of Ximeno, Spanish
Description:Ximena, sometimes spelled Jimena, is a variation of boys’ name Ximeno. Spanish origins and popularity in the Latino community have boosted this name's popularity. Ximena Diaz was the wife of the Spanish national hero known as El Cid. Several well known Latin American actresses bear this name.
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:This attractively energetic Italian version of the classic Matthew is primed to move further and further into mainstream American nomenclature.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:The most popular spelling of the fast-climbing member of the Aiden-rhyming clan is used by parents who love the first initial Z. Zaiden is nearly as popular, and Zaden is a ways behind.
Origin:Irish or Welsh
Meaning:"little poet or fair"
Description:As Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan show signs of wilting, along comes Teagan to take up the slack: definitely one to consider. The vast majority of American babies named Teagan are now girls. A variant spelling is Teaghan.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Tucker has more spunk than most last-name-first-names, and also a positive, comforting ("Tuck me in, Mommy") feel.
Origin:English and Irish
Meaning:"bee hive, little brook or bee cottage"
Description:Beckett is one of the big baby name hits of the decade.
Origin:Variation of Elaine or Elena
Meaning:"bright, shining light"
Description:Looks unusual; feels familiar.
Description:The powerful name of the powerful character played by Russell Crowe in the 2000 film Gladiator first appeared on the popularity charts that same year. Max to the max. One time considered a "too much name" name, Maximus has entered the realm of possibility.
Origin:Latin and English
Description:Paxton stands out from a lot of other two-syllable surname names for two reasons: the dynamic letter X in the middle, and its admirable peace association, providing the great nickname Pax.
Meaning:"bearer of good news"
Description:Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.
Origin:Greek from Hebrew
Meaning:"God is good"
Description:Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew Tobiah, which was derived from the name Toviyah. Toviyah was created from the elements tov, meaning "good" and yah, representing the Hebrew God. Tobias is the name of several biblical figures but is primarily associated with the story of Tobias and the Angel.
Origin:Variation of Adeline
Description:Adaline rocketed onto the Top 1000 for the first time since 1924 in 2015 at a whopping Number 364 -- an astonishing debut. Though similar names, such as Adeline, Adelyn and Ada, have been growing steadily for years, the meteoric rise of this once-unusual spelling is no doubt due to Blake Lively-starring movie "The Age of Adaline," about a woman who stops aging at the age of 29.
Origin:Word name, English
Description:Haven is a recently invented safe-harbor name that appeals to an increasing number of parents who don't want to voyage quite as far as Heaven.
Description:The Reid spelling is the most popular by half, probably because it feels more like a name than Reed, which looks more like a word. It's used occasionally for girls but this name is firmly in the boys' camp.
Origin:American variation of Amaya and Amaia, Spanish
Meaning:"night rain or the end"
Description:While this name is a phonetic variant of Amaya and Amaia, its popularity could also stem from its similarity to names such as Aliyah and Maya.
Origin:Flower name, from Swedish surname
Description:One of the flower names, used occasionally in Britain (where it's pronounced DAY-lee-a). It seems to have recovered from what was perceived as a slightly affected la-di-dah air. The flower was named in honor of the pioneering Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl, which means dale.
Origin:Spelling variation of Raelynn
Description:After entering the Top 1000 in 2009, Raelyn has climbed the charts. It's ridden the coattails of Raelynn (which remains more popular), but also may be benefiting from the rise of Brooklyn. The use of -Lyn and -Lynn suffixes has grown in recent years, even as the name Lynn itself languishes.
Origin:Spelling variation of Paisley
Description:Just when we thought Paisley couldn't get trendier, this -ee suffix showed up. Although it's not our favorite, parents are choosing this spelling more and more often.
Description:An alternative to Inaya or Anya, Anaya is still climbing the charts.
Origin:Hebrew or Italian
Meaning:"lion of God or song"
Description:When actress Tamera Mowry named her daughter Ariah, she said it was a Hebrew name meaning "lion of God" -- which it is, if you consider Ariah a variation of Ariel. But many sources consider Ariah a spelling variation of the Italian Aria, meaning song or literally air.
Description:If you like the Finn names and love James Joyce, Finnegan is extremely winning. Will & Grace 's Eric McCormack chose the Finnigan spelling for his son. And of course Finnegan gains you access to the great short form Finn.
Meaning:"to climb like a vine"
Description:Liana is a pretty and graceful name -- it's a flowering tropical vine -- that runs the risk of sounding as if its front end might have been cut off, as in Juliana or Eliana.
Origin:Variation of Adeline
Description:Yet another spin on the megapopular Adeline names. We are not sure why any parent would choose this spelling over the original.
Origin:Italian surname, after Germanic Herman, meaning "warrior"
Description:One of the designer baby names -- Chanel and Gucci are others -- that have appeared in this era of branding everything from your purse to your offspring. Just be aware that there is a saying among fashionistas that people only call their children after designer labels when they can't wear them.
Origin:Variation of Avis, Latin
Description:Aviana is a name that's kinda like the megapopular Ava, and kinda like the popular Ariana, and not quite as widely appealing as either of them. But it's on everyone's scope now as the choice of actress Amy Adams for her new daughter -- ironic as she was quoted as saying she wanted a "normal" name. Turns out that Adams was born in Aviano, Italy, explaining the mystery. The first syllable of the name can be pronounced ah, ay, or (most commonly) to rhyme with have.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"cart maker or driver"
Description:One of the surname names for boys on its way to becoming unisex, this name broke into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013 for girls. While it sounds masculine to us, because of its two-syllable er-ending sound so trendy with boys’ names, many parents apparently disagree.
Origin:Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Slavic variation of Adeline
Description:Adelina is back in the Top 1000 after an absence of nearly a century, thanks to the meteoric rise of her sister name Adeline -- along with Adelaide, Adele, and Ada. Some parents choose Adelina because they want to get to cute vintage nickname Addie, but others favor it as a slightly more unusual form of this sweet vintage girls' name. A lot of attention was focused on it recently via the women's figure skating gold medal winner at the Sochi winter olympics--Adelina Sotnikova.
While Adeline is usually pronounced in the U.S. with a long i in the last syllable, to rhyme with mine, Adelina is pronounced with the long e sound at the end, as in 'lee-na'.
Origin:Russian variation of Nicholas
Description:Russian forms, like Russian supermodels, are hot these days. This is a strong, worldly way to make Nicholas new; it was chosen for his son by Barry Bonds, Jr.
Meaning:"son of Ben"
Description:Benson has outgrown its long association with a wisecracking TV butler. Parents may see it as an alternate route to nickname Ben, very different in image than the biblical Benjamin. Benson also carries the patronymic theme made popular by Jackson, Harrison, and Jefferson. More recently, Olivia Benson of Law and Order: SVU has reclaimed this as a surname. On a less salubrious note, Benson is still connected to the cigarette brand Benson and Hedges.
Origin:Arabic variation of Joseph, Hebrew
Description:In the US, Yousef is a less commonly used spelling.
Description:The name of a British town on the Thames that hosts a famous regatta. Henley is one of the English baby names soaring in popularity for both boys and girls in the US, but is now much more popular for girls. In the UK, however, it is almost unused for girls, with just 3 female babies named Henley as recently as 2014.
Meaning:"land that is lush and rich in water"
Description:Popular Arabic name for boys and sometimes girls too, that's also a term of authority in India.
Description:Kingsley is a sophisticated Harry Potter name that entered the US Top 1000 in 2013.