Top Names that Peaked in 2017
Origin:Irish short form of William
Description:Liam originated as a nickname for Uilliam, the Irish variation of William. William is an English name from Germanic roots that was brought to Ireland when the British fled England following the Norman Conquest. The Irish began using English names, including William, which led to the development of Uilliam and its short form, Liam.
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.
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."
Description:Amelia is derived from the German name Amalia, which in turn is a variation of Amalberga. The root, amal, is a Germanic word meaning "work," and in the context of female given names suggests themes of fertility as well as productivity. Aemilia, the name from which Emily is derived, is unrelated to Amelia.
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.'
Origin:English from French and German
Meaning:"desired; or water, island"
Description:Evelyn derives from the French feminine given name Aveline, which is from an obscure Germanic root which may mean "desired, wished for" or "water, island". The name Aveline was brought over to England by the Normans, but it first became popular as a masculine name – a transferred use of the surname Evelyn, which comes from the same source. Variations include Evaline, Evalyn, Evelin, and Eveline.
Description:Logan originated as a Scottish surname which was derived from a place of that name in Ayrshire. The place name came from lagan, a Scottish Gaelic diminutive of lag, meaning “hollow.” Alternate spellings include Logon, Logen, and Logyn, which is more common among girls.
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.
Origin:Variation of Leila, Arabic
Description:Layla is derived from the Semitic element layl, meaning "night." It has roots in the Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian languages. In the Arabic story Qays and Layla, Layla is the subject of the poet’s unrequited love. Among the many alternate spellings are Leila, Laila, Laela, Laelah, Laylah, Leyla, Lejla, and Leighla.
Description:Penelope is a name from Greek mythology; she was the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. It has two possible origin stories—Penelope was either derived from the Greek pēnē, meaning "thread of a bobbin," or penelops, a type of duck. Mythological Penelope was cared for by a duck as an infant, and later was known for delaying her suiters by pretending to weave a garment while her husband was at sea.
Meaning:"brave in war"
Description:Wyatt was derived from the Medieval English name Wyot, itself a form of the given name Wigheard, with wig meaning "war" and heard, "brave." Wyot, along with variations Wiot and Gyot, were also used by the Normans as nicknames for names such as William. Wyatt became a patronymic surname later in the Middle Ages.
Origin:Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
Description:Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"transporter of goods by cart"
Description:Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on ER" Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.
Origin:English from Latin, variation of Julius
Meaning:"youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"
Description:Julian was derived from Iulianus, which in turn came 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".
,br/>Julian was a 4th century Roman emperor, and St. Julian the Hospitaller is the patron saint of travelers. In Medieval England, Julian was considered a unisex name, eventually giving rise to the feminine given name Gillian.
Description:For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.
Meaning:"God supports, heals"
Description:Josiah is derived from Yoshiyahu, a Hebrew name from the components yoshi, meaning “support,” and Yahu, referring to the Hebrew god. In the Old Testament, Josiah was an upright king of Judah from the age of eight, after his father Amon was murdered. Josias is a related Latin variation that is found in some biblical translations.
Description:Kinsley, a name that straddles the line between cute and classy, continues to rise in popularity and is now one of the top girls' names starting with K. Kinsey is the name of the heroine of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries and Tinsley gives the name a high society spin.
Description:Ezekiel is derived from the Hebrew name Yechezqel, composed of the elements chazaq, meaning “to strengthen,” and ’el, referring to God. Ezekiel is a prominent prophet in the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezekiel, predicting the fall of Jerusalem and eventual rehabilitation of Israel.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Charles
Description:Caroline is a perennial classic, in the Top 100 since 1994. Caroline is elegant, calling to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
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.
Meaning:"descendent of Conn"
Description:Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning "descendent of Conn." Conn has two possible derivations—the Old Irish cond, meaning "intellect," or cenn, meaning "chief." One of the most notable Quinn clans was from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variations of Lilian
Meaning:"lily, a flower"
Description:This melodious and feminine Latin variation of the Lily family is a favorite in the Hispanic community and would work beautifully with an Anglo surname as well. It's among the Spanish and Italian names for girls that make smooth transitions to the English-speaking world. The late Sopranos star James Gandolfini has a daughter named Liliana Ruth.
Meaning:"son of Brice"
Description:A surname name that can transition to first -- it entered the Top 1000 in 1980 and is now firmly in the Top 100. Actress NeNe Leakes chose it for her son. R&B singer Bryson Tiller's popularity may have played a part in accelerating Bryson's rise.
Origin:Arabic or Hebrew
Meaning:"prince, ruler; treetop"
Description:A common Middle Eastern name, the general title for an elevated official, it was chosen for his son by actor Omar Epps.
Meaning:"place of pleasure, delight"
Description:Eden is an attractive, serene name with obvious intimations of Paradise, one of several place names drawn from the Bible by the Puritans in the seventeenth century.
Description:Braxton entered the popularity ranks in 1985 and has been climbing steadily ever since. It has gained from the all-powerful X-factor, and perhaps also from the reality TV show, Braxton Family Values, featuring singer Toni and her sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar. Though it might sound new, there was a prominent Confederate Civil War general named Braxton Bragg.
Meaning:"woman of honor, light"
Description:The skyrocketing success of singer Norah Jones brought this spelling of the name onto the pop charts in 2003. As well as being a spelling variant of Nora in English, it's also an alternative transcription of the Arabic name Nura, from Nur/Noor "light".
Origin:Variation of Elliot
Meaning:"Jehovah is God"
Description:One of the four perfectly proper spellings of this name ranging from the spare (but poetic) Eliot to the full-blown Elliott.
Origin:Spelling variation of Carter
Meaning:"transporter of goods by cart"
Origin:Anglicization of Elijah or Elias
Meaning:"Jehovah is God"
Description:Elliot (which boasts several spellings depending upon how many 'l's or 't's you want to use) is a winner -- it has the ideal quality of being neither too common nor weirdly unique. Elliot had a style boost back in the early 1980s via the young hero of the movie E.T. , who was named Elliot. Since then there have been Elliots on Law & Order: SVU and Mad Men.
Meaning:"son of Madoc"
Description:Maddox, a previously obscure Welsh family name with a powerfully masculine image, suddenly came into the spotlight when Angelina Jolie chose it for her son in 2003. By the following year it was in the middle of the Top 1000, and it has risen since.
Description:King is a name that sends a mixed message. While some might think of it as more fitting for a canine, others see it as a strong name with offbeat style and a full court of rich associations, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Elvis. King Vidor was an important early Hollywood director; King Camp Gillette invented the safety razor.
Origin:Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
Description:Xander is a diminutive of Alexander, the Latin variation of the Greek Alexandros. Its meaning, “defending men,” is taken from the Greek roots aléxein, “to defend,” and andros, “men.” Zander, pronounced the same way, is an alternate spelling.
Origin:Aramaic word name
Meaning:"expected savior or deliverer"
Description:A handful of years ago, a judge in Tennessee ruled that parents could not name their son Messiah, "because there's only one." That decision has since been overturned.
Origin:Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"yielding to prayer"
Description:Arabella was used as a given name beginning in the 12th century with the birth of Arabella de Leuchars, granddaughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland. It is derived from the Latin orabilis, from which Arabella gets its meaning. Some scholars tie Arabella to Amabel, claiming that the former developed as a variation of the latter in Scotland, much like the name Annabel.
Meaning:"ruler of the elves"
Description:Avery's a last-name-first-name being used increasingly for girls -- perhaps because of Avery's similarity to Ava and Ivory. It's still well-used for boys and is one of today's most popular unisex names. About 2000 baby boys were named Avery in 2018, compared with about 8000 baby girls.
Origin:German variation of Lucas
Meaning:"man from Lucanus"
Description:Highly popular name in Norway and in Germany in a spelling that translates well.
Description:The unisex Blake, which indeed has two conflicting meanings, has a briskly efficient image when used for a girl.
Description:Kyrie may be a name of God used widely in the ancient church refrain Kyrie Elieson, or Lord, have mercy, but it's rising in popularity for boys in the US on the strength of basketball star Kyrie Irving. Irving pronounces the first syllable of Kyrie to rhyme with my, whereas with the religious word it rhymes with fear.
Origin:Variation of Lila
Description:Lilah may be a simple spelling variation of Lila—or you might think of it as a shortening of Delilah or an Anglicization of the Hebrew Lilach, which means lilac. Whatever the root, it's a beautiful and stylish name. The final h adds balance or creates needless complications, depending on your viewpoint.
Meaning:"homestead by the stream"
Description:Who knew there were so many soccer fans in the U.S.? Beckham -- as in British sensation David -- has exploded onto the baby name scene in the past decade.
Origin:Spelling variation of Reagan
Description:An increasingly popular spelling as parents are responding more and more to the ae form of Braeden, Jaeden, Janae, and Nevaeh.
Meaning:"son of Emery"
Description:Emerson is a dignified, somewhat serious name associated with transcendental thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. Much more popular now for girls since Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher used it for her daughter, it is definitely still a viable boys name.
Origin:Spelling variation of Charlie, diminutive of Charles or Charlotte
Description:Variation of Charlie, with the unfortunately popular suffix -ee.
Description:Aviation enthusiast John Travolta put this fast-paced name in the lexicon when he used it for his late son, and George Lucas followed suit.
Meaning:"the long field"
Description:Once a macho biker name, Harley is now showing its softer side. In the UK, Harley is predominantly masculine, but it's currently more popular for girls than boys in the US.
Origin:Spelling variation of Leya
Description:This spelling variation of Leya was popularized by the Star Wars films, but is still firmly in the US Top 1000 many years later. This spelling is also probably preferred as it is clearer in pronunciation to the original Hindi name, Leya (which sometime gets pronounced Lee-ah).