Names that Peaked in 1887
Description:Henry was derived from the French Henri, which ultimately comes from the Germanic name Heimrich, made up of the components heim, meaning "home" or "estate," and rich, meaning "ruler." The most famous wearer is Henry VIII of England, best known for having six wives—two of whom he beheaded for not bearing him sons. It’s been used in the British royal family many times since.
Description:Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Elizabeth is derived from the Hebrew name Elisheva, formed by the components ’el, meaning "God," and shava’, "oath." In the Bible, Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist, and two of England's most notable queens have been Elizabeth I and II. Another memorable bearer was Elizabeth Taylor—who hated to be called Liz.
Origin:Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
Description:Anna is the Latin form of Hannah, a Hebrew name that derived from root chanan, meaning "grace." European Christians embraced the name for its associations with the Virgin Mary’s mother, Saint Anna — known in English as Saint Anne. While Hannah and Anna are the most common forms of the name, variations including Annie, Annalise, Anya, Anika, Nancy, and Anais also rank in the US Top 1000.
Description:Iconoclasts though we may be, we like Fred, we like Frank, and we like George, which was among the Top 10 from 1830 to 1950, when the number of little Georges started to decline. Solid, strong, royal and saintly, yet friendly and unpretentious, we think that George is in prime position for a comeback, especially since it was chosen by Britain's royal couple.
Description:William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
Origin:Short form of names that end in -nina
Description:Nina is as multiethnic as you can get: Nina is a common nickname name in Spain and Russia, a Babylonian goddess of the oceans, and an Incan goddess of fire. Here and now, it's a stylish possibility that's been underused. "Weird Al" Yankovic chose this decidedly nonweird name for his daughter.
Origin:English from German
Description:Patrician to the core, Hugh was firmly in the Top 100 until 1903. It's never achieved those heights again, though it has always managed to remain in the Top 1000, scraping bottom at literally Number 1000 in 2006 before reversing course and heading back upwards.
Description:King David's father turned 1980s cowboy, Jesse is now down in popularity. The name is associated with a wide variety of bearers, from outlaw Jesse James to Olympic athlete Jesse Owens to activist Jesse Jackson to current actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Eisenberg. The spelling Jesse is more usual as a boys' name while Jessie is more traditional for girls.
Origin:Hebrew or Egyptian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
Origin:Diminutive of Francis or Franklin
Meaning:"Frenchman or free man"
Description:A Top 10 name from the 1880s until the 1920s, Frank has fallen from favor but still has a certain warm, friendly real-guy grandpa flavor that could come back into style, like other such choices as Jake and Jack. Maybe thanks to Sinatra, it's become a new hipster favorite with such couples as Diana Krall and Elvis Costello.
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:John is an English derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan via the Latin name Iohannes, itself coming from the Greek Ioannes. John was a key name in early Christianity, borne by John the Baptist, John the Apostle and John the Evangelist, plus 84 saints and 23 popes, as well as kings and countless other illustrious notables. Contrary to popular belief, the names John and Jonathan are unrelated, the latter being an elaboration of Nathan.
Meaning:"one who lives on the hillside or riverbank"
Description:Banks is a topographical surname that refers not to those places where people keep their money but to riverbanks or hillsides, and specifically the people who live on them. Just as Fields is a last name that relates to people who lived in, yes, fields, so Banks was a name originally given to people who dwelled on the banks of a river. Today, used as a first name, Banks is more likely to sound like an upwardly-mobile name related to financial establishments, okay if you're going for the glitter.
Description:Once restricted to evangelical Protestants honoring the ecclesiastical reformer and theologian Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant revolution. In more recent times it has been favored by parents wishing to honor civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. Luther was a Top 100 name at the turn of the last century, but fell off the list in the early 1990s.
Luther Burbank was an eminent botanist and Luther Vandross was a popular R&B artist. It's the name of a main character on the Disney series Zeke and Luther. The name was given a shot of contemporary energy via Idris Elba's dynamic performance in the eponymous BBC crime drama.
Origin:French from Latin
Description:Claude is a soft-spoken French name that conjures up the pastel colors of Monet and harmonies of Debussy. In France, it is used for girls as well, in fact in the Tracy Chevalier novel Lady and the Unicorn, the protagonist is a female Claude.
Origin:English from French
Meaning:"desired; or water, island"
Description:A popular name in the Middle Ages, Evelina was eclipsed by Evelyn in the last century, but has a chance at a well-deserved comeback now, fitting right in with the other Ev-names. Like Evelyn, it derives from the Norman name Aveline.
Description:You can ride one, you can use it as a baby name – or, as is often the case, both! Harley is currently trending up for girls and down for boys in the US, although it remains predominantly masculine in the UK. A lesser-used -ley ending choice for boys, Harley has a current sound but an old-school biker appeal.
Origin:Variation of Barnabas
Meaning:"son of comfort"
Description:The name Barney is hot among hip Londoners and it has been above the Top 500 in the UK since 2012. You can see why - it's got a friendly happy sound and a lovely meaning and is more easily worn than Barnabas. However, Barney is a more difficult sell in America, due to Barney the Dinosaur and Barney Gumble, the loveable lout from The Simpsons. In the positive column for Barney are jazz clarinetist Barney Bigard and guitarist Barney Kessel. For those who love the name but can't get past the dinosaur, may we suggest the related names Bernard or Barnaby?
Description:Wylie is a friendly, nonchalant rodeo name with an almost irresistible charm; parents may pick up on its pleasant similarity to the more popular, unisex Riley. Although more masculine, we see Wylie as working as well for boys and girls (Richard Anderson used it for his daughter in 1999). Wylie (or the interchangeable Wiley) can also be an original and authentic way to honor an ancestral William. We don't, however, recommend you spell the name the way Corey Parker did: Wylei. Why lay?