Names that Peaked in 1887

  1. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 7.
  2. Arthur
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • 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 stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  3. William
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.
  4. Elizabeth
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elizabeth is one of the most popular girls' names of all time, the female equivalent of James or William. Yet Elizabeth has so much going for it—rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style—that no matter how many little girls are named Lizzie, Eliza, and Beth, you can still make Elizabeth your own.
  5. George
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "farmer"
    • 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.
  6. Anna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, offering a touch of the international to English speakers and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann or Anne.
  7. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  8. Jesse
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "gift"
    • 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.
  9. Nina
    • 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.
  10. Hugh
    • Origin:

      English from German
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • 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.
  11. Mary
    • 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).
  12. Banks
    • Origin:

      English surname
    • 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.
  13. Claude
    • Origin:

      French from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lame; enclosure"
    • 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.
  14. Frank
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Francis or Franklin
    • Meaning:

      "Frenchman or free man"
    • Description:

      A Top 10 name from the 1880s until the 1920s, Frank has been falling for decades but last year reversed course for the first time in a century, edging up the popularity list a few notches. And Frank still has a certain warm, friendly real-guy grandpa flavor that could come back into style, like other such choices as Jake and Jack.
  15. Amon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Arabic, Greek from Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "the hidden one; invisible"
    • Description:

      In Egyptian mythology, Amon is a major god associated with creation and the air. He was later fused with the Sun god, Ra, and became Amun-Ra.
  16. Clarence
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright"
    • Description:

      The name of the guardian angel in It's a Wonderful Life is rarely heard the rest of the year because of its studious, near-nerdy image, but this could change in the current naming climate.
  17. Eliseo
    • Origin:

      Italian and Spanish variation of Elisha
    • Meaning:

      "God is my salvation"
    • Description:

      This Latinate name would have no problem fitting into an American classroom. It has made frequent appearances in the US Top 1000 over the last several decades. Borne by several Spanish saints, it boasts both a rhythmic sound and popular o-ending.
  18. Evelina
    • 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.
  19. Harley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "hare clearing"
    • 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.
  20. Iver