Names that Peaked in 1901

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Lillian
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lily; pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Lillian has ranked among the US Top 50 for the past 20 years, making it Lily's less popular but more grownup cousin.
  7. Marie
    • Origin:

      French variation of Mary
    • Meaning:

      "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
    • Description:

      The ubiquitous French version of Mary came into the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. In the United States, Marie was a huge hit at the turn of the last century and for the ensuing fifty years, becoming the seventh most popular name in the country for three years, from 1901 to 1904.
  8. Helen
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
  9. 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.
  10. Oran
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Irish, Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "light, song, little green one"
    • Description:

      A calm and gentle multicultural choice. Oran is popular in Ireland, where its Gaelic form is Odhrán, meaning "little green one". In Scottish Gaelic, the name means "song", and in Hebrew, it's a combination of Or "light" + Ran "singing".
  11. Louie
    • Origin:

      Variation of Louis, German and French
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrier"
    • Description:

      Celebrated in song—the rock 'n' roll classic "Louie, Louie"—this is a gregarious, friendly spelling of Louis not often used as a full first name. It reentered the US Top 1000 in 2015. It's a highly popular choice in England and Wales.
  12. Vada
    • Origin:

      English, Sanskrit, German
    • Meaning:

      "knowledge, rule"
    • Description:

      Vada is a feisty retro choice that feels like a fresh spin on the likes of Ava and Ada. Its bold V initial is bang on trend, although Vada remains very uncommon in the US. It is perhaps best known as the heroine of the 1991 cult classic coming-of-age movie My Girl, Vada Sultenfuss, played by Anna Chlumsky.
  13. Ursula
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "little female bear"
    • Description:

      A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  14. Elva
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "leader of the elves"
    • Description:

      Elva is the anglicized version of Ailbhe, growing more popular in Ireland.
  15. Davis
    • Origin:

      Surname derived from David, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Davis is a fresh way to say David. Some sources define it as "son of David," but we see it as a surname spin on the original. While David is an everyman name, Davis has some creative edge -- and still gets you to the classic guy nickname Dave.
  16. Gladys
    • Origin:

      Possibly a form or Claudia or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "land, nation"
    • Description:

      Hard as it might be to believe, Gladys was the Harper of 1900, emerging almost out of nowhere to take the naming world by storm. It became a favorite among parents — and writers of romantic Edwardian novels, seen as alluring and unusual. One impetus was the 1870 Ouida novel Puck, whose heroine was the idealized beauty, Gladys Gerant.
  17. Noble
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "aristocratic"
    • Description:

      With parents beginning to show an interest in virtue names for boys, this Puritan favorite just might be revived, for what could be more admirable than nobility in terms of having strength of character, dignity, and high moral ideals?
  18. Dagny
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian
    • Meaning:

      "new day"
    • Description:

      If you're looking for a name with Scandinavian roots, this would make a stronger and more appealing import than Dagmar. With its meaning of "new day," it could make an ideal choice for a girl born around New Year's.
  19. Erwin
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "respected friend"
    • Description:

      One of the many names with a strong "er" sound, like Bertram and Ernest, that was huge in the 1920s and is languishing in style limbo now. One famous bearer is the physicist Erwin Schrödinger, as in Schrödinger's cat.
  20. Marian
    • Origin:

      Polish, Czech and Romanian form of Marianus/Marius
    • Meaning:

      "related to Mars, Roman god of war"
    • Description:

      An attractive and little-known member of the group of romantic, Euro-chic boys' names ending in -ian: think Julian, Fabian, Florian, Adrian.