Names that Peaked in 1918

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Edward
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  4. Frances
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from France; free man"
    • Description:

      Frances, a soft and gentle classic last popular a hundred years ago, is trending again. The cool nickname Frankie is one reason for the revival of Frances, adding lightness and sass to a serious name. Frances is the feminine form of Francis, the English variation of the Latin name Franciscus. Franciscus, meaning "Frenchman," was taken from the Germanic tribe the Franks, which got its name from the francisca, the axe they used in battle. Until the seventeenth century, the spellings Frances and Francis were used interchangeably for both sexes.
  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. Thaddeus
    • Origin:

      Aramaic, meaning unclear, possibly from Theodore
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Thaddeus, a distinguished, long-neglected name, has several areas of appeal: a solid New Testament legacy, a nice antique feel, and the choice of several more modern nicknames and international variations.
  7. Irene
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "peace"
    • Description:

      Serene Irene, the name of the Greek goddess of peace and one of the most familiar Greek goddess names, was hugely popular in ancient Rome and again in the United States a hundred years ago.
  8. Victor
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "conqueror"
    • Description:

      Victor is one of the earliest Christian names, borne (as Vittorio) by several saints and popes, symbolizing Christ's victory over death. It has been quietly in the Top 200 since 1880, but just recently has taken on a cool edge by fashionable parents in London and seems ripe for a similar reevaluation here too.
  9. 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.
  10. Constantine
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "steadfast"
    • Description:

      This Roman Emperor's name has long been considered too grand for an American boy. But in this era of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for an unlikely comeback.
  11. Iona
    • Origin:

      Scottish place-name
    • Description:

      This name of a small island off the coast of Scotland is trending upwards along with other I names.
  12. Lyle
    • Origin:

      Scottish and English from French
    • Meaning:

      "someone who lives on an island"
    • Description:

      Straightforward single-syllable name, though children named Lyle may get tired of hearing "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile". Lyle was at the height of fashion in the 1920s, which makes him due for a comeback right about now. The double L certainly gives it a fashionable sound.
  13. Wilson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Will"
    • Description:

      Wilson is a substantive presidential choice far less prevalent than Taylor or Tyler, and with the advantage of being a new route to friendly nickname Will. We see Wilson growing in popularity as an alternative to William; and as a patronymic, it would make a conceivable (if possibly confusing) choice for a son of William.
  14. Lloyd
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "gray"
    • Description:

      This Welsh surname was taken up as a first in the English-speaking world in the early twentieth century, originally as a nickname for someone gray-haired. The original Welsh name was Llwyd, and pronounced LHOO-eed. Beau Bridges was christened Lloyd after his actor father.
  15. Merle
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "blackbird"
    • Description:

      Originally a nickname for someone who loved to sing or whistle, Merle is even less masculine than Meredith.
  16. Mildred
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "gentle strength"
    • Description:

      When scientists do research on the effects of an unpopular name, we're afraid that Mildred is one of the examples they cite, often in tandem with Bertha and Gertrude. But with cute nickname Millie on the rise, anything's possible.
  17. Nick
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Nicholas and Dominick
    • Description:

      The classic strong-yet-friendly nickname name, much used for charming movie characters.
  18. Armand
    • Origin:

      French variation of Herman, German
    • Meaning:

      "soldier"
    • Description:

      Since the first production of Camille this has been considered one of the world's most romantic names, though it's one of those French names for boys rarely heard in this country.
  19. Carlyle
    • Origin:

      Variation of Carlisle, English
    • Meaning:

      "from the walled city"
    • Description:

      Carlisle is more popular than Carlyle for both genders, and in both spellings more widely used for boys than for girls. It's a name we see on the rise in either spelling.
  20. Victory
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "victory"
    • Description:

      A winning unisex word name, fresher than Victoria or Victor.