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Names that Peaked in 1994

  1. AaronHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "high mountain; exalted, enlightened"
    • Description:

      The origin of the name Aaron is debated—some say it was derived from Hebrew, while others claim it originated in Ancient Egypt. In the Old Testament, Aaron, the older brother of Moses who was appointed by God to be his brother's spokesman, was the first High Priest of the Israelites. The Hebrew version is Aharon—in Yiddish it can be Aaran—and the name appears in Arabic as Haroun or Harun.
  2. ChristopherHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • Description:

      Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning "to bear." The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
  3. MarinaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from the sea"
    • Description:

      This pretty sea-born name was used to dramatic effect by Shakespeare in his play Pericles for the virtuous princess who says she is "Call'd Marina, for I was born at sea."
  4. AlecHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alec, though an old nickname for Alexander, is much fresher sounding than Alex, with the additional advantage, at least to some parents, of being distinctly male (there are as many girl Alexes these days as there are boys). While Alec has a clipped British image, it's actually one of the classic Greek names for boys, by way of father name Alexander.
  5. JasmineHeart
    • Origin:

      Flower name, from Persian
    • Meaning:

      "gift from God"
    • Description:

      Jasmine was derived from the Persian word yasmin, referring to the jasmine flower. Scented oil was made from the plant, and it was used as a perfume throughout the Persian Empire. Variants include Jazmin, Yasmin, Yasmine, and Jessamine.
  6. MeganHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning "pearl." Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.
  7. JessicaHeart
    • Origin:

      English, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      When Jennifer was ready to give up her throne, her crown was passed to Jessica, who reigned for not one but two decades; Jessica was the top name of both the 1980's and 90's, never sounding quite as trendy as its predecessor, maybe because of its classic Shakespearean pedigree. Jessica has declined a bit in popularity but is still a popular choice.
  8. DaltonHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the settlement in the valley"
    • Description:

      Dalton is a name with multi-faceted appeal. Many are attracted to the name's resemblance to other two-syllable n-ending favorites: Colton, Holden, and cousins. Others see it as a trendy Western name, recalling the legendary Dalton Brothers gang. It also has something of an upscale, preppy feel connected to the exclusive New York private school.
  9. TaylorHeart
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "tailor"
    • Description:

      Taylor is one of the prime unisex surnames used for girls and has also been a soap opera favorite. Taylor was in the Top 10 for the last several years of the twentieth century, so that now it tends to feel a little nineties – though Taylor Swift is keeping it in the spotlight and Tay is a charming nickname. Garth Brooks and Bryan Cranston have daughters named Taylor; Taylor Schilling portrays lead Piper Chapman in Orange is the New Black.
  10. DaliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Spanish, or Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "branch; dahlia; gentle"
    • Description:

      Similar in sound to the flower name Dahlia, this gentle but distinctive name, heard in many cultures, hits that Golden Mean between too popular and too unusual. In Lithuanian mythology, Dalia is a goddess of weaving and of fate.
  11. LarissaHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Larisa, Greek and Russian
    • Meaning:

      "citadel"
    • Description:

      Larissa is a nymph name that's daintily pretty and a fresh alternative to Melissa or Alyssa. Though this is the more common variation in the Western World, the original is actually Larisa.
  12. EmeraldHeart
    • Origin:

      Gem name; Persian
    • Meaning:

      "green"
    • Description:

      Emerald is the intriguing color and jewel name of the deep green stone treasured as far back as ancient Egypt — it's supposed to open one's heart to wisdom and to love and be good for strengthening relationships — which could make for an interesting, unusual name, particularly with the popularity of so many Em-starting names.
  13. ClarissaHeart
    • Origin:

      Elaboration of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf—Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway—not to mention the 1990s teen sitcom, Clarissa Explains it All.
  14. DarianHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Darius
    • Meaning:

      "wealth, kingly"
    • Description:

      The most popular spelling in a family of names including Darien and Darion, Darian has nonetheless been on the decline since it peaked in the 1990s.
  15. ToriHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Victoria or Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "victory; bird"
    • Description:

      A more modern nickname for Victoria than Vicky, Tori is used fairly frequently on its own, kept in the public eye by singer Tori Amos and actress Tori Spelling. Still, it's far from fashionable, sinking in the polls significantly since reaching a peak of Number 142 in 1994.
  16. BrandonHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "broom-covered hill"
    • Description:

      Brandon, a forebear of the Braden-Caden pack, had a great run of popularity over several decades, being in the Top 10 from 1992 to 1998, one of its inspirations being hearthrob Brandon Walsh played by Jason Priestley on the original Beverly Hills 90210--and it was aso the name of several soap opera characters.
  17. MarissaHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Maris or a combination of Maria + Louisa
    • Meaning:

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

      Pretty feminissima name that never became as overused as cousin Melissa. The more streamlined Maris is a more modern sounding option.
  18. BrianaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Brian
    • Meaning:

      "strong, virtuous, honorable"
    • Description:

      Spelled this way, Briana was coined by Edmund Spenser for his great literary work, The Faerie Queene, which gives the now-overexposed name a far classier pedigree than it's usually credited with. But spelling variations Breana, Breanna and onward are popular too, though feel more invented -- probably because they are. One enduring appeal of Briana and sisters is that they're girl names that mean strong, brave, or powerful, which may be why George R. R. Martin names his warrior maiden Brienne of Tarth.
  19. MarisaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian and Spanish combination of Maria and Louisa
    • Meaning:

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

      A name made famous by Marisas Berenson and Tomei, never became as saturated as its cousin Melissa, so still a feasible choice. Marisa is one of those Spanish and Italian names for girls that sounds at once unusual and familiar, which makes it truly an international choice.
  20. KaitlinHeart
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Caitlin
    • Description:

      Kaitlin is a variation of Caitlin that's on a steep decline; it dropped out of the Top 1000 in 2013, after more than three decades on the list.