Top Names that Peaked in 1999
Description:Jacob comes from the Latin name Iacobus, which was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. He was the youngest son of Isaac and Rebecca and the twin brother of Esau, as well as the husband of both Leah and Rachel. The 12 tribes of Israel evolved from his 12 sons.
Origin:Feminine variation of Emil, Latin
Description:Emily was derived from the Roman name Aemilia, which may have evolved from the Latin word aemulus, meaning "hardworking" or "rival." Amelia, although similar, has separate origins — it was derived from the Germanic name Amalia. Emilia, however, has the same Latin root as Emily.
Description:Victoria is the Latin word for “victory” and a feminine form of Victor. It is the name of the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint. Queen Victoria, for whom the Victorian Era is named, ruled over England for over sixty-three years.
Description:Hannah originated as a variation of the Hebrew name Channah, derived from the word channan, meaning "grace." In the Old Testament, Hannah is the mother of Samuel. Names including Anne, Anna, Nancy, Anya, Annika, and Annabel are all related to Hannah. Alternate spellings such as Hana, Hanna, and Chana are also used.
Origin:Spelling variation of Schuyler
Description:Newer, simpler forms of the Dutch surname Schuyler, stylish for both genders, are rising up the popularity list. Skylar is the most popular variation for girls. Skylar has been used by several celebs, including Sheena Easton and Joely Fisher.
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning “victory”, and laos, “people.” It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
Meaning:"the Lord is gracious"
Description:Juan, the Spanish version of John, is ubiquitous in the Spanish-speaking world, and is familiar internationally via such references as Don Juan and San Juan.
Origin:Feminine variation of Brian
Meaning:"strong, virtuous and honorable"
Description:Many different versions of Brianna are in the Top 1000 -- a sure sign that, though pretty, Brianna's gotten more and more difficult to make distinctive. This is the most popular spelling. It entered the US list in 1976, rose to the Top 100 in 1988, then got as high as Number 14 in 1999. Country singer Trace Adkins called his daughter Brianna. Though it sounds like it might be a modern invention, the name actually appeared as far back as the sixteenth century in Edmund Spenser's poem The Faerie Queen.
Description:A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.
Origin:Spanish variation of Charles
Description:Notable namesakes include musician Santana, writers Fuentes and Castaneda, and numerous athletes. Carlos Irwin Estevez is the birth name of Charlie Sheen.
Meaning:"son of David"
Description:Dawson was scarcely heard as a first name before the debut of Dawson's Creek in 1998, at which point it leaped up more than 550 places in one year. The character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, was a teen favorite until the show's demise in 2003.
Origin:English variation of Alicia
Description:Alyssa was in the Top 20 from 1997-2010 and peaked as the 11th most popular girls’ name in 1998 and 1999 but has become less popular in recent years. It's related to the flower alyssum as well as to the classic Alice and variants. Alyssa Milano helped give it a bounce back when she was still a child sitcom star.
Description:Can a name as virtuous as Hope be cool and trendy? Strangely enough -- yes. But though this optimistic Puritan favorite is experiencing substantial popularity, Hope is too pure and elegant to be corrupted, a lovely classic that deserves all the attention it's getting.
Origin:Nature and place-name
Description:Aspen is part of two groups of stylish and unique baby names: nature names and place-names. The name of a graceful tree in the poplar family with heart-shaped leaves so delicate they quiver in the gentlest breeze, Aspen is also the name of a trendy Colorado ski resort. Aspen started as a unisex name possibility but now is much more frequently worn by girls.
Description:A couple of decades ago, nerdy boy Sidney morphed into a polished, poised, creative, elegant girl Sydney. Sydney's been on the rise since the nineties -- it was in the Top 25 from 1999 to 2003 -- but has recently dropped out of the Top 200.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese variation of George
Description:The classic Jorge is one of the most popular and classic Spanish names for boys in the US. Some Latine families pronounce it the same way as George.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cameron
Description:Now that there are more and more girl Camerons, this has become a very popular spelling for boys -- as are the condensed Kamron and Kamren.
Origin:Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
Meaning:"light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
Description:Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning "bright" or "clear," while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning "dark." Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning "first ray of sun".
Description:Alexis, a one-time exclusively-boys’ name, was more popular than its sister Alexandra for quite a while, but in recent years Alexandra has overtaken it once again. Alexis was a Top 20 girls’ name from 1994-2010 but has experienced a decline in popularity in recent years, though now it's one of the top unisex names.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Gabriel
Meaning:"God is my Strength"
Description:The quintessentially elegant and worldly Gabrielle -- designer Coco Chanel's real name -- is on its descent after years on the rise.
Meaning:"good fortune, happy"
Description:Felicity is as accessible a virtue name as Hope and Faith, but much more feminine -- and dare we say, happier. The hit TV show did a lot to soften and modernize the once buttoned-up image of Felicity, and it got further notice as the red-haired Colonial doll, Felicity Merriman, in the American Girl series. A current bearer is actress Felicity Huffman.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cameron
Description:This Cameron variation was popularized by actress Camryn Manheim and Twitches character Camryn. But why choose Camryn over Cameron? Most people know how to pronounce the original, which has considerably more style and class.
Description:Has fallen off its Kathie Lee Gifford inspired peak in the 1990s, but since that notably celebrity baby is now a grownup and out of the limelight, Cassidy may once again reclaim its own Irish charm.
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.
Description:Cameron Diaz almost single-handedly transported this sophisticated Scottish male surname into the girls' camp, where it has had a rapid rise to popularity -- though it's never caught up with the boys. Another actress, Camryn Manheim (born Debra), did the same thing for the phonetic spelling.
Description:Sierra is a name borrowed from the western mountain range, with Latin rhythm and cowboy charm, that has led to many offshoots: Cierra, Cyara, and so on. It is now probably past its peak but retains its pretty-yet-strong sound. The meaning refers to the sharp, irregular peaks of some of the Western mountains such as the Sierra Nevada.
Origin:French occupational name
Description:For a generation, this name will always be linked to 1990s hit TV series Friends. Whether this is a positive or a negative will depend on your fondness for the show, and character Chandler Bing, but this name deserves consideration beyond these connotations: Chandler is a fresh take on the professional surname names.
Description:Keaton is an engaging surname with warmth, energy and a sense of humor, identified with silent comedian Buster Keaton and contemporary actors Michael and Diane Keaton. Although rare as a first name, a young Keaton would fit right in with classmates Keenan and Kellen.
Description:Originally a nickname for a third-generation son, as in Thurman Thackeray III, Trey is now being given to others, and it has also expanded to Treynor and Treyton.
Origin:Spelling variation of Lauren
Description:Given a new shot of style by singer Lauryn Hill, this spelling of the name has fallen quite a bit in popularity since its peak of 167 in 1996.
Description:According to Irish legend, Saint Brendan the Voyager was the first European to touch American soil, and his name has been established here for decades, peaking in the late 1990s. It first appeared on the US charts in 1941, especially popular, not surprisingly, for Irish-American boys. It is sometimes confused with the English surname name Brandon.
Origin:Spelling variation of Callie
Description:Kallie is usually used as a nickname for more unusual names like Calliope, Kalliope, and Calendula. We also think this is a fresher alternative to Kelly.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variation of Naomi
Description:Noemi is a charming Latin spin on Naomi, with the accent on the last syllable; another twist is Neomi.
Origin:Spanish variation of Ulysses
Description:Although Ulysses is the more recognizable spelling, Ulises is the more popular choice in the US.
Origin:Diminutive of Andrew
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:Drew is an elegant formerly male-only alternative to Andy that joined the stylishly upscale Paige-Brooke-Blair sorority, thanks largely to Drew Barrymore. Barrymore comes by her first name legitimately: it was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgiana 'Georgie' Drew Barrymore, one of many esteemed actors in her family history.