Top Names that Peaked in 2000
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: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.
Description:Cameron is a popular Scottish name, for both boys and now girls (thanks to Cameron Diaz). With its good-looking, sensitive aura, Cameron has also generated a deluge of variant spellings.
Meaning:"one who hunts"
Description:Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.
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.
Origin:French and German variation of Louis
Description:Luis has long been one of the most popular Hispanic names in America -- it was in the Top 100 every year from 1980 to 2014, though it's dropped a bit in popularity. It's familiar, yet would add an exotic touch to an unexotic surname.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese variation of Michael
Description:Mike Tyson put a twist on his own name by naming a son Miguel. It's the first name of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist and poet who wrote Don Quixote.
Origin:Variation of Brice, Scottish surname
Description:This spelling of Brice relates the name to Utah's spectacular Bryce Canyon -- and is much more popular for both genders than the original Brice. Basketball's LeBron James named his son Bryce Maximus James, and in one of his early movies, John Cusack played a Bryce in Sixteen Candles.
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 Mackenzie, Scottish
Meaning:"son of Kenneth"
Description:This variation without the A is one of the patronymics – names that mean 'son of – that have been widely adopted for girls.
Origin:Hebrew, diminutive of Jacob
Description:This unpretentious, accessible, and optimistic ("everything's jake" -- meaning OK) short form of the top name Jacob is itself widely used, though more parents these days are opting for the full name Jacob. Jake (born Jacob) Gyllenhall is its most prominent current bearer.
Origin:Irish variation of Gerard
Description:Garrett, also spelled with one 't', is an Irish-inflected name that was in the Top 100 in the nineties, but has now slipped in popularity.
Description:Lively and rhythmic version of Vivian heard in Italy and Spain. A vivid choice.
Description:Serena, a name used since Roman times, was given fresh life by tennis star Williams, and then again with the leading character on Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen. There have also been Serenas on soap operas and other shows from Bewitched to Law & Order.
Description:The long-neglected name of Adam and Eve's third son after Cain and Abel, Seth is appreciated for its gentle, understated presence -- and strong middle-name potential. It reached a high of Number 63 in the year 2000.
Origin:Spelling variation of Skylar or Schuyler
Description:Skylar is the most popular feminine contemporary version of this name, while the Skyler spelling is given to nearly equal numbers of girls and boys. The original Dutch Schuyler means "scholar."
Origin:Spelling variation of Caitlin
Description:A huge name in the late 90's and most of the 00's, Kaitlyn's been on a downward trend in recent years. Kaitlyn has at this point been considerably overused and can no longer be seen as stylish. It's especially popular in Canada.
Origin:Italian surname, after Germanic Herman, meaning "warrior"
Description:One of the designer baby names -- Chanel and Gucci are others -- that have appeared in this era of branding everything from your purse to your offspring. Just be aware that there is a saying among fashionistas that people only call their children after designer labels when they can't wear them.
Origin:Swahili; Welsh form of the Irish Niamh,"resolve; brilliance"
Description:Short but energetic and substantial, Nia has special meaning for African-American parents, as it's one of the days of Kwanza. Nia also benefits by its similarity to (yet differentness from) the megapopular Mia.
Origin:Spanish variation of Henry
Description:This is an appealing name that could cross cultural borders, but it has lost ground in recent years.
Origin:Greek, name of a tribe
Description:The Dorians were an ancient Greek tribe, one of the three major pre-Spartan tribes. It literally means “of Doris,” a Greek district, or “of Doros,” referring to the son of Helen of Sparta. Dorian derives from the Greek doron, meaning “gift,” along with related names such as Dorothy and Dora.
Description:The second most popular spelling of this name is also the most straightforward.
Meaning:"little dark one"
Description:Long popular in Ireland and England, Kieran, the name of Ireland's first-born saint and twenty-five other saints, has been building its U.S. fan base thanks to its strong and attractive sound, and its fashionable Irish brogue. While Ciaran is the more authentic Irish spelling, Kieran is more popular this side of the Atlantic.
Meaning:"the river that swallows all rivers"
Description:An African place name—Zaire was a Central African state from 1971 to 1997—it comes from a Kongo term meaning "the river that swallows all rivers." A bold and wearable choice for a son.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:The new Jason, spelled many different ways, and popularized by basketball star Jalen Rose.
Origin:Arabic feminine form of Ali
Description:Alia is most classic and feminine form of Ali, one of the 99 attributes of Allah. The name is used by Christians, Muslims and Jews; the word Aliyah means to make a pilgrimage to Israel and the words in both languages mean sublime, lofty, or exalted. Alia is also the name of the heroine of Frank Herbert's science fiction classic Children of Dune
Origin:Arabic or Persian, "high, exalted; God's being"
Meaning:"high, exalted; God's being"
Description:Simple and melodic, this spelling offers an alternative to the more-popular Aliyah or Aaliyah -- the name of the late R&B singer.
Origin:Latinate variation of Gustav
Description:Well used in the Latino and Italian-American communities.
Origin:Arabic "greatly praised"
Description:This variation of Ahmad is one of the most popular Arabic names among Muslim families the world over and is now the most used spelling in the USA.
Origin:Variation of Savannah
Description:Savanna has lost ground in recent years. It remains eclipsed by its more traditionally spelled cousin Savannah.
Origin:Variation of Cassidy
Description:Like Cassidy, Kassidy peaked near the turn of the millennium and has lost ground in recent years.
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.
Origin:Variation of Nathaniel
Description:Nathaniel is a wonderful classic name and Nathanael, which may be an ancient Greek or Hebrew form, is appealing and has gravitas but may prove needlessly confusing in the modern world.