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Top Names that Peaked in 2002

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JacobHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • 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.

EmilyHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Emil, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "rival"
  • 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.

MadisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Matthew"
  • Description:

    Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning "son of Matthew." It is occasionally translated as "son of Maud," as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.

JoshuaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my salvation"
  • Description:

    Joshua was derived from the Hebrew name Yehoshu’a, from the roots yeho, referring to God, and yasha’, meaning “to save.” Joshua shares origins with the name Jesus, which comes from the Aramaic variation Yeshu’a. An important figure in the Old Testament, Joshua was the successor to Moses who finally led the Israelites into the Promised Land, inspiring the hymn "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho."

AaliyahHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aliya, Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "heavens, highborn, exalted"
  • Description:

    Aaliyah is the feminine variation of Aali, a masculine Arabic name meaning "high" or "exalted." There are many additional spellings of the name, including Alia, Aliyah, Aleah, and Aleia. In Hebrew, aliyah (pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable) means "rising," and refers to Jewish immigration to Israel.
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JadeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "stone of the side"
  • Description:

    As cool as the precious green stone said to transmit wisdom, clarity, justice, courage, and modesty, Jade has been rising in popularity since Mick and Bianca Jagger chose it for their daughter in 1971. Superchef Giada de Laurentiis chose it as the English translation of her own first name. Jade manages to strike the golden mean as one of the familiar-yet-unusual girl names starting with J.

ColeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "swarthy, coal black"
  • Description:

    Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.

FaithHeart

  • Origin:

    Virtue name
  • Description:

    Faith is one of the most straightforward of the virtue names popularized by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, many parents still choosing it as an indicator of their religious conviction. Faith peaked in 2002 at Number 48.

JesusHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is salvation"
  • Description:

    Jesus -- pronounced hay-SOOS -- is used exclusively and extensively among Spanish speakers, though JEE-zus as in the first name of Christ is never used in the Anglophone world. Jesus Quintana was a character in The Big Lebowski and Jesus Velasquez appeared on True Blood.

BlakeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired, dark"
  • Description:

    Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.
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KalebHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Caleb
  • Meaning:

    "devotion to God"
  • Description:

    Kaleb is one of several boys' names starting with k that started life as a classic C name, Caleb. Kevin Federline named his boy Kaleb Michael Jackson.

SydneyHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "Saint Denis"
  • 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.

RileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "courageous"
  • Description:

    Riley -- one of the most popular unisex names -- is rising faster now for girls than boys. Still, there are lots of athletes and other notable real-life namesakes for a boy named Riley, as well as fictional ones in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight: Eclipse.

MckennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the handsome one"
  • Description:

    Mackenzie begat McKenna -- a catchy but very trendy choice. While the Mc or Mac prefix means "son of," this is exclusively a girl's names in the US, with no boys recorded with either spelling of the name.

KaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Scandinavian, or Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice or sea"
  • Description:

    The new Maia, the next Kayla, Kaia has been on the charts since the year 2000. You might see it as a female form of the also-rising Kai, which means sea in Hawaiian and is sometimes used for girls as well, or as a Kardashianization of the ancient goddess name Caia.
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AliHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "supreme, exalted"
  • Description:

    This is one of the ninety-nine attributes of Allah, deemed by Muhammad to be a recommended name for a male child. In this country, it's been primarily associated with boxing immortal Muhammad Ali, known as "the greatest." But Ali is also one of the most popular unisex names for both boys and girls.

KadeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cade
  • Description:

    Kade is a prime example of the new trend for substituting K's at the beginning of traditionally C-starting names.

MauricioHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Maurice
  • Description:

    Variation of Maurice.

KarlaHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Carla
  • Description:

    Both Karla and Carla are sliding down the ranks, though Karla remains far more popular in the USA than Carla.

ChayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, feminine version of Chayyim meaning "life"
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    A life-affirming choice—just beware pronunciation issues among the goyim in your neighborhood.
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JaggerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "carter"
  • Description:

    Jagger is a swaggering Rolling Stone of a name that's been picked up by a number of fellow celebs, including Lindsay Davenport and Brett Scallions--while Soleil Moon Frye pulled a gender switch when she bestowed it on her daughter. It's edgy with a touch of danger.

AlexiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexandria
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    This diminutive, similar to Alex or Alexis, has been yo-yoing in popularity since the turn of the 21st century.

HanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Hannah or Johana or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "flower, blossom"
  • Description:

    Many things to many peoples: a flower name, also spelled Hanae, to the Japanese; a Czech and Polish short form of Johana; and an alternate form of the biblical name Hannah in the US.

AlonsoHeart

  • Origin:

    Portuguese and Spanish variation of Adalfuns, German
  • Meaning:

    "noble and ready"
  • Description:

    Alonso is the Spanish and Portuguese diminutive version of Alfonso, itself deriving from an old Germanic name “Adalfuns” meaning "noble and ready." Although the Italian spelling Alonzo is more popular in the US, Alonso has its own strong history.

AldoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian from German
  • Meaning:

    "old and wise"
  • Description:

    A spirited German name very popular in Italy and occasionally used here, Aldo is one of the unique baby names with international flair. And names that mean wise have an enduring appeal.
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AbdullahHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "servant of Allah"
  • Description:

    Another Islamic favorite, the father of the Prophet Muhammad.

PaulinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, feminine variation of Paul
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    More stylish than either Paula or Pauline, it was given a glamour gloss by model Paulina Porizkova in the nineties.

DenisseHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Denise, French from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "god of Nysa"
  • Description:

    Denisse was the fastest-rising name for girls of 2020 — influenced by Denisse Novoa, a contestant on the 2019 season of the popular reality TV show Exatlón Estados Unidos. Traditional spelling Denise also made a comeback.

HalleHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse, male diminutive of Harald
  • Description:

    Until the beautiful actress Halle Berry inspired hundreds of parents to emulate her name, it was the diminutive Swedish families used for their sons christened Harald. Now, in a complete turnaround, it couldn't be more feminine. It is worth noting, however, that its popularity has fallen dramatically since 2002 when it reached a high of 316.

BelenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish place name
  • Description:

    Actually the Spanish name for Bethlehem, which means "house of bread," this name is high on Spain's popularity list and is rising in the US as well. Though this is one of the Spanish names for girls that has not for the most part crossed over to the English-speaking population, that could change thanks to its similarity to the popular Belle or Bella.
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BlaiseHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "to lisp, stammer"
  • Description:

    As modern as it sounds, Blaise is an ancient Christian martyr name. In Arthurian legend, Blaise is the name of Merlin the Magician's secretary. Its relation to the word and name Blaze gives it a fiery feel. Amanda Beard named her baby boy Blaise Ray.

KaiyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kaya and Kaia
  • Description:

    Kaiya reached a peak of Number 652 in 2002. This spelling performs worse than its sisters Kaia and Kaya, and it likely creates more pronunciation confusion.

AraceliHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "altar of the sky"
  • Description:

    Obscure but intriguing Spanish name. Araceli Segarra is a noted mountain climber.
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