Names that Peaked in 2002
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.
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: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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Jade is one of the top names in France. 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.
Description:Cael is the name of the angel of the zodiac sign of Cancer and also of a warrior of Irish mythology. Its ascendance to the Top 1000 over the past decade probably has to do with its similarity to Cale and Kale (and Kyle and Cayden etcetera).
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.
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.
Description:Sydney was a hot girls' name in the 1990s, but she's arguably still cool. One of the original old man names adopted for baby girls, Sydney's popularity may be down but she's not out.
Origin:Hebrew, Hawaiian, Maori, Japanese
Meaning:"grace, work, glow, flower"
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. It also means "craft, work" in Hawaiian and "glow" in Maori.
Origin:Italian from German
Meaning:"old and wise"
Origin:English occupational name
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.
Meaning:"altar of the sky"
Description:Once-obscure Spanish name inching back up into the US Top 1000 girl names after a short break. Araceli Segarra is a noted mountain climber.
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.
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.