Top Names that Peaked in 2004
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.
Origin:English, virtue name
Description:Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
Description:The history of Zoe begins in the third century when the Alexandrian Jews translated Eve, which means 'life,' to the Greek equivalent Zoe. Zoe was in use as far back as the Roman classical period, and was popular with the early Christians, who bestowed it with hopes of eternal life, but it didn't migrate to the English-speaking world until the mid-nineteenth century. Alternate spellings include Zoey, Zoie, and Zooey.
Meaning:"son of the sea"
Description:Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
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."
Description:Nathan was derived from the name Natan, which came from Hebrew verb natan, meaning “gave.” In the Old Testament, Nathan was the name of a prophet and also that of one of King David's sons. Nathaniel and Jonathan are related names.
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Caleb has two potential derivations, the first being from the Hebrew kelev, meaning “dog,” and the second from the Hebrew components kal and lev, together meaning “whole heart.” In the Old Testament Caleb is one of only two ancient Israelites (Joshua was the other) who set out from Egypt to finally enter the promised land.
Meaning:"lover of hounds"
Description:Connor, the appealing name of an early semi-legendary king of Ulster in Irish mythology, sits firmly in the Top 100 and taken together with its alternate spellings would rank even higher. In its native Ireland the Conor version is one of the highest charting boys’ name.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese version of Joseph
Description:Jose is as widespread in the Hispanic community as Joseph and Joe are elsewhere in the U.S., though its numbers here are starting to decrease somewhat. Jose is one of those Spanish baby names that has never crossed over into the Anglo naming culture.
Description:Popular pop name, inspired by Australian singer Kylie Minogue. Youngest sister of the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, is undoubtedly keeping its style going.
Meaning:"ash trees place"
Description:The recent ascent of this English surname is due to two things: the megapopular Ash beginning and TV/movie hottie Ashton Kutcher. The name peaked at Number 76 in 2004, a year after Ashton Kutcher's (both Christopher Ashton) hit TV show Punk'd made its debut.
Origin:Russian variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Though some might find it a bit heavy-booted, Ivan is one of the few Russian boys' names to become fully accepted into the American naming pool.
Origin:Herb name; Latin
Description:Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.
Description:Trinity bounded up the charts after the release of The Matrix, whose heroine was named Trinity. Country singer Trace Adkins used it for his daughter.
Origin:Diminutive of Alexander
Description:On the rise as an independent name: Zander and Xander are both widely used can increasingly be found as characters in movies and on TV.
Origin:Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
Description:Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.
Description:Fiona entered the American consciousness with the opening of the 1954 Broadway musical Brigadoon, but didn't come onto the U.S. popularity list until 1990.
Description:Delaney has been a popular Irish surname name for a couple of decades, projecting buoyant enthusiasm plus a feminine feel.
Origin:Hebrew; Australian Aboriginal
Meaning:"gentle dew from heaven; by the water"
Description:Talia is derived from the Hebrew elements tal, meaning “dew,” and yah, in reference to God. In the mythology of one ancient sect, Talia was one of ten angels who attended the sun on its daily course. The occasionally homophonous name Thalia has unrelated Greek origins.
Description:Celeste is a softly pretty and somewhat quaint name with heavenly overtones, which kids might associate with Queen Celeste of Babar's elephant kingdom. She's a light and lovely choice that's finally getting noticed.
Meaning:"one's own meadow"
Description:While theoretically unisex, this surname name has been edging up the girls’ names list, perhaps originally as an Ashley substitute.
Meaning:"head of hair"
Description:Cesar is the sleeker version of Caesar, as in emperor Julius, used in the US most frequently by Hispanic parents who put the emphasis on the second syllable. With ancient Roman names back in vogue, Cesar might become more popular.
Description:Paris, a one-time mythical and Shakespearean boys' name, peaked in 2004 at Number 157 at least in part due to the highly publicized Paris Hilton. Michael Jackson used it for his daughter.
Origin:Variation of Caroline; also place-name
Description:Languid, romantic, and classy, this variation heats up Caroline and modernizes Carol, adding a southern accent.
Description:The e-addition takes the name from slightly hippie-ish nature name to the place name of a picturesque island off the coast of Scotland, and for baby namers it's by far the more popular spelling.
Origin:Spanish variation of Adam
Meaning:"son of the red earth"
Description:Used most often in Hispanic cultures, though it does not feel like a typical Spanish name. It can also be seen as a spelling variant of the uber-popular Aidan, Aiden, Aden, etc.
Description:This name leapt into the female column via vixen Alexis Carrington on 'Dynasty" in the 1980s. It's more popular for girls, but it's still a widely used boys' names and is one of the most popular unisex names in the US today.
Origin:Feminine variation of Kyle, Scottish
Meaning:"narrow spit of land"
Description:Kyle is stronger and sharper, though many parents will prefer the more distinctly feminine Kyla for their daughters. Kyla may owe much of its popularity to trendy cousin Kayla.
Meaning:"son of the sea"
Description:Boys' favorite retains more of its poetic, windswept quality when used for a girl, as Robin Wright and Sean Penn did. Alyssa Milano gave her daughter Elizabella Dylan as a middle name.
Origin:Spelling variation of Kylie
Description:Variation of Kylie with the popular suffix -ee.
Origin:Spelling variation of Sage
Description:What works for Paige just doesn’t work for Sage. The added i will likely create a lifetime of spelling mistakes.
Description:Less common than other virtue names, Liberty is nonetheless a name with a long American heritage.
Origin:Scottish, feminine form of Kenneth
Description:Kenna is the Scottish version of Kendra, both of which are feminine versions of Kenneth. Used in the TV show Reign for one of the supporting characters.
Origin:Nordic diminutive of Anne or African, Hausa
Meaning:"sweetness of face"
Description:Anike is an attractive name with ties to several cultures, both African and Scandinavian. The African pronunciation emphasizes the second syllable while the Nordic one emphasizes the first. While there will be inevitable confusion over pronunciation, either form is "correct".
Origin:Spelling variation of Rowan or Hindi
Description:From India, but feels like an Irish surname (and can in fact be a variation of Rowan), so a possible cross-cultural choice.
Origin:Spelling variation of Isabella
Description:One fewer L makes this name much less popular than the more traditional spelling.
Origin:Variation of Amara or Amariah
Description:Amaris sounds like "amorous," which is a loving name for a child, but doesn't really have a clear derivation or meaning of its own. The popular Amara is one of the most international names on the charts, with derivations and meanings in cultures that truly span the globe. And Amariah is an ancient Hebrew name. Still, Amaris is unusual and pretty, and that may be enough.