By Linda Rosenkrantz
On Nameberry’s baby name popularity list for 2018, Atticus is the top boys’ name for the second year in a row and Olivia ranks as Number 1 for the third consecutive year. But the big news from the Most Popular Baby Names of 2018 is that three new names have attained a spot in the golden Top 10: Finn, Genevieve–which jumped up from #28 to #10–and Rose! Yes, that perennial middle name has now become a first name fave!
Parents have become more and more adventurous with their boy choices: in 2018 there were more boys’ names than girls’ entering the ranks of both the Top 100 and Top 1000 names. Nameberry boy favorites include fewer classics and traditional male picks, with style becoming a dominant factor.
For both genders we now see a preponderance of charming vintage revivals, with Clementine and Cordelia, Otto and Amos, all entering the Top 100. Unusual names made a strong showing as well, with high rankings for Amara, Aurora, Lyra and Wren, Atlas, Aarav, Ryker and Caspian.
Note: Four of the Top 10 girls’ names begin and end in the letter A.
Nameberry’s popular names list measures which names attracted the largest share of our nearly 250 million page views. It’s a measure of parents’ interest in baby names and a predictor of which names will become more popular in the future. While the latest national list measures 2017 popularity, Nameberry’s list gives a more current sense of what parents are considering NOW.
Here are the Top Ten baby names for each gender:
That’s good news if you’re considering the second letter of the alphabet for a girl name. Whatever you choose, it won’t be overused, and like some of the names listed here, it may be surprisingly rare.
We’ve gathered 15 of the very best girl names that begin with the letter B. Whether you prefer ancient or modern, short or long, surname or word name, there’s bound to be something for you here. Let the browsing begin!
A nature name with multiple meanings, Bay makes a modern alternative to May and Faye. Two recent celebrity babies – Justin Bieber’s little sister and Zoe Kazan’s daughter Alma Bay – show that it works equally well as a first or a middle.
This energetic name feels vintage but has always been surprisingly rare in the US. It’s royal, it’s literary, it’s rich in nicknames, like Bea, Beattie and Trixie. It’s also a favorite with Nameberry readers for their own children – what better recommendation can you get? More popular Beatrice and European Beata are other options.
One of the best insect names around, Bee can be short for any name beginning with B, but it doesn’t have to. As a standalone it’s sweet, simple, and calls to mind everything associated with bees: busyness, buzziness, hard work, wisdom, and their importance to the ecosystem. It’s sometimes used as a middle name, but is extremely rare in first position. Time to show Bee some love?
Maybe it’s the Beauty and the Beast effect, maybe it’s the rise of Isabelle and Annabelle, or maybe it’s the sleek French sound. Whatever the reason, parents have fallen hard for Belle in recent years. Belle isn’t as popular as her Italian cousin Bella, but it looks like she’ll keep rising. The 2013 movie Belle, starring Guga Mbatha-Raw as the mixed-race heiress Dido Belle, gave the name an extra boost.
A stylish surname that parents have recently fallen in love with for both sexes, though it’s slightly more popular for girls. Bellamy combines a positive meaning – “fine friend” – with nickname options including Bella and Mimi. It looks set to enter the Top 1000 very soon.
Beth is dated, but Bethia makes it fresh again. This Old Testament name is surprisingly rare, considering it’s made up of familiar sounds. It’s the kind of name that may crop up in family trees, as it was used steadily, though not frequently, in Britain from the 16th century. Bithia is an alternative spelling.
This vintage nickname is so old it’s new again. Betty was a star of the roaring 20s, and has an air of glamor and sass, thanks to figures like Bette Davis and Mad Men’s Betty Draper. It would be a sweet way to honor an Elizabeth without using the full name.
From the language that brought you Elle, Fleur and Soleil, comes another French word name. Most of us didn’t consider it as a name until actress Bijou Phillips came along – but with its shiny meaning, it makes an elegant, rare choice.
This is the gentle end of the animal name trend, as well as a lost vintage nickname that deserves more love. Thanks to Busy Philipps and wrestler Brie Bella using it for their daughters, it’s back in the running as a sweet, usable name in its own right.
This cool unisex surname has been big for boys for years, and now the girls are catching up, helped by the rise of Blake Lively. It has a modern sound, but it’s full of symbolic meaning: it can mean either “dark” or “pale”, and brings to mind the visionary poet William Blake.
The happiest name on this list, Blythe is a real namelovers’ name. It ranks 310 on the Nameberry chart, but is not in the US Top 1000. Part of its appeal – besides the Anne of Green Gables connection – is that it sounds as modern as Blair and Blake, but is an old-fashioned word. It would be especially good for a “bonny and blithe” Sunday’s child, as in the rhyme.
You’ll find this sound in plenty of popular names, from Brielle and Brianna to Aubrey – so why not crop them down to friendly, no-nonsense Bree? With namesakes from all kinds of books and shows, from Narnia to Fancy Nancy, it’s a name many people will recognise. If you feel it needs just a little more, consider Breeze or Bria.
Bridget is a modern classic that’s currently in a bit of a slump, making it familiar but not overused. It could be a nod to Irish roots, after one of the island’s most beloved saints. Although it’s lovely in full, there’s also the potential for daringly old-fashioned nicknames like Biddy, Bidu and Bridie. Or for a cosmopolitan vibe, try Brigitte or Birgitta.
If you like Celtic names like Gwendolyn and Elowen, this down-to-earth Welsh export may appeal. Bronwyn is a less traditional but equally lovely spelling, while Branwen is a legendary figure in Welsh tales.
Fresh from the hedgerow, Bryony is truly a sweet spot name: most people have heard of it, but hardly anyone is using it. It has a more feminine sound than popular Bry- names like Brylee and Brynn, and something of a British flavor. Ian McEwan used the spelling Briony for the main character in Atonement, played by Saoirse Ronan in the movie. Other brilliant B botanicals include Briar, Blossom and Betony.
Which B names for girls do you like best?
If, like many of us, you’ve been obsessed with baby names for… well, forever: can you remember the name that kicked it all off?
by Sophie Kihm
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year in celebrity baby names. It was an exciting time—three (yes, three!) Kardashians babies were born this year, Chicago, Stormi, and True. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend named their son Miles Theodore, Cardi B and Offset gave their daughter the name Kulture Kiari. Other notable celebrity baby names from 2018 include Colette Koala (Macklemore), Marvel Jane (Pete Wentz) and Rani Rose (Kate Hudson).