These Names Are At Their Peak

These Names Are At Their Peak

Want a name that other people will love just as much as you do? One that fits perfectly with today’s favorite styles — or maybe puts you ahead of the trends? Names that peaked in 2021 , calculated in exclusive research and analysis by Nameberry, are a great place to find inspiration.

These are names that ranked higher in the US in 2021 than they have ever done before. Altogether there are over 400 of them: you can read the full lists of Girl Names That Peaked in 2021, and Boy Names That Peaked in 2021.

It’s an eclectic mix, ranging from Top 10 choices like Charlotte and Theodore — which have always been well-used, but never quite so popular before — to fast-rising modern names like Wrenley and Zakai.

What they have in common is that they’re all climbing the charts, as more and more parents discover and fall in love with them. They feel fresh but not strange, and will blend in with your child’s peers rather than seeming like mom or dad names.

Of course, if you’re playing the numbers game, it’s a gamble. Any of these names could get even more popular in future, which would make you look avant-garde, but might be annoying if your underused favorite becomes the next number one. On the other hand, some may be flashes in the pan that fall in popularity from here on, and date-stamp your child as an early-2020s baby.

But if you find a name you love here? None of that is likely to matter — so read on for our guide to the best peaking names.

Trending Classics

Even classic names go in and out of fashion, and these ones are at the top of their game now:

His’n’Hers Names

As more children are given unisex names each year, it’s notable that some names are the most popular they’ve ever been for both boys and girls right now. They include last names as first names, nature words, and androgynous-sounding biblical options, and they all prove that style can transcend gender.

The Hottest Sounds

Sounds go in and out of style just like names do, driven by parents looking for something similar-yet-different to the most popular names. The names that peaked in 2021 include a few clusters of names that share sounds. For example, there’s the Hawaiian-esque “-lani” ending for girls (there are 12 such names in the Top 1000), names beginning with “Bo” for boys, and a “Kai” sound and “-lo” ending for both sexes.

Here are some peaking names showing these, and more of the coolest sounds of today:

Fresh and Faux Biblical Boys

Every generation has its preferred biblical names, and as long-term favorites like Jacob and Matthew start to fall in the rankings — though don’t get us wrong, they’re still very popular — parents are turning to different options, including some in their Hebrew and Spanish forms.

A few alternative spellings, like Alijah and Jesiah, are also piggybacking on the popularity, as are those that sound like they should be biblical, like Dariel.

Uplifting Names

Uplifting names at the height of their popularity include ones with spiritual meaning, like Jericho and Saint, as well as some with more general positive meanings, such as Ace, or even proclaiming material values, like Kash. Plus a few more:

Outdoorsy Names

Outdoorsy names embrace both the rugged wilderness and the gentler side of nature. Both are reflected in the names that are peaking now, which include both fresh botanicals, and names that are ready to strap on their boots and hike a trail.

Long Lyrical Girl Names

The popularity of names Olivia and Amelia — which themselves are the highest rank they’ve ever been — has inspired parents to use a huge range of long, flowing girl names. A favorite pattern is three-syllable names that start with a vowel and end in “A”, like Amira and Elora, but there are also fast-rising long names starting with a consonant, like Cataleya and Guinevere. Here are just a few:

New-Wave Surname Names

Last names as first names have been popular for decades, but the dominant styles are changing. Punchy monosyllabic surnames are trending for both sexes — with many on the boys’ side ending in S — though long Irish names like Sullivan are also popular. Occupational names that are more familiar on boys, like Parker, are now at their highest ever rank for girls, whilst fresh options like Adler and Baker arise for boys. Here’s a selection of currently-peaking surname names.

Nameberry Favorites

Many of the names at peak popularity are ones we saw coming, because they’ve also been climbing up our chart of the most-viewed names on Nameberry. It’s usually a good predictor of which names will rise even further. So below are the hottest names of all: ones that rank highly on Nameberry, and are the most popular they’ve ever been (so far) in real life.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at