Category: Girl Names
By Abby Sandel
Head to a kindergarten classroom today, and you’re likely to hear girl names like Sophia and Emma, Isla and Mila, Harper and Quinn. It’s a mix of long-time favorites and newer discoveries. Some are unisex and modern. Others feel surprisingly traditional.
But how about the kindergarten class of 2026? Or maybe 2031? Which rising girl names seem likely to soar – or quietly climb – in the next five to ten years?
We can get some insight by looking at the names that have gained in use most dramatically.
Most of these names won’t make that list, though. Instead, a mix of on-trend sound and just enough pop culture presence might transform these nine girl names into popular choices to fill classrooms of the not-so-distant future.
By Gay Cioffi
As the youngest in my family of five, I am the only one who was not named for a grandparent or beloved aunt or uncle. As it happened, I was named for a fondly remembered childhood acquaintance of my mother.
While not only was breaking from that family tradition the cause of a bit of a stir, and it wasn’t a saint’s name to boot (also an expected practice) nothing prepared my parents or me for the fallout to come as I grew up with the name “Gay” in the fifties and sixties.
I remember hearing my mother’s account of the reaction she got from family members regarding her disregard for how children in the family were traditionally named. I also recall that she wavered a bit between the names Gay and Joy, but again the real controversy began in my later teens when the word “gay”, came to represent more than a synonym for happy or carefree.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Can you guess which initial letter is one of the very few that’s missing from the girls’ Top 100 list?
No, it’s not Q (Quinn) and it’s not Z (Zoe). Surprisingly enough it’s the letter D. Yes, the era of Debby and Diane and Danielle as girl baby names is long over. The only D name coming close is Daisy—a Top 25 name in England and Wales— which is 183 in the US.
But why? There are dozens of delightful D girl baby names that deserve more use—and here the Nameberry picks of 15 of the most interesting neglected candidates.
Kindergarten teachers across the US are learning the names of all their new students, which might present an especially big challenge this year.
Children entering school this fall were most likely born in 2010 or 2011, when the Number 1 names both years were Jacob for boys and Sophia for girls. (Even when Isabella took first place in 2010, Sophia and Sofia together outnumbered her.) That makes nearly 100,000 children named Jacob, Sophia, or Sofia starting kindergarten this fall, an average of 2000 in every state.
If you throw Jake and Sophie into the mix, that’s nearly as many children as were named Michael and Jennifer in 1983, the year today’s average kindergarten parent was born. Welcome to school, new generation of kids destined to be known as Jacob R. and Sophia W.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Many girls’ names come in two forms: a straightforward version ending in e and a more romantic variation with a final a. And these tend to move in and out of fashion as a group, reflecting the tenor of the time.
Let’s take a look at some more examples.