The 100 Best Baby Names Right Now
The 100 best movies, restaurants, novels, jobs, apps – the world is full of lists cataloging the premiere picks of all kinds of things. So why not, we thought, baby names?
The question we asked ourselves: If an expectant parent today were limited to only 100 choices from which to name their child, what should those names be? Which names offer the best balance of appeal and distinctiveness, of authenticity and creativity, at this moment in time? Which names sound both adorable for a 2016 baby and seem most likely to serve her or him well into the 22nd century?
Are there other wonderful baby names out there? Of course, thousands of them. But if we can only have 100, these are our picks for the very best, and why they made the cut:
Abel – Biblical boy name with a capable sound
Agnes – Vintage A name set for a major comeback
Alice – Storybook heroine back in the Top 100
Amias – Undiscovered masculine name whose meaning we love
Apollo – A Greek god at home in the modern world
Atlas – Mythological name that holds its own
Aurora – Ancient name seeing a new dawn
Beckett – Literary name and Hollywood favorite
Bodhi – Surprising spiritual name entering the mainstream
Charlotte – A Nameberry favorite turned royal baby name
Clementine – Edible appellation back in the US Top 1000
Cordelia – Lear’s loyal daughter, and a recent returnee to the US Top 1000
Crosby – Irish surname name that’s part-crooner, part-NHL
Delilah – Biblical bad girl rehabilitated
Dinah – Undiscovered Biblical girls’ name
Dorothea – Distinctive classic rich with great nicknames
Eloise – Childhood literary heroine ready for the real world
Everest – Nature name with a hint of danger, featured on the big screen last year
Ford – The chicest of the car names
Frances – A classic that’s thrown off its dowdy image to feel fresh and wearable
Freya – A Norse goddess name long popular in the UK, and newly discovered in the US
Grey – Color name possibility for boys, rising thanks to – or despite – Fifty Shades
Harvey – A name that’s been out for so long in the U.S. that it’s suddenly very in
Hazel – Once an out-there starbaby choice, now a vintage favorite
Imogen – UK – and Nameberry — favorite slowly catching on in the US
Inigo – Rare saint’s name that deserves wider use
James – The most enduring of boys’ names, now also a possibility for a daughter
John – Top name for CEOs appropriate for an upwardly-mobile child
Leilani – A Hawaiian name feeling more at home on the mainland
Linus – Finally out from under the blanket
Lucia – A favorite with parents looking to bridge cultures
Maeve – Authentically Irish, without the spelling and pronunciation challenges of some imports
Magnolia – The hottest new-old floral name
Maisie – Sweetly vintage nickname name
Nathaniel – Biblical favorite that never feels overused
Olive – Starbaby favorite with ties to the natural world and a peaceful image
Orson – An ends-with-son name that isn’t overused
Paris – The City of Lights shines on, classic for boys or modern for girls
Rafferty – Cool and confident surname name for boys
Robin – Back on the boys’ side
Romy – Former one-person name ready for wider use
Royal – A name that rules, with ties to the World Series champs
Rufus – Neglected boy name that feels fresh and fashionable
Saint – A celebrity baby name sure to find wider use
Stellan – One of the best n-ending names for boys
Titan – Powerful mythological name now in the US Top 1000
Xanthe – Mythological but modern, with the X factor
Zephyr – Breezy nature name with stylish –r ending
If you’ve been counting, you know that’s only 99. We thought we’d open up the choice of the 100th best baby name right now up to you. Suggestions?
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on January 8th, 2016 at 12:06 am
Shhh! I want Louisa to stay off the radar until I have daughter.
on January 8th, 2016 at 12:09 am
This was great! I hope it becomes an annual thing!
on January 8th, 2016 at 1:06 am
I adore this post! Some fantastic choices, my favourites include:
Abel, Adelina, Beckett, Edith, Delta, Emmeline, Faye and Maeve.
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:25 am
I want to suggest Harriet. Part underage spy and literary herione, part feminisation of Harry; entirely underused and fabulous. So much nickname potential, too!
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:26 am
on January 8th, 2016 at 3:46 am
Quite a few of my faves are on here so I feel very ahead of the curb haha
The only one I disagree with is John. I mean … John? Come on. How boring.
My 100th pick would be Dashiell or Ike or Lola or Aria.
on January 8th, 2016 at 4:04 am
This is a diverse and fabulous list. Our favourites for a boy and a girl are on here, I guess that means I have good taste.
As 100th name, I could make a few suggestions. 😉
Israel, Felix, Moses, Emory, or Cove for boys.
Nora, or Briar for girls.
I have a way easier time with Boys names and you already have my two favourite girls names on this list. Great work.
on January 8th, 2016 at 4:52 am
Maeve and Felix get my vote for the 100th. Both are spot on with current trends and beautiful imports for the US from overseas. 😉
on January 8th, 2016 at 4:53 am
Well done on creating such a diverse list!
I think these names for boys from your list will continue to grow in 2016: Atlas, August, Ford, Fox and Rafferty
For girls: Holiday and Juniper
I also think these names may also grow: Taj, Lenny, Baxter, Nixon, Dash, Winter, Hazel, Mabel, Dixie, Willa and Stevie.
These names are now heard on the playground at my hipster school.
on January 8th, 2016 at 7:02 am
My vote for the 100th name on the upswing is Sadie.
on January 8th, 2016 at 7:25 am
on January 8th, 2016 at 8:06 am
Yes! My boy Robin made the list! Not often that you see him. Love Linus and Beckett, too. My suggestion for the 100th is Clark, Conan, Dashiell, or Shepherd. List still needs more boys names, but great job on this. Great insight into the names of the future generation!
on January 8th, 2016 at 10:40 am
Such a great list! Happy to see some of my favorites on here and found some new favorites to love, as well.
It seems like ALL of my friends are having little baby Everetts right now. Everett is a great 100th name for a boy.
I echo a previous comment on Mabel being my female pick for 100th. The tv show Gravity Falls–beloved by children and adults alike–really put this name in the spotlight for me.
on January 8th, 2016 at 11:15 am
I love many names on this list. I would add: Simon (my son’s name), Archer, Felix, Martha and Aviva.
on January 8th, 2016 at 11:24 am
Loved this post! Some of my favs are on here, too.
Some of the best from the list that I love include: for girls Adelina, Aurora, Charlotte, Cordelia, Delta, Emmeline, Jane, Romy, Saoirse (one of my latest name obsessions!); for boys Beckett, Declan, Ezra, Flynn, Stellan.
For the 100th, my suggestion would be Rey. It works for either sex, it’s such a cool name and, with Star Wars being so popular, I can imagine it becoming bigger this year and the years ahead. Not to mention the multiple alternative spellings.
I also agree with a previous commenter that Harriet is a great 100th name. It is way underused!
on January 8th, 2016 at 11:53 am
Great post! My pick for 100 would be between the following:
on January 8th, 2016 at 12:38 pm
I think all the previous comments cover my suggestions for the 100th name, all very nice names that work well today 🙂 off the topic of the post, I was really quite shocked when I saw the baby in the picture for this article, it looks literally identically to me at that age!
on January 8th, 2016 at 12:53 pm
I agree that Felix should be the 100th!
on January 8th, 2016 at 12:58 pm
My suggestion is Wallace!!! Why, oh why doesn’t Wallace get more love? It’s a name that doesn’t work with our last name, unfortunately, because I would use it in a second. I love everything about it.
on January 8th, 2016 at 1:06 pm
Also while I ADORE Fable, it seems a bit odd to pick it over the well-loved Mabel, unless your new years resolution is to annoy Rebecca Woolf.
on January 8th, 2016 at 1:55 pm
Love the list with one exception. Saint?
on January 8th, 2016 at 1:57 pm
Equally parts justified and annoyed. I love so many on the list but hope they don’t become too common.
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:22 pm
For #100, my suggestions would be Sunniva or Anouk.
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Dominic or Peter. I’m surprised Louisa and Susannah are taking so long to catch on. I know a few Deborahs already.
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:33 pm
I clicked on this list thinking I might be able to pick up a few newbies for my shortlist. Well, it was too fantastic. My memory simply couldn’t cope, so now I’ll have to go through the whole thing again (not much of a tragedy that) and write down everything! Easily the greatest Nameberry name list compiled so far 🙂
on January 8th, 2016 at 2:45 pm
Actually (and these are all for boys), I would say Dominic, Peter, Martin, and Francis. But, let’s start with Dominic (and Mickey is a good mid-century nickname for it).
on January 8th, 2016 at 3:16 pm
My 100th name choice would be Rose, it’s both parts simple and classic.
on January 8th, 2016 at 6:04 pm
This list is great! There is something here for everyone, some lovely but under-the-radar classics and some new but not unheard-of names. I love it.
I might be a little biased because my daughter’s name is on the list! I hope it won’t become too popular, but I love it so much that part of me doesn’t care. There should be more little girls named Nova running around.
I could see myself using any name on this list. Someone must have worked very hard to make such a fantastic list.
on January 8th, 2016 at 6:23 pm
My 100th choice would be Laura, another great name coming back into the spotlight.
on January 8th, 2016 at 8:19 pm
Love this list – my son’s name, the name we would have used if he was a girl and our cat’s name are all on here!
I second Felix and Rose. Rose is a hot middle name at the moment but should get more love as a first, and Felix is oh-so-hot right now. I’d also like to suggest Zelda, just the right balance of charm, vintage and sass for a 2016 baby.
on January 9th, 2016 at 12:04 am
My picks for 100, 101, and 102 are Millie, Araminta, and Dashiell!
on January 9th, 2016 at 5:54 am
My pick for number 100 would be between:
Peter – Until recently I thought this was outdated and boring. I’m now seeing it for the strong Classic it is, I can definitely see it making a sudden comeback. It’s Biblical and classic but not too much of an ‘old man’ name (for those not quite brave enough to go for Walter or Ernest). I can see it fitting right in with Edward, James, Theodore and Daniel.
Ike – almost opposite to Peter… I like Ike because it’s short and strong. It’s similar to Max, Gus, Tom and Grey but really uncommon. Bonus that it’s commonly a nickname for Isaac so it’s a well known classic.
Beatrix – Beatrice is starting to come back but I think Beatrix is so much better. Love the nicknames Bea and Trixie, they got right into current trends. Vintage, sweet and feisty at the same time. Beatrix would be a great pick for anyone in 2016!
on January 9th, 2016 at 5:58 am
Oh and how could I forget Mavis! I love Mavis! Bought Maeve, part Mabel. I love it with the nickname options Mae and Mavey. Definitly for someone who wants something a little more vintage than Maeve but less common (and dare I say less canine) than Mabel.
My OH saus we can’t use it because of a Mavis he associates the name with, so please, everyone else, use it just so I can hear it!
on January 9th, 2016 at 7:23 am
My pick for 100, (although super difficult to choose just one!), is Wilfred.
There’s so many adorable nicknames – Wilf, Wilfie, Will, Fred, Freddie; the meaning is beautiful – “desires peace”, it’s not too common, but it’s not too rare either. It’s a vintage, established name, that still feels really cool! It also works quite well on the international scene too; there’s no downside!
on January 9th, 2016 at 9:39 am
Some of my favorites are already in this list!
I would add; Amelie, Beatrix, Cordelia, Felix, Genevieve, Lou, Leo, Zelda, Milo, Viola, ( and subtract royal and saint )
on January 9th, 2016 at 7:51 pm
My pick for 100 would be Vivienne/Vivian as it’s becoming quite the celebrity favourite.
on January 9th, 2016 at 9:03 pm
Yes @ElsaAnne! +1 for lovely Wilfred.
on January 10th, 2016 at 12:51 am
Off the top of my head, I’d add Willa or Gideon.
on January 10th, 2016 at 3:55 am
All Downton Abby names will continue to draw fans, so Violet and Baxter could be added.
Felix means cat in Latin… literally. And “Felix The Cat” was a cartoon.
Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat….. (the song)
This could be as bad as “Run Forrest, run!” …. (from the movie)
on January 10th, 2016 at 8:00 am
I love the description of Adelina as the next Isabella… I’ve also had this feeling. John? Like a slang word for a man who buys s#$, or the loo? I don’t necessarily agree with that one. Viola, Beatrice, or Caspar would be my suggestions for #100.
on January 10th, 2016 at 8:59 am
Lionel or Zelda would be my 100th pick- Jazz age names are due a comeback
on January 11th, 2016 at 1:10 am
Great list!!! Some thoughts: Milo, Everett, Dominic, Reuben, Ian, Thaddeus and Diego for boys; Delphine, Viola, Pearl, Juliet, Astrid, Saskia, Iris, Quinn and Molly for girls.
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on January 12th, 2016 at 4:18 am
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on January 12th, 2016 at 2:53 pm
The description for John is ridiculous. Considering its the most common name ever, no wonder there are more John’s of any job. I’m sure there are more Johns that are serial killers, that collect garbage, etc.
James shouldnt be there either, its not “hot” right now, its always been popular. Maybe for girls…
on January 12th, 2016 at 4:17 pm
I second Harriet! Also, Ingrid! Hope none of these names become too popular!
on January 12th, 2016 at 10:07 pm
Royal, Saint, Colt…….. these are sports teams. Can we expect to see little Patriot or Jet or Dolphin (called Finn or Dolph)? How about Titan, Falcon or Jaguar? Or Seahawk, Buccaneer or Raider? The possibilities are endless!
on January 13th, 2016 at 12:52 am
Maybe Elliot or Killian 🙂
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