The Top Names of 2033: Girls edition–Charlotte Number 1

posted by: Abby View all posts by this author

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Americans are more daring when it comes to naming daughters, and the numbers bear this out.

In 2013, just over 67% of girls born in the US received a Top 1000 name.  Boys, on the other hand, received a Top 1000 name nearly 79% of the time.

It makes predicting the most popular names of the future slightly more difficult when it comes to girls.  With everything from surnames – Madison and Addison – to enduring choices like Emily and Elizabeth in the current Top 20, it’s tough to say which direction parents will go in the future.

Or maybe we’ll just keep going in every possible direction.  This list is a little bit literary, slightly musical, occasionally globetrotting, sometimes unisex.

My picks for the 2033 Top Twenty have something for everyone – surnames and modern discoveries, but also classics that you might have heard back in the nineteenth century.  There’s even one name that appears on both the boys’ and the girls’ Top Twenty lists.

Here are my predictions for the Top Twenty Girl Names of 2013:


  1. Charlotte – We appreciate moderns like Madison, but we reserve the #1 spot for names with history, preferably with regal or literary connections.  Who better to take the crown from Isabella and Sophia than Charlotte?
  2. Fiona – Could she possibly climb this high?  From Four Weddings and a Funeral to the Shrek series, Fiona has slowly gone from obscurity to the Top 200.
  3. Sadie – Sometimes the names in the Top 20 reflect a style that’s all the rage – think of Taylor and Madison, both at the forefront of our last names-as-first names obsession, especially for girls.  Could Sadie be the spunky retro frontrunner that helps bring back Hattie and Elsie and Josie and Winnie and Millie and Frankie and on and on?  My guess is yes.
  4. Harper – In recent decades, there’s always been a tailored, borrowed-from-the-boys name in the Top Ten, from former #1 Ashley to 2014’s MadisonHarper feels like their logical successor.
  5. Elsa – The Time Baby Name Predictor gives Elsa another year or two of climbing before tapering off.  I get it – Disney princess names usually don’t crack the Top Ten.  But Elsa is different.  She’s a slim classic already on the rise when Frozen became a mega-hit.
  6. Evelyn – The gentle, old-fashioned Evelyn could follow Hannah and Abigail into the Top Ten.
  7. SofiaSophia has been popular for years, ranking #1 since 2011.  Sofia currently stands at #13, but she’s a favorite amongst Spanish-speaking families for her easy crossover appeal.  With a popular animated Disney princess, my hunch is that Sofia will eventually eclipse Sophia – and maybe even crack the Top Ten.
  8. Paisley – She’s way ahead of the curve in Wyoming, where she ranks #5.  Sometimes Wyoming and its neighboring Western states are ahead of the trend – and sometimes they’re just plain trendy, favoring names that will fade quickly.  But Paisley seems like a possible successor to ends-with-y names for girls like Ashley and Brittany.
  9. Autumn – Nature names have gone mainstream, but they’ve all peaked short of the Top Ten in recent years.  Will tailored Autumn, with that popular first letter A, be the first to break through?
  10.  Lucy – We like short, sweet complete names – from Mary to Chloe, there have always been a few very popular choices in this category.  Lily has had a good run.  Could the equally vintage Lucy be her replacement?
  11.  London – I almost had Brooklyn on this list, because while she’s avoided in New York, Brooklyn is making the shortlists of parents everywhere else –part-place name, part-smoosh of Brooke and Lynn.  But what if the equally urban London sneaks right past Brooklyn into the Top 20?  I think it could happen.
  12.  Cora – Blame it on Downton Abbey, or maybe just on our appreciation for short, simple girls’ names that feel feminine but still strong.  As Ava fades, could Cora climb?
  13.  Elizabeth – She’s the girls’ answer to James.  Our favorite spelling of Katherine/Catherine/Kathryn changes, but Elizabeth remains evergreen.
  14.  EmmaEmma is still going strong, despite having spent many years in the Top Ten.  She’s popular with Spanish-speaking parents now, so I think she’ll hold on longer than Ava and some of the other current chart-toppers.
  15. Colette – I don’t have a great reason to include Colette on this list, except that she’s recently re-entered the US Top 1000, and there are always a few names that we just can’t see coming.  I can imagine Colette sneaking up on us all.
  16. Charlie – I keep seeing parents shortlist Charlie for a boy and a girl – and no, not Charles or Charlotte, but Charlie.  It seems like the new unisex name, a choice that will truly be embraced for sons and daughters alike.
  17. Elena – I almost picked Aaliyah for this spot – but there are so many variant spellings.  That’s true of Alaina, Aleyna, Elayna, too, but this one has an edge.  Plus, she’s climbed steadily for the last few years, and has that culture-spanning appeal that has helped other names rise to the top.
  18. Aria – Yes, Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars are curious inspiration for a child’s name.  But Aria was a name just waiting to be launched.  We love the letter A, we’re so fond of those –ia endings, and she’s not just a random connection of letters, no – Aria is a musical term.  It makes her far more substantial than Khaleesi or Spencer.
  19. Luna – Yes, I think the Harry Potter heroine name could go higher.  She’s big for Spanish-speaking families, and nature names continue to go mainstream.  Plus, an entire generation that’s grown up reading about the world of wizarding is just beginning to start their families – the first novel was published in 1997, and the first movie released in 2001.
  20. Hadley – Does this seem like a long shot?  Maybe, but we like H surname names for girls – Harper, Harlow, and Haven followed Hailey up the charts, and Hailey peaked at #19 a few years ago.

The runners-up for the girls’ list were Margot, Nora, Ivy, Hazel, Genevieve, Amelia, Rose, Alice, and Sasha.

Are there any that you think will definitely rise?  Fall?  What do you think the top girls’ baby names will be in 2033?


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About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at
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15 Responses to “The Top Names of 2033: Girls edition–Charlotte Number 1”

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peacebird10 Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 2:08 am

I would be shocked if Amelia didn’t make it. I think it’s going to be the successor to Isabella and Sophia. But by 2033, she may decline.

Mrs_Darling Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 7:03 am

I totally agree about Sadie. She’s already a top twenty name where I live and most people see her as an updated version of classic Sarah. The only place I disagree is with Alice. She’s gaining speed fast. I would have ranked her in the top ten.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 8:20 am

I must be the only person that doesn’t see the appeal of Sadie.

I do like Fiona, but I hear Michael Weston’s voice calling out for her when I think of that name. Burn Notice also made me like Weston and reintroduced me to my love of Sam.

I’m really loving Elsa right now. Whether that has to do with Frozen or not, I don’t know. My only issue is I don’t like it much for a first name. I prefer it more for a nickname to Elizabeth, which knocked the once adorable (and now ubiquitous) Ellie out of the top spot. But whether Elsa has what it takes for me to knock out the common, but classic Liz (a Roswell favorite) into a backup spot, I’m not sure.

I have a cousin that named her second daughter Evelyn, which means I have to find another route to get to Evie. When new names start entering my family, I know they’ve become popular. I can’t even think of how many Maria’s and Jose’s we have!

CuteGirlHairstyles just released their children’s names and Paisley was the name they had chosen for their youngest daughter. I can see that name getting more popular as well.

Autumn, Luna and Summer are all teetering between “I love it” and “It’s too trendy”.

I’d love to see Colette sneak into the top 20. It’s a beautiful name. Another similar sounding name I’d love to see pop up (or maybe not) is Colleen. I love both of those names and shocked neither is more popular.

My great-grandmother was Elena. It’s a name I’ve often considered and still have on reserve.

vaness1 Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I think most of these are pretty good predictions! It’s hard to say what people 20 years from now will be thinking, even though I’m still 5 or 10 years away from having children myself. I would be pretty surprised to see Fiona hit #2 though, because F doesn’t tend to be a super popular letter, and although I love the sound of it, I don’t think it’s for everyone (then again, I didn’t realize it had already hit the top 200!). I’m not sure about Colette. I love it, but I think a lot of people my age would think of it as a mom name, and I’m also not sure whether we are ready for a surge of -ette endings. I also don’t think that Autumn will get that high, because it seems like it has been on peoples radars for quite a while now. I would have placed Nora and Alice in the top 20, and maybe Clara, Elise, or Gia.

Orchid_Lover Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 3:59 pm

2033? 2013? 2013 is clearly a typo but these don’t seem futuristic enough for 2033. Maybe 2023…

Abby Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 5:09 pm

@Orchid_Lover – Maybe … and I really hope you’re right, because this list isn’t terribly daring. But I’m always surprised at how long it takes names to really climb and fall …

victoriavs Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Some of my guesses are:
Maybe Apple? You never know , 20 yeras is a long time haha:)

victoriavs Says:

May 23rd, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Some of my guesses are:
Maybe Apple? You never know , 20 yeras is a long time haha:)

loislane1222 Says:

May 24th, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Excellent list.

I think Harper will climb much, much faster. I know so many little Harpers! It will break into the top 10 in a couple of years.

Some other names that will likely climb the charts quickly:
Adelina — with its cute nickname of Addy, similarity to many other overused names, and an Olympics gold medalist named Adelina, I think this one is headed up.
Edith and Edie
Emilia, used by parents who are looking for an Amelia alternative

rosierose Says:

May 25th, 2014 at 6:01 am

I think this is a great list, but I’d revise 2033 to 2023 because I think the nature of rising and falling has sped up so much. That said, I’m continually surprised by how long names like Emma, Emily, Elizabeth, and Abigail have hung on. Then again, in 1993 (so 20 years ago) none of the current 2013 top 10 names were in the top 20, with the exception of Emily and Elizabeth. So, I think Charlotte may have peaked and fallen by then– Amelia and Harper too.

Or maybe not! Who knows?

As possible top 20 names in 2033, I’d also add Willow (unless Willow Smith goes the Miley route, I think Willow needs just one more pop culture character/celeb baby to launch it high), Vivian, Eleanor, Scarlett, Clara, or Marley.

Ysee Says:

May 25th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I agree with many of your predictions, though I’d have put Alice and Vivienne ahead of Hadley and Colette. Vivienne came out of obscurity to rank at #280 last year. Vivian’s curve is different and I think it will soon be surpassed by its fancier variant.

And let’s not forget about Violet! I actually think she’s got more of a shot at going top ten than Rose. I feel like Rose’s popularity as a middle name will prevent it from getting overly popular as a first name.

I’m interested to see what will happen with Margot – it certainly seems to be gaining momentum, but will it have lasting power? I do think its sassy, retro quality will appeal to a lot of parents.

Orchid_Lover Says:

May 26th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Alright here’s my bid:


Orchid_Lover Says:

May 26th, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I am rooting for the “F” names (Felicity, Florence, Flora and the like) but don’t think they’ll hit the top 20 within 20 years as they’re JUST starting to uptick.

Imaginative Names for Girls: Aurora, Angelou, and Elle – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

June 1st, 2014 at 10:46 pm

[…] might have guessed their sister would be Hadley or Sloane.  Lucy made my predictions list for the Top Twenty baby names of 2033 – she’s definitely one to watch.  My favorite literary Lucy?  While I […]

The New Traditionals: Baby Names with Substance – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

September 28th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

[…] Charlotte – Speaking of Charlie, Chelsea Clinton’s new baby girl is Charlotte.  Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky announced they were expecting their first back in April.  The former First Daughter’s name was inspired by both the neighborhood in London, and the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning.”  No word on how Marc and Chelsea arrived at Charlotte, but it is quite the popular choice these days.  Charlotte ranked #11 in 2013, and it is my pick for the #1 girls’ name in 2033. […]

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