Alternatives to Bailey
Bailey has been well-used over the past two decades, mainly for girls but for boys too. Here, some Bailey alternatives that might feel fresher.
Description:This spirited Gaelic classic, which became popular in Ireland via the illustrious twelfth century king Rory O'Connor, makes a highly energetic choice, now used for either sex. Rory's gender split is still trending boyward; it's one of the coolest boys' names starting with R.
Description:Hadley, most famous as the name of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, is more sophisticated, professional, and modern than cousins Harley, Haley, or Hayden. The hit book The Paris Wife, a novel told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway (born Elizabeth Hadley Richardson), has helped popularize the name, which also appears on the vampire show True Blood. Hadley could become this generation's Hailey.
Description:Huxley is definitely rising as a surname name, with its X that makes almost any name cooler. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015. The modern nicknames Hux and Huck certainly don't hurt.
Origin:Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"one's own meadow"
Description:While theoretically unisex, this surname name has been edging up the girls’ names list, perhaps originally as an Ashley substitute.
Meaning:"oak wood or clearing"
Description:As sturdy as Oak, with deeper roots. For males, it's been on the rise in recent years.
Origin:English and Irish from French
Description:Bellamy is emerging as an up-and-coming girls' name, an Irish surname-y riff on the super-popular Bella series of names. While the Bella connection makes Bellamy sound a little trendier and more popular than it really is, we see the name possibly rising through the ranks for both genders in the coming years.
Meaning:"meadow of quivering aspens"
Description:Waverly, with its literary resonance and lilting three-syllable sound, could well become the next generation's successor to Kimberly. Its upper-crusty surname feel places it among the new stylish English names for girls, successors to Ashley and Whitney.
Description:You can ride one, you can use it as a baby name – or, as is often the case, both! Harley is currently trending up for girls and down for boys in the US, although it remains predominantly masculine in the UK. A lesser-used -ley ending choice for boys, Harley has a current sound but an old-school biker appeal.
Description:An English surname name, Bradley has a long history, dating way back to at least 1086, but as a first name it actually succeeded in the US before it reached England--though Dickens used it in his novel Our Mutual Friend. Bradley Cooper is one namesake.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"law enforcer, bailiff"
Description:Extremely amiable, open-sounding surname that's gradually being taken over by the girls.
Description:Wylie is a friendly, nonchalant rodeo name with an almost irresistible charm; parents may pick up on its pleasant similarity to the more popular, unisex Riley. Although more masculine, we see Wylie as working as well for boys and girls (Richard Anderson used it for his daughter in 1999). Wylie (or the interchangeable Wiley) can also be an original and authentic way to honor an ancestral William. We don't, however, recommend you spell the name the way Corey Parker did: Wylei. Why lay?
Description:Supermodel Christie Brinkley launched an entire name genre when she picked this breezy occupational name for her daughter in 1998, and it has become more prevalent in recent decades. The Saylor version, which you might consider a spelling spin or a surname-name, is now among the Top 500 names for girls, given to three times as many baby girls as the Sailor spelling. Counted together, Saylor and Sailor were used for about 1000 baby girls in one recent year in the US, versus about 100 boys.
Description:For those not ready to name their daughters Elvis; and used more often than you might think ever since Tanya Tucker chose it for her little girl.
Description:This name is currently best known on The Bachelorette's Tenley Molzahn. In the 1950s, it was attached to the Olympic figure skating champion Tenley Albright, and Jessica Biel played a Tenley in the movie Summer Catch. For our part, even with its trendy "ley" ending we think there are far better options.
Description:One of the most usable of the pleasant, newly adopted nature/water names (like Lake and Ocean), especially in middle position.
Description:Director Ridley Scott made this one known, but few parents would get beyond the negative first syllable.
Description:A slow and sultry southern choice that's definitely cool for babies of either gender.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Softer version of hot Harley or Marley.
Meaning:"son of the fair hero"
Description:New Presidential name, if you're ready to move beyond Lincoln and Jefferson. At the turn of the last century, during the original McKinley's heyday, as a first name it almost reached the Top 100.
Description:Yardley, a surname redolent of British soaps and perfume, was used for her daughter by Megyn Kelly.
Description:Early is a word-turned-name, pleasantly suggesting the start of a bright new day. Of the new word and day names, Early is one of the best.
Origin:English, possibly originated as a nickname for pale eyes
Description:Strong, friendly surname choice, à la Bailey.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Brilie combines elements of the megapopular Briana and Riley to form a pleasant merger. Some would call Brilie a Smoosh Name.