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Short Baby Names

Short Baby Names
Short baby names are some of the most stylish around. They’re versatile, friendly, and many are rising in popularity. The top short name for girls is Ava, one of the defining names of the past decade, while the most common short name for boys is Leo — more popular than it may seem, as it is often used as a nickname for longer names such as Leonardo and Leonidas.

Along with Ava and Leo, other short names for babies in the US Top 150 include Mia, Zoe, Eli, Eva, Ian, Ivy, Kai, and Max. Some of the rarest short names are those with two letters, but choices such as Io, Oz, Cy, and Lu may be substantial enough for your son or daughter.

Sometimes — when your last name is long and elaborate, when you simply believe in simplicity — what you want most from baby names is that they be short. Sweet, maybe; mono-syllabic, possibly. But the most important quality: short. Here are some baby names that fit the bill.
  1. AvaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
    • Meaning:

      "life; bird; water, island"
    • Description:

      In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."
  2. KaiHeart
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "sea"
    • Description:

      Kai has many origins and meanings. What does the name Kai mean? That depends on which Kai you're referring to.
  3. LeoHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo was derived from the Latin leo, meaning “lion.” Thirteen popes have carried the name, including St. Leo the Great. In Germanic languages, Leo has historically been used as a nickname for names including Leon and Leopold. In Latinate languages, Leonardo is considered a full form for Leo.
  4. MaeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
  5. AdaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Ada is derived from the German name Adelaide, which came from the ancient name Adalheidis. The root, adal, is a Germanic word meaning "noble." Ada can also be considered a variation of the biblical name Adah, pronounced AH-da, one of the first girls’ names mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
  6. MiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
    • Meaning:

      "mine or bitter"
    • Description:

      Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning 'mine.'
  7. EvaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin form of Eve, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "life"
    • Description:

      Eva is found in many different languages as a variation of Eve—the Old Testament name recognizable as the first woman in Abrahamic religions. Short forms of the name include Evie and Evita. The diminutive Evita is still strongly associated with Evita Peron, wife of the Argentine President Juan Peron.
  8. AriHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Ariel, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "lion of God"
    • Description:

      Ari, the short form of Ariel (or any other Ari- beginning name, such as Aristotle) stands up better as a boys’ name than its progenitor does. It is also short for Aristotle, as in Onassis, and is a prominent character on TV's Entourage -- the uberagent Ari Gold.
  9. KitHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Christopher
    • Description:

      Actor Kit Harington, aka the dreamy Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, has given this nickname-name new style and appeal for boys. Actress Jodie Foster used it for her son. For girls, it's an updated diminutive of Katherine.
  10. IvyHeart
    • Origin:

      Botanical name
    • Description:

      Ivy is derived from the name of the ivy plant, which got its name from the Old English word ifig. Ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. In the language of flowers, Ivy signifies faithfulness.
  11. MaxHeart
    • Origin:

      English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.
  12. NoaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "motion"
    • Description:

      This Old Testament female name has been one of the most popular girls’ names in Israel over the last decade. Also highly popular in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, and a new entrant to the US Top 1000, it may be misunderstood here as an attempt to streamline and feminize the more familiar Noah – although it's a separate name with a separate derivation.
  13. IdaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "industrious one"
    • Description:

      Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.
  14. RenHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Rene or Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "water lily; lotus"
    • Description:

      A very popular name for boys, also used for girls, in Japan, most familiar in the West as half of cartoon's "Ren and Stimpy," and as the hero in both the original and updated versions of "Footloose."
  15. KoaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "warrior"
    • Description:

      With Noah taking the Number 1 spot in 2013, Koa is attracting more attention than ever.
  16. EliHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "ascended, uplifted, high"
    • Description:

      Eli derives from the Hebrew ’aly, meaning “high.” In the Old Testament, Eli was the high priest and last judge of Israel, who trained the prophet Samuel. While Eli is a full name on its own, it can be a shortened form of Elijah, Elias, Eliezer, or even Elliot. Eli is used as a feminine name—most often as a nickname for Elisabet or Elin—in some Scandinavian countries.
  17. AsaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew; Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "healer; born in the morning"
    • Description:

      A short but strong biblical name with multicultural appeal, Asa is enjoying new visibility thanks to hot young actor Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame.
  18. FoxHeart
    • Origin:

      Animal name
    • Description:

      Fox is one animal name backed by a longish tradition, and then popularized via the lead character Fox Mulder on X Files. Fox is simple, sleek, and a little bit wild, and could make an interesting middle name.
  19. IvoHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "yew wood, archer"
    • Description:

      Ivo is an unusual, catchy name with the energetic impact of all names ending in 'o'. Hardly heard in the U.S., it is used a bit more frequently in England, as is the related Ivor, a favorite of such novelists as Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse. Ivo is currently most popular in the Netherlands.
  20. IanHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish version of John
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is gracious"
    • Description:

      Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.