Short Baby Names

  1. Ray
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Raymond
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Ray, still and forever, is one of the all-time hippest boys' names, with its jazzy Ray Charles biopic overtones. It's one of the coolest middle names), but works perfectly fine as a first.
  2. Rue
    • Origin:

      Botanical names or word name
    • Meaning:

      "herb; regret"
    • Description:

      Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.
  3. Gus
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Augustus, Angus, Gustave, Augustin, Augusten, Augustine, August
    • Description:

      Gus is a homey grandpa nickname name that can work as a short form for any of the above or stand on its own as a cutting-edge replacement for Max and Jake--though it was off the Top 1000 from 1978 until 2016, when it squeaked in at Number 999.
  4. Ace
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "one, unity"
    • Description:

      No longer tied to the hapless Ace Ventura, this jaunty, high-flying nickname name is starting to take flight among celebrity and other parents, with its countless positive references to doing well in tests and poker games, on the tennis court and golf course, and in the air.
  5. Fox
    • 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.
  6. Fia
    • Origin:

      Irish or Portuguese or Italian
    • Meaning:

      "wild or weaver"
    • Description:

      Fia may be most notable at this moment as the Anglicized version of the Irish Fiadh, one of the fastest-rising names in the Republic of Ireland. The meaning of Fia or Fiadh is sometimes given as "deer" but that's in the sense of a wild deer, as the name relates to the ancient word for wild.
  7. Lev
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "heart; lion"
    • Description:

      This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
  8. Ian
    • 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.
  9. Guy
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "wood"
    • Description:

      The patron saint of comedians and dancers (also known as St Vitus) has a name that is both the ultimate everyman, and has a hint of British aristocracy. In the States, Guy was most popular in the 1950s. Now he hovers steadily below the Top 1000, in the sweet spot of familiar but not overused. With the meteoric rise of Kai, Guy may have potential with parents looking for a more classic name with a similar sound.
  10. Amy
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Amy is the English variation of the Old French name Amée—Aimée in modern French. Amée was a translation of the Latin name Amata, which derived from amatus, meaning "beloved." Other spelling variations include Amie and Ami.
  11. Lux
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      This name of a character played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie Virgin Suicides, originally a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, is gaining attention, also thanks to the heroine Lux, Lady of Luminosity in the League of Legends games. Luz is the Spanish version.
  12. Neo
    • Origin:

      Latin or Tswana
    • Meaning:

      "new or gift"
    • Description:

      This nouveau name of Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix has not enjoyed the same burst of popularity as its female counterpart, Trinity, but it definitely sounds, well, newer. Neo Rauch is an interesting contemporary German artist.
  13. Jay
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "jaybird"
    • Description:

      Though this feels like a modern invention, Jay has been in use for centuries. Early Jays often were named in honor of founding father John Jay, whose surname derived from the jaybird. A popular mid-century choice, Jay was in the Top 100 from 1956 to 1970. In the last couple of decades he was replaced by such more elaborate forms as Jayden, Jaylen, and Jayce. But Jay could make a comeback in tandem with cousins May, Kay, Fay, and Ray.
  14. Eve
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "life"
    • Description:

      Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.
  15. Ida
    • 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.
  16. Rex
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "king"
    • Description:

      Now that many dogs are named Max, it's safe to use this sleek, solid, regal name again for your child. And with the charm of its final x, its regal meaning, and its offbeat simplicity, Rex is definitely one to consider.
  17. Bea
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Beatrice
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness"
    • Description:

      Bea is a former old lady name that's cute again as a short form -- and is now beginning to stand on its own. Bee is a variation that, like Bea, can work as a diminutive for any name that starts with the letter B, or in the middle. Bea actually stood alone on the popularity lists for four years at the beginning of the twentieth century--and it could happen again.
  18. Rae
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Rachel
    • Meaning:

      "ewe"
    • Description:

      All the old ae/ay middle names for girls are back--Kay, Fay, Mae/May, --and Rae is one of the coolest, used as such by celebrities as Mark Wahlberg and Daniel Baldwin. Even more popular in the celebrisphere is the jazzy Ray spelling: among those who used it as their daughters' middles are Bruce Willis, Dermot Mulroney, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman and Lee Lee Sobieski.
  19. Zev
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "wolf"
    • Description:

      Zev is a short, simple, animal name that may relate to the Old Testament Ze'ev -- except he was a villainous character.
  20. Una
    • Origin:

      Latin, Irish, or Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "one; lamb; happy"
    • Description:

      In an epic poem, the personification of truth, beauty, and unity; this ancient name is popular in several European countries but less common in the US. The Oona spelling is slightly more popular but Una sleeker.