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Number One Baby Names

Baby names that have achieved the top standing in the U.S. are an elite group. Since the beginning of American baby-naming time, 1880, there have been only 16 baby names that have reached Number One, with Emma and David only touching the top for one year each and Ashley for just two. The all-time Number One baby names in the U.S. are:

  • Ashley

    Ashley was a sensation in the 1980s and 1990s; it hit Number 1 in 1991. Ashley is still pretty but more and more parents are turning to newer names like Ashlyn and Aubrey, and spellings such as... Read More 

  • David

    David is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, which evolved from the element dod, meaning “beloved.” It is the name of the Old Testament second king of Israel who, as a boy, slew the giant... Read More 

  • Emily

    Emily was derived from the Roman name Aemilia, which may have evolved from the Latin word aemulus, meaning “hardworking” or “rival.” Amelia, although similar, has separate origins — it... Read More 

  • Emma

    Emma originated as a diminutive for Germanic names beginning with the ermen root. A very old royal name well used throughout the centuries—Queen Emma married King Ethelred the Unready in... Read More 

  • Isabella

    Isabella is the Latinate form of Isabel, a variation of Elizabeth which originally derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba. Variations Isabelle and Isabel are also popular, with the Scottish... Read More 

  • Jacob

    Jacob comes from the Latin name Iacobus, which was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. He... Read More 

  • James

    James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S.... Read More 

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to... Read More 

  • Jessica

    When Jennifer was ready to give up her throne, her crown was passed to Jessica, who reigned for not one but two decades; Jessica was the top name of both the 1980's and 90's, never sounding quite... Read More 

  • John

    John is an English derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan via the Latin name Iohannes, itself coming from the Greek Ioannes. John was a key name in early Christianity, borne by John the Baptist,... Read More 

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