Wonderful Word Names for Babies
Word names — basically, words used as names — are a growing class as parents rush to find truly unique baby names for their children. Now, formerly one-of-a-kind names such as Maverick and Serenity can be found in Kindergarten classrooms around the country! But don’t worry — there are still plenty of undiscovered choices.
Along with Serenity and Maverick, other word names in the US Top 500 Include Crew, Genesis, Major, Meadow, Baker, Sage, Melody, and Ember. Cool, one-of-a-kind word names used for fewer than 5 babies at last count include Whimsy, Ballad, Reader, and Flair.
While you'll find word names among nature names and day names and occupational names and color names and spiritual names, most of those collected on this list don't fit neatly into any category. You'll find even more word names in our lists of Nature Names, Place Names, and many other lists in the category Nature, Place, and Word Names.
Finally, a word on gender: English words are not gendered and so most of these word names can work for any gender, even if we have only one gender noted here. Names are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Origin:English word name
Description:Word names may not be gendered in English, but Royal was used mostly for boys—as in Wes Anderson's anti-hero Royal Tennenbaum—until Lil' Kim named her daughter Royal. And why not? It's got a rich sound and a meaning fit for a rap princess....or prince. This puts a new spin on royal baby names.
Origin:English word name
Description:Even less subtle than Duke or Earl, this name shot up the popularity charts in 2013, the same year young Prince George was born and the craze for all things royal (and Royal) began. Today, it's a leading boys' name on Nameberry's own popularity charts.
Origin:English, virtue name
Description:Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
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.
Origin:Herb name; Latin
Description:Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.
Origin:Latin gem name
Description:Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
Description:Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
Origin:Italian and Hebrew
Meaning:"air; song or melody; lion"
Description:Aria has origins in both Italian and Hebrew. In the former, Aria's literal meaning, air, is meant as a musical term denoting a kind of song or melody. Hebrew Aria is a variation of Ari, meaning "lion." In Persian, Aria is a male name, and in Indian it is considered unisex. Arya is an alternate spelling.
Origin:Word name, English
Description:Though perhaps not as currently stylish as Ruby, Jade, or Pearl, Amber has a colorful history (remember the notorious Forever Amber heroine?). Unfortunately, it does come with the "Amber Alert" connotation for modern parents (and their children).
Meaning:"a thorny patch"
Description:Fairy-tale memories of Sleeping Beauty inspire some parents—such as Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen—to call their daughters Briar Rose. But Briar plus a different middle name might work even better. It's one of the newly popular nature-word names, charting in the US for the first time in 2015 for both genders.
Description:The temperature is definitely rising for this popular seasonal name, which began being used in the seventies, and has been heard consistently ever since.
Description:Can a name as virtuous as Hope be cool and trendy? Strangely enough -- yes. But though this optimistic Puritan favorite is experiencing substantial popularity, Hope is too pure and elegant to be corrupted, a lovely classic that deserves all the attention it's getting.
Description:Meadow's upward popularity trajectory certainly suggests that the name has transcended its connection to The Sopranos.. In the US, more than 750 baby girls were named Meadow last year, a number we expect to keep rising.
Description:Scout, a character nickname from To Kill a Mockingbird (her real name was Jean Louise), became a real-life possibility when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their now grown middle daughter, followed by Tom Berenger a few years later. A unisex choice that is growing in popularity for both genders -- but given to girls about four times more often than to boys -- it was picked by skater Tai Babilonia for her son and Kerri Walsh for her daughter Scout Margery.
Origin:Botanical names or word name
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.
Origin:Surname or word name
Description:New to the US Top 1000 in 2015, Wilder is on many parents' possibility lists, one of the new generation of bad boy names growing in popularity. Wilder got a big boost in interest through Goldie Hawn's grandson, born in 2007, via son Oliver.
Origin:French variation of Amber
Description:Unlike Amber, which is in decline, this name still has a bit of a glow left -- though confusions between the two will inevitably arise.
Description:Crisp and colorful, Autumn is the most popular season name now -- the only one in the Top 100 in recent years -- with Autumn's coolness only surpassed by Winter. Jennifer Love Hewitt named her daughter Autumn James.
Origin:Day name, English from Latin
Meaning:"day of the Sun"
Description:Sunday is among the most usable of the day names, with its sunny opening syllable, initially made famous when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban chose it for their daughter. Although it had been widely written that Kidman and Urban named their baby after art patron Sunday Reed, Kidman was quoted saying that was a myth, they just liked the name.
Description:A term of endearment turned cute British celebrity baby name, used by actress Kate Winslet, chef Jamie Oliver, and TV presenter Fearne Cotton, among others. Honey was given to only 40 girls in the US in 2017, but it's relatively popular across the pond, where it ranks in the current Top 500 baby names for girls.