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College Baby Names

College Baby Names
When you're on the prowl for the perfect name, anything can be an inspiration. Colleges around the country provide endless possibilities for noteworthy baby names. Princeton in particular has become a smash hit in recent years.

Along with Princeton, other college baby names in the US Top 1000 include Baylor, Duke, Emerson, Emory, Harvey, Howard, Lawrence, and Reed. Ivy League names, such as Yale, Columbia, Penn, and Cornell, carry an extra elite edge.

Some may consider college baby names a special subset of aspirational baby names, while others may choose to use them for their traditionality or in connection to one’s alma mater. Below, our full list of college baby names, each derived from the name of a college or university:

College Baby Names
  1. ClaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.
  2. RoseHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rose, a flower"
    • Description:

      Rose is derived from the Latin rosa, which referred to the flower. There is also evidence to suggest it was a Norman variation of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis, meaning “famous type,” and also Hros</>, "horse". In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.
  3. ThomasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "twin"
    • Description:

      Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
  4. NovaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "new"
    • Description:

      Nova is a name that has the feel of both newness, from his meaning, and great energy from being an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.
  5. WillaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.
  6. KnoxHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "round hill"
    • Description:

      Knox is an old Scottish surname that Brad Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) and Angelina Jolie took out of the back cupboard, dusted off, and elevated to coolness--to the point where it entered the popular baby names list in 2009. Knox now ranks among the most influential celebrity baby names.
  7. SimonHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "he has heard; flat-nosed"
    • Description:

      Simon is pure and simple (not in the nursery rhyme sense), and an appealingly genuine Old and New Testament name that's not overused – making Simon a stylish choice. In the Bible, Simon was the second son of Jacob and Leah and the original name of Saint Peter, as well as the name of several New Testament figures. Historically, Simon Bolivar is known as The Liberator of Latin America.
  8. WilliamHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
  9. XavierHeart
    • Origin:

      Basque
    • Meaning:

      "new house"
    • Description:

      Xavier originated is use as a given name after Saint Francis Xavier, cofounder of the Jesuit order, who got his name from the Spanish-Basque village where he was born. His birthplace was Javier, the name of which was derived from the Basque place name Etxeberria, meaning “castle” or “new house.” Many Americans pronounce the initial X, as in ex-ZAY-vee-er, but it's equally accepted to pronounce the name ZAY-vee-er, closer to the French pronunciation.
  10. AndrewHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "strong and manly"
    • Description:

      Andrew is a variant of the Greek name Andreas, ultimately derived from the element aner, meaning “man.” In the New Testament, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles and the first disciple to be called by Jesus. Although the origins of the name are Greek, Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia, as well as Greece. It has associations with two of America's most famous artists, Wyeth and Warhol.
  11. BriarHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • 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.
  12. LawrenceHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Laurentium"
    • Description:

      Lawrence has survived from Roman times, when Laurentium was a city noted for its laurel trees (the laurel is a symbol of wisdom and achievement). It was in the Top 50 from the 1890s through the 1950s and the Top 100 for decades longer, always among the most popular boys' names starting with L, but Lawrence is now used less for babies than Landon or Lorenzo. Nickname Lauro perks it up while Larry feels terminally dated. The Laurence spelling was popularized by Sir Laurence Olivier and is also attached to fellow actor Laurence Fishburne.
  13. CalvinHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bald, hairless"
    • Description:

      Calvin is a slightly quirky but cozy name that has a fashion edge thanks to Calvin Klein. It has been steadily on the popularity list since records were kept, never lower than Number 250, peaking in the 1920s, the era of the Calvin (originally John Calvin ) Coolidge presidency.
  14. WesleyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "western meadow"
    • Description:

      Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback -- though it's not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.
  15. RowanHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish and Irish
    • Meaning:

      "rowan tree; little redhead"
    • Description:

      Rowan is the name of a tree with red berries that's commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches). Some scholars say this name has been used for girls as well as boys since the Middle Ages, though no Rowans are found outside literature until modern times. It's also a genial Irish surname choice, especially for a redhead – girl or boy.
  16. MasonHeart
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "worker in stone"
    • Description:

      Mason has become mega-popular; it hit as high as the Number 2 spot in 2011 and has stayed near the top of the charts since.
  17. LincolnHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "town by the pool"
    • Description:

      Lincoln cracked the Top 50 for boys' names for the first time in 2016, more than 150 years after the death of its most famous bearer. This is especially remarkable because, as crazy as it seems now, Lincoln was deeply out of fashion as recently as the late 90s, consistently hovering near the bottom of the Top 1000. This admirable presidential choice with a stylish two-syllable sound projects the tall, rangy, upright, image of Honest Abe. Bill Murray is father to a son named Lincoln, and Kathryn Erbe's boy Carson has Lincoln for his middle name. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard gender-bent it for their daughter.
  18. EmersonHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "son of Emery"
    • Description:

      Emerson is a dignified, somewhat serious name associated with transcendental thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. Much more popular now for girls since Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher used it for her daughter, it is definitely still a viable boys name.
  19. CooperHeart
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "barrel maker"
    • Description:

      The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on -- and Cooper remains a pleasing option.
  20. LewisHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Louis
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrior"
    • Description:

      Lewis is the best spelling to choose if you want this pronounced with the S. Lewis has been in the Top 5 in Scotland since 2000, and is one that parents in the U.S. are just beginning to rethink.