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Most Common Names for Girls

Common names are different from popular names as they denote names found most widely amongst the entire population, not just used for babies in a single year. Names most common for females in the US over the past century are listed here, with Mary claiming the top spot, followed by Patricia, Jennifer, Linda, and Elizabeth. Some of the top names for baby girls today, such Sophia and Isabella, don't quite make it onto the Most Common Names list yet, but as older names such as Doris and Joyce fade away, they'll be replaced by newer popular names such as Ava and Charlotte. These are the 100 most common girl names of the past century.

  • Abigail

    Abigail comes from the Hebrew name Avigail and is derived from the Hebrew elements ab, meaning “father,” and g-y-l, meaning “to rejoice.” In the Old Testament, Abigail was the... Read More 

  • Alexis

    Alexis, a one-time exclusively-boys’ name, was more popular than its sister Alexandra for quite a while, but last year Alexandra was the more Read More 

  • Alice

    Alice was derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis. Adalhaidis, from which the name Adelaide is also derived, is composed... Read More 

  • Amanda

    After a long run as the prettiest senior in class, this romantic name has lost some of its glossy sheen, though it's still quite lovely and well used. Amanda was one of the romantic-sounding Read More 

  • Amber

    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... Read More 

  • Amy

    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... Read More 

  • Andrea

    Andrea -- a feminine form of Andrew (and a male name in several European cultures)-- comes with a good selection of pronunciations-- ANN-dree-a, AHN-dree-a, or ahn-DRAY-a--each with a slightly... Read More 

  • Angela

    Angela was a Top 10 name from 1965 to 1979, the fifth most popular name for three years, and staying in the double digits until the turn of the... Read More 

  • Ann

    Ann, the name of the sainted mother of the Virgin Mary, was among the top girls’ names for centuries, in both the original English Ann spelling and... Read More 

  • Anna

    Anna is the Latin form of Hannah, a Hebrew name that derived from root chanan, meaning “grace.” European Christians embraced the name for its associations with the Virgin Mary’s mother,... Read More 

  • 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 

  • Barbara

    If you can get the lively young Barbara Bush to replace her grandmother's white-haired image, you might discover a rhythmic classic with an interesting history. Barbara is undoubtedly among the... Read More 

  • Betty

    Combine the popularity of Betty White and Mad Men's glamorous Betty Draper Francis, with the residual sweetness of Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez, and the result is an impending... Read More 

  • Beverly

    The remarkable success of the girls' name Everly makes a revival of the name Beverly seem possible. More commonly a masculine name in the 19th century, it began to be used for girls in the early... Read More 

  • Brenda

    First the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's 1822 novel The Pirate, then a glamorous 1940s debutante, then the troubled twin on Beverly Hills 90210, and now fading in favor of more modern... Read More 

  • Brittany

    Brittany first arrived on the US popularity list in 1971, and rapidly zoomed up the charts, in the Top 100 a decade later. By 1986 it had entered the Top 10, becoming the third most popular Read More 

  • Carol

    A Caroline abbreviation that was wildly popular with Mom's generation...or Grandma's. At one time it was a name for baby girls born at... Read More 

  • Carolyn

    The phonetic Carolyn spelling, which was very popular from the 1920s to the '60s, has been steadily on the wane while Caroline herself has stayed strong.

    Carolyn Keene was the... Read More 

  • Catherine

    Catherine is one of the oldest and most consistently well-used girls’ names, with endless variations and nicknames. The Catherine form feels more... Read More 

  • Cheryl

    As frozen in the pre-Beatles era as short white gloves. Read More 

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