Most Common Names for Girls
Origin:French variation of Diana
Description:Like Joanne and Christine, middle-aged Diane has been overshadowed by the a-ending version of her name. Diane has a definite mid-century feel; it was a Top 20 name from 1946 to 1959. Though it has several distinguished bearers, including Dianes Sawyer, Keaton, von Furstenberg, Lane, Arbus, Kruger and Farr, it is rarely used for babies today.
Origin:Diminutive of Jane
Meaning:"God's gracious gift"
Description:Janet started as a pet form of Jane but has long been used independently. Jane is a feminine form of John, which derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan. Janet can also be considered a variation of Jeannette, a derivative of Joan and another feminization of the name John.
Origin:Variation of Katherine and Catherine, Greek
Description:Although the Kathryn spelling feels like a modern streamlining of this ancient royal and saints' name, it is in fact found back through history. At least one of Henry the Eighth's unfortunately wives sometimes spelled her name as Kathryn.
Origin:English, feminine variation of Charles
Description: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 Christmas. because of its association with Christmas carols.
Meaning:"dweller near the beaver stream"
Description: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 1900s, reaching #14 ion the popular names list in 1937. Inspirations: Beverly Johnson was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue, Beverly Sills was a major American soprano, Beverly Cleary authored the beloved 'Ramona' books, and Beverly Goldberg is the beloved TV matriarch of 'The Goldbergs'.
Description:Literally meaning "lady" in Italian, Donna was the perfect ladylike housewife mom name on The Donna Reed Show in the fifties and sixties. And there were plenty of namesakes: Donna was in the Top 10 in 1964. These days we'd be more likely to associate it with the emanciatpated clothes of Donna Karen than as a baby name.
Description:One of the first luxury brand names, and the quintessential Booming Eighties status-conscious moniker; used by Donald Trump for his daughter, Tiffany has plummeted far from its high in the Top 25.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Denis
Meaning:"god of Nysa"
Description:Denise was a French favorite of the fifties and sixties but is less chic now. In 2020 it broke back into the Top 1000 after a five-year hiatus, catapulted into style by reality TV star Denisse Novoa — but it dropped out again the following year.
Meaning:"blade of a sword"
Description: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 Brenna, Briana, and Bryn. Much more likely to be worn by a mother or grandmother these days. The song "Brenda's Got a Baby" was late rap megastar Tupac's debut single.
Description:Once the quintessential bouncy teenager name, Kelly helped launch the trend of unisex Irish names . But it now takes a backseat to more substantial surname names like Kennedy.
Origin:Diminutive of Alessandra, Italian from Greek
Description:2012's Hurricane Sandy blew away whatever style currency Sandra retained from its 1960s Sandra Dee heyday. While in recent years it's been associated with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, as a baby name Sandra is sinking beneath the waves.
Origin:Variation of Caroline
Description: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.
Description:Though Kimberly -- a South African diamond town name -- hasn't been stylish for decades, it was in the Top 5 throughout the sixties and seventies and long ranked among the top girls' names starting with K. Names with the -ly or -ley ending continue to be trendy, though, with Ashley falling while new choices such as Hadley and Kinsley are rising.
Origin:English spelling variation of Laurie; diminutive of Laura
Origin:Modern invented name, variation of Cherie, French
Description:As frozen in the pre-Beatles era as short white gloves.
Origin:Diminutive of Judith
Description:Judy was the nickname of choice for almost all the Judiths born in the 1940s and 50s; today's little Judiths are much more likely to be called Judith -- or, possibly, Jude.
Origin:Variation of Jane
Meaning:"God's gracious gift"
Description:For a minute or two this sounded more modern than Janet, now equally outmoded.
Origin:Spelling variation of Deborah
Description:When Deborah seemed too formal in the laid-back sixties, Debra stepped in as a pared-down alternative, but the pendulum is about to swing back.
Description:Shirley Temple almost single-handedly lifted the gloom of the Great Depression, and in tribute (and perhaps wishing for a similarly curly-headed, dimpled darling of their own), thousands of parents of that generation gave their little girls her name. In 1935, Shirley was the second most popular girls' name in the country with more than 42,000 babies named Shirley.