Fingernails On a Blackboard

  1. Aaden
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Aiden
    • Description:

      The more popular Aiden becomes, the more spelling variations we see in the Top 1000. This version was as high as Number 271 in 2009, though we recommend choosing a different spelling if you're set on this uber-popular moniker.
  2. Aiden
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little and fiery"
    • Description:

      Aiden in all its spelling variations is the Anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán, which was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.
  3. Alabama
    • Origin:

      Place-name; Choctaw
    • Meaning:

      "vegetation gatherers"
    • Description:

      Alabama is a hot southern place-name, picking up from Georgia and Savannah. This is not a geographical name come lately, though--there have been girls named Alabama dating back well over a century.
  4. Amber
    • 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).
  5. Amy
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      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 spelling variations include Amie and Ami.
  6. Apollo
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer"
    • Description:

      With mythological names rising, the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many other things might offer an interesting, if high-pressure, option.
  7. Ashley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller near the ash tree meadow"
    • Description:

      It may have peaked at #1 for girls in 1991 and 1992 in the US, but Ashley actually has a long history as a male given name, as evidenced by the sensitive Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind. It's always been more popular for boys in England and Wales, where it currently ranks at #414.
  8. Blaine
    • Origin:

      Irish and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "slender, angular"
    • Description:

      Attractive Scottish and Irish surname name of a seventh-century saint, associated with the illusionist and escape artist David Blaine.
  9. Blaire
    • Blake
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "fair-haired, dark"
      • Description:

        Blake -- an early unisex option -- dropped out of the Top 100 in 2017 for the first time since 1988, but remains a sophisticated choice. And yes, both conflicting meanings of Blake are accurate. It originated as a surname in England derived from a nickname. Much of its masculine image was influenced by the wealthy, silver-haired character Blake Carrington in the massively popular 80s TV series Dynasty. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Blake.
    • Blanche
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "white"
      • Description:

        Blanche, which originated as a nickname for a pale blonde and then became associated with the notion of purity, was in style a century ago, ranking in the double digits until 1920. She then had to fight the stereotype of faded Southern belle, a la Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Blanche Devereaux in TV's Golden Girls. Now all three of the Golden Girls--Blanche, Rose and Dorothy--could be ready for revival, with Blanche sounding like a stronger, simpler alternative to Bianca.
    • Brayden
      • Origin:

        Spelling variation of Irish surname Braden
      • Meaning:

        "salmon"
      • Description:

        Brayden is the top spelling of one of the epidemically popular rhyming cousins of Aiden, hitting the Top 100 in 2005.. It has dipped a bit recently, but is still widely used. Other popular spellings include Braden, Braeden, Braydon, Braiden, Braedon and Bradyn. Take your pick.
    • Bree
      • Origin:

        Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
      • Meaning:

        "strength or exalted one"
      • Description:

        A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.
    • Brett
      • Origin:

        Celtic
      • Meaning:

        "from Brittany"
      • Description:

        Football great Brett Favre single-handedly kept this name in the limelight, though it continues to sink in popularity.
    • Brian
      • Origin:

        Irish
      • Meaning:

        "strong, virtuous, and honorable"
      • Description:

        The origins of the name Brian are not entirely clear, but it is suspected that it evolved from an Old Celtic word related to nobility. In Ireland the name is associated with Brian Boru, the most famous of all Irish warrior-kings, credited with driving the Vikings out of Ireland around the year 1000.
    • Brianne
      • Brock
        • Origin:

          English
        • Meaning:

          "badger"
        • Description:

          Brock is a rock solid name, with a touch of preppy sophistication. It ranked solidly in the 200s-300s from 1975 until 2014, but has since tumbled a bit.
      • Bronx
        • Origin:

          Place name
        • Description:

          Rockers Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz put a new baby name on the map when they chose this downscale New York borough name for their son. The Bronx, the place, was named for early Dutch settler Jonas Bronck. Might Bronx become the next Brooklyn? We'd be surprised if it did.
      • Brooklyn
        • Origin:

          Place-name from Dutch
        • Meaning:

          "marshland"
        • Description:

          It may be the hippest of hispter neighborhoods, but as a baby name Brooklyn is now on the decline: down from a peak of 120 births for boys in 1999, and over 7000 births for girls in 2011.
      • Bryce
        • Origin:

          Variation of Brice, Scottish surname
        • Meaning:

          "speckled, freckled"
        • Description:

          This spelling of Brice relates the name to Utah's spectacular Bryce Canyon -- and is much more popular for both genders than the original Brice. Basketball's LeBron James named his son Bryce Maximus James, and in one of his early movies, John Cusack played a Bryce in Sixteen Candles.