Trying Too Hard

  1. Alexia
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexandria
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      This diminutive, similar to Alex or Alexis, has been yo-yoing in popularity since the turn of the 21st century.
  2. Ane
    • 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.
    • Chance
      • Origin:

        French variation of Chauncey
      • Description:

        Once a cavalier Mississippi gambler type name, Chance has entered the mainstream since being endorsed by such celebrity dads as Larry King and Paul Hogan. Chance the Rapper has also boosted the name's popularity.
    • Elisabeth
      • Origin:

        Spelling variation of Elizabeth
      • Meaning:

        "pledged to God"
      • Description:

        This spelling of the classic name is found in France, Germany, Greece, and other cultures, and is worn by such notables as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth Shue, Elisabeth Moss, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The name's pronunciation is usually just like the Z version, but some parents choose this because they want to discourage the Liz or Lizzie short forms and so pronounce it as if it has Lisa in the middle.
    • Forrest
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "dweller near the woods"
      • Description:

        Forrest is one of the earliest appealingly sylvan, outdoorsy choices, borne by newsman Sawyer, actor Whitaker, and football Hall of Famer Gregg. Forrest Gates was a character on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
    • Harrison
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "son of Harry"
      • Description:

        Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.
    • Hayden
      • Origin:

        English place name
      • Meaning:

        "hay valley"
      • Description:

        Hayden – a formerly obscure name that's risen to huge popularity – has dipped in this year's ratings. Though Hayden is among the most distinctive of the bunch, it gets lost in the crowd of Jaidens, Bradens, Aidans, and endless variations. Associated with Hayden Christensen, of Star Wars fame.
    • Hester
      • Origin:

        Medieval variation of Esther, Persian
      • Meaning:

        "star"
      • Description:

        The disgraced heroine of The Scarlet Letter's name, after long neglect, just might have a chance at revival, following in the wake of sister-name Esther. We've characterized her elsewhere as an eccentric aristocrat, much more accepted in the U.K. than she has been here.
    • Jayden
      • Origin:

        Variation of Jaden or Jadon, Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "thankful"
      • Description:

        Reminiscent of 70’s favorite Jason, and sharing sounds with the perpetually popular James, Jayden is one of the more enduring members of the -ayden trend.
    • Josephina
      • Kai
        • Origin:

          Hawaiian
        • Meaning:

          "sea"
        • Description:

          Kai is an internationally flexible name with many possible origins and meanings, growing in popularity in the US and a diverse range of European countries.
      • Lilac
        • Origin:

          English, from Persian
        • Meaning:

          "bluish or lilac"
        • Description:

          Could Lilac be the next Lila or Lily or Violet? It certainly has a lot going for it--those lilting double 'l's, the fabulous fragrance it exudes, and the fact that it's a color name as well, providing a ready made nursery theme. In addition, the lilac is symbolic of first love.
      • Luther
        • Origin:

          German
        • Meaning:

          "army people"
        • Description:

          Once restricted to evangelical Protestants honoring the ecclesiastical reformer and theologian Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant revolution. In more recent times it has been favored by parents wishing to honor civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. Luther was a Top 100 name at the turn of the last century, but fell off the list in the early 1990s.
          Luther Burbank was an eminent botanist and Luther Vandross was a popular R&B artist. It's the name of a main character on the Disney series Zeke and Luther. The name was given a shot of contemporary energy via Idris Elba's dynamic performance in the eponymous BBC crime drama.
      • Maeve
        • Origin:

          Irish
        • Meaning:

          "she who intoxicates"
        • Description:

          Maeve is a short and sweet name that has become one of the most stylish Irish names for girls in the modern US. Maeve would make an excellent first or middle name choice, with more heft than Mae/May and more modern charm than Mavis.
      • Mathilda
        • Origin:

          Variation of Matilda
        • Meaning:

          "battle-mighty"
        • Description:

          The addition of the h makes it more Old World, which is not the direction you want to push Matilda in.
      • Mayson
        • Melisent
          • Origin:

            German, variation of Millicent
          • Meaning:

            "strong and industrious"
          • Description:

            A venerable name closer to MELISSA than the original MILLICENT.
        • Mirabella
          • Origin:

            Italian variation of Mirabelle
          • Meaning:

            "wonderful"
          • Description:

            The short-lived magazine edited by former Vogue chief Grace Mirabella put this beautiful name off-limits for a while, but now it's perfectly fit to join the fashionable Bella pantheon. More distinctive than Isabella.
        • Olive
          • Origin:

            English, from Latin, nature name
          • Meaning:

            "olive tree"
          • Description:

            Though greatly overshadowed by the trendy Olivia, Olive has a quiet, subtle appeal of its own -- and is now enjoying a remarkable comeback. Olive is one of only four girl names starting with O on the US Top 1000. Cool couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose it for their daughter, reviving the name to stylishness, and now Drew Barrymore has a little Olive too, as has country singer Jake Owen.