Favourite names

  1. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  2. Aria
    • Origin:

      Italian and Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "air; song or melody; lion"
    • Description:

      Aria is a multi-cultural name with two extremely popular versions: this more word-like one along with Arya, the spelling used for the feisty young heroine of Game of Thrones. There were about 6400 baby girls named Aria in the US last year alog with 2400 named Arya, which counted together places the name in the Top 10.
  3. Camila
    • Origin:

      Spanish variation of Camilla
    • Meaning:

      "young ceremonial attendant"
    • Description:

      The Spanish Camila, pronounced ka-MEE-la, is the fastest rising version of this ancient Roman name, but recent royal Camilla may have helped promote the British brand.
  4. Charlotte
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte, the name of the young Princess of Cambridge, is the latest classic name to join Sophia, Emma, Olivia, and Isabella at the top of the popularity list. It is now among the most popular girl names in many English-speaking and European countries.
  5. Claire
    • Origin:

      French form of Clara
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Claire, luminous, simple, and strong, is one of those special names that is familiar yet distinctive, feminine but not frilly, combining historical depth with a modern edge. And though Claire is enjoying revived popularity, it will never be seen as trendy. Claire is also a great middle name choice.
  6. Declan
    • Origin:

      Irish, meaning unknown, possible "man of prayer"
    • Meaning:

      "man of prayer"
    • Description:

      Declan is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Deaglán. St. Declan was one of the first missionaries to bring Christianity to Ireland, preceding St. Patrick. Originally from Wales, he founded the monastery of Ardmore in Ireland.
  7. Ella
    • Origin:

      German; English
    • Meaning:

      "all, completely; fairy maiden"
    • Description:

      Ella is a sweet, simple name that owes much of its current popularity to the popularity of other names, from Emma to Bella to Emily to Ellie.
  8. Henry
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
  9. Holden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "hollow valley"
    • Description:

      Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates--though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield -- not coincidentally in tune with the Hudson-Hayden-Colton field of names. (Trivia note: Salinger supposedly came up with the name while looking at a movie poster promoting a film starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, though other sources say he was named after Salinger's friend Holden Bowler.) Another impetus was provided by a soap opera character introduced in 1985.
  10. Isaac
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "laughter"
    • Description:

      Isaac has shaved off his biblical beard and leaped into the upper echelon of popular boys' names, outrunning cousin Isaiah. A favorite of the Puritans, Isaac has never dipped below Number 400 on the US list of top boy names.
  11. Jackson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Jack"
    • Description:

      Jackson is one of those names that's much more popular than you think, coming in near the top of our annual Playground Analysis, which ranks names by grouping all their spellings together. There were nearly 17,000 baby boys named Jackson -- along Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, and Jaxsyn -- which counted together makes it the Number 3 boys' name.
  12. Lena
    • Origin:

      English, Scottish, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian, diminutive of various names ending in lena
    • Description:

      This pet form of Helena and other ena-ending names, long used as an independent name, is attracting notice again as an option both multicultural and simple. Lena was a Top 100 name from 1880 to 1920.
  13. Leo
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now at its highest point ever in the US thanks in part to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio.
  14. Madison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Matthew"
    • Description:

      Since we wrote a book called Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, encouraging parents to move beyond overused names, it's no secret what we think of this trendy surname name, inspired by a mermaid named Madison in the 1980s movie Splash.
  15. Noah
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "rest, repose"
    • Description:

      Noah is nearly a patriarch of popular baby names at this point, going from Old Testament graybeard to Top 10 name in 2009, hitting Number 1 in 2013, and now settled into second place in the US for the past seven years.
  16. Olivia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree"
    • Description:

      Olivia, a lovely Shakespearean name with an admirable balance of strength and femininity, is the Number 1 name for baby girls in the US and one of the top girls' names around the world.
  17. Vera
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • Description:

      Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.
  18. Xavier
    • 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.