Favorite Names

  1. 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.
  2. Asher
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate, blessed, happy one"
    • Description:

      Asher—an excellent, soft and sensitive Old Testament choice—is a baby boy name on the rise, and is a Nameberry biblical favorite.
  3. Aurora
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dawn"
    • Description:

      The goddess name Aurora has consistently been on the US popularity list since the nineteenth century, but has really taken off in the past 30 years. Aurora also enjoys remarkable international popularity, ranking in the Top 100 throughout the English-speaking world as well as in Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and several other European and Latin American countries.
  4. Callum
    • Origin:

      Scottish form of Columba, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Callum, a charming Scottish name high on the list in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is rising through the ranks in the US now too. And it comes complete with the easy nickname Cal.
  5. Cassia
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
    • Meaning:

      "cinnamon"
    • Description:

      Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."
  6. Clover
    • Origin:

      Flower name, from Old English
    • Meaning:

      "key"
    • Description:

      Clover is a charming, perky choice if you want to move beyond hothouse blooms like Rose and Lily, and it's recently become a new celeb favorite, chosen by both Neal McDonough and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who used it to honor her mother, Natalie Wood, one of whose most iconic films was Inside Daisy Clover.
  7. Elena
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining light"
    • Description:

      Elena is at its most popular point ever in the US, thanks to its cross-cultural appeal and the overall popularity of El- names. It's more international than Ellen or Eleanor, but still accessible.
  8. Emmett
    • Origin:

      English masculine variation of Emma, German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.
  9. Esme
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".
  10. Genevieve
    • Origin:

      English from French
    • Meaning:

      "tribe woman"
    • Description:

      Genevieve is derived from the Germanic medieval name Genovefa, or Kenowefa, which consists of the elements kuni, meaning "kin", and wefa, meaning "woman." The medieval saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, defended the city against Attila the Hun through her rational thinking, courage and prayer.
  11. Griffin
    • Origin:

      Welsh, variation of Griffith
    • Meaning:

      "strong lord"
    • Description:

      Griffin is one of the newer and most appealing of the two-syllable Celtic surnames. In English, griffin is the name of a mythological creature, half eagle, half lion. It re-entered the list in 1983 after an absence of 75+ years.
  12. Gunner
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian variation of Gunther
    • Meaning:

      "bold warrior"
    • Description:

      The kind of nouveau macho name favored by NRA-leaning parents. Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers gave it to his son in 2009. Gunnar is another spelling that makes the name a bit less militaristic.
  13. 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.
  14. Jude
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is a modern star, maintaining a steady level of popularity -- but not TOO much popularity -- for more than a decade now. Thank Jude Law and the great Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude", double-handedly responsible for propelling Jude up the charts.
  15. Juliette
    • Origin:

      French from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "little Julia"
    • Description:

      Juliette, pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable, adds a little something extra to Juliet. In the past years it has been rising up the chart.
  16. Kellin
    • Kira
      • Origin:

        Russian feminine variation of Cyrus
      • Meaning:

        "throne"
      • Description:

        Though such cognates of Kira as Keira, Kyra, and Ciara are evermore popular throughout Europe and in the U.S., this Cyrus relative has a different root. Variations include Keera, Kiera, Kierra, Kirah, Kiri, Kiria, Kiriah, Kiro, Kirra, Kirrah, Kirri, Kirya, and Kyra.
    • Liam
      • Origin:

        Irish short form of William
      • Meaning:

        "resolute protection"
      • Description:

        Liam is the top boys' name in the US, holding the Number 1 spot for the past seven years and also ranking as one of the most popular boys' names around the western world.
    • Lyra
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "lyre"
      • Description:

        Lyra is a name with ancient and celestial roots that's finding new popularity thanks to its starring role in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, seen in the movie The Golden Compass. Simple yet unique, Lyra hits the sweet spot between too popular and too unusual.
    • Mila
      • Origin:

        Slavic, Russian
      • Meaning:

        "gracious; dear"
      • Description:

        Mila is a popular name that took a 125 year nap, ranking in the Top 1000 in 1881 and then not ranking again until 2006, after actress Mila Kunis appeared on That 70s Show.