My favorite names (girl/boy)

  1. Alexander
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexander has been in a Top 25 boys' name in the US for 30 years now. But namers are still attracted to its imposing historic pedigree.
  2. Andrew
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "strong and manly"
    • Description:

      During its Top 10 heyday in the late 90s and early oughts, Andrew was one of the "cooler" classic boy names, an update on the old guard Roberts and Richards.
  3. Bridget
    • Origin:

      Anglicized variation of Gaelic Brighid
    • Meaning:

      "strength or exalted one"
    • Description:

      Bridget is the Anglicized form of Brigid, an Irish-Gaelic name that was derived from the word brígh, which means "strength."
  4. Charles
    • Origin:

      French from German
    • Meaning:

      "man, free man"
    • Description:

      Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries.
  5. Delphine
    • Origin:

      French from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "of Delphi; womb"
    • Description:

      Delphine is a sleek, chic French name with two nature associations — the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as a link to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. All of these derive from the Greek word delphus "womb".
  6. Eleanor
    • Origin:

      English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      Eleanor's straightforward feminine image combined with its royal medieval history is striking just the right note for parents in search of a girls' name that combines substance and style.
  7. 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.
  8. Helena
    • Origin:

      Latinate form of Helen, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helena is one of those classic names that just misses making the US Top 1000 girl names for its entire history, falling off for a single year in 1992. Since then it's been drifting lazily up the charts, and makes a perfect choice if you want a name that both fits in and stands out.
  9. 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.
  10. Jason
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "to heal"
    • Description:

      Jason, the Number 3 name for the entire decade of the 1970s -- thus the title of our original baby-naming book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason -- is more likely to be dad's name now than baby's, but it's still a widely used name.
  11. 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.
  12. Livia
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Olivia or Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blue, envious"
    • Description:

      Though it sounds like a chopped-off variation of Olivia, which means olive, the distinctively attractive Livia has been an independent name since the days of the ancient Romans, when it belonged to Livia Drusilla—the powerful wife of the Emperor Augustus—and is still commonly heard in modern Italy.
  13. Magnolia
    • Origin:

      Flower name, from French surname
    • Meaning:

      "Magnol's flower"
    • Description:

      Magnolia, a sweet-smelling Southern belle of a name made famous via the iconic Edna Ferber novel and musical Showboat, is one of the latest wave of botanical names, along with unexpected blossoms Azalea and Zinnia. It is named for French botanist Pierre Magnol.
  14. Miranda
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "marvelous"
    • Description:

      Miranda, a shimmeringly lovely, poetic name that was invented by Shakespeare for the beautiful and admirable young heroine of his play, The Tempest, is still a recommended choice even though its popularity peaked in the 1990's, partially as an antidote to Amanda. But while Amanda now sounds dated, Miranda retains a good measure of its charm.
  15. Mitchell
    • Origin:

      English variation of Michael
    • Meaning:

      "who is like God"
    • Description:

      Mitchell has had something of a roller coaster ride, showing some panache in the forties and fifties, when it was seen as a sharper alternative to Michael with its cool Mitch nickname, slipping a bit, then resurfacing in the 90s when it reached as high as Number 71. Mitchell Pritchett is one of the leading characters on the TV sitcom Modern Family.
  16. Sadie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Sarah
    • Meaning:

      "princess"
    • Description:

      Sadie started as a nickname for Sarah, but their images couldn't be more disparate. Where Sarah is serious and sweet, Sadie is full of sass and fun.
  17. Samuel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "told by God"
    • Description:

      Samuel has been so popular for so long that it's hard to believe it's still climbing, at its highest point since the 1890s.
  18. William
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.