Favorite Names

  1. August
    • Origin:

      German form of Latin Augustus
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
  2. Avalon
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "island of apples"
    • Description:

      Avalon, an island paradise of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend--it was where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds-- and also the colorful capital of the California island of Catalina-- makes a heavenly first name. Actress Rena Sofer and British musician Julian Cope used it for their daughters.
  3. Belle
    • Origin:

      Short form of Isabelle or French
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Belle has nothing but positive associations, from "belle of the ball" to "Southern belle" to the heroine of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As if this weren't enough good things, Belle is also one of the most familiar and usable names that mean beautiful. Though it has been overshadowed by the Twilight-influenced Bella and longer forms like Isabella and Annabella, Belle has its own Southern charm and would make a pretty choice as a first or middle name.
  4. Casper / Kasper
    • Elliot
      • Origin:

        Anglicization of Elijah or Elias
      • Meaning:

        "Jehovah is God"
      • Description:

        Elliot (which boasts several spellings depending upon how many 'l's or 't's you want to use) is a winner -- it has the ideal quality of being neither too common nor weirdly unique. Elliot had a style boost back in the early 1980s via the young hero of the movie E.T. , who was named Elliot. Since then there have been Elliots on Law & Order: SVU and Mad Men.
    • Felix
      • Origin:

        Latin
      • Meaning:

        "happy, fortunate"
      • Description:

        Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
    • Frost
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "freezing"
      • Description:

        Long heard as a last name, as in venerable poet Robert, U.K. talk show host David, British actress Sadie and old Jack Frost, Frost has suddenly entered the scene as a possible first, along with other seasonal weather names like Winter and Snow.
    • Gabriel
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "God is my strength"
      • Description:

        Gabriel has become a biblical favorite, an angelic choice that's lighter and less patriarchal than some of his Old Testament brethren. Derived from the Hebrew name Gavri’el, Gabriel is taken from the elements gever, meaning "strong," and ’el, in reference to God.
    • Harvey
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "battle worthy"
      • Description:



        Harvey, which was brought to England by the Normans and is a version of the French name Herve, is a genial, old-timey name that has been much more popular across the pond. It has been a Top 100 choice in England & Wales since 1997.
    • Levi
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "joined, attached"
      • Description:

        Levi, lighter and more energetic than most biblical names, with its up vowel ending, combines Old Testament gravitas with the casual flair associated with Levi Strauss jeans.
    • Mia
      • Origin:

        Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
      • Meaning:

        "mine or bitter"
      • Description:

        Mia is an appealingly unfussy multicultural name that has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the charts and is now firmly among the ten top girl names. Mia has surpassed its mother name Maria as the Number 1 girls' name starting with M.
    • Miles
      • Origin:

        English form of Milo
      • Meaning:

        "soldier or merciful"
      • Description:

        Miles, which has a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boys' name that's an American classic. Always ranking in the US Top 1000, it's been drifting up the charts for the past half century but has never been TOO popular.
    • Noelle
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "Christmas"
      • Description:

        Noelle is the feminine variation of Noël, a masculine given name derived from the French word for "Christmas." As a word, Noël originated as a variant of nael, which evolved from the Latin natalis, meaning "birth." Noelle and Noel have traditionally been given to children born around Christmastime, particularly in the Middle ages.
    • Oliver
      • Origin:

        Latin
      • Meaning:

        "olive tree or elf army"
      • Description:

        Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
    • Orion
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "boundary, limit"
      • Description:

        Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.
    • Penelope
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "weaver"
      • Description:

        Penelope is an unlikely 21st century baby name success story. Off the Top 1000 for 25 years, Penelope jumped back on in 2001 and has been heading uphill ever since, propelled by the trend for mythological names, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, and some high-profile celebrity babies.
    • Polina
      • Origin:

        Russian and Basque, feminine variation of Paul
      • Description:

        This version of the more familiar Paulina is occasionally used in the US, though some may see it as relating more to the word pole than to the classic Paul.
    • Quill
      • Origin:

        Irish, diminutive of Quillan or Quiller; also English word name
      • Description:

        Quill is a unique possibility for the child of writers -- even if they do use computers rather than pens; could also serve as a rhyming tribute to an ancestor named Gil, Phil, or Bill (or Jill).
    • Rodion
      • Origin:

        Russian from Greek
      • Meaning:

        "song of the hero"
      • Description:

        Well used in Russia, this is a distinctive and undiscovered choice here. Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is the fictional protagonist of Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoyevsky.
    • Sebastian
      • Origin:

        Latin from Greek
      • Meaning:

        "person from ancient city of Sebastia"
      • Description:

        Sebastian is an ancient martyr's name turned literary, and Little Mermaid hero—think Sebastian the Crab—that's more popular than ever, as a classic-yet-unconventional compatriot for fellow British favorites T Theodore and Oliver.