2017 Favorite Name List

  1. Adelaide
    • Origin:

      Variant of Adelheidis, German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Adelaide is now heading straight uphill on the coattails of such newly popular sisters as Ava, Ada, and Audrey, and in the company of Adeline and Amelia. It was chosen by actress Katherine Heigl for the name of her second daughter.
  2. Cecily
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Cecil
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecily is as dainty as a lace handkerchief. Cecily has a wide assortment of namesakes. One Cecily was the mother of King Richard III, whose beauty gained her the title "the Rose of Raby," Cecily Parsley is a Beatrix Potter bunny, Cecily Cardew is a character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the author of the Gossip Girl books is Cecily von Ziegesar.
  3. Dexter
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dyer, right-handed"
    • Description:

      The jazzy, ultra-cool Dexter, like most names with an "x," has a lot of energy and dynamism. Over the years, it's been attached to a number of diverse real and fictional personalities—C. K. Dexter Haven, the witty Cary Grant character in The Philadelphia Story; Dexter Green, the protagonist of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story "Winter Dreams"; great jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon; the boy-genius protagonist of cartoon Dexter's Laboratory; and the most recent TV series Dexter based on the books by Jeff Lindsay, whose lead happens to be a genial but sociopathic serial killer.
  4. Elodie
    • Origin:

      French, variation of Alodia, German
    • Meaning:

      "foreign riches"
    • Description:

      The lyrical and melodious Elodie, a Nameberry favorite, is starting to rise through the US popularity charts for the first time since the 1880s. It's a uncommon member of the trending El- family of names, which includes Ella, Eloise, and Eleanor.
  5. Emerald
    • Origin:

      Gem name; Persian
    • Meaning:

      "green"
    • Description:

      Emerald is the intriguing color and jewel name of the deep green stone treasured as far back as ancient Egypt — it's supposed to open one's heart to wisdom and to love and be good for strengthening relationships — which could make for an interesting, unusual name, particularly with the popularity of so many Em-starting names.
  6. Gemma
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "precious stone"
    • Description:

      Gemma is a jewel of a name, an Italian classic that was very popular in 1980s England, but has only recently been started to be used here; it entered the list in 2008.
  7. Isla
    • Origin:

      Scottish place-name or Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "island"
    • Description:

      Isla is a hit name throughout the English-speaking world but hasn't found the same popularity in other western countries, perhaps because its spelling and pronunciation don't make sense for those whose native language is not English. Think island without the final two letters.
  8. Ivy
    • Origin:

      Botanical name
    • Description:

      The quirky, offbeat and energetic botanical name Ivy is enjoying a deserved revival, propelled even higher by its choice by high-profile parents Beyonce and Jay-Z for daughter Blue Ivy. Ivy is also traditionally used at Christmas, make this one of the perfect names for December babies.
  9. Jasper
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
  10. Laurel
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "laurel tree"
    • Description:

      Laurel takes Laura back to its meaning in nature, resulting in a gentle, botanical option. Even more directly than Laura, Laurel relates back to the laurel wreath signifying success and peace in ancient Greece and Rome.
  11. Mabel
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Amabel, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lovable"
    • Description:

      Mabel is a saucy Victorian favorite rising in popularity in the US over the past decade, after a 50-year nap If you love offbeat old-fashioned names like Violet or Josephine, only sassier, Mabel is one for you to consider.
  12. Maisie
    • Origin:

      Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "pearl or bitter"
    • Description:

      Maisie, a charming name long popular as a nickname for Margaret or Mary, entered the Top 1000 as itself ten years ago and continues to rise. Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams helped propel the name back into the limelight, along with the that of her character, Arya.
  13. Margot
    • Origin:

      French, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margot is suddenly a star again. After a nearly-half century absence, it hopped back on the Top 1000 list in 2013 and is on the rise. The Margot spelling is now given to three times as many baby girls as the Margo one.
  14. Marlow
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "driftwood"
    • Description:

      An old English surname name that sounds just like the invented Marlo. Though the final w places it among the more buttoned-up androgynous baby names, all spellings of the name, which also include Marlowe, are gaining in popularity for girls.
  15. Mavis
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "songbird"
    • Description:

      Mavis, another word for the song thrush, is also a relative of the Welsh word for strawberries, mefus. Mavis has something of a British World War II feel, a friend of Beryl and Doris, but it was quite popular in the U.S. a couple of decades earlier, peaking in the Roaring Twenties. With the renewed interest in names ending in 's' — and in bird names — Mavis could make a return, especially with the new interest in Maeve, and in fact, it reentered the US Top 1000 after a 50-year absence in 2016.
  16. Maxon
    • Origin:

      American invented name, literary name, elaboration of Max, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      The newly-styled Maxon takes its cue from Jaxon, another elaboration of a classic name on the rise. Maxon is not bad, as invented names go, yet it's hard for us to advocate for Maxon over Maxwell, Maxfield, Maximus, or just plain Max.
  17. Monroe
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "mouth of the Roe river"
    • Description:

      Monroe is a presidential name which, thanks to the immortal beauty of Marilyn Monroe, is catching on fast for baby girls. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon chose it for their twin daughter, honoring Marilyn Monroe. Their use of Monroe as a girls’ name did much to revive this Old Man name, a la Sydney, as a newly fashionable choice for girls.
  18. Odele
    • Origin:

      English from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "song"
    • Description:

      Sounds a lot like the recently revived Adele.
  19. Odelia
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, German
    • Meaning:

      "I will praise the Lord or wealth"
    • Description:

      Pretty Hebrew name that would create a strong but feminine impression, as well as a variant of the Germanic name Odilia or Ottilie.
  20. Opal
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit
    • Meaning:

      "gem"
    • Description:

      Opal is on the verge of a repolishing, following other jewel names like Ruby and Pearl. A Top 100 name during the first two decades of the twentieth century, the opalescent Opal has a good chance of coming back as another O-initial option.