Popular Names I Don't "Get"

  1. Addison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Adam"
    • Description:

      Newly fashioned but familiar and with an on trend, unisex feel, Addison seems like the perfect solution for anyone who can’t decide between Madison, Adeline, and Alison.
  2. Bailey
    • Origin:

      Occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "law enforcer, bailiff"
    • Description:

      Bailey -- a jaunty surname -- was first used for a female TV character in 1978 in the show WKRP in Cincinnaati, then caught on big time. Bailey's still an appealing choice, though, and a celebrity fave. Parents of daughters named Bailey include Scot Baio and Stella McCartney.
  3. Brooklyn
    • Origin:

      Place-name from Dutch
    • Meaning:

      "marshland"
    • Description:

      Extreme makeover: Brooklyn has gone from jokey Borough Boy name in the 1990s to a leading girls' name starting with B. The status of New York's Brooklyn as hipster heaven is ironic as few bona fide Brooklyn hipsters would choose this name.
  4. Colton
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "from the coal or dark town"
    • Description:

      Colton is a trendy two-syllable choice, with the popular 'on/en' ending.
  5. Hailey
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish clan name
    • Meaning:

      "Hay's meadow"
    • Description:

      There are no less than ten different variations of Hailey on the current Most Popular list, but this is the spelling that brought it into the Top 10 of 2010, although it has recently dipped a bit in popularity. So, although Hailey has a shiny, unpretentious charm, its mass popularity makes it very much of the moment. Look for the Hailee spelling to rise via Hailee Steinfeld, the young actress Oscar-nominated for her performance in True Grit.
  6. Hunter
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "one who hunts"
    • Description:

      Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.
  7. Jayden
    • Origin:

      Variation of Jaden or Jadon, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "thankful"
    • Description:

      Reminiscent of 70’s favorite Jason, and sharing sounds with the perpetually popular James, Jayden is one of the more enduring members of the -ayden trend.
  8. Kai
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "sea"
    • Description:

      Kai is an internationally flexible name with many possible origins and meanings, growing in popularity in the US and a diverse range of European countries.
  9. Kayden
    • Origin:

      Modern invented name
    • Description:

      This member of the aden/ayden extended family is a popular choice not only in the US but across the pond in England, Wales and Scotland as well. Angie Everhart has a son named Kayden Bobby.
  10. Kingston
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "king's town"
    • Description:

      Chosen for their first son by musical couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, this Jamaican place and elegant British surname also boasts the more regal yet user-friendly short form, King.
  11. 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.
  12. Mikala
    • Neveah
      • Origin:

        Spelling variation of Nevaeh
      • Description:

        In the beginning there was Nevaeh, created as a name by spelling the word heaven backwards, and Nevaeh rose to fame in the 2000's, becoming a mainstream choice by 2004.
    • Paige
      • Origin:

        English, occupational name
      • Meaning:

        "page to a lord"
      • Description:

        Paige is more name, and less word than the occupational Page. Paige is also sleek and sophisticated a la Brooke and Blair and reached as high as Number 47 in 2003, when there was a very popular television show, Trading Spaces, hosted by the energetic Paige Davis.
    • Parker
      • Origin:

        English occupational name
      • Meaning:

        "park-keeper"
      • Description:

        One of the first generation of surname names, along with Porter and Morgan, Parker's still one of the most appealing and remains firmly in the Top 100 for boys. About three times as many boys as girls get this occupational name. The association with Charlie Parker gives Parker itself a jazzy edge, and it also has a nature-related meaning. Rosie O'Donnell has a son named Parker.
    • Peyton
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "fighting-man's estate"
      • Description:

        Peyton is a unisex surname that rose to fame in the 90s, with parents drawing inspiration from football star, Peyton Manning, and, oddly enough, from "Peyton Flanders", the villainess of the 1992 film, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Combining gentle sounds with contemporary style and the naughtiness of Peyton Place, the name remains a popular choice in the US today.
    • Riley
      • Origin:

        English, Irish
      • Meaning:

        "rye clearing; courageous"
      • Description:

        Riley—an upbeat, friendly surname name—is red hot for girls and still going strong for boys. If you haven't been spending much time around babies recently, you may be surprised to learn that Riley is the most popular girls' name starting with R and also the Number 1 Irish name for girls in the US.
    • Ryder
      • Origin:

        British surname
      • Meaning:

        "cavalryman, messenger"
      • Description:

        Ryder, one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson and her rocker husband Chris Robinson chose it for their son in 2004. Very popular in several provinces of Canada, Ryder was chosen by John Leguzamo for his son and adorns Boy Meets World star Ryder Strong.
    • Rylan
      • Origin:

        English and Irish
      • Meaning:

        "island meadow"
      • Description:

        Parents seeking alternatives to the overexposed Ryan have flocked to this soundalike name, which peaked at #146 in 2011.
    • Savannah
      • Origin:

        Spanish
      • Meaning:

        "flat tropical grassland"
      • Description:

        A place name with a deep Southern accent, the once-obscure Savannah shot to fame, with others of its genre, on the heels of the best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set in the mossy Georgia city of Savannah. Originally a substitute for the overused Samantha, Savannah is now becoming overused itself, long among the top girls' names starting with S.