Short and Sweet Names

  1. Ava
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
    • Meaning:

      "life; bird; water, island"
    • Description:

      Ava is one of the prime examples of a modern classic name, rising thought the course of a generation into the Top 10, where it has lingered for nearly 20 years.
  2. Coco
    • Origin:

      Spanish and French pet name
    • Description:

      Coco came to prominence as the nickname of the legendary French designer Chanel (born Gabrielle) and has lately become a starbaby favorite, initially chosen by Courteney Cox for her daughter Coco Riley in 2004. At first it was the kind of name that the press loves to ridicule, but we predict Coco's heading for more broad acceptance and even popularity.
  3. Ellie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Eleanor and Ellen
    • Meaning:

      "bright shining one"
    • Description:

      Ellie first took off in the UK—yes, in this nickname form—and this warm and friendly name has also become hugely popular here. In 2011, Ellie entered the US Top 100 girl names for the first time and has remained near the top of the charts ever since.
  4. Fay
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fairy"
    • Description:

      Fay, also spelled Faye, who had been napping quietly since the 1930's, has, like cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae, sat up and started rubbing her eyes, ready for a mini-comeback, especially as a middle name. In 2014, Faye hopped back onto the US Top 1000, though Fay is used much more quietly as a first name.
  5. Harry
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Henry
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Harry is the medieval English form of Henry, which derived from the Germanic name Heimrich, meaning "estate ruler." Harry was the nickname of all eight King Henrys; it is also a diminutive of Harold and Harrison.
  6. James
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages that is more popular—and yes, stylish—than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite boys' baby names, and is the most common male name, counting people of all ages, in the US.
  7. Jane
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan.
  8. 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.
  9. Lex
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Cool short form of Alexander, fresher than Alex and less trendy than Xander... for now.
  10. Nora
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Honora or Eleonora, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "honor or meaning unknown"
    • Description:

      Nora is a lovely, refined name that conjures up images of Belle Epoch ladies in fur-trimmed coats skating in Central Park. Long seen as a quintessentially Irish name though its roots are not in Ireland, Nora is a quietly stylish favorite that's tiptoed to the top of the popularity ladder.
  11. Quinn
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "descendant of Conn, chief leader, intelligence"
    • Description:

      Quinn is one of the first popular Irish unisex surnames, a strong and attractive choice on the rise for girls but still popular for boys. Quinn was used for about 3000 baby girls and 700 boys in the US last year.
  12. Rue
    • Origin:

      Botanical names or word name
    • Meaning:

      "herb; regret"
    • Description:

      Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.