Becca's list

  1. Adrian
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "man of Adria"
    • Description:

      Adrian is one of those names that’s easy to picture on all kinds of people. From an active and energetic five-year-old to your great grandpa, from the coolest, breeziest guy you know, to the quiet, serious one, it’s no wonder Adrian has always made the US Top 500 since the early 20th century.
  2. Adrienne
    • Origin:

      Latin, feminine variation of Adrian
    • Meaning:

      "man from Adria"
    • Description:

      A long-integrated French feminine form of Adrian, now overshadowed by the a-ending version, but still a valid option, with considerable substance and dignity—though these days more parents would probably choose Adriana.
  3. Alec
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alexander, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alec, though an old nickname for Alexander, is much fresher sounding than Alex, with the additional advantage, at least to some parents, of being distinctly male (there are as many girl Alexes these days as there are boys). While Alec has a clipped British image, it's actually one of the classic Greek names for boys, by way of father name Alexander.
  4. 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.
  5. Anthony
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Antium"
    • Description:

      Substantial, strong, and enduring, Anthony has remained a perennially popular name over the last century. With just a hint of playfulness and just a touch of clunky-coolness, Anthony is a versatile choice that seems comfortable anywhere.
  6. Ashton
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "ash trees place"
    • Description:

      The recent ascent of this English surname is due to two things: the megapopular Ash beginning and TV/movie hottie Ashton Kutcher. The name peaked at Number 76 in 2004, a year after Ashton Kutcher's (both Christopher Ashton) hit TV show Punk'd made its debut.
  7. Audrey
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "noble strength"
    • Description:

      Audrey is one of the girls' names that have been rising due to their connection to Old Hollywood glamour—in this case the eternally chic and radiant Audrey Hepburn. Audrey has another very different appeal as one of the elite group of girl names that mean strong, brave, or powerful.
  8. Audriana
    • Description:

      Variation of Adriana, with a dash of Audrey thrown in.
  9. Braedon
    • Origin:

      Irish, variation of Bradan
    • Meaning:

      "salmon"
    • Description:

      One of the many, many, many variations of this name very popular with parents, including actor Kevin Sorbo.
  10. Brook
    • Origin:

      English nature name
    • Meaning:

      "small stream"
    • Description:

      Now that the popularity of Brooke is waning, and surname style variant Brooks is on the rise, Brook seems live a newly fresh nature-inspired option.
  11. Bryn
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "hill"
    • Description:

      Bryn is an up-and-coming gentle, yet substantial, Welsh name that would also be effective in the middle spot. In Wales it's a traditional boys' name, but it's far more popular for girls now in the US.
  12. Cali
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of any Cal- name
    • Description:

      A short form that is given on its own to a good number of baby girls each year — Cali has been on trend in recent years along with sister names Callie and Kali, as the popular 90s and early 2000s nickname Allie has felt less fresh. The Cali spelling in particular also brings to mind the sunny state of California and all of the beachy imagery that follows.
  13. Camden
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "winding valley"
    • Description:

      Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.
  14. Cameron
    • Origin:

      Scottish surname
    • Meaning:

      "crooked nose"
    • Description:

      With its friendly, sensitive, and approachable feel, Cameron is a 90’s favorite that remains popular today. It has a pleasing balance of soft and strong sounds, and holds unisex appeal, thanks to Cameron Diaz. Still, ten times more boys than girls are named Cameron in the US.
  15. Canada
    • Origin:

      Iroquois place-name
    • Meaning:

      "village"
    • Description:

      Canada is an undiscovered but attractive place-name possibility, up till now a masculine territory.
  16. Cory
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "from the hollow"
    • Description:

      A variation of Corey, this spelling has also been on a steady decline since the early-1990s. Its days are likely numbered on the US popularity charts altogether.
  17. Daniel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my judge"
    • Description:

      Daniel is one of only a handful of male names that sounds both classic and modern, strong yet approachable, and popular but not cliched. It also has a solid Old Testament pedigree. The only real downside: There are about 10,000 Daniels named each year, making it a less than distinctive choice.
  18. Deacon
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "messenger, servant"
    • Description:

      This name was transposed from the word for a church officer to a baby name when Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe chose it for their son, after a baseball player ancestor, and Don Johnson followed suit. Its popularity also got a boost from Nashville character Deacon Claybourne -- only to fall a bit in recent years.
  19. Ezra
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Ezra has a lot going for it: the strength of its heroic Biblical legacy, its quirky sound, and its fresh but familiar feel. Ezra is now at its highest point ever, but its intuitive streamlined spelling and deep roots could make it a worth successor to Elijah in the Top 10 -- or even to Liam or Noah at Number 1.
  20. Harper
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "harp player"
    • Description:

      You might think of Harper as the hottest name of the last decade, jumping from obscurity to the Top 10, where it remained until last year.