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  1. Betty
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Elizabeth
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Combine the popularity of Betty White and Mad Men's glamorous Betty Draper Francis, with the residual sweetness of Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez, and the result is an impending return of the name. It's got presidential cred via Betty Ford and feminist history through Betty Friedan.
  2. Clara
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. It now ranks right around Number 100, making it a modern classic that's neither too popular nor unfamiliar.
  3. Dolores
    • Origin:

      Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "lady of sorrows"
    • Description:

      Though it's related to the Virgin Mary, this name was once perceived as the height of sensuality, a role since taken over by nicknames Lola and Lolita.
  4. Eugene
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "wellborn, noble"
    • Description:

      Eugene is a classic that has rather lost its way. On the one hand, it's a grandpa, even great-grandpa name that hasn't been one of the cool kids recently—or to quote Jim Carrey, who bears this name in the middle spot, "You can never get too cool with a name like Eugene." The hero of Disney's Tangled felt the same way, when he changed his birth name of Eugene to the more romantic Flynn.
  5. Evelyn
    • Origin:

      English from French and German
    • Meaning:

      "desired; or water, island"
    • Description:

      After decades of disuse, soft and feminine Evelyn has returned to the baby name stage in a huge way. It reached the Top 10 for the first time in 2017. Evelyn has now surpassed its former heights, joining a legion of contemporary little Evas, Avas, Eves, Evies, and Evelines.
  6. Farrah
    • Origin:

      Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "happiness"
    • Description:

      For a few seconds there in the late '70s, Farrah Fawcett's name was as frequently copied as her hairstyle; the name was Number 177 in 1977. Now, after many years off the charts and out of style, it's back, mostly thanks to a TV Teen Mom who bears the name.
  7. Fergie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Fergus
    • Description:

      One Fergie was an aberration. But two women with that nickname -- the duchess and the Black Eyed Pea -- might make a trend.
  8. Fern
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "plant name"
    • Description:

      Of all the botanicals, Fern has been one of the slowest to move back from the front parlor into the nursery, despite the appealing girl character in the children's classic Charlotte's Web. Fern was most popular from the turn of the last century through the 1940s, reaching a high of #152 in 1916. We can certainly see her rejoining the long list of popular greenery names.
  9. Glinda
    • Origin:

      Literary name
    • Description:

      Glinda is famous as the name of the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, invented by author L. Frank Baum. but has there ever been a real life, non-fictional Glinda? Not in the US last year. The name may be related to the Welsh Glenda, itself a 20th century invention.
  10. Gretel
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margarete, German
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Gretel originated as a nickname for Margarete, the German form of Margaret. It’s a charming name, but most American parents prefer Greta, as Gretel is strongly tied to the fairy tale heroine.
  11. Hank
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Henry, German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Hank is a midcentury guy nickname (which actually dates back to the seventeenth century) of the Al/Hal/Dick school, which has been on recess from the playground for decades. Now it's just beginning to be given on its own again, appreciated for its earthy, sportsguy cool. Hanks Aaron and Greenberg (born Henry) and Hank Williams (born Hiram) Sr and Jr. are worthy namesakes.
  12. Inessa
    • Origin:

      Russian variation of Ines; Spanish from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure, chaste"
    • Description:

      Inessa is a truly multi-cultural name, heard in Spain, Germany and Russia, and is related to the names Agnes and Ines/Inez.
  13. Jack
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  14. Jake
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, diminutive of Jacob
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      This unpretentious, accessible, and optimistic ("everything's jake" -- meaning OK) short form of the top name Jacob is itself widely used, though more parents these days are opting for the full name Jacob. Jake (born Jacob) Gyllenhall is its most prominent current bearer.
  15. Mary
    • Origin:

      Hebrew or Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
    • Description:

      Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
  16. Nathan
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "given"
    • Description:

      Nathan is an Old Testament name that's ranked among the Top 100 names for boys for 50 years, and could well stay there for another 50. Strong, solid, and attractive, It's a name familiar to every schoolchild through Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War spy.
  17. Norman
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "northerner, Norseman"
    • Description:

      Norman, perhaps because it sounds so much like the word 'normal', conjures up the image of a normal-looking guy with a normal kind of job-- not necessarily an image many modern parents seek for their sons. But though it's been off the national popularity list for several years, Norman is Number 694 on Nameberry. It was a Top 100 name for more than half a century, hitting a high in 1931 at Number 36, but today it's nowhere near one of the most popular boy names starting with N.
  18. Pancho
    • Origin:

      Spanish, diminutive of Francisco
    • Description:

      Pancho is a bit more problematic than such similar names as Pablo and Paco because of the Pancho Villa association.
  19. Paul
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "small"
    • Description:

      To the thousands of girls who screamed the name of their favorite Beatle in the 1960s, the boys' name Paul had a thrillingly unique image, but to the rest of the world, then and now, it's a name that's so simple and yet so widely diffuse that it could belong to almost anyone. Paul is an ancient name for boys -- popular in Roman and medieval times -- that's not very fashionable now, which can work in its favor, scarcity balancing simplicity.
  20. Peter
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rock, stone"
    • Description:

      Peter is derived from the Greek Petros, meaning "rock" or "stone." One of the most important figures in the Christian hagiography is Saint Peter, keeper of the Gates of Heaven. Born Simon bar Jonah, he was given the nickname Peter by Jesus, to signify that he would be the rock on which Christ would build Christianity. Centuries later, there was Peter the Great, the czar who developed Russia as a major European power.