My Favorite Names

  1. Ada
    • Origin:

      German or Turkish
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility, or island"
    • Description:

      Ada is one of the classic baby names for girls that is suddenly super stylish again. A favorite at the end of the nineteenth century, Ada is an alternative to the over-popular Ava. Ada is also part of the trend toward simple, old-fashioned names beginning with a vowel, like Ivy and Ella.
  2. Annie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Ann
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Annie is one of the most open and optimistic, the-sun'll-come-out-tomorrow type of name, having been celebrated over the years in song (Annie Laurie), comic strip (Little Orphan Annie), folklore (Annie Oakley, born Phoebe), and film (Annie Hall). It strikes a nice old-fashioned-but-jaunty chord that still has appeal, but we do suggest that you consider putting a more formal version on her birth certificate.
  3. August
    • Origin:

      German form of Latin Augustus
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
  4. Claudia
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Claude
    • Meaning:

      "lame; enclosure"
    • Description:

      Claudia is a classic name with ancient Roman roots. Never truly in or truly out, Claudia feels like a strong, modern choice that hits the sweet spot between too popular and too unusual..
  5. Emmett
    • Origin:

      English masculine variation of Emma, German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.
  6. Eve
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "life"
    • Description:

      Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.
  7. Finn
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "fair or white"
    • Description:

      Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.
  8. Fiona
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "white, fair"
    • Description:

      Fiona entered the American consciousness with the opening of the 1954 Broadway musical Brigadoon, but didn't come onto the U.S. popularity list until 1990.
  9. Ian
    • Origin:

      Scottish version of John
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is gracious"
    • Description:

      Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
  10. 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.
  11. Leo
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now at its highest point ever in the US thanks in part to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio.
  12. 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.
  13. Ronan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little seal"
    • Description:

      Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.
  14. Simone
    • Origin:

      French, feminine variation of Hebrew Simon
    • Meaning:

      "hearkening"
    • Description:

      Simone, the elegant French feminization of Simon, strikes that all-important balance between unusual and familiar, and it's oozing with Gallic sophistication. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a daughter named Simone; Chris Rock used it in the middle place for his daughter, as did Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates
  15. Solenne
    • Tea
      • Origin:

        Short form of Dorotea or Mattea
      • Meaning:

        "gift of God"
      • Description:

        As Theo and Thea get more popular, so do Teo and Tea, short forms of the Latinate variations of Theodore and Matthew -- which include Dorotea and Mattea. But like Theo and Thea, Tea can stand perfectly well on its own and blends seamlessly into any Anglophone or European culture, if that is your aim. Some may argue that the Tea version is the prettiest and it's certainly the sleekest.
    • Theo
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Theodore
      • Meaning:

        "gift of God"
      • Description:

        See the popularity graph below for the name Theo? It's been heading straight uphill since 2010, when it hopped back onto the Top 1000 after a 60+ year absence.
    • Will
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of William
      • Meaning:

        "resolute protector"
      • Description:

        Will has definitely replaced Bill, not only as a nickname for William but as a stand-alone name as well, partly thanks to England's Prince William, also known as Wills.
    • Zoe
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "life"
      • Description:

        Zoe is one of those surprising names that has been on the Top 1000 nearly every year since 1880, but it's only since the turn of this century that it's ranked in the Top 100.