My favourite names

  1. Abel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "breath"
    • Description:

      Abel, the name of Adam and Eve's unfortunate younger son, compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing.
  2. Amalie
    • Origin:

      Danish, Norwegian, and German form of Amalia or Amelia
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      In European countries where it's regularly used as a form of the Amelia family of names, the pronunciation is very similar to the a-ending form, Amalia.
  3. Anneliese
    • Origin:

      German, Dutch
    • Meaning:

      "grace + oath"
    • Description:

      Anneliese is a German and Dutch combination of Anna and Liese (a form of Elizabeth) with an Old World feel but modern appeal. The Anglicized Annalise spelling in in the US Top 500, but this authentic German version has only ever broken into the US Top 1000 once, back in 2005.
  4. Benjamin
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of the right hand"
    • Description:

      Benjamin is a biblical name that has enjoyed widespread favor for decades, ranking in the US Top 50 for almost half a century and the Top 10 from 2015 until 2023.
  5. Cain
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "spear; possessed"
    • Description:

      Biblical name Cain was, until recently, seldom heard outside of the Old Testament and soap operas. Although Cain's murderous actions will always make this name difficult for some, Cain, Eve and Adam's firstborn, was a farmer - making this a good choice for those with farming connections. Long outshone by Abel, Cain is starting to find a broader audience, helped along by homophones Kane or Caine.
  6. Charlotte
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte, the name of the young Princess of Cambridge, is the latest classic name to join Sophia, Emma, Olivia, and Isabella at the top of the popularity list. It is now among the most popular girl names in many English-speaking and European countries.
  7. Delilah
    • Origin:

      Hebrew or Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "delicate"
    • Description:

      Melodic and lively, Delilah has cut itself (mostly) free from its treacherous past to become a contemporary favorite.
  8. Elias
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of Elijah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "Yahweh is God"
    • Description:

      Strong, charismatic, and sleek, Elias has followed in the footsteps of Elijah and Eli to become a popular choice among parents today.
  9. Eliza
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Eliza is a name with a wonderful combination of streamlined zest and Eliza Doolittle charm and spunk. It's a classic that's popular right now -- but not too popular.
  10. Evangeline
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of good news"
    • Description:

      Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.
  11. Faron
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "handsome servant"
    • Description:

      Faron, a soft and gentle name, has a diverse group of references. There was the medieval Saint Faron, Bishop of Meaux (who has given his name to a cheese); Faron Young, a colorful midcentury country singer known as The Hillbilly Heartthrob, and a character from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  12. 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.
  13. Gideon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "hewer; or, having a stump for a hand"
    • Description:

      Gideon is a no-longer neglected Old Testament name, but still makes an excellent choice for parents looking to move beyond such overused biblicals as Benjamin and Jacob. In the Old Testament, Gideon was a judge called on by God to rescue the Jews from the Midianites, and the name was popular among the Puritans.
  14. Isla
    • Origin:

      Scottish place-name or Spanish
    • Meaning:

      "island"
    • Description:

      Isla is a hit name throughout the English-speaking world but hasn't found the same popularity in other western countries, perhaps because its spelling and pronunciation don't make sense for those whose native language is not English. Think island without the final two letters.
  15. 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.
  16. Jesse
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "gift"
    • Description:

      King David's father turned 1980s cowboy, Jesse is now down in popularity. The name is associated with a wide variety of bearers, from outlaw Jesse James to Olympic athlete Jesse Owens to activist Jesse Jackson to current actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Eisenberg. The spelling Jesse is more usual as a boys' name while Jessie is more traditional for girls.
  17. Joseph
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah increases"
    • Description:

      Joseph is one of the most classic names in American nomenclature, popular with parents from many ethnic backgrounds and having dual-religious appeal.
  18. Jude
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is a modern star, maintaining a steady level of popularity -- but not TOO much popularity -- for more than a decade now. Thank Jude Law and the great Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude", double-handedly responsible for propelling Jude up the charts.
  19. Juliet
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      One of the most romantic names, the lovely and stylish Juliet seems finally to have shaken off her limiting link to Romeo. In Shakespeare's play, it was Juliet who said "What's in a name?"
  20. Lilia
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Italian and Russian
    • Meaning:

      "lily"
    • Description:

      Lilia is pretty double L name that makes for sparkly, floral choice with plenty of international flair. More distinctive that Lily, less popular than Liliana, Lia, and Lilian, Lilia was a new entry to the US Top 1000 in 2023.