Jan 27 2013 Top 20

Maja's favorite names at this particular moment on this particular day.
  1. Beatrix
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrix has a solid history of its own apart from Beatrice, with that final x adding a playful, animated note to the name's imposing history.
  2. Bryony
    • Origin:

      Latin flower name
    • Meaning:

      "to sprout"
    • Description:

      Bryony is an unusually strong plant name --the bryony is a wild climbing vine with green flowers --that caught on in the U.K. before sprouting here. The name of the young character in the Ian McEwan novel Atonement is spelled Briony, which is the variation and Bryony the original.
  3. Caspar
    • Origin:

      Persian, variation of Gaspar
    • Meaning:

      "keeper of the treasure"
    • Description:

      After half a century, this otherwise feasible name has at last started to lose its link to the friendly ghost; it certainly didn't scare model Claudia Schiffer, who chose it for her son, as did Atomic Kitten Jenny Frost. Iconoclastic namer Jason Lee switched genders and called his daughter Casper. Also related to the revived Jasper, Caspar seems headed towards the path to a similar resurgence.
  4. Christopher
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • Description:

      Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning "to bear."
  5. David
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      David is an enduring worldwide classic, used from ancient times to the present day.
  6. Digory
    • Elsa
      • Origin:

        German diminutive of Elisabeth
      • Meaning:

        "pledged to God"
      • Description:

        Lost in limbo for decades and decades, Elsa now stands a good chance of following along in the progression from Emma to Ella to Etta, thanks to the ice queen heroine who "Let It Go" in the wildly popular Disney movie Frozen. The name shot all the up to Number 286 (its highest ranking since the 1890s) in the year after the release of the movie, though it's now dropped back down the list in the US.
    • Emlyn
      • Origin:

        Welsh, from Latin
      • Meaning:

        "charming, flattering or rival"
      • Description:

        Gentle and poetic and most often heard in Wales, Emlyn joins Emrys as soft, interesting alternatives to popular Em- names like Emmett and Emery.
    • Henry
      • Origin:

        German
      • Meaning:

        "estate ruler"
      • Description:

        Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 8.
    • Isadora
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "gift of Isis"
      • Description:

        Why is Isabella megapopular while Isadora goes virtually ignored? Too close a tie with tragic modern dancer Isadora Duncan (born Angela Isadora), who was done in by her long flowing scarf, perhaps, or with fusty male version Isidore. But we think Isadora is well worth reevaluating as an Isabella alternative. Quirky couple singer Bjork and artist Matthew Barney did just that and named their daughter Isadora. Isidora would be an alternative, just as proper but not quite as charming spelling--the one used as the spelling of a fourth century saint's name.
    • Jessamine
      • Origin:

        English from Persian
      • Meaning:

        "jasmine"
      • Description:

        Jessamine, a charming name occasionally heard in England, is just beginning to be appreciated in the U.S. as a possible successor to all the Jess names of the past. It's also spelled Jessamyn, as in Quaker novelist Jessamyn West, author of Friendly Persuasion--who started life with Jessamyn as her middle name.
    • Lily
      • Origin:

        English flower name
      • Meaning:

        "lily"
      • Description:

        Lily is the most popular of the popular delicate century-old flower names now making a return, thanks to its many irresistible attributes: a cool elegance and a lovely sound, a symbol of purity and innocence, and a role in Christian imagery.
    • Linus
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "flax"
      • Description:

        Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.
    • Mathis
      • Origin:

        French and German form of Matthias or Matthew
      • Meaning:

        "gift of God"
      • Description:

        Very popular in France and Belgium, this name -- pronounced mat-tees, like the surname of the painter Matisse -- might make an appealing new way to say Matthew here.
    • Ottilie
      • Origin:

        German, French
      • Meaning:

        "prosperous in battle"
      • Description:

        Ottilie is trending in the UK, where the pronounced T helps the name sound pretty and delicate, rather like Amelie and Elodie. Ottilie is less popular in the US, where many Americans pronounce it as a near-homonym for "oddly".
    • Rowan
      • Origin:

        Scottish and Irish
      • Meaning:

        "rowan tree; little redhead"
      • Description:

        With its gentle sounds and earthy vibes, the name Rowan feels like a fusion of different styles. A word name, a surname, and a gender-neutral name, Rowan is rustic but trendy, blending the vibes of both Owen and Oakley.
    • Saffron
      • Origin:

        Spice name
      • Description:

        Spice names are increasingly appealing to the senses of prospective parents; this one, belonging to a precious spice derived from the crocus has a vaguely orange-scented-incense sixties feel.
    • Sophie
      • Origin:

        French variation of Sophia
      • Meaning:

        "wisdom"
      • Description:

        Sophie is the French form of the Greek Sophia, for which it is also commonly used as a nickname. Given Sophia's long standing among the Top 10 girl names in the US, Sophie may feel more popular than it actually is.
    • Verity
      • Origin:

        Latin
      • Meaning:

        "truth"
      • Description:

        If you love Puritan virtue names and want to move beyond Hope and Faith and Grace, this is a wonderful choice, both for its meaning and its sound. A rare find here, though occasionally heard in England. It was used in Winston Graham's Poldark novels, was Madonna's name as James Bond's fencing instructor in Die Another Day, and made a brief appearance in Harry Potter. Not to mention being a fixture on British and Australian soaps. Verity also appears in one of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries.
    • William
      • Origin:

        German
      • Meaning:

        "resolute protection"
      • Description:

        William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.