Guilty Pleasures

  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. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  3. Ariadne
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "most holy"
    • Description:

      This name of the Cretan goddess of fertility is most popular now as the more melodic Ariana, but Ariadne has possibilities of its own. It first entered the US Top 1000 in 2014. The renewed interest in the name falls in line with the revival of other mythological names like Apollo and Athena. The trendy nickname Ari doesn't hurt either.
  4. Arwen
    • Origin:

      Literature, Sindarin
    • Meaning:

      "noble maiden"
    • Description:

      Arwen is well known as princess of the Elves in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The author took inspiration from Welsh for many of his character names, and indeed Arwen and its masculine counterpart Arwyn do have a modest history of use as legitimate Welsh names, deriving from the -wyn suffix ("fair, blessed") plus an intensifying prefix.
  5. Carson
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish surname
    • Meaning:

      "son of the marsh dwellers"
    • Description:

      Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.

      Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.

  6. Diana
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "divine"
    • Description:

      Diana, the tragic British princess, inspired many fashions, but strangely, not one for her name. For us, Diana is a gorgeous and still-underused choice.
  7. Eden
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "place of pleasure, delight"
    • Description:

      Eden is an attractive, serene name with obvious intimations of Paradise, one of several place names drawn from the Bible by the Puritans in the seventeenth century.
  8. Ember
    • Origin:

      French variation of Amber
    • Description:

      Unlike Amber, which is in decline, this name still has a bit of a glow left -- though confusions between the two will inevitably arise.
  9. Emmeline
    • Origin:

      Old French form of archaic German Amal
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Emmeline is an Emma relative and Emily cousin that is destined for greater use in the wake of the megapopularity of those two names. A recommended Nameberry fave, Emmeline hopped onto the US Top 1000 in 2014 for the first time ever. While it is genuinely an old name, it was rarely used a century ago; only 17 baby girls were named Emmeline in 1915, the same number as were named Ernie!
  10. Esme
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".
  11. Evander
    • Origin:

      Scottish; Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bow warrior; strong man"
    • Description:

      Evander is a name that could build on the popularity of shorter form Evan, and could work and play well with schoolmates like Zander and Xander.
  12. 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.
  13. Evanna
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Evan, Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Evanna is the name of a Harry Potter actress who pronounces it ee-vah-na. This might be considered another international feminine form of the many variations of John; Ivana, Giovanna, and even Joan are cousins of Evanna. It could also be a compound name, combining Eva and Anna.
  14. Evanthe
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "fair flower"
    • Description:

      Evanthe is a pretty Greek name not often heard outside its native culture. With its stylish Ev-begining, Evanthe could make an interesting choice if you're looking for a generic flower name.
  15. Gemma
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "precious stone"
    • Description:

      Gemma is a jewel of a name, an Italian classic that was very popular in 1980s England, but has only recently been started to be used here; it entered the list in 2008.
  16. Griffin
    • Origin:

      Welsh, variation of Griffith
    • Meaning:

      "strong lord"
    • Description:

      Griffin is one of the newer and most appealing of the two-syllable Celtic surnames. In English, griffin is the name of a mythological creature, half eagle, half lion. It re-entered the list in 1983 after an absence of 75+ years.
  17. Guinevere
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.
  18. Ivy
    • Origin:

      Botanical name
    • Description:

      The quirky, offbeat and energetic botanical name Ivy is enjoying a deserved revival, propelled even higher by its choice by high-profile parents Beyonce and Jay-Z for daughter Blue Ivy. Ivy is also traditionally used at Christmas, make this one of the perfect names for December babies.
  19. Keira
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little dark one"
    • Description:

      Keira is an attractive girls’ name that's gotten a huge boost from the meteoric rise of Keira Knightley. Original spelling Kiera, which relates more directly to the male Kieran, was the more popular form until the rise of Keira Knightley reversed the order. Both are Anglicized versions of the Irish Ciara.
  20. Leon
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of Leo
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Currently overshadowed by the bright and lively Leo, Leon feels a slightly more serious, more quietly confident than its short and trending counterpart.