LEMON's Favorites (Fall 2009)

  1. Alcott
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller at the old cottage"
    • Description:

      Alcott evokes shades of nineteenth-century New England, and memories of the author of the books Little Women and Little Men. Louisa May Alcott was the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott, noted educator, writer and philosopher, and colleague of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
  2. Arabella
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "yielding to prayer"
    • Description:

      Arabella, lovely and elegant, has long been well used in Britain and finally made it onto the American list in 2005. Its meaning may also be interpreted as "beautiful," thanks to -bella.
  3. Archer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bowman"
    • Description:

      Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald to get to the cool nickname Archie.
  4. Austen
    • Origin:

      Literary surname and shortened form of Augustine, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Parents who love the great English novelist Jane Austen may choose this spelling of the popular name Austin to honor the author of Emma and Pride and Prejudice.
  5. Blair
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "dweller on the plain"
    • Description:

      One of the first generation of cool surname names, now largely used for girls in the US, but still popular for boys in its native Scotland. A prominent association for Brits is former prime minister Tony Blair, who was leader at the time of the Iraq War.
  6. Caroline
    • Origin:

      French, feminine variation of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Caroline is a perennial classic, one of the elite group of girls' names that's ALWAYS ranked among the Top 1000 and that's been in the Top 100 since 1994. Elegant yet strong, Caroline calls to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
  7. Cecily
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Cecil
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecily is as dainty as a lace handkerchief. Cecily has a wide assortment of namesakes. One Cecily was the mother of King Richard III, whose beauty gained her the title "the Rose of Raby," Cecily Parsley is a Beatrix Potter bunny, Cecily Cardew is a character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the author of the Gossip Girl books is Cecily von Ziegesar.
  8. 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.
  9. Chase
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "to hunt"
    • Description:

      Chase, with its sleek and ultraprosperous aura, is redolent of the worlds of high finance and international banking. Chase has been well used during the last few decades, seen as a character on 24 and on several young-audience shows.
  10. 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.
  11. Ellis
    • Origin:

      English surname derived from Elijah or Elias or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "benevolent"
    • Description:

      Ellis is a former Old Man Name turned gender-neutral choice for the 21st century. It's one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family.
  12. 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.
  13. Harper
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "harp player"
    • Description:

      Harper got its start as a celebrity baby name when Paul Simon chose it for his now-grown son. Since then, other famous parents have followed suit: musician Tim Finn and actor Cecilia Peck both have sons called Harper.
  14. Helena
    • Origin:

      Latinate form of Helen, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helena is one of those classic names that just misses making the US Top 1000 girl names for its entire history, falling off for a single year in 1992. Since then it's been drifting lazily up the charts, and makes a perfect choice if you want a name that both fits in and stands out.
  15. 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.
  16. Holden
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "hollow valley"
    • Description:

      Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates--though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield -- not coincidentally in tune with the Hudson-Hayden-Colton field of names. (Trivia note: Salinger supposedly came up with the name while looking at a movie poster promoting a film starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, though other sources say he was named after Salinger's friend Holden Bowler.) Another impetus was provided by a soap opera character introduced in 1985.
  17. Hudson
    • Origin:

      English place-name and surname
    • Meaning:

      "Hugh's son"
    • Description:

      Hudson has risen quickly up the charts over the past 30 years, getting a lot of its style value from New York's Hudson River. That makes it a nature name and a place name that's also got the fashion gloss of New York City.
  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. 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.
  20. Julia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      Julia was an ancient Roman imperial name given to females in the house of a Julius, as in Caesar. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning "downy-bearded"; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".