If there's one name to rule them all this decade, Sophia is
definitely it. After experiencing a mega jump in popularity in the 2000′s,
Sophia has risen to become the cream of the name crop for girls, and it's
easy to why. Lyrical and romantic with just enough Italian bombshell-ness
(thank you, Sophia Loren,) - this is one name that's not going anywhere but
the top for the near future.
Famous namesakes: Actress Sophia Loren, Director Sophia Coppola, Actress Sophia Bush
Meaning: Complete, Universal
Charming and classic, Emma is the name of several literary
heroines (thanks, Jane Austen!) And while your daughter will most likely not
be the only Emma at the playground - that's what you get when you pick a top
5 name after all - it's so lovely you may not even care.
Emma Stone, Actress Emma Thompson, Actress Emma Roberts
Meaning: Olive tree
50 years ago there was hardly an Olivia in sight, and nowadays
it's hard not to find an Olivia among the sea of Sophias and Isabellas.
Supposedly the name may have originated from the Bard himself, Shakespeare as
the name of the main heroine in "Twelfth Night." If Olivia is way
too trendy for you, check out the equally adorable Olive or the rarer Italian
Singer Olivia Newton John, Actress Olivia Wilde, Actress Olivia
Palermo, Actress Olivia Munn
Meaning: God is my oath
Thanks to the tween phenomenon known as Twilight, Isabella had a
meteoric rise (all the way to #1 in 2010) in the baby name game and is
definitely one of the It girls now. If you need some heftier literary cred,
Shakespeare liked to use the name too. Potential nicknames Izzy and Bella can
be appealing to those who don't want to yell four syllables every time they can't see their kid.
Famous namesakes: Actress Isabella Rossellini
Meaning: Like a bird
Short, slightly vintage and feminine, Ava is a definite name hit
of the decade. While for the - let's say - more seasoned crowd it still
brings to mind Old Hollywood starlet Ava Gardener, it's also a favorite among
celeb and non-celeb parents alike. A unique name it is not, but a lovely one
Famous namesakes: Actress
Ava Gardner, Director Ava Duvernay
It's the Scandinavian nickname for Maria and means
"bitter" in Hebrew. Whichever background you prefer, just know one
thing - Mia is très hot right now. Short, sweet and flirty it's easy to see
why it's become such a girl name du jour.
Famous namesakes: Actress
Mia Wasikowska, Actress Mia Farrow, Athlete Mia Hamm
Classic and timeless Emily has been in the Top 10 of both
American and British girl names for the past decade, and doesn't look like
it's going anywhere anytime soon.
Emily Blunt, Actress Emily Deschanel, Poet Emily Dickinson, Etiquette expert Emily Post, Author Emily Bronte
Meaning: Gives joy
What’s old always becomes new again, and Abigail definitely
falls into the retro-chic trend. A Hebrew girl name with substantial history
behind it, Abigail was the beautiful and wise wife of King David in the Old
Testament, and the name of two former First Ladies. It also comes equipped
with the oh-so-cute nickname “Abby."
Abigail Breslin, Advice columnist Abigail Van Buren, Former First Lady
Son of Maud
Madison definitely conjures visions of Fifth Avenue luxe and a
boarding school lifestyle, but that hasn't stopped hordes of parents from
flocking towards it as a name for their baby girl. While the meaning,
"son of Maud" (who the hell is Maud?!) leaves lots to be desired, cute nickname Maddie is an added bonus.
Madison Pettis, Actress Madison Riley
Meaning: God is my oath
Two queens of England, the ultimate celebrity icon and many many
other women past and present have adopted this regal and religious moniker.
Another plus going for Elizabeth is the vast potential for nicknames ranging
from Beth to Liz to Lizzy to Eliza.
Elizabeth of England, Actress Elizabeth Taylor, Entertainer Liza Minelli,
Cosmetics executive Elizabeth Arden, Actress Elizabeth Hurley
After hanging out in baby name purgatory for a while, Charlotte
has made a major comeback thanks in part to Carrie's straight-laced friend in
"Sex and the City". Charlotte is also the name of the titular
spider in the childhood classic Charlotte's Web.
actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, Welsh singer Charlotte Church, Actress
Charlotte Rae, Author Charlotte Bronte
Meaning: Elf ruler
Are you a huge "Lord of the Rings Fan"? Then consider
Avery for your lovely daughter. Meaning "elf ruler," Avery is one
of those unisex names that started out as a total boy name, creeped into
girls' territory and is now on its way to becoming a girls-only name.
Another spelling variation of the wildly popular Sophia, this
version has risen higher and higher thanks to Emmy Award-winning "Modern
Family" actress Sofia Vergara.
Sofia Vergara, Singer Sofia Carson
Meaning: A young green shoot
A lovely European-sounding name, Chloe has been at an all-time
popularity high lately. Another name for Demeter, the goddess of harvest and
fertility, there have been more and more parents naming their daughters
Khloe, with a "K" thanks to the ubiquitous Kardashian family.
Chloe Moretz, Actress Chloe Sevigny
A beautiful fairy woman / All complete
Lyrical and lovely, it's no surprise that Ella has become a
celeb baby name favorite. Everyone from John Travolta and Kelly Preston to
Mark Wahlberg to Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor have named their little
girls Ella. And what girl doesn't want to be a "beautiful fairy
singer Ella Fitzgerald
Harper had slowly but surely been gaining in popularity, then a certain couple by the name of David and Victoria Beckham decided to name
their only daughter that, and it's simply shot straight to the top. Another one of those trendy unisex names, Harper is also the first name of the author
of the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Now this is a gorgeously vintage name with some serious girl
power cred. As the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia
Earhart is an inspiration for girls then and now. It's also the name of the
frazzled children's book character, Amelia Bedilia.
Pilot Amelia Earhart
Meaning: Elf ruler
Not quite Audrey, and not quite Avery, Aubrey is another
oh-so-trendy unisex name that's come over to the girls. Be prepared to see
more and more Aubreys on the playground.
Aubrey Plaza, Actress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
Meaning: Son of Adam
Clearly originally meant as a boy's name ("son of
Adam"), Addison has come to play on the girl's side... and likes it.
It's less stuffy than Madison and more girly than Emerson, making it a strong
contemporary name choice.
TV actress Addison Timlin
As we've learned over the years, everything comes back in vogue
at some point, and Evelyn is a case in point. The last time this name was
popular was over a century ago, but now, perhaps thanks to the super hot Ava,
Eva and Avery, Evelyn is back on top.
star Evelyn Ashford, Writer Evelyn Scott
Meaning: Born on Christmas
If you're expecting a baby around Christmas, you may want to
consider lovely Natalie. Beyond the more obvious Noel for a holiday baby,
Natalie also refers to being born on Christmas. It's one of those classic
names that's been adopted by timeless starlets from Natalie Wood to Natalie
Portman and doesn't look to be getting stale anytime soon.
Another one of those oh-so-popular virtue names (think Hope and
Faith,) Grace is short, sweet and simple. If you don't like it as a first
name, Grace is uber-popular as a middle name right now and pair well with
many other names.
Meaning: Favor, Grace
Hannah is one of the most popular Biblical names for girls (she
was the mother of Samuel, the prophet.) A more contemporary reference for
this lovely moniker is the now defunct Disney show, Hannah Montana, where a
now notorious Miley Cyrus got her precocious start. And while it had once
faded into old-fashioned name obscurity, it's come back with a vengeance.
Actress Hannah Simone
Zoey has become one of those super-cute cool girl names. From
Sesame Street to New Girl star Zooey Deschanel, this is one girl name that's
everywhere. So if you're looking for a name that's not so everywhere, you may want to look elsewhere.
From a long-reigning queen to a former Spice
Girl-turned-fashion-powerhouse to a famously pink lingerie chain, Victoria
has successfully shed its formerly stiff image to become (or is it remain?) a
modern name hit. Its strong meaning of "victor" is an added dose
of inspirational girl power.
Variant of Lily; Innocent, Pure
Talk about making a comeback. Having pretty much fallen off the
name popularity charts since its peak in the 20s, Lillian is enjoying a major
revival and even managed to land itself thiiiis close to the Top 25. So why
the sudden leap? Perhaps with its very similar name cousin Lily entering name
superstardom, parents chose to flock to Lillian as a less trendy alternative,
eventually making it even more popular than Lily herself.
Actress Lillian Gish
Meaning: Flower name; Innocence
Lily is among the most popular of flower names making a big return. Because of its attractive attributes, including its lovely sound and symbolic meaning of purity and innocence, the name has become a favorite of celebrity parents, including Chris O'Donnell, Kate Beckinsale, Greg Kinnear, Fred Savage, and Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.
Lily Tomlin, Singer Lily Allen
Meaning: Small stream
Brooklyn is one of those rare unisex names that actually still
works for both genders. Thanks partly to the Beckhams who named their first
child Brooklyn, the formerly boys only name as creeped more and more into girl territory thanks to its combination of two feminine sounding names,
Brooke and Lynn. Also, a super hip NYC borough that's so cool, it's soon to
Model Brooklyn Decker
Meaning: Told by God
Moms may associate this name with either a) the 80s (think Who's
the Boss? or Bewitched) or b) the "wild" one from Sex and the City
- two things that baby girls named Samantha today will have no clue about.
It's not hard to see why parents keep gravitating towards this name,
especially with its super-fun associated nickname, Sam.
Host Samantha Harris, Actress Samantha Morton, Singer Samantha Fox
Dark beauty; Night
This romantic sounding name meaning "dark beauty" is
slightly exotic, slightly lyrical and completely mesmerizing. It's also the
name of a hit Eric Clapton song. What are you waiting for?
artist Layla Angulo
Zoey minus the "y" is surprisingly a shade more
sophisticated and less kiddie.
Actress Zoe Saldana
Oh-so-pretty Audrey - always popular but never too popular. The
name is often associated with timeless beauty icon Audrey Hepburn and with an awesome meaning like "noble strength," what's not to love?
While the meaning of "weary" is a bit of a downer,
Leah is a Biblical name that's found a great deal of popularity among parents
year after year. In the Bible, Leah was the first wife of Jacob and the
sister of Rachel - the girl that Jacob really wanted. Talk about a real
Sister Wives situation! There are several spelling variations to the name
from Lea with no "h" to the more Star Wars-inspired Leia
A variation of the French name Alice, Allison is one of those
names that isn't always the first to pop up on everyone's girl name list, but somehow seems to slyly make its way to the top. We love the cute built-in
nickname of Alli, too.
Allison Janney, Actress Alison Sweeney
Meaning: God has favored me
Anna is one of those rare names that's become used worldwide in
various cultures. From its Hebrew origins to Russia (Tolstoy's "Anna
Karenina" springs to mind,) to Italy to the Scandinavian nations, this
is a name that's as universal as it is lovely. And thanks to a certain massive Disney hit called "Frozen" and the intrepid Princess Anna,
we're sure there will be many many more Annas to come.
Tennis player Anna Kournikova, Actress Anna Faris, Actress Anna
Kendrick, Actress Anna Paquin, Editor Anna Wintour
This once totally obscure name has leapt up the name charts
thanks in part to the late R&B singer Aaliyah who passed away in a
plane crash at 21, and it's not hard to see why - it's lyrical,
unique-sounding and has an empowering meaning of "rising."
Meaning: Flat treeless plain
One part Southern charm, one part Spanish romance, Savannah is a
name that's been a part of the popularity charts ever since such charts
existed. It's recently experienced a huge surge in popularity perhaps due to?
Meaning: God is my strength
As a fresh alternative to the enormously popular other double
"L" names like Ella and Bella, Gabriella has climbed her way into
the Top 50. The feminine version of Gabriel, Gabriella was also the name of
the lead female character in Disney's "High School Musical" movies.
If the four syllables are too much for you, consider the nicknames Gaby or
Actress Gabriella Huffman
Meaning: Helper to the priest
The Spanish version of the ancient Roman name Camilla - who was
famous for being a super-fast huntress - is pronounced Ka-MEE-lah. It's also
the name of Prince Charles of England's former mistress-now-wife (drama,
drama!) and TV host, model and Matthew McConaughey's baby mama, Camila Alves.
Camila Alves McConaughey, Duchess Camila Parker Bowles
Originally an Italian word meaning "melody," this once
not-so-hip name is now back in the name game thanks to - what else - TV. As
the name of main characters in both HBO's "Game of Thrones" and
tween drama "Pretty Little Liars," Aria has become a serious name
contender. And what's not to love? It sounds pretty, has a lovely meaning and
isn't common enough to have every other little girl on the playground
responding to you yelling, "Ariaaaaa!"
Kaylee was one of THE "it" names of the early 2000s,
and while its slightly waned in popularity since its heyday, this
sunny-sounding moniker is still a Top 50 name for girls. While its origins
remain unclear - is it just a combinaton of Kay and Lee or a variation of
Kayla? - it remains a name parents keep gravitating to time and time again.
From Scarlett O'Hara to Scarlett Johansson, this is definitely
one name that's fit for a future bombshell. It's simultaneously romantic and
fiery (red is the color of power, after all) and different enough from the
sea of Sophias and Emmas to make it stand out, so it's no surprise its been
rapidly gaining in popularity to break the Top 50.
Meaning: In the hay meadow
This name has been around forever in multiple spelling
variations (Hailee, Haley, Hayleigh) but Hailey is the version du jour. It's
short, sweet and easy to say and works equally as well for a 25-year-old as
it does for a two-year-old.
Famous namesakes: Model Hailey Baldwin
Arianna is kind of having a moment right now. Whether its due to
pop songstress Ariana (with one "n") Grande, or a similarity to the
way Princess Anna is pronounced in the hit movie "Frozen" (AH-Nah),
this lyrical name has slowly but surely creeped its way into the Top 50. It
also comes pre-packaged with the cool nickname "Arie."
Ariana Grande, Author and Columnist Arianna Huffington
This unisex name is strong on the female side and it's no
surprise. Riley sounds at once playful and strong, and who doesn't love a
girl name with an awesome meaning like "courageous"? Just keep in
mind that as more and more girls are named Riley, there will likely be less
and less Rileys that are boys, as is the trend with most unisex names.
Meaning: Defender of mankind
A girl named Alexis just may be destined to rule the world - one
teddy bear at a time. As a variation of the boy name Alexander, which refers
to the great conquerer, Alexander the Great along with a handful of other
Byzantine emperors, little Alexis has quite the strong arm history behind
Think about it... do you see it yet? No? Neveah is just
"heaven" spelled backwards (cue the ohhhhhs) - and a surprising
member of the Top 50 club. I guess we can see why it's become so popular in
recent years - it sounds slightly exotic and has a cool concept behind it
that you can tell your little girl one day. Just beware that this is
definitely one of those names that people will either love or hate.
This Old Testament name is one of those classic names that will
never go out of style. In the Bible, Sarah was a pivotal female character as
the wife of Abraham and the mother of Issac. Celebrity references are too
many to count ranging from the former Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson to
"Sex and the City" actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, Comedian Sarah
Silverman, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Actress Sarah Hyland, Actress
Meaning: Clear, bright
Not just the uptight mom from TV's "Modern Family,"
Claire is also a lovely name with an equally lovely meaning of
"bright" that we think many parents will adore. If Claire is a bit
too bland for you, consider its Italian name cousin, Chiara.
Actress Claire Danes
Sadie is one of those super cute vintage names that's made a
huge comeback. Originally used as a nickname for Sarah, Sadie's became huge
all on its own in the 1800s, fell out of favor, and is seeing a major revival
in recent years. It's not hard to see why. There's something just so sweet
and likable about a girl named Sadie. Total BFF material.
Meaning: Warrior's village
Another one of those oh-so-trendy unisex names, Peyton started
out as an English surname. It's still more popular for girls than it is for
boys - even with football star Peyton Manning - and its slight Southern vibe
adds to the moniker's charm
Meaning: Ruler of the elves
Aubree with the double "e" is like the wilder, more
laid-back fraternal twin of another top 100 name, Aubrey. Both are equally
pretty and elegant, but something about this particular spelling variation
holds a dose of fun. If Aubrey is sitting at the table with perfect posture,
Aubree is dancing on top of the table - got it? Both are a nice alternative
to the more tried and true Audrey.
Actress Aubrey Plaza
Part zen, part hippie, part sci-fi TV show, Serenity is another
virtue name that's rising in the ranks. Fun random fact: Sailor Moon's
princess name is Serenity (in case this swings your vote in either
Meaning: Like silver
Commonly used in Welsh culture, the name Ariana means 'like silver". This particular spelling has become increasingly popular due to the success of pop sensation Ariana Grande.
Singer Ariana Grande
In the beginning there was Genesis. As the first book of the
Bible, everyone agrees Genesis holds an important role. As a girl name
however, it's more than a little divisive which is why it's that much more
impressive to see it in the Top 100. This moniker was basically completely
off the radar until 1988 when it made its first foray into the baby name
lists at #758.
Famous namesakes: ActressGénesis Rodríguez
In Greek mythology, Penelope is the name of Odysseus' faithful
wife who denies suitor after suitor during his 20 year absence. Seriously,
that's some devotion. It's also the name of sexy Spanish film star Penelope
Cruz and Kourtney Kardashian's daughter if that matters to you one way or another. If Penelope is too formal for you, try out the super cute nickname
Actress Penelope Cruz
If Alicia is a bit staid for you, check out her way more fun
Alyssa Milano, Model Alyssa Miller
This name came out of nowhere an skyrocketed to fame at the
height of the Twilight frenzy a few years ago, and remains steady at #58. As
the heroine (or is she?) of the tween vampire love saga, Bella Swan inspired
parents worldwide to name their little girls after the pale and awkward teen.
It also serves as a nickname for the wildly popular Isabella, so be
Famous namesakes: Actress Bella Thorne, Model Bella Hadid
This unisex name used to be pretty evenly split between girls
and boys, but perhaps thanks to the overly-excited singer Taylor Swift, is
definitely moving more and more into girl territory.
Taylor Swift, Actress Taylor Schilling
Meaning: Defender of man
A shorter version of the more formal Alexandra, Alexa has
remained a popular name for girls year after year. It has the popular
"x" sound that a lot of parents seem to gravitate towards. Other
variations of the name include Alexis, Lexi and Alex.
Alexa Vega, TV personality Alexa Chung
From Australian pop star, to a teen Kardashian sister, Kylie is
one of those cute bouncy names that works for a girl at any age. The name
most likely originated in either Australia ("boomerang") or Ireland
("graceful") and seems to have major staying power.
Famous namesakes: Singer
Kylie Minogue, Reality TV star Kylie Jenner
Child of the wise one
This is one of those names that seemingly came out of nowhere in
the 70s, most likely thanks to the popularity of "One Day at a
Time" actress Mackenzie Phillips. It used to be a boys-only name, but
has clearly switched teams in the past decade. It's sweet, yet sassy and
comes equipped with the super cute nickname Mac. And while it certainly isn't
unpopular, there's still a good chance that your Mackenzie may be the only
one on the playground.
Actress Mackenzie Phillips
Meaning: Free man
If you're searching for a timeless name that's both elegant and
regal, look no further. From a Kennedy to a princess of Monaco to several
German Queens, this is definitely a name fit for a little lady. You can also
rest assured that it won't go out of style as this classic moniker has
remained in the Top 100 since 1994.
Caroline of Monaco, First Daughter Caroline Kennedy, Actress Caroline Rhea
Meaning: Helmet head
For many of us, the name Kennedy brings to mind two wildly
divergent things: a wacky wild-haired MTV VJ from the 90s or a prominent
American political clan filled with tragic deaths and scandal. Either way,
the name manages to sound simultaneously trendy and refined. However its
meaning of "helmet head" leaves much to be desired.
Meaning: Season name
Autumn has a slightly less hippie-ish vibe than its fellow
season name, Summer, but is warmer than Winter. Obviously, it would be
perfect for a baby born in the fall months. Otherwise, it's just confusing.
Famous namesakes: Actress Autumn Reeser, Celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese
We all love Lucy. From classic TV comedy "I Love Lucy"
to the awesome Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," to
the somewhat sullen Lucy in the Peanuts comics, Lucy has left her mark.
There's something just oh-so-sweet about this name that has made it a
perennial parental favorite. The name is especially popular in England where
it resides in the Top 30.
Ashley was totally the cool girl in the 80s who's now a bit
washed up and looking for its place in the modern age. That's not to say it's
not still a lovely name - it is - but let's call a spade a spade, shall we?
As the most popular spelling of the classic Madeline, Madelyn is
at the top of her game.
Actress Madelyn Deutch
The name Violet seems to be in bloom once more. First popular in
the 19th century when flower names were in Vogue, Violet bottomed out in the
1980s. Now it’s been in the top 100 list for the last two years and has been
pushed to the spotlight after Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck named their
daughter Violet. The soft and elegant name is also a favorite in children’s
media, from Violet Baudelaire in “A Series of Unfortunate Events” to Violet
Beauregarde in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — and we can’t forget
about the gifted Violet Parr in “The Incredibles.”
Artist Violet Oakley, Author Violet Barungi
Stella is a rising star in the baby name scene. Like its fellow
“-ella” cousins (Ella, Gabriella, Isabella), the name has been a more and
more trendy pick in recent years. It’s celestial yet down-to-earth, a
literary diamond (think Sir Philip Sidney’s “Astrophel to Stella” or “A
Streetcar Named Desire”) — and it makes a beautiful pairing with many second
first names. (How cute is Stella Luna?)
Actress and Instructor Stella Adler, Actress Stella Stevens,
Singer Stella Parton
Meaning: Strong, Noble
Brianna is a strong contender (pun intended) for a girl’s name.
A version of the male name Brian, which means exalted or strong, Brianna does
not disappoint. It has an arsenal of nicknames (from Bree to Bryn to Anna)
and endless spelling possibilities (Brianna being the most popular).
Meaning: Illusion, Fantasy
The rising name Maya is exotic and mystical, thanks to its Hindi
roots as the goddess Devi, its Roman roots as the incarnation of the earth
mother and goddess of spring and its Greek roots as the legendary mom of
Hermes AND it means illusion in Sanskrit. Watch out folks, there's something extraordinary and magical about this one.
Maya Angelou, Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph, Architect Maya Lin
We’re not quite sure where the name Skylar originated. It must
have fell from the sky. Ha, see what we did there? But really, the name could
be based on the sky, or the Isle of Skye (island off coast of Scotland) or an
Anglicized version of the Dutch Schuyler. The unisex name is stylish for both
genders and can be a pretty powerful and optimistic name (so long as you try
to ignore the fact that one of the main characters in “Breaking Bad” is named
Skyler). Cute nicknames include Sky, Skye and Skylark.
Singer Skylar Grey
Ellie, once just a short form of Eleanor or Ellen, is now on the
rise as a first name in the U.S. It’s nearly impossible to dislike this name,
especially after the spirited and adventurous Ellie of “Up” made her debut
and made everyone cry. The warm, vibrant name entered the Top 100 list in
2011, and we don’t see it declining any time soon.
Ellie Kemper, Singer Ellie Goulding
The enduring name Julia has been a favorite in the U.S. since
Social Security records have been kept. Now it’s also a popular pick
internationally. Who doesn’t love its simple and enduring nature, especially
when it’s been a pop culture staple for—seriously—ever? Just think of the
name’s connections to celebs, its role in songs (like Beatles’ “Julia”) and
its literary appearances in Shakespeare and Dickens. As its meaning suggests,
Julia truly never ages.
Actress Julia Roberts, Chef Julia Child, Actress Julia Stiles,
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Actress Julia Ormond
Meaning: Wisdom, Skill
Consistently outdone by its more popular cousin Sophia, Sophie —
while just one letter away — gives a bolder, less uppity vibe for parents
looking for a variation of 2013’s top girl name. A traditional French name
and popular English name, Sophie can be found in the iconic novel “Sophie’s
Choice,” the French children’s novel “Les Malheurs de Sophie” and even that
giraffe baby teether that every baby seems to use nowadays.
Actress Sophie Marceau, Model Sophie Dahl, Singer Sophie B.
Hawkins, Writer and Dancer Sophie Flack
There are so many different qualities associated with this
timeless and diverse name. Katherine is royal, saintly, classic, sleek,
feminine, vintage — should we go on? Maybe it’s because the name is shared by
a variety of celebrities, from the St. Katherines to the spirited Hepburn.
And we can’t forget about the countless literary figures across time, like in
“Taming of the Shrew” and the more recent “Fifty Shades of Grey.” As you can
see, there’s never a shortage of Katherines in the world.
An easily lovable favorite, Mila is popular in various eastern
European languages and has been quickly rising in popularity in the U.S.
these past few years. The name is shared with “That 70s Show” actress Mila
Kunis (full name Milena) and proves to be a great standalone name or
nickname. Parents can combine Margaret Laura into Mila (as former President
Bush’s daughter Jenna did) or use it as a pet name for Ludmila.
Actress Mila Kunis, Supermodel Mila Jovovich
Blooming, a young green shoot
Khloe made an amazing jump in popularity recently. In 2005, it
didn’t even crack the top 1000 names for baby girls. We’re sure Khloe
Kardashian had something to do with the boost. Giving the fashionable name
“Chloe” a unique “K” twist remains a fresh and familiar name for parents
attracted to the creative and the contemporary.
TV personality Khloe Kardashian
A patterned fabric first produced in Paisley, Scotland
We’re not sure what launched Paisley into the Top 100 list. The
name conjures up a discordant assortment, from the rich, colorful patterned
fabric, to the Scottish town, or even to country singer Brad Paisley.
Whatever it is, we think the cutesy and unique Paisley is here to stay.
Meaning: Beautiful, Graceful
The compound name became trendy, along with other -belle names,
since 1995. Annabelle makes a charming and elegant pairing, despite some
uncertainty about its roots. (Is it a variant of an old French name? The
Latin for lovable? Gaelic for joy?). Regardless of its origins, Annabelle —
like its famous namesake in Poe’s “Annabel Lee” — is lovable, melodious, and
Actress Annabelle Gurwitch, Baseball pitcher Annabelle Harmon
Defender of mankind
It’s hard not to think of the name Alexandra without thinking of
royalty. I mean, just consider Alexandra of Hesse (wife of Nicholas II),
Alexandra of Denmark (wife of King Edward VIII) and not to mention Queen
Elizabeth II’s first middle name. Surely, such a royal name and one that
means “defender of mankind” must carry a lot of weight. The name, while on a
slow decline since its peak in 1993, is chic, strong — and it has an array of
nicknames you can choose from (Alex, Lexia, Alexa, Xandra).
Actress Alexandra Paul, Educator Alexa Canady, Explorer Alexandra
Meaning: Honor, Light
Nora is a refined, witty and strong name best known for her
roles in “A Doll’s House” and “The Thin Man.” Sure to be a great name for
your new baby bundle of light and joy, Nora both works beautifully as an
independent name and a paired name. You can also spell Nora with or without
an “h,” or opt for the longer form Leonora.
Nora Ephron, Writer Nora Roberts, Singer Norah Jones
Meaning: Dark, Black
You can thank “Gone with the Wind” for making Melanie such a
popular name. Prior to the novel, Melanie was more commonly associated with
the Latin name Melania, more specifically St. Melania, who was a wealthy
heiress and philanthropist and did amazingly good works all her life. Sounds
like the name Melanie isn’t so dark after all.
Melanie Griffith, Actress Melanie Mayron, Spice Girls Melanie Brown and
From the Great River
The United Kingdom capital is an attractive choice for parents
enamored with the city-life and are looking for a geographic name that isn’t
Paris or Sydney. London, with its rich history and vibrant 21st century
energy, is a timeless pick. Really, you can’t find anything more flexible
than a name that’s a place name, a first name, a surname and unisex!
God is Gracious
A feminine version of John, Gianna recently gained popularity
outside of its classic Italian roots and entered the U.S. Top 100 list in
2006. This gain is attributed to the 2004 canonization of St. Gianna Molla,
who died risking her life for her baby during a dangerous pregnancy in 1962.
A heroic and virtuous name, Gianna can also be shortened to the chic form,
Gia (as Matt Damon and Mario Lopez both did for their daughters).
Choreographer Gianna Martello, Opera singer Gianna Rolandi
Meaning: Sweet, Pleasant
If you’re looking for a biblical name but want to veer from the
traditional Sarah or Rachel — Naomi is your gal. Naomi is Ruth’s
mother-in-law, who said after her sons died, “Do not call me Naomi, call me
Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” The sweet, melodic
name is currently at its all-time peak, and we LOVE the cute and unique
nickname options you could use, like Nay, Nomi or Mimi.
Actress Naomi Watts, Singer Naomi Judd, Model Naomi Campbell,
Actress Naomi Scott, Singer Naomi Judd
Life, Living One
Eva is the perfect name for your active and lively baby. A
version of the popular Ava and the biblical Eve, the name has climbed and
remained in the Top 100 list since 2009. While a short a sweet name, Eva has
seen a variety of pronunciations like ee-va, eh-va or ay-va.
(Evita) Peron, Actress Eva Longoria, Actress Eva Mendes, Actress Eva Garbor
A rising virtue name in the same family as Hope and Grace, Faith
has kept a spot in the top 100 list during the span of the 21st century.
While Faith was popularized in the 17th century by the Puritans, it’s no
surprise that this beautiful name is still a favorite among families today.
Faith Hill, Singer Faith Evans, Actress Faith Ford, Actress Faith Prince
Meaning: Woman from Magdala
An old-fashioned favorite, Madeline jumped back into the
limelight in the 1990s. The sweet and soft name is a popular choice for
writers, such as the heroines in Keats’ “The Eve of St. Agnes” to Poe’s “The
Fall of the House of Usher” — and we can’t forget the energetic French
schoolgirl in Ludwig Bemelmens’ ever-popular children’s series. Madeline can
also be spelled as “Madeleine,” “Madelyn” and Madalyn, with a charming
nickname option of Maddy.
Actress Madeline Kahn, Writer Madeline Baker
Like several names rounding up the end of the top 100 list,
Lauren was a popular name in the ’80s and has since seen a decline. The
common name Lauren, as well as its classic version of Laura and its masculine
form Lawrence, is a variant of the popular herb source, the laurel.
Famous namesakes: Actress
Lauren Bacall, Actress Lauren Cohan, Reality TV personality Lauren Conrad,
Actress Lauren Graham
Meaning: Victory of the people
When we think of Nicole, we imagine her as one of those cool,
super popular girls, surrounded by a Jessica, Jennifer and Veronica. Maybe
because these names all rose in popularity in the ’80s. But as the story
goes, the name isn’t as popular as it once was, losing most of its French
flair. Fun fact: Nicole is a feminine version of the male Greek name,
Nicholas — but you probably already know that.
Actress Nicole Kidman, Nicole Richie and Reality TV personality
“Snooki,” a.k.a. Nicole Polizzi
Red precious stone
Ruby is sweet and short, sassy and bold and the perfect name for
baby girls expected to be born in July. As a spotlight in many early rock
classics, such as Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” Ruby has a classic, edge
vibe as well. The name has been a popular pick among celebs, including Tobey
Maguire, Charlotte Church and Suzanne Vega.
Meaning: Who is like the Lord
A female form of the name Michael, Makayla is a beautiful name
with a rich history behind it that can be tracked back to Michal, the
biblical first wife of David. But indecisive parents, be warned, there are
various spellings you can choose from (Michaela, Makaila, Mikayla, Mikaela —
you get the point).
Makayla Crawford, Gymnist Makayla Stambaugh
If you know someone name Kayla, chances are their parents were
fans of “Days of Our Lives.” The 1980s soap opera introduced a character
named Kayla Brady and guess what? The name jumped 500 spots just one year
after, then spread like wildfire in the early to mid-90s. But the name is
slowly falling from its No. 11 peak and currently sits at number 95 on the
top 100 list.
Actress Kayla Ewell, Model Kayla Collins
Lydia is undeniably a very literary name. Just think of Lydia
Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice” or Lydia Languish in “The Rivals” OR any of
the Lydias in George Eliot’s and D.H. Lawrence’s novels! Not to mention,
there’s a Lydia found in the New Testament too (one of the few female names
mentioned actually). But before being a literary favorite, the elegant,
composed name referred to a woman from an ancient region in Asia Minor. For
parents looking to pass down family names, Lydia can be easily paired with
other first names or middle names, such as Lydia Claire or Lydia Anne.
Musician Lydia Lunch, Writer Lydia Bailey
A person who plays the pipe
If you’re looking for an upbeat, musical name, you can’t go
wrong with Piper. Since the debut of the TV series “Charmed,” in which one of
the sisters is named Piper, the name has jumped in popularity and entered the
Top 100 list in 1999. The name is also now frequently associated with Piper
Chapman, a character in Netflix’ “Orange Is the New Black” — who might not be
the most upbeat person around, but don’t let her personality be an indicator
of how baby will turn out!
Tracing Sydney’s origins and trends is a bit complicated, so
we’ll do you a favor and tell you what you need to know. First, Sydney seems
pretty location-rooted. Some people say it’s derived from a French place
called Saint Denis or that it’s Old English for someone from the wide island.
And then there’s that whole Sydney, Australia place everyone should know
about. Second, Sydney isn’t just a boy name anymore (hence being on the top
100 names for girls list).The polished, elegant girl name has been on the
rise since the ’90s.
Director Sydney Pollack, Actress Sydney Park, Athlete Sydney
Leroux, Actress, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Actress Sydney Penny
Member of the Gauts Tribe / Joyful
Nowadays, Jocelyn gives off a unique, classy vibe with a new and
refreshed life — maybe because it was once derived from an ancient male
Germanic tribal name HUNDREDS of years ago and is now a popular female name
gracing the Top 100 list since 2002. Yeah, that might be it. We blame the the
“-lyn” endings fad. Parents considering naming their baby Jocelyn though
should keep in mind that the name is commonly misspelled (Jocelyns of the
world claim to have had their names spelled Joselin, Joslin and even Jazzlyn
— REALLY people?!)
Australian film director Jocelyn Moorhouse, Singer Jocelyn Brown,
Singer Joss Stone and Singer Jocelyn Enriquez, Cellist Jocelyn DuPré
Thinking of naming your baby Morgan? Cue the thunder, lightning
and majestic sea storms. There’s something magical and potent about the name
Morgan. Maybe it’s because, as the legends go, Morgan le Fay is a famed,
powerful sorceress and stepsister of King Arthur. While traditionally a Welsh
male name, Morgan gained popularity for females in the ’80s, but it has since
seen a decline for both sexes.
Actress Morgan Fairchild, Actor Morgan Freeman