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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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 version, Oliva.
Famous namesakes: 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 at that.
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
Meaning: Industrious, Striving
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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."
Famous namesakes: Actress Abigail Breslin, Advice columnist Abigail Van Buren, Former First Lady Abigail Adams
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: Queen Elizabeth of England, Actress Elizabeth Taylor, Entertainer Liza Minelli, Cosmetics executive Elizabeth Arden, Actress Elizabeth Hurley
Meaning: Free man
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.
Famous namesakes: French 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Chloe Moretz, Actress Chloe Sevigny
Meaning: 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 woman"?
Famous namesakes: Jazz 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".
Famous namesakes: Author Harper Lee
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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Track 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Natalie Portman, Actress Natalie Wood, Singer Natalie Imbruglia, Singer Natalie Cole
Meaning: Lovely, Graceful
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.
Famous namesakes: Princess Grace Kelly
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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Zooey Deschanel
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.
Famous namesakes: Designer Victoria Beckham
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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 be not.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: TV Host Samantha Harris, Actress Samantha Morton, Singer Samantha Fox
Meaning: 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?
Famous namesakes: Jazz artist Layla Angulo
Zoey minus the "y" is surprisingly a shade more sophisticated and less kiddie.
Famous namesakes: Actress Zoe Saldana
Meaning: Noble strength
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?
Famous namesakes: Actress Audrey Hepburn
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
Famous namesakes: Actress Leah Remini, Actress Lea Michele, Actress Lea Thompson
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: 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."
Famous namesakes: Singer Aaliyah
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?
Famous namesakes: Journalist Savannah Guthrie
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 Ella instead.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Model Camila Alves McConaughey, Duchess Camila Parker Bowles
Meaning: Melody, Lioness
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Kaylee DeFer
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Scarlett Johansson
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
Meaning: Most holy
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."
Famous namesakes: Singer 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Riley Keough
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 her.
Famous namesakes: Actress Alexis Bledel
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, Comedian Sarah Silverman, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Actress Sarah Hyland, Actress Sarah Chalke
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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Sadie Frost
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.
Famous namesakes: 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 direction.)
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.
Famous namesakes: 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: Actress Génesis 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 Penny instead.
Famous namesakes: Actress Penelope Cruz
If Alicia is a bit staid for you, check out her way more fun cousin, Alyssa.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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 forewarned.
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.
Famous namesakes: Singer 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Princess 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.
Famous namesakes: TV personality Kennedy
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Lucy Liu, Actress Lucy Hale, Actress Lucy Lawless, Actress Lucille Ball
Meaning: Ash meadow
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?
Famous namesakes: Actress Ashley Judd, Actress/Designer Ashley Olson, Actress Ashley Benson, Actress Ashley Greene, Actress Ashely Tisdale
Meaning: Of Magdala
As the most popular spelling of the classic Madeline, Madelyn is at the top of her game.
Famous namesakes: 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.”
Famous namesakes: 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?)
Famous namesakes: 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).
Famous namesakes: Journalist Bree Walker
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.
Famous namesakes: Poet 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.
Famous namesakes: Singer Skylar Grey
Meaning: Bright, Light
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Sophie Marceau, Model Sophie Dahl, Singer Sophie B. Hawkins, Writer and Dancer Sophie Flack
Meaning: Pure, Innocent
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Katharine Hepburn, Singer Katy Perry, Actress Katherine Heigl, Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, Actress Katherine Cassidy, Newscaster Katherine Couric
Meaning: The people's love, favored
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Mila Kunis, Supermodel Mila Jovovich
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: TV personality Khloe Kardashian
Meaning: 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 all-around beautiful.
Famous namesakes: Actress Annabelle Gurwitch, Baseball pitcher Annabelle Harmon
Meaning: 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).
Famous namesakes: Actress Alexandra Paul, Educator Alexa Canady, Explorer Alexandra David-Neel
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.
Famous namesakes: Writer 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Melanie Griffith, Actress Melanie Mayron, Spice Girls Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm
Meaning: 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!
Meaning: 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).
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Naomi Watts, Singer Naomi Judd, Model Naomi Campbell, Actress Naomi Scott, Singer Naomi Judd
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: Eva (Evita) Peron, Actress Eva Longoria, Actress Eva Mendes, Actress Eva Garbor
Meaning: Confidence, Belief
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.
Famous namesakes: Singer 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.
Famous namesakes: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Nicole Kidman, Nicole Richie and Reality TV personality “Snooki,” a.k.a. Nicole Polizzi
Meaning: 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Ruby Dee
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).
Famous namesakes: Actress 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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Kayla Ewell, Model Kayla Collins
Meaning: From Lydia
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.
Famous namesakes: Musician Lydia Lunch, Writer Lydia Bailey
Meaning: 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!
Famous namesakes: Actress Piper Laurie, Actress Piper Perabo, Author Piper Kerman,
Meaning: Wide meadow
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.
Famous namesakes: Director Sydney Pollack, Actress Sydney Park, Athlete Sydney Leroux, Actress, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Actress Sydney Penny
Meaning: 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?!)
Famous namesakes: Australian film director Jocelyn Moorhouse, Singer Jocelyn Brown, Singer Joss Stone and Singer Jocelyn Enriquez, Cellist Jocelyn DuPré
Meaning: Circling sea
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.
Famous namesakes: Actress Morgan Fairchild, Actor Morgan Freeman