Motherhood

What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?

At the park yesterday, we met a baby with the coolest name…

…Lion! How rad is that? We also know a boy named “Bear” and a boy named “Wolf.” They could get together and create a little pack.

Would you choose a classic or offbeat name? The best baby-naming book I’ve read is Baby Names Now. My friend showed me her copy recently and couldn’t stop flipping through it. They suggested awesome names that I wouldn’t have thought of, and the book was also super opinionated. (One listing simply read: “Hortense. No!”) I’d highly recommend it, if you’re brainstorming names.

My current favorite names are Porter for a boy and Lucy for a girl. (My twin sister’s name is Lucy, and I’d love to name my future daughter after her.) But they’re always changing, so who knows what will happen by the time we have a second child. My friend is a genius at baby naming; her son’s name is Jude, and her daughter’s name is Theodora, but they call her “Teddy.” How cute is that??!!

What are your favorite baby names these days? Do you care if the name is popular or not? Would you name your baby after a family member? I’d love to hear…

P.S. The Top 100 Baby Names of 2011, and the blind date test for choosing baby names.

(Top photo of Toby when he was just a few months old)

  1. Thomas says...

    Teddy is an excellent nickname and can be given name for both genders, which means gift of god. To know more about baby names go with this link: http://www.babynology.com.

  2. We named our two children after family members: karen and barrett. Though they both turned into animal names that we love , wren and bear. Good luck picking names! It can be a hard but fun process!!

  3. This is really a good blog. I like it. I like Jessica for girl and Andrew for boy.I am collecting some nice english boys names and your post helped me. I picked some names from this blog.

  4. My brother name is Aidan it’s a beautiful name. if You would like to find out the meaning or origin of any of the names, to visit this link ..http://www.babynology.com/

  5. We have two DDs and both have gender neutral first names. I promise it wasn’t until number two was named we realized this. Now expecting nuber three and cannot figure out a short list of names to go with the two girls names. We have Rowan DeAnn and Linden Ayda, for baby #1 we had Declan Jameson picked out, but alas she is a she.

    My DH is Joshua (type of tree) I asked if DD1 was male did he want the baby named after him, he said a resounding ‘NO!’. So jokingly I asked, ‘How about if its a girl?’ He said, ‘Oh, sure! If its a girl we can name her after me! *eyeroll*

    So guess what Rowan? Type of tree! Linden? Type of tree! Any suggestions for either gender of ‘tree’ names?

  6. My daughter’s names are Tristen and Nora. We want more children. My favorite Girls names right now is Audra, Shealynn, Shailene. Boys Lucian, Quinn,Weston, Porter, Jareth.

  7. I love thinking about names. my favorite name is Jacob” for a boy, or “Rose” for a girl.
    Baby Names

  8. My daughter’s name is Amelia but she’s always called Millie. It suits her perfectly.

  9. Indeed an informative article. Even i am finding baby girl names for my friend. So i visit some more baby names sites, where have found Babynology.com. It helps me to collect unique baby names.

  10. As a Bristol, I have to speak up for the oddly-named children of the world. I am seeing some negativity in these comments about odd names. I love my name! Yes, your name is definitely your brand, but who says your brand has to be stiff and traditional? We’ve had the name Fox picked out for a few years now. While I understand concerns about our child being picked on, I think I know where those bullies get it now. I’d rather my child have a name that relates to nature than a name that was picked out in fear. It has nothing to do with being cool. I apologize for my own negativity, but I’m disappointed in some of these responses. Please, parents leaning towards odd names, don’t be scared off.

  11. We are expecting our 3rd baby in just a few weeks……we have 2 beautiful little girls…Violet and Olive!!!!!! This baby is a BOY;) Boy names have proven very difficult for us….Please help!!!!! There are a lot of wonderful names on this blog already……we would love some ideas/ suggestions!!!! Thanks;)

  12. My son’s name is Nolan Mathéo and we thought of Léanna for a girl

  13. My son’s name is Nolan Mathéo and we thought of Léanna for a girl

  14. I love hearing people’s potential baby names! If my husband and I ever have a daughter we are going to name her Stella (I’ve loved that name since I was 14- it was my best friend’s great Aunt’s name and has since lived at the top of my list). I also really like the names Emerson, Caroline, and Sophee. Boys names are more difficult for me- I like the names Jude, Abram, and Smith but don’t have a top contender. Who knows!

  15. My kids names are
    Avienda
    Olivia
    Paige
    Roan
    My kids names wish list continues with
    Gwyn
    Fern
    Fawn
    and for boys
    Whit
    Luke

  16. A bit late on the commenting….

    My Baby Girl’s name is Rowen. If she had been a boy, we might have gone with Sebastian. Or maybe Rowan!

    Z
    waiting for kittenheart

  17. We’ve gone with family names but with a twist – the names are also city names. My first daughter is London, which is my maiden name and our soon-to-arrive second daughter is going to be names Syndey, after my grandfather, Sidney. I also love the names Yvonne, with the nickname Yvie and Aylene – both are middle names of family members. I love passing history down.

  18. I think names after animals are neat and unique! I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with a little boy whose middle name will probably be Bear. Not because I love the animal more than any other animal, but Bear is the pet name my husband and I have been using for each other for years. Our son will have a relatively normal classic first name that he can safely go by publicly to avoid any teasing, but he’ll always be our little Bear.

  19. My daughter is Eleanor Lucy and my son is Samuel Bela (pronounced Bay-lah). I also love Jane, Harper, Beatrice, Hazel, Ruby….all girl names. I also like Nathan. But no more babies for us! ;)

  20. Wren for a girl- love it!

  21. I am named Lucy and I love that you like that name!

  22. Anonymous says...

    Koala

  23. Ivery for a girl- pronounced “eye-vree”
    Thoughts?

  24. I don’t know in US but here, in France, if I have a baby called Lion or Ours (“bear”) it would be very strange… and a bit uggly ! ;)
    PS : I have 2 daughters, not with animal’names but mythological’names (Gaïa and Isis).

  25. I have a classic name with a unique spelling and I always get compliments. That said my name is the Welsh variation of Alice rather than my parents making it up and I think that impacts people’s perceptions. So many people bitch about people making up names.

    My favourites change over time and as I run them passed my fiance things change. My favourite girls names are Scarlett, Harper, Amelia and Rhiannon. Boys I like Patrick, Jeremy and Ryder.

    Names are our brands but you can always change it as a grown up if you really hate/find it holds you back.

  26. Anonymous says...

    Lions and Tigers and Bears… oh, my. No, I couldn’t ever be that mean. I think animal names can make adorable nicknames, but I think kids need more dignity attached to them than the name of an animal… or a piece of fruit (Apple??) for that matter.

    Glad you are considering Porter and Lucy! Good solid names. :)

    Lin

  27. Oh names! Such a hot topic. I really don’t know why some people get so uppity about them. Lion is adorable and I’ve met a Bear, an Eagle, a River, all wonderful babies/kids with amazing, thoughtful parents. As for those who worry that the children with unusual names will be picked on, it has been my experience that with greater diversity comes greater acceptance. Also, if the child’s peers’ parents don’t make fun of the name or mention how unusual it is, it’s unlikely that they will be singled out and made fun of.

    With regard to how their name may affect their future as adults, consider Barack. Not at all usual in the United States before his presidency, yet the majority of us (rightly) did not consider that an issue when casting our voted for him.

    All that said, I personally prefer somewhat unusual yet more traditional names. Our son’s name is Alden Louis and we’re excited to get the chance to choose another name for number two, but we’re going to wait to start list-making until we find out the sex. Naming a person should be fun! Not fraught with so much anxiety and judgement.

  28. Anonymous says...

    My son is named Bear. I thought my husband was crazy when he brought it up, but it’s traditional old American name – like many others that are popular right now. More popular in the 1800’s.

    I met a lovely women in her 80’s who’s grandfather’s name was Bear and she was delighted to hear it’s making a comeback. We know of 3 other Bears all close in age to ours.

    We picked the name for its strength and simplicity. Other children to love his name because early on it’s so easy to say and older kids because it’s easy to remember.

  29. I’m Singaporean and my first name is Alethea. It is of a Greek origin and my mom chose it for it’s meaning, “the woman of truth”. My dad got to choose my second name, and he chose Lavinia. :) This one is Hebrew and it essentially means the wine. So my mother always jokes that I’ll always tell the truth when I drink because I am an epic lightweight.

    If I ever do get children, I’d love to name my boys Lloyd, Lincoln, Damon or Jude.

    For girls, Leigh-Ann, Dakota, Gemma or Scarlet.

  30. lexi says...

    Met a little boy last year with the name Lyons.

    My husband and I are currently trying to decide on a name for our first little boy. I’d like to name him after my father (gary) who passed away a few years ago, so right now Gray/Grayson is at the top of our list…My husband wants his middle name to be Padgett which is his mom’s maiden name. Not sure what I think about it though…

  31. Juliane says...

    We named our daughter Sophie because I love the character Jostein Gaarder describes in his book “Sofie’s World”. But we decided to write her name with ph because her father has it in his name, too. A nice detail is the meaning of the name Sophie: wisdom.

    If we will have a son some day I would choose the name Linus.

  32. mrs k says...

    Our baby girl is named Berlin Rose. She is named after two cities, Berlin (Germany), a city we fell in love with after visiting a few years ago, and Portland, Oregon – City of Roses, where she was born.

    Also, Rose is my middle name, given to me after my fathers mother, Rosemary.

    We wanted a strong first name that was unique, but not too far out there.

    I LOVE Wolf, if we had a boy his name would be Wolfgang, Wolfie for short.

  33. I love my son’s name… Ngoma, means song in Zulu… vain of me I know, but I love it… lol

  34. Holly says...

    It took us twelve days to name our son, and in the meantime we told people his name was “pending.” At one point a couple of women thought we said “Pendon” and went bananas with name-love. So I guess we accidentally invented a cool name, even though we settled on something more traditional.

  35. Anonymous says...

    Umm, I never win anything, and I have absolutely no use for the paperbag, but it sings to me! I absolutely love paperback books that I read constantly, so perhaps that’s why. Also, I happen to love waxed canvas, burlap, linen, and silver together…it’s moody and lovely. Thanks Penelope

    also, I never understand what identities mean (url?), so I’ll go with anonymous only because I don’t know how to do anything else.

  36. Anonymous says...

    I never comment on these boards, however I LOVE talking names. My son’s name is Griffin, and I love it as much now as I did when I named him 13 years ago. My daughter is Ella, which I also love, but has become more popular recently. Other names I like are Eja (Asia) for a boy, and Neve for a girl :)

  37. I already have baby names picked out, but no babies for a few years :)
    For a girl: Aurelia Laura
    For a boy: Aiden Edward

  38. Stef says...

    Ha. We actually had Lyeon/Lyon (Lion) picked out as well. We don’t know what we are having but we are hoping the name Arrow fits if we have a boy and Reverie if its a girl

  39. My 3 year old son is named Porter Skye…I’m happy that his name is one of your favorites :)

  40. ina says...

    My baby’s name is Iver Eliot.
    Iver (pronounced Eever) is a sturdy, traditional Norwegian name, with the added bonus of meaning “enthusiasm.”

    Here in Norway the name Bjørn is not uncommon in my parents generation. It means Bear.

    Animal names have always been around, I think. And should be no reason for bullying anyone. Kids today will encounter so many different names, traditional, made up, last names as first names and names from many different cultures. They will be more open minded about these things, I am sure!

    And most kids would probably love hearing the story behind their name, or some special meaning it holds to their parents.

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  42. My kids are Oscar Benjamin (7) and Lucy James. (2.5)

    James is for my dad. We love how it toughened up Lucy a bit.

    I think both names are on on the rise where we live (SF). Oh well – you gotta go with what you love and let the rest drop away.

  43. clarity from friends of socktopus says...

    A previous commenter mentioned Holden. I know two little girl Holdens. I had always associated it with Holden Caulfield. My pet peeve is Maddox/Maddux/Maddix. I’ve met three little folks with this name, and for some reason it just bugs me.

  44. clarity from friends of socktopus says...

    I love unusual names, but they need to be spelled/pronounced reasonably. My son is named Caspian Purcell and my daughter is Lucinda Galilee. Caspian and Galilee are both inland seas, so I love that there is a thread that ties the two names together.

  45. I really like the name Noah for a boy and Stevie for a girl (my dad’s name is Steve) Not that I’m planning to have any children anytime soon but those have been in my head for the longest time ^_^

    P.S. I love your blog and it’s been an inspiration to start my own!
    xoxo,
    Chila.

  46. that lion is very different. He might get made fun of if it weren’t 2012, but luckily EVERYONE seems to want to be different lately.

    I like traditional names like Aaron :)

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  49. For my daughter I picked a family name, Mona. I haven’t heard anyone else use it yet! Of course, now that I’ve posted it… :) I love it so much though, I don’t care if everyone uses it! Another favorite I didn’t use was Poppy. I just think flower names are adorable. It is absoultely amazing how the name grows to suit the child though, isn’t it?

  50. Anonymous says...

    My partner’s last name is Wolff, so it is funny to hear the discussion about animal first names.

    I have always loved the name Greta for a girl, but figure that “Greta Wolff” sound like something out of a fairy tale, so have had to let go of my favourite name.

  51. I am one of those ‘list keepers’ so I have a list tucked away for everything. I even have a name list. My latest favorites have been Olivander and Idamae!

  52. I am one of those ‘list keepers’ so I have a list tucked away for everything. I even have a name list. My latest favorites have been Olivander and Idamae!

  53. When I was pregnant with my first daughter and started the naming process in earnest I was shocked to find out that most of the names I had loved for years had apparently been on many other people’s list as well because they had become incredible popular (Ava, Sophie, Isabella). We chose Lila Sophia for our daughters name because we thought it was a beautiful name, also at that point it was still in the 300’s for popularity and both of our mothers and sisters names started with L so it was I nice indirect tribute. I still love her name but I do wish I had considered how it would blend with all of the other double L (Lily, Layla, Lillian, Liliana etc) names to form a group that does make her name seem more popular then it really is. For our second daughter we were a little more name savvy and looked a little further outside the box. We literally couldn’t decided between our final two (Elodie Simone and Genevieve Isobel) until we were being kicked out of the hospital and had to turn in the paperwork. We chose Genevieve Isobel, we call her Eve or Evie 90% of the time. As much as we loved Elodie it was too close to a good friend’s name (Melodie) and Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris which is a city in which my husband and I have many great memories so it felt like the right choice for our daughter:)

  54. Final thing, I do love quite alot of names and with only two sons I’m not sure I’ll have anymore kids to use my favourite names. But whenever I meet someone with one of my favourite names I tend to remember that ‘real person’ forever.

    Elliott has been on my list since the film ‘E.T.’ and our former neighbour’s son is Elliott. The cutest Elliott I’ve ever known.

  55. I love French Films, my Top Fives:
    GIRL – emmanuelle, gigi, juliet, lulu, margot
    BOY – leon, luc, marcel, pierre, yves

    I also like names from Films/Music/TV:
    anton – elliott – judah – lior – lucius – maximus – nan – scarlet – shelby – sidney – tirzah – tristan

    Some commenter names I’m loving:
    deanna – diana – eliza – isadora – lael – linnea

    Names I love but clashes with my fiance’s surname of Boyd:
    holly – homer – ivy – joy – molly

  56. @Joanna – you pick the best topics! Can you believe I’ve read every comment?

    @Animal Names – are actually quite popular in other Cultures so if one of my own friends named their child Lion I would be ‘What The _?’ If I met someone who chose the name from their Culture/Family line then I’d be in complete awe. My partner’s bestfriend had always wanted to name his son Wolfgang but his Wife challenged him on that. He just wanted his son to sound ‘Tough’. The bestfriend was bullied at school.

    @Anon – ‘other kids will ALWAYS find something to make fun of…it isn’t a reason to avoid a name you love for your child’.

    I disagree, I love my child too much to have other kids make fun of his name, which may lead to serious bullying and counselling. Isn’t childhood meant to be fun and not made fun of?

    From my own Pacific Island Culture I’ve heard boys named: Achilles but in the literal translation ‘back of the heel’, Apollo after Apollo 11 and I kid you not… Equator!

  57. This may be a little modern of me, but I like offbeat names, especially, nicknames. “Teddy” is such a cool nickname.

  58. Anonymous says...

    Annette!

  59. Emily says...

    My friends named their first son Corbin—a mix of the dad’s best friends (Colby, Morgan, Cordel, and Ben) and their second son was named Ashton after another great friend (Ashley). Their middle names are Eiger and Rainier—an homage to mountains in each of their birth places. Names can be whatever you choose, and it’s so important to remember that those names were chosen by the parents and probably have some significance to them.

  60. My husband is an elementary school teacher, so man, have we heard them all. (And every deviation/spelling imaginable!) I think all kids must grow into their names and even though I think some of them I’ve heard (Denim, Merriwether, Fox, Tallulah, twins from Muskegon named Star and Sparkle!) aren’t really my thing, I suppose it’s kinda like the obit article you posted on Friday: who are we to kill someone else’s dreams?!?

    I love traditional names. And my husband has such a culture-specific last name (Kelenske=Polish) that I definitely would like to do my children justice. Esp if the girls plan to keep their last names, as I wish I had done. Maybe I’d give them my maiden name (Huron) as their middle? We are also quite French (him) and Italian (me), so it might be nice to choose names from the peoples of our past.

    For girls, I like Juliet, Beatrix, Cosette (nn Cosy), Laurel, Margeaux, Frances and the name I’d really like to use: Charlotte Laura. She’d be named after our mothers’ mothers. We’d call her Charlie, of course.

    For boys, I like Henry, Julian (nn Jude, of course!), Beckett, Everett and Dane.

    After 8 years of marriage, I think we might be taking the plunge this winter, so we’ll see! Can’t wait to hear about your little nugget, whenever that time comes.

  61. Lina S says...

    For girls I love Victoria, Evelyn, Juliana, and mine Lina but I wouldn’t name my baby after me.
    For boys Leonardo, Gabriel and Antonio.

  62. i love your genius friend’s choice of names! how cute!

  63. Meredith says...

    “Do you like the names June and Allyson?” “That depends.”

  64. Theodora eh.. well that means a Gift from God. A great name for a girl (or a boy).
    My favourites:
    BOYS: Ethan, Zachary, Caleb, Jacob (my son’s name)

    Girls: Daria, Dorothea, Anastasia, Eva (my daughter)

  65. This is such a cute post!

    I have loved baby names for years! Mine always keep changing as well!

    I love the name Paxton with Pax for short!

    I definitely prefer names that are not popular, because my name is Ashlie and there have always been multiple other Ashley’s in my classes growing up, and it was always a pain in the butt.

    -Ashlie

  66. My daughter’s name is Lumen.

  67. All the haters on the name Wolf–
    Its a very old Jewish name. Wolf or Wolff.
    Look it up before you sound stupid.

  68. We have a Nuala Maeve and an Anastasia Grace (aka Annie). Annie & I have matching names: Asia and Anastasia but no one really notices :)

    I’ve always loved Tate for a boy (but now with evil Tate from American Horror Story, maybe not!) and Ever for a girl.

  69. Anonymous says...

    my favourite names at the moment are Odette, Clara and Eleanor for girls and Oscar, Henry and Noah for boys

  70. One of my Fiance’s elder sister gave her son the middle name ‘Redstone’. As one Anon posted above, she is indeed the pretentious type. When she named her daughter, she did something similar. By two, the girl’s name had been changed again. I would never choose names of people I don’t like or put with the Surname, sounds like a punchline. I have to choose names that my own culture can pronounce. Although I loved ‘Declan’ it didn’t make the cut.

    Both my Fiance and I have 3 Names + Surname. We have two sons and they are named as follows: Biblical-Family Member-One of Dad’s Names-Surname.

    At school our sons use their first name. At home our sons use their middle name. They love it! It’s part of my culture to use different names as it doesn’t waste another name or two just sitting on ‘paper’.

    For another son; Samuel.
    For a girl; Emmanuelle.

    I also love hearing the names Anais, Eloise, Cora, Gertrude, Scarlet and my other name of Clementine.

  71. @Addie: Great story! Must remember this.

    @Jessica: True story. My former workmates husband goes by the nickname ‘Junie’ because he was born in June. When he began work for a Financial Services Company he was asked to use only his Given Name of Juan as even the Company couldn’t tell on his Resume if ‘Junie’ was male/female. If the Company was confused, wouldn’t the Clients be too?

  72. I’ve recently had two jobs where I learn lots of names. One was registering new babies to a child health nurse and one was a primary teacher both in Australia.
    I have heard some very interesting names Infact every week I’d meet friends and they’d ask for the new name of the day that I had found. Names included “Cloud”, “DeLa Croix”, “Kingi”, But also “Jhett”, “Rain” and “Jordan for boys and girls. And one whose spelling took me ages to figure out the pronuciation. “Youniek”
    I personally love old fashioned names like “Ignatius” and “Margaret” my husband thinks that child abuse. But I think unless it is your third child calling him “Trey” doesn’ make sense.
    My name is a very tradition Irish name which growing up in Australia was rare bu it’s super common in Canada and the USA

  73. Sarah says...

    I couldn’t get though all of the comments, but what I have learned about names is that it is hard to be original! We are all part of a Zeitgeist, with a few being a bit ahead of the curve, a bunch who will go “traditional” no matter what, and a good chunk of us trying to be a bit different/original all in the same way :). I do like the advice to go back to the names of great grandparents, since these things tend to go in cycles.

    Our names had to work in several languages, since my husband operates in 4 regularly. We thought we were being original with them… So not. Our girl ended up with a very popular name that I chose when I was 15; her middle name was more exotic but was then used by a celebrity and became more popular.

    I tried very hard to name my boy Caleb and then Kai, but it didn’t fit. I never name my kids before I meet them… I just have a working list. The boy ended up with name I didn’t expect from my list. But his middle name is Wolf. I was surprised to see how many people don’t think it is a real name… It was pretty common in Austria and Germany a time, on its own or short for Wolfgang. Like someone else mentioned, it is the name of a great-grandfather in our family. It is short, it is strong, and it balances out a softer first name and a long Jewish last name. Works for us. I don’t know if he’ll ever really use it. I think he’ll make a fine CEO no matter what :)

  74. Funny story; true story.
    I have a friend who shall remain nameless. He and his new wife were talking eventual baby names. She had her heart set on Daisy. He despised it.
    A few months later, he surprised her with an adorable puppy… The tag on her collar read: Daisy.
    There was NO WAY they could even name their daughter-to-be after the family dog. Sneaky, but well played. haha