What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?


Do you want to see the top 100 baby names of 2014?


Sophia is still at the very top of the list! It has been the #1 girls’ name for the past five years!


When I was pregnant with Anton, Alex and I debated names for the entire nine months. We had a short list (Sasha, Julian, Lucien…), but when our baby was born, he had such a masculine face that those names ended up somehow feeling too feminine for him. We scrapped them all and remained stumped.

Fast-forward to our second night in the hospital: Alex had brought take-out sushi to my room, and I nursed the baby while we racked our sleepy brains for a new name. Elliott? James? Charles? Suddenly Alex looked up: “What about Anton?” And that was it. Anton was a lovely strong name—and also reminded me of a warm, funny friend I’d had in college, so it had a great connotation.

And it’s funny how well it fits him. Babies really seem to grow into their names, don’t you think? I can’t imagine him with any other name now!

Do you have any favorite baby names? What are your children’s names? Do you mind if their names are popular?

P.S. The BEST baby name book, and the blind date test for choosing baby names.

(Top photo of my dad with my sister and me. Name list via BabyCenter)

  1. Rose K. says...

    I also named my son Anton. I was stumped for a boy name. I’ve heard it before, but hadn’t considered it until I saw it on a list of masculine boy names. I knew in that instant that would be his name.

  2. Penelope says...

    I love that you decided to change directions with the name after meeting Anton!

    No children in my future yet, but I think my top 2 for each gender are fairly uncommon and I love them.

    Boy – Talus, Almanzo
    Girl – Marit, Maven

    • Meredith Hill says...

      You do know that maven means somebody who is experienced or knowledgeable about something, right? Just wondered…..

  3. I don’t have any children yet but I love the name Sophia and Emma is pretty adorable. I also really like the names Hallie, Charlotte and Whitney for girls. For boys I like Cooper, Colin, Henry and Joel. But it’s funny how you guys had a list for Anton and then chose none of those so that could be the same for me too! I also love how the same name is different on each person.
    x Tali

  4. Reena says...

    My daughter is Victoria. My sister’s two boys are named Nikolai and Vasil.

    • Reena says...

      The boys are named after both grandfathers. It is a tradition.

  5. Jim says...

    Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I am affected by the details of baby naming. I had browsed online many sites to know name and meaning for my sweet baby. In all the sites I found more helpful and interesting. By reading the articles, you will be learning a lot about baby-naming tips and can know various origin names.

  6. I am still single right now but always dream of having twins n if that were to happen, i would love to call them Noel and Noah ;)

    • Meredith Hill says...

      Please don’t! They will never be able to tell who you are calling because the names are too similar. You think it’s cute, but it will end up being a pain in the neck!

  7. My husband and I named our son Casper Hart. I had a huge, long word doc of names and we just went through them all. We wanted something not too common, but still a real, not made up, name. Casper grew on us and I was set on Hart as the middle name because it’s masculine (meaning stag) and reminded me of my beloved grandfather who was an outdoorsman, AND I think it’s sweet as well. We got a lot of side-eye from the grandparents, but my mom did tell me after Casper was born that his name was perfect for him.

    If we had a girl we were going to go with Hazel Fawn.

  8. We also had different names ready, but could not decide. And then our baby came a bit earlier then expected, and we both immediately agreed she was a Sofia. I’m not too happy that it’s on the top list (I had no idea!!) :( But after 6 months I can’t imagine her with another name.

  9. So many wonderful posts! Maybe I am the only southern commenter…but double names are very common in the south. I have a 6 month old daughter named Lila James. I wanted a sweet feminine first name to go with out looooonnng surname. James has a beautiful bibllical meaning and kind of toughens up Lila. Plus, if she wants to me a super cool hipster one day, she could always go by James. If we had a second daughter, we like “Mary Belle” (double name), Dahlia (nn Dolly) <—this one makes my husband think I’m crazy, Annabelle or for a boy Rhodes (Greek island where we met) or Asher (beautiful Hebrew meaning but becoming too popular!

    My sister is having a Henry Townes in March and I’m absolutely shocked to see 2 other Townes and one Henrik Townes! She has a little girl named Carlisle which is so beautiful. It’s feminine and cool at the same time!

    Love your names, Joanna! And all of the lovely suggestions throughout!

    • Meredith Hill says...

      My nephew’s name is Townes. I thought he was the only one. He is 4 years old. My niece named him after some musician in Texas.

  10. I am having a baby girl in May and my partner choose the name Wendy. He’s El Salvadorian and it immediately made me think of Wendy from Peter Pan and Wendy Davis, two awesome thoughts! I have to say Wendy Rhodes Zapata sounds like both a fierce and soft name.

  11. No babies/kids here…but I loved reading all of the comments with reader’s kids’ names. I wish there was a like button.

    And…I’m 50% Norwegian with a great-grandfather named Anton, so I am a bit biased.

  12. i like Frank, Charlotte and Maude

  13. I loved the comments in this post! I am really interested in the psychology of how people choose names for their babies.

    I am a Caitlin born in the late 80s, and it was the most common name in my high school graduating class, but to be honest, I loved sharing my name. I still get excited when someone else is named Caitlin – “me too! how do you spell it? A “C” or a “K”?”

    Your child is going to be an individual no matter what their name is, so I personally don’t think it is so important to make sure that they are the only one with their name in the whole school. Naming your kid “McCartney” isn’t going to make him a future musician necessarily… I also thought angharad’s comment was really insightful – that having to constantly repeat or spell her name became daunting for her.

    That being said! My future babies I hope will be Claudia (favorite name since the Baby Sitters Club), John nn Jack (family name) and Rosa nn Rosie (because I love Rosie).

    • Penelope says...

      Claudia was my favorite BSC character too! The hairstyles…haha.

  14. My husband and I had the hardest time picking a name for our son and couldn’t decide until we were in the hospital. We named him Cahill (pronounced like “Kay-Hill”) and call him Cal for short. He was named after my favorite person in the wold – my grandmother (it was her maiden name).

    I hate that it’s not an easy name to pronounce, but I love all of the warm feelings I have every time I say or write the name. It makes me think of my sweet Grammy.

  15. I loved reading all the comments on baby names. The best part is we are all in charge of naming our own kids! No right or wrong. We have an Isabelle, Lincoln, Maxwell, and baby 4 on the way. Names are hard! But once you figure it out it is PERFECT. I love that part.

  16. My one-year-old son is named Xavier but I was totally into Gil. But then my mother-in-law grew attached to Gilinho (a way to make it a nickname in Portuguese is to add -inho tot everything, making it sound small, cute and absolutely ridiculous) and I knew I had to stop it before it became a reality. So Xavier it was, because it was the only name we could agree upon. Nowadays, when I look at him, there is no way he would make sense as a Gil; it would be to soft for him, the little human bulldozer.

    If he was a girl, he would be Penelope, much to the dismay of everyone I know. (I do hate popular names, specially because they’re so related to social class here in Lisbon; all “proper” boys and girls have their “proper” little names and then there are always 5 Afonsos and 7 Carlotas in the playground)

  17. Even before we conceived my husband had agreed that if we had a boy we would name him after my father. The day after my son was born my dad pretty much told my husband he only put up with him because he’s married to me. Yikes!!! Understandably my husband wanted to change the baby’s name, which we did. After 9 plus months of knowing what his name would be it suddenly was something else. I mourned his old name for a while and 3 months later still get sad about it sometimes.

  18. I have never seen my name close to the top 100s – Tawni – spelled any other way either. I like it because it isn’t common, but not too out there either. For children I love the name Saywer, but I am sad to see that it is becoming popular though!

  19. i have a joe. not joseph or joey- just joe. as soon as i knew it was a boy i knew that was his name. it helps that every joe i’ve known has been so cool and easy-going and sweet. plus- how can you not love a little boy named joe.

  20. My one and only is Sanders. He’s 18 months old and has my heart. It’s my husband’s grandmas maiden name.

  21. My 11 year old’s name is Jackson. When we named him no one was named Jackson and I loved that. I’m so sad that it was the number one name this year. But I do like to feel we started the trend.

  22. I’m obsessed with baby names!!! As a Jennifer (who re-named herself Jena) i’m definitely wanting something more unusual, but not too out there!

    I’m nowhere close to having kids but my top picks for girls are Autumn and Eilah (I-la) and for boys: Cian and Chase

  23. Our first baby, a girl, is due in March, and picking out a name for her is tougher than I thought. Not only do two people need to agree on it (and hopefully both LOVE it), but it has to work well with your circle of friends and extended family. We are leaning toward Cynthia or Autumn. We loved Ayla/Isla (pronounced “EYE-la”) for awhile, but realized we will likely have to explain to everyone how to pronounce and spell her name.

  24. I wanted something original and of Scandinavian descent. We also picked a middle name from one of our favorite singer/songwriters.

    Henrik Townes.

    I loved Henry but it’s so popular. Henrik = Henry but in nordic languages. ;)

  25. Our three children’s names are Ben, Susannah and Will. The boys use their long names at times Susannah has always been called Susu by family. She uses her long name in her career.

  26. I love these posts. We have a Jameson (girl) and Hugh. Like a poster above, we worried about the whiskey connotations, but it is such a strong name which we think fits her to a T without being overly boyish. And Hugh … this was the only name we could agree on and I just love it. Neither name is weird but neither is common.

  27. I’m Sydney, there were very few females with my name when I was a kid. Now it’s in the top 100. My children are Jessica Lauren, Brittany Elizabeth, Jake Alexander, Asa Michael (family name, my grandfather and great-grandfather), Abraham Ayres (both family names) and our youngest, Julia Rose. I regret not naming one of our girls Alice, that was both of our grandmother’s name.

  28. Please, new parents, believe me – having a name that is hard to pronounce/spell is not fun for the kid in question. Seriously. Not AT ALL.

    It gets worse when you become an adult: it’s a barrier when you meet new people, it gets mispronounced every single time, you get sick of correcting people and being thought rude, so you become self-conscious about introducing yourself, and instead of a friendly sense of recognition you get this horrible flicker of uncertainty in response when you tell someone your name for the first time. I honestly dread introducing myself to new people and would never give my child a name that had the same effect on them. I’m actually surprised by how strongly I feel about this! Difficult names make life more difficult!

    I guess what I really think is that there’s no such thing as a ‘unique’ name. There will always be someone else with that name somewhere, plus giving a kid an out-there name doesn’t automatically make them interesting or artistic or exotic – it’s their character that matters in that sense, not their name. Lots of the names I love are pretty ordinary (Matilda, Charlotte, Christopher, Tom) but I think they’re gentle, friendly, easy to pronounce and – most importantly – they won’t put my future kid in therapy! I’d like to kiss the poster further up the thread who named their baby Jane!

    • Meredith Hill says...

      I totally agree with you. As a former school teacher, one of my pet peeves was parents who named their kids a common name, but spelled it some crazy way to be “different'” i.e., Meshelle or Sidknee. As you said, the kid ends up having to spell it over and over again for the rest of their lives. Give your child a real, normal name, and spell it the acceptable way!! Kids have enough problems these days without you giving them an extra one some bizarre name that may haunt them forever.

  29. I enjoy these kinds of lists, too! Choosing a name is definitely one of the joys of being pregnant, and we had to make sure that any name would work in both French (we live in Paris) and in Southern (my husband’s family lives in Kentucky!). We had a boy’s name picked out almost immediately, and it was incredibly easy. I’m so happy we had a boy! We chose the name Philip, after my departed father, and Arnold, after my husbands late grandfather. Girl’s names, however, were more difficult. I love Sophia, after a wonderful friend, and Eva, a derivation of my mother’s Eveline, but both those names are too poplular. Trying to choose a girl’s name was a real challenge. Apparently, my husband really gravitates (groan…) to the 80’s. Hopefully, we’ll be able to use our girl’s name in the future!

  30. You solved this challenge for us, so thank you. We have Lucas who is two and my wife is currently 30 weeks. Boys names I’ve found really difficult to love until I thought of your little guy, in that grey hat and done. We have an Anton on the way! Simple as that, we love the strength and warmth of the name. So cheers to bothers and the 5 tips of transition to a sibling. That post has been doing the rounds with our friends, all are so grateful xx

  31. Loving all these comments! My 6-month old is Davis Quill, a name that I hope allows him to become… himself as he grows up, you know? Anyway, if we’re blessed with another one, I’m currently digging Nash for a boy (what’s a good middle name for that??) and Josephine Sage for a girl. Eeee! Already wanting another baby!!!

  32. I’ve got a Connor and an Adelaide. I also love Corinne, Coraline, and Dominic.

  33. As a teacher, many names were ruined for me over the years. In addition to first names, my kids have a very common last name, so actual entire names, first and last were ruined! My husband and I had an easy time coming up with girl names, but ended up having two little boys. I wanted something clearly masculine, not weird (that is a teacher thing again, I once had three Uniques in one class), and no nicknames. We settled on Luke for our first son and Adam for our second. Luke has risen in popularity, but Adam not so much. I think a good strategy for picking a name no one else will is to choose something from your own generation. I knew quite a few Adams growing up, but not so many these days. I didn’t know any Lukes growing up, and now I see quite a few. I still think about girl names (although I am done). I love flower names and wanted a Daisy. I also loved Clio and Clementine (but no one else did). My sister-in-law just named her baby Wren, which I think is the perfect combination of not common, but identifiable as lovely thing, a small songbird.

  34. I think about names waaaay too much but its such an important task! Naming someone probably forever and giving info and a first impression and all for a human you barely know. Eek! We had no problem naming our twins but our little girl (3weeks now) was a battle royale. Luckily the heavens revealed her name the day she was born (a fun personal and too long too write here story). Anyway, we have Charleston (Charlie), Whitman (Whit), and Roselin (Rosie). I just adore their names and my kids! Yay names! If we have one more it will either be Afton Leigh if its a girl (after the mountain in VA my husband and I got engaged on and my father) or Gordon Freeman (after a family member and character my husband loves).

  35. I love when you post about baby names, Joanna! One of the many fun parts of pediatrics is hearing so many new and unique names. although I am admittedly a little resentful of the current popularity of my mother’s name, Sophia (I feel weirdly possessive of that name, haha!) I love playing the game with my husband. In Greek culture there are pretty specific rules about naming the first two kids after your parents (Paul and Sophia for us,) but we also toy with other names. Some favorites of the moment are Marina, Theophan (Theo), Ioanna, and Constantine. Yep, all pretty Greek :)

  36. If I had a little girl, I would have named her Helene, after my wonderfully giving auntie.

  37. My daughter’s name is Ellery and I’m happy that I rarely see it on these lists. It’s an early 1900s boy’s name :)

  38. I’m a huge name nerd, and I find these lists to be misleading. They are usually based on search engine data and not actual usage, so these names are not the top names in country. To find those you must go to the social security name database (, and the data for 2014 isn’t released until next May I believe.

    It is fun to try to guess what the top names will be though!

  39. We are having our first child in March. A girl. The name is on the list but I think we will have to wait and see if it fits.

  40. A work friend named her kids Yates ( girl) and Larsen (boy). My daughter is named Wren! I hope it never makes the popular names list as I wanted something different.

  41. I don’t have kids yet, but I love to think about baby names. My top choices at this point are Fern, Miles, Jacqueline, and Liam.

  42. We’re due in 3 weeks (NYE baby!) and I think we’re sorted on girls names: Lucy Frances or Rachael Terese. For boys, we’re still stuck – I like Jarvis, hubby likes David. We’re lukewarm about James (I hate the nickname Jimmy), Robert, or Archie…sigh. Thoughts?

  43. We ended up going with family names for both children. Karl for my husband’s side and Anthony (Tony) for my side. They both have crazy middle names that we chose for the sheer fun of it based on things/ideas we love. Tucked away in the middle, each child can keep them or get rid of them when they get older ;)