Motherhood

What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?

The Most Popular Baby Names of 2016

Want to see the top baby names right now? The Social Security Administration just released their findings…

The Most Popular Baby Names of 2016

Interesting, right? See more details here, if you’d like. Emma has been one of the top four girls’ names for the past 15 years!

When I was pregnant, Alex and I would stay up late and brainstorm names in the living room. We made lists for both boys and girls, and we loved Penelope, Sophie and Beatrice (from Much Ado About Nothing). The nicknames Penny and Bea are so sweet, too.

It’s funny, sometimes it feels like you’re coming up with a not-enormously-popular name and you’re all proud of yourself for being original — for example, when I was pregnant with Toby, Alex and I both loved the name Sebastian — but then many other parents also like the name at the same time. Why? From where? TV? Movies? Thin air? The collective unconscious is such a fascinating thing.

What are your favorite baby names? If you have kids, what are their names? Do you care if their names are popular?

P.S. Going from one child to two, and the blind date test for baby names.

(Photo by Amelia Fullarton. Graphic design by Diana Moss.)

  1. I like the name for girl Emma from the German origin meaning whole or universal, Olivia pronounced Alivia though (latin): Olive tree, Sophia (greek): Wisdom and Ella (english): Light and for boy I think I only like one name and that is Oliver (latin): Olive tree.

  2. Meghan says...

    I have boy/girl twins. My daughter is Olivia Pearl. My son is Elliot Jack. I was worried about the SVU reference, but no one has ever commented about that. If we have a another daughter, her name will probably either be Isabel or Emilia. I love Ivy, but my husband doesn’t. If we have a another son, he will probably be Colin. Boy names are easier for us to agree on, for some reason.

  3. Roxanne says...

    I have two girls: Berit Irene (Irene after my grandmother) and Signe Denise (Denise after my mother). Berit (pronounced Bear-it) and Signe (Sig-ney) are both Scandinavian – I am American but have Scandinavian heritage. I just adore my girls’ names and love that they are unique. As teachers, my husband and I hear so many popular names, so having something a bit unusual but still simple and pretty was important to us.

  4. Hillary says...

    My wife and I both love the name Beatrice, so if we have a daughter, she’ll be Bea for sure (plus it’s alliterative with our last name, which is a fun bonus). I also love Matilda, Hazel, Amelia, and Jane (a family name) for girls. For boys we’re more divided, since so many of the names we like are super popular (like Henry and Jack). Two that we keep coming back to are Cameron (also a family name) and Callum. We both like the idea of using family names as middle names.

  5. Major says...

    Ava and Ivy…my girls!

  6. Christina B says...

    I’m pregnant with our first and trying not to put too much pressure on picking a name. When I get stressed about it I think of Bali, where children are simply named based on birth order:
    “In general, Balinese people name their children depending on the order they are born, and the names are the same for both males and females. The firstborn child is named Wayan, Putu or Gede, the second is named Made or Kadek, the third child goes by Nyoman or Komang, and the fourth is named Ketut. If a family has more than four children, the cycle repeats itself, and the next ‘Wayan’ may be called Wayan Balik, which loosely translates to ‘another Wayan’.”
    http://www.ultimatebali.com/magazine/balinese-names-explained/

  7. My kids are Emmett Ren, Isla Jun and Eve Katsumi. I’m half-Japanese so all of their middle names are Japanese.

    Before they were born I called them Adzukichan (little bean), Kojika (fawn/baby deer) and Koguma (bear cub). I’ve got Koyagi (baby goat) in there now. We don’t know if Koyagi’s a boy or a girl but we like the names Finn and Rian for a boy and Noelle, Audra, Alana and Naomi for a girl.

  8. Julia says...

    I really like the name Andie (girl) or Andy (boy) because my mother’s name is Anna and my mother in law’s name is Wendy. When you combine “An” from Anna and the ending “dy” sound from Wendy you get Andie/Andy :) And you can tell your kid they were named after their kick ass grandmas. Some people think girl Andie sound like a nickname but I don’t care, I love it as it is…it is cute and spunky.

  9. Stephi says...

    My husband is a huge hockey fan and wants to name any future sons after hockey players. So far, his favorites are Crosby, Malkin and Lemieux. I would go for those as middle names, but not so sure about first names!

  10. Tracy says...

    We’re due with a boy in five weeks, and haven’t been able to decide on a name, let alone discuss alternatives. My husband really wants to name him after his younger (and only sibling) brother, Michael, who died in an accident a few years ago. When we found out at 12 weeks that it was a boy, I tried referring to him as “Mikey”, which was his brother’s nickname as a child (it later became “Mike”), but it felt so wrong to me and my husband didn’t exactly seem excited about it either- just too soon and too painful, and I ended up having a complete meltdown about it after a week of trying. After my meltdown, I thought we had settled on using “Michael” as a middle name, but my husband has now decided that he won’t be happy without it being the baby’s first name. I worry that my in-laws will constantly compare our Michael to their Michael (which is very likely if there is any resemblance between them), and that my son will never feel like he’s his own person. I want to honor and remember my brother-in-law, but I also worry that my son will feel burdened with the pain of loss we’ve all suffered after Mike died. I have a few alternatives written down hoping that ultimately my husband will feel the same way I do about using Michael as the first name once we see the baby in person. Or maybe I’ll change my mind, and it will all be okay… ugh.

    • Ann says...

      What about Micah? Maybe a happy medium?

    • Zoe says...

      I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I do tend to feel that children should not be given the same first name of someone who died in a tragic way, or who died quite young. It’s a lot of pressure for the child, in my opinion. I think using the honor name as a middle name is a beautiful idea though.

      As a compromise, I do like the idea of using the name Micah as another reader commented. It’s such a happy and upbeat version of the name. My brother is named Micah and I have always loved it.

      Or, perhaps you could find another name that has a “link” of sorts to Michael. Like, is there a place he lived or loved to visit that reminds you all of him? Or perhaps an interest of his that you could turn into a name? Would his middle name be an option?

      Best wishes and congratulations on the upcoming birth of your little boy!

    • My husband was insistent on naming our first born after his late Grandfather and late uncle (who also died tragically at a young age in an auto accident) and frankly, I didn’t like (and still don’t) like the name (Richard). Call me old fashioned but I let him name his boy what he wanted. My son is 16 mos now and happily goes by the nickname “Dicky” and no one has any sad or bad feelings toward the memory of the name.

  11. Sadhbh says...

    I have an Irish name – Sadhbh. It’s pronounced Sive (like the number five, but with an s). It is uncommon in Ireland and unheard of elsewhere! It is rare that I meet someone who knows how to pronounce my name from seeing it written down, even though I’ve always lived in Ireland. As a child I hated my name for that reason, but now I really love it: 1. because I think the Irish language is beautiful and I am proud that my name marks my heritage and 2. it has been a great conversation starter over the years! I like that it’s a strong-sounding name (the consonants, I think) while its meaning is goodness/purity/innocence. There is a play called Sive written by the Irish playwright John B. Keane – he named the main character Sive as she represents goodness/naivety in the play. It was also the name of the goddess of the arts in Irish mythology; wife of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, who was a great hero, and mother of his son Oisín, the warrior poet, from the famous story of Tír na nÓg. There is a small town called Cahersiveen in Ireland, which is an Anglicised spelling of ‘Cathair Sadhbhín’ (Fortress of Young Sadhbh). I think its a great name!

  12. Sunny says...

    Our son is named Evan and its perfect for him. His middle name is my husbands first name, Thomas. I love the name Evan! It works really well with our English last name and it doesn’t feel pretentious to me at all. Its a little bit different but also not at all and it doesn’t need to have a weird spelling or funny nickname (although I call him ‘Ev’ a lot). If we had had a girl we were thinking Hazel or Esther.

  13. We have a 2yr old son, Luca Michael and a 1yr old son, Caden Anthony. The middle names honour grandfathers. We wanted something unique but not over the top different. Funny though, both seem to be gaining in popularity. My husbands criteria was that on the first day of school he didn’t want our kids to have to tell the teacher how to pronounce it. I didn’t want there to be a nickname associated whichever name we chose. It was important to me that whatever name we picked was what the majority of people called them. We also couldn’t pick a name until we met them. I thought my 2nd born was going to be Eli or Asher if he was a boy and when he came out and didn’t look like either.

  14. Kery says...

    My name is difficult to pronounce, but not common so I always knew I wanted my children to have names that weren’t popular but definitely easy to pronounce. Our daughter is Wren Isobel and our son is Gale Felix. Other names we liked were Willow and Aurora, and I LOVE Wolfgang, but their last name is best suited to a strong one-syllable first name.

  15. Courtney says...

    We just had a baby girl 8 weeks ago and named her Penelope but call her Penny! So funny that was one of your top picks for girls, I don’t know anyone else with a Penny. Our older daughter is named Charis (pronounced CAR-iss), which means grace in Greek. I don’t see her name making the top 100 list anytime soon ;)

  16. Jessica says...

    My almost-3-year-old is named Charlotte Jean. We mostly call her CJ, which fits her personality perfectly :) We were a bit unsure about choosing such a popular name, but we wanted to name her after my husband’s mother who passed away about 15 years ago. Jean is my mother’s middle name, so her name honors both of her grandmother’s – and I think it’s just beautiful! Sounds like a Southern belle, although my husband is from California and my family is New England, through and through.

    We’re expecting our second girl in November and my two favorite names right now are Julia and Naomi. Having a hard time with middle names though! I’d like to use another family name as a middle name, but there aren’t many left that I like or that flow well.

  17. Lucy says...

    I have 2 boys; Leo (2 years) and Hamish (8 weeks).

  18. ROSIE!!

    But I’m biased, because that’s my daughter’s name. We also gave her two middle names, one after each of her grandmothers. I like the tradition of each of our (future) children having a middle name from both my family and my husband’s family. It feels warm snd inclusive to honor loved ones. A name can be more than just a name.

    I love Teddy (Edward or Theodore) for a boy, too.

    http://www.thislifeisbelle.com

    • Anna says...

      I have a Rosie too! Rosie Bea. At first I wasn’t sure if it was too much of an older person name for such a tiny baby (and I argued hard for her to be Frankie!) but I love it now. :0)

  19. Kristin says...

    I love these posts! This might be crazy, but when choosing names for my two daughters, I had the last two “names” posts you did bookmarked, and when I thought of a name to consider I’d ctrl-f on the cup of jo posts and see what people said about the name or what other names were mentioned alongside!

    We chose Ingrid and Mathilda for our girls (Iggy and Millie), for reasons lots of people have mentioned — known but not currently “popular”, easy to pronounce, hear clearly, and spell. Except that “H” in Mathilda, oh the agony over to include it or no! So far I’m glad we did because I think it’s so beautiful written out. We’ll see if she hates that “H” as she gets older and has to spell it out at Starbucks!

    • Erin says...

      Kristin, what is the general feedback on Ingrid’s name? It’s a top contender for baby #2 and I’m curious what your experience is.

  20. Brynna says...

    I don’t have kids, but some friends are on the path. Having grown up with a hard-to-pronounce name, I caution them against it! I always end up making up a name when I’m asked at Starbucks (“Sarah” is a favorite – no one questions it!) and I do get tired of being called the wrong name every time I’m introduced to someone. It really is exhausting.

    • VVV says...

      Ha, Sarah is my fake coffee/reservations name, too!

  21. Gabrielle says...

    I have to say, I am happy our daughter’s name is not on either list. We chose her name based on a few criteria; had to be short, no obvious nickname, could not end in “ie” or “y”, and could not include the letter “L”. Our last name is fairly long and ends in ie so we did not want it to rhyme or sound that way. We had two names when we went to the hospital (the one we did not choose had the letter “L” in it.)
    Quinn Kathryne is now 1.5.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m curious – why no ‘L’? It’s so specific!

    • Clare says...

      I’m pretty sure Quinn will make it on the 2017 list…

  22. Jess says...

    We named our brand-new son Orson Henry—we’re in love with the name and it suits him perfectly. While searching for boy names, I relied on 2 things:
    1. A funny, thoughtful book called “A is for Atticus” which focuses on unique names inspired by history and literature. Amazon has it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AHS8OW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
    2. The cemetery! Morbidity aside, it’s a fantastic source for offbeat and long-forgotten classics.

    • margie says...

      I agree! But my husband wouldn’t let us use “Appollonia”, a name from the late 1800’s next to my stepfather’s tombstone, for a daughter. So we now have our loyal dog Appollonia!

  23. Jodie says...

    My Husband loved the name Kai from the start. I thought it was too “out there” at first but as my due date got closer I kept seeing it! We loved that it means different things in several different languages. We waited to see him before we decided but I am so glad I went with a name that is uncommon but not that uncommon. He loves his name and it fits him perfectly!

    • It’s amazing how you will keep noticing a name or word once it’s been highlighted to you…! I totally know that feeling :-)

  24. MariaJose says...

    My boys: Sebastian and Sergio. My girl: Serena.

  25. Abigail says...

    Growing up, Abigail was not a cool name, at least where I lived. (I’m currently 32) I used to dislike my name so much. I recall at some point in elementary, kids made fun of me because we watched the movie Fox and the Hound, and the Cow’s name was Abigail! Haha. Now its trendy, So i guess that’s the universe making up for that time?

    • Betsey M. says...

      Growing up I was also made fun of in reference to a cow! My name is Betsey and kids would call me Bessie the moo cow…

  26. I love, love, love thinking about baby names! For me, I don’t care so much about popularity, but the reasons parents choose particular names. Are they family names? Have a special meaning? My favorite part of a birth announcement is learning to baby’s name!❤️

  27. lili jane says...

    Hello from Paris. We have 3 children, Elizabeth (5), Maurice (3) and Jacques, who was just born this April. We were looking for names that would sound good both in French and in English, as we have family in France and Ontario, Canada. We were also attracted by strong classical names (for Maurice, people were very surprised as it is a very very old unfashionable name! Yet we loved the sounds of it and it was a tribute to Maurice Ravel, a composer my husband and I deeply love. We think it suits well the character of our boy, who’s now almost 4!)
    Funny how the American popular name list is very close to the French one (Emma is also here the top girl name).

  28. Shannon says...

    I love collecting names and can’t seem to
    stop reading these comments even though there are over 800 now! I have definitely added a few to my list :)

    My plan was always to name my first son after my father who passed away when I was a kid. His name appears every second generation in our family as far back as we’ve traced the family tree (1500s). Any name my partner and I choose has to work in French and English. Sadly my father’s name was Donald. It was already a bit iffy with Donald Duck being the only use of Donald in France but now it’s the duck and Trump, which pretty much ruins the name. I’ll probably only use it as a middle name now.

  29. Jaime says...

    I have two girls…Adelie (5) and Clara (2). Took us almost a month to name little Clara. I felt tremendous pressure to pick these names that will follow them throughout their life. I hope we did well :)

  30. Laurel says...

    Our boys are 4 and 20 months, Lukas and Linus. We didn’t try to have them rhyme, they were just both the names we agreed on and loved. They also have middle names that both start with T so they also have the same initials. Hopefully it’s not a prob when they are older!

  31. Laura says...

    our baby girl was born May 12th and we went with Phoebe Clarke. We loved Abigail, Evelyn and Penelope but didn’t want a name in the top 100. The funny thing is, although Phoebe is a fairly uncommon name, there is one in our neighborhood and two of our older neighbors have grown children named Phoebe.
    my husband and i live in a quirky part of town (sprawling cottage gardens, colorful victorian houses with wrap around porches on small city lots, friendly & outgoing artists and professors with chicken coops- you get the idea). My husband and I joke that we chose a “neighborhood name (instead of a family name). Her middle name is after her paternal grandfather, but we added an “e” to the end to make it a bit more feminine.

    • umm where do you live? It sounds like my heaven!

      Also, love your daughter’s name!

  32. Lindsay says...

    So glad we made it out of the hospital with a name for our baby, it was looking iffy! We chose my husband’s favorite name on our short list and the name that was my original favorite. It has never cracked the top 1000 list in the U.S., but it’s a popular name in Israel. I like that it has cute nicknames, because I never grew up with nicknames.

    For her middle name we chose my favorite name, Eleanor, which I think is too popular right now, but I love it because of the movie Sense & Sensibility (not my favorite Austen book, but absolutely obsessed with the movie — walked down the aisle to music from it!). Her Hebrew name switches out Eleanor for my grandmother’s name.

    And her last name is mine. Also a huge decision! It was really important to me before she was born, but honestly, now that she’s a real life 8-month old I don’t think I’d care either way. But she does have cool initials! I thought everyone cared about initials, but my husband didn’t care at all…probably because his initials are boring! ;)

    Fun story: In my sheer exhaustion I didn’t really pay attention to how we spelled our daughter’s name and when I got around to posting the news on FB I realized I had no idea how we officially spelled it! Good thing I like what we went with!

    • Virginia says...

      I read this comment quite a few time looking for the first name you went with? I don’t think you included it, and now I just have to know!!!

  33. Addie Wakao says...

    We have a Ewan (you-en) and an Isla (eye-luh). Their names fit them perfectly <3

  34. mon!ka says...

    I am not able to have kids, but long before I found that out, I had a list of names at the ready. I do have pets, and their names were/are: BIX, LOLA, MAX, LUNA. So, I suppose I can use my baby name list for future cats and dogs in my life :)

    Boys: JASPER, ALISTAIR, HENRY
    Girls: WREN, ASHER, IRIS, TESS, JUNIPER

    • Katie says...

      I have two girls – and Tess and Juniper were both #3 and #4 on our list – we also loved Wren. You have great taste :-)
      We ended up naming ours girls Sloan and Remy …

    • KW says...

      My daughter’s name is Wren!

    • Oh I love Juniper! Maybe for our next daughter, when the time comes … ❤️

    • Christen says...

      Love these! I also just gave birth to b/g twins who are Yann and Remy. So excited to see another girl named Remy!

    • mon!ka says...

      So great to see Wren, Juniper and Tess actually being used! You all have great taste too :)

      I wonder did you pick the names for certain characters or animals or botanical reasons or grandparents? In my case, all of the above:

      Wren: for the badass but troubled lead female character in an 80’s movie called Smithereens, also, wrens are the cutest little birds with great calls

      Juniper: because I always loved the name June and juniper berries are like plump little blueberries

      Tess: my grandmother’s name is Czeslawa, nicknamed Czesia, which would translate to Tessie or Tess…

  35. We tried to choose historical names with family meaning. Went with Noah after my great grandfather and William after an ancestor who also happened to be president, William Henry Harrison. I thought we were so original and yet these are the most popular names! it irks me that they are common but at least they’re meaningful to us.

  36. Helena says...

    My baby boy’s name is Teo, it’s the only boy’s name I love! I’m Portuguese and my partner is Italian, so Teo seemed also perfect because it’s pronounced the same in both languages :) If I would have another boy, I wouldn’t know how to name him, it would be really difficult!

  37. Dana says...

    I’m so surprised to see Eleanor made the list! We named our daughter Eleanor in 2015 for no other reason than to honor my grandmother, who’s middle name was Eleanor- after her mother who’s first name was Eleanor. My great grandmother Eleanor died of cancer when my grandmother was a preteen but before she died she knitted baby booties and a diaper soaker to pass down to my grandmother, which my grandmother passed down to me three or four christmases ago. My little girl’s due date was the day before my grandmother’s birthday and so, for all these reasons, we named our daughter Eleanor! I didn’t think it was popular anymore but then within a year after her birth, other people I knew were also naming their girls Eleanor. I’m not much into pop culture so I’m not sure where the resurgent came from!

  38. Kylie O says...

    We have a Lily Kate, a Georgia Grace (who goes by Georgie or Gigi) and a Harry Joseph…and Dudley the cat lol! I love my kids names, although I do get tired of explaining, “No, not Lillian, just Lily” or “No, not Harrison, just Harry.”

    • Hillary says...

      Retro name comeback! My late grandfather was a Harry Joseph, born in 1915.

  39. Hilary Stoner says...

    I do not have children but I’m loving Pearl and Fern. They are traditional, old timey, and so sweet.

    • Ariel says...

      Fern is my favorite name for a girl. I love the classic yet somewhat dreamy feel of the name. It’s my grandmother’s middle name and my husband’s great-grandmother’s name (she is 103!), so if we ever have a baby girl, I think that will be her name as well!

  40. Alison Norris says...

    Naming babies is tough stuff! Mine are Carolyn, Judson, Miller and Grafton but we thought about Tag, Rowan, Delphine, Luca, Fiona and Adair.

    • Steph says...

      Delphine was on my short list if my son had been a girl :)

  41. Sarah says...

    Ivy + Alice are ours.
    And a pug called Olive

    • Anna Kleinfeld says...

      Too cute!

  42. Kris Cochran says...

    We just had our first baby Augustus and we call him Auggie. I wanted a name that sounded good at all ages, and didn’t get childish as he got older. I love that the name is familiar but not popular.

  43. Kate says...

    Our daughter is Esme, inspired by For Esme with Love and Squalor by JD Salinger. She’s a sweet, bright character and it’s a beautiful short story. My other favorite girl name is Hazel.

  44. Baby names always fascinate me. I made a point with my 2 kids (Ingrid and Lars) that their names couldn’t be in the top 100 names. (Of course, if we moved to Sweden, it would be a different story, I’m sure, ha!) But I didn’t want a made up name, either. I was always the only person with my name in my entire school growing up and I loved that. But now it seems like there are a lot of little girls with my name — and Ava, which is so close, is #3!

    • Helena says...

      Lovely names :) I’m Swedish and I’ve always had the name Ingrid on my list of baby names. It’s number 68 on the top 100 names for newborn girls in Sweden right now so pretty popular! Lars was popular in the 1940s to 60s but hasn’t returned in popularity yet, though I suspect it will in the next decades since names from the 20s and 30s are popular now!! My children are named Ebba, Nils and Line. They aren’t great internationally but you can’t consider everything :)

  45. Elle says...

    Mine are Noah and Ted. Haven’t come across many Teds where we live but Noah seems to be extremely popular everywhere. But I don’t care I love it. I really like short names so we decided on Ted (because it’s so cute) rather than Edward.

  46. Maranda says...

    I don’t have any kids but I LOVE thinking of baby names! A few of my top favorites were on the list. I think they’re really unique because I’ve never met someone else with the names below, so I was surprised to see them there.

    Girl: Riley, Sage, Ava, Willow (maybe, that’s my least favorite of the bunch)
    Boy: Aiden & Ezra. My boyfriend likes the name Preston for a boy which I feel ‘eh’ about.

  47. My boys’ names are Clint and Cooper. We already have names at the ready (both a boy & a girl’s name) if we decide to have a third kid! We are prepped!

  48. Ana_Spain says...

    My daughter’s name is Marina (we are spanish). It has always been at the top of my favourites. I still love it a lot (my daughter is 7 years old right now).

    Such a difficult decision to take…

  49. Kristin says...

    Our oldest is named Willa inspired by Willa Cather, and our son, just born 3 months ago, is Wilder inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was worried that Willa and Wilder would be too matchy but I’m an American history teacher, we’re originally from the “plains,” and those are two of our favorite authors. Plus, as a teacher I love that they’re unique but still easy to pronounce!!

    • Brooke says...

      I ADORE those names. Two of my favorites. And I think they’re great together.

    • Brandi says...

      You’re one of only two others on this long thread that I have seen mention the name Willa (and the only one who’s used it!) We’re expecting a girl in October and my heart is set on that name. We also have a boy named Elliot – we chose them for much the same reason, unique/underused but still easy to pronounce and recognizable.

  50. Jill T. M. says...

    After stillborn twins last year, I am mortified about choosing a name for my next baby (it is obviously more complicated than just the name). My husband and I had Thomas and Marie chosen for nearly 7 years before their early birth. We could never agree on any other names.

    Do we reuse these names? Use them as middle names? One thing is for sure: I definitely do not regret using those names for the best two little people I ever met. :)

    • Sara L says...

      I’m so sorry, Jill. Thomas and Marie are both beautiful names.

    • Nora says...

      I’m so sorry you lost them. Peace and strength to you both. It must be so hard to talk over names with their loss on your mind.

      I think using a twins’ name as a middle is a lovely idea. Or, I wonder if it would feel right to use something similar as a first name to honor them? There are many lovely versions of Marie (Marya and Marit are a few of my favorites, but there are a thousand more.) There are fewer variants of Thomas (Tavish if you like Gaelic names) but Garnet and Becket are associated with Thomas because of the saints.

      Best wishes to you.

    • Caroline says...

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. That must have been (and must still be) so very hard. You chose lovely names.

    • Brittny says...

      I think keep the names just for them. It’s a lovely sentiment knowing your little babies occupied a special space in time with your favorite names. Also, do not be mortified! You have every right to take your time and as much space as you need. Your feelings, struggles, and experiences are not owed to anyone.

      I have so much admiration for you moving forward with your husband and sharing this story with us. Best of luck to you and congratulations :)

  51. Liz C says...

    I have Grace Rose (3) and Joseph David (11 months)!

    • Caroline says...

      Great names. I love Joseph (my grandfather’s name); I feel like it’s so uncommon now, but it’s such a likeable and classic name.

  52. Rozanne says...

    Funny how many American people give importance to nicknames !! Looking at the comments I have read a lot of “but we call her/him…”…
    In France you do not often see that !!

    • cgw says...

      ^ This comment is so interesting. I have a dear friend who is from and still lives in Chaumont, and she has nicknames for all three of her girls. I wonder if my friend’s time in America (for college) has influenced her.

  53. Sally says...

    Our darling boy is Magnus, which is very unusual in Australia but not so much in Denmark where I went to high school. Our only hopes for our son is that he is a good man as he grows and has strength of character – and Magnus felt perfect all of a sudden when I was pregnant. Even though we were sure we were having a girl – so We were set on our girls names- we loved the name Magnus so much we were dissapointed we wouldn’t get to use it – and Lo and Behold! I’m sure now I’m only meant to be a Mama to boys – so now to come up with something to match Magnus…..

    • Alex says...

      Sally I have a Magnus too! And I am pregnant with another son, and trying to think of a name that is as awesome… It is t easy!

  54. B says...

    Awww I love names!! I have three girls – Olive Elia, Mila Belle and Quinn Maisie :) and I would have a dozen more babies just to name them, if I could! Haha ?

  55. My 9 month old daughter is called Lola (after my grandmother and funnily enough she is a spitting image of her) Jane (after her older half-sister) and Elizabeth (after my mum). I am Polish and my husband is from NZ, this is where we live so we were looking for a name that would be easy to pronounce for both families so Lola Jane Elizabeth it is :)

  56. Claire says...

    I have a Caspian and a Lucinda. I also love Guinevere, Romilly, Juniper, and Marigold, as future names.

  57. Theresa says...

    My toddler daughter’s name is Zara Grace. We love the name and it completely suits her! I’ve always loved my name and hope my daughter embraces hers as she grows as well.

  58. Lauren says...

    Our boy is Elliott Cash. He was born on Johnny Cash’s birthday, and also the day after a solar lunar eclipse, nicknamed the Ring of Fire. His name chose him :)

    I love Ingrid for a girl, and Gigi as a nickname

  59. Meredith says...

    I adore this subject!!!!

    I grew up with a very unique name (at the time). I was the only one with this name in my schools for my entire childhood. It felt special being the only Meredith in a sea of Jennifers and Jasons. So, when it came time to name my children, I wanted names that weren’t on the top 100 list of that year.

    My husband and I never really agreed on names. I got my way with our two eldest boys and with our daughter we managed to find a consensus but it really wasn’t my absolute favourite. Our eldest son is Elliott, our middle son is Quinn and and our daughter is Jillian.

    I really loved Carys as a girls’ name. l also liked Willa. For boys, I found it generally much more difficult to find names I really loved. Seth and Leith were some of the ones that were on my list though.

    • Whitney says...

      Hi Meredith,
      I just read your post and found a crazy coincidence. My older sister’s middle name is Meredith. My younger sister’s first name is Jillian. Our last name is Elliott. And my daughter’s name is Caris.
      Pretty cool how many of the same names we share in our families, as first, middle and last names! I love them all!

      Whitney

      P.s if we want to stretch it slightly, my ex-boyfriend’s name is Quinton.

    • Jillian says...

      My name is Jillian and I absolutely love it! There was only one other Jillian I grew up with and I always felt special that it wasn’t/isn’t very common. I even have people tell me to this day they’ve never heard my name or known anyone with it. I hope your Jillian loves it. :)

      My own daughters are Teagan and Fallon. Their brother, due this fall, will be Brady.

    • My daughter is Beverly Noel. I get asked all the time if it’s “a family name”, but it’s simply a name I’ve loved since high school and it fits her perfectly! My husband and I also loved Meredith and Jillian, so maybe one day we’ll use those names for her sisters! :)

  60. Rebecca Sunde says...

    Some of these are surprising!

    Names, like anything, really, are subject to trends. We humans just get tired of things after seeing or hearing them for a while, and we crave a change! What sounds fresh and original to one probably sounds fresh and original to many. I imagine the trend cycles move faster now with digitization, since we’re exposed to a wider variety of names, and more rapidly than before.

  61. Hannah says...

    My parents named me Hannah Rose-Anna. It is always a good conversation starter.

  62. Hannah says...

    I have two children– Greta (6) and Westley (2.5). Their names suit them, but while naming Westley I vastly underestimated how often the “t” is used in the spelling of his name. Little did I know that it is an antiquated spelling and every time someone writes his name it is misspelled!!

    I would like one more child but have no idea how to come up with another name that would fit with the two we already have!

    • Hannah says...

      And I can’t help but adding that we call Greta “Gigi” and we call Westley “Wells” :-)

    • becs says...

      We have a Wesley, but I’ve been surprised at the number of times people add a “t” to it! Others call him “Wezley”. So don’t worry, it wouldn’t have worked out much easier had you used a different spelling. Either way, great name, isn’t it? :)

  63. Alison says...

    I actually need some opinions- we are expecting a baby girl in 7 weeks and my husband has vetoed my favorite- Corinne. We already have almost 3 year old twins named Maya and Ben. So far our contenders are Poppy, Corinna, Cassia. Any thoughts?

    • Corinne is my favourite as well :) and my partner doesn’t like it either, ha!

    • Abigail says...

      Love corinne and poppy! sooo both??

    • Dana says...

      My dream name for a second is Poppy. I love it!!! I get a bit concerned about her future and have researched what Poppy could be a nickname for. Penelope or Paulette (my mother’s name) seem like good contenders.

    • Maybe just Cora?

    • Alisha says...

      My sister’s name is Coreen (pronounced core-een) Danielle. I’ve always loved it and don’t know anyone with the name!

  64. Anna says...

    My new favorite is Alina for girls. I have a friend in Poland with this name, and she is awesome, so I like the name for two reasons: it is pretty and it reminds me of a strong woman. For boys, my long time favorite is David. It is strong, thoughtful and timeless. So cool that Emma is still the top of the list. I love that name and would have named my daughter Emma if I had one. I also like Magdalena, with Maggie for short.

  65. Tara says...

    We have two boys, Laird and Heath! :)

  66. Rebekah says...

    We have Elizabeth Hope, Zoe Eloise, and John Warren…they are currently 4 years, 2 years, and 11 days old. :) We call Elizabeth “Ellie.” Her middle name was chosen because we struggled with infertility for several years before her birth, and getting pregnant with her was such a joyful, hopeful surprise. Zoe means “life” and her middle name is after my wonderful grandma, who died while I was pregnant with Zoe. John we just really liked: it’s classic and strong, with so many great potential namesakes, but it’s not very common anymore! And his middle name is after my husband’s grandfather, whom I never got to meet, but I wish I had.

    • Stephanie S Bell says...

      I have a John, too. As you said, so classic and strong!

  67. Sarah says...

    We have Elijah (drawn from a short list, we are still not certain we chose right), Louis (we just knew! ) and now 4 week old Sylvie.

    Sylvie was the name I used in high school French class as Sarah isn’t french. I learnt after we named her that it means ‘from the forest’ and knew we had decided right. We struggled to name our daughter and were tossing up between Sylvie, Edith (Edie for short) and Lauren (Laurie).

    • Cassie says...

      Oh my gosh, yes — you chose Sylvie right. I adore that name and it’s in my top ten!

  68. Amy says...

    Our daughter Magnolia Louise was born in February. I’ve always had a magnolia tree in my yard and they are comforting and mean home to me. Louise was my great-great grandmother’s middle name. She and I were very close. She passed away in 2005, but before she became too ill she made me baby blankets for my future children. As a college student, I thought it was kind of silly. 12 years later, it made me so happy to bring Magnolia home from the hospital in blankets made by her great-great Grandmother (we called her Ninny). Many people in our area ask if she is named after the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas, made famous by Chip and Johanna Gains…. I just politely say no.

    • Rebekah says...

      Oh my. I love Chip and Joanna but the thought of naming a kid after their store is so silly! Wonderful story about your great great grandma :)

    • Brianna says...

      I love that you got to know your great-great grandma. That’s the best. What a treasure that she made your children baby blankets.

    • Rachel says...

      I love that name so much! It was actually my girl name, but alas we are pregnant with our third and final boy. My husband’s sister was Maggie, and she passed away 13 years ago, so we would have called her Maggie for short.

    • Amy says...

      What makes it even cuter, is the teacher at her daycare is Irish, Ms. Jane. To me, Magnolia feels very American-South, but hearing her Irish teacher call her “Maggie-Girl” warms my heart!

    • Betsy says...

      I’ve always liked Magnolia with the nickname “Noli!”

  69. breanne says...

    i work in an elementary school and have loved names my whole life. i’m always so intrigued by the student names that come through. in one class there is a girl named bixby which i love. i’m such a sucker for funky names. bixby has a little sister named simone who goes by mimi. i also realized as i got older that i grew up with a lot of classmates who have interesting names, but as a kid you don’t think about someone else’s name as anything but ordinary. now i think back and realize what interesting and uncommon names some of my friends had! halya, mishaun and buffy are three examples i can think of off the top of my head.

  70. Becky says...

    My eldest is Thatcher(9) and I have never met another one yet. Younger son is Luke(3) and I meet at least 2 every day. Thatcher was named after a dog I had as a child and Luke after Luke Skywalker.

    • Dee says...

      My daughter’s best friend is Thatcher (he’s almost 6). I love the name.

    • Caroline says...

      I love the name Thatcher too. Great choice. And also love the name Luke — the name of one of my wonderful brothers.

  71. JB says...

    I am a Jennifer, product of the 80s. I hated my name growing up, but love it now. It really is a beautiful name, but I was “Jen B” until I was 18. My youngest brother was a Dylan of the early 90s, and had the same problem. My parents aren’t pop-culture people at all and we lived in the middle of nowhere so talk about collective unconscious! The only sibling that got a somewhat original name was “Shane” because my parents let a friend name him, and I personally LOVE the name, and might steal it one day.

    I also find the regional popularity very intriguing! I’ve always loved the name Oliver (my grandfather), but in Canada, it now has one of the top spots! There will be Olivias, Olives, and Olivers abound for a long time to come :)

  72. Lauren says...

    We named our son Elliott Canyon. He is named after our two Aunts (our dad’s sisters) – Eva and Cheryl. Canyon is in reference to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles, which is a really special place for us. He also has a Hebrew name (Osher Chaim, translates to “Life is Happiness”) after his two great-grandmothers and a great grandfather. It was really important to both of that he be named after ancestors on all sides, and extra special to be named after 4 incredibly strong women.

    We always loved talking about names, we started way before even thinking about having kids, and then spent hours and hours talking, and writing them out when I got pregnant. The sex was a surprise so we had an option for either a boy or a girl. I’m holding the girl name close in case we have another baby one day!

  73. Emma says...

    As an Emma, I didn’t want to give our daughter a really popular name. Despite that…..Olivia was the only name we could agree on. With a baby boy on the way, we have finally decided on a name. It is in the top 20 but again – we cannot agree on anything else! Good luck all – I find naming a person quite challenging. I do wish now that I had given my daughter a more gender neutral name, given the research around unconscious gender bias. It could help her get one step further in the interview process!

  74. Lisa says...

    It is SO hard naming a baby. We didn’t find out the sex of our son, so we kind of had names ready for either a boy or a girl but were more settled on a girl name and then out he popped! We had a week to decide because in Jewish tradition boys are named at their Brit Milah (circumcision). We had a short list of of four names, but discounted two as they were too popular (which was a good move in a way, as he has one of each at nursery, even though I still really love one of the names). We then literally decided that morning and the name we settled on is an unusual (and ancient) version of a traditional name, even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time that we named him. I now really love that his name has a hidden meaning in a way (and it’s very unique!). It is a big name to live up to, but I think he’ll do it.

    I’m now pregnant with our second and the thought of having to name another kid is exhausting. It doesn’t help that it has to work in English and French (in South African, my husband is French) and my husband doesn’t like how a lot of names would be pronounced in French, or they are fine in English but sound really outdated in French

  75. Sara says...

    We named our daughter Rita, a name that is very common (and easily pronounced) in Lebanon where my husband is from. We live in the US and it’s turned out to be very unique here. Lots of people say their great aunts and grandmas were named Rita though! :) We came up with it by thinking through Beatles songs and when we landed on Lovely Rita we knew right away!

  76. My little girl is Margaret Arsilia, named after both of her paternal great grandmothers. She goes by “Artsy” just like her great grandmother and the spunky little name suits them both perfectly. I love that her name is an fashioned family name but also very much her own.

    • Lauren says...

      I love that your little girl goes by Artsy!!

  77. bailey says...

    first we had simone, and now we have nico – two babies with names that people recognize and mostly pronounce and spell properly. plus, i think simone is romantic without too much drama. ;)

  78. Marianne says...

    Bring Norwegian married to a Kiwi, and interchanging between living in Norway and abroad [next move is to Bangkok in the fall) – we wanted names that works in many languages. We named ou r daughter Nora Julianne – Nora being an favorite of mine from the Ibsen play The Dollhouse and Julianne as she was born in July and we wanted to honor her grandmother Anne. Our son is Axel William – Axel being a Norwegian name but spelled with an English twist and William after my husband and my grandfather. Axel and Nora are normal but unusual enough so we are happy. With two kids in 16 months we are now done! But would love a third and would call her Maya. It was my nickname as a child but most of all it means love in Nepali – which is where my husband and I met and fell in love. Love names and their stories

    • I love the name Nora for the same reason!

    • Karen says...

      Neither Nora nor William are unusual names in Norway. In fact both names are at the top of the baby name list (and Axel is also among the top 10) so in fact you’ve given your children some of the most common names in Norway. :-)

  79. Shannon says...

    I imagine it’s SO HARD to land on the right name, especially since there’s so much pressure to make it not SO common that there are 12 others in their graduating class, but not so UNcommon that they get headaches from rolling their eyes at the number of times people mispronounce or misspell it. And then, of course, you also want it to MEAN something, and not be the name of an ex or a random TV character, or a sandwich (like someone else commented about the name Reuben, haha!)

    And on top of all these criteria, my husband and I live in a bilingual part of the world where the name needs to work in both English and French.

    THIS IS LIKE THE HARDEST PROJECT EVER HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? I feel like I’d be changing my mind every 6 weeks until it’s 18 years old, and then maybe still after that.

    • Sara says...

      We named our daughter Juliet so that it would work in English and French!

    • Shannon says...

      Ooo, that’s a good one! I’ll have to keep it in my pocket. ;) I also like Lilie (and its variations) but it’s SUPER popular here, I think also because of its versatility and how it works in English and French with zero pronunciation issues.

      Example: Lyla or Lila I love in English, but in French it comes out “Lee-la”. Eek! It reminds me of “La-dee-da” and sounds more like onomatopoeia for superfluousness rather than a solid name for a strong lady!

      Plus, she’d spend her whole life defending the pronunciation and like, life’s hard enough, right?

  80. Chelsea says...

    My dad used to tell a story about how when my mom was pregnant everyone would ask, “Do you think it’s going to be a boy or a girl?” He would just answer, “We shall see …” And in his mind that morphed into ‘We shall see, shallsee, shallsee … Chelsea!’ And he told me that’s how they came up with my name. In actuality they heard it in the 1980s movie On Golden Pond, where Jane Fonda’s character is named Chelsea, but I always loved his made-up version.

    My husband and I named our son Dax because we liked the way it sounds, that it’s short, the meaning (leader), that it was unpopular and we did not know anyone with the same name to associate it with. We also thought it would be simple to pronounce, but he gets called Dex and Zach and Zax so much that I’ve developed the habit of saying, “Dax. D-a-x” when people ask his name. But we still adore his name, and it fits him well.

  81. Heather says...

    One of my girls is in the top 20 and one is top 400 (according to some list somewhere). I like both names a lot so I do not care how popular they get.

    When I was born, my parents both agreed on a name but my mom was saying Emily and my dad was saying Emma Lee. In the delivery room they switched to Heather, which was super popular at the time.

  82. kendra says...

    there is an awesome writer, Duana Taha… she has a book called “The Name Therapist” . She’s amazing. She is the best at the name game. You can see her on laineygossip.com and she will help people name their kids! Honestly, i’m obsessed with her

  83. Vee says...

    Our son is due in August, and there was a lot of pressure coming from my in-laws to do the 100% traditional naming of their home country–first name from a grandfather (my father-in-law assumed it would be from him, of course), middle name as a patronymic version of the father’s name (think Dad’s name with -ev or -ov tacked on the end–for a girl, it would also have to be Dad’s name plus -eva/-ova) and then the paternal family name. The result would be identical to my father-in-law’s name, and that of my father-in-law’s grandpa, and so on. It sounds so respectful and lovely as a tradition, except for the fact that A) my FIL drives me nuts and B) the patronymic and father’s last name are legally required, so everyone in the country ends up with a minimum of 2/3 of Dad’s name (regardless of gender)! Waaay too much patriarchy for me, who grew up with a hyphenated family name.

    (Also, having been in a schoolteacher in the same country, I cannot tell you how boring it gets to call things like “Ivan Ivanov Ivanov”–“roughly John Johnson Johnson”–on the roll call again and again!)

    We don’t live in either of our home countries now, though, so we’re not legally bound to the patronymic, etc. As a result, we chose a name that can be pronounced relatively easily in both our native tongues, as well as in the country where we’ve moved, but that comes from none of them. And giving our son no middle name will hopefully put the kibosh on the patronymic drama with the in-laws!

    • Amy says...

      Oh man, so sorry for that! I am already dreading dealing with my pushy in-laws’ opinions on baby names. They named their children very trendy names from the 1980’s (think Jesse, Heather, Spencer, Tiffany, Jordan…) and are still stuck in that decade. Blech.

  84. Our only child, a girl, is named Maeve which people really seem to love. We also loved Beatrice when I was pregnant, but surprisingly, it was a really popular name in our town three years ago when I was pregnant!

    • Christine says...

      Love the name Maeve! Does she have a nickname?

    • MrsD says...

      We have a Maeve too….a few people have attempted to call her Mavis…which I nip right in the bud.

    • Maeve says...

      My name is Maeve and my parents nearly called me Beatrice! I love my name but why the need for a nickname? It’s one freaking syllable! (I’ve also been called Mavis, Maverick, Maven… No. Just no.)

    • MissG says...

      So funny, both Maeve and Beatrix are on my list for our girl due in early 2018. My husband actually mentioned Maeve on his own, which is a revelation because I usually only get joke suggestions or vetoing from him. I think Maeve will go well with our son’s name, Arthur, which is naturally a favourite of mine.

  85. Yvette says...

    I thought I was being original in 2003 when I named my daughter after the beautiful actress and Frank Sinatra’s wife Ava Gardner. Ava was not even on the top 50 list of names, and now it is number 3!

  86. Abby says...

    My boys are Charlie and Elliott <3
    In our texting culture, I'd imagine it would be hard to have two kids with the same first initial and me and my husband are always texting about C or E…

    • Carrie says...

      My boys are Theo and Alex. And for a minute there I thought, we can’t use the name Alex because then we’ll be talking about T&A all time, I got over it – haha!

    • Lauren says...

      I love that you brought up texting culture. My brother-in-law is Justin, and nephew is Jake, so when my sister and I text about that we use “J” and ‘j”.

      Also, I have an Elliott (yay for 2 L’s 2 T’s)!

  87. Tessa says...

    This hits home for me!
    My mother (who is Brazilian) chose to name me Tessa after Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the movie not the book, that she saw whilst pregnant. She was going to name me Natasha or Jamie (after my maternal grandfather), but my father’s name is James and in Jewish-Ashkenazi tradition it is frowned upon to name a child after a living person. I grew up in the States during the 90s and only met a handful of Tessas in my lifetime and always felt a little odd having such a rare name (at least it is easy to spell!) When I was 18, I decided to move to Israel where my name is even more of a rarity. Here, “Tessa” has a variety of meanings (to fly, a type of tire, a really good kind of duct tape) and 11 years later it is still mispronounced by anyone I meet and I am constantly asked what it means (Israelis are very curious what different names mean). I have always thought of having children and when I was younger, I used to love thinking of baby names- Chloe, Charlotte, Alexander, Jacob were some, but now that I live in Israel I have had to re-think my whole naming game! On one hand, I don’t want something too common as there are many popular names (Gal, Yael, Michal, Alon, Noam, etc.), but I do want something that my family abroad will be unable to pronounce and not something too American or Biblical or “weird”. Names here hold so much meaning (and there are many unisex names surprisingly!) that you can really tell a lot about a person from their name- where they are from, their background, etc. Names also are a sort of blessing for the child’s future- to be calm, strong, caring, etc. and the naming ceremony is a big deal in Jewish tradition. Anyways, I have not been forced to choose yet, but when the time comes I hope that I will just know what is right and my future husband will be helpful! :)

    • Becky says...

      We named our youngest daughter Tessa…one of my favourite names of all time! Also have a Georgia, Presley, Rowan and Jace :) My kids love their unique names.

    • Tess says...

      This is crazy. My parents named me Tess because it sounded the same in any language, and also from the book Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I also grew up in the US and thought my name was weird in the 90s when names like Britney and Ashley were cool. As an adult today, I love my unique, short name and I am starting to brainstorm names for my future kids that are also short, sweet and pack a punch!

  88. Melody says...

    I don’t have kids but I write fiction so I’m always thinking of names I like.
    Some of my favorites are Elijah, Sebastian, Jackson, Sabine, Acacia, Elana and Catalia.

  89. The collective unconscious really is interesting — we all think we’re being slightly more unique than we actually are, somehow. We had a hard time naming both of our sons — to me, it seems like boys’ names are harder, and I tended to like strong sounding one-syllable ones, but those didn’t feel right with our one-syllable last name.

    We liked a lot of -ton ending names for boys — Kingston, Colston (family name), Caxton (first English printer), Elliston, Braxton, and also Kingsley and Hudson and (yes) Sebastian. My husband vetoed anything that was stitched on an item in the PBK catalog, so there went half of them!

    For girls I tended toward longer, flowery ones, especially with our one-syllable last name: Elodie, Larissa, Lianna, Felicity, Imogen, Penelope, Estella, Beatrix, and family names of aunts, grandmas, etc like (in our case) Lucy, Verity, Maxine, Margaret, and Matilda. Elizabeth is a big name in our family and we loved the nickname Libby.

    Names are fun! I loved reading this post and all the comments.

  90. Julie says...

    Naming is tough – such an important decision! My husband and I both agree that using family names is meaningful to us, so we named our first born Whitmore (a family surname). We call him Whitmore but I imagine he will go by Whit for most of his life, which we both really like as well. And our second is named Louisa after a few of my distant relatives. I love reading about naming trends though and always keep an eye on the top lists each year!

    • Kate says...

      Get out! Louisa (possibly called Lucy or Lula) is our top choice for a girl, and Whitman/Whit is a name I’m desperately trying to sell my husband on! <3 your style!

  91. We are expecting our first and have just started to dip our toes into the baby naming waters. We both like the idea of nature-related names, but he poo-pooed my favorite boy name: Silas (means forest, woods). Our babe was conceived in Michigan and we currently live in MI now, but will likely be moving next summer, so we also like the idea of “Michigan names” like Leland or Sutton (for Sutton’s Bay). I am also a sucker for more vintage names, but my husband isn’t too keen on any that I’ve mentioned so far. This whole baby-naming is going to a be a PROCESS. haha :)

  92. Elizabeth says...

    My husband is the fourth generation with his name and he wants to continue in the tradition so our first son’s name is already chosen: Benjamin. If we have a second son I like the names James or Daniel. Both names are family names on my side. For a girl I like the name Jacqueline. My paternal grandmother’s first name is Jacquita and my maternal grandmother’s first name is Jackie so Jacqueline would be named after them. My middle name is D’Aun (dee-AWN) and I used to HATE it, but now I love it because I don’t know anyone else with that name, except my mom. I’ll most likely pass my middle name down to a daughter.

  93. Maire says...

    I like the names Felicity, Selah, Niamh, and Grace for girls and Sawyer, Michael, Jack, and Paul for boys.

  94. Tara says...

    I love, love LOVE hearing people’s kids names and why they chose them. I was picking out my baby names for years before I ever had one. My son ended up with Jack Thomas Everett and I love the name as much today as I did 13 years ago. It’s funny to see how far Jack has dropped on the list–it was definitely in the top 10 (maybe even top 5!) when my Jack was born.
    My girl names then were more varied…I loved Audrey, Maya/Maia, Isobel, Daisy and Ella. If we’d had a girl the struggle would’ve been real, lol!
    The baby ship has long since sailed for me, but if I had more today (hypothetically!) Finn is the only other boy name I like while Isla is my #1 girl’s name (followed by Daisy and Isobel still). Maybe I should get some pets so I can use some of my names, lol!

  95. Lara says...

    Some friends of mine were convinced they were having a boy and didn’t even pick out a girl name. Surprise surprise, they had a girl! They already had two girls and were having such a hard time finding a name that they asked for suggestions. Normally I would never even voice an opinion on anyone’s baby name choice but somehow I had the idea that Sylvia might be a name they would like and it would go with the other two girls names (Annabelle and Eleanor). They ended up using it! Then when I had my son, we named him August. Turns out, August was the boy’s name they had picked out. I didn’t even know, it was just a coincidence. So we joke that we traded baby names :)

    • Molly says...

      What a sweet story! I LOVE the name August! We had a baby in April and didn’t find out the sex beforehand. August was our top pick for a boy (and virtually everyone including us thought it would be a boy), but we ended up having a beautiful baby girl! Her name is Willow, a name that we picked out almost as soon as I got pregnant. It suits her so well. August is still my top favorite boy name though! :)

    • Lara says...

      Molly, I love the name Willow!! Congratulations on your sweet baby girl :)

  96. Libbynan says...

    I love family names. The first thing I ask is always, ” Who is he/she named after?” My son is a fourth and my daughter is named for my great grandmother. My great grandson is Philip Albert for his great uncle and great grandfather and his sister is Stella Louise for two great grandmothers. I just think it is neat to track names through families. Of course, I was a history major!

  97. Amber says...

    We have an extremely common last name (think Smith or Jones), so it was important to me that our boys have something that wasn’t super-popular. However, we still wanted something traditional and we also favored short names. Our oldest is Grant and we are expecting another boy in August who will be named Brock. Grant has his dad’s first name as his middle name and Brock will share a middle name with his dad.

    • Amber says...

      Oh, and if we’d had a girl, her name would have been Blair.

  98. Kristina says...

    I have been thinking about baby names forever! When we found out I was pregnant with twins I was so excited I got to name two people at once! My eight-month-old twins are Penelope (Penny) and Soren. I think Penny is just the sweetest name and I like that Soren is different and interesting. They are both really growing into their names : )

    • Cara says...

      I LOVEEEEEE Soren. It is my top choice for a boy, actually, but my husband isn’t in love with it. We also have a pretty harsh sounding German last name.

  99. Wuselbibi says...

    Our son is called Jonathan and our daughter is Eleonora. We call her Nora.
    Jonathan had a hard time to speak his own name wen He first learned to speak, and shortened it to “Nono”. As we’re Living in Germany, it is pronounced like the italian grandfather “Nonno”. I like this self-chosen nickname so much….
    Both kids have two middle names from their grandparents of both sides. It was a good way for us to honor our parents!
    BTW, my father’s name is Anton ?

    • Wuselbibi says...

      …forgot to write that we wanted old names that are currently not too popular but still familiar so nobody has to spend hours of his live spelling their name. Especially since we bear a complicated last name of Polish origin that has to be spelled anyway!

      What I find funny are the many people in the US that name their kids in crazy spelling. Why would you give the relatively simple name Kylie and then go spelling it like “Kayleigh”? As far as I can see, there’s no difference in pronouncing? And I’ve read many more funny spellings of names. Just don’t remember the right now.
      Please don’t feel offended by my question! I am simply courious! Thanks for answering of anyone takes the time!

    • Shannon says...

      Oof, me, too, I find the crazy spellings a bit too “reaching”; also, it complicates things for the kid forever! I always felt for my classmates who had to explain the spelling of their name to every teacher, time and again. I mean, variations can be great… Katie or Katy or Katey, Sara or Sarah, Mark or Marc… why not? I guess there’s a fine line between variation and complication.

      Kétee, Sairuh, Marckq… ?

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Emma says...

      I agree, I hate when parents change the spelling to be “unique.” To me though, Kylie and Kayleigh would be pronounced differently. Kylie would be pronounced like Kai (rhymes with sky) – lee and Kayleigh is kay-lee. Maybe I’ve just always said it wrong though?

    • Wuselbibi says...

      Oh, thanks for replying! I appreciate you taking the time so much!
      I’ve suspected it has something to do with wanting the own child to be unique at all costs or the different pronouncing. I know you can’t speak for everyone, but somehow those crazy names kept coming up in different pages/circumstances/movies! The opportunity to ask was just too good as I’m not likely to have many friends from the US ?
      Thanks again!

    • Wuselbibi says...

      …and forgot to add, sorry for the typos. My autocorrect is too german.

      Emma, I don’t think you’re pronouncing the kay-lee wrong! That has to be me, who’s pronouncing it wrong (in my head because I’ve not so much opportunities to try my English spoken! Mostly it’s reading for me, so there might be some weird words when I’m speaking. So I’ve been wrong about Kylie and Kayleigh ;-) and happily admitting it! Sorry!
      I still feel with the kids who have to spell their while life just because the parents didn’t want their kid to share the name with one person on the world.
      Shannon, your examples are exactly what I couldn’t recall before! Thanks! ?

    • Sally says...

      My brother is Jonathan. He went by Pip until he was 21 – named by my mother so as she had great expectations for him (Dickens). For some reason when he was about 30 – she started calling him Nono. And still does! My husband is also Jonathan and I’ve only ever called him Jonathan – but I’m the only one. Everyone else calls his by his intitals or derivatives.

    • Wuselbibi says...

      Oh Sally! What a coincidence, right? I had to smile reading of a second Nono with the same original name. Give your mum a high five from us ? Pip also is such a sweet short nickname. I could have given it to my Jonathan too! Sounds a little mischievous goblin. Which he totally was. And still is. He’s six years now and stretching my patience daily ?

  100. My son is Dashel (spelled differently from the usual Daschel) and my daughter is Sailor. We wanted something different and original, but not too nuts…Both my husband and I are both teachers so almost every name we thought of had an association with a kid we already knew! It was so tough to come up with names that we both loved that we hadn’t heard a million times! I love my kiddos names and have no regrets :)

    • Vera says...

      Haha, I totally feel you on the having had students who I associate certain names with! One also gets sick of calling out variations on the same 5 names for 8 hours a day. Luckily I no longer live in either of the countries where most of my teaching career has been, so I’ve felt pretty free to go in a new direction for our son, who’s due in August. :)

  101. Kate says...

    Mine two are Ollie (Oliver) and Blair (my little girl). I was pregnant with Ollie in Canada and Oliver wasn’t even in the top 100. We returned to Australia when he was born and it was number 1 and still is 5 years later

  102. K says...

    I don’t even have a baby yet but already feel protective over the baby name I have mind – Olive. Rationally, I understand that this is ridiculous – there’s no way other people having the same name would make my daughter any less special or less of an individual. So I’m going to try and worry less about being ‘unique’ or less ‘popular’ and just celebrate all the beautiful names for all the beautiful souls that will make them their own.

    • ALI says...

      Oh em gee this is my top baby girl name! I also like that it’s slightly different – collective conscious at work again! :)

  103. This is such a timely post! I’m trying to gather ideas now as I’m almost at the half way mark!

  104. My favorite boy name is definitely Henry, which has been on these top lists for awhile but my favorite girl name is Karolina which definitely has not been on the top list. Haha!

    Briana

  105. Colleen Hodge says...

    Keller and Mills. First names from my husband’s family who is from the south.

  106. Rosie says...

    My girls are Zoe Cecilia and Penelope Pearl. We call Penelope “Lulu” for short as we thought it was a cute nickname but didn’t like any of the long versions like Louise or Lucinda. We get a lot of strange looks and comments when we say her name is Penelope but we call her Lulu as it doesn’t really go but both of her names are perfect to me.

    If we have another girl her name will be Amelia with the nickname “Millie” and if we have a boy it will be Jack.

  107. I love baby names, despite being 21 and not having a baby in the foreseeable future- I was eagerly awaiting the release of the new statistics by the SSA administration around Mother’s Day.
    I blog about them sometimes!
    Here’s one list I wrote, of unusual flower names for girls, if anyone wants to check it out :)
    https://listmimsy.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/unusual-flower-names-for-girls/
    I have to admit to being a bit secretive about my own favorite favorite names, because I do care if they’re popular. Being raised as a Constance, I’ve loved having my ‘own’ name.

  108. Emma says...

    I love thinking about baby names even though with three kids I’m done with naming now! I’m an Emma who grew up in the USA in the 1980s when no-one else had that name at all (at least in my area!) and then moved back to my native UK in the 90s where there were 3 other girls named Emma in my year at school! Such a popular name here for girls born in the mid-70s and through the 80s that you almost never see it used for younger girls now (because those Emma’s remember what it was like to have such a common name I think). I didn’t really mind the transition apart from having to train myself that when I heard Emma yelled somewhere to stop thinking it was definitely me they were shouting for!

    • Emma says...

      Haha, I’m an Emma who grew up in the states in the 1980s with not a single other Emma in the 11 years we were there. It was considered such a quaint name that my teachers often referred to me as Emma-Jean (I was in the south) as they had at least heard of that (though the local version was usually Ima-Jean, and associated with very elderly ladies :-). When I moved back to NZ in the early 90s, there were three other Emmas in my class too!

  109. Katie says...

    I love the names Cecily for a girl and Arlo for a boy. They are not (currently) very popular names here in the U.K., but I think they are such sweet timeless names!

    • Sarah says...

      Great names!

  110. Joanna says...

    Being a Pole married to a Tunisian, once we knew we’re going to have a baby boy, we wanted to come up with a name that would be common for both cultures. There are dozens of common names for girls (all lovely!) – Aida, Dalia, Sonia… to name a few. But the only choice for a boy seemed to be Adam. So we chose it. I was feeling terribly guilty about it in the beginning, thinking that we named our son something simply because no other option was available. However, now (2,5 years later) I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It might sound weird, but it fits him perfectly. My friends (a Polish-Lebanese couple), on the other hand, chose a completely different approach. They have decided to give their daughter a name which doesn’t exist in any of their countries. They settled on Kylie, which is one of my personal all-time favorites.

  111. Robin says...

    I love all those names! My sons are Edward and Felix. Not too common, but easy to say and spell, and clear on gender. My husband and I both have gender neutral names and didn’t like it as children ;). If I’d had a girl my top name was Cassia. Sigh. Love my boys but just a little sad I didn’t end up with a girl too!

  112. Solveig says...

    My son is called Olav (and one of his best friends is an Anton). It’s quite a common name in Norway where we live, but mostly among older men. I also like Lars, Henrik and Erik for a boy and Liv, Ingrid or Astrid for a girl.

  113. I love Arabella for a girl and Felix or Maximillian for a boy – such cute names!

    • Erin says...

      So funny, if we have another boy we are planning to name him Felix Maksmiljan (Felix b/c we love it and Maksmiljan b/c it was his grandpa’s name).

  114. Febri says...

    The children’s name is what the parents hope for them. I gave the name Sybilla for my daughter. Google tells me it’s mean “the one who have the good destiny”.

  115. Ciara says...

    We are newlyweds, and although we aren’t quite ready to start a family just yet (I am finishing a PhD) we have had long conversations about our favourite names. My husband who is coincidentally called Liam (no. 2 on the list) has sworn me to secrecy in case any of our friends decide to appropriate our names (Lol) – but I feel it’s safe to talk here! We are Irish and our surname is Connolly, so in that vein, we’d love Irish forenames. Our current picks for boys are Finian (who was an Irish saint) and Tirlagh (a notable ‘Connolly’) and for a girl Aoibheann (Ave-een) and I love the names Bebhinn (Bev-inn) and Ina. Liam isn’t keen on the latter :(

    • Yvonne says...

      Having a name that everyone misspells and mispronounces, I would think twice before doing it to a child. My son is Matt and my daughter is Claire, nice and easy.

    • Miriam says...

      I’m in Ireland too & those are lovely names Ciara. Beibhinn is a particular favourite of mine. Theres something really lovely about having an Irish name.

    • Ciara says...

      Yvonne, I know that from experience! When holiday-ing in other countries I get ‘Si-ara’ or ‘Ki-ara’ when it’s actually ‘Keera’! Matt and Claire are simple and really pretty. But fortunately, the Irish names I fancy are more common here where I live. Miriam, I totally agree, I am one of three children and the only one that my parents give an Irish name too and I cherish it! :)

    • Marguerite says...

      I love those names! My mom’s side is Irish, so I think those names are lovely. My two are named Conor and Olivia. I also love your name. Would love to have another girl and name her Ciara. Not sure what I would name another boy – maybe Callum. :)

  116. Brooke says...

    Current crushes:
    Boone, Ford, Graham, Everett, Emmett, Booker, Abe, Willa, Amelia, Hadley, Flora, Finley, Emerson, Mollie.

    I also love underused Bible names for boys, like Jonah, Ezra, Asa, Micah, Jude, Levi… I find them so magnetic and strong, yet with an attractive youthful vibe.

    As other commenters have shared, it’s fascinating how name trends come and go. I think it’s going to be so adorable when my generation (1980s) is old and nursing homes are filled with grandparents named Kristen, Ashley, Jessica, Justin, Kevin…how cute!

    • Sally says...

      Oh I love Emmett.

    • Helena says...

      I love Jude!

  117. Celia says...

    We have a Margot Josephine. Was in the 700s on the last name register when we chose it back in 2015, and now it seems to be creeping in EVERYWHERE. Ah well, it won’t stop me loving it.

    Now we’re deliberating names for a second at some point in the future and it’s even tougher once you have to factor in the first kid! I’ve always loved Rosalie, shortened to Rosa, but my husband is having none of it, so our current list of girls names is Vivien, Nina and I’m pushing for Romilly. We only ever had one boys name, after both of my grandparents – Frank Henry. But part of me feels like that was the ‘boy’ name for Margot and a second kid deserves a clean slate – so now I’m mulling over Casper, Gabriel and Reuben. All my husband will say about Reuben is that you can’t name a baby after a sandwich!

    • Katie says...

      Re: Reuben, that is so funny!

    • Em says...

      I love Reuben too, and my husband says the same thing! His favorite is “John,” though, and if you’re going to talk about double meanings, isn’t that waaaay worse? Sigh!