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. Carolyn M says...

    We have a Mabel Celia. My husband’s grandfather had an Aunt Mabel and an Aunt Celia :) I love her name so much and though it was classic, but still unique, until another Mabel was born a week later in the same town. Now when we introduce her, we get “ohhh, that’s the other Mabel.” Arrrghh.

    Funny story…we live in Vermont, and one of the first baby nurses we had at the hospital misunderstood me when I said her name was Mabel, and she said “Maple! What a sweet Vermont girl.” I almost had a panic attack! How had we not thought of Vermont maple syrup?!? Haha. Thankfully she’s the only person who has ever said that.

  2. jen says...

    We have a CArlsbad. Her name is unique as far as we know.

  3. Kiley says...

    My fiancé and I talk about baby names, and it’s usually a text from me that says, “do you like the name ____?” and him replying, “no.” Ha! We agree on a lot of boy’s names, but our top right now is Hendrix. For a girl it’s a little trickier, I like more androgynous names and he likes ultra feminine. So far we’ve compromised on Georgia. The one thing we agree on is that we’re not telling our friends and family the name we decide on until it’s on the birth certificate! My mom is a teacher and has an opinion on all her former students and their names.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i LOVE the name georgia for a girl! you could call her georgie:) so cute.

    • Samantha Kunio says...

      I love the name Georgia for a girl.

    • G says...

      As a Georgia I can say I love my name, always have :) it’s extra special to me as I was named by my grandfather!

  4. Wendy says...

    My husband and I had a bunch of possible names picked out when I was pregnant- for either sex, as we didn’t find out beforehand. The minute he was born, we both knew he was Theodore (Theo). We gave him the middle name Patrick after my grandmother Patricia, but honestly, naming him was crazy-easy. I love his name! i have always liked the idea of using slightly quirky names- I went to school with a girl named Elliot, for example, but my husband is less adventurous…if we do decide to have another, I don’t quite know what we will do for a boy name, but if it is a girl, we can choose from our previous selections (Matilda, Tessa, Sadie…).

  5. Louisa says...

    One thing to note: “popular” names today are just not that popular.

    In 1975, 3.7% of all girls were named the most popular name (Jennifer).
    In 2016, 1% of all girls were named the most popular name (Emma).

    So if you name your daughter the most popular name of the year, it’s still quite likely she won’t share her name with anyone in her class.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s fascinating, louisa!! great point.

  6. Jacqueline says...

    Darn it! My daughter’s name is Lillian Rose, after my paternal and maternal grandmothers. I’ve always wanted to name a girl that, and my husband loved it too. Charlotte on SATC named her daughters “Lily” and “Rose” and now Lillian is so popular! I find myself compulsively explaining that THEY’RE BOTH FAMILY NAMES, darnit, and giving people way too much detail. I’m pregnant with our second now, and if it’s a boy, he’ll get his daddy’s name (my husband is a -the third) but will go by his middle name, and if it’s a girl, I have a very Italian maternal great aunt whose name is beautiful and not on any lists yet ;).

  7. Becki says...

    We have a Ruby, but because we got married at a little place called Ruby Street park. So it’s always been Ruby for our first girl. Luckily it fits her! If we have another girl I like the names Margaux and Louisa. If we have a boy I like River and Leo.

    • Em says...

      LOVE the name Ruby. There’s a great song (and cover by bjork) called Ruby Baby :)

    • Jane says...

      We’ve got a Ruby May and a Nora Jane. Easy to say and spell, timeless.
      I feel odd naming a child after myself, but it was Ruby and her dad’s idea, so I couldn’t say no.

  8. Meaghan says...

    My daughter’s name is Cavan (pronounced cah-vin), which is the county in Ireland that my family is from. My son is named James Corwin and we call him “Win” for short. The names couldn’t suit my children more – a little quirky, fun, and beautiful.

  9. Jess says...

    After much debate, my husband and I settled on Alethia (Ah-LAY-thea). Similar in feel to Olivia, but she’ll probably (?) be the only one in her class :)

  10. Love reading these comments for ideas -38 weeks pregnant with my second and I love Agnes and my husband loves Cecelia – a third option or Paloma has floated around, but nervous about our parents NYC and Long Island accents and my slight Long Island accent saying Palooooooma. We easily named our first Genevieve after my grandmother, but call her Evie – although currently there is another Evie, an Edie, and a Stevie (girl) in one of her classes so trying to call her Genevieve more now!

    • I have a Genevieve who goes by Evie!!! We gave her the nickname so she wouldn’t struggle with her long name when she was learning to write and so her classmates could get their tongues around it too. And guess what?! She prefers Genevieve and that’s how she’s been known at school since the first day of kindergarten.

    • Sara says...

      One of my favorite books as a kid was “Agnes Cecilia” by Maria Gripe (not quite your spelling but pretty close right?!) I think you should go for both names!

  11. Jonesie says...

    I work in a public university and see the most interesting names (and spellings!) come through our office. From Phyleishiah (pronounced like Felicia) to names like Aristotle, I love seeing the creativity. I like to think names help shape the person or reflect an innate quality that their owner carries :)

    I have my favorite names stashed away in an old journal and every year I’m so relieved when they don’t show up on any lists!!

  12. Rachel Simmons says...

    I love my daughters name: Ramona. I looked it up on the S.S. website and the last time it was even in the top 1000(!) Was 1927!

    • Ahhh! My brother and sister in law are having their first child in august. Her name will be Ramona!

    • Amy says...

      That was on my short list for a girl! Love the name and all the Ramona Quimby books. :) we chose Winona instead which has a similar vibe to me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, ramona!!!! love it :)

  13. Janet says...

    The same thing happened with me and my son, Noah! The name is in the 140’s on the list when we named him, and its now been in the top ten since he was born. Ugh!

  14. Jordan says...

    Love talking baby names! We have a girl named Ellis Day, which I still love two years in. Thanks only problem was that after she was born we realized if she ever uses her first name and middle initial (like in an email address or something) it will be Ellis D (LSD). Ha. Oh well. Three months ago we had a boy and we named him Kessler David. His is a family name and hers is not. I love that they are both unique though. I wanted them to have names no one else did.

  15. Suzie says...

    Fun post, Joanna! :-) My husband and I pretty much knew what name we wanted when we found out we were having a boy. We chose Anderson Everett which are both family names. I second guessed it for a while, wondering if it was the right choice, but now that he is here I can’t imagine him as being anything other than Anderson!

  16. Lucy S says...

    I have a Silvia (Shakespeare, Italian, sounds like Eva and Evie but isn’t as popular) Marianne (Austen, part of my Mum and mother in laws names and part of my grandmother’s) and a Patrick Brian (after his two great grandfathers). We call him Paddy as we like the sounds of Teddy, Freddy etc but again they are super popular. I hope Brian makes him laugh later when he has to tell friends as its quite unusual and makes me think of Monty Python!

    I love that the old fashioned names are back. When I took Silvia for her vaccinations there were three other girls waiting- Mary, Nelly, and Grace. They sounded like four old ladies!

  17. Ashley W says...

    My husband started throwing out names as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I am terrible at naming things, and always had a reason not to talk about it or shut down ideas: “it’s too soon!”, “that name rhymes with ___”… I told him I was basically Homer Simpson when they’re naming Bart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiQiTz3KWCE

    When we found out it would be a boy that made it so much harder. I’m not into naming kids after family, I feel they should have their own name, since they’re their own person… (maybe middle name if it’s really important), and I didn’t want something too unique or spelled too crazy (poor teachers! and not fun having to spell out their 11-letter name over the phone for appointments etc. as an adult…!) so many of the Ukrainian names he and his family suggested were an immediate “no” from me. There were some I really liked, but we knew people either with those names or with kids with those names, or more awkward, dogs with those names. :/

    We were in the hospital for 4 days, and finally decided on something minutes before checking out. We had made a list, but the name we ended up with was one I suggested months before that my husband was “meh” on, and the middle name was one he suggested that I was like “weird…” on. We had gone through the list with baby in hand, and none of the favorites were fitting, so when I brought up my suggestion again (the hangup being I couldn’t find a middle name that sounded right) and he suggested his for the middle, it was perfect. We’re both really happy with the name, it’s unique, has heritage for my husband (Ukrainian) without being too crazy. Though the pronunciation and spelling thing seems like it will be a bit of an issue, but I even get that with my first name, so whatever! (My mom keeps misspelling it and mispronouncing it…!

    His name is Nikolai (Niko, inspired by Nico Case :) Ruslan (“roos-lawn”, as my husband spent 10 minutes telling me in a sales pitch for it: it means lion, and is the name of several Eastern Europe athletes that he started rattling off… I finally interrupted him and said, “Are you listening? Knowing our son was named after some random soccer players isn’t going to convince me… I already said yes!” He thought I would never agree to a name!

    • Kelly says...

      I love Neko Case! Nice inspiration :-)

    • Meredith says...

      that has been my top name forever. please don’t be entering the social consciousness

  18. Heather says...

    Remember this COJ post from a few years ago:

    https://cupofjo.com/2015/03/personality-test-4/

    I read that when I was pregnant with my daughters and I looked up the names we’d picked out for them. The girls are almost two now, and their personalities are really shining through, and it’s amazing how, as you put it, “eerily on-point” those name descriptions were.

  19. Penny is the sweetest little girl name, ever, imho. My little niece, now 9, is Penelope. Think, freckled faces, blue green eyes and wavy (okay, messy) hair with a great big smile and you have my little love bug. And, her brother, now 13, is Mason. Who knew my little sis was such a trendsetter.

    :)

  20. Abbe says...

    Choosing names is hard! I live in MN and my three children are Zanna Cecilia and twins Haakon Thomas and Berit Petra.

    I found Zanna in “Light in August” by Faulkner but it had an H on the end and I liked it better without. (Pronounced like Anna with a Z.) My husband and I decided we both loved the name before we were even pregnant. Then I found out it was a Polish feminine form of John, so we used it to honor my Polish grandfather John Tomczak. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and I always thought it was such a beautiful sounding AND looking name.

    Haakon is Scandinavian and means “chosen son.” (Pronounced HAW-ken.) I’ve loved it since I was about 10 when Haakon was the main character in the movie Shipwrecked and it always stayed with me. In MN I actually know of two other young Haakons now, but didn’t at the time that we named him. A lot of Scandinavian heritage here. Thomas means twin, so that seemed fitting.

    Berit means “strength” and Petra means “rock.” We had a terrifyingly difficult twin pregnancy when my water broke and 17 weeks, but I resealed after 9 weeks and made it to full term for twins (38 weeks). Haakon’s water had broken and I believe it was Berit’s intact amniotic sac that kept my body from going into labor and allowed me to miraculously make it to term with them. (They are both completely healthy and had no NICU time, btw.)

    Each child is VERY much their name and I love it. At first I wasn’t sure I had the guts to give them slightly offbeat names, but I now don’t regret it at all. Especially having had an unusual “Abbe” spelling my whole life. I always I enjoyed my name’s being unusual more than I disliked having to spell it for people all the time.

  21. I’m embarrassed to say — actually, no I’m not embarrassed at all — that I have a fat note on my phone chalk-full of baby names. If friends ever find about this list, they are shocked, considering I am very single and verrrrry far from having/wanting kids at this point in my life. I think I’m a nice person, but let’s just say… I’m not the most naturally maternal person.

    I mostly have this list bc of my legendarily terrible memory. I know that if I hear a cool name and don’t write it down, it’ll be gone forever. Especially bc I’m mostly a fan of more unique names :)

    Top of my list for girls: Simone, Louisa, Porter, Miller and Laurel
    Boys: Wells, Duke, Wyatt, Emile and… wait for it… Kevin. No idea why, but Kevin’s always seem kind and smart to me.

    • Nicole says...

      Did you watch The Wonder Years, by chance? I’ve been rewatching on Netflix and thought about if I ever had a son that I was able to name (we plan on adopting if we even have kids at all) I thought Kevin would be a good name. Or two boy dogs– Kevin and Paul. C’mon. Cute either way. ;)

    • Cara says...

      I have a list on my phone too! There is also a fun app that you and someone else can bounce baby names off of each other on. It is like Tinder for baby names, haha!

  22. Kerry says...

    My 2nd boy was supposed to be Cormac. But his 5-yr-old brother Finn informed us his name was “actually” Ian — so we went with it and named the new baby Ian.

    Seven years later, I still look at Ian and think, “Dammit, he’s a Cormac.”

  23. karla says...

    we named our daughter Iris – the only girl’s name we could agree on!

    • Emily says...

      I love that name and every Iris I’ve known has been awesome.

    • Katia says...

      Iris is our first choice for baby #2 due in sept!

  24. Claudia says...

    Our son’s first and middle name is Marcus Shadrach. My mother is German and I wanted to honor my heritage with a name that wasn’t strange in either culture but unique enough. My great-great grandfather’s middle name was Shadrach and not only do I love the story about Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendego from the Old Testament after WWI he became a beer brewer. When my husband heard that he made the call. I love names that tell a story.

  25. Ginny says...

    This post could not have come at a better time – I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant with a little girl and my husband and I CANNOT AGREE on a name. We have a long list on the fridge that includes Emma Kate (for my great-grandmother), Sophie Jane, Sophie Ray, Eleanor Ray (called Nora), and Elizabeth Carol (for our mothers), but we are no closer to agreeing. We’re hoping that we just *know* once she’s born, but we’re definitely worried that we’re going to leave the hospital still disagreeing over the name!

    • alina says...

      Those are all so pretty and meaningful!! It’s very sweet that you’re honoring family members. I personally think Nora is very pretty, but you can’t go wrong with any. Congrats on your pregnancy! I’m 39 weeks today and will God willing get induced tomorrow – we are having a boy and will name him after my beloved brother in law who passed away a few years ago. The interesting thing about names is that kids grow into them and often exemplify the meaning behind the names, too.

    • Brianne says...

      We have similar taste in names!! I have two girls Charlotte Ray and Jane Frances. Eleanor was always high on our list too! We used family names for inspiration too and we are so happy we did!! Congrats! I’m sure you will know as soon as you officially meet her!

    • kayla says...

      i’m with you! 28 weeks pregnant over here and my husband and i are very “meh” on all of the names we’ve come up with so far. hoping for some sort of AHA! moment sooner than later, haha.

  26. Rachel says...

    Naming a baby is HARD! We are expecting our first and have decided not to share with family but then I think what if we keep it a secret until birth and then realize that everyone totally hates it and it was a huge mistake! Ha. The name we like is Meyer. It’s a family name and not common at all but not made up either.

    Also- my husband looked it up and the average age of a Meyer is the US is 100.2. Which I think is hilarious and adorable.

  27. Meredith says...

    We have 3 year old twin girls named Jane and Beatrice. When we found out we were having twins, they called the girls Baby A and Baby B. I knew from the start I wanted a daughter named Jane, and the Baby B moniker felt so natural that we stuck with it. We are totally a nickname family, so usually go with Janie and Bee. When they were little they would refer to themselves as JanieBee. A sweet twin memory – where did my babies go?? :)

    • Emily says...

      Meredith, this is precious! My sister and I are twins as well, and our parents still lovingly address us as Baby A and Baby B sometimes. Twins are just the best, no bias here.

  28. Rebecca says...

    Our little guy (born at the end of 2015) is Theodore, and goes by Theo. We wanted a more traditional name with a cute nickname. His middle name is Wylie after my husband’s grandfather. We both loved Theo and think it sounds nice and friendly and wasn’t overly popular (#126 when we were looking at names). At the hospital when he was born, after we moved to our recovery room, the nurse came in and asked his name for our white board. When we said “Theo” she said, “I’ve never heard that name before, but now this is the second time this week!” I think it is gaining in popularity. Oh well! Our second choice was August, and we would have called him Gus. I think if we have another boy, we’ll use that.

    • lisa says...

      Gus and Theo were names on our short list. We ended up with Hugh :-)

    • Rae says...

      I know three little Theos AND three little Augusts. One is Augie, one is Gus. The group think with names really is funny. We planned to name our daughter Annabelle but a month before she was born a family friend named their baby Annabel and another friend named their newborn Corabelle. We decided to go with Moira Catherine instead. Now that my daughter is seven we have encountered only one other Annabelle in her friend group. Oh well!

    • Wendy says...

      We have a Theodore -Theo- too! And yes, I too fear the popularity is growing. Whenever someone finds out his name they all say how nice it is, so I am sure our trailblazers will lead the way towards classrooms full of Theo’s!

    • Helena says...

      I also have a Teo (spelled without H, because we are Italian) :) It’s my favorite boy’s name and I fought hard for it with the baby daddy, but in the end I managed to convince him!

  29. Martha says...

    And now Toby loves Belle and Sebastian, how funny is that?

  30. Holly says...

    Our 15-year-old is Ava. I suppose we were ahead of the trend because she’s never had another “Ava” in any of her school classes. Her brother is Noah, he’s met only one other his age. We didn’t mean to give our kids trendy names – we just liked them at the time.

  31. Melissa Best says...

    my son is named August, after his great grandfather, but we also just loved the name. We are due with our second (coincidentally in August) and don’t know what we are having. If its a boy we are torn between Maddox (this is a family name, not because we love Angelina Jolie!) Forrest or Finn. Still can’t decide on a girl name but have always loved the name Rory…it doesn’t hurt that I am a diehard gilmore girls fan :)

  32. Lauren Tremper says...

    I totally care if they’re popular, as in, I frantically searched the list just now hoping neither of our daughter’s names made the list. Ha.

    Not like it really matters THAT much whether they have friends with the same name, but I think it’s just part of my personality to want to find something ‘different’ (I’ve read recently that INFPs all feel this way about most things in life, so all this trying to be original is not that original after all).

    Anyway, our oldest is Florence Magnolia. Florence for my great grandmother and Magnolia because of the intersection we lived at in LA when she was born and connections back to the south where I’m from.

    Our youngest is Susannah Hope, Susannah is a mix of both our moms’ names (Susan and Karen Ann). And Hope was because we almost lost her pregnancy in the beginning and had miscarried in between. We decided on Hope as her middle name the day after the election last fall because we felt like the world needed it, needed our hope filled strong lady.

    She’s goes by Zuzu much of the time though:)

    I love names so much that it makes me want to have a third baby. But maybe not thaaaaat much.

    • Lauren E. says...

      Oh my gosh, I am smiling so hard at the names Florence Magnolia and Zuzu. Love!!

    • I don’t want my kids’ names to be popular either!!! I have 2 girls who are not on the top 50 (whew) and a boy who is #6. But since Benjamin is a family name going back 3 generations, I’m fine with that. My girls are Genevieve and Phoebe.

    • Rae says...

      As a teacher I can report that it is hard for children if their name is very, very popular. I have had classes recently with four Sophia / Sophies and three Olivias. In the same class! Of 20 total children! When the last initial is the same as well the child spends a lot of time clarifying — no that was the other Sophie S. not me, etc.

  33. Emily says...

    I grew up in the age of Jennifer, Melissa, Shannon, Trisha…I was one of two Emilys at my school and always longed for a more common name. As a 41 year old Emily, it is funny to me that my name has long occupied a popular spot. My sister is Claire-and I love her name but know she also longed for a more of the moment name in the 1980s. Before I knew I was having a boy, I had many girl names I loved–Willa, Evangeline, Delphine to name a few. I think we would have landed on Delphine had we had a girl and called her Del. But we had a boy and we had one name we loved-Samuel. Our Samuel is such a Sam. As a baby he was silly and kind of clumsy and so funny and he was always Sammy. As he’s aged, he prefers Sam. I like to think when he is older if he wishes to be sophisticated, he can use Samuel. Since naming him, I have come to learn that people find the name Sam to be very friendly. People often say to me, I have never met a Sam I haven’t liked. So glad we chose that name!

    • emily kathryn says...

      I’m a 33 year-old Emily and feel you on the name but by the end of high school I liked having a unique name among my peers. We named our daughter Nella — unique but not too weird. It’s a family name for the two generations before mine so I decided to continue it. Now there’s a Nickelodeon show with it in the title! Who knew?! So I have a feeling there may be another Nella in her school later in life now!

    • Emily says...

      I love being Emily now and wish I had appreciated my name as a kid. I find Emily to also be a happy and bright name. I was listening to Car Talk once, years ago, and someone named Emily phoned in and the brothers said, What a happy name! And that has always stuck with me. I love Nella!

  34. Caroline says...

    I LOVE talking baby names but still have a handful of years before I will use any. As of right now my favorites are Gemma, Ivy, Lila, Elisabeth (nn Elle), and Sutton for girls. Boys I love Penn, Jude, Clark and Theodore (nn Theo). My boyfriend has a one syllable last name though, and I’m wondering if that means I have to knock most of my boy names off the list? He seems to think so but it doesn’t bother me that much!

    • We have a 1-syllable last name and it made naming our babies a little hard, I will say.

    • I’m a 27-year-old Ivy, who was shocked to hear the name gaining popularity! Funnily enough, my favorite name for a girl is Sutton.

  35. I desperately want to name my daughter Olive, should I have one. My husband is not really on board, and I just know my dad would constantly reference Olive Oyl from Popeye, which infuriates me just to think about, haha. But I always thought it would sound great at all stages of life. I mean, Grandma Olive?! Come on!
    I’ve also always liked the names Jude and Graham for boys.

    • Alex says...

      My niece is called Olive! It’s a great name!

  36. Hannah says...

    My name is Hannah and I was born in the mid 90s so I always shared my name with five or six other girls in my grade growing up. It never bothered me, but it meant that teachers called me Hannah B. or Hannah #1 or #2, haha. My parents swear though that they thought they were being original because they didn’t know any Hannahs. As you say, the collective unconscious is fascinating!

    • Same, my parents thought they were so unique naming me Hannah in 1989. I was one of four Hannahs in school and even had a close friend named Hannah growing up. They might have been a little ahead of the curve, but not by much!

  37. Christine says...

    My boys are Jacob Joseph and Tobias Westley (we call him Toby). I’ve always loved the name Jacob — classic and friendly. His middle name is after my father-in-law as my husband’s middle is from his paternal grandfather. Toby was inspired in part by your Toby (I’ve been reading Cup of Jo for years) and in part by Toby Ziegler from one of our favorite shows, The West Wing. Westley was inspired by The Princess Bride, another favorite. We love the sibling combo of Jacob and Toby!

    • Hannah says...

      We have a Westley too! With a T!! Though that is his first name. I had no idea how uncommon that spelling was…oops! But I think it looks so much stronger written out and I cringe when people pronounce it Wez-ley– was hoping that “T” in the middle would squelch that!

  38. Emily Wallace says...

    My husband is a “baseball guy” and our two experiences choosing names included lots of him tossing out old, OLD baseball names and nicknames and insisting they were the coolest names ever. My inevitable response, “Um, well, hmmmm…I don’t think so.” We used family names and his last name so our “choosing” was rather limited from the onset.

  39. kim says...

    I have a Bode and an Ozzie. They fit my sons perfectly and I love that they are the only ones with those names in their school.

    • I have a Bode, too. And within two months of his birthday we learned of two other Bode/Bodhi’s! How old is your Bode?

  40. I’m pregnant now with my wife’s and my first baby (due Thanksgiving)! Since our babies will be biologically related to me, we decided a long time ago they’d go by her last name – Hammer. We’ve a good list of girl names, but we’re stuck on boy names. Every conversation about it devolves into puns, lol. Jack? Forget it! For Beatles fans, how about first name, Maxwell, middle name, Silver? My mother is insisting if we have a boy, we name him Armand (so his name will be Arm and Hammer). Maybe we should just bite the bullet and go with Sledge ;)

    • alina says...

      Armand is hilarious – I like your mom’s humor :)

    • Veronica says...

      There was actually a famous industrialist named Armand Hammer (I believe he may have founded Occidental Petroleum). His great grandson is the actor Armie (full name Armand) Hammer. So, if you did go with Armand, your son might get mistaken for an actor ;)

  41. LeAnn says...

    I have a Harper and love it even though it’s so popular now. I picked it out in high school, though, since To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book. But I hate how there are 3 other Harper’s in my daughter’s school. :(

  42. Jennifer. says...

    Baby naming is Always an interesting topic.
    I picked the names on our list with a number of criteria. Not too popular, not too rare. Had to be able to spell it/pronounce without lots of explaining, and what would the nick name or shortening become and could I live with those names too. .
    We didn’t find out the sex with either of our baby’s and so had long lists for both boys and girls. My first son is Nathan. But was almost a Luke and had he been a girl would have been Elizabeth. My second son is Walker. He was almost a Jude. And had he been a girl would have been Zoe or Cora. I didn’t think Walker through enough… blame the drugs at birth…. I am English. And so pronounce it War-Kerr. But my husband who is American says it Wack-err. It irritates me slightly.
    Good luck to all the parents out there picking names!

  43. Lauren says...

    Since before we were even engaged, my husband talked about having a daughter named June. I wasn’t totally into it at first but he was so adorable about it that it has completely grown on me so if we ever do end up having a daughter, I feel like she has to be June! It’s definitely becoming more popular but I still think we will probably go for it. I also love Matilda for a girl. For a boy, I have always liked the name Ben and the idea of Bennett instead of Benjamin is really growing on me. Maybe this time next year we will actually have to decide :)

    • Michelle says...

      You could name her Juniper and call her June or Junie ;)

    • shannon says...

      OMG we had a nearly-identical discussion while dating and now plan for a June if we have a daughter someday…

      which begs the question: is June the next Emma??!

      (I also like the name Bennett – we have similar tastes).

  44. I have a Winifred (Winnie) Grey, and an Alfred (Alfie) Bishop. Neither were names that were ever on our radar at all before I was pregnant. It almost feels to me like they chose their own names. I’m expecting baby number three in five weeks, and we are stuck! Of course by “stuck” I mean that this baby has chosen Josephine (Posie) and my husband hates it, so we shall see what happens in a few weeks, I suppose!

    • Wendy says...

      I love that Alfred is gaining some traction. My husband is an Alfred and he was always the only one in his classes. But it looks like my son- Theo- might have some Alfred’s in his classes as it is rising in popularity over here in the U.K…

    • Amy says...

      We call our Winona Winnie, and I get so many compliments on it! People love it, and more importantly, I do too :) Such a sweet nickname!

  45. Sabrina says...

    We have three boys, Everett Timothy, Deacon Elliott and Finnley Parker. I’m still pleased to find their names not on the top 50. But I’m starting to hear Everett and Finnley more.
    I always thought I would have girls (maybe I’ll still have one) But these are my favorite girl names:
    Evangeline
    Cosette
    Aurelia
    Marguerite

  46. Olivi says...

    My name is Olivia–I’m 26 and growing up (until I was about 18) I had only ever met two other Olivias. My parents say that they the only Olivia they’d ever heard of before they had me was Olivia Newton John. Now it’s sooo common! On the other hand, my sister’s name is Caroline and she had 6 other Carolines in her grade alone in middle school/high school. I feel like half the people I know are named Caroline and it’s not even on the list anymore! So, I guess it all is very cyclical.

  47. Love this topic. I’m always curious about how that many parent’s landed on the same name at the same time.

    Our daughter’s names are Cora and Ida and I love that most people have heard the name before, but it’s not super common (which is how I feel about my own name). I had many friends with the same names (Amanda, Brittney, etc) and I just didn’t want the same thing for my children because I love being able to say “hey this is Haley” without having to add my last name in there.

    • Emily says...

      I just love the name Cora. A dear friend has a little girl named Cora. It is such a graceful and classic name.

    • jen says...

      Ha! my favorite aunt was named Cora. There is now a Cora in a cousin’s family, so the name is not dying out.

  48. LeighTX says...

    When our first daughter was born in 1998, we chose the name Harper in honor of Harper Lee. At the time it was really unusual, and often people mistook it for a boy’s name. Now that it’s become so popular, I tease her that she’s the Original Harper and everyone else is a copy! :)

  49. Jesse says...

    I love the traditional names- we have a Thomas John (Tommy) and a Mary Kathleen (Mary Kate). Joseph and Frances are next in line if/as needed.

    My parents gave me a gender neutral name, although they went with the masculine spelling. It’s not a huge deal, but getting mail addressed to “Mr Jesse…” has always annoyed me.

  50. so fun coming up with names..and so much pressure! I was being booted out of the hospital before I could commit…we have a Leo and a Milena (after my grandmother, but nicknamed Mila, which is on the rise!).

  51. Stacey K says...

    I have Layton, Ashlyn, and Nolan. Not too popular except for the fact that they all end in ‘n’, which is a popular trend. They are all just names that we liked and their middle names are all family names.

  52. Suzanne says...

    After our Sophia was born in 2011, I remember seeing the NYTs list for that year and discovering that Sophia was the top choice and actually worrying (talk about a first problem problem) that she’d be surrounded by Sophias everywhere. Alas, there’ve been no others in her classes and of course there will only ever be one wildly precious and light-filled her of the summer solstice. Also, so ridiculously relieved that Donald didn’t make the list.

  53. Lana says...

    Our girls are Grace Frances and Cecilia Lorraine. We joke that their social security cards look like they should belong to 100 year old women! Our first boy is due in December and we’ve settled on Cosmo Gerard. It’s not popular with our family and I’m sure many of our friends will think it’s weird but we e always loved Moonstruck and whenever there’s a huge moon we all ohhhh and ahhhhh over Cosmo’s moon and how important it is to that film. But, I’m sure most people will assume we’re Seinfeld fans. :)

  54. Margaret says...

    We are due with our first in three weeks, and don’t know the sex yet. The baby will be either Peter or Katherine (Kit). It took us 34 weeks to agree on a girl name!

    • Lesley says...

      I love Kit! So adorable for a little one, but works into adulthood too.
      Best of luck to you!

    • Carly says...

      What if she wants to go by Katie or Kate or Kathy? How can you already have a nickname picked out? Lol. Good luck nonetheless.

    • My husband’s grandmother was a Catherine who went by Kit. I thought that was so cool! We gave one of our daughters Catherine as a middle name and I still think of Grandma Kit when I look at her.

      We absolutely picked all three of our kids’ nicknames, although they’ve acquired more/others, too.

    • Noelle says...

      I love Kit! We have a Catherine and call her Wren. And we had the nicknamed picked out at birth and it’s all she has ever gone by.

    • Claire says...

      I love Kit and I love Wren as a nickname for Catherine.

    • Amy says...

      Kit is adorable, and Carly, I assure you that parents are the ones deciding on nicknames for at least the first few years! ;) I am curious to see if my two kids will decide to go with their full names or their nicknames, though. Will be fun to watch!

  55. Katie says...

    We have a three month old baby girl, Hallie. My husband and I debated on her middle name for ages and finally settled on Hallie Claire. When I was at the end of labor (as in waiting for the doctor to run down the hall to deliver her), I realized that Hallie Clare sounds a lot like Hal Eclair. I knew I would never get that out of my head so we changed her middle name on the fly, and 10 minutes later Hallie Ann was born!

    • Hallie says...

      I have always liked having the name Hallie (middle name Elizabeth) since it’s unique without being too “out there.” I didn’t meet another one until I was a teenager and I was born in 1987. Still it’s always a challenge for others to spell it, say it (I get Hayley pretty much always at first) and for a Starbucks barista to hear it correctly :)

  56. Christy says...

    I love the name Virginia. It’s so Southern and I don’t know, it just sounds like such a cute name! I would never share this with friends or family though, everyone I know is SO opinionated about names. People always ask about nicknames and I can’t think of any cute ones. But who cares, right? I like the name on its own, not a nickname!

    • Rosie says...

      my legal name is Virginia Rose but I’ve been Rosie my whole life – you’re right, Virginia doesn’t lend itself well to a nickname. Ginny is not very pleasing to the ears in my opinion! Admittedly, it took me years to grow to like Virginia, I’ve always loved Rosie but Virginia felt too…grown-up and stale as a kid. Now I’m honored to be named after Virginia Woolf and would never change it despite it really being only a namesake at this point.

    • Christy says...

      Ah, I LOVE the name Virginia Rose! So elegant! And Rosie is just the cutest name ever! My husband and I think we need to name our first girl Virginia Anne though, because both of her grandmother’s middle names are Anne (with an ‘e’ like in Anne from Green Gables!)

    • Lora says...

      Looove the name Virginia. I’m a huge Golden Girls fan, and Blanche’s sisters are Virginia and Charmaine. I would always think how adorable either of those would be for a daughter. So charming and fun!

    • Kristiane says...

      My husband’s beloved grandmother is named Virginia and my husband said there’s always the nickname Ginny! :)

    • Emily says...

      I just listened to an episode of Hidden Brain and they say people with state names tend to be more drawn to those states! I love Virginia also-and have an Aunt Virginia who goes by Ginny. It’s classic and slightly old South in the greatest way.

    • Scarlett says...

      Ginny is a cute nickname for Virginia!

    • Meg says...

      That’s my wonderful grandma’s name. She goes by Ginny, which I love!

    • Lauren says...

      So funny, my daughter’s name is Virginia Rose, but she goes by her nickname as well, which is Bug. So not a Virginia nickname, but one that suits her scabby knees and wild curls. We tried to go for Gigi, but she’s always been a Bug.

    • Christy says...

      Bug! So sweet! I also love the nickname “Gigi” thank you for the suggestion!

  57. Claire says...

    My daughter is a Beatrice who goes by Bea! She has a twin sister named Tallulah who goes by Lula. We were deeply committed to non-matchy names. I can’t really imagine Tallulah taking off, but I’m sort of surprised Beatrice hasn’t made a come back.

  58. Jami says...

    We’re expecting our first and have gone through *several* rounds of “oh, that’s the one!” before settling (we think, lol) on Aiden for a boy or Isabelle for a girl. Before that we liked Benjamin, Nina, Jenna, Madison and Owen. It’s so fun to talk names and imagine the people-to-be who might wear them!

  59. Meredith says...

    Van Alexander and Nina Evelyn. I wanted simple, elegant names that were neither trendy or common. It’s so hard, there are wonderful names to choose from but I always questioned, ” Could that be MY kid’s name?”

  60. Our baby boy’s name is Graham. We toyed with Grant and Louis. I also love Frances and Jane. :)

    • Louisa says...

      I love your name choices!

  61. Sara says...

    Our daughter’s name is Margot. We love her name and she does too! People always comment that Margot is the perfect name for her because she is as unique as her name. Our main goals when picking a name were to find one we both loved and that would not appear on any list of popular names. My name is Sara and I’ve always hated how many Sara(h)’s there are my age.

    • Sarah says...

      I am also a Sarah and Margot is my favorite girl’s name!! My other favorite is Claire, but having grown up as one of a couple Sarah’s, I worry that it’s too popular.

  62. Lora says...

    My son is Tristan, age 26. Lucky for him there were no other Tristans throughout all of his school years. Although other moms would frequently say “oh, like in Legends of the Fall?!”. Sigh. He was born before that, so, no. Now I see the name popping up everywhere! I didn’t want to know the sex back then and for whatever reason assumed I was having a girl, so I wasn’t really prepared with boy names. So glad I went with it, and couldn’t imagine him being named anything different. Had he been a daughter though, I would’ve loved the name Bretta.

  63. Melissa says...

    My husband and I are ttc and we have names picked out for boys & girls. Our names have sentimental value either after favorite saints (I’m Catholic) or family names. All reflect our ancestral heritage. None are on the popular list and I like it that way.

  64. Our little guy’s full name is Santiago and we adore it. He’s named after the Old Man and the Sea (my husband and I bonded over our love of Hemingway when we were just friends, and we went to Cuba for our honeymoon). Since he would have my husband’s last name, we knew we wanted his first name to reflect my culture (and be one my family could pronounce!). He goes by Santi which we love. However one of my pet peeves is when people pronounce it like “Santy” or say things like “Can I just call him Sandy?” (btw the answer is no because that’s not his name!).

    • JR says...

      Oooh just commenting to say I’m equally obsessed with Hemingway and his characters have such fantastic names. When I read “The Sun Also Rises” in high school, I swore my future daughter would be named Brett. Now, my husband’s (male) best friend is Brett, so that has fallen by the wayside. We don’t have kids yet, so who knows!

  65. Laura says...

    I have a common name (laura) but with Spanish pronunciation (sounds more like loud-ah instead of lor-uh). Here’s how most of my meet & greets go:

    me: My name is Laura.
    stranger: I’m sorry, what?
    me: Laura, like (lor-uh) in english. You can call me (lor-uh) if you want. I’m used to both.
    stranger: no teach me how to say your name!
    *about 20 seconds of back and forth of teaching, then finally I always revert to saying this:
    me: You know that one black eyed peas song? like “pump it. Louda!” that’s close enough to how to say my name.

    always works.

    • HAH. I know someone with the same name (she is Italian) and it is sometimes comical watching the back and forth during introductions – will have to give her that tip.

    • Lora says...

      People have called me Laura and Lori my whole life. I gave up on correcting and just answer to them all.

    • Amber says...

      My best friend is Italian and she has the same issue with her daughter’s name (Danica). Here in the States everyone wants to pronounce it DANica not DONica. Its a huge pet peeve of hers.

  66. Nathalie says...

    My partner is Israeli and we wanted names for our children that work in both English, and Hebrew, but ended up with 3 Italian names for each one of our kids:) Elia, Romy, and Annie-Lev, Lev means heart in Hebrew and Annie is the favorite movie/ play of the eldest kids:) happy too names are not on the list:)

  67. Lauren says...

    My girls are named Virginia and June. I love all the old school, classic names. A touch “turn of the century granny,” but I like that. They’re names that they’ll grow into, eventually!

    • Christy says...

      I LOVE the name Virginia! I’m so happy other people name their daughters this!

  68. Lauren says...

    My girls are Pearl Frances and June Bell. Both middle names are family-inspired but the first names are random traditional names we both loved. We were surprised by the sex both times around and had THE HARDEST time settling on the girl names…boy names came to us instantly (go figure)! I love not seeing their names on any “most popular” lists but glad that they’re still common enough that people will know how to spell and pronounce them as they grow up.

    • Lauren says...

      I should also note that we wanted them to hopefully be the only Pearl/June in their class – I grew up in a slew of other Laurens and hated it!

  69. Meh says...

    Haha! I loved Penelope and Beatrice too- we now have a Penelope who will only go by penny ( she’s eight) but I certain that when she’s in her early 20’s, living in NYC, she’ll become a Penelope and be wonderfully cool. :)

  70. Mama M says...

    We have an almost-three-year-old daughter named Esmé Johanna, and my husband and I love her name as much now as the day we decided on it. It means “beloved or esteemed”, and I like that it is both unique (in the U.S.) and historical. I wanted a name that I could picture on a tiny person and a future journalist or lawyer or ceramicist or whatever she becomes. :) We call her “Essie” for short, which I love almost equally.

    We were lucky to have a girl, because we could NOT agree on a boy’s name! We might have eventually landed on Linus, but I had some reservations about how well that would go over with some of our friends and family…
    “You mean, like from Charlie Brown? With the blanket and the piano?”
    “Yes. Exactly. “

    • Veronica says...

      Linus is our number two boy name (no kids yet). I’ve told some people about it, and my brother had the strongest negative reaction. I don’t care though, it’s such a classic, masculine, and uncommon name.

    • Brandi says...

      If it’s any consolation, I had the strange opportunity of meeting the actual Linus that Charles Schultz based the character on a few years back (I live in the Bay Area and he has since passed away.) He was as sweet and charming as the character, even as an old man, so I think it would be a fine naming pick.

  71. I’m a teacher and my favorite names are now from students I’ve had in the past, though some of them are from different cultures so I don’t feel comfortable using them necessarily!
    It’s been so fascinating to track the most popular names! When I first started I had lots Rileys and Mackenzies, towards the middle I had several Aaliyahs, and now I have two Rubys!

  72. Kris says...

    my son is Blake and my daughters name is Quinn. I’ve always love gender neutral names!!!

  73. Scarlett says...

    How funny! When I was a kid NO ONE was named Scarlett. I was always told how unique of a name it was. I still have never met another Scarlett! Looks like that’s about to change!

  74. KL says...

    I have a question about baby names: I’m in the camp that because my husband has already “decided the baby’s last name” (we agreed that our child would have his last name, I have not changed mine), that I should get to choose the first name and the middle name should be a joint decision. Is this fair? I feel it’s more than, but my husband insists that he has input on the first name (mostly he’s in fear of what I would call our child, hahaha!). Would love other people’s input!

    • Jessica says...

      I like this plan (as I will most likely be in the same boat eventually).

    • I think that both parents should have input, but since the mother carries the baby for 40 weeks (or longer) and gives birth, she has the final call ;)

    • Caroline says...

      OMG I’ve always thought this too. I doubt any partner would agree to this but if the kid is getting his last name plus I have to carry it for 9 months, I feel like the least they can do is let me decide the name. Definitely an unpopular opinion though!

    • My husband and I had a terrible time deciding on names, but we both felt strongly that we had the same amount of input on choosing names for our kids. I’m so glad we did that because I want us to feel like equal partners to avoid dumb games about who works harder as a parent or who loves the kids more etc. etc.

    • Neill says...

      The last name thing can be so tough! I definitely get the feeling of wanting to have some choice if your child will take your husband’s last name. Could he have veto power on the first name choice? Maybe limited so that he can’t just knock down everything he doesn’t love, but something like one veto for five options, and final decision is yours?

      My husband and hope to have two children, and the general idea is that the first will take the last name of the same-gender parent, and then the second will take the last name of the other parent (regardless of gender). If we have a third, I guess we’ll flip a coin? It isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s where we ended up. I have a few family members who are super, super opposed to the idea, which I get, and it also assumes that everything works out as we imagine it will. I certainly wish there was an option that both felt equitable and allowed for a single family name, but what do you do when both of you want to keep your name, don’t want to hyphenate, etc., etc.?

      In the end, with naming, I think whatever decision you can come to together and feel good about is the right one. There is no perfect solution.

    • Sarah says...

      Ha! I have a similar but slightly different stance. We both want to use some family names for first and middle names, and I have forced my husband to agree that names from my side and his mom’s side get precedence, since his dad’s side will already be represented in the last name slot. We’ve also agreed that, boy or girl, our first child will have my maiden name as a middle name.

    • KL says...

      Loved reading all of your replies!

  75. valentina says...

    You should read the Name Therapist! I’m reading it right now and I love it. Like the author, I have a unique name that is the product of parents from two very different cultures, but it’s about so much more than her experience with her name. Can’t recommend it enough!

  76. JO says...

    We have a Maeve and a James :).

    • Summer says...

      I love the name Maeve!

  77. Ann says...

    I love the anatomy of a name! My son is Anderson Sutton ( both family names, one from each side) and my daughter, arriving in October will be Florence (from my side, middle name in the works from my husbands side). I love that both are classic but not popular.

  78. Lisa says...

    My husband and I had so much fun coming up with baby names. We tried to pick not so common (but not so unusual) names that had some meaning. We named our daughter Isla Beatrice. Her first name is an anagram for mine (Lisa) and Beatrice was my great-grandmother’s name. We affectionately call her Isla Bea.

    Our other favorites…Mina, Margot, Rhys, and Graham. We’re saving those for the future :)

    • Alli says...

      My husband and I have agreed on Lila for a future daughter. That was my great aunt’s name
      (who was like a grandmother to me and holds a special place in my heart) and also an anagram of my name Alli.
      We named our son Logan Thomas Reid. We chose a first name we both agreed on (there were only 2!) and a family name from each side for his two middle names.

  79. My husband and I have had our baby names picked out since we started dating in 09. We knew our son’s name would be Lucas and I swear it wasn’t on any list and now it’s everywhere. Our other boy names Samual, Benjamin and Noah are also on the list…

    I’m surprised the entirety of our girl name isn’t on the list Katharine Scarlett (a la Katharine Hepburn and Katie Scarlett O’Hara).

  80. Sam says...

    So happy with the timing of this post – I’m pregnant with my first and I feel like I’ve looked at every existing name list online so bring on a new one!

  81. Colleen says...

    We chose Rose and Owen for baby names and our delightful Rosie loves her name (I was so, so sure she was going to be an Owen)! I’m so glad she likes it, so many people don’t like their names. I also love Margo and Ella and the outdoor names for boys – Forest, River, etc.

    • Anna Breswick says...

      I have a Rose too – 18 months – and my husband wanted Owen if she’d been a boy. What’s your Rose’s middle name?

  82. Ximena says...

    Oh, picking a baby name is so tough! I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my first and before we found out we were having a boy we were both sure we were having a girl and had already decided on Brunela. We wanted something Italian to match our last name and that would work in both Spanish and English. We had 5 options and ask our family to weight in… finally, we decided on Leonardo <3
    Now… we are discussing middle names lol! so complicated

  83. Elly says...

    I have a Clara and a Leo!

    I always get SUPER excited when my kids’ names are not on any lists!!

    I’m an Ellyn but go by Elly. It’s been creeping up lately, but rarely spelled with a Y.

  84. Jo says...

    So happy with the timing of this post – I’m pregnant with my first and I feel like I’ve looked at every existing name list online so bring on a new one!

  85. Julia says...

    I’m named after a Beatles song, so we thought it would be fun to carry on the tradition with our daughter, Lucy. I also felt it was such a classic name – you see people aged 1 to 100 named that! If we have a boy we’ll probably name him Maxwell, after another Beatles song ;). I’ve also always loved the name Wilder for a boy.

    • I’m pregnant now with my first. My wife and I have been tossing around names and liked Maxwell (my brother’s name), but my wife’s last name and the baby’s last name is Hammer! We’d almost have to have “Silver” as a middle name. A *little* too close to the song haha.

    • Julia says...

      Hannah I just lol’d – that would be an awesome/hilarious name!

  86. Lindsay E. says...

    We are trying to make a baby in our house and have been talking about names for awhile. We are pretty well settled on Calvin for a boy and are negotiating middle names. My vote is for Calvin Lafayette, which was my great great grandfather’s name AND gets me a little love for my fav character from Hamilton. My hubs isn’t sold on the Lafayette.
    We had pretty much agreed to Clara Margot for a girl but I’m second guessing that because while I think Clara is a beautiful name, I can’t pronounce it in the sort of Spanish way that my husband does. It sticks in my throat a bit so while I think “Clahhhh-ra” is prettier than “Claire-uh,” I have a hard time saying it that way. Luckily I think we also both love Eloise for a girl so we are between Eloise Margot and Eloise Claire.
    Although seeing Wonder Woman this weekend has me hot for the name DIANA!

    • Elly says...

      I have a Clara (Claire-uh) but her uncle teases her and calls her Clahhh-ra. :)

    • Danielle says...

      Calvin is our boy name this go-around- I don’t know any! Already have a James.

    • Shannon says...

      I have a Calvin!!

    • Stephanie says...

      Calvin Lafayette is an AMAZING name. Calvin’s been on my list for years, and I so appreciate your love for Hamilton!

  87. Em says...

    I LOVE talking baby names. We tend to choose names that aren’t crazy but aren’t super common either. We have a Samuel Elias and in September we will welcome Lainey Rae. we’ve had a fairly easy time choosing names actually! Hopefully that sticks for the rest of them

  88. Jen says...

    My little boys are Nash James & Beck Dean. (Middle names are for grandfathers on each side).

    I was Jennifer Lynn in the 80s so was insistent that my kids have more original names. Our last name is 9 letters long & hard to pronounce so I wanted their 1st names to be short & easy, while still being unique & masculine.

    Nash was such a home run of a name for our 1st that I felt major sophomore-album-type pressure for my second. :) When we decided on Beck, I never looked back. :)

    • Jessica says...

      Jessica Lynn here. I hear ya.

  89. Becca says...

    My girls are Helena and Paige. Neither is on that list and I am kind of happy about it. Paige is definitely an 80s throwback name and I love it. I know a lot of women my age named Rebecca (I was born in 1980) but I have yet to meet a Rebecca who is under 30. I always think that Jessica is basically Eleanor, just 40 years later. They’ll all come back around eventually!

    • Dawn says...

      I teach middle school and I have many Rebeccas this year. It actually is quite popular and I usually have at least 1 every year. I consider it a classic girl name, like Sara.

    • Helena says...

      I’m a Helena!

  90. Jenna says...

    I was raised by a kindergarten teacher who ingrained in me that names should be unqiue but easy to spell and be spelled like they sound. I didn’t realize how much her rules impacted me until I had to name my daughter! I was determined to stick to her rules! We named our daughter Etta, which perfectly aligned. Then Carson Dailey named his daughter Etta a few months later and I was so worried it would get popular! Doesn’t seem to have caught on yet!

    • Ashley says...

      The same thing happened to me! My son’s name is Silas, which wasn’t on any of the popular lists when he was born — just what we wanted. But then Justin Timberlake named his son Silas and we got so worried! Luckily, it’s still not trendy. I’m pregnant with #2, and we’re thinking Theo … I’m holding my breath no celebrities pick it before we can!

  91. Ellen says...

    My daughter is Genevieve and we have always called her both Vivi (vee-vee) and Genevieve. I LOVE her name and was so glad that no cousins had had daughters to name after our grandmother before I did! My son is Silas, and we just call him Silas or Si which is another great, old family name.
    Long before I had a husband or children, I fantasized about naming my son Rocket Scientist (and still think that is a super cool name). My husband did not share my enthusiasm so we considered Haley Ray for a boy in a nod to Haley’s comet until… our then 10 year niece informed us that Haley was definitely a girls’ name. Silas is pretty grateful to his cousin. And wouldn’t you know it — there is a kid named Rocket on his debate team.

  92. Elisabeth says...

    Our daughter is Rilla – named for an L.M. Montgomery character – which we loved because it sounds similar to a lot of popular names (Ella, Stella, Willa) while still being bit different. It’s been hard thinking of names for future kiddos that ‘go together’, but at the top of our list for girls are Margot and Marnie, and for a boy, Griffin.

    • Sarah K says...

      We actually initially named our youngest Rilla (bc Rilla of Ingleside is my favorite of the Anne books) and then at the last moment switched to Una (also a character in that book, as well as The Faerie Queene). I still love the name Rilla and wonder if we still have a Rilla coming someday, somehow! :) I like your other choices, too.

    • Stephanie says...

      Rilla is a gorgeous name! Both Marilla and Anne’s little Rilla were such wonderful characters.

    • Elisabeth says...

      Una is cute, too! I’m glad to hear there are some other Anne lovers :-) It’s always fun to see who ‘gets’ the reference.

  93. Natalie says...

    My husband and I had a very hard time coming up with a boys name and settled on Travis as one of the few we could agree on. I still love it 5 years later.

    My daughter is Kaitlyn. I loved the name Kate but my husband didn’t and we agree on Kaitlyn. We chose to spell it with a k because I liked the alliteration with our last name that is also K. She now calls herself KK :)

  94. Heather says...

    I hesitate to even share this because I feel like it’s my secret perfect name for a girl :) but here it is – Marin. I think it’s unique but easy to pronounce, both classic and modern feeling at the same time, and good for a kid or an adult.

    Truly don’t care about boys names lol

    • Ashley W says...

      Oh I LOVE that. It also isn’t super girly, sounds very sophisticated. :)

    • That’s the name of one of my good friends from college and she pronounces it “muh-RIN,” which I love. It’s such a pretty, unique name.

    • Paula says...

      uh oh! I love Marin county in Northern Cali!!! What a wonderful name for a girl.

    • I had a friend whose sister is named Maren! I floated it for our 3rd, but my husband liked Marion instead, which I hated. (We named our daughter Phoebe)

    • Maren says...

      My name is Maren! Pronounced like Karen, with an M. Honestly, I hated it when I was a kid, but now I love what my parents chose. It’s a name to grow into. My dad found it one night when he was looking in a family tree. At midnight, he made my 9 month pregnant mom wake up and shake hands on it. Now, I’m proud to say I’m named after my ancestor Maren (from Sweden), who crossed the plains in a push cart and was a poet. That’s a lot of name to live up to, but I do my best :)

    • Lauren says...

      Maren Morris is a super popular country singer now! I love both variations.

    • Cara says...

      Maren is a beautiful name and I love it too! I don’t know if my husband would ever go for it, but it’s definitely on my short list.

    • Lisa says...

      I have a Maren! She’s named after my grandmother (Mary) and everyone always comments on how much they love it.

  95. Kathy says...

    I have a son, Simon, and a daughter, Ellen. These were the only two names my husband and I could agree on! My top choices for both were Perry and Devon. I would have used either name for boys or girls, as I love their gender neutral style.

  96. elizabeth says...

    My daughter is named Pella and my son is named Tanner. I love Pella’s name, but since college (about 14 years ago) I have wanted to name a girl baby Holland, and my husband wouldn’t agree to it! I can normally get him to come around on things, but he would not budge on that name! If we ever have another daughter, I’ll try again…

    • Kc says...

      Holland was a top name for me too, as it’s a family name. I love it!

  97. Sara says...

    Our children are named after two of our local state parks: our son, Pfeiffer Lou is 5 and our daughter, Wilder (Wiley) Violet is two. After growing up as a Sara in the 80’s, I was determined to give my children unusual names!

    • How funny! We almost named two of our babies Pfieffer, but went with names that felt like a better fit for them both times. I’ve never met anyone with that name! My husband asked for my phone number at Pfeiffer Hall at our college, and I always thought it was a sweet idea to name a child after the first moment of becoming a family :)

  98. Jennifer says...

    I am blessed with two beautiful sons and when we were figuring out names my guiding principal was “warrior poet”. I wanted boy names that were strong and sensitive and brave and gentle. For the girl we didn’t have I always was settled on “Luisa” or Lulu for short.

  99. My girls are Lucy and Iris and I get so many compliments on them. I knew a girl in college named ‘Iris’ and I’ve fallen more in love with it as the years have passed. I have to admit that I am so glad not to see their names on this list!

  100. Cara says...

    One great piece of advice I heard about choosing a baby name is imagine your child’s whole name at the top of a resume in 20 years.

  101. We have always LOVED the name Emma (I swear, I dreamt of it for a daughter since I was a little girl) but now it’s super popular and we don’t know what to do :'(

  102. Teal says...

    With my name (Teal) I felt a lot of pressure to find an equally unusual name for my daughter. I’m not sure if I achieved this with the name Grayling (Gray as a nickname) but I had a lot of fun doing research. There are some great website which allow you to see name trends overtime or the number of births with a particular name in a given year. My two favorite sites for this purpose were ourbabynamer.com and the voyager tool on babynamewizard.com.

  103. Alex says...

    Vera was the top of our list when our first child was born but HE didn’t end up as Vera. We also were surprised to hear it’s one of the fastest growing names in popularity. There are such fun classic names rising in the statistics these days!

  104. Renee says...

    We decided on Matilda for our little girl who will be 3 next month, and it fits her perfectly! (we call her Tilda for short). We love the book “Matilda” and how smart and caring the protagonist is (we just hope we’re better parents than the ones in the book!)

  105. I have a Ruby Susanne, Remy James, and Eero Everhart. I’m a Katie born in 1980 so I worked hard to find names that weren’t popular, but also maybe not too crazy (I went more off-script the more babies I had). My doula said if I wanted more unpopular names to name my kids Jennifer, Sarah, Nicole…80s names. :) My criteria was “cute for a baby, but you want to tell people you’re hiring or marrying this name, too. ” And not too popular. Ruby and Remy have both started burning up the charts since I named them that, though. Interestingly, Susanne (or Suzanne) wasn’t even a name in many baby-name books I read!!! (But it’s my sister’s name.) Other names I love that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another: Nico, Sterling, Ambrose, Vivian, Veronica, Magnolia, Winston, Valentine. I have both boy and girl names picked if we have another but alas, we may be done.

    • Oh, and Margaux. That was Ruby’s runner-up name at the hospital. Nico was the runner-up for Remy, and Sterling the runner-up for Eero. I also liked Holland and Hollis, Lin, Meier, and Everett (but Everett got too popular).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, margaux! LOVE that name.

    • cgw says...

      ~My criteria was “cute for a baby, but you want to tell people you’re hiring or marrying this name, too. ”~ <THIS! I shortened my name as a kid, but as an adult I finally felt I grew into it and use it exclusively now. When we chose my daughter's name, among a long list of other parameters, it also had to be cute shortened (as kids names often get shortened by buddies and so forth), but adult enough to used professionally (and taken seriously).

    • jo says...

      We appear to be like minded. We recently named our third son Remy James and Margaux was our girl name for our second son.

    • What?! That’s the best!!!

    • Rachel says...

      How would you pronounce Meier? Our top choice right now is Meyer for our baby boy due in October. Prounounced My-Er. I love it but am a little worried other may not.

  106. I have a baby Scarlett. I’ve loved the name for years. I’ve always loved the name Aurora, too, but when I was pregnant I unequivocally knew that my baby’s name was Scarlett. It was almost as if I didn’t really have a choice. It’s one of the strongest instincts I’ve ever had. I wish it wasn’t as popular (I think it was around #30 back in 2015), but I don’t mind too much. What I do mind is when people spell it strange in order to be you-nique. It’s such a classic name, please don’t spell it Skarlytte (that’s a real spelling of a little one I know…ugh).

    Also funny story, lots of people asked us if we were naming her after Scarlett Johansson. We most definitely were not (or Scarlett O’Hara, for that matter). Well, my baby was 9 days late and guess who she shares a birthday with? Scarlett Johannson.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      no way! oh my gosh, that’s such a funny coincidence, shannon!

  107. Anna says...

    We are having a baby boy in about a month and his name will be Townes. We wanted something different and love the singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

    • leia says...

      That’s a great name! Shh, don’t tell too many people ;-)

    • Erin G says...

      My nephew is Townes, named for — you guessed it – fellow Texan Mr. Van Zandt. Love that name.

    • Emily says...

      We know an older boy named Townes-cool cat that kid! His parents are musicians with the same idea.

    • kay says...

      I know 2 baby Towneses! (as a related side note: if i ever have a kid i think i’ll deeeeeeefinitely discuss my name options with other pregnant friends/family members, you know uhhhhh… just in case)

    • Lesley says...

      Love Townes (the name and Van Zandt)!

    • JR says...

      I *love* Townes, for either gender. There’s also some ESPN fantasy football podcaster my husband listens to named Field Yates, and I just think that’s the best name. FIELD. (So perfect for the industry he ended up in too, ha.)

      I am kinda in love with the idea of naming your child after a normal, everyday noun. It seems so old-school and charming. Maybe even a little aristocratic.

  108. Vicki says...

    We have a Tobias (Toby!), Miles, Elliot, Fiona, and Nicholas. We wanted traditional names that were easy to spell, but we have also have a super common Chinese last name, so there are about half a zillion Wangs with any traditional, easy-to-spell Western first name! (Seriously — there is a whole online club/support group for men named Kevin Wang!).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love all those names, vicki!!

    • Rebecca says...

      I have an Elliot, too. Though of course NOBODY knows how to spell it (because it has so many variations). I didn’t think of that when I named him! It reminds me of that Pixies song, “Jefrey – with one f….”

    • Heather says...

      Rebecca now you have “Jefery with one f Jefery” stuck in my head!!!

    • Brandi says...

      Our almost 4-year-old is Elliot, too! We don’t get asked the spelling all that often BUT we thought we were being unique and of COURSE there is another Eliot (spelled that way) in his preschool class, ha! I think we should have a list of regionally popular baby names available because I know many that are popular around here don’t always make the SS top 100.

  109. Cait says...

    Love this- my fiance and I cannot decide on baby names and we throw them around all of the time. We have the boy name decided, Bennett (would call him Ben for short), but still no clues about the girl name. Other names that I like for a boy are Soren, Carsen, Cameron and for a girl, Maggie, Claire, Carrine, Norah. Keep the suggestions coming!

    • elizabeth says...

      Bennett is a great name! Good call.

    • Rachel says...

      I love Soren but my husband won’t agree. I also tried for Oren… couldn’t slip that one though either. Haha.

    • Cait says...

      Haha Rachel- maybe just try for Ren next ;) Also really liked Tennyson but both are German (I believe) and my husband’s last name is German and I thought both names together sounded to be a little too much.

  110. Even though I’m not crunchy at all, I kind of love baby names based on nature. So I’m all about Robin and River, even Sky has a crazy sort of appeal to me. Guess I’m just a hippie at heart :)

    • Erin G says...

      Love the name Robin. Wren was on my short list if I’d had a girl.

    • cooper says...

      Me, too! Robin and River are both in my top three :) My husband really wants a name that is a noun, which makes it interesting! He also LOVES Rainbow, but I am just not sure I can do it. (Maybe as a middle name? – I do love the nickname Bo!!)

  111. Megan says...

    Funny, this must be very regional too. I don’t know a single Abigails (#8) but about 800 Ellas (#17)!

  112. Jane Louise (5)
    Wilson Zell (2.5)

    They’re family names and unique but not “weird”, which we’re our name goals.

  113. Alison Novak says...

    I have a 10-year-old Mira and a 7-year-oldTheo. Theo seems to have really picked up in popularity in the last few years but Miras are still few and far between. We just loved the name Mira and also admired the director Mira Nair.

  114. Sarah K says...

    Being one of at least 2 or 3 Sarahs everywhere I went my entire life, I hated always having to be called “Sarah M” to be distinguished from the others. I was determined to pick unusual (but old, not new or made-up) names for my children. I succeeded pretty well, with giving one son a family name and another son and youngest daughter old English/Irish names I found in favorite books and had loved for years. My big failure was with my older daughter, Eila: I didn’t research social security stats for the sound-alike Isla. We moved into a new house 5 weeks before she was born, and because it was winter didn’t meet the neighbors for a while. 3 days after we got home from the hospital, the next door neighbor knocked on our door to introduce herself and her 4-month-old daughter: Isla. I wanted to change our daughter’s name, but my husband laughed. Of course the girls are fast friends and are called by their first name and last initial, just like I was as a kid–and which is exactly what I was trying to avoid!
    I love names, and often think about “the ones that got away”–names that didn’t go with our last name, or with names we had already picked for older children, or that I didn’t have enough children to use! These days I love the sound of old English girl names–Maude, Eloise, Agnes, Edith, Harriet. For boys, I like Frank, Otto, Hugo, Archie, Edmund…does that mean those are floating in the collective unconscious and they will be the Jennifers and Joshuas of a coming generation?! My theory is that we like the names of our grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generations (for my generation, that’s names like Emma and Ivy) but don’t like the names of our parents’ generation (Kathy and Jean) or our own (Ashley and Jessica). I noticed this when I was pregnant the first time and told my (named Jan) that I liked the name Ella, which obviously a lot of other moms did at the time. Her response was “Eww.” (what had she named her daughters: Wendy and Jennifer–names I would never choose!) Maybe that’s more for female names; it seems to me that traditional boys’ names stay more consistently popular).

    • Kate says...

      This is exactly true! There are studies done that show popularity of a name skips a generation or two, and it’s been that way for ages. Which means that our kids’ generation could be naming their kids Barbara and Cheryl and Paula and Kathy!

  115. Abbie says...

    If you love baby names like I do, you have to visit Swistle! She has the most thoughtful and interesting approach to naming–especially for families https://www.swistle.com/babynames/ If you’re Catholic you’ll love https://sanctanomina.net/
    My parents gave both my sister and me family names and we’ve chosen to do the same for our 2 boys. When we had those inevitable “I hate my name!” complaints in elementary school or whatever, my mom reminded us we were named after really special people–a kinder version of “too bad”.
    Another thing my husband and I decided was to call our boys by their first names. PERIOD. Both he and I go by our middle names (or worse, nickname of middle name) and it is about enough to drive you insane once you hit 30.

    • Colleen says...

      Love Swistle! And yes, that was one of my husband’s criteria for choosing a baby name – to call the baby by his first name, not middle name. My husband goes by his middle name. Don’t even get him started on the subject ;)

  116. J. says...

    I have always loved names, for as long as I can remember! I like fairly classic/old-fashioned names I guess but would try not to use ones that are overused. I have a running list in my phone so I don’t forget.

    Girls — Katherine (with Kay as a nickname possibly), Nina, Cora, Alma (although my BF has a bad association with this name – I think it’s one of the all-time most beautiful names!!), Greta, Ada, Louisa, Mae.

    Boys – Peter (Pete), Reid, Henry (Hal/Hank), Nash, Neil, Lawton, Ames, Seth, Hart, Lyle, Warren.

    • leia says...

      Our Peter/Pete will be one next month! People always comment how uncommon Peter is now! I love the idea of having another boy and naming him Henry and calling him Hank. Pete and Hank! <3

    • Janine says...

      Pete and Hank are at the top of my boys’ list too! They’re so great, and definitely pass the “Blind Date” test. I can’t get the name Gus out of my head either. I just can’t decide on the long form: August, Augustus, Gustave…? Any suggestions?

    • Emily says...

      We know an Angus who goes by Gus. Very Scottish name.

    • J. says...

      I also love Gus and Angus as the full name is a great idea!

    • Megan says...

      My sister has a Pete (Peter) and Hank (Henry)! Also a James. :) They are 6, 9, and 12 (I think).

    • Erin says...

      Peter and Henry were always my favourite boy names. I ended up marrying a Peter, but we now have a son named Henry :)

    • Amy says...

      My Gus is an Angus. :) love it! He has a few gus buddies at the playground, but they are all augusts.

  117. Kathleen says...

    I named my first son Liam 10 years ago (and had loved the name long before that). It’s definitely been interesting seeing his name explode in popularity, especially the last few years. I think at the time I had met one boy with that name. Now they are everywhere! My other two sons are Isaac and Ryan, fairly common names. For some reason, I wanted names that did not have easy nicknames and once my first two boys had names with two syllables, I went with the same format for my last son. My husband and I had a hard time deciding on names so anything too unusual was off the list.

  118. Kristin says...

    My husband chose “Ruby” from my list of names for our first daughter. We thought it was unique and then she headed off to daycare at 6 months…there’s another Ruby in her class.
    Baby Girl number two, we decided to go with “Clover”. No other Clovers in her daycare class.
    I wanted the girls’ names to mesh well. They are both “tangible” things, they are both two syllables.
    And now, I have a Ru and a Clo.
    I’m happy with our choice. Naming babies is such a blessing and a stresser!
    My other names on my list that got vetoed by the Hubby…. “Iris” and “Ivy”

    Happy Naming All!

  119. Lindsay says...

    My fiance and I decided on our girl name about 8 months after we started dating. We were watching the olympics and McKayla Maroney was competing. I said I loved the name Mckayla and he agreed. 5 years later we still say that will be the name if we have a girl. Only problem is deciding on one of the million ways to spell it :) Our boy name is also decided, Ryan.

  120. Abigail says...

    I cannot get used to having a popular name. When I was born in 1982, Abigail wasn’t even in the top 50. All the Abigail’s I met went by Abby, too, as I did until about 10 years ago when it just sounded too young. I love my name so I’m glad others like it too, but its hard to hear it when I’m out and about – I’ve just always assumed people were talking to me!

    • Abby says...

      Same! I was the only Abby in my school growing up. Then, my first year of boarding school there were two other Abby’s on my dorm floor. THREE ABBY’S, I swear.

    • Abbe says...

      Yep, I’m an Abigail born in 1982. So strange to hear my name more in public now and have it be directed at someone else! But I like my name (and the unusual “Abbe” spelling), so it’s actually fun to see the rise in popularity.

  121. Tina Jayadas says...

    My mother was named Tessa during her christening but since it wasn’t a common name , they changed it. My mom loved that name so much that she named her doll Tessa. When I became pregnant, my husband and I decided that if it was a girl the name would start with T and if a boy it would start with R. I couldn’t find a single name that I liked which started with T. And then the bell rang. Now my daughter Tessa is three years old and today was her first day of preschool :).

    • elizabeth says...

      aw, that is such a cute story and I love the name!

    • Love the story! I’m due with our first baby in 5 weeks, and we are naming her Tessa Margot. We will likely call her Tess, because I love nicknames. I just find the name (and nickname) classic, yet fresh and spunky.

    • Jenny says...

      That’s such a sweet story. We have an 18-month-old Tessa! She’s just starting to talk, and has acquired “Tess Tess” as a nickname from her cousins. When we say “What’s your name? Is it Tess Tess?”, she whispers it (not sure why) with a huge grin on her face. I think that means she likes it too!

  122. Denise says...

    My daughter’s name is Olivia, but what’s funny is that it’s a very uncommon name here in Southern CA near the US-Mexico border. I’ve worked with children & families for the last 11 years & I’ve only had one interaction (a parent) with a person named Olivia. And when I was pregnant & would tell people the name we had chosen, people would always say comments about how unusual the name was. Lol!

    • Angela says...

      My 6 year old is Olivia – we call her Livi. I love her name and it so suits her. Strangely, we have never run in to another Olivia. There are three Emmas in her kindergarten class this year!

  123. Annie says...

    I love that unusual names are celebrated now! My name is Anitra and wow what a nightmare it has been growing up with that name! I tend to prefer names that are easily pronounced and spelled, but that still aren’t used all the time. However, I applaud my parents for going with a unusual (aka weird) name that they surely got some grief over (I know I have) just because they loved it!

    • Nicole says...

      I agree! Easy to pronounce but unusual= the ideal. Not sure if my favorite (Filomena) falls into that category…but I like it too much to give up! Ha!

    • Annie says...

      I say don’t give up Nicole! I think that’s beautiful. I think the story behind a name is also important because people with unusual names are constantly asked why their parents named them what they did. My name literally came from a gal my Dad dated in high school (years before he knew my Mom), and somehow it came up.. my Mom liked the name so she convinced my Dad to be okay with the connection.. and they named their daughter that. Such a nightmare for me to recap. hahaha

  124. Meghan says...

    Before I was born, Meghan was an incredibly uncommon name. Then the Thornbirds mini-series came out, and the lead character was named Meg. Suddenly, the name grew in popularity. My mother was upset that people were suddenly “stealing” her name, so when my brother was born she named him Jory. I’ve only ever met one other person named Jory – my cousin, who was named after my brother!

    • cgw says...

      We named our daughter Meghan -WITH the H! I had a whole set of parameters for names. Our child would have a Chinese middle name, plus my maiden name, it would have a Welsh heritage last name and I wanted to honor the Irish side of my husband’s family as well so first name had to have a nod towards it (or the Gaelic language). He totally vetoed Siobahn, didn’t like Niall but said Neal was fine. For me, it had to look good in print and cursive, AND it needed an ascender or descender (when I was younger I hated that my name with the C and G were so boring in print, and the C was so boring in cursive). Meghan was perfect bc it had both asender and descender, and the silent H is also a nod towards the silent H in my maiden name. It was meant to be! We haven’t met too many other young Meghans, and the older ones we’ve come across all spell it Megan.

  125. Nicole says...

    I’ve always loved the names Filomena or Siena for a girl ( my grandmother’s name is Filomena, which I think is just so pretty.) I’m always happy to see that these names aren’t too high up on any lists (especially Filomena!).

  126. Trisha says...

    I always thought long and hard about tons of names for kids before I ever got pregnant. Then when I found out, I drew a total blank! We also did not find out the sex. So I would always ask my guy and he would joke and never help. I picked Sonny (from The Godfather) right off the bat if the baby was a boy. I just had the hardest time picking a girl name! Finally towards the end I just came to my husband and said “if it ends up a girl I am naming her Sonny. I just like it either way.” And he said, yeah, I love it. Umm what?? Thanks for telling me in the beginning! ha! So it was to be Sonny James for a boy (though I rallied for this for a girl, husband said no…) and Sonny Lynn for a girl. Funny, the Lynn is after my grandfather, and husband had no problem with this! Men…..
    Now I have a beautiful baby girl named Sonny Lynn and I love it! It fits her so. And we get endless compliments on it. I thought it would be the opposite. I always love boy names for girls. But I never just love girls names!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that, trisha!! what a sweet, sweet name :)

    • My dearest teacher in high school was Sonni Lynn (plus her last name). She taught pottery, and was absolutely a ray of sunshine, talent, and joy. A very good name pairing :)

    • Trisha says...

      Thanks Joanna!
      That’s so cool Susan! We sure like it! :-)

  127. Kelly says...

    My girls are Misha and Zara.

    Misha is adopted from Ethiopia and was named by her birth mother – Misha means seed in her language and I think it is a beautiful name on its own as well as a lovely gift from a mother to her child who has traveled far from home to plant her roots and blossom…

    Zara was adopted in the US and we got to pick her name. We were down to Colette or Zara and my older daughter significantly influenced the final decision by asking, “Do you want to name the baby CAH-CAH-Colette (said in horrible choking voice) or Zara (said in sweet lilting tone).”

  128. Jules says...

    I love names. I look at Nameberry every day. My brother and sister-in-law just used one of my suggestions for my new niece and I was thrilled.

    My sons: Leo, Frederick, and Maximilian (German names to fit our very German last name)
    Juliette, Alice, Charles, William…

    I like classic names that have a lot of history.

    • Jen says...

      Those are awesome! I tried to convince my husband that we should name our son Fredrick but he didn’t like it. He didn’t mind however us calling him Clarence Monroe after mine and his Grandfathers. :)

  129. Kate says...

    How is Theodore not on that list? Everyone I know is naming their freakin’ babies Theodore. Also, Rowan. I know like 5 Rowans. And I know 4 Graces born in the a 3 month span. Also, Hazel. I’d say the top 5 most popular around me (boys and girls mixed) are Theodore, Rowan, Hazel, Ruby, and Grace.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      or little girls named theodora, or “teddy,” which i LOVE :)

    • Nicole says...

      Ugh, I love the name Rowan! Why are all the good ones always so popular?

    • lesterhead says...

      I have a 3-year-old Theodore! Named after my great uncle Thaddeus. We call him Teddy and it’s perfect for him.

    • Hannah says...

      I have a Theodora! She gets called “Teddy” or Thea. At the moment she’s 3.5 and just LOVES to be called Teddy. Thea will probably be used more when she’s older. I don’t know a single other Theodora. We also love the name meaning – “gift from God.”

    • katie says...

      i have a (girl) rowan! but i can name like 6 total, including random IG people, so i don’t know that’s it’s THAT common! :)

  130. My daughters names are Mira and Calla. Calla we loved just because of the flower but then learned it also means beautiful in Greek. My mother’s name is Almira so that was our original inspiration for Mira. Then we learned that Mira has meanings in several languages, including wonderful, peace, female ruler, and ocean! It also means Look in Spanish so we get a lot of attention when we call her name on the playground :)

  131. Rachel says...

    Ah, we did NOT get the memo that everyone and their brother would be named Sebastian from around 2010-2015. My kid is one of three in his preschool, and now he introduces himself (even outside of school) as “Sebastian [LAST INITIAL]” (which is admittedly pretty cute). Oops! Darn you, collective unconscious!

  132. Amy says...

    We also are of the “thinking of baby names is a blast” crew. We have an Eleanor/Ellie and a Clara, both of which are in the 40s (Claire). They are both named after older family members; it seems like names make a comeback every other generation!

    • Leanne says...

      We also have an Eleanor/Ellie. I’ve loved the name for soooo long, and I questioned it when I was pregnant as it seemed to be making this huge comeback. There’s such a huge influx in Ella/Ellie/Allies at daycare that she refers to herself in her sweet two-year-old voice as “Ellie-nor,” which is adorable.

  133. Hope says...

    Name trends are so cool. I went to elementary school with five girls named Sarah and that name isn’t on the list anymore (I’m 30).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, it’s so fascinating! i was in school with so many kristens and jennifers and lisas, and now you NEVER hear those names!

    • Sarah says...

      I’m a Sarah and I completely agree with this. I couldn’t go anywhere (classmates, teammates from soccer, other girls from dance) without there being at least 2 other Sarahs. I was always Sarah [INITIAL] everywhere I went. And now Sarah isn’t even on this top list! So neat.

    • leia says...

      I think Sarah is such a beautiful name, and I didn’t grow up with many of them. So classic!

    • Louisa says...

      I remember my mom (Linda) telling me “I used to wonder what people would call me when I was grown up – because Linda is a little girl’s name!” I was shocked. It’s just so hard to know how a name will “feel” when these babies are grown up!

    • Sarah says...

      I am also an 80’s Sarah, went to a small school with six other Sarahs in my grade, and am shocked that it isn’t on the top list anymore!

      Although, I have to say, I love the classic name (Sarah pride!) and always considered its popularity a blessing. It forced us to differentiate – we couldn’t rely on a name, so there was an added pressure to figure out what made us unique.

  134. Jane says...

    I love the names Margo (my late aunt’s name, although her full name was Margarite), Stella, and Lily for girls, and Brooks (my dad’s name) and Daniel (my husband’s name) for boys. My name is Jane, which I’ve never liked – I always wished my name was Elizabeth. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to like my name. Very few people have it since it’s pretty old-fashioned – it spiked in popularity in 1947!

    • Yes!!! I have a 5 year old daughter Jane Louise! We love the name Jane. It’s smart, simple, classic but unusual nowadays!!

    • Jessica says...

      I LOVE the name Jane! It’s my mom’s middle name and if I’m every lucky enough to have a baby and she happens to be a girl, the name would definitely Jane.

    • Louisa says...

      Jane was my first choice – oh how I love that name!!

  135. Emily Crowder says...

    My daughter’s name is Ada Frances; Ada because we wanted her to have a brave, smart role model (Ada Lovelace) and Frances just because we loved it and wanted her to have a name to grow into. My partner and I were relieved to have a girl, we found boys names are so much harder to choose.

    Isn’t it funny that we think of them as baby names and lean towards cute things but they will spend most of their lives with these names as adults? There were a few names we liked for a baby boy or girl that didn’t seem to fit a grown up.

  136. Danielle says...

    Oh no, Penelope is becoming popular!!?? I finally got my husband to agree on that if we have a girl.

    My favourites are Annabelle or Clara for a girl, Freddie for a boy. When discussing we have to make sure the name sounds good in both an American (me) and English (him) accent!!

    • J says...

      I don’t even want a kid, but Penelope has always been my secret girl name. HA! Penny <3

  137. Molly says...

    I have a Penelope Jane who is 5.5, an Eloise Mae who is 3, and a Theodore Michael who is 15 months. I don’t really care if the names become popular, I really love them regardless :). Penelope is certainly gaining in popularity! Luckily my husband and I agreed on most names pretty easily but the two youngest weren’t named until about an hour before leaving the hospital, I needed to really make sure I had the right name! Even though I’m 98% certain I’m done having babies I still think about which names I would use if we were to have a fourth :).

  138. Andrea says...

    My husband and I are expecting our first (sex unknown) in August and are currently struggling with boy names (we have a girl name picked!). I told some of his family one of the options on the weekend and was attacked! They all laughed and said that he would be made fun of with a name like ‘Rufus’. Definitely not sharing any other names now :)

    • Brittany Smith says...

      I love that name! And the nicknames would be adorable, too! Good luck choosing :)

    • Patricia says...

      Congratulations! What about August? Or Leo? Our girls would have been Milo and Oliver had they been boys. I also love Rufus. And Romeo. So many good ones!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg i LOVE the name rufus!!!!!!!

    • LAETITIA RETTORI says...

      I love Rufus!! And yes, I learned not to share names before, once the baby is born, they won’t be able to make comments anymore. I have two boys named Oscar and Henri, and I also love Atticus, August, Tristan and Victor, if you’re looking for ideas :)
      Congrats!!

    • Heather says...

      I got such a weird response to one of our twins’ names. When I told my mom (before our girls were born) that I was naming one of the babies Antonia (after my favorite feminist historian Lady Antonia Fraser), she was completely silent for a few moments and then just said, “Hmm. Interesting choice.” Later, after the girls were born, the first thing my father-in-law said when he heard the name was, “No, you can’t name the baby Antonia.” He told us that in South America (where he’s from), it’s a “low-class” name. My husband and I told him we weren’t concerned about our baby being considered “low class.” Several weeks later he asked us whether we’d come up with a new name for her, yet!! Not kidding! For a long time he refused to call her by her full name, and only called her Annie or Anna. She goes by Anna, now, but I can remember being in that baby blues newborn haze thinking, Is someone seriously criticizing my baby’s name right now? I still puzzle over it, because I think Antonia is a beautiful name and I didn’t expect that reception.

    • Andrea says...

      aw, thanks for the support! my husband, who is convinced the baby is a boy, already calls the baby “roof” (nickname for rufus)! hah. Do you think it’s weird if we call the baby Rufus despite all of the teasing from family?

    • Heather says...

      Andrea, have you read “slam” by Nick Hornby? Definite vote for Rufus.

    • Andrea says...

      and, Heather, that is horrible! kind of my nightmare

    • Stephanie says...

      Rufus is lovely! Rufus Sewell is a dream too…

      And Heather – what a horrible story! I like Antonia, from the Willa Cather novel. I hope she falls in love with the name one too, despite her grandad!

  139. Erin says...

    I wanted a not-so-popular name, and didn’t choose Avery because of it’s popularity, although I think it’s beautiful. We named our daughter Hazel, and I do think it’s starting to rise in popularity.

    • Erin says...

      *its popularity

  140. Alicia says...

    Our baby’s name is Wolfi – short for Wolfgang. We got some grief for this name – but we love it. My husband is Austrian – we met and got married there and wanted our baby’s name to reflect our history together.

    • Emily Crowder says...

      Oh, I really like that name, both variations of it :)

  141. Colleen says...

    Yes I’ve read that if you think you’re coming up with a unique baby name, others are probably thinking the same thing too. I think it’s interesting that now there is so much more variety in baby names that even if you have the most popular name you will share it with significantly fewer people than #1-named babies of the past. (Think of the times when men were all John, Robert, James, etc. There were like 5 names!) This takes off some of the pressure if you really like a popular name. :)

  142. Meghan says...

    I love this! So fun to ready :) I’ve always loved the name, “Gemma”. But I guess that’s pretty close to that number one…we don’t have kids yet, so it’s all up in the air :)

    • Daniela says...

      How funny, Gemma is the name I have been set on since high school as well :) Love that name.

    • Caroline says...

      Gemma is my all time favorite as well! I feel like it’s the spunkier version of some of my favorite but way too popular names like Emma, Elle, etc.

  143. Kali says...

    I have a Maci Mae and Ivy Dae. I like that neither are popular, neither are after anyone in our family and neither have any ties to our family history or nationalities. We just liked the way they sounded. The husband actually came up with Ivy and then hated it. I, of course, loved it and spent six months convincing him to come back around.

    • Meredith says...

      I LOVE the name Ivy; it would definitely be at the top of my list but it doesn’t work with my last name (it would sound very close to ivy league, and no one needs that kind of pressure or teasing potential).

  144. I like Berlin for a girl. My middle name is Lynne and I spent a lot of time living in Germany, so it is special to me even though uncommon!

    • Megan says...

      I met my husband in Berlin and ALWAYS suggest that for a middle, but he flat out refuses. Frustrating! Wish we didn’t have to get on the same page here, ha… But you should go for it, so cute.

  145. Clare says...

    We have Henry (almost 6) and Charles (Charlie) who is 20 months. They are pretty classic names for little guys, not at the top of any popularity list, and work with our very long last name (that was a tough match). It’s funny to see Henry at 22 – back in 2011, I think it was closer to 60.
    I loved thinking about girls names when I was pregnant – my favorites were always Hazel and Adeline. I have friends who have little girls with those names now (with no encouragement from me) but I’ve already heard many more Henrys and Charlies at the playground and at school.

    • Angela says...

      My son is Charles Henry but we call him Henry. Such great boy names. :)

  146. Karen says...

    I always feel a twinge of happiness when I don’t see my girls’ names on this list (ages 5 and 4): Maggie (Margaret) and Annette.

    • Cara says...

      Love the name Maggie!

    • Stephanie says...

      Annette is my mom’s name. She’s not too fond of it, but it’s so beautiful! Given that Ann names, and -ette names are always popular, I’m surprised by how rare it is.

  147. Sarah Beth says...

    Oohh I love love love talking about baby names. We named our daughter Alice, which seems to be the white whale of a totally ordinary name but also one that no one is using these days. There are a handful of little Alices, but usually we hear that it’s someone’s grandma or great aunt. We settled on her name early in my pregnancy and never looked back!
    Since we didn’t know the sex of our baby, we also picked a boy’s name, which we’ll use if we have a boy next time. The only hold up is our boy name is the last name of one of my coworkers, whose first name is Alice! Is it too weird to have our kids named coworker’s first and last name? For what it’s worth, her last name is a totally traditional (Jewish) name, like Jacob, and not specifically last name-y, like Montague or Smith.

    • Monika says...

      If you love it, go for it! You are not likely to work with this person forever, but you’re always going to say your kids name!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree, monika! :)

    • cgw says...

      My mom got her English name from her older siblings. When she was very young they took her to see the film Alice in Wonderland and she cried so hard when Alice fell through the hole, they teased her and started calling her Alice. She took it for her official English name after growing up with it as a nickname. :)

  148. Lauren E. says...

    My husband’s grandfather was named Conrad so even before we got married, we thought, “That will be our son’s name, for sure.” And now I swear, every kid is named Conrad!

    I also find myself leaning toward musical names… Levon, Layla, and Lennon are some current favorites.

    • Theresa says...

      Our son’s name is Konrad!
      We checked it’s popularity before he was born (below rank 600) to avoid a very popular name but it has become more popular since. Objectively, it’s still pretty far from the top 100s.

    • Summer says...

      Levon, as in “Levon Helm”? I love that name :) My son was born a month after Levon Helm past away and I really pushed for Levon to be his first name….My husband shot it down :( I then suggested Levi, so that is what we went with.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Aww love that, Summer! :)

    • Lauren E. says...

      Although yes, we’re both fans of the Band and Levon Helm, the name Levon initially came up because my husband and I go to karaoke with my dad all the time and Levon by Elton John is one of my favorites. I guess once you’ve belted out, “And he shall be Levon! And he shall be a good man!” enough times, you start to believe it. But then we paired it with my dad’s name (Levon Charles) and it just fit so perfectly.

    • Summer says...

      Great story about your son’s name! Thank you for sharing it :)

  149. Noemi says...

    My kids names are Vedder (after Eddie) and Isla. Vedder obviously isn’t a popular name but we loved it and who doesn’t want to be named after a rockstar? And Isla is popular but so pretty. We wanted names that were easy to say and would work in French, English and Polish.

    • Kali says...

      I LOVE the name Vedder!

    • Rachel says...

      I’m expecting our second and Isla is at the top of the list if it’s a girl. We’re having trouble coming up with the perfect middle name though. The other top contender is Alice Lee, our mothers’ middle names.

    • Tracy says...

      My husband is obsessed with Eddie Vedder & Pearl Jam. Our dog’s name is Eddie, and if he could have I think my husband would’ve named one of our kids McCready or Stone. :)