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. Sarah says...

    We have a 2 year old called Celeste Eleanor, we receive lots of positive comments from people on the name Celeste. Not that it matters to us, we love the name, but here in Australia it’s not one you hear very often. Choices for baby number 2 seem a bit daunting, but I think I might be able to get away with Hazel, if I can convince my husband to love it as much as I do! Otherwise, Henry for a boy is a long time favourite. Henry Vincent.

    • I love the name Celeste. My Mom always tells me about knowing twins growing up, and how one was named Celeste and the other Anne, and she always felt for the one named Anne.
      Have you ever read the Ernest and Celestine children’s books? They’re lovely.

  2. Tasha says...

    What perfect timing! I’ve loved pouring over the names everyone is sharing. It’s a bit of a sacred experience choosing a name for our children, isn’t it?

    I’m expecting my second – a surprise boy! After much deliberation, we’ve decided on the name Walden, like the pond that inspired the writings Henry David Thoreau. It’s our hope that it’ll inspire him to always seek his own path in life and find joy in simple living and natural surroundings. It was important to us to give him a name that was meaningful to us as well as familiar and somewhat uncommon. It feels classic Americana to me.

    I’ll be giving birth to him in Tokyo, so we will choose a Japanese name/word for his middle name as an ode to this really special time for our family and to honor his birthplace. For that, I think we’ve landed on Enso! It’s the circular symbol that is often represented in Zen Buddhisim and while it has several different interpretations and meanings, I love that it represents the beginning and end of things as well as interconnectedness. Since he will be our final family member, that seems really fitting :)

    His big sister is Mirabelle. The name just sounds so sweet and delicious to me! She’s my little plum!

  3. PS just have to add that I love your nod to Shakespeare with Beatrice!! I love Portia from Merchant of Venice (and argued long and hard for Penelope, Athena, and Sebastian), but Juliet was the only Shakespearean name we could both agree on. Go figure that we did end up with a nod to the Greeks with our little Matthew Ajax!

  4. My children are Abigail, Juliet, Isaac, Luke, Nathan, and Matthew. We did go a little crazy with the middle name of our final child and so he’s Matthew Ajax after our favorite ski mountain. ? I always loved the name Eleanor but by the time I finally talked my husband into it, we had four boys in a row!

    • Brooke says...

      I love all of your children’s names. Classic but not boring.

  5. katie says...

    i LOVE names! i still have the running list note on my iphone from when we were naming our daughter, including names we loved but wouldn’t use for whatever reason, just in case we came back around to them later.

    we have a rowan and a scout and i just love their names so much!

    • Helena says...

      Scout is beautiful!

  6. Jessica says...

    Being named Jessica in a time when that was the number one name, my aim was to not have my kids have names that everyone had. One year in elementary school, there were four Jessica’s in my class! I wasn’t looking for obscure, just not the top ten.

  7. Malina says...

    We have Hazel Plum and Nigella Lemon-whom we call Jelly. Nigella is so beautiful in print, and she can use the nickname Gella when she’s older, if she likes. The girl’s got options! Our boy is Wallace Farmer (Wally). If you’re debating an unusual name–go for it!

    • I love the nickname Jelly for Nigella! How adorable <3

    • JB says...

      WIthin 5 seconds I went from “Nigella” is weird to it sounding like a power-woman name. Totally can picture of Nigella CEO of the future. Love it!

    • Malina says...

      Thank you Constance & JB!! Nigella was a tough sell with the hubs, but hearing her little preschool friends yell “Nigella!” makes my heart swoon.

    • Carley says...

      We have a Wallace JJ, but she’s our daughter! And we love her name. Strong and unique!

    • Malina says...

      Wow, Wallace does sound feminine when you think about it a bit. Reminiscent of Iris, one of my favorite girl names. Neat!

  8. Joanie says...

    Can we get a shout out for Joan? I am 66 and well, my name has been lost in history. Would be SO happy to find some Joanies out there before I pass on.

    • jessica says...

      haha, I know a 26 year old Joanie :)

    • Em says...

      I think with how popular Joan Didion has been the past several decades, the name will endure :)

      It’s a beautiful name!

    • lindsay e says...

      I have a college pal who has a baby girl (she’s maybe 18 months old) named Joan. They call her Joanie. It’s so sweet!

    • Jill says...

      My daughters name is Joan. She is 4 years old and is pround to be a Joanie. Now i‘m looking for a simliar name for her sister which will be born in Oct.

  9. J says...

    Thank you for this post, this may sound weird but I get sucked into the rabbit hole a lot of the times reading name lists and I think MAN THERE ARE A LOT OF BAD NAMES,and I start getting irritated… irritated to the point you described in your other post where you want to rage punch something when someone scream sneezes (LOL). Then I start to think am I over thinking it?? But every once in a while a little gem pops up. I like some of the ones from that list. Evelyn is really cute, especially with the nick name Evie or Eve. Another one I have really been liking lately is Helena (pronounced Hel-ey-nah). For boys I like Jonah, Isaac and Hector.

    • Helena says...

      Ohh, finally, after going through hundreds of comments, someone mentions my name! I am Portuguese and growing up I was always the only Helena and I always found it very unique. I like my name, but in Portugal it is not popular at all :) Hope you name your future baby girl Helena ;)

  10. Amy says...

    My 9 year old daughter is Vivian; a lovely timeless name borrowed from a movie about a pretty woman with a timeless profession! ;)

    • Em says...

      I adore Vivian.

  11. Jennifer says...

    My daughter’s name is Hadley Delphine and my son’s name is Jack. Yes, my husband and I are Hemingway fans. When I was pregnant with my daughter and didn’t know the gender, we always referred to her as Bumby.

  12. Escondista says...

    My husband and I were calling out names for our daughter and I yelled, “Shoshanna!” and he replied, “god bless you!”
    and he peeked into the room and said, “What about Sasha?”

    So we have Sasha!

    • Cara says...

      HAHAHA this is too funny!

  13. Sarah says...

    I never minded being one of many Sarah’s in my class. I do mind that I have the same name as my mother, though personal cell phones have largely eliminated the need for clarification about which Sarah. I also married a man named after his father, so we’re used to having many people with the same names. But that took the pressure off of having to find original names, I think. We have a Louisa (Lou most of the time, though she will tell you it’s “Ooweeza”) and a Grace. Love both of the names!

    • jessica says...

      I like your point of view. It seems like today, with the internet and these sorts of lists readily available, that the worst thing in the world is to have a popular name :)

  14. Rose says...

    Girl: Mayla and Zara
    Boy: Gavin and Dylan

    But we adopted our children when they are older than infants and they came with names that I felt were too important to replace. No regrets as their names are beautiful and special! <3

    • Rachel says...

      This is so sweet, Rose. You also have a lovely name!

  15. Anna says...

    My sons are Julian and Oliver – I still love both of those names. If I had had a girl, I would have named her Halina!

  16. Tina says...

    My kids are already 14 and 11 but if I had to do it all over again, I’d name my daughter Isla and my son Leo or Gunnar.

    I tend to use names that I loved or didn’t get to use on our pets. Before we had children, I told my husband that I loved the name Olive. He hated it so when we got a cat, I named her Olive. I did love the name Sadie but didn’t name our daughter it so now we have a dog name Sadie. I guess that is one way of using up all the names I love.

    • I do the same thing with my chickens!

  17. Okay. I’m a huuuge name nerd, as we like to call ourselves, so the release of the SSA list in May is like my Christmas. But, even better than the SSA list, is Nameberry’s “Playground Analysis.” https://nameberry.com/blog/2016-baby-names-the-playground-analysis Please, please, please give it a look, if you love names or are naming a baby this year. It gives great insight into the actual popular names by looking at combined spelling data. My own name, Madelyn (relatively rare in the 1980s when I was born), moves from number 62 on the SSA list to number 14 on the Playground Analysis list!

    Also, another cool and helpful article from Nameberry: https://nameberry.com/blog/most-popular-baby-names-in-every-state#more-50245 It looks at the most popular names state by state. If you’re concerned about popularity, you might want to reconsider Mia if you live in California, or Henry if you live in Minnesota.

    • Madelyn, thank you so much for the shout-out! xxx Nameberry

    • Jen says...

      Agreed about NameBerry! My favorite name site will always be Swistle, though. I don’t have any kids but I read her entire blog over the course of a few months! Pregnant folks write in with their baby name issues and she writes back and then when the baby is born she updates with the name/s that they chose! https://www.swistle.com/babynames/

    • Yay other Name nerds! I read Nameberry, Swistle, and Appellation Mountain every day!
      Despite being 21 and not in a relationship :P

  18. Kerry says...

    I love reading lists of names and hearing what other’s choose. Our seven year old daughter’s name is Georgia Elizabeth, after her grandfather and grandmother – one on each side. We didn’t realize how rare (um, unpopular!) it is. We think it’s a classic, beautiful name and love that we can call her Georgia, Georgie or George (which we do surpringly often!) And no shortage of great songs about Georgia.

    Just funny to see a name like Brooklyn in the top fifty and Georgia isn’t even mentioned in the slew of comments I read. If thinking about using it we love it and so does she (except the George part, she’s not crazy about that!)

    • Sarah says...

      We have a Georgia! We call her Georgie a lot too. I had to talk my husband into it, but I’ve loved it for years and of course now we can’t imagine her being called anything else. :)

    • Kate says...

      We are pregnant with our second and considering the name Georgia!

  19. Sarah says...

    Both sides of my husband’s family and a faction of my family are from Norway. Our kids are Malin, Viggo, and Aksel. All are Scandinavian names and go well with our Nordic surname. I love that they are unique and have a connection to our heritage.

    • Krista says...

      I am first generation Latvian and my son’s name is Aksel (a name I’ve always loved and for my great uncle Aksels, who did not make it to the US after Soviet occupation during WW2.)

  20. Melissa Stafford says...

    We adopted our daughter from foster care and she has 3 names, one her birth name, one from me and her father: Niah Lennon Olivia. Together they mean a life filled with purpose, love and peace.

    • beks says...

      a beautiful combo for a lovely little lady, l’chaim.

  21. Morgan says...

    I love these lists, too. Every time I’ve been pregnant my name criterion is that it is not in the top 100 ?

  22. Kristen says...

    Pace is our baby boy’s name. We found it in a baby book and chose it because it means peace (and is easy to spell and isn’t common). I love how everyone always remembers his name!

  23. Erin says...

    Our sweet 4 year old is named Tavia Lila. We call her Tavi. I was unsure at first but love it now.

  24. Holly says...

    I’m giggling at the name Alexa, imagining the confusion it must cause in houses with an Amazon Echo.

    • jill says...

      A friend of mine is named Alexis and she had to change the name on her Alexa!

  25. Ern says...

    My sweet 4 year old is named Tavia Lila. I call her Tavi.

    • Cara says...

      Love the name Tavia. I also like Talia.

  26. Amy says...

    While my children may have had to use their last initials to distinguish themselves in the 80’s, they are the only Adam (9), Sarah (6) and Rebecca (6) in their school (not counting the faculty!). Turns out the common made them unique!

  27. Tyler says...

    I could read these ALL DAY. My husband and I had 20+ girl names we could agree on but struggled to find a common ground for a boy’s name. My husband was adamant that the name must be pronounced the same way in both of our cultures but that further restricted our short list even more. In the end, we named our son Julien Matta (as a compromise, the french spelling of Julian) and Matta is Arabic for Matthew. The name is still perfect for our little guy– no nicknames but short & sweet.
    I still love Henri, Elias, Hugo & Olivier. For girls, I swoon over Natalia, Anna, Marta, Camilla, Garnet, Lydia & Leila.

  28. EC says...

    Ok here’s my dilemma…advice appreciated.

    About 3 months into our relationship I found out that my boyfriend wanted to name his first son after his father. First middle and last and the kid would be a “second”. I come from a family where all the men have the same first name so I get it, but this is the FULL name. On top of it, it’s honestly an awful name especially for a kid nowadays. I would never use the first name or the middle name ever and all nicknames except for maybe the initials (which i still don’t like but at least I don’t hate?) are terrible. I’ve googled all nicknames out there for this and nothing is good. (Sorry I don’t want to say the name since it’s not common and too identifying but trust me you guys.)

    Now since I found out my boyfriend has been pretty clear this is a “dealbreaker” for him and that he has always wanted to name his son after his father blah blah. I am fine with either using the first OR second but not the full, because then we could call the kid the name we both like. He’s so stubborn about this though and won’t even hear it.

    It’s sounds ridiculous on both our parts – for him how stubborn he is and for me how much I can’t get past it. It seriously keeps me up at night because I know when I’m pregnant I will dread having a boy because of this and I will be so sad to truly hate his name and be embarrassed by it and that is seriously awful. I know I need to talk to him before he pops the question for real and it’s not about the name as much as it’s a non-negotiable for him to consider anything else and nothing this “trivial” (meaning we aren’t talking about faithfulness or even religion/politics…) in a relationship should be a non-negotiable.

    I also think it’s nuts that his side gets 100% of the name. His dad is wonderful, but hey, so is mine :)

    Anyone have any advice? I know I just need to talk to him about it because he feels so strongly and I’ve broached this subject 3 times now and after an hour end up being like okay fine. But it’s not fine. It’s really the most difficult part of our relationship for me (although I don’t know if he knows this haha and I realize if this is the worst part of our relationship it’s not so bad lol)

    Has anyone been in my shoes?? Help!

    • jill says...

      Honestly, if he couldn’t compromise on something as important as my son’s name, I would have an issue with it. But I’m definitely not a fan of juniors, etc. and only use family names as middle names. I’m a big believer in children having their own name and not having to live up to being named for a relative. Just my humble opinion…….

    • I’ve never had a baby or been in your shoes, but I read a lot about the family dynamics of naming kids because I find it really interesting- so I hope you won’t mind if I add some thoughts. :)
      I think you’re right and that the ‘ultimatum’ he’s setting up is exceedingly unfair. You’re both having a baby (technically you’re having a baby, but we should give him a little credit for his contributions :) ) and so you both get a say into what said baby is called.
      There’s no reason why he 100% gets to choose the name- that’s not how relationships (or parenting) works. Of course you get to hold on to finding a name that you like- the name needs to be one that you both like! It’s fine for one person to like it more, but his willingness to override your deep feelings about the baby inside you is crazy.
      It sounds like you’re willing to compromise and he is saying that he isn’t. But he needs to. Maybe you can have his Dad’s name in the middle spot. Or give him a first name that honors his dad in some other, more abstract way.
      Alternatively, you could turn the tables and absolutely insist that the child be named after your father, and that anything else is a deal breaker.
      Best of luck!

    • Cara says...

      That is pretty unfair, I agree with you. I think that you need to talk to him and come up with some sort of compromise. The compromise could be using only part of the name, or if he just cannot let it go, and you did decide to have multiple kids, you 100% get to choose the second kid’s name, no questions asked.

    • Hannah says...

      Could you use his full name as a formality but call him something else? For example, pretending his name is Edward Stuart Cole Jr. (use his full name on paper to appease the father) but call him Teddy (so you do not cringe every time you say his name)?

    • JMarie says...

      I had a friend with a similar predicament, but waited until right after the delivery to tell her husband that they weren’t naming the baby after him. She figured he couldn’t say no to her so soon after birthing a kid. Maybe not the healthiest of ways to deal with it, but it worked! The baby is not named after the father.

    • Cassie says...

      I would encourage you to politely and calmly stick to your guns on this one. Parenting is going to have so many difficult trials throughout the years so if this issue can’t even be a discussion, that would be a red flag for me. It’s clearly very important to you as well as to him, so one spouse shouldn’t be able to just put their foot down like he’s attempting. I think it’s critical that you let him know how big of a deal this is to you too — it could be that he’ll soften a little once he hears that it’s the biggest issue you see in your relationship. One way to communicate that might be by explaining that yes you hate the name, but it’s more about how the conversation and conflict is playing out in a manner that doesn’t seem healthy or constructive. Good luck! You can do it!

  29. Liz says...

    I have a son (Cameron) and a daughter (Hillary). I’m kind of surprised that Hillary hasn’t become more popular in the last couple of years! We are Canadian and didn’t name her after Hillary Clinton (although I was rooting for her in the election). My hubby and I just liked the name back in 2010…we just had to decide one “l” or two and went for two so that we could call her “Hill” for short!

    • Liz says...

      Thanks Amy for the link below…it was a really cool read! And yes, despite what the article says, I still love the name “Hillary” and my daughter gets such a kick out of the fact that her name means “cheerful” even though she can be grumpy sometimes!

  30. Amy says...

    I feel like the name Susan is due for a comeback. It was my mom’s name (born in the ’40s when it was super-popular), so I’m biased, but it’s classic, hasn’t been popular in ages, and Susie is just such a sweet nickname!

    • When you’re learning English as a second language, there is ALWAYS a character called Susan. Yet after living 15 years in the English speaking world, I don’t think I know a single Susan.

    • My middle name is Susan, after my aunt (who is a wonderful person!)
      I very much like theme, and the nickname Susie! It reminds me of the character in Calvin and Hobbes, which is of course a positive.
      Susana and the French Suzanne are also lovely.

    • Rae says...

      We considered Susannah for our daughter. I agree the Susan, Suzanne, Susannahs are due for a comeback. Such lovely names.

  31. Brittany says...

    My mom gave me a quintessential 80’s name (seriously- have you ever met a 70 year old Brittany?) so I was determined to use “timeless” names for my identical twin girls. We were obsessed with the show “Parenthood” and I always said that I wanted to be a Braverman… so now we have a Hattie and a Nora. We’ve met a few Nora’s, but no Hattie’s thus far!

  32. Grace Geiger says...

    I love these lists! In ’08 I told my then boyfriend that I’d want to name a future son Arlo. He hated it, so when we got married, he got me a cat and named it Arlo. Sadly, the cat died after only a few months, but having him around warmed my husband up to the name. ?Now we have our 3 year old Arlo and I couldn’t be happier! We did have some awkward conversations during my pregnancy about how the baby wasn’t named after the dead cat per se.

    • Lauren says...

      Wow! I was surprised to read this as the first comment – I have a 1 year old Arlo. I’m not sure where I first heard the name, but I thought it was so unique… until the day after he was born and the nurse said, “that’s the third Arlo born here this month!”

  33. Leah says...

    My name has broken the top 50???

    • Leah says...

      Seriously what is happening! I’ve only ever met MAYBE 3 other Leahs in the past 28 years.

    • Katie says...

      My kindergartener has three Leahs in her class of 28 kids (one is spelled Lea, but pronounced the same). Definitely a very popular name in the 5 and 6 year old set.

  34. Courtney says...

    We just welcomed baby number four. With each pregnancy we chose not find out the sex until delivery. We had a few girl/boy names at the ready for each one but felt like we had to meet them and see their little faces first before deciding on their names. I knew if we ever had a boy, he would have Craig as a middle name after one of my twin brothers who’d passed away. Our seven year old is Landon Craig. My five year old daughter is Lila Nell. Lila is my mother’s name, whom was named after her mother’s twin sister. Nell was my grandmother’s middle name. Our two year old daughter is Sawyer Wren. My husband looked at her and said she looked like a Sawyer. He wanted the name Ella, originally. Our four month old is Finley Reece. We thought we would call this baby Hudson for a boy and Finley for a girl but after seeing him, decided on Finley(Finn). It means fair- haired warrior and suits him because he’s the only blond baby I have.

  35. Karin says...

    I find it hard to believe there aren’t any Hispanic names in this list. I know Social Security must be accurate, but at least for boys, I’d expect to see Juan or Jose or something like that, considering that the fastest growing group of people under 18 are Hispanics.

    • Amy says...

      I wondered that, too. You can actually look at the most popular names by state, and when I looked at my state (California), the names I’m more used to hearing on the playground showed up. Really interesting to see how the names differ state by state!

    • I was doing some reading earlier and apparently Sofia, Camila, and Sebastian are increasing in usage in par due to the hispanic population- but I agree, I live in a heavily hispanic neighborhood and the names I hear most commonly aren’t listed.

    • jessica says...

      Isabella, Ava, Sophia/Sofia at least are crossover names… agree that the boys’ side was a little surprising.

  36. Alison Briggs says...

    Great timing on this post! I am pregnant with our second and stumped for girl names! Our son is Asher and we are very happy with our choice. Different but not too different. It is becoming more popular though and was actually surprised it wasn’t in the top 50! My top pick for a girl right now is Stella. I have loved that name for YEARS and always said that would be what I would name a girl. Now that we have the chance though – I don’t know! And its getting so popular. Should I not worry about that? Its so hard to know!

    • Jackie says...

      We named our daughter Stella, after my grandmother, and she’s the only one we’ve come across in her two years so far. We jokingly call her “Stelz” and her caretaker calls her “Stellulah.” Go for it!

    • Stella is a lovely name!
      And you may also like Fiona, Delia, Iris, Willa, Pearl, Diana, Mira, or Thea?

  37. Amanda says...

    I have a daughter, Sylvia and a son, Reid. Still love theses names 10 and 7 years later.

  38. Liz says...

    I’ve been obsessed with names for as long as I can remember. I had lists even before I was pregnant. We ended up naming our daughter Annie after a special nurse who guided us through infertility treatment. It’s not a name I had ever considered but it’s perfect for our sweet Annie and everyday reminds me how grateful I am to have her. While we probably won’t get the chance to name another child I still have lists of favorites. It includes Ephraim, Paul and Walter for boys and Helen, Sara and Edith for girls. What a fun post, thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so touching, liz. congratulations on your sweet daughter! xoxo

  39. Alexis says...

    Charlotte has always been one of my favorite names and I’m almost mad that it’s making a large comeback (likely due to Princess Charlotte!) Also love Amelia and Audrey although seeing them on that list makes me like them a little less :)

    For boys, Nathan and Oliver both make the list. I love the name August which I don’t see there though

    • Leanda says...

      My son’s name is Auguste, but we live in the UK. We haven’t met another one though.

    • Tina says...

      I’m 38 wks pregnant with our second girl. Our first is named Caroline, which I adore. I love the name Charlotte for our second but really struggle with it being so popular! Caroline and Charlotte sound so good together. We’re thinking of going with Colette, similar but more unique than Charlotte.

  40. Haley says...

    We have decided to be done with one child, but if we did have another we loved one name with different gendered spellings: Sunny for a girl and Sonny for a boy.

  41. Megan says...

    Our 3 year old is named Phineas Alexander becaus my husband adores the name. I call him Finn (our compromise) and people either love it or stick with the nickname! We are stumped on boy name #2… ?

  42. Andrea says...

    My favorite girl name is Iris, but with my last name (williams) it just doesn’t work-too much “s.” Makes me so sad that I can’t use it!

    • Holly says...

      I actually think it sounds lovely!

    • Rachel says...

      I think Iris Williams is lovely, Andrea!

    • Sarah says...

      I agree, maybe reconsider? I’m a writer and very sensitive to word sounds and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought except to say it’s a lovely name! I love that it’s a flower name but is not flowery.

    • Meg says...

      No, I really like it!

    • Andrea says...

      Thanks ladies, maybe I’ll go with it then!

    • Cara says...

      I really like it too! I think it sounds perfect!

  43. Meghan says...

    We have two boys – Nathaniel is 4 and Owen will be 2 in a week. I see Owen is #23, but I know it is much higher on the list in Canada where we live. But I love it so it doesn’t matter to me. We didn’t find out gender, so at the time Nathaniel was born, if he had been a girl he probably would have been Mary. Owen would have been Isla. Neither I see on the list!

  44. Amanda says...

    Ah! The baby name game! My husband and I just went through this as our second child (a surprise!) was born last week! A boy and we named him August James – Gus for short. Fun fact! His other name was Anton, after your son. I have always loved reading about Anton here and we loved how strong it sounded. We also wanted an ‘A’ name so his initials would match mine <3 Our daughter, also a surprise, is Daphne Marigold. Her other name choice was Imogen. We care deeply about not picking common names and also picking names that do not sound childish. We loved the process of selecting names for our children!

    • Love these names! Especially MN Marigold

  45. Amanda says...

    I always check these lists in hopes that our kids names haven’t surfaced! Our goal was names that are different and not too weird. Think we hit it with Adeline and Peter. You’ve heard of them but you don’t hear them much.

  46. Katie says...

    We have an 8yo named Nora and we have always LOVED her name. Since we’ve had her, it seems like more and more of them are popping up (disappointing), but she’s never had another one in class, etc. so still not super common.

    We’re due in July with a boy and we’re naming him Elliott. Also not super popular but I’ve been seeing it more lately (or maybe I’m just more conscious of the name since we’re using it). Still not common at all where we live.

  47. Emily says...

    I have two girls, Margaux and Sabine.

    I fell in love with the name Margot when “The Royal Tenenbaums” came out, and always planned on having a Margot. I ended up falling in love and marrying a Royal (!), who also loved the movie so we agreed on Margot. Shortly before she was born I read a blog post on You Can’t Call It It and Margaux was on the list of sophisticated/sexy female names. When I read that, I felt compelled to change the spelling :) Both -ot and -aux are traditional French spellings. Margaux also has an X in her last name so we thought the double X was pretty cool.

    Then Sabine came along and she was without a name for 10 days, which felt like forever to family and friends. We didn’t feel like she fit the names we had planned: Winifred “Winnie”, Bernice “Bernie”, and Frances “Frankie”. I am absolutely in love with Sabine’s name. She goes by Bean a lot and Beanie baby. I think most people would stray away from Sabine due to one of the meanings “rape of the Sabine women” but Sabine was a region of Italy, and back then rape meant “acquire”, so really the meaning to me is just a region of Italy… not sure why they have to put that strange history into the meaning of the name.

    • I’m going to name my baby due in Oct Margaux! I absolutely love it!! We have a 4.5 year old girl, Blake too, and thought they went well together!

  48. grace in tx says...

    I really love Felicity and Summer for girl names. Honestly I haven’t given a thought to boy names but my husband really likes River (though my family groaned when he mentioned it one day!).

  49. Jill says...

    My daughter’s name is Jane…my husband picked it. Out of the blue one day, when we were waiting for her to be born, he said, “there is one name I have always loved.” I literally held my breath because I was so scared NOT to like it. When he said “Jane” ….I had tears in my eyes because I loved it so much and still do 12 years later.

    • Emily says...

      I also love the name Jane!

      When I was young, my family had a close friend, a very kind older lady named Jane. She was so sweet, and I’ll always associate that name with her.

  50. Lauren says...

    We wanted really classic names that weren’t popular. I’m a Lauren and all I ever wanted in school was to be just Lauren, not Lauren H or Lauren B or Lauren 1 or Lauren 2. There was always, always another Lauren. But we didn’t want anything unique for the sake of being different or them to spend their lives spelling their name for other people. So we have a Margaret and an Edith. We thought we might want to give Margaret a nickname – it’s a big name for a little person! But she came out with this shock of dark brown hair that stood straight up and she was just Margaret- and now that she’s almost 4, she’s got the personality to fit such a big name! We hemmed and hawed on the second, but in the end, my husband’s desire to have a house of girls that sounded like little old biddies came true. It took me a full week to warm up to the name (we waited until birth to find out the sex and I was afraid it was just too old fashioned), but I just love it now.

    • Julie says...

      Love these names and your husband’s wish is just too cute.

  51. Beth says...

    My daughter is Cory Lane and my son is Connor. When we named Connor back in 1989 there were no Connors to be found then the name began to crop up all over the place. Much to my daughters disappointment Cory is usually a boys name.

  52. Justine says...

    Joanne, I love that version of Much Ado About Nothing. I’ve watched it so many times. And I love the score – it’s just beautiful. The new version is great too btw. It was released a few years ago – contemporary setting but original dialogue. If you were a fan of the Kenneth Branagh version you may already have checked it out. We named our dog Rufus and our son Max. My husband’s name is Charlie. Basically all my boys have cute dog names :) https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/much_ado_about_nothing_2012/

    • Justine says...

      JoannA!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, justine!!

  53. Catherine says...

    My son’s name is Merlin. Did not see that anywhere….My twin daughters are named Charlie and Andrea.

  54. Em says...

    We went with Samuel for our 14 month old, and he is definitely a Sam! I love classic names, so we don’t mind too much if he is #21 on the list. As for a hopeful baby #2, I love Ray (hubby not so much), and I have absolutely no girl names because my parents-in-law named their dog my #1 girl name (maggie) : )

    • Celeste W says...

      I have an 18 month old Samuel, but we call him by his middle name, Bixby.

  55. Ann says...

    Honeysuckle! There is an english actress called Honeysuckle Weeks

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so sweet! our lovely neighbor has a little boy named huckleberry. so, so cute.

  56. Sharon in Scotland says...

    I am Sharon and have no great attachment to the name, other than it being from the “Song of Songs” in the Old Testament! It’s regarded as a bit of a vulgar name in the UK, the kind of girl who wears stone-washed denim and dances around her handbag in white stilletos.
    I don’t have children by choice, but I still have played the baby name game.
    For a girl: Isabella, Beatrice, Harper, Gabriel, Bow
    For a boy: Thaddeus, Theodore, Gideon, Luca, Caleb.
    I did get to use “Lily” when I re-named by rescue cat. She was small, white and pretty and not like the “Holly” she was called. I don’t equate naming a cat on the same level as naming a child, but it’s the closest I’m going to get to it!!!

  57. Emma says...

    I have wanted to name my daughter Ella for about two decades, and now it’s popular and you have all ruined it for me. I hate you all.

    • Megan says...

      Me too. It was my grandma’s name. Damn that collective unconscious! argh. :)

    • Cait says...

      hahaha my niece’s name is Ella and it fits her so well, but yes, EVERYONE has an Ella or an Elle or Ellie now.

  58. Jenny says...

    We have a 2 year old named Otto and a 2 month old named Marcel! We really wanted to find names that were old, short, and not very popular. People always comment on the names (especially Otto). If we had a girl, it would have been Beatrice- we loved the idea of a little Bea :)

  59. Lindsay says...

    Surprised not to see my two favorites – Hazel and Arlo – anywhere in the comments :) That’s a good sign to me! xx

    • We had Juniper Hazel Mae for our girl’s name. Love that name.

    • T Barr Segal says...

      My grandmothers’ name was Hazel. We always thought it was awful. Funny, how namesseem to go in about 100 year cycles. Her sister’s names were Evelyn and Elenor. All 3 are now popular.

    • Brianna says...

      I know someone who has a son named Arlo. His daughter’s name is Charlotte.

  60. Hanisa says...

    Girls: Amber & Ajla
    Boys: also Amber ? & Mac

  61. Danielle says...

    I have 2 boys; 24 and 11. Their names are Rudolph and Ralph. Love old names- they love their names too- no one else they know has them!

  62. Sydnie says...

    My boyfriend and I are naming our little girl Scout Patricia. Patricia, after my mom. Scout, because we think its cute and whimsical, and it doesn’t seem to be appearing on any lists yet.

    • katie says...

      our second daughter is scout! we debated for a long time, but we were too in love with it to let it go. :)

  63. Anela says...

    Four years ago, when I was a few months pregnant, I googled our secret name and was excited that not much was out there. Right before my daughter was born, I googled it one more time and was taken aback as her name is MOANA! We considered other names as I wanted something unique but now that my daughter is 3, it’s been pretty fun and no one calls her Mona anymore!

    • Malina says...

      That’s crazy! So many fun songs to sing to her! Love it! :)

  64. Our Penelope (we call her Penny) was born in 2009 and we thought we were soooo original. My husband had been reading The Odyssey and loved the idea of naming our girl after a such a crafty, clever character. Turns out it suits her all too well :)

  65. Shannah says...

    My husband and I knew that if we had a boy, we wanted to name him Luke, but we ended up having 3 girls (two of them twins). It took forever to pick their names, but I think they’re perfect for them. My criteria were that they should be unique, but not hard to pronounce based on spelling (my name is pronounced like “Shaina”, but is spelled phonetically incorrectly). We ended up going with Eve, Juliet (we call her Jules) and Clio.

  66. Kate says...

    My first is due in early September, and since picking his name — simply Grey, not Grayson — I’ve felt torn between avoiding and devouring “top name” lists. While it was important to me that he have a non-trendy name (as opposed to an unusual-for-unusual’s-sake name), we’re clearly dangerously close to one of the names on the top list. Luckily, the story behind the name gives me courage: in an attempt to Americanize a confusing last name, Grey’s paternal great-grandfather chose the name Zane, after his favorite western author, Zane Grey. So in a special way, Grey Zane is a family name! (My husband is using it as an excuse to catch me up on spaghetti westerns, too.)

  67. Sheila says...

    Joanna-

    My husband and I were deciding between Penelope and Beatrice for our daughter as well! We went with Beatrice and our son calls her Bea. It is precious.

  68. Sarah says...

    This post was so perfectly timed. We’re two weeks into a Norwegian road trip with our two babies, my parents, and my mother-in-law and while great, it has been just about as complicated as I thought it would be. This topic fueled easy, friendly conversation with all the adults for over an hour. Everyone has opinions and stories about names (obvious from the number of comments) but it’s a pretty low stakes conversation. No politics, no conflict, such a relief! Thank you!

  69. Leah says...

    Our only is named Mabel Ina Sophie. Her first two names are after beloved family members and the third name was meant to be all her own. I tried talking my husband into a more fanciful third name, like Poppy, but he wasn’t having it! The name Mabel is surprisingly polarizing – people either love it or hate it. I didn’t think the name was nickname-able, but in morphed rather naturally into Mae and Maisie.

  70. Laura says...

    My daughters are Margot and Zoe. It is a little annoying that people pronounce Margot as Mar-GOT sometimes instead of Mar-go. I feel like it should be obvious but oh well, I guess not. I knew there was a chance of that when we chose the original french spelling but I liked how it looked better. When I see Margot I think of a cute little french girl, Margo makes me think of a cute old lady. or a Mango lol
    I almost spelled Zoe like the Salinger novel, Franny and Zooey. I’m glad I didn’t though because while it looks cute I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the constant headache explaining the spelling and pronunciation. I have enough of that with Margot’s name.
    I adore both of their names so much.

    • I envision the same things with those two different spellings!

    • Celia says...

      EVERY time at the Doctor’s surgery they call my daughter in as ‘Mar-GOT last-name – drives me bonkers! I really didn’t think it was a particularly complicated name! I suppose it depends on the recognition factor, you have to have seen it written down and heard it pronounced to make the connection.

  71. Lauren says...

    I love P names for girls: Pia (but the inevitable taunting), Paz and Pascale. I like Pascal for boys as well. And, surnames as first names for either gender .

    Some of the more unique friends’ kids’ names:
    Jorja
    Kian (boy)
    Tate (girl)

    • I love Pascale for girls!

  72. Katie says...

    It’s fun reading such a variety of names, naming preferences, naming traditions, and overall naming enthusiasm.

    We have three so far–Adeline, Theodore (goes by Theo), and Eloise.

    While I do still love all of their names, I do wish I had been aware that the name, Adalyn (and its many spelling varieties), was increasing so rapidly. Now many people assume my daughter’s name is pronounced like that; its not–we pronounce her name Add-a-line (like the barbershop song, “Sweet Adeline”). I think if I had known this particular name complication at the time, I would have chosen differently.

    PS We are hoping for one or two more little ones, and Beatrice is our next pick for a little girl.

  73. Emily M. says...

    We have three kids-Rowan (boy), Niamh, & Muriel (girls). I definitely care about the popularity of a name. I had the same experience naming my son–didn’t know anyone named Rowan (other than Rowan Atkinson), but turns out there are quite a few Rowans-boy and girl-in my kids’ schools. AT least here in Seattle.
    I feel like I read an article a while back that basically said that more people are caring about their children having unique names and so even among the popular names there are fewer kids with that name than the popular names in the 1970s and 1980s.
    My very favorite girl name is Philippa, but I was never able to talk my husband into it, which I think I will probably be slightly cranky about for the rest of my life!

    • katie says...

      i have a girl rowan and know several boy rowans, but that’s because when you name your kid that, you all of a sudden notice all the other rowans around! just like buying a new car and seeing that same car everywhere you look! :)

  74. Charlotte says...

    I just looked it up and the Friends episode where Rachel and Ross name their daughter Emma was 15 years ago. Coincidence? I think not ;)

    • Celeste W says...

      Ha! Good call..

  75. For our oldest, River (2014), we didn’t know what we were having but loved the name Augustus Wade–after my great grandfather and great-great grandfather August. A few months before I gave birth my brother had a baby boy that they named August. We debated whether or not to have two Augusts in the family and decided on just River Wade. When River was finally born his feet were so big and reminded me of all the big tall men on my side of the family so I had to throw August in the mix. And that’s how we decided on Augustus River Wade.

    With our second, Finn (2016), we had a solid girl name picked out because we were both convinced we were having a girl, so we had to decide on his name at the hospital. I loved the idea of Whitney Finn Wade, since my husband climbed Mt. Whitney for his “bachelor party” before we were married. But, he wasn’t into it so we agreed on Whitman Finn Wade.

    They both have my husband’s middle name, Wade, and I love the idea of nicknames so both boys have many to choose from–Gus, Whit, Riv, Finny… I have loved seeing how their names really start to reflect their personalities.

  76. Brandi says...

    Our son is named Elliot Wilton (middle name is a family name) and I’m currently expecting a girl. We had loved (and still do) the name Coraline, but have fallen in love with the name Willa. Like Elliot, it’s uncommon but still a “normal” name (and I haven’t seen anyone mention it in their comments so I hope I’m not helping the popularity!) She will either be Willa Rae or Willa Jean (both middle names also family names.)

    As I mentioned in a reply earlier, I wish there were “regional” popularity lists, because I think what is popular nationwide can differ from what’s popular in big cities and other areas by a lot (I’m in the SF Bay Area.) As an example, Elliot is 180 in popularity right now, but my son has another Elliot in his class currently!

    • Alissa M says...

      Elliot(t) is quite popular among a certain demographic these days! Elliott was my maiden name and my six-year-old twin boys are Miles and Elliott. We run into many other Elliotts or Elliots, and sometimes when I call him someone else will turn and say, “Yes?” We also run into a lot of adult men with the name, though, so I think it has been pretty consistently but moderately popular for a long time.

    • Kendra Robinson says...

      My daughter is named Elliot Elizabeth. We thought we might call her Ellie or Elle, but she is fully an Elliot. She was delighted when we watch ET the first time and a boy was named Elliot, not realizing Elliot is typically a boy’s name.

    • Katie says...

      So funny! I just posted that we are having our 2nd in July, a boy, and will be naming him Elliott. It’s not common at all where we live and I’ve only met 1 or 2 of them before in my entire life (and both of them were recent – younger patients I treated). I’ve never met an adult Elliott.

    • Alissa M says...

      Kendra, our Elliott was going to be an Elliott whether he was a boy or a girl. ;-)

  77. I had a baby last year named Alexander. I haven’t met a lot of Alex’s despite it being such a popular name for sooooo long. It was one I knew I wanted to name my first son for a long time. I’m glad it didn’t see a huge boom while I was waiting!

  78. lisa says...

    We named our daughter Jameson Inez. I fretted over it for a long time, but it fits her to a T. Our runner ups were Margot, Cecilia, and Willa. We thought we’d call her by a nickname, but we don’t. She’s such a strong, spirited little person. We rarely run into children who share her name at all and she only occasionally gets called a boy. ;-) We had a hard time picking our son’s name. We batted around Gus, Dashiel, Otto, but my husband was smitten with Hugh. He said all the people he’d known with that name were just ‘cool.’ Just like with our daughter’s name, we’ve run into only 1 random name overlap where the person was sub-10 years old.

  79. Meghan says...

    I live in Vancouver, where almost half the population is of Asian origin. It’s very common for people here to have two given names (one English and one ethnic). As a high school teacher I’ve seen some really creative and memorable names. My current favourite is King Hong, followed a close second by Oreo Tang. I’ve also taught a Marvellous.

    Last year I taught a class with two Queenies, a Quenna and Queennie.

    Two years ago, the school body included a Windy, Rain, Summer and Stormy.

    But the best name I’ve ever come across, though, is Phillips Phillips. Not Philip Phillips, like the singer, but PhillipS PhillipS. Exact same first and last name.

    • Stephanie says...

      Amazing. I worked with many Chinese over the last 4 years, and my absolute favorite name I came across was….”Police Car.” Yes. I know.

  80. Rosie says...

    We’re in the Uk and I have 3 girls, Emma Florence, Marina Fay and Juliette Alice.

    • Ann says...

      My baby girl, due in October will be Florence. Also, my husband is from the U.K.;)

  81. I have no kids just yet, but I already know that my boy (I know I’m having a boy first or at least once.) name will be Benjamin Jacob and girl will be Isabelle Genevieve. I keep seeing boys only though!

  82. We named our now 7 month old daughter Heidi Florence Marie. I have always loved the name Heidi and since my husband is from Switzerland it made complete sense. But when we announced Heidi’s birth to all of his Swiss relatives they thought her name was a joke! Heidi is kind of a ‘fairytale’ name in switzerland and it would be like naming a daughter Cinderella here in the USA. They have “Heidi milk” and “Heidi land” etc. I still love love love the name! I love that its unique and I love that its still recognizable. The middle name is also a favorite – Florence was my grandmother’s middle name and I also loved it for a first name. But my husband would always think “Florence and the Machine” – haha! And Marie is my second middle name, and my mom’s second middle name so its become a tradition. Now my husband calls her “Heidi Florence and the Marie”! Also since my husband and I both have two middle names, we thought it would be fitting to give both of our kids two middle names too.

    • Ann says...

      Love Florence and have only seen it mentioned here a couple of times. It will be our daughter’s name- she’s making her debut in October.

    • Rebecca says...

      I always liked Heidi, but my partner is German and not having a bar of it!

  83. Kat says...

    I have a six year old named Solenne Teel. Solenne was a name we found googling “unusual girl names” (haha) and Teel is a family name (also my twin sister’s middle name).

    I, too, agonized over naming her. I have such a common name (Katherine Elizabeth) and I wanted something that was as unique and special as I felt she was going to be. She’s always going to have a hell of a time spelling it though!

  84. Erin says...

    My baby is Mathilda Jean. She’s named after her grandmothers. It’s a family name with a traditional spelling and she might hate me for it- “Mathilda, with an H” but it means powerful in battle and comes from her history. So not a popular name but meaningful and we love it!

    • Annie says...

      We named our daughter Matilda as well (no h though)! We also loved the meaning. There are so many amazing women throughout history who have had the name. It’s not super popular in US but more so in other countries. It’s been a top name in Sweden for many years…

  85. emmanuella says...

    Names and naming are so interesting! What really struck me in the comments is how many people say “I wish it wasn’t as popular”, as if your child is less special because they share a name with other people.
    It reminded me of being a child with a unique name and wanting a common name, just so I could fit in. It makes me wonder how it will affect society (if at all) if having an uncommon name is now common. Will this create more independent people? More people who feel unique? Will Starbucks misspellings become less funny? Maybe Shakespeare was wrong and a rose by any other name doesn’t smell as sweet. ;)

    • Haylee says...

      I agree! It’s somewhat striking to see how that always seems to be the goal. Personally, I have a fairly common name, Haylee. It’s funny, too, because as a child, I thought it was the neatest thing to come across someone with the same name as me. It felt like we were in a secret club together or automatic friends, something like that, so I don’t necessarily prioritize giving or having a unique name. Names do little if they aren’t backed by character, don’t they? It’s what you do that matters. And that’s why George is a memorable name, because of the first U.S. president who bore it–even if there were uncountable numbers called the same back then.

    • Katie says...

      My name is Katie.. a super popular choice of 80s babies haha. However, my real name is Katie. It is not short for anything (Katherine, Kathleen, etc). I always grew up with many Katie’s. It never really bothered me too much. My high school swim team had 5 Katie’s alone and we all just went by either our last name or a shortened version of our last name. Now that I’m in my 30s, I really don’t seem to run into them that often (or maybe most of them are going by their full name now instead..?) I do think there is a difference though between uncommon names and names that are “unique” (ie different spellings, made up names, etc)

    • Kirsten says...

      I totally agree with this! I remember being a little kid and being SO DISAPPOINTED when I couldn’t find my name on any of those keychains and license plates they sold in gift shops and gas stations, ever. I actually bought and wore a necklace with the name “Laurie” for most of elementary school (why I picked that, I have no idea) just so I could make believe I had a more common name!

      I’m trying to pick out a name for my little girl now and while I don’t think it will be one of the top 10, I don’t think I’ll stress too much about it being totally unique.

    • Janet says...

      Oh my goodness – YES! The only other women I’ve ever met with my name are my parents age and I’ve always hated it – it’s not old fashioned in a good way, just in an annoying way. All I ever wanted as a kid was my name on a pencil case/mug/key ring from the greetings card shop and to fit in. I’ve always been the tallest among my peers and the added ‘bonus’ of the strange name never felt great.

  86. shannon says...

    We love the name June! No babies yet but we always talk about having a June someday. It ticks so many of our wanted features…easy to say and spell, not nickname-able, common but not overly popular, sounds good with our unusual last name.

    I wish I had a boys name about which I felt as confident. I really love “Abram” (we once met a man named Abram at a friend’s wedding and I fell in love with the name) but my husband is strongly against it. Aaron and Adam are similar…but I dated a guy named Aaron in college so I feel a little weird about that one. I like a bunch of the other Old Testament boy names (Issac, Ezra, etc.) but none of them rise to the top for me.

    Have you ever played around on nameberry? I love the “similar names” suggestions!

  87. Amanda Brown says...

    We have a Madeleine which is much more popular if spelled Madelyn. But I was adamant it be spelled like Madeleine Albright! And we have another girl on the way that will be Cecilia. Our last name is quite short and simple, so I like longer first and middle names. Both girls have middle names from their maternal grandmothers.

    • Alissa M says...

      I’m applauding you for the Madeleine Albright spelling! Great choice for a great reason! ??

    • Madeleine Brown says...

      I can only say- what a lovely name you’ve chosen, and excellent spelling too!

  88. Alexandra Marie says...

    Ha! My husband *also* did not like Laurel, but we are expecting our first in September – a daughter named Frances Simone. I go by Alex, and my husband loves it when girls have boy nicknames, so we thought we would carry on the tradition and call her Frankie (although we also like all the other shortened versions of her name, Fran, Franny, and Francie).

  89. margaux says...

    we chose very unusual names for our girls – remember and olympia – and i wouldn’t have it any other way. for some reason, their having their own unique names, and not being one of several emmas or sophias (not hating on those names either!) in their kindergarten class, college orientation and in the workforce – mattered to both me and my husband. probably because we’re creatives. that said, our girls will probably be a lawyer and a doctor respectively and go by their middle names – jane and cecilia. ( :

  90. Its amazing to see Alexa in the top 50. As an Alexa born in 1979, I never met another one until I was 17! Now I am meeting little Alexa’s left and right. It blows my mind!

    We are also about to start the process of changing our second daughter’s name. She is too old to be doing it by conventional standards, not that changing a name is every conventional, but it would be harder to stick with her name forever. My stomach hurts every time we say her name, but it took us ages to even admit to that, let alone agree on what to change it to. It makes me really sad that we are doing this, and that we didn’t love the name we both agreed on (it was a compromise kind of far down the list, each of us forgoing names we adored), and I hope one day we will laugh about it , or at least forgive ourselves for it… but I know for a while she will be “the-kid-formerly-known-as….”

    • Alexa says...

      I’m an Alexa, too! Born in 1980!

    • Len says...

      I feel so curious about such an interesting story! Does she not suit her name? Family reasons? How old is she?

    • Sarah says...

      Is her name Isis? Another family that I know have a daughter named that and have struggled.

    • Katie says...

      I’d be interested to hear more on this also!

    • LS says...

      I hope you will take heart knowing she will be better off having a name you love and call her frequently rather than one you avoid. I’m in the same boat with my son’s name and it has been painful to know what to do. Wishing you all only the best.

    • For those inquiring, she is just over a year and a half. Extremely late to make the change, and the administration of it may be a nightmare, but I know it will give us peace of mind. Once we named her, we kept waiting to get used to saying her name, and we just never got used to it. Its not an obscure or confusing name- it just never felt right. Her day care providers (the entire center, in fact) have a nickname for her that seems to confuse her from knowing her given name, so there won’t be a real identity crisis for her as long as we finalize this soon.

  91. Elizabeth says...

    How nice to read so many beautiful names. But I have a burning question: how did the custom of naming children what I call “law firm” names become popular? And they’re so andryogenous! Harris, Hunter, Kennedy…the list goes on. Can’t you just picture a receptionist answering the phone: “Hello! Harris Hunter and Kennedy! How can I help you?” Although truthfully, most law firm receptionists just say “Law firm.” Maybe that will be the next popular name!

    • Rachel says...

      “Law firm names” — love it!

    • Sophie says...

      Haha, you have a point there!

    • Hillary says...

      I’m with you on this!

    • nanne says...

      i love the law firm name term!! :). i do know that the custom of giving a child a first name that is typically a last name has been done in the south for years.

    • Julie says...

      I think this custom most likely came from people using family names or surnames as first names. We named our son a name that likely falls into the law firm category because it was a special surname in my family tree :)

  92. Andrea says...

    I love the name Beata.

    • Ooooh, I love this name too. I knew a woman with this name from Germany. She hated it, but I love both the sound and the meaning!

    • Helena says...

      I live in Italy and in Italian Beata means ‘Blessed’. :)

  93. Johanna says...

    Henri Alexander
    It s my favorite

  94. Felicity Llewellyn says...

    I’m a primary school teacher in the UK. I found it so difficult to find a name that wasn’t already somebody elses! It’s so funny you mentioned you liked the name Sebastian. That’s what we called our eldest and we were quite smug thinking we were being quite original as we didn’t know any other boys with that name. Now I hear it often. The collective unconscious is a strange thing indeed.

  95. My oldest daughter is named Nell. Originally we loved the name Penelope but weren’t to keen on the nick name Penny, so we shortened the name to Nell- just Nell, not short for anything. I love how classic and gentle-yet-sturdy it sounds, it’s easy to read and pronounce yet uncommon enough that we don’t know anyone else where we live by the same name.

    • Helena says...

      Nell is so beautiful :)

  96. Brianna says...

    I’ve got a boy name picked out, even though I probably am not having kids: Leo Robert. My maternal grandfather’s name was Leonard, so Leo is a riff on that, and my paternal grandfather’s middle name was Robert. All of my cousins who have kids have used his name in some form, so we’ve got an Elliot Theodore (his first name was Theodore) and a Curtis Robert, so nobody’s stealing anything from anyone. On my mom’s side, it’s just my brother and I. My grandmothers are/were Frances and Minnie. I’d name a girl Frances, but not Minnie (I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad’s mom, so I can’t see naming my daughter after her and she didn’t have a middle name (she used her maiden name and it’s not usable as a first name). I would name a girl after my great-aunt Daisy, though. She was a rad lady.

    • Megan says...

      My son is Leo Francis! His great grandfather was Leonard and his great great grandmother was Frances. Many of my husband’s cousins have Francis/Frances as their middle names. Leo is now part of their “Fran Clan” (along with honorary member Pope Francis).

    • Kady Ruth says...

      Ha! I had a great grandmother named Minnie Frances, I kid you not! The Frances got passed down (my aunt and sister) but the Minnie didn’t.

    • Taylor says...

      I have a Leo Jonathan :) The middle name coming from my paternal grandfathers first name, John. I had wanted to use his middle name, Peter, for my oldest middle name, but my hubby nixed it. Apparently there was a college basketball player that had raped women, Christian Peter, and we were set on Christian as a First Name. My youngest, is Rose Elise.
      Our criteria was: easy to read/spell/pronunce, something you could see on a Dr/Lawyer/Office sign, not in the top 10 and go with my hubbys french last name. I think the fact that we both work in a field dealing with the general public made the easy to read and pronounce important for us. It drives me crazy when I’m butchering peoples names. And I have a silly/personal pet peeve with irregular/unique spellings, i.e. Replacing ‘i’ with ‘y’ or ‘ck’ with ‘x’.

  97. Samantha Klein says...

    My babies’ names! They’re a big kid and a toddler at this point, but they still have the best names: Lyra and Hannes.

    Beyond that I love all the very classic, British king boys’ names: William, Edward, Henry, George…

  98. Laura says...

    Laurel is a nice name. My name, Laura, supposedly means ‘crown of laurel leaves’ in Latin. Personally I love the name Isla, simple and fairly unique!

    • Rae says...

      I love the names Laura and Laurel. We considered both for our daughter. Isla is lovely as well! I guess I love that “L” sound.

  99. Christine says...

    My almost two year old is named Edison. It’s a reference to my dad, Edward, without being literal because my husband and I wanted our son to have his own name. We also like that it’s common in that everyone is familiar with the name “Edison” and knows how to spell it, but neither of us have ever come across anyone with that first name. He shares his middle name, Bennett, with his paternal grandfather.

  100. kristina says...

    my 1.5 year old daughter came up with the sweetest nickname for her friend. his name is Philip and she started to call him Ipie. it took us a while to figure out where has that come from :) even though it’s quite obvious when you think about it.

    • Em says...

      So cute!!

  101. Mia says...

    Growing up I was the only Mia I knew…I could never find any tchotchkes with my name on them, EVER, and now it’s such a popular name! So strange!

    My son’s name is Van. I like that it’s not a name you hear everyday but it’s also not unheard of or difficult to wrap your head around. I get wanting to give your child a somewhat special seeming name, but I say if you really like a name, go for it! Who cares if it’s #200 or #12 on the popularity list.

  102. Abigail says...

    When my mom was pregnant with me, she remembers sitting on the porch with my grandpa, and him telling her out of the blue how much he loved the name Abigail. He passed away a few months later, just before I was born. She came across my name, and was brought to tears when she read the meaning, “Father’s Joy.” Although I never met my grandpa, I will always feel a special connection to him.

    • Jessica says...

      Oh that’s precious

    • Haylee says...

      I love this, that’s just beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I hope to give my children names, too, that remind them of someone cherished in the family. Like Lou, the middle name of my husband’s nana. She passed away a few years ago but left such a legacy in the family for her love and service. I’d love to use her name in one of my children’s :)

    • Katie says...

      This is why I want a name with a family connection or a story behind it. It’s just so heartwarming.

    • Abigail P. says...

      Ha! Another perspective on our shared name (which I also love having):

      My mom told me when I was a small child that she loved the meaning of my name, “parent’s joy.” But when I was in religion class in my Catholic school, maybe around 2nd grade or so, I read that it actually means, as you know, “father’s joy,” as “Abba” is father.

      I ran home that day and told my mom the correct meaning, and I remember to this day how she looked at me for a second, rolled her eyes, and said, “yeah, that makes sense.” ;)

  103. Julia says...

    Honestly, I think almost all of the names in the list and comments so far are awful! It seems like names are recycled and used to death. It’s so difficult to find decent unique baby names these days! The online “unique” lists are kooky and why people continue to go with the boring American names kids are still being named these days is incomprehensible to me! We are running in the opposite direction from any common name that anyone has ever heard, although we want to avoid those awful variations of popular names with bad spellings! I do love the names Toby and Anton!

    • jill says...

      While I wouldn’t go as far as saying they were awful, some I just don’t comprehend. I can’t get my mind around naming a child a nickname (like Sonny, which seems to have become very popular). I believe in giving them a “full name” and letting them go by whatever they want as they grow older. This society has become somewhat entitled to say the least, and the reasoning that they pick the child’s name solely because they like it without any regard to how this child is going to react and be treated because of some bizarre name, just amazes me. I do agree with the people who suggesting imagining your child’s name on a letterhead sometime in the future………how will their name look? That said, I am enamored with baby names and this thread is fascinating in so many ways!

    • Katie says...

      Julia is a fairly common name…

      Also Jill, I have the complete opposite thought on nicknames. We named our daughter Nora, which is typically a nickname for Eleanor. I wanted her to be called by Nora, so why wouldn’t I have just made that her name instead of a “proper” name and calling her something else completely her entire life? Sonny can be a name.. it can also be a nickname. I just think if I’m going to intentionally call my kid by a nickname his entire life (and I know this before he’s even born), why would I not just name my kid that??

    • Julie says...

      I think it’s kind of funny when people get fired up about names that OTHER people use. It’s a big decision that often times is quite difficult when two people are involved in the process. There is a reason why names become popular and many of these top names are classics. I agree with your points of steering away from the tops names and also not using “unique” spellings, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say these are all awful. Plus, many of the comments made here mention using names after family members which is much more sentimental than searching for something uncommon for the sake of just being uncommon.

    • Brianna says...

      Whew. Of course names are recycled. We wouldn’t have traditions if they weren’t. My grandfather would love that two of his great-grandchildren are carrying his names (and one of his grandchildren has his name, too). I’m not technically named after anyone, but I share initials with both my uncles and the same letter sounds as several other family members and that’s important to me, too. We won’t discuss what it’s like being saddled with the initials BS, but live and learn.

  104. I’m gonna say Sebastian MIGHT be from Cruel Intentions….I don’t know about everybody else, but that was a fave of mine ;)

    • Jeanne says...

      I was thinking the crab from Ariel! But your source sounds more sophisticated, haha.

    • Rachel says...

      When I told my sister that was the name we had chosen for my son, she was like, “Oh, like Lil’ Sebastian from Parks and Rec!” Which I had not thought of, but still pretty funny.

    • Molly K says...

      And I think of Bash from Reign ?

    • Meg says...

      We loved Sebastian too, but the character Sebastian in Brideshead Revisted is so pitifully doomed we couldn’t bring ourselves to name a kid that. Once you’ve read that story there just aren’t any other Sebastians. Bummer.

  105. My son is Townes. Not a family name–he was named after my husband’s favorite musician, Townes Van Zandt. We like that it’s unusual, but gave him a very traditional middle name (Henry), in case he would prefer something easier to “get” on the first try. Yes, people need you to repeat it (sometimes more than once), sometimes ask for spelling too. When our daughter arrived the next year, we just went with a pretty name-Daisy. We think both the kids’ names suit them.

  106. My husband’s name is Matthew and he has four good friends named Matt! I was adamant about picking a name that isn’t in the top 20 so that person isn’t one of five kids with the same name in his classes growing up! We settled on Brayden which I’m still loving 8 months in!

  107. Erin says...

    We named our daughter Greta Simone, and we call her Gigi (also G, Grets, and sometimes Lil Wayne Gretsky). I am pregnant with our second girl and we are struggling with names. I’d like something that works with Greta (simple, old-fashioned). So far our top contenders are Paige, Tess, June, and Marla (although this has fallen greatly out of favor due to its association with 45).

    • Alexandra Marie says...

      We are going with Simone as a middle name for our girl, too! Though her first name is going to be Frances.

    • Hannah says...

      We have a Greta and call her Gigi as well! Definitely uncommon– if we have another girl we are completely stuck with names! We have zero ideas!

  108. Katherine says...

    My Husband’s name is Jameson and everywhere we go people are always commenting on how much they love his name. His Grandfather’s were James and Jon so his parents combined them into Jameson, and say he is named after both.

  109. Stephanie says...

    I love names! So fascinating…
    For the longest time (like, a decade) I always knew I would name my daughter Davina. There are some special Davids in my life I’d like to honour, and I love the V sound. However, my husband abhors the name (there’s a B-list celebrity in the UK named Davina who he dislikes) and refuses to consider it, so I’ve had to let it go. New girl favourites: Katja, Kiera, Zelda, Nova (oh my god, who watched Queen Sugar??), Anouk and Eden.
    As for boys… We’ve been trying to stay away from any common/Biblical names, and have Rudy, Hector, Erik, Jem and Caspian on our shortlist.
    Our kids will likely get my last name as one of their middles, and my husband’s last name as their surname. Both are noun names, so that rules out a lot of gorgeous firsts!

  110. Ann says...

    I like these names for girls…Isla…..Aoife (Irish for Eva) Niamh (Irish) Saoirse (Irish) ….Nora ( my grandmothers name) ….Margaret shortened to Maggie
    Boys….Blaize/Blaise….Theodore shortened to Teddy..
    Oisin (Irish)… James shortened to Jim….Michael shortened to Mikey….Thomas….Henry….Bowie…Creighton (my uncles name)

  111. june2 says...

    I also like the tradition (do not remember from where, but somewhere on the globe), of waiting to name a baby for one year after birth because the baby will “tell” you the name, or it becomes apparent “who” the baby is as they acclimate in the first year. my new-age leanings inspired me to ask the unborn baby what they would like to be named and wait until I “hear” the answer. I do this with a lot of questions and it always works brilliantly!

  112. Tiff says...

    My older daughter is Easton Virginia (we mostly call her EV (Evie)).. Virginia is for both of our grandmothers. We thought Evie would be more unique, but now that Evelyn is a top name, we hear it more and more. She even has another Easton (boy) in her daycare.
    Our younger daughter is Jillian Ruth (Ruth is my husband’s mom and grandmother’s middle name).. we just liked Jillian.
    We also liked Logan (for a girl), Caroline and Claire. I liked Margo, Whitney and Paloma as well and my husband did not.
    He is a Jr., so I’m glad we didn’t have to address that with boys.
    I could talk about baby names forever ;)

  113. Adrienne says...

    My daughters are Abigail and Zoe. They have best friends who are sisters and their names are also Abbigayle and Zoe. So when we are together we have Big Abby and Big Zoe and Little Abby and Little Zoe. Then thrown into the mix this year is a girl from my Abigails class and her name is Zoe!! We don’t mind though and its a fun story to tell!!

    • Abigail P. says...

      My name is Abigail and my older daughter is Zoe! Haha, I’ll be Big Abby and she can be Little Zoe. :)

  114. Aimee says...

    Our daughter, born in 2016, is named June. We still love it and don’t know any other Junes!

    • Erin says...

      My June just turned 9! I never tire of saying her name.

  115. june2 says...

    I don’t have children but have always thought I would mine science fiction/fantasy books for my children’s names – they are often really beautiful and original and if you choose carefully you can easily avoid the ridiculous. I would never in a million years give my child a common name like mary or andrew, though if your child is named conventionally I don’t mind at all. I just like originality!

  116. Lauren says...

    I’m expecting my second little boy in November. My husband and I have just started thinking of names. So far I like Julian, Ellis, Henry and Miller. He doesn’t love any of them, but so far hasn’t come up with any suggestions yet. Luckily, we still have some time.

  117. Holly says...

    I also got vetoed on Laurel!!

  118. Jenny says...

    Love talking about baby names. Our daughter’s name Tessa. My husband took awhile to come around to it, but now he loves it. The only issue is that we live in the Bay Area, and people often mishear us and say “Tesla??” No no, we did not name our baby after a car. Our next will probably be Lucy, Fiona, or Maggie if it’s a girl, but we’re completely undecided on boy names, so the comments have been very helpful for brainstorming!

    • Amy says...

      We also have a Tessa (1.5yo) :) I love it! Easy to say, easy to spell, and since our last initial is P (one kids love to tease about according to my husband and his siblings), she’s unlikely to have to be Tessa P. We also have a Claire and a Sam (not Samuel – we had a bear of a time with boys names and Sam was the only name we could agree on!) There’s a good chance Sam will have to be Sam P. though…

    • Jenny says...

      Amy, thanks for the reminder- we love the name Claire as well!!

  119. Amanda says...

    PS! A great book to read is “The Name Therapist” by Duana Taha. Such a great read about naming trends, what names mean, and why they matter to us!

  120. Amanda says...

    Even before I was pregnant, my husband and I had compiled (ok..mainly me..) a note on my phone, and any time I read or heard a great name, I would add it to my list for future reference. When I found I was pregnant, and with a boy, we realized most of my list contained many names we preferred for a girl. One day we were mentioning one of our favourite books -Zero History by William Gibson – (that we bonded over on our first date) to some friends, when we realized that the main character, Hollis Henry, was the perfect fit, and the only name we could both agree on! Hollis was born 4 months ago, and I couldn’t think of a better suited name for our little guy!

    • june2 says...

      YES. this is what I mean, this genre of writers provide the BEST names! love this one!

    • Dasha says...

      Ahhh…Hollis! Any child named after a William Gibson character is aces. If I’d had a girl I would have considered Hollis or Cayce. Maybe even Molly.

    • Julie says...

      Love this. It’s so great to have that special story behind the name and also a mutual love of the name like this! Hollis is precious.

  121. JMB says...

    I would name a girl Mary Theodora (Teddy from Little Women) and Henry Francis (Hank for Hank Aaron!). I like solid, old fashioned names. I can see a lot of cardigans in their futures. I named my car Wendy and my dog Dorothy (Dot). She has dots. : )

  122. jeannie says...

    Somehow we chose children’s names that seemed to really fit each one of our children to a tee. I don’t know if we intuitively sensed the right names upon seeing our babies or whether as we grew to know them and called them the names, they just became associated and seemed perfect – perhaps any name would have.

  123. Emily says...

    I’m 32 weeks pregnant with a little girl we plan to name Lucy. It was the first name we discussed and it stuck, but I still found naming hard. It felt like so much pressure and I wanted it to be just right. Then I read somewhere that she will inevitably go through a phase where she hates her name and yells something at me like, “Why didn’t you name me Calliope?!” or some other random name she deems better than Lucy. That idea really helped me settle into my decision and now I feel great about it!

    • Brianna says...

      I pulled that stunt on my parents when I was 7. My name is Brianna and I desperately wanted to be named Jennifer. I was born in 1982, so Jennifer was a fairly popular name during that time period and I threatened more than once to change my name. I hated having an uncommon, unpronounceable, hard to spell name. Now, at 34, I love my uncommon, still hard to pronounce, still hard to spell name. I get very excited when they get it right at Starbucks or when a souvenir store has my name on a key ring.

    • Alexandra Marie says...

      I always went by Brooke when my best friend and I used to play office, I think that is so true!

    • Lucy says...

      I’m a Lucy and I definitely did go through this phase! I wanted to be a Sophie so badly… or anything other than Lucy really. I outgrew that phase and now I rather like my name.

  124. Alexa says...

    My best friend and I have a tendency to be critical of trendy names. When we were both pregnant with baby girls (she didn’t know what she was having, I did) she called to be sure we didn’t have the same names picked. Lo and behold, we both loved Bea, but in the end, ended up naming our daughters Mary and Anne. Classics. :) I can’t believe my name is actually on this list (Alexa!)

  125. Katie says...

    This post & these comments remind me of one of my favorite lines from 30 Rock when Cerie says, “I guess. We both want to have babies while it’s still cool. I already have all the names picked out. If it’s a girl. Bookcase, or Sandstorm, or maybe Hat, but that’s more of a boys name.”

    As a teacher, I see A LOT of variations of Madison right now, as well as Emma’s and Brooklyn’s – but my favorite name of late has been Tate, whose friends call him Tateorade or Totzz (short for Tater Tot).

    • Katie says...

      oh jeeze. when this is moderated, could my typo be fixed to “whose”. THANK YOU!

    • JMB says...

      Tateorade. That’s good. I like Tate too!

  126. Jenny says...

    My husband and I have the most popular names from the years we were born. It’s never bothered either of us one bit and I often felt a kinship with other Jenny’s in school. So we had no qualms about naming our son a top 10 name when he was born last year. We have a last name that is difficult to pronounce and spell so I thought it’d be nice to have a straightforward name that caused no confusion!

    • Em says...

      Jenny is my favorite girl name right now : )

  127. asia says...

    My eldest is Nuala, and while it’s a common name in Ireland, it is not here. Even so–there is another Nuala in town! My youngest is Anastasia (we call her Annie). I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that there is now a famous character named Anastasia from 50 Shades of Grey. Ugh.

    • Dasha says...

      If it makes you feel better, One of my friends named her daughter Bella. Guess what her last name is? Swan. Guess what book came out a year after Bella was born?

    • Lauren says...

      I have a niece named Nuala. My brother picked the name after seeing fliers for Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, the Irish poet at his university (in the States). He did not know how to pronounce Nuala, so instead of calling her ‘Noola’, we pronounce her name “New-allah”.

  128. Alexandria says...

    I’m the oldest of five and my mom got more creative with us as she went down the line. I’m Alexandria Nicole, my brother is Chance, then Kazlyn Magnin Trinity (Magnin is my grandma’s maiden name, and Trinity because she’s the third child), Izabella Bleu, and Elliana Lucia Quintana (Lucia means light, and Quintana is for the district in Mexico where my parents honeymooned, and she’s the fifth child- Quint)

    • Joan Didion’s daughter was named Quintana Roo. :)

  129. Laurel says...

    My husband and I agreed to the following system of naming kids:
    First boy: husband picks first name, I pick middle name
    Second boy: I pick first name, husband picks middle name
    First girl: I pick first name, husband picks middle name
    Second girl: husband picks first name, I pick middle name

    Our son is named Frederick Neal. Frederick is after my husband’s grandfather, whose name is just “Fred”. I vetoed just “Fred” because I wanted nickname potential. My husband briefly tried to convince me to just give him the middle name of Rick, so he would be Fred Rick. Hard pass, but good effort.

    I campaigned for the middle name of Vaughn, after Stevie Ray Vaughan and also Fred Vaughn from Little Women, but got vetoed. Neal is my dad’s middle name, and is a perfect fit.

    If we have a daughter, she will be Vivian after my grandmother.

    • Cara says...

      Hahah this made me laugh. I love your naming policy! That is great. Unless your husband picks something horrible that you couldn’t live with…

    • Em says...

      My husband’s name is Neal. I love his name and the spelling but neither of us want to do a “Jr.” for our baby due in a few months. Hoping someone here has a solution! I like Peter (he says no); he likes John (I say no). “Frederick” is cute. Maybe we’ll have a girl, though–we can agree on girl names, at least!

  130. Brielle says...

    Our 8 month old daughter is named Eloise Marie. We call her Lulu as a nickname. It was so strange, when we found out that she was a girl, I instinctually knew that would be her name. The name fits her perfectly so far :)

  131. Lisette says...

    Hi, I’m from The Netherlands, and we’ ve named our kids Bobby (boy) and Fay (girl). I think these names are quite American, although Fay is a pretty popular name in the Netherlands.

    I also liked the names Tibbe for a boy and Vesper for a girl, but my husband didn’t.

    We’re both very happy with Bobby and Fay. My advice for all parents to be, would be to find names both of you adore. I know people that didn’t agree on the names they’ve given their children and one of them still doesn’t like the name of his kid. I feel that’s not only a bit sad for him, but also for this cute little person.

    X

    • Laura says...

      Bobby and Fay are beautiful names! And they sound so nice together :)

    • Hannah says...

      My daughter’s name is Fay! I live in NYC and I haven’t met another girl named Fay here. How interesting to hear it’s popular in The Netherlands!

  132. Bridget says...

    My oldest (2011) is Penelope/ Penny. Then one of the Kardashians used Penelope and it flew up in popularity. I was hoping her name would be rarer but so goes life ;)

  133. aga says...

    Name trends are interesting! I remember a lot of Megans, Rachels, Sarahs, and Andrews in high school, but not anymore!

    We are nowhere near seriously considering a baby, but picking hypothetical names is so fun! My partner is big on making sure that the name is school-proof, meaning that kids won’t be able to make fun of it. And we also have the added challenge of making sure the name sounds okay in English, Spanish, and Polish, AND that no one else in his (huge Colombian) family doesn’t already have the name. So while I like Penelope, Pene in Spanish means penis. (Which is why the short form in Spanish is Lupe). I love Valentina (but it’s already taken), and Florencia (but he has infinite jokes about that one). For boys I like Tomás (but that also means You drink in Spanish, and can easily gives way to whole slew of jokes,) Sebastián and Santiago, but those are two of the most popular names in Latin America these days. So we jockingly conclude that this is why we’re never having a baby, because she/he will end up being called Seven!

    • Florencia says...

      I am so curious, my name is Florencia (my parents are from Latin America) and other than people in the states trying to call me Flo every now and then or assuming it’s my last name, I’ve never been teased – in English or Spanish. What jokes does he have for it?

    • Ann says...

      I’m due with a girl in October and her name will be Florence.

    • Elizabeth says...

      My husband is half columbian and I love the idea of honoring his Spanish heritage. We are also at the hypothetical stage. So there are just names I have on the shortlist. Ha. For a boy, we have Javier, Alejandro, Diego & Mateo. And for a girl we have Valentina (nickname Vivi), Xiomara, Luciana & Juliana.

    • valentina says...

      I’m Valentina! And to the commenter Elizabeth below, my family calls me Vivi, spelled exactly that way!

    • aga says...

      I find that Spanish names with Rs become difficult for English pronunciation, and J and R combinations even more so (ie they get butchered! This coming from a teacher of Spanish pronunciation ;) ). Plus Alejandro is very popular these days, especially in Spain. And everyone who has some connection to Spanish (Spanish as a second language, or partner who is part ColOmbian, etc.), names their kid Mateo! It’s the official name of parents who want some association with Spanish! And it makes sense, it’s a nice name and easy to pronounce.

      I love Juliana but the salsa song “Juliana, qué mala eres” always comes to mind! (Our kid will literally be called Seven).

      I’ve never heard of Vivi being short for Valentina. Vivi is usually short for Viviana – also pretty!

      Florencia and Florence are beautiful names! Flor is a lovely shortform. @Florencia, pay no attention to my partner – he’s an academic and novel writer, but he wishes he were a comedic writer. Sigh

      What a fun topic!

  134. Emily says...

    This is totally on my mind – I’m 32 weeks pregnant, and very undecided on names! We have two daughters – Cadence and Lorelei. If this baby is a girl, we really like Clementine, Delaney, Dorothy (Dot), and Magnolia. If it’s a boy, we’re completely stumped! Like others have said, we like names that are obviously names, but not super common. That’s hard to do for boys!

    • gabby says...

      I can vouch that Magnolia is a pretty sweet name :). We have a Magnolia (who goes by Noli most of the time). I told her we chose it because it’s both delicate and strong (branch and bloom), and so far she lives up to both.

    • Laura says...

      My (younger, 31 year-old) sister is named Delaine, like Elaine with a ‘d’. It’s really uncommon but a nice name and similar to Delaney, which you’ve included on your list.

    • Andrea says...

      LOVE Gabby’s Magnolia’s nickname! Noli!!

      We just had a baby girl, but yes thinking of boy names was so hard!! We were down to Sawyer or Rhys. :)

  135. Lia says...

    What I find interesting about this list is that all of these names are suuuper Western; there’s no ethnic diversity. For example, Muhammad is the most common in the world and probably millions of baby boys are born in the West and worldwide with that given name so why wouldn’t it show up on a ‘most popular baby names’ list?

    • aga says...

      Because this list is generated by the Social Security Admin – meaning names registered in the USA.

    • It often does in the UK but tends not to make top ten purely because there are many ways to spell it so the count is split.

  136. Jessica says...

    Love this thread! We have Elizabeth, almost exclusively called ‘Eliza’, who is 1.5 years. I am surprised not to see Eliza on here!

    I am newly pregnant with baby two (sex unknown), and wondering if anyone else is in this situation- my husband is a IV (but goes by his middle name), and if we have a boy, there will be so much pressure to have the baby be the V. I am not opposed to having the same first name, but would love to have a little piece of me/my family represented in the middle name. I feel the family stress already!

    • Catie says...

      I’m not in entirely the same situation, but my husband is the 4th or 5th generation of David. Each generation uses the mom’s maiden name as the middle name, but I’m torn because I’d love to use my maiden name (Reed) as a first name. With so many Davids in the family already I’d love to have our little one have a completely unique identity.. without offending anyone of course.

    • Sharon says...

      I have a 12 year old Eliza!

  137. cara says...

    i am pretty sure “emma” became famous when rachel and ross (on friends!) named their baby girl emma! it shot up to number one that year – and has stayed!

  138. Fern says...

    My toddler is named Cedar Levi. My name is Fern, and we live in the PNW, so it’s nice for us to share native plant names. I was worried that it might be too original, even though having a weird name is a badge of honor in these parts. But since he was born, I’ve either met or been told about at least six other baby Cedars! I’m glad it’s having a little moment. If we have a girl her name will be Tallulah Quinn. Tallulah means “dancing water” which still ties into a PNW nature theme. Baby names in Portland are great, and kind of hilarious in their Portland-ness. I’ve met Smokey (a girl), Halcyon (a boy), several Junipers, and Jupiter (a boy). I love them all.

    • Em says...

      That’s funny- I actually changed my name from Tallulah because I got made fun of a lot and it made me feel like an outsider among the Katherine’s and Jesssica’s. It means leaping water but boys turned it around and said it meant “horse pee”. But that was 25 years ago! I’m sure kids aren’t made fun of for their names as much… hopefully :)

    • Gen says...

      Ha! I’ve met a Cedar and I have a Juniper, and I’ve always loved Fern. Here’s to plant names! I also know a Halcyon here in PDX ;)

    • Kara says...

      Aw, Fern! That was my #1 girl name, but we just found out we’re having a boy. Such a beautiful name.

    • Fern says...

      Oh Em, I’m so sad you had that experience! Kids are mean about all kinds of things, so I try not to worry about predicting it. I mean, I’m not going to name my kid Ziplock or anything, but bullies gonna bully in whatever way they find. With regard to names, kids (and most people) usually have a short time of surprise or confusion with unusual names, and then they move on. In 5th grade we had a boy in our class named Whitney, and it took about a day of Q: “Isn’t that a girl’s name?” A: “It can be both.” until we all got over it. It helped that he was a super chill kid. My husband and I made a very conscious decision to choose middle names we liked, in case our kids prefer them. If Tallulah hates her first name, we can call her Quinn. (And Quinnie is a super cute nickname for a wee lady.)

  139. Em says...

    I’ve always loved classic names with a twist, as well as all baby names/meanings in general. I’m not pregnant or planning on being any time soon, but I’m ALWAYS thinking about names. It’s fun :)

    I’ve narrowed it to a few cool ones and am afraid to even say them out loud (or type them) because I’m convinced they’ll become popular or I’ll pick up some sort of negative association. It’s so silly how much it means to me, but I guess names are pretty important.

  140. MK says...

    My son was 3 weeks early and we had not decided on a name! He was without one for about a day or so while we hemmed and hawed over it. In the end, we realized we were just trying to best a name we had thought of a while ago and already loved (Otto). Then it dawned on us that we would never beat it, and let’s just name him that already!

    • Betsy says...

      I wondered how many comments I’d have to read before I found the name Otto, and it wasn’t too many! I have an 8 year old named Otto to honor his great grandpa.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i LOVE the name otto!

    • margaux says...

      we have good friends who just named their sons otto. i sense a trend… ( :

    • Jenny says...

      We have a 2 year old named Otto! Such a great name- people are always commenting on it. We just had another boy a couple months ago and named him Marcel :) I really hope that the names don’t become too popular because that was one of the main reasons we picked them.

  141. Trish says...

    My first son is named Garrett William–Garrett a name we liked, sounded solid, “normal” yet not common; William after his Grandfather. Poor kid didn’t have a name for 3 days in the hospital, as my husband and I tried out different options, wondering what would fit. He was almost a Brody or Brady. Our second son we named Graham Henry–Graham because it was a “brother” name to Garrett in a naming book, and we loved the sound of it; Henry after his other Grandfather. When I was pregnant with our third, the boys wanted us to stick with the “G” theme. We were going to go with August (Gus) for a boy, but the girl choices were so difficult. We finally went with Gretchen Elise when our daughter was born. It fits her perfectly, and falls into the “normal” but not common category. We call her Chen or Chennie for short. I HATE hearing other kids with the same names as mine. I know it’s irrational but I can’t help it. I also think it’s interesting how regional name choices are. We lived in California when Garrett was a toddler, and his brother Graham was born there. No one had those names. Now, living in Colorado, I hear both much more often.

  142. Sarah says...

    My three-year-old son’s name is Fergus, which means “man of vigour”! We are English, Irish and Scottish and we loved the name because it has strong cultural roots and various meanings, its very masculine but a little whimsical and unusual but not totally obscure.

    • Amy says...

      My 3-year-old is angus. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I really wanted fergus to be the name if it were a boy! I love it. We are both Scottish, and my grandma grew up in Glasgow, so I think we could have gotten away with it. ;) as it turns out, I have a 1-year-old Winona now instead, and we call our kids Winnie and Gus. :)

    • Sarah says...

      So cute Amy! I love Angus and Winona is an awesome name.

  143. Angela says...

    We have a Barrett, whom we sometimes call Bear, and a Juliana, who is almost entirely referred to as Jules. (Her brother has a hard time with her given name and calls her Juniwana…strangely, we actually call her that or Juni quite a bit. Weird how that stuff transpires.)

    Anyway, we are pregnant with a surprise third and my husband knows the gender, but I don’t. Before he found out, we settled on Georgia Kate for a girl, but we have NOTHING for a little boy. We have historically had a hard time with boy names, so I may or may not have read every single comment searching for something to suggest to my husband. Lol

    • MK says...

      I think Juni is so pretty!

  144. Diane c. says...

    We found naming so hard! Our daughter was namelesss for a month! We finally named her Lucinda, Lulu for short. It had been on our list, but when she was born six weeks early, I thought that Lucinda was too big a name for such a little girl. Eventually, I grew to love it, especially wanting to call her Lulu.

    We’ ve just welcomed a little boy, whom we named Ansel Griffin. When we were picking names, my husband was constantly playing name association and it seemed like most names I liked would make him think of someone he didn’t like. Benedict was one of my favorites, and he kept saying “Benedict Arnold”. Finally I just started to think of people who did cool things and were good humanitarians, and I put Ansel on the list.

    Side note, my daughter tells everyone her brother’s name is “Hey Hey”. We wondered why for the longest time, then we realized whenever he cried or fussed, we would say to him soothingly, “Hey, hey….”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh – “hey hey”! that is the sweetest xoxoxoxo

    • Jasmine says...

      Haha! That’s so cute. My almost-2 year old thinks crows are called “hey hey” because that’s what I say when they get too close to our snacks. :-)

    • Andrea says...

      I love Lucinda/Lulu for short!!

      Congratulations on your baby boy! I think Ansel is a wonderful name as well – to me, it sounds both playful and strong.
      “Hey hey” though! That really is the cutest!

      This spring we just had our first baby (a girl, Stella – middle name Rae (as we soothe her to sleep and when we play with her we coo her full name, Stella Rae, as well as Stelly Belly, Rae Rae, and Rae Bae. Who knows what will stick, or what new nicknames will come along :). Your comment makes me already want to give her a little sibling!

  145. Rachel says...

    I’m pregnant with my third boy and the names we are considering right now are Cyrus, Ellis, and Charlie. Ellis is my fave but it might take some convincing for my husband. I already have a Jack and a Rosco.

    • Trish says...

      When I was pregnant with my second, I loved the name Graham, but my husband wasn’t sure. We put it on the list but I didn’t think he’d go for it. After waking up from general anesthesia after a c-section, the first words my husband said to me were “I think we have a Graham.” One of the best memories! So, your husband may come around if the name feels like a good fit for the baby.

  146. Meredith says...

    I’m currently pregnant with a girl so this post is timely! My husband and I are torn. I have loved the name Charlotte for a girl my whole life so plan to do that with a family middle name. The options would be Charlotte Neal and call her Charlotte OR Charlotte Scott and call her Scottie. Would love some feedback!

    • d says...

      love the Charlotte Scott combination- Scottie is a cute nick name

    • Em says...

      Scottie for a girl is such a cute nickname. But then again so is Charlie! Like them both. :)

    • Trish says...

      I know only one other Scottie (girl) and I love it! It’s such a bright, happy name.

    • Meredith says...

      Scottie is adorable. So is Charlie, a play on Charlotte (I have a boy Charlie, but loved the name for a girl too).

    • Katie says...

      Scottie 100% as she will be one in a sea of Charlottes.

    • Katie says...

      I knew a Scottie growing up and I love it too!

  147. Kellyn says...

    My daughter is named Corinne – a name my husband has loved since high school. He wouldn’t entertain any other choices. I grew up with (what I consider) a unique yet not ‘weird’ name. I really wanted my daughter’s name to be unique too. Since she’s been born (2016) I’ve heard more Corinnes (e.g., even characters in books I’ve been reading), but it still meets my unique but not ‘weird’ criteria. She has my last name which I’m really happy about too!

    • Cara says...

      Love the name Corrine and even Carina/Karena.

    • I was pregnant with my first child in 2008, and had my heart set on Corinna for a girl. It’s such a beautiful name. I have also met a few little girls named Cora in recent years.

      My oldest is a boy named after both of his grandfathers, James Raymond, since he was the first grandchild on either side of the family. Our second son is Rhys, which is a variation of my MIL’s last name. Nobody pronounces it correctly at first, and I sometimes feel a bit guilty about that, but he handles it very well. I also never intended for both boys’ names to end in -s. It just sort of worked out that way.

    • Kirsten says...

      This is my mom’s name, which I’ve always loved, but I’ve never met another one! So funny that it’s becoming popular.

    • Elly says...

      I love your name. I am an Ellyn. :)

  148. Joanne says...

    This is so funny to me. Fourteen years ago when I was pregnant with my first, these were the names we picked out. We liked the classics, even a little old-fashioned. Margaret, Grace, etc. We ended up having a girl and naming her Amelia, and now that name is so popular, but back then I knew absolutely no one with that name. Our boys are named Charles (goes by Charlie) and Henry. We almost named Henry Oliver. And the other girl name I still love is Penelope. So I guess I’m trendy now!

  149. Kim says...

    How funny, I am expecting my first baby, a daughter, in the next 3 weeks and we are planning to call her Penelope Bea – Penny Bea! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a beautiful name, kim! congratulations on your little one :)

  150. Lily says...

    I’ve always loved the name Laurel, and really wanted to name my daughter that, but my husband vetoed it. (It didn’t help matters that my name is Lily, so we’d be the “plant family.”)

    We agreed on Ariana, but we almost never call her by that and use her nickname “Ari” instead.

    Funny that this topic just came up. I was listening to an episode of the podcast The Mash-up Americans (it’s great!) about naming traditions and why we obsess about baby names: http://www.mashupamericans.com/listen/podcast-ep-18-names/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, can’t wait to listen to that, lily! thank you!

    • Emily says...

      I got vetoed on Laurel too! It must be a guy thing not to like it. I still LOVE it.

    • Schivonne says...

      I also loved Laurel, my husband did not. We ended up with Ayla. We both love it.

    • Samantha Kunio says...

      I have a toddler named Laurel. Thankfully my husband did not veto it ;) Her middle name is Rees after my husband’s maternal grandmother. Rees was her maiden name.

      Laurel Rees fits her so perfectly, and my mom is from Greece and the direct translation is Daphne so we baptized her Daphne in the Greek Church.

    • Sam says...

      I love the name Laurel. My step-dad’s name is Lawrence, and I’ve long loved the idea of naming a child after him, especially a daughter–I seem to like the idea of naming kids after people who aren’t their gender. I’d also love to have a Pauline, after my wonderful grandpa Paul. But none of my friends like the name Pauline. I don’t get it! I think it’s great! But maybe a Pauline and a Laurel would be too many “au”s in one family. I don’t know.

    • Holly says...

      I also got vetoed on Laurel!!

    • Mia says...

      So funny all the dudes are vetoing Laurel – that was my Granddad’s name!