Motherhood

What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?

What Are Your Favorite Baby Names?

When I was pregnant with Anton, we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl, so we brainstormed names for both. Our top girls’ names were…

Jane
Margot
Penelope (Penny)
Louisa (Lulu)
Sabine

I also really love the name Anna, but it’s a tongue twister to say “Joanna and Anna.”

It’s funny how you rarely hear the names that were popular when we were growing up — Matt, Josh, Kristen, Jennifer. If my friend were like, “Here’s my new baby, Kevin,” I would do a double take. These days, though, the more offbeat names don’t surprise me at all. We know sweet boys named Ocean, River and Lion. And girls named Persephone, Summer and Charlie.

What baby names do you love? Does it matter to you if they’re popular? So far, according to USA Today and Nameberry, the most popular baby names in 2019 are:

Girls:
Posie
Isla
Olivia
Aurora
Maeve
Cora
Amara
Ada
Amelia
Charlotte

Boys:
Milo
Jasper
Atticus
Theodore
Asher
Silas
Jack
Finn
Henry
Felix

What about you? What names do you love? If you’re expecting, have you made a name decision or are you waiting to meet the baby?

P.S. What to register for your baby, and how did you know you were ready for a baby? Also, a funny parenting story.

(Photo by Hana Asbrink.)

  1. Nora says...

    Our son is named Constantin Wilfried August. When he was born there were no Constantins around and we loved the strength of the name. Now every second little boy on the playground is named Constantin! He calls himself Tin though and I actually really love it. Our daughter was born a few months ago and it was so so soooo much harder to find a name for her that we both love – we ended up naming her Cleo Silvia Hermine.

  2. Carly says...

    I’m so happy you did another baby name post! We are due in October and so far, haven’t agreed on any names that we both like! Hopefully this will give us some inspiration :)

  3. Megan says...

    Just before my fiance and I got engaged we were out walking. I mentioned that I had thought of a name earlier that I love for our future kid and asked him to guess. He did. And he was right. And then I cried in a public park ’cause hey true love in cool and stuff.

  4. Yelena says...

    I have a 4 year old girl names Remi and a new baby boy named Arlo. People think we’re big Pixar fans because the rat in Ratatouille was named Remi (with a “y” though) and the dinosaur in the Good Dinosaur was called Arlo, but we just wanted easy to say, easy to spell names and these did the trick.

    If Arlo had been a girl, Este was at the top of my list.

  5. Yelena says...

    I have a little girl names Remi who is 4 and I just had a baby boy in February who is called Arlo. We wanted easy to spell, easy to say names. Remi has been able to spell her own name since she was 3, and she can spell her brother’s name too!

    I’m done having kids but if Arlo had been a girl I would have named the baby Este.

  6. Cora says...

    This is funny to me because I am a Cora, but when I was growing up the only Coras I ever met were elderly. As a result, I hated my name. Now I love it and love knowing there are lots of little Coras running around.

  7. Nicole says...

    I have Frederick, Harriet and Ella and I’m pregnant now. We never find out the sex until the birth and I always have such a hard time with boy names! Girl names come easily! Getting some good ideas from these comments though.

    • Jessica says...

      We just had number 4 two months ago and never find out what we are having either. And boy names have always been the hardest for us too!

  8. Laura says...

    I wasn’t a fan to popularity names and wanted unique names to all their selves. I have fraternal twin girls Erika Noelle and Bridgette Marie. If I had a third child be it a boy or a girl I would name it Dakota (not sure of a middle name, maybe this one I would name it two or three middle names).

  9. Samantha says...

    I’m a Sam, with two girls, Leni and Frankie. Leni, after my grandpa Leonard, and Frankie, short for Frances, my husband’s grandmother. But really, we are just a crew of girls with ‘boy’s names’. I always joke we could be the employees of some 1950s NY mechanics shop- yo Leni! Yo Frankie!

    • Caitlin says...

      My daughter is Eleanor, and her nickname is Leni. I also call her “Leonard” for fun!

  10. Batya says...

    The name Sofia is ever-so-popular at the moment, but we named our eldest daughter the Hebrew spelling and pronunciation Tsofia (Tzofia) which has the most beautiful meaning – Protector, guardian of the home.
    My youngest daughter’s name is Ayelet and we call her Aya. I love that Aya isn’t very common in South Africa where we live but it is very universal and easy to remember.

  11. Isabel Kallman says...

    This is how Nameberry calculates its TOP names list: “We calculate our popularity list based on which names attracted the most of the 11 million views of our name pages so far this year.”

    I wonder how this will actually pan out with how people really select their baby’s name… which is tracked by the Social Security Administration. The list looks a lot different. Here is the most recent list from 2017: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/

    • Jessica says...

      It’s always so different than what Nameberry says. I love looking at the most popular names by star in ssa. It’s fascinating to me to see how ethnicity and the part of the country you are in play such a big role in names.

  12. Alison says...

    I love, love, love my children’s names. They both have two middle names which we enjoy as well – it allows us to accommodate family names and maintain that connection to their ancestors. My three year old son is Thatcher John Cooper and my 5 month old daughter is Emerson Kate McCall (we call her Emerson, Emmy, and Emmy Kate).

  13. Jenny says...

    We have Aviv (a girl). My husband is Israeli and I chose the name, wanting something strong and unique that is also pronounceable (and spell-able!) in both English and Hebrew. It means “spring” and, despite being born in the winter, she’s brought beautiful renewal and blossoming to our lives. If we have another girl, she will be either Lily or Sofia. Boys, who knows. Hoping it’ll be a girl for naming simplicity.

  14. Nicole says...

    My son’s name is Caleb based off a character from a Steinbeck book. Then my daughter is Eloise Linnaea, and her soon to be little sister will be called Florence Lillian. I love the way “old fashioned” names sound more romantic than the names I grew up around. Girl names were way easier to choose for us, so I am happy that we only had one boy.

  15. Chida says...

    We have a boy – Archimedes (Archie) and a girl – Faraday (Fara). We are both nerdy science-lovers with non standard names as well. We do get some odd looks at times but luckily most people embrace the kids with their names!

    Other science-y names we considered were Nova, Florence, Luna, Copernicus (Copi), Maxwell, and Euclid . Music based names we also liked were Aria and Cadence. Also like Ocean and would call the kid O.

  16. Whitney says...

    Last October, we named our little girl Felicity but call her Felix for short. But it took us a long time to figure it out! Naming someone is so much pressure!

  17. Danielle says...

    I love baby names. My two girls are Isla Rose and June Louise. We are done having children, but I love Samuel and Felix for boy names and Henrietta and Frances for girls names. Oddly enough those girl names weren’t on the list when I was pregnant with either of my girls, each time I had different lists – Olive, Maeve, Maise, Rose were all previous contenders.

  18. Leah says...

    We named our oldest Kaya as a alternate spelling of Kaija/Kaja which has Nordic roots. I have since found other meanings including another name for marijuana, and coconut jam and several other references. I used to be really stressed about it until a friend said.. ‘Well, most people don’t know all those meanings and my dad’s name is Dick and everyone knows what that means and he is fine”
    I have since met several other Kayas and still love the name.

  19. Tess says...

    My daughter Maeve will be 2 in July, and I can’t decide how I feel about her name being on that list! I loved the name since I was a kid when my sister had a friend named Maeve, and my husband has Irish background on both sides and thus we have an Irish last name, so I think it fits. Where we live, not many people are familiar with it. I think I would have named her Maeve even if I knew it were getting popular, though. Our other name we loved was Niamh, pronounced ‘Neev,’ but we couldn’t settle on an Americanized spelling – Neve, Neave, Nieve?? Names are so hard.

  20. Sarah says...

    We named our little girl Mae (middle name Elizabeth) – I love it for its simplicity. If we have another girl I’ve lined up Evelyn Rose, and Wilfred Robert if we have a boy.

    • Jenny says...

      My little girl’s middle name is Mae. I just love it :)

  21. Frederike says...

    We got four girls: Victoria, Aline, Ava and Philippa. We chose rather timeless and classic names that work inmany languages as they already have to work in German and French as our children are raised bilingual (Hubby is french, I am German.

    we also had Eléonor and Salomé on our list but also Edda and Eila (which are old germanic names)

  22. Amy says...

    We chose Elliott for our first son just over four years ago (it’s my MIL’s original surname). That was apparently very popular at the time! There are a bunch of Elliot(t)’s in his school and three in his class, alone. He thought of the name Casper for his (now four month old) little brother and we ended up going with it (though we also think Rocket Ship would have been cool, too, buddy). They both have my husband’s last name for their middle name, and my last name.

  23. Emily says...

    So crazy! I saw this on IG and had a feeling I should check it out. Sure enough my 2 girls’ names are on the top 5. Love it. Margaux (7) and Sabine (3). The names are beautiful, so I’m not too surprised! Both names are not popular, and no one has ever heard of Sabine. She goes by Beanie and Bean, it’s adorable.

  24. S says...

    Baby names are so interesting! I’ve just had my second boy, first one is Theodore and the new baby Finn… both on the top name list! I have never met a Teddy in my life prior to my son being born. Also have never met a Finn.

  25. Our kids are Hennie James (g) and Wells Hardy (b). My list of potential names is long and there are so many good ones 😭 I love getting to talk about names for 40 weeks, choosing the one that they’ll take with them their whole lives. What an honour! It’s my favourite part.

  26. rach says...

    My 3.5 yr old daughter is Ramona Eloise and it fits her perfectly! spunky and oh so girly, so kind-hearted and loves all things pink and sparkly. Ive never met a little girl with that name! Still happy about it 3.5 years later

  27. Monika says...

    I had two of my sons’ names picked out when I was a teenager! Silas, after the main character of the W.P. Kinsella reservation stories, and Callum, after a Canadian actor I fancied, Callum Keith Rennie. (Can you tell I’m Canadian?!?) Somehow when I was pregnant with our twins, I just knew Samuel would be a Samuel. But it is hard finding names that compliment each other and are interesting without being overly-twee or out there! I feel like the names you give your kids tells you, the parent, a story about them, about who you want them to be. It’s a private story that lives in your head and a lovely privilege to watch unfold!

  28. Esther says...

    Felix! He is arriving in mid june :)

  29. Cristal says...

    Well, I don’t have kids yet, nor I am pregnant, but that has never stopped me from being obsessed with names and even naming my plants.
    When I was a kid, I never fantasized about the idea of having a great wedding, I used to fantasize about creating a family and how we would name our kids, which isn’t an easy task, especially when I have always disliked my middle name (no, I won’t say it). Later in life, I would find out that all my efforts to finding the right name will go down the toilet, because I’m a Spanish speaker and my husband speaks English, so naturally I would like my kids name to be spelled the same in Spanish as in English, like: Evelyn, Olivia, Susan, Oliver, Damian, Alan, etc.
    I am dreaming out loud and putting out it that we will be trying to get pregnant later this year.

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  30. Kate D says...

    Baby boy is 5 months old – Kai Atlas. It’s weird yet girls names came way easier for me than boys names.

  31. Erin says...

    We have a little boy named Forrest Ames. Just found out we are expecting another boy now and combing these comments b/c I am currently totally at a loss for what to name the next one!

    • H says...

      May I suggest Milo Aaron? I know brothers Forrest and Milo and they’re so sweet.

  32. Fran says...

    I have a Vivienne, Florence & Rupert! I still get butterflies when I tell people their names – love them!!

  33. Hannah says...

    So I’m marrying into a family that only does names following the same initials – so if anyone knows any good J or D names, hit a girl up! My favorites are
    Girl:
    Joanna
    Deneen

    Boy:
    Jackson
    Davis
    Dean

    That’s all I have so far!

    • Cora says...

      Daria or Dario might be good choices. Jenevive (Jena) is one of my daughter’s best friends. I’ve always loved the different spelling.

  34. Brittny Koskela says...

    My two year old daughter’s name is August. The collective conscious is funny- a year later Mark Zuckerberg picked the same for his little girl and I hear it increasingly for baby boys. Regardless, I MOSTLY still love it, though I can’t help but wonder at weak moments if she’ll despise me for it!

  35. Jane says...

    I love classic names, I’m Jane Elizabeth, family & friends call me Janie (highly recommend if you’re not unsure, I love my name!). I had my first child this year, Rose Elizabeth (middle name after her paternal great grandmother, coincidence it’s mine too) and Rosie couldn’t fit her more perfectly! If I have another girl, she’ll probably be Emma… or Sophie or Margot or Audrey. Our boy name is Harry x

  36. Jacquelyn says...

    I think I’ll know for sure when I meet baby what their name is, but we do have a list. We don’t know the sex and our top girl names right now are Lyla, Niva, and Lola. And our top boy name is Ben (not much of a list there haha). We also aren’t telling anyone the names because we don’t want opinions! We have a lot of opinionated people in my family.

  37. Hilary says...

    Three girls here- Anna, Jane, and Charlotte. We chose timeless names that had a family connection – wasn’t expecting to see Charlotte popular again, but have met several lately!

  38. CL says...

    I just had a baby in February and we named her Wilhelmina. Everyone asks, “But what will you call her?” (strangers, Family, friends) and I’m like, “Um I will call her Wilhelmina.” My son is named Alastair. Both unusual names for where we are in Texas :)

    • Sarah M says...

      I have an Alistair too! It’s a common older name where my husband comes from but we have only ever encountered one other child with that name. He is 10 and on his hockey team with 4 Jaxon’s and 3 Zach’s it makes me happy his name is so unique.

    • Amy says...

      I have an Alasdair! I love it. We know one other young boy and an adult with the same name, all with slightly different spellings.

  39. Tricia says...

    Love this post! My daughter, Louisa Jo, is three weeks old. :)

  40. Erin says...

    We named our daughter Louisa! Not a name I would have imagined picking out before I was pregnant. And I was totally honoring my husband by putting it on our list, but now I couldn’t love it more!

  41. AMac says...

    I too am name obsessed. My two children are Anderson and Florence. Both family names. I
    Love that they are fairly
    Unique but easy to pronounce and spell. Boys names were much harder for us! Although
    We used family names for both
    Children we couldn’t decide for our son- where as for my
    Daughter we were set on Florence from the start. I know I’m biased, but Florence is just the sweetest name.

    • Alice C says...

      I had two boys but Florence was our top pick for a girl. One of my boys has Anderson as his middle name, it’s his paternal grandmother’s surname and clan/tartan :) I love the name, it’s strong but gentle.

  42. Carina says...

    We are naming our first daughter, Sofia. 🥰

  43. Kate says...

    I just spent SO MUCH TIME reading these comments and they are fascinating! (I’ll refer back to these hopefully someday if we are trying to name another kid!)
    I was so surprised I did t find our kids’ names! We have Jesse Taylor and Georgia Brave ❤️❤️❤️

  44. Marie-Claire says...

    We clearly have similar naming styles! We have 2 girls named Penelope and Louisa! We also considered Margot.

  45. Liz says...

    My daughter’s name is Adair. Unique, yes, but it’s easy to pronounce and not too cutesy.

    • Taylor A says...

      Adair—that was on my list, so beautiful!

  46. Courtney says...

    Jane was our girl name! So we went with James for our third boy (Eddie is our middle and Rocco is our first born). Jane Georgette would’ve been a sweetie just like our James Stephen, though!❤️

  47. Emma says...

    We named our daughter Beatrice. It means ‘bringer of joy’ and couldn’t be more true.

    • Hannah says...

      This is one of my all-time favorite names! I’m a mom to little Clara Josephine, and if we have another daughter, she’ll be Beatrice <3

  48. Clare says...

    I love these posts! My daughter is called Lucille (she gets Lulu or Lu) which I love but felt stressed about the pressure of naming at the time. Due again shortly and stuck on names. Considering Raphael (Raph) , Jude, Hugo, Juliet, Mae, and Estelle. Love a nickname option but not sure if Jude/ Jules / Hugh is too close in sound to Lu?

    My husband thinks we are overthinking it!

  49. Tammi says...

    We had a Penelope in February! We are calling her Poppy instead of Penny as we let her 2.5 year old sister decide between the two nicknames. Her middle name, Rardin, is her paternal great-grandmother’s maiden name. My oldest daughter, Emory Bee, is named for my grandmother who was nicknamed Bee (for Verna Berneece). We always knew the Bee part and had to find a first name that worked with it. We usually call her Emmy Bee, which fits her perfectly!

    • Taylor A says...

      I have an Emery Snow!

    • Megan says...

      I have a River (middle my maiden) , Orson Fjord and Juniper Marais.

  50. Jill says...

    We have a Harriet, she’s one.

  51. Anna G says...

    My name is Anna my mother’s name is Johanna. Yes it often confuses people. She swears she didn’t realize the similarity in our names.

  52. Brittany Bradford says...

    We just had a baby girl 6 weeks ago and named her Skye Isobel. My husband and I never agree on names and Skye was a last minute name we came up with days before I went into labor. Phew! Isobel we just liked the traditional Scottish spelling and thought it sounded pretty together. We also have an Isla Wren for our first daughter. So we have the “Isle of Skye”. Cheesy I know, but we like it! And now when the two girls grow up they have a place they can visit that’s theirs ☺️

    • Jane says...

      Oh my, a place of their own! That is the sweetest, I hope your girls get to visit it one day.

  53. Megan says...

    We struggled with boy names but landed on Walter for my three year old. It suits him perfectly. And right now I’m snuggling our sleeping tiny baby girl, Maisie Lucille! Named for my great aunt and grandmother. (It’s Maisie like daisy but everyone is saying “Macy”. Oh well!) I found girl names easier than boys.

  54. Celia says...

    We have a boy (Sebastian) and a girl (Sabine) and when I was pregnant with her people would ask what we were planning to name her. I would usually tell them it was a toss up between Sabine and Rebel (Rebbie) and we got the same two responses over and over — either “but can you have a Sebastian AND a Sabine??” (To which I always answered “Yes”) or “Rebel? What are you hoping she rebels against?” (To which I would silently reply “the patriarchy”). Anyway, after much deliberation she became Sabine Ellen and on the off chance we decide to have a 3rd child, when people ask the names we are considering, I will politely say, “I don’t know, what names do you like?” because I’m convinced that people only ask so they can give their two cents.

    • Jacquelyn says...

      That’s why we aren’t sharing our lists! Beautiful names… not that you asked for my two cents ;-)

    • Celia says...

      Thanks Jacqueline! Obviously all positive opinions welcome ☺️.

  55. Molly says...

    My daughter Sloane Elizabeth was born in February. We knew we were having a girl – I also loved Annie, Margot, and Gemma.

  56. I have a Greta Maeve and Estella Plum. I love all the girl’s names you had in mind. I am now pregnant with a boy and am having a hard time. I thought for sure I was destined to have all girls!

  57. Natalie M says...

    We named all 3 in the hospital. With baby #1, we scrapped everything and my hubby started reading a list of French names, thinking they’d sound nice with mine, Natalie. When he got to Edith we both said YES! SHE’S EDIE!! (Middle Beatrice after my grandmother)
    #2 I thought for sure was a boy but then she popped out as a fair little girl! We named her Louisa Maria (middle after my godmother). What can I say, I love The Sound of Music.
    Baby #3 was a boy and my husband laughed at my list -Hugo, Arthur, Hector, Albert, Solomon, Chester, Mateo, Ellis, Ivan… and several others. We named him Maxwell and gave him my maiden name as a middle. I thought boy names were much harder by the way!

    • Kristi says...

      I’m probably never having kids (I’m nearly 38 and still don’t even know) but the names I settled on nearly a decade ago when in a long-term relationship are still solid: Freya Gary (first name for Norwegian heritage, middle for unorthodox honoring of my late dad) or Torbin Gary (first name one I liked of a relative, middle my dad).

      Not naming a kid is something I’ll miss, if things continue as they are.

    • Lindsay says...

      I love the Sound of Music too! I always dreamed of naming my daughters after the girls in the movie, especially Leisl. Alas, my husband was not of fan of naming our children any of these names and we chose off beat names in honor of women in our family.

  58. Jessica says...

    I had a baby boy 11 days ago and we named him Benjamin. It was between that and Henry but when he came out my husband and I both agreed he looked like a Benjamin. We think it fits perfectly with our other son, William.

  59. Our oldest is Louise (Lou). She was a little early and was in the NICU for about a week. We love literary names and names of strength. Louise means renowned warrior and she was/is a fighter.
    We named our second Mathilda (Millie) and it means mighty in battle and she is a force, which we love. All hail the strong girls!

    I love both names because they are classic, yet uncommon and they will be beautiful and sophisticated adult names when they grow-up. And, they both lend themselves to sweet and uncommon nicknames.

  60. Elinor says...

    I’ve always thought my Mum did really well naming us – Elinor, Marielle, Timothy and Edward.

    I am Welsh and personally love Gwen, Anwen (Annie), Osian and Arthur. <3

    • Alice C says...

      I’m half Welsh and I have an Osian. I love Anwen too. There are so many beautiful Welsh names :)

  61. Kate says...

    We have a Maeve (age 9), and when we told people our favorite girl’s name when I was pregnant, we got LOTS of quizzical looks. Sweet vindication!

    • I have Ada Maeve (age 9) and we had the same quizzical looks too! So funny to see them on the list! Ada was my Great Grandmother and we just loved the name Maeve. :)
      Also we now have Lucy Parker (Lulu) age 5. :)

  62. Elisabeth Marnik says...

    My LO turns 3 weeks old today and we had the hardest time naming him. We finally settled on Owen and it seemed to fit him so far!

    • Em says...

      I’m expecting #3 and Owen is our top choice for a boy! We have a John and a Nora, so I think it matches nicely. We gave up on family names for #3, ran out of options we liked..

  63. Lauren says...

    I was in labour(!!!) when this post was published. After much deliberation we chose Esther Juliette. Still getting used to the name. One of the hardest decisions of my life!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Congratulations, Lauren!!!! I love your sweet daughter’s name. Xoxo

    • Nicole says...

      This comment is amazing ❤️ Congratulations mama and welcome baby Esther!

    • Sally Dalwood says...

      Lauren – welcome to the mama gang! Esther is divine. all love x

  64. Katherine says...

    Aah! My 9 month old daughter is Louisa, and we call her Lou or Lulu! And several of her daycare buddies have names on the most popular lists :-)

  65. My fiancé and I are getting married in less than two months (!!!) and somewhere in the midst of planning and picking napkin colors, we’ve randomly been struck by baby fever! Both of us want to wait another 2 years or so, but that doesn’t stop us from sending baby names back and forth throughout the day. I’ll get a lunch break text from him:
    “Elijah?”
    “Wow, I love it!”
    A few hours later while holding hands & watching t.v.:
    “…Amaya Heaven”
    “ADD IT TO THE LIST!”

    • gracemarie says...

      My husband and I are the saaaame way!! It’s so fun.

    • Kate says...

      Have you heard of the app “kinder”? It’s like tinder but it’s just you and your partner, seeing which baby names you match on 😍

    • Sarah says...

      We have an Elijah, Eli for short. Plus a Sylvie Mary, and a Louis x

  66. Charis says...

    I am obsessed with the name Silas. It is very solid to me. It will be included in my future son’s name, first or middle, no exceptions :). I have thought about how it will sound with his last name but I love it so much I don’t think I care.

    • Monika says...

      I have a Silas! Continue your obsession; Silas’ are wonderful! Incidentally, it means ‘man of the forest’ or something like that, which we find funny because my boy hates grass and isn’t very sporty, but who cares. He’s lovely as he is. Good luck!

  67. Chelsea says...

    I am loving these comments; I love baby names! I am from a family of all C’s and ironically my husband is as well. So, we had to keep the “C” tradition alive when we were naming our children. We named our son, Coen and our daughter Calla (pronounced like the flower, Cal-la).

    • My son is Luke and I’m currently pregnant with baby #2. If it’s a boy he will be Owen and a girl will be Sadie. I also love Grant for a boy and Hannah and Claire for girls.

    • Hannah says...

      Brittany, just wanted to say my name is Hannah Claire and I love it.

    • Sam says...

      Brittany, my first son is Owen Matthew and second is Luke Samuel!

  68. Drake says...

    I keep a list of cool names in the notes app on my phone. I’ve been writing names down for years! I am very attracted to names that are not traditional and have a somewhat futuristic energy. I always tell my friends that if you know someone with the name you are thinking of for your child, don’t use that name! Beyonce wouldn’t be Beyonce if her name was Sarah or Jack.

    • Carly says...

      I have kept a list in the notes on my phone for years too! We are expecting in October and I showed my husband the list and he didn’t like any of them… haha – back to the drawing board!

  69. Jaime says...

    I have two girls Adelie Madeleine (7) and Clara Marguerite (4)….I still love their names and how they suit them so perfectly. A little different but very classic.

  70. Yelena says...

    Our little love is named Clara Zion. We wanted a C name after my paternal grandfather and a name that could be pronounced in English and Russian without having to be changed or corrected on the pronunciation (we are Russian-American). Zion because it means rise up and biblical to symbolize her heritage.

  71. Katie says...

    I love these names! Our now one-year-old daughter is named Agatha, and we haven’t come across another one yet. I grew up speaking Polish and am moving to Poland for work this summer, so we wanted something that would work in Polish and English. Something about the name is plucky and delightful, which fits our girl perfectly.

    • Kayla says...

      Our first little guy is Samson Jay and it was so tough to find a name we both liked! But we narrowed it down to two, Samson and Miles, and after we found out it was a boy I had a dream that I was playing at a park with a blonde toddler and called out to him and his name was Samson and that was that! (He does indeed have bright blonde hair now). With our second little guy we had kept a list of names we liked and it was much easier to pick one since we had done all the heavy vetoing the first time around. We landed on Sullivan Jack for him and I love that my boys share the same initials.

  72. Brooke says...

    I don’t have kids but my friend always used to test out their full name choices (including middle) by prefacing it with Supreme Court Justice *blank.* She’s got 1 girl and 2 boys that could rock that title!

    • I love this! My husband and I swear by what we call the “NPR Name Test” -would the name sound dignified as the sign-off after an NPR news report? Always trying to live up to the standards of Ofeibea Quist-Arcton and Nina Totenberg.

  73. Brooke says...

    When I knew I was having a boy, only one name really resonated with me. Luckily my husband was on board. Graham Thomas and 2 years later I love the name and him even more!

    • J B S says...

      I have a Graham too! (Graham Benjamin) He’s in 2nd grade and he’s the only Graham in our whole school district. It suits him so well and I love it as much as the day we chose it. His sister is Jane – he would’ve been Alice if he was a girl.

  74. Sal says...

    Our little girl is Greta.
    We love it for the older vibes, ease of spelling/pronouncing, and that it’s not very popular. We are so surprised it isn’t more widely used..it has the same sounds as the very popular Nora, Stella, etc.
    It feels like a secret gem of a name to us :)

    • Hannah says...

      We have a Greta, too, and feel the EXACT same way. It’s feminine and so strong— suits her very well (she’s 8 and not a single other Greta in sight!) I have to agree with you, it’s a great choice :-) I found out today I’m pregnant with another daughter (!) but can’t land on anything that feels quite as perfect.

  75. Amanda says...

    ❤️ my first born’s name is Margot Jane.

  76. Emma A says...

    Firm believer that no matter how pretty the name, it still has to go well with the last name. I thought we did a fantastic job naming our kids. However, recently, we hear more and more people mispronounce our last name. If this becomes the norm, I am feeling awful for our youngest! Her pretty name won’t sound very nice with that mispronounced last name. Especially if somebody calls her by first AND last name in a hurry… Oh no! :( (How did we miss this? Didn’t we practice saying it, again and again? Might be a good tip for naming kids?) She has awesome sense of humor though …and a can-do attitude like no other— given lemons, she’ll make lemonade and lemon meringue pies and possibly, her own line of natural, organic household cleaning and/or personal care products! (Science is her favorite subject.) Hubby also thinks she’ll be more than just fine with it… or she’ll get it changed. :D My firstborn has a classic/traditional name that’s quite common here in the US but not in the country where we came from. It’s a name I’ve always been fond of, even when I was still young/single. Surprisingly, it is made up of letters from my Hubby’s and her grandfathers’ names. Funny, she has their positive disposition and that same reserved, calm demeanor they have. The other names, for girls, that I like but didn’t get to use: Rebekah/Rebecca and Rachael, Lucy and Lily, Sierra and Sienna… Emily and Eloise… Matilda and Madeline… Scout, Sailor… Maybe a combination of any of those names. For boys: Sage, Henry, Mason, Colin… Ali Maximus.

  77. alice c says...

    My first born son has a common Scottish name and the second has a Welsh name, Osian, which is fairly rare, more so than the Irish and Scottish forms. A few people nag about spelling and pronunciation, but my husband has survived life with an unusual Scottish name and it doesn’t impact his life so we thought screw it and went for what we wanted. Anyway, last weekend we went to visit my parents in Wales where, at a fairly quiet playground, son number 2 heard his weird name being called out from two other families. He kept double-taking and ended up playing with both boys! It was hilarious. It’s a really common name there – so he found his tribe!

    Also, two days after my Uncle Jack died I discovered he had actually been called Fred but never liked it and switched. I guess some people do what they want with their names :)

  78. Emma A says...

    Firm believer that no matter how pretty the name, it still has to go well with the last name. I thought we did a fantastic job naming our kids. However, recently, we hear more and more people mispronounce our last name. If this becomes the norm, I am feeling awful for our youngest! Her pretty name won’t sound very nice with that mispronounced last name. Especially if somebody calls her by first AND last name in a hurry… Oh no! :( (How did we miss this? Didn’t we practice saying it, again and again? Might be a good tip for naming kids?) She has awesome sense of humor though …and a can-do attitude like no other— given lemons, she’ll make lemonade and lemon meringue pies and possibly, her own line of natural, organic household cleaning and/or personal care products! (Science is her favorite subject.) Hubby also thinks she’ll be more than just fine with it… or she’ll get it changed. :D My firstborn has a classic/traditional name that’s quite common here in the US but not in the country where we came from. It’s a name I’ve always been fond of, even when I was still young/single. Surprisingly, it is made up of letters from my Hubby’s and her grandfathers’ names. Funny, she has their positive disposition and that same reserve, calm demeanor they have. The other names, for girls, that I like but didn’t get to use: Rebekah/Rebecca and Rachael, Lucy and Lily, Sierra and Sienna… Emily and Eloise… Matilda and Madeline… Scout, Sailor… Maybe a combination of any of those names. For boys: Sage, Henry, Mason, Colin… Ali Maximus.

  79. Liz says...

    What a timely post – our baby girl, Isabella Matisse, is 9 days old and today. Setting on her name was tricky and, honestly, felt like a daunting responsibility. My husband’s family is primarily Spanish speaking, so it was very important to choose a name we love in both languages. Also, we wanted something that could hold up to the “Next president of the United States, XYZ” test. Finally, I had to love the nickname options. It’s alot. But durring labor I was struck that the world is just too beautiful to name her anything other than Bella.

  80. Wilson says...

    The timing of this! Baby boy is due in FIVE days and we remain absolutely torn between two names that are very different – one that is very popular in Australia (we live in Canada but daddy is Aussie) and one that everyone on the internet seems to hate but I love…

    (a) Lochlan Wilson (my last name)
    (b) Sonny James (my dads name)

    Help cupofjo!

    • Rachel Solomon says...

      Both are great! Not helpful, haha, but you can’t go wrong!

    • Kari says...

      Sonny James! But I like both of them :) Congratulations, you’re about to meet your baby boy!

    • Wilson says...

      So kind, thank you for your comments!

    • Julia says...

      Both names are wonderful! We were also torn between two names and waited until he was born to decide. It’s amazing when they’re only minutes or hours old, but they already have a look and a personality. It made it so easy for us to decide, and we still marvel at how much his name suits him.

    • Marie says...

      Both are so sweet and one will just fit! We also had 2 names for our firstborn, and wound up waiting 2 days to decide on one. We were so overjoyed to meet him and still couldn’t decide… and then the next day, we did a few hours where we tried on one name and a few hours with another, to see what seemed to fit him. Congratulations, so excited for you!!

    • Hannah says...

      Both are fantastic. I like Sonny :-)

    • India says...

      Sonny for sure!! I’m Australian and wouldn’t say either of them are very popular here…Sonny is more unusual but is a more “trendy” name in the sense that it’s a cool name but not actually popular if that makes sense? I work with kids and apart from Zoe Foster Blake and Hamish Blake’s son I can’t actually recall any Sonnys that I know and I don’t actually know him IRL. I’ve never met any Lochlan’s either but I have a cousin Lachlan and babysat a Lachlan yearrrrs ago which was more of a normal name when I was growing up so there are for sure more Lachlan’s around. Not sure if this was helpful or not but just some thoughts from the homeland haha. Good luck deciding!!!

    • Jessa says...

      I have a 19 month old boy Lachlan Henry, we mainly call him Lachie which is cute too. Either spelling, I think it’s a strong boys name!

    • Wilson says...

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these comments – especially as we are still sitting here five days post due date waiting for the little man to arrive!

    • Kari says...

      I’ve been thinking about you and wondering :)

  81. I used to doodle names of my future children on scraps of paper when I was growing up. In a box of old childhood papers I found a journal with names written down- there actually were several names that I ended up using for our children- just in different first and middle combinations. We have six kids and several go by nicknames (we live in the South, of course)

    They are: Mary Cecile “Celie”, Frances Elliot “Francie”, John Calvin III “John Cal”, Thomas Levi “Tommy”, Lane Ruth, and Louisa Whitmar.

    • Julie says...

      I’m just trolling through this old post for some reason (no baby on the way, but I just couldn’t stop reading all the names!). And your last name there Louisa Whitmar stood out to me because my two children are named Louisa and Whitmore :) Both family names.

  82. Lindsay with an 'A' says...

    My daughter has a name that’s never broken the top 1000 popular names list, but it’s a fairly common Hebrew name and popular in Israel. It was always at the top of our list, but I’m still sort of surprised we chose it because it’s a very feminine name she’ll always have to spell out and pronounce for people (at least here in Texas!). But she gets fun nicknames, which is something I always wanted!
    Her middle name is Eleanor (shout out to Sense & Sensibility), which was a contender for a first name but didn’t suit her as much. I still feel guilty for not using my grandmother’s name for her middle name, but it just made her full name sound too southern belle for my taste.

    I also liked Margot (is this the new Jennifer??), Naomi, Lyra, Imogen, Esme, and Freya

    My favorite part of coming up with names was sending my husband a huge list of name options and having him send it back with notes on every name that included historical and literary facts about the names (he’s an English professor!) and it just cracked me up reading things like:
    Lyra [I’m willing to let this one climb in the ranks. After all, I read
    lyric poetry almost every day. Plus it’s a tiny constellation and we can point it out to her, which would add zest to a couple of evenings in our lives. Anyway, it’s a lovely name, but I can’t say I’ve ever dreamed of naming my child after an ancient harpsichord…]

    • Theresa says...

      Now I’m dying to know your daughter’s first name. Do you say it and I missed it?

    • Kathryn says...

      Esmé, my eldest granddaughter’s name. She often gets compliments when people hear it. There have been two babies, that we know of, babes after her.

    • Ann says...

      Yes, also wondering her name;)

  83. Kathryn says...

    Always wise to choose a name others can pronounce, and spell. I wish my name was spelled the more traditional way. People kindly ask, “C or K”, and still get it wrong.

    My preference is classic names that have stood the test of time.

    • Lisa says...

      I have a Katherine and still LOVE the name (and the spelling;)

    • Kathryn with a kicking K says...

      I’m a Kathryn with a K and a Y, no E, and will automatically say so when anybody goes to write it! And then spell it out in full for them as well, complete with last name which also gives them pause without a bit of help. I have always been “with a kicking K” as had a “Catherine with a curly C” in my class as well, and prefer mine. Kicking K always sounded far more appealing to me than Curly, too, though I did get told off a few too many times for the occasional booting of people bugging me…

  84. Cadence says...

    About 10 years ago I was at an India Arie concert and the drummer’s name was Solomon. It just stuck with me and I told my husband if we ever had a boy I thought that’d be a nice name. 18 months ago, we had a little boy and Solomon was the only name on our list! Two weeks ago I gave birth to another little boy and we had a name picked out right up until the moment I started laboring. My husband came across the name Aviv (spring in Hebrew) and we thought it fitting since he was born in the middle of a spring snowstorm in Minnesota.

    • Cooper says...

      Congrats on your little Aviv from a fellow Minnesotan :)

  85. Kelsey says...

    I’m a single mom so I got to name my son without having to compromise. I chose the name Rohan and it fits him so well. My Dad and my brother thought I should give him a more “normal” name just in case he didn’t like Rohan, so his full name is Dylan Rohan Hofman. He’s totally a Rohan but I like to think he has some choice when he gets older. Plus my name means “Island of ships” and Dylan means “son of the sea” so that’s a nice connection.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      That’s such a lovely connection between your names :)

    • Priyanka says...

      Rohan is an extremely common name in Indian culture – if he ever wants to be surrounded by people not thinking his name is uncommon, just head over there! It’s also my brother’s name, and he never had ton of trouble with people pronouncing it here in the States!

  86. Sara DeRose says...

    I’m a Sara born in 1978 and I named my now 3-year old daughter Margot. It’s a terrible name. NO ONE should name their Daughter that name ever again…;)

    • Laura says...

      Ha! So many people pick what they think is an uncommon name, only to discover several years later, it’s quite popular! My mom named her two daughters Sarah and Laura and says she thought they were original. Lo and behold, there were five other Lauras in my class!

    • My daughter is Margot Anne. I didn’t know ANY Margot’s before she was born…. I feel like they are popping up everywhere now! She’ll be 3 in July.

  87. Mary says...

    I wanted to name our daughter Virginia Louise and call her “Ginny Lou” . My husband didn’t like it, so someone out there please use it! We named our daughter Molly Jean (both family names) and it fits her perfectly. :)

    • Christy says...

      We’ve been trying to decide between Virginia and Molly for our baby’s name! I’ve been leaning towards Virginia, though, and LOVE the nickname Ginny!

    • Elena says...

      I know the nicest Ginny. She’s a lawyer, a passionate music lover and always has a smile on her face. It’s a great nickname. Do it! :)

    • Rose says...

      My sister is named Molly Jean (she’s 30) and I’ve never heard of another one – I love it!

    • Caitlin says...

      My cousin is a Molly Jean, she’s in her twenties and just the best. A great name.

  88. Elena says...

    Our daughter, Delaney, was given my mother-in-law’s maiden name as her first name. (It’s also my husband’s middle name) We love the name as it’s family, but unique and relatively easy to say. Best of all, it suits her.

    Nicknames on the other hand are difficult to predict. We were certain her nickname would be Della, but it’s just not for her and has never stuck. Her family nickname is “the bear”. Couldn’t tell you why, but it just works!

  89. Alice says...

    ….my personal thought is that a child ought to be able to inhabit a name any way they want, rather than carry a name weighted with its own obvious meaning and expectation.

    When choosing a name for our son we went through what I think is known as the ‘phone call’ test, let us take Henry as an example, you imagine if you were being told that you were

    a) Interviewing Henry
    b) Meeting Henry for a date
    c) You are going to be introduced by a mutual friend that thinks this Henry is just brilliant

    What is your reaction to each of those scenarios? What are your expectations of that person, justified or not?

    Then try it out with a more esoteric name….did you recoil? I did from a couple of my choices. Cute as a child, not so great when applying for a mid-level administrative position.

    Names are pre-determining, and we’re given them before we’ve even an ounce of personality. To be a quiet, thoughtful sort of a person and be named ‘Zanzibar’ or ‘Lion’ would I imagine be a bit painful.

    I also read a paper that measured the attainment and mental health disparity of women with ultra-feminine sounding names, vs. those with more androgynous names. Those with the more androgynous names were wealthier and healthier. The reverse was true for boys. This made me sad and I hope it’s something that will change for the next generation.

    • Reba says...

      I agree and love the scenario list. “Pick a name you can imagine calling on the playground” was common baby book advice, but our kids are going to be citizens of the world and will hopefully live a long life full of rich, diverse experiences.

      Our kids have enough expectations on them (see previous sentence!). We didn’t want to ask their names to do the heavy lifting of determining their personality.

    • Leslie A Sitzman says...

      My husband said “He’s going to be a man longer than he was a boy” – when naming our son. He liked George, I thought it was too grown-up sounding. We went with George and now I see that name as something that describes an adorable-ornery-lovebug 7 year old; and when I meet men named George I can now see their precocious sides before anything else. It no longer feels too grown up.

    • india says...

      I like your tests and kind of agree but also am glad my parents didn’t do it with me. Being given the name India in the early 90’s it definitely wouldn’t have passed the test. I remember thinking India just did not sound like an adult name and what on earth would I do when I grew up (I also thought that Jane and Gwyneth – two of my Aunts names – just didn’t sound like baby/children’s names). Well I’m happy to report that I’m now a well rounded, happy adult who gets compliments all the time on my name. I think names grow with people. I’ve never met an adult and thought “what? that’s such a baby/child name” so I say go ahead and call you child whatever you please.
      In reference to your Zanzibar or Lion example, being someone who can be slightly shy in new social settings my name is actually quite helpful as its a good conversation starter. I can’t imagine many James or Johns do much talking about where their parents came up with the name etc.
      Anyway, not knocking the test, just an observation I’ve previously thought about and thought I’d put it out there for others thinking of more unusual baby names :)

  90. Ciara says...

    I am getting lots of inspiration. I am 38 weeks pregnant (almost 39) with my first baby. My husband and I have identified two names that we both like – however, he now won’t engage in conversation about any other possibilities! *FACE PALM*!

    Our boys name is Finian (an Irish saint) and our girls name is Bronwen – Bron for short (Because I read “How Green is my Valley” the Welsh classic in January and fell in love with Bronwen Morgan’s gentleness).

    Other boys names I like are Vincent (Vincey for short); and also Pearse; Cormac and Jarlath. Other girls names I like are Emer; Gráinne (pronounced Graw-n-ya) and Saorlaith (prouounced Sear-la – which means free born woman in Irish) and Josephine.

    • Alice says...

      I have known two naughty horses with those names – go for it.

    • Kathryn Bagg says...

      Always wise to choose a name others can pronounce, and spell. My ba e is Kathryn, and I wish it was spelled the more traditional way. People kindly ask, “C or K”, and still get it wrong.

    • Clare says...

      Oh, I love Bronwen! How Green was my Valley is one of my all-time favorite books, and if my husband would get on board I’ve always thought about naming my kids after characters from it. Good choice :)

    • SR says...

      I love Grainne – it was on my list but somewhat rhymes with my husband’s surname so off it came. We landed on Ciara instead, which we love for our 6 month old.

    • Sylvia says...

      My two week old son is called Finnian! It was barely on our shortlist but in the day-after-birth haze it became the top contender, and I love it. It suits our little Finn so well.

    • Leah says...

      My girl Josephine Mae (Josie) is 7 and I still love that name AND the kid attached to it

  91. Sally says...

    I was born at 24 weeks, 41 years ago. Having been rushed by ambulance to the city my mum was in shock, a long way away from my brothers and dad who were on our farm. She needed to name me quickly in order to have me christened. Mum wanted to call me “Felicity”. The Dr told her he hated it, and to think of another name quickly. Mum suggested “Verity” to the nurse who was acting as messenger and ran with the name, down the stairs and to the Dr. He in turn sent the nurse back with the message “She will be called ferret at school”. Mum suggested “Dimity” . The nurse ran the name down again and the Dr said no again “She will be called dimwit at school”. Mum said all she could think and focus on was the Dr was talking about this 500 gram baby going to school one day, which was a sure sign of hope, that she didn’t argue back. Instead she suggested “Katherine” after a dear, late cousin. The message was relayed by the nurse again, and the Dr said he preferred “Sally”. The next message mum got was “Sally Katherine is alive and doing well”. And that is how I was named.

    We named our first son Magnus Louis Jonathan. I learned on Danish exchange of Magnus the Good – and we just wanted a “good” little human. Which he has turned out to be. Dear and good. Louis is a dear friend and Jonathan both my husband and brother’s names.
    Our second son is Fenton Royce Kalman. Fenton was my grandfather’s surname, Royce and Kalman my husband’s grandfather’s names.
    I was recently at a 40th birthday and one of the ladies had many wines and told me I had cursed my boys to failure by giving them such big names. My lovely girlfriend sprang to their defence!

    We believe the names are perfect for our sweet boys – big strong names to grow with, supported by the legacy of men we love, but still perfect for them now at 11m and 2.5 years.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      That doctor – he’s the ferrity dimwit!

    • Alice says...

      Loved that

  92. Alex says...

    My daughter` s name is Isolda. Ar first it was a joke when I was pregnant but then I just couldn`t give her any other! I got used to it and she seems pretty proud ;)

  93. Ker says...

    Our five month old baby boy is named Kavi (rhymes with “lovey”). It means poet in Hindi (and Tamil and Malayalam) and I hope he finds meaning and joy in words. He’s half Indian and we live in India so everyone immediately knows how to say Kavi here. But I’ve realized that non-Indians are (understandably) likely to pronounce Kavi as if it rhymes with “savvy”. Darn. Do you think I should just go with it? It’s not a bad name even when pronounced incorrectly. Or should I keep trying to clarify the correct pronunciation when the opportunity arises? In a few years it’ll be up to him. I still love the name but wish I hadn’t saddled him with a pronunciation challenge. Has anyone else had a similar experience with your own name or your child’s?

    • NJ says...

      Definitely correct them if you can, and find other (non awkward) words to rhyme with it so he can correct people himself when he needs, like at school. Speaking from experience here – my middle name is a no brainer in English speaking countries, but where I grew up it wasn’t easy, and it’s a very unusual name so people still ask all the time. Your son has such a beautiful name – give him the tools to enjoy it.

    • Inés says...

      I think it might be an american preoccupation with names that makes it as if the worst thing a child could face is a mispronounciation problem. I went to english-speaking schools all my life and have lived a chunk of it in english-speaking countries, but have a decidedly spanish name (and English is my 2nd language). Obviously, most non-romance language speakers (it has variations in french and portuguese – ive learned) have mispronounced it but it has never been such a terrible experience. If anything, it made me have to speak up for myself and confront my teachers; sometimes as a child it is comforting to know adults can be wrong, you can be right, and mistakes can be fixed :)
      I hope no future moms out there get scared by the anglo world dominance into giving their children a name that sounds better in other people’s lips.

    • Ker says...

      Thanks so much NJ and Inés.

      NJ, your last line really touched me and I appreciate you saying that <3. Also, I hear you on the awkwardness of having to use "lovey" to help with pronunciation (and it's not even a real word). I guess the other options are dove-y, glove-y and shove-y… None are ideal. We'll figure something out!

      Inés, I had to laugh out loud and agree with you. Mispronunciation definitely isn't the worst thing in the world. And I'm grateful for your perspective about helping a person learn to speak up for themselves. Also, what a beautiful thought about choosing names even if they sound better on non-anglo speaking lips! Thank you.

    • Priyanka says...

      Before Priyanka Chopra came along, folks had tons of trouble with my name even though it’s phonetic! Dealing with it taught me people skills and more importantly helped cement my pride in my Indian identity – just because someone may not have heard of a name doesn’t make it any less legitimate or lovely! And my name means something lovable or beautiful, which is always grounding too :)

  94. Betsey says...

    I have a daughter named Tacy after a character from the Betsy-Tacy books. My name is Elizabeth, but I’ve always gone by Betsey :)

    • Liz says...

      Betsy Tacy and Tib! 💗💗💗 I haven’t thought of these books forever but they were such a childhood favorite. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

    • alison says...

      My sister named her second daughter Tacy too! She loves those books!

  95. Callie says...

    I love reading all of these comments; names in general are so fascinating to me, naming babies was almost daunting!

    I have two daughters: Sloane Frances and Theia Mar’ce. We wanted names that weren’t super popular (though I love many popular names… And have heard these ones more since my babies were born), but that weren’t too unusual or hard to spell/pronounce. Meaning is SO IMPORTANT to me- Sloane means warrior woman and Theia means goddess. And the middle names we wanted to have significance/family ties- Frances is my husbands grandma and Mar’ce is my mom. Basically I am still in love with their names 4 and 3 years later.

    I don’t think we’ll ever use the other names on our list, but we loved Ridley if we ever had another girl and Coen if we ever had a boy.

    • Chelsea says...

      I love your daughter’s names! I have a son named Coen!

  96. Becca Gilgan says...

    I’m not sure if I’d like to have kids TBH, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love thinking of baby names!

    Some current favourites are Rupert (Ru), Frances, Flora, and Rineke.

    Past faves have been Oscar and Eleanor (Ella). My sister may name her new baby Eleanor and asked me if that was okay (haha!)

    We’ll see if I ever name my possible future children these names! We’ll seeeeeeee!

    • Alice Barnes says...

      Our son is a Rupert and he gets called Rupe & Rupee-dupe (he’s still only 2) but not Roo. Yet!

  97. Jessica says...

    Always had a hard time with girls names, although I love your list! Luckily I had two boys, Sullivan Thomas and Angus Benjamin.

    • Alice says...

      Angus Benjamin, awesome name

  98. Mei says...

    I love love love this post and talking baby names. We had a long list of girls names we loved and had such a hard time naming our son. We didn’t decide until we were being discharged on Day 3 in the hospital! We finally decided on Broden (Brodie) Elliott.

    Girls names I love are June, August, Penelope (Nellie), and Isla.

    Being a teacher it’s so funny to see the new trends appearing! Definitely a lot of unique, nature-based, or “old-fashioned” names. Or Vowel-heavy names like Aliyah/Ava/or ending in “y” or “ie” like Remy / Remi.

  99. Ashley F. says...

    I’ve got an Aurora Marisol (2.7) and a Colibrí Maribelle (.7). We call them Rori and Coco. Aurora was not even in the top 100 when we named her. Glad I had girlies because boy names are harder for us.

  100. shade says...

    Just discovered a treasure trove of baby name ideas: Anthropologie! Check out the product names in the clothing or home goods section. It’s a never-ending list of cool names… e.g. Charlotte (pendant), Radley (chandelier), Eloise (table lamp), Dorette (sconce), Adeline (lamp), Patsy (task lamp).

    • Ashley says...

      Haha, great idea!

  101. My kids are old now but I keep a list of potential grandkid names for the far off future: Asher, Lion, Aslan, Ocean, River and Cash are at the top of my list.

    • Nancy says...

      My daughter just asked me for advice on naming her children today. Can’t believe we are there already, Our family has the four name tradition and every name comes from someone we love. No one can argue with that! Also, we made sure everyone had a nickname that could be written easily when they were young. Our Gus, Bea, Hank and Lu were pretty happy to be the first ones with their names on their papers in class every time! And… we let the big kids in on choosing a name for the littles. Our Lu (Amicus Lazarus Luther – all grandfather names) is always proud of the fact that the big kids know he would be their amicable friend!

    • Yaya says...

      My son’s name is Asher Lyon (my maiden). It’s the best!

  102. Liz says...

    I knew this would happen! I had a Jasper 5 months ago. I’m not super concerned, though. Names are a sign of their times. If you want something unique these days, name your child Jennifer or Jonathan. Ha ha.

  103. 2 of my 3 children are named Sky and Sunday. we come from non English speaking country, so people here are always taken aback by their names and misspell them all the time!

  104. Jennifer says...

    My kids ‘ names are Maelena and Isaak. They go by Mae and Ike. Names we didn’t use but love are Strider (from LOTR), Rae, Monet, and Lux.

    • CG says...

      We named our son Elessar (from LOTR, Aragorn’s name when he became king. His full name was Elessar Telcontar, but it’s difficult to include Telcontar as his grandparents might protest)

  105. Mary says...

    Elizabeth Anderson (Elizabeth, a name that I loved since I was in 5th grade and Anderson, a family name), Thomas Timmons (gr grandfather), Lillianna Tamari (Lillianna after my gr aunt Lillian and Tamari after my mother-in-law) and Bridget Carey (gr gr grandmother)!

  106. My kids are named Viva and Wolf. They both love their names, phew because they are a bit weird!
    We had a long list of girls names but found it so hard to find boys names… i loved Moss and Silas and Rocket and whizz but my husband wouldn’t have any of it!

    • Alice says...

      your house sounds fun

  107. Sofia says...

    I named my first three kids Cecilia, Damian, and Marvel. Cecilia after my favorite saint, Damian after the youngest Robin in the DC comics, and Marvel after the Marvel comics. I am pregnant with twins, girl and boy, Juliana and Jason. Juliana for my best friend, and Jason after my husband’s favorite horror movie character.

  108. Alex says...

    I love Winifred. I have a friend who named her baby Wynora and she goes by Wyn for short. I love the idea of your strong baby nicknamed “Win.” Iris is also amazing. My baby’s middle name is Lily, and I got a massive, beautiful line drawing of a tiger lily tattooed on my forearm, so there’s always that possibility ;-)

    • Julie says...

      Winifred was my great grandmas name (her full maiden name was Winifred Tarbox which always made me laugh) and my auntie has Win as her middle name and absolutely HATES it. I’ve always liked it mainly for the nickname possibility – Winnie is cute but Freddie is even cuter!

    • Anna says...

      My girlfriend has a daughter named Winifred, who is Very strong willed. They joke about when they’re negotiating with her and manage to find a solution that it’s a ‘win-win’ situation..

  109. Lindsey says...

    We had a baby via surrogate and knew it was the only one we would have which made picking THE NAME. We agonized over it. I wanted a name that not everyone would have but that wasn’t all woo-hoo. One day we were doing dishes and I shouted FIONA! And he said YES! And now she’s almost nine and it’s still my favorite name in the world.

    • Lindsey says...

      Should read: which meant it was picking THE NAME. (Sheez my fingers were moving too fast!)

    • Sarah M says...

      I have a Fiona too! She is 12 and I still adore her name. We also rarely encounter it. My son is 10 and he is Alistair (we call him Ally) and together they are perfect with our Scottish last name ❤️

  110. Alexandra says...

    Two names I love that we never used are Vera & Evangeline.

    • Lindsey says...

      Love both of those!

  111. E says...

    The big thing for me is dancing around all the bad associations with certain names! I would never name a kid Alex because I was tormented by several different ones, boys and girls, at different schools! Bad dating experiences with Pauls and Jasons (otherwise fine names). Nora–a family name on my side–is the name of one of my partner’s ex-girlfriends. We briefly had a crazy dog named Louise (would not repeat that name with a child now!). On the flip side, my partner has a thing for names that start with C.

    • Carly says...

      It’s so hard not to associate names with people you might have known in the past! I have a few names that I really like but my husband says no because he once knew someone at school with that name and he didn’t like them very much haha

  112. Brenda says...

    My daughter’s name is Freya. Very popular in Great Britain and Australia, but it seems most people we come across here in the US have never heard of it!

    • Alice says...

      I live in England, always have, only know two Freyas and always thought it was a lovely name :)

    • India says...

      I live in Australia and have only ever met one Freya and that was while I was living in London. I love it though and would definitely consider it if I ever have babies

  113. I was one of soooo many Emily in college. Now I work in higher ed and there are so many Maya/Maia students. The parents are all Beverly & Susan & Rick. I have a Thomas and a Claire.

    • Becca Gilgan says...

      Oooh I left a comment but forgot that I’ve been into Maya lately! So pretty.

  114. Kate says...

    We wanted traditional, family names for our boy/girl twins that were not in the top 50 of any list – we decided on Kenneth and Eliza. I’ll admit most people are shocked at “Kenneth” (except the 80 year old grannies!)

    • Allie says...

      I have an Eliza! Love the names.

    • Kelsey says...

      Kenneth is my first choice for a boy! Mostly because I’m a teacher and every student I’ve met named Kenneth/Kenny is a total angel. :)

    • Eva says...

      Love Kenneth. My son’s middle name <3

  115. Hilary says...

    We named our son Abraham, just happened to like the name, its roots, and the reference to Abe Lincoln. So it was crazy to find out from my grandma after introducing our Abe that I have a great great grandpa, ggg grandpa, and gggg grandpa all named Abraham! Even crazier, our guest bed is a family heirloom that belonged to gg and ggg grandpa Abraham

    • Allie says...

      Love Abraham! When I was pregnant, if we had a boy, I was pushing for Abraham and my husband was pulling for Lincoln! Great namesake and cool that you have a strong family connection, too.

  116. Jordan G says...

    I named my twins Hope Everly and Evan Donaldson. Fun story: Just last week I got a note from someone who bought my son’s old shoes on Poshmark. I had a sticker inside with his name on them. She told me she and her husband loved the name so much that she decided to name her baby girl – she’s due in a month – Evyn. I was so amused! Name inspiration can come in the most unusual places.

    • Kathleen says...

      Our first daughter’s name came easy: Maeve Marie, after my grandmother (Mae) and my husband’s grandmother (Marie). At the time, it was a fairly obscure Irish first name (now – ha!). We labored (no pun intended) over our second daughter’s name until Rowan Ellen rang the right bell. She too is named after a great woman (my mom Ellen). We want them to feel the power of great women through their names.
      We were sad to never have the chance to try our options for a boy: Augustus and Sullivan. Maybe in the next generation there will be a mighty Gus or Sully!

  117. Jen says...

    I love reading about this topic, and I also love how names are so cyclical in their popularity. Almost all of my 9 year old daughter Stella’s friends have a similarly “old lady” / classic name, such as Claire or Eva or Beatrice. It would sound so weird to my ears if she had friends with the names of the girls my big sister was friends with as a girl in the 60s and 70s: all those Debbies, Karens and Lisas. Is too soon for those names to have a resurgence in popularity? Judging from the lists and the comments, I’m guessing that the monikers Janet and Barb (or Kevin or Chad, for the guys) aren’t making a comeback quite yet. Of course it would also seem odd if she had 4 Jennifers (my name) in her grade. I was always specifically Jennifer H. since there were so dang many of us.

    • Sara says...

      Omg Janet is one of my girls names haha. I love it.

  118. Katie says...

    love this post. Trying so hard to come up with boy name for our July son. We have a daughter (Charlotte, goes by Charlie). I could name 5 girls tomorrow but boy names are so much harder for me! Parker is my top choice right now. Tell me, COJ readers, is it too waspy? Preppy? Helppppp….

    • Gina says...

      We just named our daughter Parker! We didn’t know the gender and picked that as our single name for boy or girl. I love it! (We did the same thing for our first baby and named her Reece)

    • Lizzy says...

      No such thing as too preppy if you ask me, I like it!

    • Jordan G says...

      Are you OK with unisex names? I know both boys and girls named Parker. I love it for both, but I’m more OK with unisex names for girls than boys (I have no idea why, but maybe because I’m a girl named Jordan).

    • Leah says...

      I LOVE the name Parker! My husband and I are naming our first girl Parker Lee. Parker after my husbands middle name and Lee after my name.

    • india says...

      I love the name Parker!!! My godson is called Parker and he’s amazing!!! I don’t think its too waspy or preppy at all but the Parker I know is neither of those so maybe thats why?? Good luck trying to decide!

  119. Alison says...

    Our daughter is Corinne Elise after Corinne Bailey Rae.

  120. Madeline D says...

    I have two little girls, and neither had names until after they were born! Our oldest is Maren and while thinking of a name for “sister” I kept trying all of them out with “the adventures of Maren and _____.” Eventually, we landed on Quinn and the adventures of Maren and Quinn have been so marvelous to follow these last few years!

    • Oh my gosh this is so sweet! That sounds like an excellent book :)

    • Emily D says...

      I’ve been reading through comments to see if there were other Maren’s! :) (my kids didn’t have names until at least 24 hours after birth…drove our families crazy!)

    • Sally says...

      This is the sweetest. x

    • Alex says...

      My daughter is a Maren too! Maren + Quinn is a great pair of names for what I’m sure are excellent girls!

  121. Julie. says...

    Ha! My two daughters are named Louisa and Margot! Mind sync.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwwww such pretty names :)

    • Alice says...

      love Margot!

      Have you ever seen ‘the good life’…it’s probably leaked on youtube somewhere

  122. sally mae says...

    I have three boys! Edwin, Arthur, & Spencer! For girls I would have loved Winnie, Mabel, or Louise!

    • Ellen says...

      Oh my gosh, I have an Edwin too (he’s 2)! You don’t meet too many Edwins so this made me v excited to see!

    • Victoria says...

      We named our son, who was born last year, Edwin. Such a wonderful name!

  123. Nina says...

    My father passed away 8 years ago and before he died we discussed what baby names he liked because I wanted him to know what his grandchildren would be called. He and I picked out Edward John (My dad’s first and middle name. He was third generation Edward John so it’s important for me to keep the tradition going) and Roy Archer. Girl names agreed would be Ellen or Rosedon (Family name).

    Lucky for me, my boyfriend’s middle name is Edward, and his father’s name is John, so it’ll be Edward John if we have a boy (Eddy for short). For a girl, we’ve compromised on Lucille Rosedon – as my boyfriend think’s Rosedon is a perfect MIDDLE name, not a first name. And Lucille is after his grandmother (Lucy for short). We’re just started talking about when we’re going to start trying for babies, so hopefully either one of these will be used in the near future!

  124. Gina says...

    I have an Aslan (girl) and that one is really rare so far, but girl #2 will be Evangeline and that’s more popular I think. She is already getting her name shortened by #1, who calls her “baby Eva”. I want to call her Evie and my husband wants to call her Evan. Ha.

    • Jackie says...

      You MUST listen to the Brandi Carlile song The Mother, singing about her sweet daughter Evangeline.

    • Holly says...

      I LOVE Evangeline! That was my top girl name, but we have boys. One of the most lovely women I know is named Evangeline, and I’m sure your daughter will wear it just as well, no matter what you shorten it to. Best wishes!

  125. Rue says...

    I plan to follow the Jewish tradition of using the first initial of a baby’s name to honor a family member. My list of letters right now includes C, D, G, and M.

    I grew up in NY but now live in the south, and people will bristle when I mention this practice, maybe just because it’s different from their own ideas about “how names should work.” (I’ve noticed people have a lot of feelings about names.) But when I explain that, for example, my friend named her daughter Hillary in honor of her late father Hank, people soften and begin to understand why it’s meaningful.

    • Jamie says...

      Jewish Texan here! Totally used my late grandparents’ initials for my children and it is sooo special to me.

    • Mary says...

      I find that tradition to be so lovely and thoughtful!

  126. Cora says...

    For a girl: Torvi, Freya, Alva, Kari
    For a boy: Fenris, Bjorn, Brant, Leif, Torben

    • Sally Dalwood says...

      Scandinavian loves x

  127. Christine says...

    This is such perfect timing. I’m due with a baby any day now (she’ll be very early…her actual due date isn’t until June), and we haven’t been able to decide on name. Her sister’s name was Bernadette, but she tragically passed away a few weeks before her due date. We’ve got this baby’s name narrowed down to Winifred, Iris or Fern. My husband loves Winifred (though her last name will also start with a “W” and Winifred or Winnie doesn’t seem to flow very well). I’m leaning towards Iris or Fern, though also like Winifred or its nickname Freda or Freddie. I’ve been getting some pressure from a parent to use a family name, so I’m debating about Elizabeth, Eleanor or Anna for a middle name. Any input or opinions appreciated! I had really hoped to have her name decided by now, and I’d like to avoid any added stress of trying to name her while also dealing with the NICU.

    • Jackie says...

      Those are beautiful options! Wishing you a speedy stay in the NICU.
      I’ve always liked Winifred or Winnie but never thought of other nicknames. I like all your ideas. Fern sounds so sweet too. I’ve been nervous naming all my kids but the more I say it (and see it in writing on documents!) I get used to it and now love all our names. (Surprising I know ;).) So hard and so fun!

    • Julie says...

      I don’t think you’ll go wrong with any of those choices. Iris Eleanor is pretty! I think that’d be my vote. :)

    • Sigrid says...

      So sorry about your Bernadette and sending lots of love in these stressful times! I don’t have your painful experience but feel moved by your struggles.

      Just wanted to chime in because my eldest daughter is a Freda <3 Really love all your options and hope you'll have a happy ending, whatever that means in your situation. My girls were both born close to due date but I myself was 6-7 week early (two weeks in incubator, and SGA with poor lungs; kicked the incubator open and the apnea mattress to pieces), and I'm a well functioning medical doctor approaching my forties.

      I´m Norwegian myself, but have a fondness for the Swedish tradition where they have a bucketload of names, none of which flow smoothly off the tongue. I think all names on your list are absolutely beautiful and could be put together either way you feel inclined to!

    • Kelly says...

      so funny! two of my grandma’s sisters were Bernadette and Winifred! Aunt Bernie and Aunt Winnie. Margaret, Catherine and Patricia rounded out the bunch.

      so sorry about your Bernadette, and good health to this new baby girl, whatever her name may be!

    • Sally Dalwood says...

      Christine, what ever you name her will be perfect. I think Winifred is super strong. Take heart – I was born 41 years ago at 24 weeks gestation. Premmie babies are tough ones – all love x

    • M says...

      How about Windsor/Winsor? Or Willow? And Hannah for a middle name.

    • Sarah says...

      I once met the loveliest older lady named Winifred, however she went by Una. She said it was a very common nickname from her country (maybe Scotland? Now I can’t remember where she was from) wishing you all the best in the coming weeks!

  128. janine says...

    I was talking to a doula recently who said people keep telling her they are naming their daughters Penelope, and “isn’t it unique”? She says she always keeps her mouth shut when people tell her the names of their future children. :)

    • Cait says...

      haha she sounds like a smart lady ;)

  129. Fernanda Abreu says...

    My baby girl is turning one and we named her Maria Paula, after my paternal grandma. I say “we”, but I already knew that my first baby would be a girl and that her name would be Maria Paula since I was 8 years old :)

  130. megs283 says...

    I’m one of many Meghans out there, so I wanted names for my children that were easy to understand but not super popular.

    I chose my daughter Penelope’s name because I’ve ALWAYS loved that name. And we gave her Joy as a middle name. She was diagnosed with fatal heart defects when I was pregnant with her, and passed away when she was 4 days old. I wanted to give her a beautiful name that reflected the love she gave us. And it seemed providential that due to the myth, the name Penelope signifies one who is faithful.

    My second daughter, I chose the name Felicity – it means happiness. I’ve always loved the name and I wanted a name that echoed that of her older sister. With her birth, she brought happiness to our hearts.

    Our third daughter, Isadora – her name means gift – and she is truly a gift. I never dreamed, after losing Penelope and also having three miscarriages, that I would have another child or another daughter.

    I think we’re done…but if we were to have another girl – right now I want to straight up name her Blessing. :-) but that’s a bit out there, even for me!

    • Jackie says...

      I am so devastated for your loss and thrilled that you have your happiness and gift with your two girlies earthside. Blessing is sweet, so is Bless!

    • J says...

      Blessing is a very common name among Liberians (I’m not Liberian, but I knew some in Minnesota). I love the idea of that name and how it just states the obvious: that your child is a blessing!

  131. Maggie says...

    I personally wasn’t too concerned with name popularity. Even if a name is in the Top 100, so many different names are used now that you still may not hear the popular ones.

    My sister had noticed our choice, Isaac, was “rising” on lists but my husband and I had picked this name years ago as one we loved. I wasn’t going to change it because other people like it too. :)

    • Alice says...

      In a way it’s nice that a super popular name ties you in with your generation?

  132. Liz says...

    I have a lil Emory Locke and when we first took him to daycare we were shocked to have another Em(e)ry in his class! Three years later and it’s actually very sweet to hear all the little ones call them Emory C. and Emery B., and they’ve become close friends, which is even sweeter.

    • Veronica says...

      I have an Emery! It was our name whether we were going to have a boy or girl, after my husband’s grandfather’s best friend. Emery came out a feisty little girl, and though I never heard the name before, I am now noticing it. I think it has a way of sounding familiar, yet unique. For me it was important that it sounded nice with a Spanish accent, and it’s pretty either way.

    • Taylor says...

      I have an Emery too! And there are at least 3 others in our Philly neighborhood alone. Who would have guessed!

  133. Caitlin says...

    Choosing a name is so difficult! We decided on Benen for our son- we figured it is both unique and easy to shorten to “Ben” when he doesn’t feel like explaining how it is spelled to the barista at Starbucks. We found it in a baby name book, and loved that it is Irish (my husband and I both come from Irish catholic families) and that it means “mild and kind”. We also discovered that Saint Benen was the composer for St. Patrick, which happens to be my husband’s profession- music professor and composer! It felt like destiny. Only downside is that his initials are B.O. hopefully he isn’t a stinky kid on the playground- ha!

  134. Gina Hoffman says...

    So I’m a child of the late 80s/90s and I named my two girls names popular from that era. I have a Natalie & an Amanda! I think the name Natalie is making a comeback, but when I had Amanda (she’s now 3), the nurses in the hospital were very surprised to hear that name! They said they hadn’t heard it in ages! :-)

  135. Sarah says...

    Sarah was on the popular lists forever, and being one of four Sarah’s in my grade of 50 kids, I can say that having a popular name never bothered me. But I think it did make me feel pretty commonplace– wherever you go, there’s a Sarah! My friend’s dog was Sarah. My sister-in-law is Sarah, and now we have the same last name too. In adulthood, I’ve started to go by my full name, Sarah Louise, after my great-great-great grandmother. I have no idea on baby names quite yet, but I love Jack (my grandpa, who turns 100 next month), and Eleanor (my great-aunt, and my sister’s middle name). I’m drawn towards names that have stood the test of time, honoring tradition and heritage.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m also a Sarah – born in 1978 – TONS of Sarahs around my age. I always wished for a name that had a nickname option. It bothered me when I went to college because I was constantly hearing my name called around campus and would turn to find they were calling someone else!

    • Sydney says...

      There’s a really beautiful song by The Avett Brothers called Eleanor (A father’s first spring ) about his daughter. Everytime I hear the name it reminds me of it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udLdAZuTUwY

  136. Bri says...

    My daughters are Holladay Elizabeth (family surname shared by both my husband and me, my g-grandmother’s middle name) and Camilla Mae (my 3x great grandmother’s name, we just liked it).

    Last name is one of the most common names in America–so went for a little first name flair. :)

    If we ever have a boy, I love Smith (g-grandfather’s name) or Afton (grandfather’s middle name) for a little girl or boy.

    • megs283 says...

      I looooove Holladay. It’s so buoyant! (I also love Camilla)

      I gotta say – the name Smith might be a toughie, since you said you have one of the most common last names in America. He’ll spend his lifetime correcting people. “No, my name is Smith Jones, not Jones Smith.”

      I grew up with two “first names” and it was sort of a relief to change it when I got married!

  137. SRP says...

    Names are so tough and I think girls are the hardest! We are big on at least one family connection for our kiddos. A nod to where we came from. We have Wyatt David, Eloise Josephine and Nolan Michael (due in august!). So far they don’t share names with any other friends or classmates. I am also very much aware of how all the names sound together. Ha! And yes, so funny what was once popular seems so foreign now. My husband and I are late 80’s babies and we are Sarah and Matthew!

    • Vanessa says...

      I have a Wyatt and an Eloise too! :)

    • Callie says...

      I have a Wyatt and an Eleanor (“Nora”)–working on a boy name for baby #3. Love Nolan!

  138. Robyn says...

    My daughter’s name is Blake Sydney. She has never met another girl with the name Blake. Every year on the first day of school when her teachers take roll call, all of them are surprised when they call “Blake” and she raises her hand.

  139. My daughter’s name is June, which for me is the perfect balance of old-fashioned without being too trendy right now. My husband and I also considered the name Nora, but when we saw it was in the top 50, decided against it. I didn’t want my kid growing up like the Sarah‘s and Jessica’s of my generation. I shuttered to think of her being called “June S” at school because there were so many June‘s. I assumed we were in the clear because it’s not particularly popular. Then, of course, her first friend in the neighborhood was also named June, which is probably a good lesson and giving up control and just going with what you love instead of trying to “game the system” ;)

    • Rae says...

      I adore the name June. It is VERY common where I live right now – your daughter may indeed be a June S but so what? It is a beautiful, classic, and strong name. She will be her very own June!

    • Ha! Thanks Rae. I’ll admit, it broke my heart to think of so many Junes running around your neighborhood. I KNOW need to get over the idea of a unique name being the end-all-be-all of a unique kid lol.

    • Sara says...

      Sara here, and I’ve never been the only Sara. In fact, I always went by my first and last name. For this reason, I kept my last name when I got married – it has always been such a big part of me.

      My grandmoms name was June and I’m happy to know there are a couple of sweet Junes out there. If I ever have a girl, it’s on the top of my list.

  140. E says...

    I’m due with my third, a girl, in July, and we’ve just decided on her name: Flora Genevieve. I can’t wait to meet her!

    • Alice says...

      Genevieve is firmly in my top five. Always lovely ladies.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Thanks Alice ;)

  141. Nicole says...

    I named my little boy varek. (Vair-rick) havent met another yet :)

    • Sara says...

      I have a Georgiana and a William Torran. Both names are family names and I love passing down names and memories to the next generation. I want to do Lewis or Winnifred for our next babe. Very traditional over here but also loving the more uncommon names too!

  142. As I rediscover my Italian-American heritage and map out my family tree, I find myself longing to pass on the tradition of my ancestors to the next generation. My children will be named after their great-great-great grandparents, Maddalena or Michael/Michele, which happily fit well enough in English-speaking mouths.

    xx

  143. Meredith says...

    For girls I love Kate and Trudy and for boys Harris (ended up naming my son Harrison, because my husband couldn’t get on board with just Harris :) ) & Hayes and Levi.
    I also considered using the name Merritt, but with my first name being Meredith it was just too much! Like your Joanna and Anna

    • Lindsay says...

      I love the name Harrison and think I’m down with the nickname Harry, if that was his preference, but it’s a very different vibe… would you be fine with Harrison going by Harry later?

    • Samantha says...

      I have a Harrison (who goes by Harry!) It does feel like a different vibe, but trust me, it works! My older two kids (Madeleine and Benjamin) picked Harry because their names were from children’s books and they both LOVED Harry Potter….so Harry it was! I needed to have a ‘full name’ for the nickname, however, and luckily I also LOVED Harrison Ford, so win win ;) Having a cute nickname was almost as important to me as the full name…Mads, Ben, and Harry

  144. Cece says...

    My little girl is Margot. I’m currently pregnant with my second baby, a boy, and we’ve pretty much settled on Nathaniel – or Nat for every day. I was trying to explain to my mum what our naming style is this weekend, and it came out as ‘pan European mid-20th century Jewish intelligentsia’ – ha! We have such a complicated heritage, with American, British, Italian, Jewish, and Austrian/German, so a name has to work on so many levels. Plus I’m incredibly picky!

  145. Nina says...

    My son is Asher. When he was born a nurse in the NICU told me she had never heard that name before despite working there 20+ years. I’m a little sad it’s so popular now. Still one of my favorite boy names, I also like Anders and Jake. Girls: Tori and Taci.

    • Betsey says...

      Yay, my daughter is Tacy. I knew one growing up and she was very sweet.

  146. Nadege says...

    Not to add to the panic about picking an original name… but it’s worth trying out your child’s name with the first letter of their last name, as this is what they are called in school if there are doubles in the class. My son kept talking about a friend at school named Liamemem who I realized was Liam McM(name), which teacher shortened to Liam M.M since there was already a Liam M in the class!

    • india says...

      so cute!! my parents didn’t think about this but I realised one day that not only is my name India I am also Indian or India N haha. Not sure how I realised because there definitely weren’t any other India’s around but I did think it was funny!!

  147. PopPop says...

    The most popular name list is misleading! Those aren’t the names people are actually naming their kids, those are just the names most frequently looked up on one particular name website.

    • MJ says...

      It’s not misleading if you look at the social security website! You can look at most popular names by year or look up an individual name and track its popularity over the last 100+ years. Warning: this site is addictive: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html

  148. Katie says...

    We named our sweet girl, born this February, Ellinor Elsa Ada. Elsa and Ada are family names (paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great-grandmother, respectively).

    Ellinor is the Swedish spelling of Eleanor— my husband is from Sweden and his entire family is still there. I wanted something everyone could pronounce easily. Plus, it’s pretty and a bit of an homage to Sense and Sensibility (which was my first JA and read on a little patio in Maine when I was fifteen and invokes for me the sounds of the sea, lobster boats puttering in the bay, and seagulls).

  149. Bren says...

    Cup of Jo, how do you always know exactly what I need you to post?! I am pregnant with identical twin girls and I have ALWAYS struggled with girl names! Now I have the added pressure of feeling like the names somehow need to flow together if they are identical and always referred to together! I was also SO SURE they were boys, and now I have to find TWO girl names, and I’m panicking!!! So excited to read through all these comments and hopefully find some inspiration!

    • Arielle Otero says...

      I’m an L&D nurse and hear ALL the baby names. I took care of a mom having twin girls and she recently named her baby girls Stella and Veda. I’ve also had rememorable twins with the names Luke and Leah & Harmony and Musik.

    • Nina says...

      How exciting that you’re pregnant with twins! I’m an identical twin girl, and I’ve always wanted twins too! Such a blessing! My only advice on naming twins, is please please don’t make them rhyme or start with the same letter. I always cringed when I heard identical twins being called at school and their names were Markel and Marcel. It’s hard enough trying to stand out as an individual when you’re an identical twin as everyone, and anyone will compare you together your entire life. The strongest thing you can do is give your children their own, UNIQUE, name, thus creating their own identity from the very beginning. I’m a Nina and my sister is an Erika, and we’re both strong independent woman who made our own choices, created our own identities, and are still closer than typical siblings. And it’s true, your children will be born with a best friend for life and it makes navigating all the firsts (first day of school etc.) so much easier because you have someone going through the exact same thing at the exact same time. Good luck!

    • Marta Rogacewicz says...

      Haha. I also have identical twins and had so many options for girls only to find out to have 2 boys. We ended up naming them after my great grand father and my husband’s grandfather. They’re both old-fashioned and match each other (but don’t rhyme or start with the same letter) and have at least 3 versions of the same name (for a baby, for a child and for a grow-up). But if I had baby girls I planned to name them Klara and Rose.

    • Claire says...

      Ahh, I have twin girls that I was also sure were twin boys. :) It’s SO fun. Agree with another commenter – give them names that sound good together but aren’t too matchy. They’ll be lumped together enough as it is!

    • Mahina says...

      My husband and I are both Native Hawaiian. We’ve been living in the mainland for several years (we also went to college in the mainland but moved back to Hawaii for 7 years after graduation to be closer to our families). We had our son a few years ago (while living in the mainland) and named him Kainoa (pronounced Kai-noah). It has two different meanings depending on how you break up the word (Ka-inoa = the name or the namesake and Kai-noa = Unrestricted/free sea). Most people
      (who aren’t familiar with the language) assume the latter (or just that it means something about sea since Kai has been culturally appropriated by many non-Native Hawaiian people who go on to tell people their child or dog has a Hawaiian name). We actually named him after a couple of family members so we had the namesake meaning in mind and not at all the sea meaning.

      My family was visiting from Hawaii a couple of months ago and we heard a mom calling to her young son and she was saying, “Kainoa!” We greeted them and told them we had a Kainoa too. We asked if they were from Hawaii and they said no they visited and heard the name and liked it. They asked us and we told them yes but we had moved several years ago and my mom was visiting from HI. They looked a bit sheepish and embarrassed and it did bother us somewhat but we chatted for a few minutes then said goodbye. Names are powerfully funny that way, especially when they’re connected to a certain ethnic culture or language.

      People have a very difficult time pronouncing it here in the mainland which doesn’t bother us at all but I always tell people the name Kainoa is so common in Hawaii. I tell them, “We weren’t trying to be creative or hipster cool or anything. Kainoa is basically the Bob or Liam of Hawaii.” We usually have a good laugh about it and a few of my friends have started calling my son Bob! The name is so common and it’s very rare to meet child Kainoas (similar to the Kevin or Jennifer situation). When we decided on the name my husband was a little concerned about it being too common, I reminded him that it’s common in the 30+ age groups and that’s perfect because when he’s older he’ll have a unique name in Hawaii :)

      There’s also a beautiful older song titled “Kainoa” that was covered by Israel Kamakawiwa’ole before his passing.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bYRbhn-Qw0Y

    • Mahina says...

      Oops, I apologize. I meant to add a new comment rather than a reply.

    • dylan says...

      I have a twin sister – I’m Dylan Victoria, she’s Olivia Armstrong. I love that I have a more masculine first name and feminine middle name. She has the opposite. We’ve always been called “Liv and Dyl”. It’s my favorite!

  150. Kayla says...

    We have a little girl Reau Wallace (pronounced “Ro” like “Beau”). Other girl names that I like are August and Remi, although Remi feels a bit trendy and I’m afraid it will take off in the next few years. Boys names are so much harder – some of my favorites are Fleet, Buck, Cash and Ford. Fleet was my top choice if Reau had been a boy (some of my friends said it sounded like a Sarah Palin baby name and while I don’t agree with her politics I do like her taste in names)!

    • Catherine says...

      That’s funny; Rémi is a boys name only in France, and so is Alexis! But in the Us, it’s only for girls, I don’t know why. :)