Some great alternatives to the TOP 10 Baby Names
Some great alternatives to the TOP 10 Baby Names
Calla gets its nature tie from the beautiful calla lily flowers. Calla is Greek meaning beautiful.
A lovely was to get to “Cam,” Camellia is a genus of flowering plants.
A Spanish word name, canyon is a deep grove which often has a river flowing through it. An adventurous choice.
Caraway is a plant often used as a spice. Caraway is also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin.
Cassia is a tree name and a form of cinnamon. Cassia is the feminine form of the Greek Cassius.
A strong English tree name and Biblical word name.
A fruit and tree name that now has more of a rockabilly vibe.
A bit of a mouthful, though fun to say, Chrysanthemum is a flower native to Northeastern Europe and Asia.
Citron has a futuristic sound in English, though it means lemon in French. Citron is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind.
Clay is an English word for rich earth composed of several minerals. Clay currently ranks at Number 697 in the U.S.
A French, feminine form of Clement, meaning merciful, Clementine doubles as a nature name. Clementine is a citrus fruit and a name getting attention, currently ranked at Number 744.
Cliff is a topographical name but can also be short for names such as Clifford, Clifton, and Heathcliff.
Clove is an aromatic flower used as a spice. Clove got a bit of attention as a name after appearing in The Hunger Games.
A lucky little plant name perfect for a Saint Patrick’s Day baby!
Coral is a beautiful formation of marine invertebrates. Coral doubles as a color name for its bright orange-pink hue.
Cooper is a natural metal and a golden-brown color.
A small sheltered bar, Cove is a name on many name enthusiasts list!
A stream or brook that feeds to a river. This aquatic name may remind you of Russell Brand’s character is Trolls.
A gemstone name. Crystal was all the rage in the 80’s, today she ranks at Number 644 in popularity.
A great tree name that easily lends itself to the nickname Cy.
Would you use any of these for your bouncing babe?
It’s been an exciting week in the Name World as the United States Social Security Administration just released the list of the most popular baby names. I’ll add a link to my video chatting about the popularity at the end of this video. So like any dedicated name nut I’ve been combing the list and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by many mid-popular names. What’s a mid-popular name? These are names that rank in the sweet spot, right around the middle of the Top 1,000 in spots 475 to 575. The great thing about a mid-popular name is that it’s usually familiar without being overly used. Here are a few name gems that rank right in the middle!
Benson – ranked at #474
Benson is an English surname meaning son of Ben. Of course you get the nickanames Ben, Benny, and Benji, without the popularity of Benjamin, the Number 6 most popular name. At 474 Benson dipped nearly 50 spots last year. Law & Order fans may be reminded of character Detective Olivia Benson when they hear this usable yet not overly used choice.
Blair – ranked at #511
Allow me to show my age in saying Blair will forever remind me of the character Blair Warner from the TV show The Facts of Life. Younger generations will recognize the name Blair from the show Gossip Girl. Blair took a small jump last year on the girls list rising ten spots to spot Number 511. Blair is a Scottish unisex name meaning dweller on the plain. It is not currently in the Top 1,000 for boys.
Colette – ranked at #531
Colette is one of the few names my partner and I both agree on and so it’s been on my personal name list for a few years. Colette is a chic, French feminine form of Nicholas meaning victory of the people. I love the nickname potential from Coco to Lettie or even Lottie. Colette decreased in popularity last year from 469 to 531.
Hattie – ranked at #480
If you love vintage old-timey diminutive names that Hattie is your girl. Originally a nickname for Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is slowly rising sitting today at Number 480. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in the epic film Gone with the Wind.
Leonidas – ranked at #498
I’m seeing lots of little Leo’s lately as Leo is now in the Top 100 and up over 70 spots in the last five years. If you love Leo and are looking for a large and unique show-stopper of a name, you may consider Leonidas! A Greek name meaning lion, Leonidas has a very strong, masculine sound. If Leo isn’t your bag of tea, Lee and Leon are other nickname contenders.
Liberty – ranked at #568
Word names are all the rage right now and Liberty is one of my favorites in the bunch. If I had a daughter born on the fourth of July I may be tempted to use Liberty. The nickname Libby is equally appealing as is Birdie. Liberty has never ranked higher than 406 and today ranks at 568.
Matilda – ranked at #521
I would use the name Matilda in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner. I love the nickname Tilly and the character in the Roald Dahl book and film. A German name meaning battle-worthy Matilda dropped almost 30 spots last year to 521. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger chose the name Milda Rose for their daughter born in 2005.
Otto – ranked at # 478
I recently met a baby named Otto which really endeared me to this old-timey little palindrome name. A German name meaning wealthy, Otto dipped in popularity after the second World War, but has steadily been climbing the past five years. Currently ranked at Nmber 478, Otto hasn’t been this popular since 1946.
Rhys – ranked at #477
Rhys is another long-time favorite of mine. Rhys is a handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Jonathan Rhys Meyers helped introduce this name to American audiences. Joey McIntyre chose the name Rhys Edward for his son born in 2009.
Wilder – ranker at #573
Are you wild about Wilder? I’ll be honest, it isn’t my style but I’m warming up to it and I do love the Laura Ingalls Wilder association. Many a name lover has Wilder on their list. Wilder is a rapidly rising name and will likely be too popular for my mid-popular names list in the years to come. Wilder first entered the Top 1,000 in 2015 and jumped nearly 400 spots to 573 just in two years!
What are your favorite mid-popular names?
Hear all about the New Most popular baby names in the US here:
All names are words so why not look at some words that make for intriguing name choices. Here are some rad word names for boys A to Z.
Archers and fans of Robin Hood may enjoy this smooth choice.
119 boys and 71 girls were named Arrow last year.
A wonderful trait to bestow upon your little lad.
29 boys were named Brave last year.
A great sound for a beachy babe.
42 boys and 7 girls were named Cove last year.
Perfect for you blue jean baby.
117 boys and 62 girls were named Denim last year.
That cool Ev sound. Also a great nickname for Everest or Everett.
133 boys and 84 girls were named Ever last year.
A cool Finn alternative with a spark!
85 boys were named Flint last year.
A great Gavin alternative and perfect for a Thanksgiving baby!
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
A strong bird name with a cool image
55 boys were named Hawk last year.
If only Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had heard this one.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
For the guy on the go!
Currently Number 314 for boys.
For the dashing young lad.
50 boys were named Knight last year.
Calling all Zelda fans.
145 boys were named Link last year.
Perhaps a cool Mason alternative? A bit more popular with the girls.
24 boys and 69 girls were named Maven last year.
A great virtuous choice.
140 boys and 15 girls were named Noble last year.
A strong, steady image.
40 boys were named Oak last year.
A familiar sound but oh so rare.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
For your little adventurer.
35 boys were named Quest last year.
A Puritanical name with a strong meaning.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
TV reporter Stone Phillips wears this name well.
177 boys and 8 girls were named Stone last year.
Understated with a great sound and meaning.
44 boys and 31 girls were named True last year.
Baby in the city.
35 boys were named Urban last year.
Warrior-worthy virtue name.
90 boys and 14 girls were named Valor last year.
An appealing sounding directional name.
72 boys were named West last year.
Quirky and futuristic.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
Simple, strong, and bold.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.
Breezy and cool.
124 boys and 20 girls were named Zephyr last year.
Which of these rad word names would make your list?
L is a wonderful letter for names with lots of variety to choose from. The Top L names for boys right now are Liam at Number 2, Logan at Number 14, Lucas at Number 16, Levi at Number 42, and Lincoln at Number 66. Though many of the popular L names for boys are on my own personal list, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some equally awesome lesser used L names!
Landry can and is being used for both sexes. I put it on our boys list here today because it gives me a hearty, handsome, cowboy feel. Landry is a French surname meaning ruler, currently ranked at Number 858. Landry may remind you of Tom Landry the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach.
Literary parents will instantly think of writer Langston Hughes. Langston is an Old English surname meaning long stone ranking at Number 691. Langston just entered the Top 1,000 for the first time in 2013 and has been steadily rising ever since.
Laszlo comes from a Hungarian name meaning glorious ruler. Saint László was an eleventh century Hungarian king. Laszlo has the smooth trending ‘o’ ending and easily lends itself to the cool nickname Laz. Only 23 boys were given the name Laszlo last year.
Everyone loves and Irish name! Leary is an Irish surname meaning calf herder. Leary was the name of several Irish kings and may also remind you of writer and producer Dennis Leary. Leary is so rarely used as a first name that less than 5 boys were named Leary last year.
Ledger is another great surname name derived from a Norman name meaning tribe or spear. The late actor Heath Ledger is a strong association to this name. Another name with a cool cowboy vibe, Ledger was used by 157 boys last year.
I discovered the name Lemuel through my friend and fellow baby name enthusiast Alena (you can find her on YouTube: AlenaJIngle). Lemuel is a Hebrew name meaning devoted to God. A wonderful underused Biblical name, only 72 boys were named Lemuel last year.
Lev is a wonderful alternative to the much more popular Levi. Lev has both Hebrew and Russian origins meaning heart or lion. Actress Candace Cameron has a son named Lev. Last year 136 baby boys were given the first name Lev.
Lowell comes from a French nickname meaning wolf. I first noticed the name Lowell while watching the TV show Wings. Lowell peaked in 1934 when it reached spot Number 148. Only 45 baby boys were named Lowell last year.
Ludo is one of those names that I think would be more used if more people knew about it. Ludo has the loveable “Lu” sound like the more popular names Luca, Lucas, and Luke. Ludo is a short form of the name Ludovic meaning famous ruler. Seven boys were named Ludovic last year, but less than 5 were named Ludo.
Lysander is one of my favorite alternatives to the classic Alexander. Lysander is a Greek name meaning liberator. Lovers of Shakespeare will recognize Lysander as one of the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Only 34 little boys were named Lysander last year.
What are your favorite underused L names for boys?
There’s something feminine and sweet about the letter L. Lily, Lillian, Layla, and Leah are all currently ranked in the Top 50 for girls. If you love the luring L sound you may consider one of these great names ending in the letter L.
A great alternative to the rapidly rising Cora, Coral was only used as a first name by 199 baby girls last year. Disney fans will also recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo.
People are really enjoying the vintage vibe of this color and plant name. Hazel currently ranks at Number 63, the highest it has ranked since the late 1920s.
A lovely tree name, Laurel is a great way to honor a Laura, Lauren, or even a Laurence. Laurel currently ranks at Number 772.
Beryl peaked in popularity in 1920, falling out of the Top 1,000 in the late 1950s. Last year this green gemstone name was only used by 9 little girls.
Originally a male name, Crystal peaked for girls in the early 1980s. Today Crystal is Number 550, right in the middle of the charts for popularity.
A pretty, sweet, one-syllable name, Jewel is a lovely and fresh way to honor someone with a name beginning in Ju- (Julia, Julian, Juliet, etc..) Jewel is currently Number 887.
The birthstone of October, Opal has a strong vintage vibe and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1960. Only 229 baby girls were named Opal last year. Could Opal be the next Ruby?
This little vintage name is making a comeback. Currently ranked at 628, Pearl jumped 331 spots in the last 5 years. Pearl is one of June’s birthstones.
Modern Family actress Ariel Winter is one of the bearers of this name. Ariel may also remind you of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Disney’s Ariel gave this name a huge boost in the early 1990s. Today Ariel ranks at Number 137
Singer Avril Lavigne is probably the first person who comes to mind when you hear the name Avril. A French variation of April, Avril was only used by 129 little girls last year.
Bristol Palin, spokesperson and daughter of politician Sarah Palin, helped bring this name to the public eye. Bristol first entered the Top 1,000 in 2009 and currently ranks at Number 447.
Legendary actress Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep. Olympic Ice dancer Meryl Davis also shares this iconic name. Meryl was only given to 50 girls last year.
You may recognize some of these names from your family tree:
Lovely International Choices
These names would be a great way to honor your heritage and are easily usable in the US:
A few more great Names to Consider
These lovely names all rank below 500 in popularity:
What are your favorite names ending in L?
Summer is officially here! Warmer weather lends itself to some pretty cool names. Check out these beachy names for your little dude or dudette!
A sweet surfer name that works on a boy or a girl, Ripley may remind beach-lovin’ parents of rippling waves. Ripley is an Old English surname meaning strip clearing. A cool alternative to the much more popular Riley, Ripley was only used by 97 little girls and 29 little boys last year.
Marina is a beautiful, melodic choice for your little water baby. A Latin name meaning from the sea, Marina is currently Number 656 in popularity. Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc gave his daughter the enchanting name Marina Pearl.
Sailor is an occupational nautical name that may take off in the years to come. In the last year Bristol Palin used the name Sailor Grace for her daughter and Liv Tyler selected Sailor Gene for her son. Kristin Cavallari chose the alternative spelling Saylor for her daughter, Saylor James, who was also born last year. There were 234 girls and 42 boys named Sailor last year. Saylor is actually more popular, ranking at Number 608 for girls.
In addition to being a pretty summertime color, coral is a word name for underwater skeletal deposits which often form beautiful reefs. You may recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo. Last year 199 baby girls were given the first name Coral.
Morgan is derived from a Welsh name meaning sea and circle, the perfect meaning for a little beach babe. Traditionally a male name, Morgan currently ranks at Number 674 for boys and 120 for girls. Morgan le Fay was a powerful enchantress in Arthurian legend.
Reef not only has a cool sound, it’s also a great beach baby name for a bar of rock, sand, or coral beneath the water. Only 51 little boys were given this aquatic name last year. Reef is also the name of a popular sandal and clothing company that sells beach gear and active wear.
If you’re a fan of the water and of word names, why not consider Ocean? A cool sound that brings to mind a lovely image, Ocean can easily work on either sex. Last year 80 boys and 65 girls were given the first name Ocean. Other great similar names include Oceanus, Oceana, and Oceane.
Waverly is one of my favorite names to say with its easy-breezy flow. Waverly has the word wave in it and has a smooth, laid-back sound. An English surname, Waverly means meadow of quivering aspens. Waverly hasn’t broken into the Top 1,000 yet. It was used by 120 girls and 6 boys last year.
Kai is a short and sweet name that is on the rise. Kai not only has a cool sound, it’s also a name used in many cultures. The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea, perfect for a sweet little swimmer. Kai is currently Number 145 for boys and Number 895 for girls.
Finn is a great choice for your little fishy. Finn is derived from an Irish name meaning white or fair. Fin is currently Number 209 for boys. Several celebrities including Tori Spelling and Christy Turlington have used the name Finn for their sons.
Dylan is a popular Welsh name meaning tide, flow, or son of the wave. A less obvious beach baby name, Dylan currently ranks at Number 27 for boys and Number 397 for girls. Dylan has many great namesakes including writer Dylan Thomas and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman).
If you’re looking for a smooth, underused nature name, than Cove may be it. A cove is a small bay or coastal inlet. Only 53 little boys and 5 little girls were named Cove last year. I can definitely picture this name on a little sun-kissed tike.
What are your favorite beachy baby names?
Looking for a familiar but not overused name for your little lady? You may find some inspiration at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart. Check out these underused gems for girls ranging from 900 to 1,000 in popularity.
Paloma, pronounced pah-LO-mah, is a Spanish name meaning dove. Currently Number 906 in popularity, Paloma dropped 37 spots in the last year. Actors David Caruso and Ana Ortiz both used the name Paloma for their daughters. Perhaps one of the most recognizable namesakes is Paloma Picasso, jewelry designer and daughter of Pablo Picasso.
Louisa peaked in 1900 at Number 271. Today Louisa ranks at spot Number 908. A feminine form of Louis, meaning renowned warrior, Louisa comes with a slew of sweet vintage nicknames. Love Lulu, Lulie, Lou, or Louie? Louisa is a great way to get to “Lu” nicknames. Louisa is also a cool alternative to Lucy, which has continuously risen the past 10 years and ranks at Number 55.
Arden is one of the two names on my list here today that doesn’t end in the letter a. Arden is an English surname stemming from a Celtic word meaning high. Arden is a unisex name and has a similar sound to popular names like Aiden, but ranks at Number 912 for girls. Shakespeare’s fans may recognize Arden as the name of the forest in As You Like It.
Wendy made a significant drop last year, falling 154 spot to Number 936. Wendy peaked in 1970 and though it isn’t popular now, it doesn’t quite give off a granny vibe yet either. Sir James Barrie invented the name Wendy for the kind, motherly, old sister in his iconic play Peter Pan. Prior to the play Wendy may have also been used as a nickname for Gwendolen.
Tabitha is an Aramaic name meaning gazelle currently ranked at Number 947. You may recognize Tabitha as the mother from Bewitched or the free-spirited girl in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Tabitha is also the Biblical name of a New Testament woman who was restored to life by Saint Peter. Tabby, Tibby, and Bitty are a few cutesy nicknames Tabitha lends itself to.
If you love vintage names and Anne of Green Gables as I do, you may consider Cordelia. Cordelia is the name Anne Shirley would have renamed herself. Cordelia may be Celtic meaning daughter of the sea, or have Latin roots meaning heart. Cordelia fell out of the Top 1,000 in 1951, just returning in 2014, and currently ranks at Number 948.
A Russian form of Lily, Lilia is the perfect choice for people who love Lily but want something less popular. Lilia is currently Number 958, while Lily comes in at Number 25. Lilia has never been very popular, peaking in 1928 when it reached Number 752. Lilia is also great alternative to other more popular repeating L names for girls like Layla, Lila, and Liliana.
I recently posted about the name Elora on my Instagram account (@tulipbyanyname) and it received an overwhelmingly positive response. Elora was the name of the darling infant in the fantasy film Willow. Possibly derived from Eliora or Eleanora, Elora would be a great way to honor a Laura or Laurence. Elora first entered the Top 1,000 last year at Number 963.
A Greek name meaning lyre, Lyra is the name of a constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. Lyra just entered the Top 1,000 for the first time last year at Number 984. Lyra is the name of the main character in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and film The Golden Compass.
Mythology fans will recognize the name Rhea, a Greek name meaning flowing down. In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan and mother to Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus. In Roman mythology Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus. At Number 989 Rhea was given to just 270 little girls last year.
What are your favorite names ranking from 900 to 1,000?
The Social Security Administration released data on the most popular names for 2015 earlier this month. Name enthusiasts around the world have been pouring over this much anticipated list. The high-ranking boy’s names from last year are mostly classic, timeless choices, still a few new trends are emerging. In recent years we’ve seen cool names ending in –s, like Silas and Elias, rise for the fellas. We’ve also seen a rise in smooth –o ending names like Milo and Leo. I’ve also taken notice of another fun trend, names that end in –i increasingly used for boys. From Eli to Kenji, there’s a lot of variety in –i ending names to explore!
The Most Popular Boys Names that end in –i
Levi is the most popular boys name right now that ends in the letter –i. Currently ranked at Number 42, Levi is up over 100 spots in the last 10 years. Levi is a Biblical name with a cool cowboy edge, in part due to the Levi Strauss jeans association. Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey both used this cool name for their sons.
Eli comes in next and ranks at Number 53 in popularity. Eli is a Hebrew name meaning ascended. Popular on its own, Eli is also commonly used as a nickname for Elijah and Elias, both of which are also in the Top 100. A few other cool names that you can get the nickname Eli from include Elian, Eliezer, and Elisha.
Giovanni is a handsome Italian form of John, meaning God is gracious. Giovanni comes in at Number 130, making it usable but not overly used name. Giovanni easily pairs with Italian names for girls like Isabella that is still topping the charts. Fashion designer Gianna Versace’s given name is Giovanni.
Kai is definitely a name to watch, up 60 spots in the last 5 years. Currently ranked at 145 for boys, Kai is number 895 for girls. In addition to its cool sound, one of the things that I love about Kai is that it’s used in several different cultures and therefore has many meanings. The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea.
Malachi is a Hebrew name meaning my messenger. Malachi re-entered the Top 1,000 in 1987 at Number 992 and currently ranks at Number 162. There are numerous Malachi’s in film and literature, including the evil Malachi Boardman in Children of the Corn.
Quickly rising -i ending Names
Omari and Jabari are two of the 10 names that had the biggest increase in popularity last year
Omari is currently Number 510 – up 198 spots from 2014 to 2015
Jabari is currently Number 945 – up 194 spots from 2014 to 2015
A few more great names that end in -i
Bodhi first entered the charts in 2010 and quickly rose in popularity. Bodhi is currently the most popular it has ever been at Number 499. Bodhi is a tree name and a Sanskrit name meaning awakening and enlightenment.
Esai is a Spanish name possibly derived from Esau or Esaias. Actor Esai Morales, who pronounces his name EE-sye, helped introduce many people to this great name. Esai has never been in the Top 1,000.
Dimitri is a Russian form of the Greek name Demetrius, meaning follower of Demeter. Dimitri has never been too popular, peaking in 1992 when it reached Number 502. Today Dimitri ranks at 905 for boys.
Kenji is a Japanese name meaning second son. Kenji is a name I think more people would use if they knew about it. Kenji Kishimoto is one of the lead characters in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me book series.
Nikolai peaked last year at Number 478, the most popular it has ever ranked. Nikolai is one of the many attractive forms of the name Nicholas, meaning people of victory.
What are your favorite names for boys that end in the letter –i?