Tag Archives: unusual names

Witty Word Names for Girls

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Word names are hot hot hot with no signs of cooling down. Here are some witty word names for girls A to Z.

Amity
A cool Amy alternative that shares the meaning of friendship, if you can get over the Amityville Horror association.
42 girls were named Amity last year.

Bliss
A sweet, soft sound. Ellen Page played a character named Bliss in the film Whip It.
40 girls and 5 boys were named Bliss last year.

Cameo
A piece of jewelry, and appearance, a band, and a cool way to get to Cam or Cami.
5 girls and 7 boys were named Cameo last year.

Dove
Sweet, pure symbol of peace.
20 girls were named Dove last year.

Evening
Romantic sounding middle name.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Feather
No not Heather, Feather.  A cool choice in a sky of bird names rising.
7 girls were named Evening last year.

Golden
The nickname Goldie makes this one more enticing.
16 girls and 17 boys were named Golden last year.

Harmony
Virtue name loved by Puritans and modern parents.
Harmony ranks at Number 191 for girls in the U.S.

Indigo
Bluish-purple hue and fabulous color name that lends itself to the nickname “Indie.”
118 girls and 44 boys were named Indigo last year.

Jewel
Simple and sweet, Jewel is a great way to honor a Julie, Julia, Julian, Juliana, and so on…
Jewel ranks at Number 924 for girls in the U.S.

Karma
A name full of good vibes.
202 girls were named Karma last year.

Lark
The character of Lisa from Saved By The Bell was played by Lark Voorhies.
40 girls and 7 boys were named Lark last year.

Meadow
A name that conjures up images of lush life and peaceful foliage.
Meadow ranks at Number 687 for girls in the U.S.

Navy
Another fun and spunky color name.
152 girls and 29 boys were named Navy last year.

Oasis
Another nature name with beautiful imagery that also reminds me of the rock band.
9 girls were named Oasis last year.

Prairie
A sweet wholesome sounding name. Prairie Dawn is a sweet little Muppet on Sesame Street.
16 girls were named Prairie last year.

Queen
Regal names are all the rage.  I think of Alex Haley’s novel and miniseries Queen.
197 girls were named Queen last year.

Rogue
Xmen fans are sure to love this bold choice.
45 girls and 17 boys were named Rogue last year.

Silver
Our third color name on this list, just in time for winter!
50 girls and 12 boys were named Silver last year

Thistle
An unexpected nature name that’s fun to say.
Less than 5 babies were named Thistle last year.

Unity
Great meaning with a virtuous vibe.
30 girls were named Unity last year.

Velvet
The perfect Violet alternative.  Elizabeth Taylor played a Velvet Brown in National Velvet
8 girls were named Velvet last year.

Whimsy
This would be adorable on a pet or as a nickname
Less than 5 babies were named Whimsy last year.

Xenia
Great look and meaning with a bit of a futuristic vibe.
54 girls were named Xenia last year.

Yule
Holiday cheer is in our midst!
Less than 5 babies were named Yule last year.

Zeal
A zesty little name that would work well in the middle as well.
9 boys were named Zeal last year.

Which of these witty word names would make your list?

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Lovely Names Ending in L

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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.

Nature Names

Coral
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.

Hazel
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.

Laurel
A lovely tree name, Laurel is a great way to honor a Laura, Lauren, or even a Laurence.  Laurel currently ranks at Number 772.

Gem Names

Beryl
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.

Crystal
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.

Jewel
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.

Opal
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?

Pearl
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.

Celebrity Names

Ariel
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

Avril
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
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.

Meryl
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.

Traditional Names

You may recognize some of these names from your family tree:

Abigail
Annabel
April
Carol
Ethel
Gail
Rachel

Lovely International Choices

These names would be a great way to honor your heritage and are easily usable in the US:

Amabel
Gretel
Isobel
Liesl
Marisol
Raquel
Soleil

A few more great Names to Consider

These lovely names all rank below 500 in popularity:

Chanel
Mabel
Mehetabel
Muriel
Sybil
Teal
Xochitl

What are your favorite names ending in L?

Surf’s Up – Beachy Baby Names

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Summer is officially here! Warmer weather lends itself to some pretty cool names.  Check out these beachy names for your little dude or dudette!

Ripley
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
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
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.

Coral
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
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
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.

Ocean
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
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
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
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
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).

Cove
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?

Best Names for Boys from the bottom of the charts

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Last week we explored some gorgeous girl’s names ranging between 900 and 1,000 in the charts. This week let’s find some inspiring choices for the fellas at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart.

Thatcher
Thatcher is an English surname and occupational name meaning a roof thatcher. Thatcher just entered the US Top 1,000 in 2013 and currently ranks at Number 902. Thatcher makes for a fresh choice and alternative to similar sounding occupational surnames like Carter or Sawyer. Thatcher always reminds me of Becky Thatcher, the leading lady in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Grey
Any fans of Grey’s Anatomy out there? Grey is a smooth color name that just entered the Top 1,000 in 2013.  Currently Number 916, Grey is one of my favorite middle names, and sounds good with many longer first names. Grey is also being used as a nickname for Greyson, which currently ranks at Number 111.

Keenan
Keenan may remind you of comedians Keenan Ivory Wayans and Kenan Thompson. An Irish name meaning ancient, Keenan currently ranks at Number 931. Keenan peaked in 1997 when it reached Number 354, but has steadily declined every year since.

Boone
Boone first entered the Top 1,000 last year and is currently the highest it has ever ranked at Number 940. Boone is an English surname derived from a French name meaning a blessing.  Boone has a cool cowboy feel and may conjure up images of frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Cairo
Cairo gets double cool points for being a place name and ending in the smooth letter o. Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and means victorious in Arabic.  Cairo first entered the Top 1,000 last year, when it peaked at Number 941.

Seamus
There are many high-ranking handsome Irish names.  If you’d love to honor your Irish heritage, but want something a bit less used, you may consider Seamus.  Seamus is an Irish form of James meaning supplanter that currently ranks at Number 948. Seamus is the name of a Pink Floyd song and a character from Harry Potter.

Anton
Anton is a German and Scandinavian form of Anthony, meaning priceless.  Anton is Number 960, much less popular than Antony at Number 25. Anton may remind you of Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno or writer Anton Chekhov.

Wilder
People are wild about Wilder! Wilder was one of the fastest rising names last year, jumping 360 spots and making its debut in the Top 1,000 at Number 964.  Wilder is a surname and a word name that could be associated with the lovable namesakes Laura Ingalls Wilder or Gene Wilder.

Truman
Truman is an English surname meaning loyal or trusty man.  Truman peaked in 1945, the year Harry S. Truman, the 33rd US President took term.  Currently Number 981 in popularity, Truman has been declining in popularity.  The hip nickname True may make Truman feel fresh to modern parents.

Gilbert
My love of the name Gilbert stems from my love of the character Gilbert Blythe in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables book series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledged, currently ranked at Number 983. Gilbert peaked in 1930, but has dropped several spots in recent years.

What are your favorite names ranking from 900 to 1,000?

Great Girls Names from the bottom of the charts

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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
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
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
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
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
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.

Cordelia
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.

Lilia
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.

Elora
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.

Lyra
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.

Rhea
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?

Boys Names that end in -i

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?

Taylor Swift’s Squad

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Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift has an impressive number of music hits and an all star cast of friends. Taylor teamed up with some of her famous friends in her music video Bad Blood. From Zendaya to Martha this group has some interesting names!

Taylor Swift
Taylor was a name on the rise in 1989 when Swift was born, peaking in 1996, when it was the Number 6 name for girls in the US. Currently Number 77, Taylor has steadily decreased over the last five years. Taylor is an English surname meaning tailor. Taylor might remind an older generation of screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor and a younger of pop sensation, Taylor Swift.

Lily Alridge
Lily is a sweet flower name that has been in the Top 100 for the past twelve years. Lily can also be a nickname for several names, such as Elizabeth, Lillian,or Lilia. If you like the sound of Lily you may also consider similar sounding, less popular names like Tilly, Lula, Lilou, or Lilac.

Zendaya
There are certain names like Madonna, Beyonce, and Zendaya that are so distinct that no last name is needed. Zendaya is a Shona name meaning to give thanks. Zendaya entered the Top 1,000 last year for the first time at Number 892.

Hayley Williams & Hailee Steinfeld
Hayley and Hailee are two of the many spellings of an English surname meaning hay field. Hailey is the most popular spelling at Number 51. Hayley is currently Number 520 and Hailee comes in at 722. Most popular in the 1990’s, all spellings of Hailey are beginning to decline.

Gigi Hadid
Gigi is a diminutive name commonly used as a nickname for names like Georgina and Virginie. Hadid’s full name is Jelena Noura “Gigi” Hadid. Jelena is a Slavic form of the name Helen, meaning bright shining light. Jelena is an exotic and lovely choice, especially with the sweet nickname Gigi.

Ellie Goulding
Ellie and Gigi not only go by nicknames, but their names also share the same meaning. Goulding’s full name is Elena Jane “Ellie” Goulding. Elena is a Spanish form of the name Helen, which also means bright shining light. As names like Eleanor, Eloise, and Elena continue to rise we are sure to see more little girls with the nickname Ellie.

Lena Dunham
Lena is yet another name that stems from Helen. Lena is a Scandinavian and German diminutive of Helena, a form of Helen, meaning bright shining light. Lena can be pronounced lee-nuh as Dunham uses, or lay-nuh. Currently 279 in popularity, Lena is a name on the rise, up 242 spots just in the last ten years.

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen is our fourth and final name on this list that has ties to Helen. Ellen is an English variation of Helen, meaning bright shining light. Ellen peaked in 1946 and is currently 656 in popularity. With a generation of Ellen’s becoming grandmother’s, I wonder if we’ll see the name Ellen used to honor.

Serayah McNeill
Serayah is a new name to me and one that I had difficulty finding reliable information on. Serayah may be a form of Suraya or Soraya which have Arabic roots meaning the Pleiades. If we take the name apart we get Sera, which means Princess and Rayah meaning friend or queen.

Jessica Alba
Jessica was all the rage in the 1980’s and 90’s when it was consistently in the Top 10. A Hebrew name meaning wealthy, Jessica has dipped to Number 179. Jessica was first used by Shakespeare in his play The Merchant of Venice. Jessa may be an alternative or way to honor a Jessica. Jessa is new to the charts and was most popular last year at Number 849.

Martha Hunt
Martha is an Aramaic name meaning lady or mistress. Martha may remind you of the first First Lady, Martha Washington, or of businesswoman Martha Stewart. In the New Testament, Martha was the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany, and a generous host to Jesus.

Karlie Kloss
Karlie is feminine form of the name Carl, meaning free man. Karlie, Karlee, Carly, Carli, Carlee and Carlie are different spellings of same name that are all in the Top 1,000. Karlie comes in at Number 885. Carly is also used as a nickname for names like Charlotte, Carlotta, and Caroline.

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska is a Hungarian form of Maria meaning bitter or of the sea. Mariska has never been ranked in the US Top 1,000. A name closely associated with the Law & Order: SVU actress, only 32 little girls were named Mariska last year.

Cara Delevingne
Cara is a Latin name meaning face, an Italian word meaning beloved, and in Ireland Cara means friend. Cara started to gain popularity in the 1950’s and peaked in 1985. A bit less popular than Kara at 442, Cara is currently number 672.

Cindy Crawford
Cindy is a diminutive of Cynthia, which comes from the Greek name Kynthia, meaning woman from Kynthos. Cindy was most popular in 1957, and is currently Number 710 in popularity. Cyndi Lauper put a cool spin on this name with her unique spelling.

Selena Gomez
Selena is a Latin form of Selene, meaning moon goddess. Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla, who Selena Gomez was named for, helped make this a household name. Peaking in 1995, Selena is currently Number 346 in the US.

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick comes from an Old English surname meaning royal power or champion. Most popular in 2013, Kendrick is currently 334. The rise of Kendrick may be in part due to this rapper. Kendrick is also an interesting way to get the nickname Ken or to honor a Kenneth.

Which star in the music video Bad Blood do you think has the best name?