Combine Name For Baby

You may be surprised to discover which brilliant minds and glamorous stars influenced the popular names of each decade, and perhaps these names will inspire your choice of name for the baby girl in your life, too!

1880s: Mary, Anna, and Emma topped the charts
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During the 1880s, we see from the Social Security Administration that 6.5% of all girls born in the U.S. during the 1880s were named Mary, with 91,668 little ladies sharing the name. Verywell Family tells us that the name Mary comes from Latin origins and means “beloved.” This is perhaps unsurprising considering in the Christian faith, Mary was Jesus’ mother and clearly favored by God.

The next two most popular names of the 1880s were Anna, with 38,159 girls sharing the name, and Emma, belonging to 25,404 babies. Meaning “grace,” according to Nameberry, the Hebrew name Anna belonged to historian and Marxist economist Anna Rochester who was born in the 1880s and founded the Labor Research Association (via Archives West). The German name Emma stands for “whole or universal,” as referenced by Family Education, and belonged to Emma Morano, who, in 2016, was the oldest person still alive born in the 1880s (via USA Today). Using any of these names for your baby girl will undoubtedly pay tribute to history!

1890s: Mary, Anna, and Margaret were popular choices
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Mary was once again the most popular name with 131,137 babies sharing the name in the 1890s, according to the SSA. Anna then followed with 55,261 baby girls with that name.

Margaret, Helen, and Elizabeth were the third, fourth, and fifth most common names. So, what do they mean? Behind the Name says that Margaret is Latin for “pearl” and belonged to 37,937 baby girls, while, according to The Bump, Helen is Greek for “sun ray or shining light” and was given to 37,802 babies in the 1890s. Notably, in Greek mythology, Zeus’ daughter Helen was known for her overwhelming beauty, as depicted in Homer’s “The Iliad” (via World History). Rounding out the most popular names for baby girls in the 1890s, Elizabeth belonged to 33,879 newborns and is Hebrew for “God is my oath,” states Verywell Family.

There’s no denying the strength and significance of these popular names from the 1890s!

1900s: Ruth entered the top five baby names
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As with the previous two decades, according to the SSA, Mary once again reigned supreme with 161,504 babes sharing the name in the 1900s, followed by Helen, Margaret, and Anna. Meaning “compassionate friend,” Hebrew name Ruth was the fifth most popular name, belonging to 51,011 baby girls in the decade, as seen on Nameberry. Biblically, Ruth is known for her overwhelming loyalty.

Following Elizabeth, Greek name Dorothy was seventh in line, belonging to 39,112 girls during the decade, and means “gift of God” (via The Bump). Marie was the eighth most popular first name for girls during the 1900s, with 37,091 girls sharing the name. Latin for “star of the sea,” the popularity of Marie in the 1900s could have been due to historic icons like physicist Marie Curie and former Queen of France Marie Antoinette sharing the name previously (via Verywell Family).

1910s: Mary was still No. 1
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Throughout the 1910s, Mary remained most popular, with 478,638 girls sharing the name, according to the SSA. Following Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth and ranking sixth on the list was Mildred, with 124,000 baby girls sharing the name. According to Behind the Name, Mildred is of Old English origin and means “gentle strength.” One Mildred born in this time was Mildred Burke, who was born in 1915 and was a famed female wrestler who made her way into the WWE Hall of Fame after beating countless male competitors (via WWE). A few years prior, in 1911, English art historian Mildred Archer was born and later became responsible for bringing attention to Indian art, according to The Guardian.

Frances was in ninth place, with 105,600 girls having the name. According to Charlies Names, the name Frances, the female version of the boys’ name Francis, means “little French woman.”

1920s: Mary again reigned supreme, but Betty entered the picture
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The Roaring Twenties probably makes you think of flapper girls, but how about popular baby girl names of the decade? As you may have guessed, Mary topped the chart with 701,760 babies sharing the name, followed by Dorothy and Helen, as noted by the SSA. Gaining popularity in the 1920s was the name Betty, belonging to 283,098 girls, and in the overall 1920s names ranking, Betty took fourth place. Betty is short for Elizabeth, and means “pledged to God,” according to Nameberry. Undoubtedly the most famous Betty to ever live, Betty White was born in 1922 and is best known for her hilarious characters in countless roles, including the hit sitcom “Golden Girls.”

Next, after Margaret and Ruth, came Virginia with 169,555 babies. The name comes from Latin descent and means “virginal, pure,” according to Nameberry.

The name Doris was given to 151,192, earning itself eighth place on the list. According to The Bump, Doris means “gift” and is from Greek origins. Born in the same year as Betty White, American actress Doris Day began her career singing on radio programs in the 1950s before becoming a Hollywood film sensation in the ’60s, as noted by Britannica.

1930s: Barbara and Shirley followed behind Mary
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The 1930s kicked off with the births of new baby girls with popular names like Barbara, Shirley, and Patricia. For the sixth decade in a row, Mary was given to the most girls in the United States, with 572,982 babies sharing the name, as shared by the Social Security Administration.

After Betty, Greek name Barbara ranked third and belonged to 296,409 babies, and according to Behind the Name, the name most closely means “foreign.” Born in 1937, actress Barbara Windsor was known for her career as a pin-up girl before transitioning to film, according to the BBC.

The English name Shirley ranked fourth and belonged to 229,371 baby girls in the 1930s. Baby Names tells us that Shirley stands for “bright meadow.” Born just two years before the 1930s, Shirley Temple brought joy to the entertainment industry. Who can forget her famous song “Animal Crackers in my Soup”?

Each of these traditional names bode stardom, making them perfect for the soon-to-be star of your family!

1940s: Linda rose to second place on the list
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Can’t stop, won’t stop! Mary once again topped the charts as the most popular name, this time in the 1940s, with 640,050 girls sharing the name, according to the SSA. Linda was the second most common baby girl name in the 1940s and was given to 531,650 girls. Linda comes from Spanish origins and means “pretty,” according to The Bump. Curious to know about the famous Lindas born during this time? Jack of all trades Linda McCartney, first wife to Paul McCartney, was born in 1941 and is best known for her career as a keyboardist and vocalist for rock band Wings, as noted on her website.

Following Barbara, Patricia was given to 411,409 babies. The name means “noble,” according to Oh Baby! Names. And during the decade, Carol was another popular name and is English for “joyful song,” also referenced by The Bump. Carol belonged to 292,325 babies, as noted by the SSA. Actress Carol Sutton was born in 1944, and “Outer Banks” fans will recognize her for appearing in was in the hit TV series in 2021, as highlighted by Women’s Health.

Sandra was the sixth most common name of the decade with 265,531 babies. The name is Greek for “defender of mankind,” as explained by Family Education. 

It’s clear that these popular 1940s names made a lasting impact!

1950s: Susan, Deborah, and Debra were on the rise
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With the dawn of a new decade, a new wave of popular names for baby girls was on the rise, including Susan, Deborah, and Debra. Unsurprisingly, Mary remained most popular, with 625,591 babies sharing the name, according to the SSA. 

Fourth place Susan was given to 437,754 babies in the 1950s. As The Bump noted, the name means “lily.” Notably, the name Susan was given to famous actress Susan Sarandon just four years prior to 1950. Having acted in countless roles since, Sarandon’s big break came from her role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (via Entertainment Weekly).

Fifth place Deborah and seventh place Debra were also compelling contenders of the decade with the names belonging to 430,536 newborns and 341,336 girls, respectively. Numerous brilliant minds and famous faces were born in the 1950s, including journalist Deborah Norville, entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, and model Deborah Raffin (via Ranker). Plenty of famous Debras were born during the ’50s, too — one of whom was Debra Marshall, a WWE Diva and professional wrestling manager. Both Deborah and Debra have Hebrew origins and most closely mean “bee,” according to The Bump.

1960s: Lisa replaced Mary at the top spot
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Finally! The 1960s have arrived and they brought along a new most popular name of the decade, finally knocking Mary from its longtime No. 1 rank. During the 1960s, 496,982 girls shared the No. 1 name Lisa, according to the Social Security Administration. Lisa comes from Hebrew origins and most closely means “pledged to God” (via Nameberry). Notably, world-famous Elvis Presley named his daughter Lisa in 1968 (via Biography)! Still, Mary remained popular, earning second place with 355,228 babies.

After Susan, fourth place contender Karen was given to 286,053 baby girls. The name comes from Danish origins and means “pure,” according to Verywell Family. Celebrities born in the 1960s sharing the name Karen include reality star Karen Huger and Grammy award winner Karen Clark-Sheard.

There were also 259,085 baby girls were named Donna this decade. Meaning “lady,” the name Donna comes from Italian origins, according to Baby Centre, and was given to American author Donna Tartt in 1963 (via Britannica).

1970s: Jennifer claimed most popular name
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In the age of disco, new, trendy monikers appeared this decade, including the names Jennifer, Amy, and Melissa. Jennifer ranked No. 1, Amy was No. 2, and Melissa ranked No. 3, according to the SSA. Many popular celebs were born during the ’70s and shared these names, including “13 Going on 30” star Jennifer Garner, comedic actress Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy of “Bridesmaids” fame, and Melissa Joan Hart, who memorably starred on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” were also all born during the decade.

Belonging to 581,768 baby girls in the ’70s, according to the SSA, Jennifer means “blessed spirit” (via Verywell Family). Meaning “well-loved,” the name Amy comes from French origins, according to Baby Centre, and the moniker was given to 269,004 girls during the decade. Rounding out the most popular girl names of the 1970s, Melissa originates from Greece and most closely means “honey bee,” states Nameberry, and the name belonged to 253,284 newborn girls.

1980s: Jessica, Amanda, and Ashley ranked the highest
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The 1980s are best known for some classic musical hits, but the era was equally responsible for popularizing baby girl names we still see frequently today. According to the Social Security Administration, Jessica was the most popular name in the U.S. during the ’80s and belonged to 469,510 little girls. Singer Jessica Simpson and actress Jessica Alba were two stars born during this time with the name. As explained by Baby Names, Hebrew name Jessica means “God beholds.”

After Jennifer, the name Amanda took third place and belonged to 369,729 babies. Amanda has Latin origins and means “worthy of love” (via Verywell Family). Known by her stage name Willa Ford, Amanda Williford was born in 1981 and is best known for her singing career alongside stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore (via Billboard). And, of course, actresses Amanda Bynes and Amanda Seyfried were born in this decade, too.

In the 1980s, 352,192 newborns were given the name Ashley, the fourth most popular name. Family Education states that Ashley is an Old English moniker meaning, quite literally, “ash tree.” One famous Ashley born during this decade is Disney’s Ashley Tisdale. Talk about a star-studded time to be born!

1990s: Jessica topped the charts for another decade
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What do bandanas, sheer clothes, and ripped jeans all have in common? They’re all totally rad trends from the 1990s, of course! The ’90s packed a powerful punch, bringing us grunge music and Google, plus even more popular baby girl names. Jessica was once again the most popular name throughout this ten-year period with 303,111 newborn girls having the name, as noted by the SSA. Ashley came in second with 301,809 babies being named that.

Third place went to Emily, with 237,240 babies being given the name. According to Baby Center, Emily descends from Latin roots and means “striving” and “eager.” It’s quite possible that historically renowned American poet Emily Dickinson (born in 1830) and “Wuthering Heights” author Emily Brontë (born in 1818) influenced this new wave of popularity of the name. Notably, Emily Osment was born during this time.

Fourth place was Sarah, with 224,371 baby girls taking the name. The Hebrew name means “noblewoman or princess” (via Verywell Family). Biblically, the original Sarah was Abraham’s wife and known for giving birth to her first son, Isaac, at age 90, showing us all that it’s never too late!

Fifth place Samantha was given to 224,009 baby girls and means “listens well,” according to Family Education.

2000s: Emily, Madison, and Emma were top picks
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Y2K has arrived! And so have new popular names for baby girls. Emily topped the charts at No. 1 during the 2000s with 223,714 baby girls being given the name, according to the Social Security Administration. Madison ranked as the second most popular name, with 193,172 babies being given the name. The first name comes from English origins and most closely mean “good” or “child of Maud,” according to Family Education.

Just like in the 1880s, Emma was the third most popular name in the 2000s. Olivia followed closely behind in fourth place, as 156,018 newborns were named Olivia in the 2000s (according to SSA). The Latin name simply stands for “olive tree,” as referenced by Verywell Family, and popular stars born during the 2000s include gymnast Olivia Dunn and pop singer Olivia Rodrigo, whose catchy song “Drivers License” was No.1 on the Billboard Top 100 list for eight consecutive weeks in 2021 (via Billboard).

Hannah was given to 155,723 girls, and the Hebrew name stands for “favor” and “grace,” according to Verywell Family. And appropriately so, as the biblical character Hannah was presumed barren, and then given a son, Samuel, who later became a religious hero of Israel, as referenced by Britannica. 

2010s: It was Emma, Olivia, and Sophia’s time to shine
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The 2010s were the most recent decade to offer a range of newly popular names for baby girls. Around the country throughout the decade, 194,755 baby girls were given the name Emma, according to the Social Security Administration. Olivia was the second most popular name with 184,291 babies given the moniker.

In third, 180,896 were named Sophia. As defined by Verywell Family, Sophia is Greek and means “wisdom.” In the 2010s, 170,265 shared the name Isabella, which is a Hebrew name that means “pledged to God” (via Family Education).

In fifth place is Ava, as 155,606 newborns were given that name. It’s quite possible that actress Ava Gardner, born in 1922 and known as a Hollywood beauty, influenced the popularity of the name. The name comes from Latin origins and most closely means “life; bird; water; and island,” according to Nameberry.

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Next Up
The Most Popular Baby Boy Names From Each Decade
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BY JESSICA MEGINNIS/AUG. 17, 2021 11:30 AM EDT
Whether you’re hoping to avoid an over-popular name for your bundle of joy or you’re searching for the perfect name to honor a loved one born during a specific time period, this list of the most popular baby boy names from each decade is sure to educate and inspire you in your quest for the perfect name for your sweet babe. You’ll discover the top names from each decade beginning with the 1880s and leading up to the 2010s, plus how many people shared each name in the U.S. during the decade. And, of course, we’ll get into the meaning of the name, celebrities who share the name, and famous folks born during the time period, too!

While we can’t say for certain which names will be most popular this decade, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few of these historically popular monikers popped up again. If you’re hunting for a traditional name for your little one, This List has you covered with this list of the most popular baby boy names from each decade.

1880s: John, William, and James were everywhere
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This may blow your mind, but, according to the Social Security Administration, in the 10 years comprising the 1880s, only 1,177,158 baby boys were born in the U.S. That number is 20 times less than the number of baby boys born during the 2010s. From 1880 to 1889, John was the most popular boy name, and understandably so, considering the Hebrew name means “God is gracious,” as noted by SheKnows. Clearly, the name has remained popular throughout the ages, as, most notably, the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy boasted the moniker.

During this decade, 89,950 male babies shared the name John, which is only slightly more than the 84,881 boys who shared the name William during the time period. The name we now know as William originated as the Old German Wilhelm, meaning “resolute protector,” according to Verywell Family.

Rounding out the top three names of the 1880s, the Hebrew name James, meaning “supplanter,” was given to 54,056 babies during the decade.

1890s: John, George, and Charles were popular choices
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Throughout the 1890s, the top three names for baby boys remained the same as the previous decade: 80,665 Johns, 72,244 Williams, and 50,723 Jameses were born this decade, according to the Social Security Administration. Next in line came George; there were 43,358 baby boys were named George during these 10 years. The name has Greek origins and means “farmer” — from the parts “ge” meaning “earth” and “ergon” meaning “work,” according to BabyCentre. 

Also in the 1890s, there were 36,848 boys named Charles. As an English and French version of the name Carl, Charles has continued to be a prominent name throughout the countries of Europe and means “free man,” according to CharliesNames. Considering the name Charles is an English variation, it’s no surprise both world-renowned author Charles Dickens and equally popular comic and actor Charlie Chaplin both hail from the UK and, interestingly, Chaplin was born in 1889, just one year before his name piqued in popularity.

Slightly less common than the former two popular baby boy names of the 1890s, Joseph was still within the top ten names of the decade with 29,000 boys having the strong moniker.

1900s: John still reigned supreme
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Entering a new century, the 1900s brought along with it modernized monikers with European origins. Once again, John, a strong boy name you’ll want for your baby, remained the utmost popular name of the decade, with 84,591 boys sharing the name. The names William, James, George, and Charles again followed behind.

According to the Social Security Administration, the English name Robert, meaning “bright fame” (via Family Education), came in sixth and belonged to 35,849 boys. After Joseph, the name Frank — which comes from German origins and means “Frenchman or free man,” according to Nameberry – and Edward — which comes from English origins and means “wealthy guardian” — belonged to just over 24,000 babies each between 1900 and 1909. Both prominent names make for ideal monikers then and now, as they have such strong meanings.

So who from this time period shared these names? American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost brought honor to the name throughout his writing career and provided poetry lovers with brilliant works like “The Road Not Taken” and “The Gift Outright.” Similarly, the 1890s name Frank has continued its fame through artists like jazz musician Frank Sinatra and puppeteer behind the Muppets, Frank Oz. Born just one year before the decade began, Edward Ellington, more commonly known as Duke Ellington, was an American pianist who later became one of the best jazz composers of the era, according to Britannica. 

1910s: After John, Thomas, Walter, and Harold were popular baby names
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Beginning the decade with WWI and finishing it out with The Treaty of Versailles, the 1910s were highly historically relevant years that brought us some of the most popular names for baby boys during the time period: Thomas, Walter, and Harold. While these three names were among the top 15 names of the decade, the SSA shows that, once again, John reigned supreme with 376,316 boys sharing the name. 

Belonging to 91,619 baby boys from 1910 to 1919, Thomas, in 10th place on the list of the most popular names of the time, comes from Hebrew origins and means “twin,” according to Verywell Family.

After Thomas, 89,146 baby boys shared the name Walter, and there were 79,721 male babies with the name Harold. Both names are of English descent, and — believe it or not — both names also mean “ruler of the army” or “leader,” according to Behind the Name. Numerous famed individuals throughout the ages share the most popular boy names of the 1910s, including the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson; inventor Thomas Edison; broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite; and actor-comedian Harold Lloyd.

1920s: Robert took the top spot
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The “Roaring Twenties” brought along joy, prosperity, jazz bands, and flappers, along with a slew of newly popular boy names for the little men of the decade. Of all the male babies born between 1920 and 1929, the most (576,376) were named Robert, while 222,605 shared the name Richard (No. 8 on the list of popular names), 191,823 were named Donald (No. 10), and 132,391 shared the moniker Paul (no. 14), according to the SSA. As unique as the baby boys themselves are the meanings of each of these three common names from the 1920s. With English origins, Richard means “powerful leader” (via The Bump), while Paul means “small” and “humble,” as Behind the Name notes. Equally original, Donald stands for “great chief,” according to The Bump.

These names have continued their popularity over the decades. Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born just seven years before the 1920s began and was responsible for ending American involvement in the Vietnam War (via the White House website). Richard Lionheart was not only a great king of England, but he was also a brave soldier and great crusader, as explained by Historic UK. Similarly, history-making Paul Revere may have influenced the popularity of the name Paul during the 1920s.

1930s: Robert, James, and John were the most popular baby boy names
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Sure, you’re familiar with historic events from the 1930s like the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the Hindenburg explosion, but do you know the most popular names for baby boys during the decade? Lucky for you, we’ve got the list right here! As was the case in the 1920s, Robert was, yet again, the most popular name of the decade with 590,774 boys sharing the name, followed by James and John, according to the SSA. 

Skipping past popular baby boy names we’ve already shared, 164,692 baby boys across the globe were named David during the 1930s. The traditional Hebrew name means “beloved,” according to Verywell Family. The popular Scottish name Kenneth belonged to 125,095 babes throughout the decade and means “born of fire, handsome,” as Nameberry explained, whereas the German name Raymond, meaning “wise-protector,” was given to 99,582 boys during the era. 

So, just what famous people with this name were born around this time? Born just four years before the beginning of the decade, Sir David Attenborough was a journalist, broadcaster, and natural historian who was most widely known for his multi-part series “Life,” according to Britannica. Throughout his acting career, David Carradine, born in 1936, starred in martial arts roles, portraying his wide range of skills. 

1940s: Most baby boys were named James this decade
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Across the U.S. during the ten years of the ’40s, 795,738 baby boys were named James, making it the most popular name of the decade. Moving past the popular names of previous decades we’ve already shared, 336,553 were named Michael (No. 9), and 282,448 were named Ronald (No. 10), according to the Social Security Administration. Popular names from the 1940s include Hebrew name James, meaning “supplanter” (via BabyNames.com); Hebrew-originating Michael, meaning “Who is like God?” (via Verywell Family); and English name Ronald, meaning “counsel rule.” 

Born just nine years before the turn of the 1940s, suave American actor James Dean remains legendary in pop culture today, so if you’re a fan of the actor or his work, James might just be the name for your baby boy! Similarly, actor Michael Caine (real name Maurice Joseph Micklewhite) was born shortly before his stage name entered peak popularity, and since then, his work in film has lasted over 70 years. Talk about a prosperous career!

1950s: James, Mark, and Stephen were top picks
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In addition to the rise of the Civil Rights movement and TVs becoming a commonplace home appliance (via History), the 1950s were also responsible for making three names more popular: Mark, Stephen, and Gary. James once again took first place in the popularity contest with 843,658 boys being given the name, according to the SSA. But in ninth place, 382,503 boys shared the name Mark, while 333,601 were named Stephen (No. 11) and 329,881 shared the name Gary (No. 12) during the ’50s.

The Greek name Stephen, meaning “crown” (via Behind the Name), belonged to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who was born just eight years before the 1950s arrived, and to famed “E.T.” and “Schindler’s List” producer Steven Spielberg, who was born in 1946. Coincidentally, the popular 1940s name Gary means “spear,” according to Behind the Name, and Gary Busey appeared in “Lethal Weapon” — a spear is a lethal weapon after all!

Meaning “God of war” and coming from Latin roots, as Verywell Family noted, Mark has remained such a popular name over the past 70 years. One of the first of the gospels in the New Testament of the Bible, Mark also belongs to “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, who was born in 1951, although you likely know him as Luke Skywalker. It’s quite likely the famed and beloved author Mark Twain was partially responsible for the increased popularity of the name during the 1950s, as his works have remained prevalent for over a century (via Mark Twain House).

1960s: Michael was the No. 1 baby boy name
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Halfway into the 20th century, the 1960s brought along with it monumental, history-making events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and, on a more positive note, the first man landing on the moon, as noted by PBS. Despite Michael being the top name of the decade with 833,201 boys sharing the name, the following names were also given to lots of boys throughout the ’60s, according to the SSA: Jeffrey, Timothy, and Kevin. 

English name Jeffrey belonged to 302,027 baby boys in the 1960s, making it No. 10 on the list, and — when spelled “Jeffery” — means “peace,” according to The Bump. The sentiment alone is reason enough to name your little one Jeff! Notably American film director J.J. Abrams, whose first name is Jeffrey, was born in 1966 and brought us movies like “Mission: Impossible III” and the more recent films within the “Star Wars” series (via IMDb).

The names Timothy and Kevin (No. 13 and 14, respectively) follow Jeffrey in terms of most popular baby boy names of the ’60s, with 276,840 boys sharing the Greek name Timothy, meaning “God’s honor” (via The Bump), and 271,437 sharing the Gaelic name Kevin, meaning “handsome, beautiful” (via BabyNames.com). 

1970s: Michael, Christopher, and Jason were popular baby boy names
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As time continues, more and more baby boys were born each progressing year, bringing along new names in increasing popularity. Over the span of the ten years comprising the 1970s, 707,619 boys were named Michael, while 475,613 little misters shared the name Christopher and nearly just as many, 462,934, shared the name Jason, according to the Social Security Administration. Rounding out the top names for boys during the ’70s, 322,825 boys were given the name Brian, making it No. 8 on the most popular names of the decade list.

Meaning “bearer of Christ,” Christopher is derived from Greek origins (via Verywell Family), while the name Jason means “healer.” The name Brian comes from Irish roots and means “high” or “noble,” according to The Bump.

Most easily remembered by the sing-songy rhyme taught throughout the elementary school years, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” Christopher Columbus will forever go down in history as the man who came across America (via History) and may have influenced the name’s popularity during the ’70s. In the entertainment industry, celebs sharing the common 1970s name include “That ’70s Show” star Topher Grace, born in 1978, and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, born in 1977. Similarly, multiple actors and stars share the ’70s names Jason and Brian, as seen with actor Jason Momoa, born in 1979, and comedian Brian Quinn, born in 1976, according to IMDb. If you’re a fan of any (or all!) of these superstars, their names may be the perfect for your little boy!

1980s: Michael, Joshua, and Daniel were common choices for boys
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Unforgettable events of the 1980s include Sally Ride’s achievement of becoming the first woman in space, the birth of the Macintosh computer, and the inauguration of both presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (via SEC Historical). And of course, with a new decade comes a new wave of charming monikers given to baby boys born during the ’80s. While Michael was the most popular name of the time with 663,830 babies being named that, Joshua, Daniel, and Justin were popular too, according to the Social Security Administration.

According to Verywell Family, the Hebrew name meaning “God is deliverance” belonged to 396,616 baby boys between 1980 and 1989, including stars Josh Peck and Josh Groban. Originally seen throughout the Old Testament, Joshua was the immediate successor to prophet Moses, as noted by Britannica. Also coming from biblical origins, Daniel was given to 345,559 newborn boys in the ’80s and was seen in the well-known story of “Daniel in the Lions’ Den.” Joining the previous names in the rankings of top names for boys in the 1980s, Justin descends from Latin roots, means “just” and “righteous” (via The Bump), and belonged to 289,830 babies born within the decade.

1990s: The baby boy name Michael stayed on top
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Leading up to Y2K, the 1990s have since been known for their far-out fashion trends like bandanas and ripped jeans, the introduction of “grunge” to the music scene, and the irreplaceable search engine Google. Of the most popular names for baby boys in the 1990s, the names Michael, Nicholas, Andrew, and Tyler appeared often, according to SSA. The No. 1 name for four consecutive decades, Michael belonged to 462,360 babes in the ’90s. In sixth, after names like Christopher, Matthew, and Joshua, Nicholas, an English name meaning “people of victory,” belonged to 275,308 babies, including singer Nick Jonas. The  Greek name Andrew, meaning “strong and manly,” was given to 272,884 babies, according to Verywell Family. Simply meaning “maker of tiles,” the English name Tyler belonged to 262,292 boys of the ’90s (via Family Education).

It’s safe to say the 1990s were a memorable period of time, and the decade brought along with it names for baby boys people still use often today.

2000s: Jacob was the No. 1 baby boy name
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The year 2000 not only marked the turn of a new century, but also the turn of a new millennium. How lucky are we to have lived through such a rare event! During the monumental change of times, popular names of the decade given to newborn baby boys around the U.S. included Jacob, Ethan, and Anthony. While the population continued to increase, the popularity of names seemed to decrease. So while only 273,911 boys were named Jacob, that’s just because more and more boys were given a wide range of unique names, as opposed to being given traditionally popular names, according to the Social Security Administration. Skipping names we’ve already shined a light on, 201,795 babies were named Ethan (No. 8) and 191,874 were named Anthony (No. 11).

Hebrew name Jacob means “supplanter,” while Hebrew name Ethan means “safe,” “solid,” “strong,” and “firm,” according to Verywell Family. The Latin-originating name Anthony, one of the best baby boy names starting with “A,” means “priceless one” (via Family Education). In the pop culture realm, Anthony belongs to plenty of stars like Tony Hawk, Tony Danza, and Tony Romo, all of whom may have influenced parents’ decisions in naming their kids during this decade.

2010s: More baby boys were named Noah than any other name this decade
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As the most recent decade to come to a close, the 2010s were full of history-making events like the Occupy Wall Street protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, Donald Trump’s presidential election, Brexit, and more. During this time, the most popular baby boy names included the trendy, ultra-modern names Noah, Liam, and Mason. Although having only been on the modern name scene for the last few decades, Noah, the name given to 182,993 newborn baby boys (via SSA), comes from Hebrew origins with the comforting meaning of “rest” and “repose,” according to Verywell Family. The first written mention of Noah is found in the Old Testament of the Bible in the unforgettable story in which he boarded two of every animal on his ark. 

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Combine Name Of Lovers For Baby Girl

 if you’re the sort of person who checks your horoscope before you make any major life decisions (or, you know, before you get out of bed), it’s high time you checked out our list of the best baby names for every zodiac sign.Report adRELATED STORYHere’s Why Khloé Kardashian is Reportedly Waiting to Name Her Newborn Baby

One option is to consider is zodiac elements-themed baby names. You can name your tot after their zodiac sign’s element: fire, earth, air, or water. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are fire signs; Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are earth signs; Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air signs; and Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs.

For a little firecracker, consider Enya (“little fire”), Keegan (“small flame”), Kenneth (“born of fire”) or Elena (“shining light”). Heath (“heathland dweller”), Camden (“winding valley”), Hermione (“earthly”) and Bryn (“hill”) are great earth names. For an air sign, add Keanu (“cool breeze over the mountain”), Aria (“air”), Essen (“wind”) and Brisa (“breeze”) to your list. And baby names with watery meanings include Margot (“pearl”), Isla (“island”), Kai (“sea”) and Marlowe (“from the hill by the lake”).

Elements aside, every zodiac sign is also associated with certain character traits, which make particular astrology baby names just perfect for your little one’s personality. Of course, you won’t know your baby’s date of birth until they actually show up, and it’s certainly not unusual for a new arrival to make a surprise early entrance — or keep the world waiting. Plus, your baby could be born on the cusp of two zodiac signs. So check out names for the sign before or after your due-date sign as well, just to be on the safe side.

We tapped the experts — astrologists Ophira and Tali Edut, aka the AstroTwins, along with astrologist Charles Grant — for their top tips for choosing a zodiac baby name based on the signs of the zodiac and their meanings. Get ready to welcome your star baby.

A version of this story was originally published in March of 2018.

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Aquarius: Jan. 20 – Feb. 18

“Quirky Aquarians are the zodiac’s free spirits who march to their own beat,” the AstroTwins tell Sheknows. “While they may look like the kid next door on the outside, and might even be quite popular, Water Bearers should be encouraged to cultivate their individuality. A name that helps them stand out rather than blend in can prod them in the right direction.”

Best Aquarius girl name: Eleanor

Many Aquarians want to lead and be in charge while remaining revered and admired. Rather than rule by force, they rely on their intellect and reasoning abilities. The traditional girl’s name Eleanor combines femininity, strength and key leadership qualities, Grant tells SheKnows, which makes it perfect for a beautiful, strong baby girl who’s going to go places in this world. 

Best Aquarius boy name: Micah

Aquarians pride themselves on their depth of knowledge and ability to rise to new heights. The Aquarian boy is likely to rise above the fray. This makes Micah, which translates to “someone resembling the Lord,” a perfect fit.  Report ad

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Pisces: Feb. 19 – March 20

“Soulful and sensitive, Pisces are from another era (if not another dimension!),” the AstroTwins explain. “Their ruler, imaginative Neptune, bestows the zodiac’s Fish with a dreamy quality. A poetic name suits their romantic spirits. Stay away from harsh and monosyllabic choices and opt for a soft-sounding name that flows, just the way they do.”

Best Pisces girl name: Charisma

The melodious name Charisma is perfect for the music-loving Piscean. Its meaning, “blessing,” is also super-Pisces-friendly because people born under this zodiac sign typically have the rare ability to elevate the human soul, says Grant.

Best Pisces boy name: Austin

A Pisces boy is enchanting with a deep inner strength — and no name could be more appropriate than Austin, which means “magical dignity.” Pisces boys are the true givers to the world, helping everyone to achieve a better life, says Grant.   

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Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Aries: March 21 – April 19

“Aries are strong-willed and independent,” explain the AstroTwins, adding that they’re “a sign that projects confidence and likes to be first. A name that emanates strength will suit the babies of this sign.”

Best Aries girl name: Chloe

Chloe is the perfect name for a girl born after the beginning of spring, says Grant. Chloe is the Goddess of Agriculture, and the name means “fresh blooming.” Grant says, “Chloe continues to stand out for its beauty, strength and versatility at any age.”  

Best Aries boy name: Liam

Think Liam the Ram has a nice ring to it? Liam means “warrior,” making it a great name for a zodiac sign known for courage, drive and physicality. With the name Liam, nobody is going to mess with your little Aries chap.Report ad

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Taurus: April 20 – May 20

“Steadfast Taurus kids are tenacious and loyal,” say the AstroTwins. “On the one hand, Taurus is an elegant sign, ruled by beautiful and harmonious Venus. But since it’s the earth element, people born under this sign can be stubborn. Choose a name that’s lyrical and beautiful but also conveys strength — a traditional name for a classic sign. But avoid short, one-syllable names that sound harsh to the ear.”

Best Taurus girl name: Jemima 

A Taurus girl is grounded and focused on security, says Grant. At the same time, she desires harmony and tries to avoid open conflict (despite being born under the sign of the stubborn bull). A good name for your harmonious Taurus daughter is Jemima, which means “dove,” the global symbol of peace.  

Best Taurus boy name: Holden

According to Grant, a Taurus boy is both elegant and tough and deserves a classy name to let the world know he means business. “Ultimately, he wants everyone to prosper, but he needs to be front and center,” says Grant. Holden, meaning “gracious,” ticks all these boxes.

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Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Gemini: May 21 – June 21

“Playful, verbal Gemini is an air sign, with a thousand interests and ideas. While their wit is refreshing, this sign can also get scattered,” say the AstroTwins. “A strong name that helps anchor them can help this all-over-the-place sign stay centered. But don’t shy away from creative and even made-up names. These unique souls can pull off even the most out-there monikers (to wit: the musician Prince was a Gemini who started life as Prince Rogers Nelson and ended up using only a symbol!). Let your imagination roam.”

Best Gemini girl name: Cheyenne 

Gemini is the symbol of twins and connectedness, and this zodiac sign is known best for its communication skills and duality. Cheyenne is a Native American name that references the human ability to tell a story, says Grant. It also starts with a C, which is a three vibration in numerology — the number of self-expression. 

Best Gemini boy name: Omari

The equivalent of Cheyenne for a Gemini boy could be Omari, a Hebrew name meaning “speaker or chief,” that’s wonderfully melodious and rolls off the tongue. In Arabic, Omari means “flourishing, thriving,” giving this unisex name a deeper beauty.

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Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Cancer: June 22 – July 22

“Caring Cancers are natural nurturers whose bonds run deep. As the most family-oriented sign, born under the sensitive water element, they take pride in their ancestry,” the AstroTwins explain. “Consider naming your Crab after a beloved grandparent or even adapting a last name and fashioning it into something new. Avoid names that are too whimsical or playful — that lightness won’t be the right energetic match for this sign.”

Best Cancer girl name: Luna

Many Cancerians are sensitive and intuitive, in touch with the ebb and flow of life, explains Grant. This is because Cancer is ruled by the moon, so Luna (which literally means “the moon”) is a beautiful name choice for a girl. 

Best Cancer boy name: Granger

Granger is the perfect dreamy name for a Cancerian boy. “People born under this sign are often very sensitive, artistic and compassionate — the true dreamers of the zodiac, who often make their dreams a reality,” says Grant.  

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Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Leo: July 23 – Aug. 22

“Regal Leo is a courageous fire sign, and they deserve a name fit for royalty,” the AstroTwins advise. While you don’t want to get too fancy, very common or popular names aren’t really suited for this sign — so if you give them one, prepare to see it turned into an embellished nickname (To wit: Leo Jennifer Lopez became ‘J.Lo.’ Leo Madonna? An icon.) You might even browse through the names of princes, princesses, dukes, and duchesses in history for ideas. Why not? Your Leo can pull it off.”

Best Leo girl name: Leonie

Above all else, Leos want to be in the spotlight. Basically, they can’t get enough recognition, says Grant. Your Leo girl is also headstrong, energetic, loyal, and kind. The unusual, intriguing Leonie fits the bill for your little lioness. 

Best Leo boy name: Roddrick 

A Leo boy deserves a name that’s unique and majestic (worthy of the king of the jungle). Rather than go for the obvious Leo, Roddrick, meaning “a famous ruler,” is just unique enough to really stand out, says Grant. 

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Virgo: Aug. 23 – Sept. 22

“Analytical Virgos can be worriers and anxious overthinkers,” say the AstroTwins. “Their ruling planet Mercury speeds around the Sun, gathering information — and these little wizards always have a lot on their minds! A name that represents calm and centered energy can give this earth sign the rootedness they need to feel safe in the world.”

Best Virgo girl name: Graciela

The Virgo personality is a combination of grace, virtue, order, and control. One of the most careful signs of the zodiac, Virgos pay attention to the smallest details and have a deep sense of humanity. For a Virgo girl, Graciela literally means “virtue” and is a more unusual, modern version of the simple yet elegant Grace.

Best Virgo boy name: Milo

Milo means merciful and compassionate, two wonderful virtues for any baby boy to manifest, but particularly apt for a Virgo boy who is both those things and more (patient, humble, and observant, for starters). Report ad

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Libra – September 23- October 22

“Sweet and harmonious, a melodic name for your little Libra will keep them in balance,” say the AstroTwins. “Avoid harsh consonants and odd-numbered syllables if possible with this symmetrical sign (two-syllable names are energetically ideal). Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet of peace, love, and beauty. A name that connotes this in its meaning is also great for your little one.”

Best Libra girl name: Lyra

Soft and melodious, the name Lyra is a perfect choice for a Libra girl. It has Greek origins and means “lyre” — a small medieval musical instrument. 

Best Libra Boy Name: Lennon 

A favorite pick for Libra boys (and AstroTwin-approved!) is Lennon, a surname with Gaelic origins that means “lover” or “dear one.” And speaking of musical, the most musical Lennon of all — John Lennon — was a Libra himself!Report ad

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Scorpio: Oct. 23 – Nov. 21

“Power and intensity are hallmarks of this sign, which is ruled by tiny Pluto,” the AstroTwins explain. “Look for an unforgettable name that leaves a strong impression — because this sign can pull it off. Because Scorpios may be shy or hover in the background at first, a strong name can help them stand out. As they become more comfortable, they’ll emerge from the shadows and step into their rock-star status.”

Best Scorpio girl name: Haven

Scorpios are very generous and fiercely protective of themselves and their loved ones, but they can be vulnerable and introverted. Create a force field of love and protection around your Scorpio daughter by giving her the name Haven, suggests Grant. 

Best Scorpio boy name: Xander

The name Xander suggests a romantic soul who’s feisty enough to stand up for himself if someone tries to interfere with what he thinks is right. Xander is the perfect name for the tender yet rebellious Scorpion spirit.Report ad

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Sagittarius: Nov. 22 – Dec. 21

The AstroTwins note that “witty Sagittarius is ruled by jovial Jupiter, who bestows his offspring with larger-than-life personalities.” What does that mean for naming? “Don’t shy away from a unique name for your little Archer,” they advise. “These kids can pull off a colorful name that nobody else has.” So go ahead and make up a name from scratch: Your Sagittarius will wear it with pride.

Best Sagittarius girl name: Arianna

A Sagittarian girl has all the strength and determination she needs to make her highly idealistic ideas a reality. She’s also creative, sensitive, and highly expressive. Arianna, meaning “most holy” embodies this energy, says Grant.   

Best Sagittarius boy name: Isaac 

Isaac, meaning “laughter,” is a great choice for a Sagittarian boy, who is well known for his humor, is a natural entertainer, and often the life and soul of the party. “While Sagittarians can be very philosophical, studious, and serious, their optimism and joy can be very contagious,” says Grant.

Baby Names for Every Zodiac Sign

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Capricorn: Dec. 22 – Jan. 19

“Earthy and devoted, Capricorn is the sign that rules history and hierarchies,” the AstroTwins explain. So, new parents should “look for a commanding name that’s lasted through the ages — timeless and traditional. These loyal kids are the ones who should be named after a parent, a powerful relative, or a leader you admire.”

Best Capricorn girl name: Natalie

Christmas falls during the Capricorn month, so the traditional name Natalie, meaning “birthday” or “Christmas” (or both) is ideal for a baby girl born on or near Christmas. Natalie is also a very strong name that’s perfect for the goat of the zodiac, methodically climbing that hill to achieve her goals and dreams, adds Grant. 

Best Capricorn boy name: Jasper

Capricorn is the most determined sign of the entire zodiac. These goats are ambitious, conservative, determined, practical, and helpful. A steadfast, honest Capricorn boy needs a name that conveys the qualities of responsibility and trustworthiness, such as Jasper, meaning “treasurer.”  

Father Mother Combine Name For Baby

You may have a long list of girl namesboy names, and gender-neutral names already started by the time you find out you’re expecting, but not everyone does. Some parents start from scratch with each child, and some even wait until the baby is born to choose a name. Each parent finds inspiration differently.

Many expectant parents begin with a specific category in mind, and there are many categories to consider. 

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Moms Share Advice On Picking Your Baby’s Name

Family Names 

  • Grandparent’s names 
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Juniors or III, IV
  • Family traditions

Cultural or Ethnic Names

Place Names

  • Countries
  • Cities 
  • States

Names From Pop Culture

  • Actors
  • Movie characters
  • Book characters
  • Television characters
  • Video game characters
  • Musicians
  • Songs
  • Artists
  • Disney
  • Athletes
  • Politicians

Religious Names

  • Christian 
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Virtue Names
  • Spiritual Names

Other Popular Categories

And many, many, more. 

It might seem overwhelming, but there are ways to narrow it down. You can go through an alphabetical list of names in a book and check off the ones you like, or you can choose a name you find appealing and look for others that are similar. You can also get your list started by asking family and friends for suggestions, or you can pick a category of names and go from there. There’s not a right or wrong way to do it, so go with what works for you and your partner. If one way doesn’t seem to be going too well, then switch it up and try something else.

Choosing a Middle Name

You don’t have to give your child a middle name. However, many families prefer to give one to their baby. The nice thing about it is that most people feel less stressed over the middle name. 

The middle name has a few practical uses. For parents who give their child a family name that others in the family also have, a middle name helps to provide the child with a separate identity (cousins John Robert, John Joseph, and John Christopher can all feel as though they have their own name even though they are all named after grandpa). A middle name is also the perfect place to hide the family name that you’re choosing out of obligation and not because you love it. Or, it can be a place to have a little bit of fun. If you’re going with a more formal first name, the middle name can be more creative or unique. Or, if you’re choosing a very unusual first name, the middle name can be more traditional.

A middle name is also a great place to put a safety name or a fallback name for your child to use later in life in case they don’t love their first name. If you choose a gender-neutral first name for your child, you can add a gender-specific middle name such as Avery Duane or Sydney Elizabeth. It gives kids options as they grow. If it’s necessary, being able to fall back on a traditional middle name can help boost your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence too.

Choosing a Last Name 

When it comes to your child’s last name, you may not have a choice. In some states and countries, the baby must be given the father’s last name, if known.1 Sometimes it has to be the mother’s last name. Other places allow for more options, especially if mom and dad aren’t married.

Some families have parents with different last names who hyphenate them to indicate the joining of the two families (e.g., Mary Smith-Jones). Other families choose to combine parts of each parent’s last name to make a new last name (e.g., Davis and Anderson = Daverson or Andervis). And, some families do not use either parent’s last name. Instead, they give their child a completely different last name. 

Family Traditions

Family traditions can play a big part in baby naming. Your family may have a long history of using the same naming pattern.2 For example, the first boy gets the middle name of the paternal grandfather, and the second boy gets the middle name of the maternal grandfather. 

Other families have long lines of boys with the same name. It starts with a Senior (Sr.) and Junior (Jr.), then it goes on to Roman numerals such as Michael Smith Sr., Michael Smith Jr., Michael Smith III, and so on. If your family does not do this, it’s a great way to create a new family tradition. And, even though it is often passed down among the men in the family, the women can start this tradition, too.  

You may also wish to consider traditions that involve:

  • Giving a tribute to deceased relatives
  • Honoring your heritage and ancestry
  • Maintaining a brand of initials (the same initials for everyone in the immediate family)
  • Creating a unique name out of a combination of family first or last names

Birth Certificates and Legal Issues 

A birth certificate is issued for every live birth in the United States.3 The parents, doctor or midwife, and hospital or birthing center staff usually fill out and submit all the paperwork. The time you have to complete this paperwork varies. 

Parents often ask whether or not they have to decide on their baby’s name before leaving the hospital. The answer is typically no. So, it’s usually not an issue if you’re planning to name your child at a religious ceremony. But, you can prepare for this situation before you have your baby by checking with the birth certificate clerks at the local hospital or the Department of Vital Statistics where you live to get the information about the laws in your area.

While some countries have many laws about what you can and cannot name your baby, the United States does not have too many rules of that nature. The name laws in America are usually there for practical reasons. So, you should generally be OK. However, you may run into a problem if you want to use a picture or a symbol in your child’s name. 

Note: Babies born in the hospital are often given a fancy piece of paper with the baby’s footprints and birth information. This paper is a keepsake and not the child’s official birth certificate.

Religious Considerations and Naming Ceremonies 

Religious obligations for naming a baby vary greatly. Some parents give their baby the name of a figure within their religion, and some parents give their baby a name with a spiritual meaning. You should talk to your pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, or another religious leader about your specific customs. 

Many different religions hold a baby naming ceremony. In some form, this type of celebration is part of the Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, and Islamic faiths as well as other religions and cultures. It is a time to welcome the baby into the religious community and bestow blessings and good wishes upon the child. 

The ceremony may take place in a church, another house of worship, or at home. A religious leader, family members, friends, and other members of the community may attend. Sometimes the name given at a naming ceremony is the same one that’s on the baby’s birth certificate, and sometimes it is an additional spiritual name that is not on the birth certificate. 

Tips to Consider When Naming Your Baby

After you take into account family traditions, religious considerations, and any potential legal issues, you may finally have a first, middle, and last name that you’re ready to run with. You can do that, of course. But it’s worth considering a few more things before making it official. Here are some tips for making sure the perfect name is really “the one.” 

  1. Write out the initials. You may want to make sure that you aren’t giving your baby initials that spell something rude or odd such as Aaron Simon Samuels or Claire Octavia Wilson.
  2. Think about the nicknames. Take a look at all the potential nicknames people could give your child and make sure you not only like them but that you feel good about how they match with your last name.
  3. Consider sibling names. You may want to give your children names that all have the same first initial or names that sound well together since they’ll often be said in the same breath. Plus, it may be difficult to explain to your kids why one has a super unique name (say, Zaphon) when his brother’s name is Bob.
  4. Be careful with meanings. Some states and countries actually have laws that prevent you from naming a child anything that is considered a historical problem.
  5. Give thought to the uniqueness. Unique names are creative and fun. But, a name that is too unique can be tough to get through life with. If it is too difficult to spell or pronounce, others may avoid saying it. The child may have to repeat it and spell it out over and over again.
  6. Check for multiple spellings. You may not be sure of a specific name, but when you change the spelling, it can make all the difference. It can also make a difference in how easy or difficult it is for your child to spell and explain.
  7. Check for similar names. A similar name may strengthen your case for the name you love or make that fringe name seem more acceptable. It can fix an issue with initials, meaning, or nicknames, too. 
  8. Add a little diversity. If you aren’t sure about a very unique name or a very traditional name, balance it out with a middle name. Pick a conventional name for the first name and a unique name for the middle name, or vice versa. 
  9. Don’t be afraid to change a tradition. Some last names have made their way into the world of first names (Lennon, Avery). And, some boy’s names are becoming more and more common for girls (Hayden, Jordan). 
  10. Realize your geography may matter. You might love a name that is geographically bound, perhaps to a local celebrity or location. But, it may be looked at differently in different areas of the country or the world which may bother you or not. 

Arguing With Your Partner About Baby Names

You may find that you and your partner do not see eye to eye when it comes to baby names. Do not panic. It is fairly normal. It’s also a great reason to start talking about baby names really early on. The more time you have to talk about it, the less stressed you’ll feel.

One method that works well if you have a partner who is continually rejecting names is to ask them for a list of boy and girl names that they like. It certainly narrows your choices, but it can prevent a lot of frustration when you don’t otherwise know what they consider to be a “good name.” Your partner’s list can also be a starting point. For example, if your partner has Paula on the list of girls names, but you’re not fond of it, you can consider variations of that name. Maybe you like Paulina instead, or Paul for a boy.  

Sometimes arguments can get heated. If you can’t decide on a name together, you can agree on another way to name the baby. For example, some families allow the mother to pick the girl names and the father to pick the boy names. Or the mom can choose the name of the first baby and the dad can name the second baby. You may also agree to have someone else such as a family member, choose a name. Perhaps each grandparent can submit a name, and then decide on one as a family. The good news is that baby naming doesn’t usually get to this point. 

Dealing With Family and Friends

If you want to get input from your family and friends, that’s great. You can take all their suggestions and go through them. You may end up with a surprise and fall in love with a name you’ve never considered.

Of course, getting advice isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes family can get pushy about a name or find reasons why they don’t care for the name you are leaning toward. Family and friends are usually not shy about sharing their feelings. They may try to get you to change your mind, so be prepared. If you can ignore their objections and not let their negativity sway you, then go ahead and tell them what you’re thinking. But, if it would really bother you to hear negative things about the name you love, then you can keep that name to yourself until after your baby is born. 

You may also want to consider how well your family handles change. If you anticipate your family becoming upset because you’re going to break a tradition, you may want to warn them in advance. That doesn’t mean you have to tell the name you plan to use. It just means they’ll have time to get used to the idea of change. Be understanding if they are disappointed, but stay firm in your commitment to your baby’s name.

No matter what, your family and friends will get used to the name you choose even if they have serious objections in the beginning. If you and your partner love the name and feel confident in the choice, then go with it. Your family and friends will adore your child, and the name will grow on them. They may even find that they love the name after spending a little time around it.

How Popularity Is Determined 

The popularity of baby names in the United States comes from actual birth data and birth certificates of babies born each year for over 100+ years. The Social Security Administration (SSA) collects the information and makes it available on its website. You can search the top names in the nation by gender and by state. 

The popularity of a name can be useful information as you begin your search for the perfect baby name. It’s helpful if you’re looking to give your child a trendy name, and even more helpful if you’re hoping to avoid an extremely popular name. It’s also a good idea to check the state lists since the popularity of a name can vary significantly from one part of the country to the next. What is popular in one state may be uncommon and unique in another.4 

Other Uses for Baby Name Data

Expecting parents aren’t the only ones who search for baby names. Researchers look at baby naming data to find trends over time.5 They can see how music, movies, books, politics, religion, and other sources influence the popularity of baby names.

Authors also use baby name data when they’re writing a book or story. It is a great way to choose historically accurate names for characters. Since the data is from birth certificates, the author can know, with a fair bit of accuracy, which baby names were common when their story is taking place. 

An interesting note is that the Social Security naming data goes back for many decades—into the 1800s. The state data, however, only goes back as far as 1960. So, it may be a little more challenging to find a regional name using only the data from the Social Security Administration.

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