Baby Names – The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Name For Your Baby


One of the most popular questions by future moms in pregnancy forums and Facebook mom groups is baby naming help. Whether it is your first or fourth, choosing your baby’s name can be a painstaking decision. Here’s some help on finding just the perfect name for your soon-to-be perfect little one.

Popular Names
How To Pick A Name
Using Nicknames
Name Inspiration
Celebrity Names
Recent Unique Names
Athletes
Geography
Artists

Popular Names

Based on the latest information from the Social Security Administration, here are the top 5 names:
Female:
Emma
Olivia
Ava
Sophia
Isabella

Male:
Noah
Liam
William
Mason
James

Emma ranks queen on girl names; that name has been in the top 5 since 2002. Olivia has only ranked since 2008, Ava and Isabella since 2006 and Sophia since 2009. These five names have been rotating top spot since Sophia knocked Emily out in 2008. Does that make Emily retro now? She held her place in the top 5 since 1993!

Boy names seem to fluctuate more than girl names. Liam is a somewhat recent edition, after edging out Ethan (who edged out Jayden) in 2013. Mason edged out long-time favorite Michael in 2011. Jacob, on the other hand, has had a solid hold in the top five since 1995 and just recently got edged out by James.

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How To Pick A Name

Avoid these name catastrophes
Remember the days when you checked to make sure you were comfortable calling it out the back door (to call them in for dinner) or made sure it didn’t end in a bad way with the “banana nana fo fana” game? Now, there are even more pitfalls to think through.
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Unfortunate Initials: Andrew Samuel Smith sounds solid, until the first time he has to initial a document. Yikes.

Awkward name pairings – first with siblings. If you have a Cassandra and a Cade, the alliteration is cute, but when you are using nicknames trying to get them in the car – Cas Cade is what comes out of your mouth (and frequently goes in your dishwasher). Be sure to test sibling names against each other, full and nicknames.

Also consider the world of emails. Many, many companies choose to use the first initial and last name. A last name like “Rock” is awesome, until you name your child Charles. His first professional email address could end up as CROCK.

Name sharing: Make sure to google your future child’s name, not just the first name to read about its meaning, but his or her full name. You’d hate to have your brand new baby share a name with a crime lord or porn star. While that could always change, its worth it to give your baby the best start you can.

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Using Nicknames

Sometimes people’s names are naturally shortened into nicknames. Other times, nicknames are used to differentiate between a parent, close relative or friend. Whatever the reason, here are some great nickname options for the top 10 names.

Female:
Emma – Ems, E, Aim
Olivia – Ollie, Liv, Via
Ava – A, Aves, Vee
Sophia – Soph, Fia, Fee
Isabella – Isa, Belle, Bella
Emily – Em, Lee, Millie
Madison – Mads, Maddy, Mimi
Abigail – Abby, Gail, Abba
Hannah – Hannie, Nan, Ann
Ashley – Ash, Lee, Loula

Male:
Noah – Nojo, Nolly, Ned
Liam – Lee, Leem, Iam
William – Will, Bill, Liam
Mason – Mase, Ace, Max
James – Jim, Jamie, Jimmy
Jacob – Jake, Jack, Coby
Ethan – E, Ethie, Tad
Jayden – Jay, Jayde, Den
Michael – Mike, Mitch, Ike
Alexander – Alex, Xander, Al

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Name Inspiration

Are you the type of person inspired by the world around you? There are so many opportunities for utilizing names based people, media and the world at large.

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Celebrity Names

It does seem like celebrities tend to dig a little deeper in the name repertoire to make their children stand out. Here are some of the more recent and more unique ones:

Stormi – daughter to Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott
Hayes – son to Jessica Alba and Cash Warren
Beckett – son to Dylan and Blair Scott
Ryder – son to Rodney and Rose Atkins
Rafa – son to Rose Byrne and Bobby Canavale
Kenzo – son to Kevin and Eniko Hart
Revel – son to Matthew and Renee Morrison
Strummer – son to Julia Stiles and Preston Cook
Rumi – daughter to Beyonce and Jay-Z

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Recent Unique Names

Sometimes hitting the latest top 10 list of great names isn’t quite your style. Or you carry the worry that there will be all Emmas in your daughter’s class. According to Nameberry.com, the expert resource for insights on baby names, there are some amazing choices available.

Here are the top ten girl, boy and unisex names taken from Nameberry’s list of 60 Highly Unusual Names:

Girl:
Kerani
Taffeta
Petula
Stockard
Mardi
Gabi
Fiametta
Samiya
Azami
Sai

Boy:
McEnroe
Belisario
Arnau
Carew
Elio
Maguire
Kylo
Misael
Desi
Lior

Unisex:
Nile
Fire
Shalom
Puma
Revel
Kodiak
Ezri
Kiernan
Rebel
Galilee

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Athletes

With the recent win of the Philadelphia Eagles, the long shot in the 2018 Superbowl, expect a resurgence of Nicholas – the full name of the back-up quarterback turned MVP Nick Foles. Additionally, some other Eagles players that may become idolized to the point of baby names:
Carson Wentz
Fletcher Cox
Malcolm Jenkins

Some other names to watch:
Brady – the dominance of the New England Patriots over the last decade or so, despite a couple of Super Bowl losses still makes this a popular name for their fans.

Baseball fans might be likely to honor center fielder George Springer who won MVP and helped the Houston Astros win their first championship in franchise history.

Sidney Crosby, the MVP for the Stanley Cup championship helped the Pittsburgh Penguins clinch the win.

Kevin Durant, the MVP for the NBA Finals may see an increase in his name, particularly in California among fans of the Golden State Warriors.

For women athletic name inspiration, you don’t have to look too far:
Among the 2017 All-WNBA First team, you have such dynamic women like:
Sylvia Fowles – Minnesota Lynx center
Tina Charles – New York Liberty forward
Skylar Diggins-Smith – Dallas Wings guard
Candace Parker – Los Angeles Sparks forward
Maya Moore – Minnesota Lynx guard

The National Pro Fastpitch league championship team, Scrap Yard Dawgs has high-performing female athletes like:
Kasey Cooper
Monica Abbott
Kelsey Nunley

For tennis fans, Sloane Stevens, winner of the 2017 U.S. Open, Garbine Muguruza, winner of Wimbledon, Jelena Ostapenko, 2017 French Open winner and Serena Williams, Australian Open winner, certainly can inspire the names of future babies.

And perhaps in the Philadelphia area, there might be some girls named Nicole in honor of the Eagles win.
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Geography

Perhaps locations may inspire your baby name selection. It could be a place of a special event, a noteworthy monument or a spot of a natural awe.

Based on the Social Security Administration, these cities placed in the top 100 names.

Jackson
Lincoln
Hudson
Easton
Austin
Tyler

Charlotte
Elizabeth
Madison
Victoria
Brooklyn
Savannah
Taylor

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Artists

Painters can inspire us in more ways than one. Sometimes it is a feeling that is evoked from their art. Sometimes it is the story behind their art. And sometimes, it is the pure genius that they have created that may inspire you to want your child to share their name.

Time Out Magazine did a feature on the top ten most famous paintings in history and from it gave some inspiring names.

You’ll of course recognize some legendary artists like Leonardo Da Vinci of Mona Lisa fame, Vincent van Gogh of The Starry Night, Gustav Klimt with his intimate painting, The Kiss. Those are certainly some super-hitters of painters. You may also know the names of painters like Georges Seurat who painted the beloved A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte as well as Pablo Picasso, the father of the cubist movement of art.

Some less mass-produced artists, but still highly influential include Johannes Vermeer, famous for the painting, Girl With A Pearl Earring, Sandro Botticelli who’s work on the Sistine Chapel remains a cultural inspiration. James Abbott NcNeill Whistler, Jan Van Eyck and early surrealist Hieronymus Bosch round out Time Out Magazine’s list.

Surprisingly this list didn’t include some other foundational artists like Claude Monet, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Michelangelo or Henri Matisse – all inspiring names for your future painter.

For our future female painters, we drew inspiration from Harper’s Bazaar list of 10 Female Artists You Need to Know.

Unsurprisingly, she included amazing painters like the fierce self-portrait artist Frida Kahlo, a female figurehead in the American Modernism movement, Georgia O’Keefe and the Queen of the Polka Dot, Yayoi Kusama.

The list also included Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Mary Cassatt Helen Frankenthaler, Judy Chicago Agnes Martin, Elaine Sturtevant and Adrian Piper, all influential artists who changed the art world forever.

Not mentioned by Harper’s Bazaar, but surely noteworthy, Mother of Latin American Modern Art, Tarsila do Amaral.

For the painter inspired parent, the artists of the last few centuries have provided many inspirational works of art that have affected society, as well as many names that may affect your upcoming decision.

Inspiration can be found in many places when making the decision to name your baby. Be sure to search our database of names and even sort it by area it originated! And remember, when finding the perfect name for your bundle of joy, consider changing up the spelling or gender. Updating a name can be a meaningful way of customizing it for your family.

Do you have a favorite baby name? Submit it to our baby name directory.  Visit Submit a Baby Name.

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2 Comments

  1. keonhacai September 19, 2018

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