Baby Names & Meanings

Choosing Baby Names

The challenge of choosing baby names is ultimately different for expectant parents. For some, there is little effort required for baby name choices as some names may be handed down for generations. For others, the perfect name for a son or daughter may have been made years before marriage or conception and that will be the only choice in consideration.

For the rest of us, choosing baby names can be something of a challenge requiring resources and inputs. The good news is baby name ideas abound and are all around us.

Ideas for baby names can originate of nature, the entertainment world, jewels, books, geography, heritage, culture and beyond.

Popular Baby Names

Popular baby names are usually popular in two ways, derived of pop (or popular) culture, or having endured through centuries. The popularity of Taylor in recent years has a direct correlation to the entertainment world, specifically, singer Taylor Swift and actor Taylor Lautner, of the Twilight movie franchise circa 2009.

Logan from the X-Men franchise has evolved as a growing and popular choice as a baby name for either a boy or a girl.

From Game of Thrones, Arya has grown in popularity as a name for a daughter.

But just as popular are baby names of yore that have been passed down through generations. Maria, William, Olivia, Robert, Amelia, Benjamin and beyond.

Baby Names In Nature

Nature is also an enduring resource for generating baby name ideas. At first blush, we tend to think of flowers such as Daisy or Rose in searching for girl baby names, but a Rose by another name could just as easily be Fauna.

Nature can also serve as inspiration for boy baby names should Forest, River or Stone enter the consideration set.

Gender Neutral Baby Names

In choosing a unisex name for a baby, new parents often look to the familiar – past or present – and at the word that surrounds them to find suitable inspiration in naming their daughter or son. For the very familiar, they may turn to family, sourcing an enduringly popular unisex name that as carried through the males of the family for generations. Or they may choose a gender neutral name that pays homage to someone who has long been an integral to their lives. Regardless of where the inspiration comes from, it will need to be a name that endures and can be carried with pride.

Unisex names are also often sobriquets or nicknames, truncated from longer versions. Sam can be either a boy or a girl (Samantha). Alex, a gender neutral sobriquet of Alexander, Alexandria or Alexandra. Charlie can be Charlie, Charles or Charlotte. And Joe can be Joseph, Josephine or Joanna.

Michael as a gender neutral unisex name gained in popularity from the 1950’s through the 1990’s and include Michael Learned of The Waltons, Michael Steel of the girls group The Bangles and actress.

2019 Baby Names

Like births themselves, baby names, whether a name for a girl or a boy, are recorded, so it is relatively easy to track the increasing popularity of baby names across years. The 2019 baby names that were popular, were also likely the 2018 baby names that were popular, that were also the most popular 2017 baby names. Names tend to come in and out of fashion generationally as opposed to annually, meaning the most popular 2020 baby names are relatively easy to forecast right now.

Baby names frequently cross cultures. Alex has endured for not just centuries, but for millennia. One need only think of Alexander the Great. The ill-fated Czarina Alexandra. Or the great ancient and lost library of Alexandria – founded in 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great.

No matter whether your choice of baby names is cool, cute, distinct, inventive, unique, aspirational, generational, unusual, feminine or modern, the name you ultimately choose for your son or daughter is one he or she will grow into. If not, rest assured, a nickname, moniker, truncation, appellation or sobriquet by any other name will just as easily get the job done.

Baby Names By Letter: