If you’re expecting, you’re probably wondering what the most popular baby names are, so you can be prepared for your little one’s arrival.
With our first baby, we had an elaborate plan for landing on just the right baby name. It included a planning session, complete with a whiteboard and elimination stages. Each of us had to come to the table with at least 10 names we liked (oh, the pressure!).
After two hours of debating and illustrating all the meaning behind the perfect moniker, we ended up just naming him after a Beatle. Can you guess which one? By the time we got to our third pregnancy, the baby name got finalized in the delivery room (no whiteboard to be seen).
Use our baby names worksheet to help find the right baby name, and choose one that you love. Includes 40 popular baby names!DOWNLOAD NOW
It doesn’t have to be that elaborate, or last-minute if you see something you love on our list today!
There is a secret art to being able to choose a baby name without starting an argument. For some, it can be a long and arduous process. For others, a name may come in the middle of the night and be absolutely perfect. More often than not many hours of debate are needed to land the right name.
That’s why we have collected a list of some of the 2020s most popular baby names. So you don’t have to worry too much about looking for the right name in a bunch of dusty old baby-naming books from the library.
Here’s a peek at the most popular names in 2020. And, some other great resources for finding the perfect name for your new baby.
Most Popular Baby Names and Their Meanings
It can be more difficult than it sounds but it is definitely worth spending time looking for a unique name. A name that fits the personality of the baby is difficult to find. It needs to be a name that the baby is able to grow in to. Something that they won’t be ashamed of when they are older and something that suits them when they still rubbing mushy peas into their face as a baby.
I for one, like the idea of naming my child something really different – after all, giving birth to a little human is something you only do on a few occasions! It is a chance to be creative. It is also a chance to collaborate with your partner.
Obviously you will want to find a name that you are both happy with. But sometimes this is difficult. Compromises must be made. Maybe you can choose the first name and they can choose the middle name. Or if you are planning on having another child you can alternate.
Whether you’re in the first category or the second, take a look at the most popular baby names and their meanings.
Love them or avoid them — it’s all up to you!
Universal Baby Boy Names 2020
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails — if you’re having a baby boy this year, you’ll be interested in this collection of universal baby names and unique baby names that are topping the charts.
We have included some traditional names that top the lists almost every year and also some new contenders.
This year’s selection of popular names is a great mix of traditional names like:
Those baby boy names are mixed in with more esoteric baby names such as:
A mix like this makes it easy for everyone to find a name they love, from biblical baby names (Samuel, Isaac, and Noah) to secular baby names (Hunter, Carter) to everything in between.
Some names may be more appealing to certain regions of the country. While some other names may be popular because they have been all over pop culture during the last few years.
Even a baby name like Sawyer is still popular because of the TV show Lost which finished ten years ago. Some names enter the public consciousness and take a while to leave.
But first, let’s check out some of the most popular boy names and their meanings.
This year, it’s a fight between Noah and Liam for the top spot, but we’re going to give it to Liam. One of the quintessential strong boy names for babies, Liam has been around in the name pool in Ireland since medieval times.
However, in the mid-1850s when the Irish fled the great famine, Liam became more well-known. By 1955 around 2 in every 10,000 boys had the name. That may seem like a small percentage but in the grand scheme of things, it is actually quite large.
What is the meaning of Liam? As you can see, Liam is short for William. It means “protector” or “strong-willed warrior.” Famous Liam’s you may be familiar with include Liam Hemsworth and Liam Neeson. People may have even been inspired by other famous Liams such as Liam Payne, of One Direction fame, or the mercurial bad boy Liam Gallagher, who seems to have made another resurgence.
We like to call this one of the classic baby boy names with a twist.
Coming on the heels of Liam for popular American baby boy names is Noah, a classic name with a worldly feel.
Noah is Hebrew for “comfort,” or “rest,” and many people associate it with the ark-building Noah of the Christian bible.
Noah’s been a popular moniker since the early 2000’s, but saw a sharp surge in recent years, bringing it into the number two spot on our chart.
Do you know a Noah? Noah Wyle and Noah Emmerich, both TV and film stars in recent years, are good examples of how popular this name has become. Maybe teenage heartthrob Noah Centineo is the reason for this recent rise in popularity.
The meaning of the name Oliver is “olive tree,” which was once a classic name. Now, although it’s very popular at number three, it’s still considered one of the more unusual baby names. It’s also the same meaning of the French name ‘Oliv-i-er’, which Oliver stems from.
Oliver has shown up in historical records (as in Oliver Cromwell, the English political and military leader), in literature (as in Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ enduring classic tale), and in entertainment, (as in Oliver Hudson and chef Jaime Oliver).
For yet another year Oliver has retained its popularity. We can’t be sure why it is always one of the most popular names but its sustained success must mean it is a good baby name.
While you may typically associate Arthur with old men and royals from the past; most notably King Arthur and his Round Table of Knights, it’s certainly a baby name that has come back around again for 2020.
Arthur comes from the Roman name; Artorius, which means noble and courageous. In recent times, it was also a high contender on the stakes when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were yet to name their newborn children.
So if you imagine your child will grow up to be strong and elegant then maybe Arthur is the name you will choose.
If you’re on the lookout for classic baby boy names with a twist, Alec is certainly an option for consideration. Although it’s an old nickname for Alexander, it’s a refreshing approach to the standard shortened nickname of ‘Alex’ and may also be considered a little more masculine, due to ‘Alex’ being used for both males or females.
An alternative and unique baby name spelling for Alec can be Alek.
The name Emmett originates from Hebrew, German and English origin, with the meaning of ‘universal’ as well as ‘strong’ and ‘powerful’. It’s rooted in the masculine version of Emma and has since grown in popularity since the launch of the Twilight series; due to the inclusion of a character with the same name.
Any way you look at it, these six top boy names have the enduring appeal that makes them a great choice for your new baby boy. This list also shows how some names come and go. If you want your boy’s name to be totally unique then maybe steer clear of Oliver, Emmet, Noah, Alec, Arthur or Liam.
Universal Baby Girl Names 2020
Sugar and spice and everything nice? If you’re expecting a baby girl, then you need to check out the top baby girl names and meanings to see if anything strikes your fancy.
This year’s crop of girl baby names is a mix of ultra-unique and traditional. Similar to the boy’s there are always some names that retain their popularity whatever the year. From super feminine choices like:
To more unique choices like:
Fans of popular entertainment will see names from Harry Potter (Luna) and Game of Thrones (Arya). Or if you are a fan of Breaking Bad you could opt for something like Skylar for a baby name. All of these names have seen a disproportionate rise in popularity due to their prominence within popular entertainment.
Those who love a global influence will love girl baby names like:
Universal baby girls names are often creative and that shows in this year’s list.
You’ve got choices like Serenity, Kinsley, and Everly riding high on popularity, giving new Moms some unique and unusual choices to pick from.
Kinsley is a girl’s name meaning ‘King’s meadow’. Originally from English origin, it bridges the gap between cute and classy and since 2018, has become one of the most popular girl’s names beginning with the letter K.
If you’re not keen on the spelling of a certain baby name, try an alternative. For example, there are several different ways you can spell Kinsley:
For now, let’s dive right in with the top baby girl names and their meanings.
Emma is the perfect mix of classic and popular, having been in a top choice for baby girls’ names since the 19th century.
A romantic English name, Emma comes from Old German origins and it means “universal” or “whole.”
And there are plenty of Emmas you’ll be familiar with — Emma Watson, Emma Stone, and Emma Thompson from contemporary entertainment and Jane Austen’s Emma from literature. It is a good choice of name that continues to appear in popular culture.
This name has been a front-runner for baby girls for the last four years and will probably continue into the future.
Going hand-in-hand with the popularity of the boy’s name Oliver, the feminine form of this name, Olivia, is a popular pick for a baby girl.
Based on the same Latin root meaning “olive tree,” Olivia was first on the scene in a Shakespearean play, Twelfth Night.
It makes sense that a lot of prominent entertainers are Olivia’s then, like Olivia Newton-John, Olivia Pope, and Olivia Munn.
Both classic and feminine, Olivia is a lovely choice for any baby girl.
A modern twist on the classic “Eve,” Ava is of classic German origin. Variations of the name show up in languages around the world and it’s relatively popular across the globe as well.
While most believe it comes from the Hebrew “Chava” meaning “life,” some also think it could be from the Latin “avis,” meaning “bird.”
Either way, it’s beautiful, short, and sweet. It’s the perfect easy-to-spell, easy-to-write, and easy-to-pronounce name for your baby girl.
Let’s keep going on the most popular and unique baby names for girls.
It’s no surprise that Charlotte has come back into popularity, since the birth of Princess Charlotte; the second daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge back in 2015. It is a French name that derives from the meaning of ‘petite’.
Initially, I wasn’t sure about the name Charlotte, as it was very common while I was growing up, however it’s certainly come back into fashion again in recent years. After all, if it’s fit for a princess, it’s fit for my baby!
Some of the most well-known Charlottes include the novelist Charlotte Brontë and the famous character in Sex and the City. It is certainly an elegant choice that continues to remain in the public consciousness.
The name Luna is of Latin origin, with the meaning of ‘moon’. The Roman Goddess of the same name has a heavenly accompaniment named Sol; the God of the sun.
Although the name was significantly popular at the turn of the 20th century, it’s certainly come back into fashion throughout 2020.
The popularity of the name in recent years is no doubt all thanks to the character of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series; alongside the babies of some of the world’s biggest celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Penelope Cruz and Uma Thurman.
The girl’s name of ‘Posie’ is a gentle old-fashioned flower name that has become a fashionable alternative to other well-known floral names including Poppy, Lily, Marigold and Rose.
It was most commonly used as a sweet nickname for Josephine and Sophia, but has now become popular in its own right.
Choosing Cool Names for Babies
There are millions of classic and esoteric baby names to choose from, all with their own meanings, spelling variations, and popularity. You could choose the baby name Elian and your son would be unlikely to have a classmate with the same name. Or you could play it safe with a name like Oliver and risk him being in a class full of Olivers.
When it comes to picking a name for your baby you should try absolutely anything to get inspiration. The process of choosing a name can be complicated but it can also be rewarding.
As you discuss suitable names with your partner you will probably talk about what you think your son or daughter will be like when they grow up. Will they be kind? Will they be strong-willed? Will, they will be intelligent and fun-loving?
These are all things to consider when you are choosing a name. You have to pick a name that will suit them as a baby and as they grow to become an adult. An esoteric name might be cute when they are a baby but what about when they are all grown up and looking for a job.
Consider whether other kids would pick on them in the playground for having a strange name. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen but it is important to consider how your child will be received by the world because of their name.
Some sites focus on the top 100 baby names, while others have special focuses, like uniqueness and meaning.
Check out this list of the best resources for universal baby names help, to make it simple for you to choose the perfect name for your little bundle of joy.
Baby Names Help
- Babycenter — popular names and meanings
- Nameberry — universal baby names with categorized lists (cool, unusual, popular)
- Behind the Name — lists names, origins, and popularity by nationality
- Babynames.com — a clearinghouse of names and meanings with category search
- Babynamewizard — find names by endings, beginnings, length, number of syllables
- Mom365 — fun random baby name generator, pick boy’s or girl’s names and take it for a spin!
These resources should give you a good start on your research and kick your imagination into high gear.
Look For Family Inspiration
If none of the names in the above list are right and if you have exhausted every online list we have mentioned maybe go back to the start: family. Stay traditional. Many people name their children after people in their family. Some even name their baby after very close friends.
You want a name that will grow along with the child. You want a name that inspires particular feelings. Often people look to traditional names that have belonged to much-loved family members.
Choosing a name that has been passed down in the family from generation to generation is a standard way of arriving at the name. It is an easy way to cut any argument short.
Choosing the name of your father or mother, your aunt or uncle, or your grandfather or grandmother is a good tradition to fall back on. You can’t really go wrong with a strong family name!
Picking the Right Name
As you can see there are many popular names to choose from in 2020. You are spoilt for choice. And that is part of the problem. There are so many names but there is only one that is right for your baby. (Well, if you include middle names then there may be a couple more that may suit your child).
Nevertheless, at some stage, you have to come to a decision. Will you choose from the list? Will you seek out lists that offer thousands of other interesting and peculiar names from which to choose. It is all up to you.
We hope that we have given you some good advice on whether you are looking for a middle name for Zoe or the first name for your young boy Simon. Each year new names enter the zeitgeist that has risen in popularity for some reason. Indeed, it is difficult to distinguish the trendy names from suitable ones!
Use our baby names worksheet to help find the right baby name, and choose one that you love. Includes 40 popular baby names!DOWNLOAD NOW
So if you are thinking about choosing Olivia for a girl or Jameson for a boy make sure you have a look at all the lists before you make the final decision. Don’t forget to explore all the options, from popular names to unique ones, since you never know when that perfect name will pop up!
What else should be on the list of most popular baby names in 2020?
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