What are the most popular baby names in North America?

The questions: did you pick a name for the baby already? Used to drive me crazy when I was pregnant with both of my children. I mean, there were so many possible names to pick from, and everybody was trying to give an opinion about it.


They didn’t calm down until I told them the names I wanted to use, but even then they said: Oh! Those aren’t popular names? I mean, Ethan and Sarah aren’t typical? I was puzzled, but I loved the names I picked, and my partner loved them too.

The questions got in my mind: what are the most popular baby names in the US? Well, I started research, and I got many answers. Depending on the year, the most common baby names change, and this has a lot to do with the pop culture of the time (movies, TV show, prominent figures, and events.) In this article, we’re exploring the 20 most used baby in the US during 2017. All the meanings I am putting here are directly brought Baby Center. You can find the link to the website just on the side of the name.



1.    Sophia (x): From the Greek for "wisdom." The name was used by European royalty in the Middle Ages. Common variants: Sophie, Sofia. Well-known Sophias: director Sophia Coppola; actresses Sophia Loren and Sofía Vergara.

2.    Jackson (x): Originally a last name meaning "son of Jack." Well-known Jacksons: President Andrew Jackson, General Stonewall Jackson, artist Jackson Pollock, musician Michael Jackson.

3.    Olivia (x): First used by William Shakespeare for a character in Twelfth Night. It's a feminine form of Oliver, meaning "olive tree." Well-known Olivias: singer Olivia Newton-John; Olivia Pope in Scandal; the pig in the popular children's book series.

4.    Liam (x): Strong-willed warrior and protector. It's a shorter form of the Irish name Uilliam, which originated from the Frankish Willahelm, meaning "helmet of will." It's also a shortened version of "William." Well-known Liams: actors Liam Neeson and Liam Hemsworth.

5.    Emma (x): An English name derived from the Old German for "whole" or "universal," popular since the 19th century. Well-known Emmas: the title character in Jane Austen's Emma; actresses Emma Thompson, Emma Stone, and Emma Watson.

6.    Noah (x): A Hebrew name meaning "rest" and "comfort." In the famous biblical story, God chooses Noah to build the ark, fill it with food and two of every animal, and survive the great flood. Well-known Noahs: actor Noah Wyle; Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter.

7.    Ava (x): A variation of Eve. May be from the Latin "avis," meaning "bird." It could also be a short form of the name Chava ("life" or "living one"), the Hebrew form of Eve. It was popularized as a girls' name by actress Ava Gardner.


8.    Aiden (x): The name of the Celtic sun god, meaning "fiery." It was traditionally a boys' name but is now given to girls, too, especially spelled as Aidan. Well-known Aidens: actor Aidan Quinn; one of Carrie Bradshaw's boyfriends (Aidan) on Sex and the City.

9.    Isabella (x): A variation of Isabel, itself a variation of Elizabeth, meaning "devoted to God" in Hebrew. England, France, Portugal, and Hungary all had royal Isabellas in their courts. Nicknames: Bella, Izzy, Izzie. Well-known Isabellas: actress Isabella Rossellini.

10.  Lucas (x): A form of Luke or Lucius, meaning "light-giving" or "illumination." Luke is the author of the third gospel of the New Testament.

11.  Mia (x): A short version of Maria popularized by actress Mia Farrow. Its Latin origins mean "mine" or "wished-for child." Other well-known Mias: Kate Winslet's daughter.

12.  Caden (x): In Arabic, "kadin" means "friend" or "companion." In Welsh, "caden" means "spirit of battle." Caden is also an altered form of an Irish and Scottish last name, McCadden. It's used for both girls and boys, but is more popular for boys.

13.  Aria (x): Italian for "air." In music, an aria is a usually a solo in an opera. In Hebrew, it's derived from Ariel, meaning "lion of God," and its Teutonic origins relate it to a bird.

14.  Grayson (x): Originally a last name meaning "son of a steward." In Middle English, "greyve" means "steward."

15.  Riley (x): From the Old English ryge leah, meaning "wood clearing." It's also an adaptation of the Irish last name Reilly. Another meaning is "valiant."

16.  Mason (x): Traditionally a French last name with Germanic influences used in the Middle Ages by stoneworkers.

17.  Zoe (x): A Greek name meaning "life." In the Greek translation of the Bible, Eve became Zoe. Well-known Zoes: actresses Zooey Deschanel and Zoe Saldana; a Sesame Street Muppet.

18.  Elijah (x): Hebrew for "Yahweh is God." It's the name of an Israelite prophet in the First and Second Books of Kings in the Bible. Traditionally a popular Jewish boys' name, it has rocketed in popularity since the 1990s.

19.  Amelia (x): A blend of the medieval names Emilia and Amalia. In Latin, it means "industrious" and "striving." Its Teutonic meaning is "defender." Well-known Amelias: aviator Amelia Earhart; title character in the Amelia Bedelia kids' book series.

20.  Layla (x): Of Egyptian/Arabic origins, it can mean "wine," "intoxication," "night," or "dark beauty." Often spelled "Leila." Popularized by Eric Clapton's 1970 hit song "Layla."



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