Every year, millions of babies are born in America, all of them with their own unique traits and family histories. However, what not may be as unique is the first name these babies receive. It’s just a fact that some baby names are more commonly chosen year over year.
Of course, they aren’t the same names every year. Changing tastes, popular culture, TV, movies, and music are all contributing factors to the ebb and flow of baby names and their popularity from one year to the next.
To refresh your memory, these were the most popular baby names in 2019. And here are the rankings for 2020, as compiled by BabyNames.com:
5 Most Popular Male Names
Origin: English. Meaning: Descendant of the Ancestor. Oliver moves up one from its second most popular position in 2019 to take the top spot in 2020. While it certainly looks like it should, Oliver has no relation to the olive tree. Common nicknames include Ollie, Olly, and Ol (pronounced “awl”).
Origin: Irish. Meaning: With Gilded Helmet. Liam moves down from its top spot last year to take the number two position. Originally a shortened version of William, Liam is now a popular standalone.
Origin: Greek. Meaning: Divine Gift. Theodore holds steady as the third most popular male baby name. Common nicknames include Theo, Teddy, or Ted. A variation of Theodore is Theodor. It’s not a common variation in the U.S., but is seen in Europe.
Origin: Hebrew. Meaning: Firm, Strong. Ethan jumps up from the 11th spot in 2019 to take the fourth position this year. A number of characters in literature, TV, and film have Ethan for a first name, not to mention several celebrities and historical figures. Common nicknames include Eeth, Eethie, or Eddie. And some variations on it are Ethen, Eytan/Eitan, and Ethyn.
Origin: Irish. Meaning: Little Fire. Aidan was the biggest gainer this year, moving up from 23 to 5. The leap in popularity that Aidan has taken could be attributed to its use in the Harry Potter book series, several celebrities, and popular sports figures. While included in the male baby name list, it is actually considered gender neutral. Some nicknames are Addie, Ahd, or Denny, while Aiden is the most common variation.
5 Most Popular Female Names
Origin: Latin. Meaning: Work. Amelia moved up one position to take the most popular female baby name spot. In addition to its common use in literature and film, Amelia has been the name of many famous people currently and throughout history. Some nicknames include Amy, Mia, and Millie. A French variation is Amelie. Emilia sounds similar, but actually means something completely different (“Rival”).
Origin: French. Meaning: Free. Charlotte has dropped one spot to be 2020’s second most popular female baby name. It is a name that has been commonly used for royalty and literary characters, not to mention popular authors and celebrities. As the feminine form of Charles, a common nickname for Charlotte is Charlie, as well as Lottie or Char. An Italian variation is Carlotta.
Origin: Latin. Meaning: Dawn. Aurora moves up from its number 5 spot in 2019 to take third. And with its otherworldly connotations, it’s no wonder it’s a popular baby name. Aurora was the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn, and it brings to mind the shimmering Aurora Borealis. Common nicknames include Rory, Aura, or Arie. A variation on the name is Arora.
Origin: English. Meaning: Purple/Blue Flower. Violet drops one to take the number 4 position. This traditional British name speaks to both the flower and the colors associated with it. As such, many popular Violets–in real life as well as fiction–tend to come from the UK. Common nicknames include Vi or Lettie. Variations on the name are Viola, Violetta and Violette.
Origin: English. Meaning: Ancestor’s Descendant. Olivia moves up two positions to take the number 5 spot. There are several popular celebrities and TV characters named Olivia. This name is the feminine derivation of Oliver. Common nicknames include Liv, Livvy, or Libby. And there are several variations, such as Alivia, Alyvia, Olyvia, and Elivia.
For more information on baby names, or names in general, you can read more about them on the PeopleFinders blog.
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