20 Most Popular Baby Names in America and Their Meanings

Choosing a name for your baby can be one of the most exciting and overwhelming tasks for every parent. To help make this critical decision, here’s a list of 20 of the most popular baby names in America and their meanings. You’re welcome! Data from Social Security Administration.

Liam (male)

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Liam is a popular male name of Irish origin that means “strong-willed warrior.” Liam is currently the second most popular male name in America. The common nickname for Liam is Lee.

Variations of the name:

  • Lyam, William (German)
  • Lliam (Irish)
  • Liamm (Finnish)

Olivia (female)

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Olivia is a popular female name of Latin origin that means “olive tree.” It is the feminine alternative to Oliver and was popularized by William Shakespeare in the Twelfth Night. Olivia is currently the most popular female name in America. The common nickname for Olivia is Liv. 

Variations of the name:

  • Olívia (Portuguese)
  • Olive (Irish)
  • Olivie (Latin)

Noah (male)

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Noah is a popular male name of Hebrew origin that means “rest and comfort.” It is currently the second most popular male name in America. The common nickname for Noah is Noe. 

Variations of the name:

  • Noa (Croatian, French)
  • Noé (French, Portuguese, Spanish)

Emma (female)

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Emma is a popular female name of German origin that means “universal.” It is a timeless classic and one of America’s top three female names for over 15 years. The common nickname for Emma is Em. Breastfeeding: Benefits and Myths

Variations of the name:

  • Emma (Italian)
  • Ima (Dutch, German)
  • Emmalyn (English)
  • Ema (Spanish)

Oliver (male)

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Oliver is a popular male name of English origin, meaning “ancestor’s descendant.” According to Social Security and BabyCenter, this name is currently the third most popular name. The common nickname for Oliver is Ollie.

Variations of the name:

  • Óliver (Spanish)
  • Olivier (French)
  • Oliviero (Italian)
  • Olívio (Portuguese)

Charlotte (female)

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Charlotte is a popular female name of French origin that means “free woman.” It is an antique name with royal roots and the female alternative to Charles. The common nickname for Charlotte is Charlie. 

Variations of the name:

  • Carlota (Spanish)
  • Karla (German)
  • Carla (Italian)

Elijah (male)

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Elijah is a male name of Hebrew origin that means “Jehovah is God.” This name has grown in popularity over the last decade, with many notable figures and celebrities choosing it for their sons. The common nickname for Elijah is Eli. Cornstarch For Diaper Rash: Is It Safe For Your Baby?

Variations of the name:

  • Elia (Italian)
  • Elian (Dutch)
  • Elias (Greek)
  • Élie (French)

Amelia (female)

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Amelia is a female name of German origin that means “hardworking.” It has become increasingly popular over the last seven years and is currently hovering in the top five most popular baby names. The common nicknames for Amelia are Amy, Ames, Lia, and Millie.

Variations of the name:

  • Ameilta (Italian)
  • Amélie (French)
  • Nuela (Spanish)

James (male)

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James is a popular male name of Hebrew origin that means “Supplanter” or “Substitute.” It has remained a timeless classic, being one of the most popular names in America for several decades. The common nicknames for James are Jamie, Jimmy, and Jim. 

Variations of the name:

  • Jakob (German, Polish)
  • Jaime (Spanish)
  • Séamas (Irish)
  • Jacques (French)

Ava (female)

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Ava is a female name of Latin origin that means “life.” The common nicknames for Ava are A, Avie, and Avy.

Variations of the name:

  • Avah
  • Eve
  • Eva
  • Avis

William (male)

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William is a popular male name of German origin that means “Strong-willed Warrior” or “Resolute Protector.” According to the SSA, it has remained in the top six most popular male baby names for over a decade. The common nickname for William is Will.

Variations of the name:

  • Willem (Dutch, German)
  • Wilhelm (German)
  • Guillaume (French)
  • Vilyam, Vilyim (Turkish)

Sophia (female)

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Sophia is a female name of Greek origin that means “Wisdom.” This name has been in the top five most popular female baby names in the United States for over a decade. The common nicknames for Sophia are Sophie and Soph.

Variations of the name:

  • Sofi (Greek)
  • Sofia (Greek)
  • Sofie (Greek)
  • Sophie (Greek, French)

Benjamin (male)

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Benjamin is a popular male name of Hebrew origin that means “Son of the Right Hand.” According to the SSA, it has remained in the top ten most popular male baby names in America since 2015. The common nicknames for Benjamin are Ben, Benji, and Benny.

Variations of the name:

  • Běnjiémíng (Chinese)
  • Binyamin (Arabic)
  • Bünyamin (Turkish)
  • Beniamino (Italian)

Isabella (female)

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Isabella is a female name of Latin origin that means “God is My Oath.” This name has been in the top five most popular female baby names in the United States for over a decade. The common nicknames for Isabella are Bella, Izzy, Isa, and Belle.

Variations of the name:

  • Sabella (Latin)
  • Isabel (Spanish)
  • Isabele (Hebrew)
  • Isabelita (Hebrew)
  • Isabelle (French)

Lucas (male)

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Lucas is a popular male name of Latin origin, meaning “Bringer of Light.” The common nicknames for Lucas are Luke, Lou, and Luc.

Variations of the name:

  • Luc (Welsh)
  • Louka (French)
  • Loukas (Greek)
  • Lucas (Latin)
  • Lukas (Danish)

Mia (female)

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Mia originated from Maria, and Maria was taken from the Hebrew name Miryam. Mia has been linked to the Italian word “mia,” meaning “Mine.” The common nicknames for Mia are Mimi, Maja, and Mai.

Variations of the name:

  • Maria (Hebrew, Egyptian)
  • Mary (Hebrew, Egyptian)
  • Maryam (Arabic, Iranian, and Hebrew)
  • Michal (Hebrew, Iranian)

Henry (male)

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The French name Henry, commonly given to baby boys, is believed to have originated from the traditional Germanic designation of Heimeric, which translates roughly as “ruler of a household.” Over time this evolved into Henri and has become the beloved moniker we know today -Henry.

The common nicknames for Henry are Harry, Hal, and Hank.

Variations of the name:

  • Harry (English) 
  • Heimirich (German)
  • Heiner (German) 
  • Heinrich (German)
  • Henrique (Portuguese)

Evelyn (female)

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Evelyn is a female name of English origin that means “Life,” “Desired Child,” or “Little Bird.” This name has been among America’s top twenty most popular female baby names for over a decade. The common nicknames for Evelyn are Evie, Eva, and Lynnie.

Variations of the name:

  • Avelina
  • Aveline
  • Evaline
  • Evalyn
  • Eveleen

Theodore (male)

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Are you searching for a classic name with antiquity? Look no further than Theodore! With centuries of history, this timeless moniker stands the test of time. Theodore is a popular male name of Greek origin that means “Gift of God.” The common nickname for Theodore is Theo.

Variations of the name:

  • Theodor (Danish)
  • Theodoor (Dutch)
  • Theodorus (Latin)
  • Teodoro (Portuguese)

Harper (female)

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Harper is a female name of English origin that means “Harp Player.” It is derived from the word “harp,” referring to the musical stringed instrument. The common nicknames for Harper are Arpey, Happy, Har, Harp, and Harpey.

Variations of the name:

  • Harpor
  • Harpour
  • Harpur
  • Harp

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Jude Uchella

Jude Uchella is a passionate research writer whose work has been published on many reputable platforms, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and more! He prioritizes research, writes comprehensively, and only shares factual and helpful content. He is a reader’s delight!

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