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Most popular short and sweet baby names


Most popular short and sweet baby names

There’s something to be said about keeping it short and sweet, especially when naming a baby. Less can be more, with some classic names like Ann or new-age monikers like Dream. For those seeking names that ring short and sweet, Stacker reviewed 2018 data from the Social Security Administration (the most-recent baby names data available) to identify the 100 most popular one-syllable names for each gender. And we came up with some interesting titles in our research.

Take, for example, Reign. Rather than being used in its sovereign terms, it is now the name of rapper Lil’ Kim’s daughter, Royal Reign. Then there is Rayne. While it sounds the same and means “counsel,” it is also a variant of Raina and Rayna, unlike its homonym sister. Farther out names, including Kade, Jett, Kai, Noor, Rhett, and King, make names referencing Christian virtues, like Faith, Hope, and Charity, seem normal.

While some short and sweet baby names are more common than others, none of the names on Stacker’s list have been banned. According to The Huffington Post, Lucifer was shot down several times in Germany and New Zealand, and French officials denied a couple who wanted to name their baby Nutella. Other names barred worldwide include Ikea, RoboCop, Pluto, and Babar. If those monikers were not out-of-the-box enough, a Welsh mother was kept from naming her daughter Cyanide, while a Turkish couple was told they could not name their child Osama Bin Laden.

Along with the most popular one-syllable names, from Ann, with or without the letter e, to Zane, with or without the letter y, Stacker has published an extensive list of the most popular baby names in America, and the most popular baby names for millennials. Read on to find out the most popular short and sweet baby names, where they came from, and some famous names associated with them.

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#50. Shay (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 164
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,360

Shay finds her name origins from Hebrew as an alternate spelling of Shai, meaning gift, or as a shortened form of the name Isaiah. Canadian actress Shannon Mitchell, better known as Shay, brought fame to the name in the 2010s while starring in the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars.” The Irish form of the name is used primarily for boys, including Shay Mooney from the country music duo “Dan + Shay.”

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#50. Jase (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 874
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #370

Jase is a shortened form of Jason, which draws its origins from Greek, meaning “healer.” Jase entered the Social Security names list in 2002 in 964th place and spiked in popularity to a peak of 83rd in 2013. The precipitous rise can be attributed to the success of the show “Duck Dynasty,” which followed the Robertson family, including bearded brother Jase, as they ran the family duck call business in Louisiana.

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#49. Bryn (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 168
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,332

Though used primarily as a boy's name in Wales, Bryn reached the top 750 as a girl's name in 2011. Canadian voice actress Bryn McAuley helps keep the name, which means hill, seen by playing the title character in the popular children’s show “Caillou.” Bryn was chosen by “Real Housewives of New York” actress Bethenny Frankel and now ex-husband Jason Hoppy for their only child in 2010.


#49. Troy (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 904
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #363

The ancient city of Troy in Homer’s “Iliad” gave birth to Troy as a name, while actor and sex symbol Troy Donahue helped the name reach the top 50 in the 1960s. Former Major League Baseball player Troy Glaus and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Troy Aikman have helped make the name popular among sports fans. Brad Pitt also helped the name jump a few spots by starring as Achilles in the 2004 blockbuster “Troy."


#48. Tess (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 176
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,285

Tess cracked the top 1,000 names in 1983 due in part to Roman Polanski’s Academy Award Best Picture nominee “Tess,” a take on Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Also helping Tess, a diminutive of Theresa, meaning harvest, was actress Tess Harper, who was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1983 for “Tender Mercies.” It has since been worn in films by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, and Cher.


#48. Wade (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 913
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #361

Wade, taken from an English surname meaning “river crossing,” has never been outside the top 1,000 names, peaking at 183 in 1966. Hall-of-Fame baseball player Wade Boggs, former NFL coach Wade Phillips, and professional wrestler Wade Barrett have all sported the name. Although a surname, basketball fans may give the name in homage to Miami Heat forward Dwyane Wade.


#47. Drew (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 177
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,282

Actress Barrymore is probably the most recognizable female with the first name Drew, which premiered as a name for girls in 1994. The name has remained in the public eye thanks to the single-monikered singer Drew, a finalist on the “X Factor USA” in 2011, and actress Drew Sidora from the Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven.” Drew has remained in the top 500 for boys' names every year since 1946.


#47. Kade (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 926
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #355

Kade finds its origins from the 12th-century English surname Cade, meaning round. Despite not having any major celebrity bearers of the name, Kade remains in use, reaching its highest position yet in 2018.

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#46. Shea (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 195
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,204

Drawn from Irish origins, and meaning “the stately, dauntless one,” Shea enjoyed simultaneous success as both a baby boy and baby girl name in the 1980s and 1990s. Australian-born country singer Shea Fisher is one of the more-recognizable Sheas. Atlanta Braves Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones used the name Shea for his first daughter as a way to troll the rivaled New York Mets, who played in Shea Stadium.

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#46. Hayes (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 969
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #343

An English surname meaning “enclosure,” Hayes was the last name of the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. The name took a 78-year hiatus from Social Security’s list before reappearing in the top 1,000 in 2009. Actress Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren chose the name for their son in 2017, while internet star Hayes Grier brought national attention to the name by appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2015.

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#45. Rae (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 217
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,119

A condensed form of Rachel, meaning “ewe,” Rae comes from Hebrew and English origins. It was in the Social Security’s top 1,000 names from the list’s inception in 1880 until 1976, with actress Rae Dawn Chong being among the more-recognizable born during that time (1961). Celebrities Mark Wahlberg and Daniel Baldwin both blessed their daughters with the short and sweet name.


#45. Zayn (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 996
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #334

The explosion of the boy band One Direction and member Zayn Malik can be credited for bringing the name into the top 1,000 in 2013. From Arabic, meaning “beauty, grace,” Zayn has risen over 550 spots since its debut thanks to Malik, who released his first solo work in 2016 after splitting from One Direction.

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#44. Ann (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 267
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #983

A variant of Anne, meaning “grace,” Ann dropped out of the top 1,000 for the first time in 2017 before reappearing in 2018. Ann has stayed in the public eye thanks to several Anns, including Ann Landers, who was a nationally-recognized newspaper advice columnist, and the Raggedy Ann series of books and dolls that have been given to children for over 100 years. Actress Ann Margaret, political writer Ann Coulter, and YouTube cooking star Ann Reardon are just a few of the famous bearers of the name.


#44. Cruz (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,011
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #327

Cruz can trace its roots to the Bible as the Spanish word for “cross,” and has been in and out of the top 1,000 names on the Social Security list since its inception in 1880. Contributing to the name’s ascent in the 2000s were David and Victoria Beckham, who chose it for their son in 2005. Cruz Bustamante served as Lieutenant Governor of California from 1999 to 2007.

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#43. Scout (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 269
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #970

Scout appeared in the top 1,000 names for the first time in 2018; its English origins mean “someone who gathers information covertly.” Scout Finch was famously used by author Harper Lee for the tomboyish heroine in "To Kill a Mockingbird." English singer Scout Niblett is among the most recognizable to bear the name today, while Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their first-born daughter in 1991.

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#43. Kash (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,040
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #321

An alternate spelling of Cash, which stems from an English surname for a box maker, Kash rose to #321 on the Social Security list in 2018, after first appearing in 2008. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kim Zolciak and husband Kroy Biermann chose the name Kash for their second son in 2012. The first time a birth was recorded using the name Kash was on December 7, 1882.

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#42. Queen (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 274
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #957

Queen traces its royal roots to the Old English word for “woman or wife” and was a popular name at the beginning of the 20th century before falling off the list in 1960. The most recognizable celebrity to bear the name wasn’t born with it, as Dana Elaine Owens would use the name Queen Latifah as her stage name. Gospel singer Queen Esther Marrow was discovered in 1963 by Duke Ellington and has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years.

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#42. Kane (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,048
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #319

Kane refers to a warrior, and has several other meanings depending on which culture it's drawn from: Japan (golden), Welsh (beautiful), or Hawaiian (man of the Eastern sky).Professional wrestler Glenn Thomas Jacobs uses the moniker Kane, while country singer Kane Brown has been a constant on the Billboard charts since his debut album in 2015. YouTube star Roman Atwood and wife Brittany used the name for their son, who has since been featured in several videos, in 2011.

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#41. Joyce (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 278
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #945

Joyce, which stems from Latin descent meaning “merry, joyous,” was one of the most popular girls’ names in the 1930s and 40s. In pop culture, Dr. Joyce Brothers, “Three’s Company” actress Joyce DeWitt, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joyce Carol Oates are all well-known. The name also shows up in religion, with popular Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer.

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#41. Prince (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,058
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #317

Prince has royal beginnings but has become synonymous with the mononymous singer of the same name, born Prince Rogers Nelson. The name reappeared on the Social Security list in 1979 following a 15-year hiatus, one year after Prince released his first album, “For You.” Another music legend, Michael Jackson, used the name for two of his sons, and NFL football player Prince Amukamara represents the name every Sunday during the season.

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#40. Gwen (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 294
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #905

Gwen can be used as a short form of Guinevere or Gwendolen, or come from the Welsh feminine of Gwyn, meaning “white, fair, blessed.” Pop superstar Gwen Stefani is undoubtedly the most-recognizable individual with the name, bursting on the scene with the band No Doubt in 1995 before embarking on a successful solo career. Other famous Gwens include four-time Tony Award-winning actress Gwen Verdon, who wowed audiences on Broadway in the 1950s, and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Gwen Torrence.

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#40. Jett (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,122
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #304

Stemming from either the English word for the aircraft or a deep black color, Hollywood A-listers John Travolta and George Lucas both used the name Jett for their oldest sons. Jett premiered on Social Security’s list in 1999, perhaps in part from the hit Disney show “The Famous Jett Jackson,” which debuted in 1998. The show only lasted three seasons, per Disney policy of only making 65 episodes of a show, and featured appearances by Destiny’s Child, Hayden Christensen, and Britney Spears.

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#39. Halle (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 300
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #895

The name Halle, from Norse origins, meaning “rock,” joined the naming charts in 1993, two years after actress Halle Berry made her Hollywood debut. In 2002, the name reached its peak at #316, the same year Berry became the first African American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Today, actress and R&B star Halle Bailey has kept the name in the public eye, making headlines in 2019 for her casting as Princess Ariel in the Disney remake of “The Little Mermaid.”


#39. Lane (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,205
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #290

Lane was an English surname attributed to someone living near a tree-lined street. Despite being on the Social Security list since 1932, Lane jumped over 200 spots, perhaps due to the success of the band Alice in Chains and their frontman with an alternate spelling, Layne Staley. Actor Lane Smith, Philadelphia Eagles player Lane Johnson, and fictional character Lane Kim from “Gilmore Girls” have all helped keep the name in the public eye.

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#38. Sky (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 312
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #859

Derived from the Old Norse word for cloud, Sky has been in and out of the top 1,000 names since it debuted in 1999. Rapper Sky Katz was a contestant on the 11th season of “America’s Got Talent,” and has been popular among kids since being cast as the street-smart neighbor on Disney’s “Raven’s Home.” David Copperfield used the name for his daughter in 2010, although it took nearly two years for the magician to reveal her to the public.

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#38. Reid (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,217
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #288

A Scottish variant of the Old English surname Reed, meaning “red,” Reid has been in the top 1,000 names since 1917. Reid Ewing has brought fame to the name, appearing as Dylan in ABC’s “Modern Family,” while Reid Garrett Hoffman gives it business credence as the founder of LinkedIn. Reid Miles was a famed graphic designer and photographer in the 1950s and 1960s, creating cover art for dozens of jazz artists on Blue Note Records.

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#37. Kai (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 315
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #854

Kai has multiple meanings across its many cultural incantations, with the Japanese, Scandinavian, and Navajo people contributing, while the Hawaiian name for “sea” is most widely used for girls. On the boy’s side, Kai reached the 118th most popular name in 2018, 40 years after its debut on the list. Donald Trump Jr. and his ex-wife chose the name for their first-born daughter, Kai Madison, in 2007.

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#37. Cash (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,267
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #276

Cash comes from the Norman French surname for a box maker, and rose into the top 1,000 in 2003 (after a brief stint in the late 1800s), the same year music legend Johnny Cash passed away. Actress Annabeth Gish, actor Joshua Morrow, and professional wrestler Robbie E all used the name for their sons.

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#36. Noor (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 316
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #852

Meaning “light,” Noor is born from the Arabic name Nur, one of the 99 names of Allah in Islam. Pakistani actress and singer Noor Jehan was known as the Queen of Melody during her six-decade career. Noor Inayat Khan was a British spy during World War II and was the first female wireless radio operator sent into occupied France.

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#36. Chance (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,304
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #270

Taken from the English word for “luck,” Chance the Rapper has kept the name in the public eye recently, winning three Grammy Awards in 2017. Larry King and Paul Hogan are two celebrities that have gambled on the name for their sons. Originally a diminutive of Chauncey, Chance reached #154 in 1996 before decreasing in usage slightly.

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#35. Rayne (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 331
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #813

Meaning “counsel,” this variant of Rayna and Raina joined the naming charts in 2006, reaching its highest rank in 2018. Video game heroine Rayne, known as Agent BloodRayne, was named among the 50 greatest female video game characters of all time. Though not feminine, the name is used as a middle moniker by actor Jansen Panettiere, brother of actress Hayden Panettiere.

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#35. Sean (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,310
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #269

The Irish take on the name John, Sean rose as high as #33 in 1972. Actors Sean Connery, Sean Penn, and Sean Astin put a Hollywood touch on the name, which means “God is gracious.” Sean is popular among hip-hop artists as well, with Sean Paul and Big Sean finding fame, while Sean Combs has had a successful career, as both a performer and producer, who launched some of music’s biggest stars.

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#34. Clare (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 357
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #758

Saint Clare of Assisi is among the most famous named with this medieval form of Clara, meaning “bright or clear.” ABC announced that Clare Crawley would star in the 16th season of “The Bachelorette” that begins in May 2020, providing her fifth shot at finding love on the show. Clare Kendry was one of two protagonists in the 1929 novel “Passing,” attempting to hide her black heritage.

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#34. Jake (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,372
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #262

Used as a shortened form of Jacob, or as a medieval form of Jack, meaning “supplanter,” Jake reached as high as #96 on the list of popular American names in 2000. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is probably the most recognizable bearer of the name in Hollywood, while Major League Baseball pitcher Jake Arrieta won the Cy Young Award in 2015. Boxer Jake LaMotta, portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the film “Raging Bull,” captured the middleweight title in 1949.

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#33. Lea (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 408
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #708

Lea Thompson brought the name fame in Hollywood, starring in the “Back to the Future” trilogy in the 1980s and early 1990s. Broadway star and actress Lea Michele became a household name in 2009 as the feisty female lead in the hit show “Glee.” Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk used the name Lea, a Hebrew variant of Leah, meaning “weary,” for their daughter in 2018.


#33. Nash (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,399
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #256

This moniker may be most famous as the surname for famed mathematician John Nash, whose life was portrayed by Russell Crow in “A Beautiful Mind.” From a fictional point of view, Nash Bridges, the CBS police crime drama starring actor Don Johnson, also brought the name fame for six seasons between 1996 and 2001. The name, which means “at the ash tree” in Middle English, began rising in popularity after 1997.

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#32. Faye (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 410
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #705

Faye, as in Dunaway, the iconic Hollywood starlet, comes from the variant Fay, which means fairy. Famous as a surname, Faye is also the common title for the people of Serer in West Africa. Other notable Fayes include New Zealand actress Faye Smythe and Chinese singer-songwriter Faye Wong.

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#32. Ace (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,434
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #255

Ace is highest and lowest symbol in a 52-card deck, and also the English term for “highest rank.” The name is shared by the famous pet detective played by actor Jim Carrey in 1994.


#31. Liv (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 426
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #683

The name Liv means “life” in Scandinavian. Liv Tyler gave significance to the name when in 1991 it became public she was the daughter of Aerosmith’s lead singer, Steven Tyler. A-lister Julianne Moore named her daughter Liv.


#31. Colt (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,615
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #236

The English word for a young male stallion, Colt is also famous as the brand name for both a firearm and a beer. After hitting the scene in 1981, the name rose slowly in popularity, spiking from 2010 to 2018. Fictional character Colt Seavers was the hero in the 1980s television series “The Fall Guy,” giving the name an even more hardened exterior.

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#30. Saige (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 447
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #655

A variant of Sage, which is a culinary spice or wise soul, Saige is pronounced the same. The name has climbed in ranking since 1984, hitting its height in 2018 when 1,164 girls were named Saige. American snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg has a male variation on the name.

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#30. Paul (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,625
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #234

Paul, the name of the early Christian church leader who was named Saul before his conversion, has been the name of numerous saints and popes. Paul is also the name of several celebrities, including singers Simon, McCartney, Stanley, and Snyder, and actors Sorvino, Giamatti, Rudd, and Walker. Paul is the surname for actor Aaron, politicians Ron and Rand, and musician Les.

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#29. Dream (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 480
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #620

While this name evokes thoughts and images of a sleep state, Dream is a feminine name that was bestowed on reality star Rob Kardashian’s daughter in 2016. Dream, which means to play music or rejoice in Old English, is also used as the name of NBA star Allen Iverson’s son. The name, given to up to 480 little girls in 2018, is similar to other inspirational monikers, including Destiny and Serenity.

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#29. Knox (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,698
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #219

The name Knox, which means “round hill” in Old English, often refers to the Kentucky fort, where a U.S. vault of gold reserves exist. Knox is also one of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s twins, named after Pitt’s paternal grandfather, as well as a Bible translation, a brand of Kraft gelatin, and a wall-mounted safe containing firefighters' keys.


#28. Anne (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 504
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #599

French for Anna, with Ann as a variant, Anne is a notable name, meaning “full of grace” in Hebrew. “The Diary of a Young Girl,” written by Anne Frank, tells the story of a Jewish family’s hiding during the Nazi reign of Adolf Hitler. Anne reached its height in 1915 before making a comeback in the 21st century, most notably because of actress Hathaway, after centuries where it was the name of dozens of saints, Olympic medalists, royalty, and Shakespearean characters.


#28. Jax (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,751
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #214

Characters in "Mortal Kombat" and "Sons of Anarchy" keep this name relevant. Short for Jacksonville, Florida, the name is also used in the names of businesses including an Australian tire seller, a biology laboratory, and a film production company. Jax is also considered an abbreviated version of Jackson.

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#27. Sloan (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 519
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #585

Making its debut in the top 1,000 in 2011, Sloan and longer version Sloane have quickly moved up the naming ranks, with the latter reaching the 181st spot in 2018. The name can also be recognized as part of one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, Sloan Kettering, and as the girlfriend of the title character in the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

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#27. Mark (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 1,859
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #210

The shortened form of the Latin Marcus, Mark, is most recognizable to Christians as one of the four Gospels in the Bible. Mark, which was the sixth-most popular name for six straight years starting in 1959, has plenty of celebrity representation today, including actors Mark Wahlberg and Mark Ruffalo, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Author Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, penned two classic American novels, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

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#26. Mae (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 556
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #552

Actress Mae West is among the most notable for using this alternate spelling of May. The American Film Institute rated West, a successful-but-controversial playwright who began her film career in the 1930s, #40 on their list of all-time best actors and actresses. Mae is also used as a middle, as in the Rod Stewart song “Maggie Mae,” or Anna Mae Bullock, who became a superstar better known as Tina Turner.


#26. Zane (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,014
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #200

Author Zane Grey, whose work was instrumental in creating the Western genre, also helped introduce his given name in the early 1900s. In 2018, the name achieved its highest ranking on the list since premiering in 1921, with former One Direction member Zayn Malik lending a boost via an alternate spelling. YouTube star Zane Hijazi continues to remind the world of the name.

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#25. Reign (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 586
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #530

Reign, a name with English origins that means “rule,” jumped up the rankings since debuting as a name in 2016. Lil’ Kim named her daughter Royal Reign in 2014, as did “Teen Moms” star Catelynn Lowell on New Year’s Day 2015, with Nova Reign. It has gained traction as a boy's name as well, and was chosen by Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick for their son in 2014.

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#25. Myles (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,085
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #195

This variant of Miles has its origins in the German name Milo, meaning “gracious” or “soldier.” It was most notably the name of Mayflower pilgrim Myles Standish, who was the first commander of the Plymouth Colony militia. More recently, athletes have brought fame to the name, including  NBA player Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers and NFL superstar Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns.

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#24. Wren (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 661
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #468

Drawing its origins from the songbird of the same name, Wren flew up the list in popularity since debuting in 2013. Wren is the name of a number of fictional characters, in the “Mortal Engines” and “Tales of the City” series and the comic strip “Baby Blues.” The wren is considered the king of the birds in Irish folklore.

Krisda Ponchaipulltawee // Shutterstock

#24. Grant (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,162
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #182

Grant, which means “large” in Norman French, is far more popular as a surname, especially on the silver screen, including actors Cary and Hugh. President Ulysses S. Grant lends additional prominence to the surname, plus there are the two contemporary Christian singers with first names Natalie and Amy. Grant is also the name of 20 locations throughout America.

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#23. Eve (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 716
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #442

Eve is noteworthy for her roles the Biblical stories where she was created from Adam's rib, and for biting the apple in the Garden of Eden. Mid-20th century radio and television star Eve Arden, famous for her role as the principal in the original “Grease,” is the most notable actress with the name. Eve rose up in popularity during the last decade and has stayed on the scene because of a Philadelphia-born rapper and actress bearing the name.


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#23. Bryce (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,228
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #175

The variant of Brice, which is Gaulish for “speckled,” reached its height of popularity in 1989 and again in 1997. When used as a surname, Bryce has Celtic roots. Athletes, including MLB right fielder Bryce Harper, former NFL linebacker Bryce Paup, and current Miami Dolphins quarterback Bryce Petty, have it as their given name. A software brand, hospital and geographic locations in Utah and Arizona also share the name.

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#22. Blair (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 723
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #432

Gaelic for “dweller on the plain,” Blair is often associated with actor Underwood. Used just as much as a surname, the given name Blair also titles Blair Walsh, who made his name as the placekicker for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, and 2012 Olympic Silver MedalistsBlair Tuke (sailing) and Evans (swimming).


#22. Dean (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,241
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #173

Dean—as in the famous 1950s singer and comedian Martin—is probably the best known Dean as a given name, but when it comes to a surname, classic actor James Dean definitely rules. The name that's derived from the Old English word denu, which means valley, is also used to refer to the chief executive of a college, church, or university. Other notable Deans include actors Cain, McDermott, Norris, and Winters, and novelist Koontz.

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#21. Skye (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 741
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #416

A variant of Sky, but with an extra letter, Skye is also an isle on the west coast of Scotland. The name also belongs to the 1980s soap opera character Skye Chandler, who crossed over to all three ABC soap operas—“All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” and “General Hospital”—over the decades. Skye was also the name of the model and actress who died of an accidental overdose at 21 in 2014.

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#21. Rhett (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,304
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #167

“Gone with the Wind’s” Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, was the famous-but-fictional blockade runner based on real-life Charleston contractor George Alfred Trenholm. Derived from the Dutch word “counsel,” the popularity of the name Rhett remained steady from 1955 until 2010, when it rose quickly to its height in 2018. New York Giants' tight-end Rhett Ellison announced his retirement in March, bringing the name back up in sports circles.

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#20. Elle (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 812
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #380

From A-listers Fanning and McPherson to the famous fashion periodical, Elle is also a village in Central Africa, a river in France, a Sri Lankan sport, and archaic German measurement, not to mention the French pronoun for “she.” If that wasn't enough, the name, which is short for Eleanor, is worn by Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Legally Blonde.” Elle Logan, the American rower, won gold medals in three straight Olympics, from 2008 through 2016.

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#20. Finn (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,316
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #166

An old Irish name that’s a shorter form of Fionn, Finn is the surname of Huckleberry, Mark Twain’s classic novel character. Irish for “fair,” Finn is also the first name of a mythical Irish warrior whose life tales were recited by his son and famous lyricist Oisin. As a location, Finn comes up in many places, including Minnesota, North Dakota, Ireland, and Greenland.

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#19. Joy (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 890
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #355

What's one name that denotes being ecstatic? Think of Hollywood’s Joy Philbin, wife of daytime and game show star Regis, or Joy Behar, outspoken television host on “The View.” The name, most popular in 1936 and 1974, is also used as a middle moniker for boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., and actress Tracee Ellis Ross. Other notable Joys include Williams, Pulitzer Prize Winner for "The Quick and the Dead."

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#19. Brooks (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,368
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #161

Famed American author of "Charlotte’s Web" E.B. White is really Elwyn Brooks, though he authored all his books with his initials. Acclaimed philosopher and mathematician Haskell Curry also bears it as a middle name. A variant of Brook, the name dates back to the beginnings of the Social Security top 1,000, rising to its highest point in 2018. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson brought attention to the name, which also titles several colleges, companies, and locations.

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#18. Maeve (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 969
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #334

Of Irish origin, Maeve is linked to an ancient honey wine called mead and means “she who intoxicates.” In Irish mythology, The Queen of Maeve, or Old Irish Medb, is a warrior who fights to prove her equality in The Cattle Raid of Cooley. While many female Irish authors bear the name, Maeve is a fictional character in the television series “Criminal Minds,” soap operas “Ryan’s Hope” and “Guiding Light,” and in Netflix’s “Sex Education.”


#18. Blake (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,446
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #158

Three Blakes stand out in the entertainment world: Edwards, Shelton, and Lively. The American filmmaker who created “Breakfast at Tiffany's;” the famous country singer who hosts NBC's “The Voice” and dates diva Gwen Stefani; and the actress and wife to A-lister Ryan Reynolds all keep the name in the spotlight. As a surname, 18th-century poet and artist William Blake makes the name, which can refer to either dark or pale complexions.


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#17. Sage (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,083
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #307

The name of the culinary herb, Sage, also refers to a prophet or wise man. Though noted here for its use in naming females, Sage is a male moniker, first popularized in 1991 before the female variant came about in 1993. Athletic fans will recognize Sage Steele, the nightly host of ESPN’s SportsCenter. Sylvester Stallone's son and 2014 Olympic gold Medalist Kotsenburg also share the given name.

Lipatova Maryna // Shutterstock

#17. Jude (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,468
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #157

One of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles, and questionably his brother, Jude, is also the tersest epistle in the Bible, with only one chapter consisting of 25 verses. "Hey Jude" by the Beatles was one of the iconic English band’s most famous songs. The name is also connected to A-lister Jude Law and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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#16. Brynn (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,084
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #305

Brynn, the feminine variant of Bryn, the Welsh word for “mound,” hit the scene from 1980 to 1987 and fell off the popularity map from sometime in the late 1980s and nearly all of the 1990s until it made its comeback at the turn of the century, rising and dropping since. It’s been seen most recently as the name of 17-year-old dancer Brynn Rumfallo, a reality television star from “Dance Moms,” “America’s Got Talent,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

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#16. Beau (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,576
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #151

Beau, which means beautiful, is also another word for boyfriend. As a given name, Beau is the given name of real-life actor Bridges and fictitious character Beauregard in “Gone With the Wind.” Beau is also the title of a poem actor Jimmy Stewart wrote about his deceased dog and nother name for Trebbiano, an Italian wine grape. The one-syllable name also belongs to stars with the last names Derek, Jackson, Diddley, and American Idol’s Bice.


#15. Jane (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,123
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #291

Meaning “God is gracious,” Jane is the first name of dozens of history-making individuals and famous fictional characters. The most notable real-life Janes include Nobel Peace Prize winner Addams, Oscar winner Fonda, and Goodall, the renowned English primatologist. While the most famous fictional character is perhaps author Charlotte Bronte’s leading woman Jane Eyre, the name is also part of many memorable songs. The English and feminine version of John, Jane, is also a bit notorious, in that it's associated with unknown dead females using the last name Doe.

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#15. King (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,579
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #150

Though most associated with royalty, or used as a nickname for a trendsetter a la Elvis Presley as the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” the name has also found a place among parents for their newborn boys. The surname version is associated with one of the greatest political activists of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Another notable King not famous for royalty, music, or civil rights is King Camp Gillette, founder of the famous razor.

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#14. Kate (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,156
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #285

Short for Katherine, Kate is the given name of some of Hollywood’s most talented women, including actresses Capshaw, Winslet, Beckinsale, Hudson, Walsh, and Bosworth, as well as models Moss and Upton. Also a song, book, and movie title, the English name Kate has also been associated with a prime minister, princess, Olympic medalists, Shakespearean characters, writers, journalists, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Though her given name is Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is referred to as Kate.

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#14. Jayce (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,635
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #147

The one-syllable name appears three times on the list, with the different spellings of Jace and Jase sounding the same. Jayce, an abbreviated form of Jason, hit the scene in 1986, but only stayed around about a year before fading and appearing again in 1996, and rising fast since.

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#13. Ruth (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,234
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #265

The Book of Ruth in the Bible tells the story of loyalty, when a Moab woman of the same name, an ancestor of King David, stays with her forsaken mother-in-law. Hebrew for “friend, confidant,” the name also refers to one of four female Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Actresses Margot Kidder and Maggie Gyllenhaal both have the name Ruth as their middle moniker.

Lopolo // Shutterstock

#13. Juan (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,826
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #139

Spanish and Manx for John, there's a long list of famous athletes named Juan, including Marichal, Gonzalez, and Montoya. The most famous fictional character, Don Juan, is part of a tragic love story, while hurricanes of the same name were responsible for destruction in 1985 and 2003. The name, which peaked in 2005, also brings to mind the Puerto Rican capital city.

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#12. Hope (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,265
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #255

As the third Christian virtue, along with Faith and Charity, Hope as a name reached its height in 2000. The name breeds optimism and is also Miley Cyrus’ real middle moniker following her first name, Destiny, and first name of legendary actress Lange. Hope also refers to soap opera characters, tropical storms, and the hit television comedy.

Alena Vostrikova // Shutterstock

#12. Max (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,857
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #136

Max, short for Maximilian has referred to more than people, including literature, films, music, games, brands, and enterprises. Some examples include a movie about Adolf Hitler; a game in the “Dance Dance Revolution” series; an Indian clothing line; and a sexy female Japanese band. Also short for “maximum” in English slang, Max is the name of seven Nobel Peace Prize winners in physics, medicine, chemistry, and economics.

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#11. June (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,342
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #241

Juno, the Roman goddess whose Latin name means “queen of Heaven,” is tied to June, the sixth month of the year and popular baby name. June, the name of country star Johnny Cash’s wife, is also the title for the quintessential fictional wife, June Cleaver. The name reached its height in popularity in 1925 and slowly began to vanish by 1986, before showing up again in 2008.


#11. Gael (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 2,922
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #132

Though the name refers to Gaelic-speaking individuals or relatives of ancient Scotland Celts, it is also a famous English baby name that means “joy.” Often used as a short version of Abigail, Gael didn’t hit the American scene until 2002, most notably with Mexican actor and producer Gael Garcia Bernal, who played the leading role in 2005 guerrilla leader biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries.” Notable athletes with the name include tennis player Monfils and rugby player Fickou, and Olympic shot put and fencing medalists Mulhall-Martin and Touya.


#10. Paige (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,443
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #213

The name Paige means “servant” in English, and the page spelling referred to messenger boys for royals. WWE Diva Paige, aka Saraya-Jade Bevis, the youngest woman to win the WWE title, gave the name even more attention via the 2010 biographical comedy-drama “Fighting with My Family.” Several American athletes and actresses have it as their given name: It is also a popular surname.

Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

#10. George (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 3,059
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #127

From presidents and pop icons to kings, George is a name easily remembered, that means “farmer” in Greek. While U.S. founding father George Washington was the first president with the given name, the name would be elected again in the 1980s and 1990s with the Bush father and son. A-lister Clooney is the most notable actor with the first name, while singers Harrison and Michael gave the moniker its most radio play. Add in other Georges, including Orwell, Gershwin, Burns, C. Scott, Patton, Segal, Carlin, Lopez, Foreman, and Lucas, and the name just gets more popular.


#9. Brooke (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,518
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #201

Philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor brought attention to the name in the 1950s, making way for namesake actress Shields in the 1980s. Peaking in 1981 and 1996, the name is a variant of Brook and is Gaelic for “a small stream.” Other less-famous namesakes include CNN news anchors Anderson and Baldwin, as well as WWE legend Hulk Hogan’s daughter.

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#9. Cole (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 3,327
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #118

American composer Cole Porter may be the most notable celebrity of the given name that means “swarthy or coal black.” Cole is the surname of famous, soulful singers Nat King and Natalie. Fictional characters named Cole include Haley Joel Osment's character in "The Sixth Sense;" Tom Cruise's role in "Days of Thunder;" and a few PlayStation game personalities.


#8. Sloane (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,623
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #181

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fans will recall Sloane Peterson, the beautiful brunette he skips school with in the 1980s pop-culture flick. Also a location in New South Wales, Sloane, coupled with the word “Ranger,” refers to upper-middle-class youth in West London. Rapper Macklemore named his first daughter Sloane, which is also notable as a surname.


#8. Kai (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 3,421
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #113

Corporations, locations, and people all have the name Kai. While Korea Aerospace Industries goes by KAI, the name also refers to places in Iran, Indonesia, Japan, and China. People that go by the name, which means “sea” in Hawaiian, include a Celtic mythology character, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and three Olympic medalists.


#7. Reese (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 1,788
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #159

When you hear the word Reese, the surname Witherspoon is often associated with it. When not referring to America's beloved romantic comedy actress, the name with Welsh and English origins is also tied to one of the nation's favorite candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Reese also refers to two U.S. towns in Texas and Michigan and a location in northwestern Germany.

Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

#7. Miles (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 3,964
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #98

American jazz bandleader Miles Davis may be the most famous person with the moniker, but A-lister Miles Teller keeps the name, which has no definitive meaning, in the spotlight. Speaking of the spotlight, celebrities John Cusack, Elisabeth Shue, and Lionel Richie all have children named Miles.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#6. Rose (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 2,432
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #123

Like Jade, Rose is the name of a color, which is taken from the flower and dates back as a name to 1880. Rose did not start to trend again until 2010, 100 years after reaching its height in 1910. Though a one-syllable short and sweet name, Rose sometimes has suffixes, including Anne, Anna, and Mary. Modern-day actresses McGowan and Byrnes and several saints, including Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, share the name.


#6. Jace (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 4,276
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #90

Hebrew for "the Lord is salvation," Jace is not a common name; instead, it's uttered more as the first phonetic sound in the English name Jason. Reality television series "Teen Mom" and "Duck Dynasty" brought attention to the name as the signature for two different boys, with the later spelled Jase. 1956 was the first year it surfaced as a popular name.

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#5. Faith (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 2,442
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #122

Considered a Puritan virtue, Faith breeds religious connotations. While it means to trust in God, it also refers to a few of the whos-who in country music—singers Hill and Evans. Southern Living reports the name Faith is among baby names inspired by Hallmark movies.


#5. Charles (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 6,604
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #52

The English name Charles, which comes from the German variant Karl and means “army warrior,” is associated with both royalty (Prince Charles) and serial murders (Charles Manson). While the list of famous people named Charles, aka Chuck, goes on, most notable among them include Darwin, Dickins, Chaplain, Berry, Bronson, Ingalls, Norris, Sheen, Barkley, and Hunnam. In addition to many Nobel Peace Prize winners, there are many fictional characters named Charles, in the novel “Pride and Prejudice,” movie “Citizen Kane,” and “The Simpsons.”

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#4. Jade (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 2,673
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #111

The name based on the green gemstone has an English variant Jada, made famous as the first name of the actress and wife of A-lister Will Smith. The Italian version of the name is Giada, as in cooking star De Laurentiis. Jade is derived from the Spanish word for “stone in the flank.”


#4. Luke (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 8,577
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #29

From the Gospel of Luke in the Bible to 1970s pop-culture character Luke Skywalker, this English name is high-profile. Country singer Luke Bryan and actors Owen, Perry, and Evans all share the name, which slowly rose to popularity after George Lucas started his space opera in 1977 with Star Wars. By 2018, the name was part the top 50 and notable as the name for several fictional characters, including Luke Dunphy from “Modern Family,” Ward from “The O.C.,” Hobbs in “Fast & Furious” series, and Marvel Comics character Cage.


#3. Quinn (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 3,369
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #84

The Gaelic name Quinn, which signifies wisdom and intellect, stormed up the list from 2009 to 2018. Having the moniker as a first name is not as common as its use as a surname— think of actor Aidan and comedian Colin. The English variant of Quin is also the name of sexy comic book villain Harley Quinn, who showed up on the silver screen in the blockbuster “Suicide Squad” in 2017.

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#3. Jack (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 8,834
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #28

Since seeing its peak of popularity at the start of the 1930s, Jack has been on the upswing for usage since 2005, but has been ever-present in the titles of famous children's tales, including the famous beanstalk one. Many famous men have the name Jack, including actors Lemmon, Nicholson, and Black; comedian Benny; singer Johnson; beatnik poet Kerouac; and author London. Many athletes, including boxers Dempsey and Johnson; wrestler Swagger; football player Youngblood; and baseball player Morris have bore the name.


#2. Claire (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 4,379
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #49

Bright and clear is the meaning of this name associated with Homeland actress Claire Danes and other A-listers, including Holt and Forlani. Long before Hollywood starlets had the name, an Italian nun in 1194 became the Saint of Assisi after establishing a sisterhood called the order of Poor Clares. As for fictional Claires, there are more than a few, including Dunphy from “Modern Family;” Cleary from “Wedding Crashers;” and Underwood from “House of Cards.”


#2. John (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 9,119
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #27

Like other Biblical names James and Luke, John is also one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples. However, most famous in the Bible is John the Baptist, the prophet who preached the coming of Christ. President Kennedy helped popularize the name, as did Beatles singer Lennon. Actors with the first name include Wayne, Travolta, Goodman, Stamos, Krasinski, Cena, Hamm, and Stewart.

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#1. Grace (for girls)

- Births in 2018: 6,724
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #24

The name meaning favor from God was made popular by the Puritans. Later, it referred to Philadelphia-born actress Grace Kelly, who became the princess of Monaco. Also a common theme in songs, including “Amazing Grace,” the title comes from the Latin word gratia. Actors Debra Messing and Eric McCormack played in the eight-season, Emmy Award-winning comeback show “Will and Grace,” which began airing again in 2017 after ending in 2006.

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#1. James (for boys)

- Births in 2018: 13,525
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #4

The Bible has 66 books, and one of them is titled James, after an apostle of Jesus Christ. Popular among royalty, the name also refers to a version of the Bible. Speaking of literature, epochal author James Joyce bears the title, along with six American presidents, including “Jimmy” Carter. Iconic actor Dean shares it with modern-day A-lister Franco and fictional super agent Bond.

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