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Baby names with the most timeless popularity

  • Baby names with the most timeless popularity
    1/ riggleton // Shutterstock

    Baby names with the most timeless popularity

    Baby names are all unique, whether super-popular or not as commonly known. Names also tend to follow trends; if a name was popular the year you were born, you might tend to know more people with that name. Every year, the Social Security Administration tallies the most popular baby names based on how many infants were registered with that name in the past year.

    The following names, however, never went out of style. Year after year, they remain in the top ranks for a variety of reasons: The names are usually traditional, whether they are biblical, royal, or family names. 

    Stacker looked to the Social Security Administration Baby Names Database to round up the top 50 baby names with the most timeless popularity. These names have been at the top of the baby name list for the past 100 years, and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

    You may also like: Stories behind the 50 most popular baby names for girls

  • #25 for boys: Edward
    2/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #25 for boys: Edward

    - Average popularity rank: #56
    - Highest rank: #9 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #158 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #169 (1,790 babies born)

    The name Edward is of Old English origin and means “wealthy guard.” It was popularized by the British royal family, most notably, King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne in 1936. Other famous Edwards include Edward, Earl of Wessex, Edward Norton, and Ed Burns.

  • #25 for girls: Diana
    3/ 1041483 // Pixabay

    #25 for girls: Diana

    - Average popularity rank: #93
    - Highest rank: #52 (1940s)
    - Lowest rank: #195 (1930s)
    - Rank in 2017: #230 (1,358 babies born)

    Diana is another popular English baby name, meaning “heavenly divine.” The name Diana once held great power and meaning, owing to a Roman goddess of the same name. One of the most famous Dianas was Princess Diana who married Prince Charles in 1981. Her popularity throughout the world has kept the name timeless and traditional.

  • #24 for boys: Brian
    4/ btchurch // Pixabay

    #24 for boys: Brian

    - Average popularity rank: #55
    - Highest rank: #8 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #156 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #217 (1,410 babies born)

    A popular Celtic name, Brian, means “strong” and has remained classic throughout time. Famous Brians (or Bryans) that have contributed to the name's popularity are actor Bryan Cranston, singer-songwriter Bryan Adams, Brian May of Queen, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

  • #24 for girls: Angela
    5/ Profile // Pixabay

    #24 for girls: Angela

    - Average popularity rank: #91
    - Highest rank: #7 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #198 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #234 (1,344 babies born)

    Angela is a way for parents to incorporate the word “angel” into their child's name. Angela comes from the Latin name Angelus, which translates to “angel.” In the Bible, it means “messenger of God.” The first record of the name Angela dates back to the 18th century.

  • #23 for boys: Kenneth
    6/ cabujak // Pixabay

    #23 for boys: Kenneth

    - Average popularity rank: #54
    - Highest rank: #15 (1930s)
    - Lowest rank: #191 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #218 (1,408 babies born)

    Kenneth is a Celtic name that means “born of fire.” The name has been popular since the ninth century, when Kenneth I became King of Scotland. Literary hero Sir Kenneth is the lead character in the novel “The Talisman.” Throughout pop culture, Kenneth, or the nicknames Kenny and Ken, have all surfaced frequently, from Barbie's iconic boyfriend to country singer Kenny Chesney.

  • #23 for girls: Julia
    7/ 1040483 // Pixabay

    #23 for girls: Julia

    - Average popularity rank: #91
    - Highest rank: #30 (2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #131 (1950s, 1970s)
    - Rank in 2017: #93 (3,111 babies born)

    Julia comes from the male name, Julius. Julia was also a character in Shakespeare's play “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” Before the 20th century, Julia became increasingly popular thanks to poet Julia Ward Howe. The highest rank in popularity was in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, potentially owing to the rise of Julia Roberts. Julia is of Latin origin and means “youthful.”

  • #22 for boys: Paul
    8/ Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company // Flickr

    #22 for boys: Paul

    - Average popularity rank: #54
    - Highest rank: #14 (1920s, 1930s)
    - Lowest rank: #194 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #225 (1,384 babies born)

    The name Paul originated in the New Testament. Paul the Apostle was one of the founders of Christianity. Paul is an English name that means “little.” For the past 100 years, Paul has remained in the top tier of names for baby boys.

  • #22 for girls: Evelyn
    9/ bottlein // Pixabay

    #22 for girls: Evelyn

    - Average popularity rank: #84
    - Highest rank: #12 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #195 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #9 (10,675 babies born)

    Evelyn means “wished for child,” and is of English origin, but originally stems from the French name “Aveline.” Evelyn has remained within the top 200 baby names for the past century, and cracked the top 10 for the first time in 2017.

  • #21 for boys: Frank
    10/ Donnie Ray Jones // Flickr

    #21 for boys: Frank

    - Average popularity rank: #53
    - Highest rank: #12 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #147 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #373 (828 babies born)

    While Frank has recently taken a dive from the top ranks of baby names, it remains a popular choice. Frank is of German descent, and came from the word for “spear” in medieval times. The name was made popular in the past century by classic crooner Frank Sinatra, and more recently, pop singer Frank Ocean.

  • #21 for girls: Kathryn
    11/ regina_zulauf // Pixabay

    #21 for girls: Kathryn

    - Average popularity rank: #83
    - Highest rank: #49 (1980s)
    - Lowest rank: #129 (2000s)
    - Rank in 2017: #424 (744 babies born)

    An alternate spelling of “Catherine,” Kathryn makes this list of most timeless and popular baby girl names. This particular spelling is of English origin, means “pure one,” and has been in use since the 19th century.

  • #20 for boys: Samuel
    12/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #20 for boys: Samuel

    - Average popularity rank: #53
    - Highest rank: #24 (2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #85 (1960s)
    - Rank in 2017: #21 (6,991 babies born)

    Samuel is of Hebrew origin and means “His Name is God;” It is popular in the Old Testament. It hasn't fallen out of the top 100 names for boys since the 19th century, and remains in the top 100 today. Famous Samuels include Samuel Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sammy Sosa.

  • #20 for girls: Victoria
    13/ marvelmozhko // Pixabay

    #20 for girls: Victoria

    - Average popularity rank: #82
    - Highest rank: #19 (1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #192 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #19 (7,267 babies born)

    The name Victoria has been around for hundreds of years dating back to the 19th century because of Queen Victoria of England, who had the longest reign of any monarch until her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her record in 2017. The Latin word for “victorious,” this name has remained popular through the centuries.

  • #19 for boys: Ronald
    14/ smpratt90 // Pixabay

    #19 for boys: Ronald

    - Average popularity rank: #50
    - Highest rank: #10 (1940s)
    - Lowest rank: #136 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #460 (684 babies born)

    Ronald has a variety of origins, mainly in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The name's meaning is “rules with counsel.” One famous Ronald that contributed to the name's popularity was President Ronald Reagan.

  • #19 for girls: Jacqueline
    15/ kennylouie // Wikimedia Commons

    #19 for girls: Jacqueline

    - Average popularity rank: #81
    - Highest rank: #51 (1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #145 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #348 (920 babies born)

    Jacqueline is a French name that means “protected by God.” It's the female version of the French name “Jacques,” and has been in use since the 19th century. Jacqueline Kennedy contributed to the rise in this name's popularity in the 1960s, where it had its highest ranking.

  • #18 for boys: Timothy
    16/ cherylholt // Pixabay

    #18 for boys: Timothy

    - Average popularity rank: #50
    - Highest rank: #13 (1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #131 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #164 (1,823 babies born)

    Timothy is a Greek name that means “honoring God.” It has consistently been in the top 150 names for the past 100 years and remains in the top 200. Famous Timothys that have contributed to the name's popularity are film director Tim Burton, actor Tim Conway, actor Tim Allen, and young Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet.

  • #18 for girls: Andrea
    17/ tel13588006626 // Pixabay

    #18 for girls: Andrea

    - Average popularity rank: #79
    - Highest rank: #28 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #151 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #128 (2,312 babies born)

    Andrea hasn't cracked the top 20 list of most popular baby names over the past century, but it has maintained average usage. The female version of the Greek name Andrew, Andrea is an English, Italian, and German name that means “strong.” Andrea is a name often used on the big and small screens, from Andrea Zuckerman on “Beverly Hills 90210” to Andrea “Andy” Sachs from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

  • #17 for boys: Kevin
    18/ Thomas // Flickr

    #17 for boys: Kevin

    - Average popularity rank: #47
    - Highest rank: #13 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #167 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #101 (2,880 babies born)

    Kevin is a popular Gaelic name for baby boys; St. Kevin is one of the patron saints of Dublin. In Irish, the name means “handsome.” Many Kevins are present in pop culture, from Kevin Arnold in “The Wonder Years” to actors Kevin Hart, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Costner.

  • #17 for girls: Rebecca
    19/ esudroff // Pixabay

    #17 for girls: Rebecca

    - Average popularity rank: #78
    - Highest rank: #13 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #177 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #216 (1,416 babies born)

    The name Rebecca first appeared in the Old Testament, spelled “Rebekah.” This Hebrew name means “captivating.” Famous Rebeccas throughout pop culture include supermodel Rebecca Romijn and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff.

  • #16 for boys: Steven
    20/ NewportBaptistChurchNC // Pixabay

    #16 for boys: Steven

    - Average popularity rank: #43
    - Highest rank: #11 (1950s, 1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #135 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #182 (1,660 babies born)

    Steven has Greek origins, means “crown” or “wreath,” and has many different spellings—the original being Stephen. This name rose to the top of the charts in the 1950s and '60s, and remained in the top 150 for decades. Famous Stevens that have helped maintain the popularity are filmmaker Steven Spielberg, "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, and musician Steven Tyler.

  • #16 for girls: Stephanie
    21/ zin25 // Pixabay

    #16 for girls: Stephanie

    - Average popularity rank: #77
    - Highest rank: #6 (1980s)
    - Lowest rank: #191 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #287 (1,126 babies born)

    Stephanie is the female version of Steven, a Greek name also found in France, meaning “crowned in victory.” The name was most popular from 1969 to 1996, and has since fallen in popularity.

  • #15 for boys: Andrew
    22/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #15 for boys: Andrew

    - Average popularity rank: #40
    - Highest rank: #7 (1990s, 2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #87 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #40 (5,159 babies born)

    Andrew is of Greek origin, and means “warrior.” Andrew broke the top 10 list, and held its position among the most popular names for two decades. It's never fallen below the top 100 names. The name Andrew dates back to one of Jesus' apostles, and is the name of many other saints. Queen Elizabeth II's son, Prince Andrew, made the name even more popular.

  • #15 for girls: Emily
    23/ firstview_digital_signage // Pixabay

    #15 for girls: Emily

    - Average popularity rank: #73
    - Highest rank: #1 (2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #178 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #12 (9,746 babies born)

    Emily is the female version of the medieval name Aemilius, is of Latin origin, and means “industrious.” The short, classic name remains a popular choice for parents. Famous Emilys include authors Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson, and actress Emily Blunt.

  • #14 for boys: Donald
    24/ Profile // Pixabay

    #14 for boys: Donald

    - Average popularity rank: #39
    - Highest rank: #7 (1930s)
    - Lowest rank: #135 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #488 (636 babies born)

    While the current ranking of Donald is low, it has remained in the top 200 names over the past century. Donald is of Scottish origin and means “mighty.” Some of the most notable Donalds in history are classic cartoon character Donald Duck, and actors Donald Glover and Donald Sutherland.

  • #14 for girls: Karen
    25/ ferhat66 // Pixabay

    #14 for girls: Karen

    - Average popularity rank: #72
    - Highest rank: #4 (1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #170 (2000s)
    - Rank in 2017: #556 (552 babies born)

    Karen had its moment in the sun in the 1960s when it ranked #4 amongst baby girl names. The popular girls' name is of Danish descent and means “pure.” The name has been used in TV shows like “Will and Grace,” “The Office,” and “The Walking Dead.”

  • #13 for boys: Richard
    26/ Free-Photos // Pixabay

    #13 for boys: Richard

    - Average popularity rank: #35
    - Highest rank: #5 (1930s, 1940s)
    - Lowest rank: #138 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #175 (1,723 babies born)

    With an average popularity ranking of #13, Richard has long been a beloved name. With German origins, the name means “powerful,” and has many nicknames including Dick, Rick, and Ricky. Some famous Richards in history have been President Richard Nixon, radio and TV personality Dick Clark, and actor Richard Gere.

  • #13 for girls: Maria
    27/ claire51700 // Pixabay

    #13 for girls: Maria

    - Average popularity rank: #72
    - Highest rank: #35 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #122 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #111 (2,699 babies born)

    Maria originally has Greek origins, but is common throughout Europe. Maria has royal connections as the name of two queens of Portugal. The best-known Marias that have helped keep the name atop of the charts are opera singer Maria Callas, journalist Maria Shriver, and actress Maria Menounos.

  • #12 for boys: Christopher
    28/ robertofoto // Pixabay

    #12 for boys: Christopher

    - Average popularity rank: #32
    - Highest rank: #2 (1970s, 1980s, 1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #147 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #38 (5,222 babies born)

    Christopher has been a go-to for parents for decades, holding the top #2 ranking for 30 years. The lowest the name has ever fallen was #147, never breaking the top 150 names for boys. Christopher has origins in Greece, and means “Christ-bearer.”

  • #12 for girls: Catherine
    29/ amyelizabethquinn // Pixabay

    #12 for girls: Catherine

    - Average popularity rank: #72
    - Highest rank: #27 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #179 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #198 (1,573 babies born)

    More popular than its counterpart, Kathryn, Catherine ranks significantly higher. It still holds the same origin and meaning; the Greek word for “pure.” One of today's most famous Catherines is the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton. Other notable Catherines include Catherine the Great and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

  • #11 for boys: Anthony
    30/ Free-Photos // Pixabay

    #11 for boys: Anthony

    - Average popularity rank: #28
    - Highest rank: #11 (2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #47 (1930s)
    - Rank in 2017: #32 (5,872 babies born)

    Anthony has been in the top 50 names for boys for the past century, its lowest ranking being #47. It has a Latin origin, meaning “priceless one.” It also holds strong Italian heritage, as St. Anthony is a patron saint of Italy. Nicknames and variations include Tony, Antonio, and Antony. Anthony has been a popular name throughout history, with notable Tonys including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, skateboarder Tony Hawk, actor Anthony Hopkins, and singer Tony Bennett.

  • #11 for girls: Margaret
    31/ lavaki // Pixabay

    #11 for girls: Margaret

    - Average popularity rank: #71
    - Highest rank: #5 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #167 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #132 (2,242 babies born)

    Margaret is of Greek origin, despite its widespread popularity in Ireland and England. The meaning of the name is “pearl.” Famous women by this name include Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as actress Meg Ryan, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

  • #10 for boys: Charles
    32/ pexels // Pixabay

    #10 for boys: Charles

    - Average popularity rank: #26
    - Highest rank: #5 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #58 (2000s)
    - Rank in 2017: #49 (4,683 babies born)

    Never falling below the #60 ranking, Charles has remained a popular name for the past 100 years. The name has German origins, meaning “full grown man.” One of the best-known men named Charles is Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.

  • #10 for girls: Christine
    33/ jry140305

    #10 for girls: Christine

    - Average popularity rank: #66
    - Highest rank: #22 (1970s)
    - Lowest rank: #129 (1930s)
    - Rank in 2017: #786 (346 babies born)

    Christine is the French version of Christina, and means “anointed one.” It is also the female version of Christopher, when names ending in ‘-e' were more popular. Christine was the protagonist in “Phantom of the Opera,” cementing its name in literary and theatrical history.

  • #9 for boys: Thomas
    34/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #9 for boys: Thomas

    - Average popularity rank: #21
    - Highest rank: #8 (1940s, 1950s)
    - Lowest rank: #54 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #48 (4,699 babies born)

    With a lowest ranking of 54 over the past century, Thomas remains one of the most popular names for baby boys. The name has religious connotations: Thomas was an apostle, and St. Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury. With a handful of different spellings and nicknames such as Tom, Thommy, Tommy, Thom, and Tommas, Thomas simply means "twin" and has a Greek origin.

  • #9 for girls: Kathleen
    35/ btchurch // Pixabay

    #9 for girls: Kathleen

    - Average popularity rank: #61
    - Highest rank: #15 (1950s)
    - Lowest rank: #129 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #871 (310 babies born)

    Kathleen is the Irish equivalent of Catherine, meaning “pure one.” There are many Kathleens in Hollywood, including Kathy Bates, Kathy Ireland, Kathy Griffin, and Kathleen Turner.

  • #8 for boys: Daniel
    36/ BessHamiti // Pixabay

    #8 for boys: Daniel

    - Average popularity rank: #19
    - Highest rank: #5 (2000s)
    - Lowest rank: #45 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #15 (8,134 babies born)

    Daniel means “God is my judge” in Hebrew. The name hit an all-time high with a fifth ranking in the 2000s. Famous Daniels include Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Day Lewis, Daniel Craig, and Dan Rather.

  • #8 for girls: Katherine
    37/ BellamiPhotography // Pixabay

    #8 for girls: Katherine

    - Average popularity rank: #61
    - Highest rank: #27 (1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #97 (1930s)
    - Rank in 2017: #105 (2,833 babies born)

    The most popular spelling among parents is Katherine, meaning “pure” in Greek. It was most popular in the 1990s, and remains in the top 200 names of the past century.

  • #7 for boys: Robert
    38/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #7 for boys: Robert

    - Average popularity rank: #15
    - Highest rank: #1 (1920s, 1930s)
    - Lowest rank: #64 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #65 (3,883 babies born)

    It's no surprise that Robert has never fallen below #70 on the top baby names for boys and spent a century in the top 25. It is German for “bright fame,” and has many nicknames, like Bob, Bobby, Rob, and Robbie. Famous Roberts include Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Robert Pattinson, Robert Downey Jr., and Rob Gronkowski.

  • #7 for girls: Laura
    39/ briefkasten2 // Pixabay

    #7 for girls: Laura

    - Average popularity rank: #60
    - Highest rank: #16 (1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #135 (2000s)
    - Rank in 2017: #340 (939 babies born)

    Laura was originally a Latin name derived from the word “laurus,” or laurel, an evergreen shrub used in crowns. There have been many Lauras throughout history, notably former First Lady Laura Bush, writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, and actress Laura Prepon.

  • #6 for boys: Joseph
    40/ stocksnap // Pixabay

    #6 for boys: Joseph

    - Average popularity rank: #11
    - Highest rank: #7 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #18 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #19 (7,267 babies born)

    Joseph translates to “God will increase” in Hebrew, was mentioned in the Old Testament, and is the name of the Virgin Mary's husband. In 100 years, Joseph has never fallen out of the top 20 most popular names for boys. Famous Josephs include baseball player Joe Dimaggio, former Vice President Joe Biden, quarterback Joe Montana, and singer-songwriter Joe Jonas.

  • #6 for girls: Nancy
    41/ isaiasbartolomeu // Pixabay

    #6 for girls: Nancy

    - Average popularity rank: #59
    - Highest rank: #7 (1940s)
    - Lowest rank: #163 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #878 (308 babies born)

    Nancy has Hebrew origins and is a variation of Anne or Ann, which means “grace.” While its current ranking is low, #878, to be exact, Nancy remains a classic name. A few famous Nancys are former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, and singer Nancy Sinatra.

  • #5 for boys: Michael
    42/ PublicDomainPictures // Pixabay

    #5 for boys: Michael

    - Average popularity rank: #11
    - Highest rank: #1 (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #52 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #12 (9,746 babies born)

    A name of Hebrew origin, it means “who is like God.” The top #1 ranking from the 1960s to the 1990s was influenced by superstars like Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan.

  • #5 for girls: Anna
    43/ Maeunkyung // Pixabay

    #5 for girls: Anna

    - Average popularity rank: #55
    - Highest rank: #13 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #104 (1950s)
    - Rank in 2017: #53 (4,520 babies born)

    Anna is a form of Anne which means “grace,” and can be traced back to the Hebrew name Channah or Hannah. There is also St. Anne, the mother of Virgin Mary.

  • #4 for boys: David
    44/ alesvelich0 // Pixabay

    #4 for boys: David

    - Average popularity rank: #10
    - Highest rank: #2 (1960s)
    - Lowest rank: #22 (1920s)
    - Rank in 2017: #23 (6,752 babies born)

    Never falling lower than the top 20 spot, David has stayed afloat as one of the most popular and timeless baby names for a century. With Hebrew origins, the name David is used frequently throughout the Bible. St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and was also the name of a number of royals. Other famous Davids are David Bowie and David Beckham.

  • #4 for girls: Sarah
    45/ schreiberling // Pixabay

    #4 for girls: Sarah

    - Average popularity rank: #47
    - Highest rank: #4 (1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #107 (1950s)
    - Rank in 2017: #62 (3,986 babies born)

    Sarah means “princess” in Hebrew. Sarah was the wife of Abraham, which in itself makes Sarah an incredibly popular traditional name. The highest ranking, in the 1990s, could be traced back to Sarah Jessica Parker's rise to fame as well as a tribute to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

  • #3 for boys: John
    46/ amyelizabethquinn // Pixabay

    #3 for boys: John

    - Average popularity rank: #9
    - Highest rank: #2 (1920s)
    - Lowest rank: #27 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #27 (6,132 babies born)

    John has never fallen below the #30 spot on most popular baby boy names. John means “the grace or mercy of the Lord,” and has Hebrew origins; John was also one of the best-known apostles. In 1960, John was #3 for baby boy names, most likely due to the president at the time, John F. Kennedy. From there, the list of famous Johns goes on: John Legend, John Travolta, John McCain, and John Mayer.

  • #3 for girls: Patricia
    47/ 3217138 // Pixabay

    #3 for girls: Patricia

    - Average popularity rank: #34
    - Highest rank: #3 (1950s)
    - Lowest rank: #133 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #889 (302 babies born)

    While not a popular name at the moment, Patricia has held top spots in the past, hitting the #3 spot in the 1950s. It is the female version of Patrick, has Latin origins, and means “noble.” Famous Patricias include singer Patti LaBelle, former First Lady Pat Nixon, and actress Patricia Arquette.

  • #2 for boys: William
    48/ erinlenz // Pixabay

    #2 for boys: William

    - Average popularity rank: #8
    - Highest rank: #4 (1920s, 1930s, 1940s)
    - Lowest rank: #18 (1990s)
    - Rank in 2017: #3 (15,902 babies born)

    The lowest ranking of the name William was in the 1990s, when it held the #18 spot. William is an English name that means “resolute protector.” One of the most famous Williams in the world is the likely future King of England, Prince William, who has helped keep the name popular in recent years.

  • #2 for girls: Mary
    49/ Terynkphotography // Pixabay

    #2 for girls: Mary

    - Average popularity rank: #28
    - Highest rank: #1 (1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s)
    - Lowest rank: #119 (2010s)
    - Rank in 2017: #126 (2,381 babies born)

    Mary held the top spot for baby girl names for four consecutive decades between the 1920s and 1950s, but has since dropped significantly. Mary is of Hebrew origin, with many references in the bible (not least of all as Jesus' mother), and means “bitter.”

  • #1 for boys: James
    50/ Pexels // Pixabay

    #1 for boys: James

    - Average popularity rank: #6
    - Highest rank: #1 (1940s, 1950s)
    - Lowest rank: #17 (2000s)
    - Rank in 2017: #4 (15,100 babies born)

    The #1 most timeless name for boys is James. James is a Hebrew name that means “follower.” In English, it can also be a form of Jacob. The name has remained consistently popular over the past 100 years, remaining at the top for two decades: the 1940s and 1950s. Other famous people named James are actors James Corden, James Brolin, and James Franco.

  • #1 for girls: Elizabeth
    51/ McStone // Pixabay

    #1 for girls: Elizabeth

    - Average popularity rank: #14
    - Highest rank: #8 (1990s)
    - Lowest rank: #25 (1940s)
    - Rank in 2017: #13 (8,915 babies born)

    Elizabeth is the most popular name for girls over the past 100 years. Elizabeth has many variations, including Lizzie, Eliza, Liz, and Beth. The Hebrew name means “my God is beautiful.” Famous Elizabeths in history include Queen Elizabeth II, actress Elizabeth Taylor, businesswoman Elizabeth Arden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

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