If you’re expecting in the next few months, there’s no doubt you are currently looking for the perfect and most unique name for your little one. And of course, it can be extremely hard. After all, how could you possibly sum up their yet-to-be-seen personality with a name? As if decorating the nursery and dealing with pregnancy details wasn’t hard enough.
To make things easier for the parents-to-be, Baby Center and Nameberry release a list of the most popular baby names with rankings based on feedback and page views from readers around the world. Assessing names that are winning the most attention from expectant parents, the lists are incredibly organic and see trends emerging around every season.
If you are looking for a name with a big personality, you are in luck! Helping you make an informed decision, we pull the very best and trendiest from every collection possible of the most popular baby names of 2016.
Knocking the name Charlotte out of the ranks, Olivia was first knowingly used by Shakespeare in his play Twelfth Night and means quite simply, “olive tree.” It can also be shortened as a nickname to Liv or Olive.
English for industrious and striving, this Victorian name has become one of the hottest girls’ names as an alternative to the overused Emily or Amanda.
This classy, French name is the feminine diminutive of Charles and appeals to many for its grown up sophistication. With contrast to its elegance, Charlie or Lottie make for a cute nickname that lets them grow into its more mature designation.
With dozens of high-profile stars like Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman choosing the name for their own daughters, Ava is the variation of Eve, which means life and is a word related to birds in Latin.
Known as the top girl’s name in the U.S. from 2011 to 2013, Sophia has dropped in popularity over the years, yet remains in the top five. With Greek origins, this sophisticated name means wisdom and brings about a high-minded meaning to your child’s identity. It can also be spelled as Sofia, or used as the French version, Sophie, known mainly across the pond.
Rounding up some of the top 10 names are Emma, Aurora, Mia, Isla, and Arabella, which jumped up 13 spots from last year. Think of the nickname — just “Bella.”
Known as the helper in Hebrew, Ezra has a strong Biblical legacy even though it feels fresh and new.
Regarded as the name preceding the world’s most famous ark, Noah surprised the baby world in 2013 when it dethroned Jacob after being a favorite among parents for 13 years. Noah maintained its top ranking for the past two years.
Reaching new heights with its popularity over the years, Mason has deep English roots and means “stone worker.” Many view it as a refreshed version of Jason, or the incredibly unique name, Cason/Kason.
Excellent, soft and sensitive, Asher known to mean blessed and happy has roots in Hebrew. Not to mention, has been climbing more than a hundred spots at a time in the last few years.
Denoting strength and firmness, Ethan succeeds at being both classy and fashionable for the serious and sensitive type. Moreover, with its Biblical roots, it’s a prominent name for those praised with wisdom.
Ezra, Noah and Mason might not seem like it, but the three are gender neutral names as many over the years have used them alternately. Coming right behind these top names for boys are Atticus, Declan, Liam, Lucas, and Oliver, which can also adorably be nicknamed as Ollie.
While unique and trendy names are a way to set your child apart from others, not every family will want to go that route. Some of the more traditional names making waves on NameBerry and Baby Center this year were favorites, like Allison, Grace, Ashley and Rachel for girls; Aaron, Andrew, David and Daniel for boys.
Uniquely spelled names
We all want our kid to stand out and some of the more cleverly spelled names making the lists this year were with parents switching out letters to modify what would otherwise seem like a “normal” baby name, like Caden/Cayden and Gavin/Gavyn for boys; or Ashley/Ashleigh and Lindsay/Lynnsae for girls.
If you're looking for names “au couture” or just something retro cool, you can't go wrong picking from history with names from the 1920s and '30s. Today, names like Clara, Sadie, Ruby, Abigail and Beatrice are making a comeback for girls; while many see the likes of Eli, Charlie, Dominic, Jack and Abel for boys.