It is tough to find a definitive top ten list of baby names since these lists vary somewhat by region, but the names that have appeared at the top for the past few years are pretty standard.
The most popular names for girls in North America include these ten, which usually end up at or near the top of all lists.
- Emma – This name usually tops the list for girls. It means whole or complete.
- Emily – Emily is the feminine form of the French name Emile. It means industrious or hard-working.
- Sarah – A variety of meanings have been assigned to this name. In the Bible, the name is understood to mean lady or princess. Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac. The Muslim origin defines “Sara” as pure and happy.
- Madison – This name is based on a surname derived from the name Matthew (gift or reward) or Matilda (strong fighter).
- Hannah – In the Bible, Hannah was the mother of Samuel. The name means gracious and merciful, or “God has favored me.”
- Olivia – This name is a variant of Olive, which means peace.
- Hailey – Typically used as a surname, this name has become quite popular as a first name. It means field of hay.
- Ava – Ava is a variant of the name “Eve”. In the Bible, Eve is well-known as the first woman and wife of Adam. Eve means breath or life.
- Kaitlyn – The name Kaitlyn is a derivative of Catherine, which means pure. This particular spelling is a modernized version of the traditional “Caitlin”.
- Abigail – In the Bible, the wise and sensible Abigail married King David after the death of her first husband. The name means father’s joy.
The top ten boys’ names show greater differences across regions that girls’ names do. The names that appear most are listed here. (Honorable mentions go to Jack, Benjamin and Daniel.)
- Ethan – Usually tops for boys of late, this name means strong, valiant and constant.
- Matthew – In the Bible, Matthew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and was the author of one of the gospels. The name means gift or reward.
- Joshua – Joshua was the warrior who succeeded Moses and led the Israelites in their journey to the Promised Land. The name means a savior or deliverer.
- Jacob - The name means “heel” or one who supplants or undermines, but the Jacob in the Bible eventually redeemed himself and became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
- Nicholas – Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, sailors and, strangely, pawnbrokers. Saint Nicholas is best known as the basis for Santa Claus. The root of the name is the Greek word “Nike”, meaning victory. In Slavic cultures, Nikolas is known as a victor or conquerer.
- Aidan – This popular Irish name means little fire or ardent. The name comes from a 7th century Irish monk named Aidan.
- Ryan – This was originally a Gaelic name meaning little king. The Irish name means, simply, kingly.
- Logan – Logan is another Gaelic name, meaning “from the hollow”.
- Noah – Anyone familiar with the Bible recognizes this name as that of the famous ark builder. The name signifies comfort and repose.
- Michael – This name is from the Biblical saint who conquered Satan and was charged with the protection of Israel. Michael is the patron saint of soldiers.