Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names 2020 (with meanings)

Each year the US Government (social security administration) puts out a list of last year's most popular baby names. Below are the most popular baby names from last year. We list the most popular boy names, and the most popular girl names. We will update this list as the Government provides more data to us.

Be sure to also check out our popular list of gender-neutral unisex baby names!  

Unsure about which name to choose, or want more options? Here are some great resources for baby name books (these make great gifts!):

 

1. 100,000 Baby Names, The Most Complete Baby Name Book, also available on Kindle:  

100,000 Baby Names, The Most Complete Bookbaby names book

 

2. The Name Book: Over 10,000 Baby Names with Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance, also available on Kindle: 

The Name Book, over 10,000 names with origins, meanings, and spiritual significancethe name book

 

3. Baby Names by Eleanor Turner, available on Kindle: 

Baby Names 2020 by Eleanor Turnerbaby names 2020

 

Here is the list of 2020 Most Popular Baby Names issued by the US Government (of course, these are always a year behind, so these are from last year's records):

 

Most Popular Baby Names (source: Social Security Administration)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Liam

Noah

William

James

Oliver

Benjamin

Elijah

Lucas

Mason

Logan

Emma

Olivia

Ava

Isabella

Sophia

Charlotte

Mia

Amelia

Harper

Evelyn

 

Below are the origins and meanings for each of the Boy names:

Liam:Irish short form of WILLIAM (see William description below!).

Noah: Derived from the Hebrew name נוֹחַ (Noach) meaning "rest, comfort". According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. As an English Christian name,  Noah has been used since the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.

William: From the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection". SaintWilliam of Gellone was an 8th-century cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk. The name was common among the Normans, and it became extremely popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as the first Norman king of England. It was later borne by three other English kings, as well as rulers of Scotland, Sicily (of Norman origin), the Netherlands and Prussia.

James: Originated with the late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from the Greek "Iakobos" which is the New Testament form of the Hebrew Jacob. This was also the name of two apostles in the New Testament. The meaning is "supplanter" or one who follows another.

Oliver: Originated with the French name Olivier which dates back several centuries and was thought to derived from the names "Olaf" and "Oleifr." The meaning is generally accepted as derived from the Latin word "olivarius" which means olive tree.

Benjamin: A Hebrew baby name, with the meaning "son of my right hand." Many Jewish families historically name their last (youngest) boy Benjamin. The "son of my right hand" means the son from the favored side of the body, symbolizing strength and favoritism. 

Elijah: From the Hebrew name Eliyyahu which roughly translates to "Yahweh (or Lord) is my God." In the Old Testament, Elijah was a prophet who worked miracles in the Books of Kings. Popular variations of this name include the Latinized Elias, and the nick-name Eli.

Lucas: From the Greek name Luke that was Latinized to Lucas, both meaning "man from Lucania," an ancient region of Italy.

Mason: From an English surname meaning "stoneworker", from an Old French word of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian "to make").

Logan: From Scottish origin and thought to be derived from the Gaelic Lagan, this was a popular surname. The origin is thought to correspond to a region of Scotland close to Auchinleck, and Logan means "small hollow." 

 

Below are the origins and meanings for each of the Girl names:

Emma: Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal". It was introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife both of king Ethelred II (and by him the mother of Edward the Confessor) and later of king Canute. It was also borne by an 11th-century Austrian saint, who is sometimes called  Hemma.

Olivia: This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word  oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.

Ava: A variant of Eve, which is from the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah), which was derived from the Hebrew word  חוה (chawah) "to breathe" or the related word חיה (chayah)"to live". According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Eve and Adam were the first humans. She gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Despite this potentially negative association, the name was occasionally used during the Middle Ages. In the English-speaking world both  Eve and the Latin form Eva were revived in the 19th century.

Isabella: Latinate form of ISABEL. This name was borne by many medieval royals, including queen consorts of England, France, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, as well as the powerful ruling queen Isabella of Castile (properly called Isabel).

Sophia: Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase  Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

Charlotte: This is the female form of the male name Charles, which is of French origin and means "free man" or "petite." The name dates back to the 18th century and was made popular again in the 1950's by the book Charlotte's Web. Variations include Charlie, Lottie, Carlota, and Carlotta.

Mia: A diminutive form of Maria, which is a Latin form of Greek Μαρια, from Hebrew מִרְיָם  (see MARY). Maria is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is  Mary). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.

Amelia: This name is derived from the German name Amalia, which is thought to symbolize productive work and fertility. The simplest meaning of the English-variant name Amelia is "work" and many variants and nick-names exist including Amy, Emma, Milly, and Mel. 

Harper: This name transformed from the last name Harper, which has Irish, English, and Scottish. The meaning is a person who plays the harp as an occupation, a "harper." 

Evelyn: From the French name Aveline (originally just Ava), modified as the English variant Evelyn, which was first considered a masculine name several centuries ago. As an English name, Evelyn means "wished for child," symbolizing hope, beauty, faith, and confidence.

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