From Nova to Bodhi—The Top Baby Names Of The Decade

Written by Erin Feher
2:30 pm
12/23/19

Photographed by Maria Del Rio

Parents know better than anyone that time flies. And as we close out another decade (whaaat?) it’s time to look back at what we did, what we learned, and most importantly, what we were all thinking when we named our brand-new babies—many of whom are getting ready for middle school now (!!!). If there is any over-arching trend in the past ten years, it’s that lots of us were looking for the most unique baby names possible. We weren’t as keen to name our sons after a long line of Richards or send our daughters out to swim in a sea of Sarahs as our parents were. But like so many individual choices, the monikers we thought were one-of-a-kind turned out, ten years later, to be more like 1000-of-a-kind. Nameberry recently analyzed the names that appear on the most recent list of the Top 1000 Baby Names in the U.S. that did not rank among the Top 1000 a decade ago. Apparently, new parents have been looking in some pretty creative places to unearth the perfect baby name, from Greek myths (Aurelia, Calliope, Atlas, and Freya) to far-flung countries (Bjorn, Bodhi, Rivka, Noor, and Kenzo) to history books (Benedict, Eloise, Clyde, Pearl, and Harvey) to celebs (Adele, Keanu, Axl, and Celine). We list some of those names and the trends Namerberry spotted below, as well as the list of the top 20 baby names of the decade (Emma and Noah are apparently our generation’s Sarah and Richard). Now the only question is…what names will the next decade bring us?

Vintage Names Made a Comeback
Names with a throwback feel made a strong showing over the last 10 years.

For Girls:
1. Clementine
2. Eloise
3. Florence
4. Louise
5. Mabel
6. Margot
7. Pearl
8. Thea
9. Vera
10. Willa

For Boys:
1. Benedict
2. Clyde
3. Harvey
4. Ira
5. Lionel
6. Lyle
7. Otis
8. Otto
9. Theo
10. Wallace

Gods and Goddess Reigned
Names from myth, legend, and ancient religions have been one of the major trends of the past decade.

For Girls:
1. Ariadne
2. Aurelia
3. Calliope
4. Freya
5. Galilea
6. Lilith
7. Maryam
8. Rhea

For Boys:
1. Achilles
2. Amos
3. Atlas
4. Augustine
5. Cain
6. Ephraim
7. Jaziel
8. Magnus
9. Marcellus
10. Titan

We’re Obsessed With Celebs
Are we just super fans or do we think our offspring are destined for fame?

For Girls:
1. Adele
2. Blake
3. Celine
4. Demi
5. Liv
6. Maisie
7. Octavia
8. Saoirse
9. Stevie
10. Sutton

For Boys:
1. Axl
2. Benicio
3. Colson
4. Elan
5. Idris
6. Keanu
7. Kyrie
8. Legend
9. Tatum
10. Thiago

New Nature Names
Hippie vibes were strong with plenty of names plucked from the earth and the sky.

For Girls:
1. Azalea
2. Heavenly
3. Ivory
4. Juniper
5. Magnolia
6. Nova
7. Sky
8. Sunny
9. Winter
10. Wren

For Boys:
1. Forest
2. Fox
3. Genesis
4. Major
5. Nova
6. Onyx
7. Ridge
8. Rocky
9. Shepherd
10. Wilder

Gender-Neutral Names
Whether trading out the traditional assignations or picking new names that could go either way, many parents stayed away from gender specific names.

1. Azariah
2. Briar
3. Emory
4. Leighton
5. Lennox
6. Milan
7. Nova
8. Oakley
9. Reign
10. Remy
11. Royal
12. Sutton

International Names
Globalization isn’t just about goods and services—our baby names are crossing oceans, too.

For Girls:
1. Alessia
2. Antonella
3. Astrid
4. Joelle
5. Julieta
6. Noor
7. Rivka
8. Sylvie
9. Veda
10. Vivienne

For Boys:
1. Anders
2. Arian
3. Bjorn
4. Bodhi
5. Cristiano
6. Kenzo
7. Khalid
8. Mustafa
9. Tadeo
10. Torin

AND…The Most Popular Names Of The Decade! (Drumroll, please…)
These are the names we have been seeing (and hearing) the most of these past ten years.

For Girls:
1. Emma
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Isabella
5. Ava
6. Mia
7. Abigail
8. Emily
9. Madison
10. Charlotte

For Boys:
1. Noah
2. Liam
3. Jacob
4. Mason
5. William
6. Ethan
7. Michael
8. Alexander
9. James
10. Elijah

For more baby-naming trends, check out our past coverage of all the hottest monikers.

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