In “A Dictionary Of Aboriginal Names,” Patrick Hanks, a lexicographer, onomastician, and bulk linguist, and a aggregation of authors accept identified the agent and acceptation of added than 6,000 aboriginal names.
We accept listed these meanings and origins for the 100 best accepted names in the U.S. over the accomplished 100 years. Our account alternates amid macho and changeable names with the best accepted names actualization first.
The names were alleged from Social Security data from 169,233,019 macho births and 165,941,917 changeable births calm amid 1914 and 2013. Those with accomplished cardinal of instances are advised the best popular.
Here are the aboriginal meanings of these accepted names, according to Hanks and his coauthors Hardcastle and Hodges.
1) JamesEnglish anatomy of the name in the New Testament of two of Christ’s disciples,James son of Zebedee and James son of Alphaeus. In Britain, James is a aristocratic name associated with the Scottish abode of Stewart: James I of Scotland, a angel of the arts and an active ruler.
2) MaryA New Testament anatomy of Miriam, which St. Jerome derives from elements acceptation “drop of the sea’” (Latin “stilla maris”). Mary was the name of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, who has been an acutely accepted name amid aboriginal Christians and several saints amid them.
3) JohnForm of the Hebrew name Johanan “God is gracious.” The name is of abundant accent in aboriginal Christianity and was accustomed to John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and the columnist of the fourth gospel. Many saints and a absolute of 23 popes additionally had the name.
4) PatriciaFeminine anatomy of Patricius or Patrick, the advocate and angel saint of Ireland (c.389–461), Gaelic Pádraig. As a adolescent man he was captured and apprenticed by raiders from Ireland. He is additionally accustomed with codifying the laws of Ireland.
5) RobertFrench name of Germanic origin. Acquired from the about alike elements hrōd “fame” berht “bright, famous.” Two dukes of Normandy in the 11th aeon had the name: the ancestor of William the Conqueror and his earlier son. The adapted abbreviate anatomy Bob is actual common, but Hob and Dob, which were accepted in the Middle Ages and gave acceleration to surnames, are extinct.
6) JenniferOf Celtic (Arthurian) origin, a Cornish anatomy of the name of King Arthur’s adulterine Guinevere. At the alpha of the 20th century, the name was alone a Cornish curiosity, but back afresh it has become awfully accepted all over the English-speaking world.
7) MichaelForm of a accepted biblical name (meaning ‘“who is like God?” in Hebrew). In the Middle Ages, Michael was admired as captain of the adorable host (see Revelation 12:7–9), attribute of the Church Militant, and angel of soldiers. He was about depicted address a ablaze sword.
8) ElizabethMade accepted by Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603). In the 20th aeon it afresh became acutely fashionable, partly because it was the name of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900–2002), who in 1936 became Queen Elizabeth and accomplished abundant accessible amore as Queen Mother for about bisected a century. Alike added influentially, it is the name of her babe Queen Elizabeth II (b. 1926).
9) WilliamDerived from Germanic wil ‘“will, desire” captain “helmet, protection.” Despite actuality the name of William the Conqueror, it captivated favor with the “conquered” population. In the aboriginal aeon afterwards the Conquest it was the best accepted macho name.
10) LindaIt is aboriginal recorded in the 19th aeon and may be a beneath anatomy of Belinda, an acceptance of Spanish linda “pretty,” or a Latinate acquired of any of assorted added Germanic changeable names catastrophe in -lind acceptation “weak, tender, soft.”
11) DavidBiblical name, borne by the greatest of all the kings of Israel, whose history is anecdotal with abundant afterglow in the aboriginal and additional books of Samuel and elsewhere. As a boy he dead the behemothic Philistine Goliath with his slingshot.
12) BarbaraGreek for “foreign woman.”
13) RichardGermanic origin, acquired from roc “power” adamantine “strong, hardy.”
14) SusanVernacular anatomy of Susanna, a New Testament anatomy of the Hebrew name Shoshana (from shoshan “lily,” which in avant-garde Hebrew additionally agency “rose”).
15) JosephEnglish anatomy of the biblical Hebrew name Yosef, acceptation “(God) shall add (another son).” The admired son of Jacob had this name, and his brothers became anxious of him and awash him into bullwork (Genesis 37). In the New Testament, Joseph is the bedmate of the Virgin Mary.
16) MargaretFrom Hebrew margaron “pearl.” The name was consistently accepted to beggarly “pearl”’ throughout the Middle Ages.
17) CharlesFrom German karl, acceptation “free man,” affiliated to Old English ceorl “man.” The name, Latin anatomy Carolus, owed its acceptance in medieval Europe to the Frankish baton Charlemagne, who in 800 accustomed himself as Holy Roman Emperor.
18) JessicaApparently of Shakespearean origin. This was the name of the babe of Shylock in The Merchant of venice (1596). Shakespeare’s antecedent has not been established, but he apparently advised it to canyon as a about Jewish name. It may be from a biblical name that appeared in Shakespeare’s day as Jesca or Iscah (Genesis 11:29).
19) ThomasNew Testament name from one of Christ’s twelve apostles, referred to as “Thomas, alleged Didymus.” Didymos is the Greek chat for “twin,” and the name is the Greek anatomy of an Aramaic byname acceptation “twin.” The accustomed name has consistently been accepted throughout Christendom, in allotment because St Thomas’s doubts accept fabricated him assume a actual animal character.
20) DorothyUsual English anatomy of Dorothea. The name was not acclimated in the Middle Ages, but was taken up in the 15th aeon and became accepted thereafter.
21) ChristopherFrom the Greek name Khristophoros, from Khristos “Christ” pherein “to bear.” This was accepted amid aboriginal Christians, acquainted of the actuality that they were metaphorically address Christ in their hearts.
22) SarahBiblical name of the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. According to the Book of Genesis, she was originally alleged Sarai (possibly acceptation “contentious” in Hebrew) but had her name afflicted by God to the added advantageous Sarah “princess” in badge of a greater blessing.
23) DanielBiblical name acceptation “God is my judge” in Hebrew. The account of Daniel was a admired in the Middle Ages, about represented in phenomenon plays.
24) KarenDanish agnate of Katherine. Katherine is an English anatomy of the name of a saint martyred at Alexandria in 307. The adventure has it that she was accursed to be burst on the caster for her Christian belief. From an aboriginal date, it was associated with the Greek adjective katharos “pure.”
25) MatthewForm of the name of the Christian evangelist, columnist of the aboriginal actuality in the New Testament. His name is a anatomy of the Hebrew name Mattathia, acceptation “gift of God,” which is adequately accepted in the Old Testament.
26) NancyOf ambiguous origin. From the 18th aeon it is acutely acclimated as a pet anatomy of Ann (Nan), but it may originally accept been from the name Annis, a colloquial anatomy of Agnes. Today it is an absolute name, and was abnormally accepted in America in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
27) DonaldAnglicized anatomy of Gaelic Domhnall. The final -d of the Anglicized anatomy derives partly from baloney by English speakers of the Gaelic pronunciation, and partly from affiliation with Germanic-origin names such as Ronald.
28) BettyPet anatomy of Elizabeth, dating from the 18th century. In the 17th aeon it is additionally begin occasionally as a pet anatomy of Beatrice. It is now acclimated as a name in its own right.
29) AnthonyForm Antonius, which is of ambiguous origin. The spelling with -th- (not commonly reflected in the pronunciation) represents a abstruse but erroneous attack to accessory it with Greek anthos “flower.” Assorted aboriginal saints had the name, best conspicuously an Egyptian anchoress abbot admired as the architect of Christian monasticism.
30) LisaPet anatomy of Elizabeth.
31) PaulOriginally a appellation acceptation “small.” Pre-eminently this is the name of the saint who is about regarded, with St Peter, as co-founder of the Christian Church. He is the columnist of the fourteen epistles to churches and individuals which anatomy allotment of the New Testament.
32) SandraShort anatomy of Alessandra, from Alessandro/Alexander. Alexander in Greek agency “defender of men.”
33) MarkIn Arthurian legend, King Mark is the adjudicator of Cornwall to whom Isolde is brought as a helpmate by Tristan; his name was apparently of Celtic origin, conceivably from “horse.”
34) HelenEnglish colloquial anatomy of the name borne in classical fable the wife of Menelaus whose access by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the Trojan War. May be affiliated with “ray” or “sunbeam”; from Greek helios “sun.”
35) GeorgeFrom the Greek Georgios, a acquired of georgos “farmer,” from ge “earth” and ergein “to work.” The name wasn’t acclimated broadly until George I came to the head in 1714.
36) AshleyOriginally macho but now an added accepted accustomed name for girls. Comes from any of abundant places in England alleged with Old English æsc “ash” lēah “wood.”
37) StevenFrom Stephen, the name of the aboriginal Christian agonize whose barbecue is appropriately acclaimed abutting afterwards Christ’s own (26 December). His name is acquired from the Greek chat stephanos “garland, crown.”
38) DonnaOf contempo agent (not begin as a name afore the 1920s). Acquired from the Italian cant chat donna “lady” and additionally acclimated as a feminine anatomy of Donald.
39) KennethAnglicized anatomy of Cinaed, apparently acceptation “born of fire,” and Cainnech, a byname acceptation “handsome.”
40) KimberlyThought to appear from Kimberley, the boondocks in South Africa that was the arena of angry during the Boer War, bringing it to accessible absorption at the end of the 19th century.
41) AndrewForm of the Greek name Andreas, a abbreviate anatomy of any of assorted admixture names acquired from andr- “man, warrior.” In the New Testament this is the name of the aboriginal adherent to be alleged by Jesus.
42) CarolNot begin abundant afore the end of the 19th century. It apparently originated as a abbreviate anatomy of Caroline. Caroline was acclimated by assertive elite families from the 17th aeon onwards, no agnosticism in account of the Stuart kings alleged Charles.
43) EdwardDerived from ēad “prosperity, riches” weard “guard.” This has been one of the best acknowledged of all Old English names, in accepted use from afore the Conquest to the present day, and alike actuality exported into added European languages.
44) MichelleFeminine anatomy of Michel, the French anatomy of Michael (meaning “who is like God?” in Hebrew). It was accepted in the 1970s and 80s, possibly afflicted in allotment by a Beatles song with this name as its appellation (1966).
45) JoshuaMeaning “God is salvation” in Hebrew, it is borne in the Bible by the Israelite baton who took command of the Children of Israel afterwards the afterlife of Moses and led them to booty control of the Promised Land. The name enjoyed a billow of acceptance in the 1990s.
46) EmilyFrom the Latin name Aemilia (probably from aemulus “rival”). It was not accepted in the Middle Ages but active in the 19th century.
47) BrianPerhaps from an Old Celtic chat acceptation “high” or “noble.”
48) AmandaA 17th-century arcane banknote from the Latin amanda “lovable, fit to be loved,” from amare “to love.” The name enjoyed ample acceptance in the mid-20th century.
49) KevinFrom Kelvin, which was aboriginal acclimated in the 1920s. Taken from the name of the Scottish river that runs through Glasgow into the Clyde.
50) MelissaFrom the Greek chat melissa “honey bee.” It is the name of the acceptable witch who releases Rogero from the ability of the bad witch Alcina in Ariosto’s anecdotal composition Orlando Furioso (1532).
51) RonaldFrom Old Norse Rögnvaldr (composed of regin “advice, decision” (also, “the gods”) valdr “ruler”). This name best acclimated area Scandinavian access was strong.
52) DeborahBiblical name acceptation “bee” in Hebrew.
53) TimothyOf the Greek name Timotheos, from timē “honour” theos “god.” This was the name of a accompaniment of St Paul; according to tradition, he was benumbed to afterlife for accusatory the adoration of Diana.
54) LauraSt. Laura was a 9th-century Spanish nun who met her afterlife in a alembic of aqueous lead. Laura is additionally the name of the woman addressed in the adulation balladry of the Italian artist Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca, 1304–74) and owes abundant of its consecutive acceptance to this.
55) JasonEnglish anatomy of the Greek name Iason, the baton of the Argonauts in classical mythology. The sorceress Medea fell in adulation with him and helped him access a Golden Fleece, but Jason fell in adulation with addition woman and bare Medea. Medea took her animus by killing her rival, but Jason himself survived to old age.
56) StephanieFrom French Stéphanie, a alternative of Stephana, which was in use amid aboriginal Christians as a feminine anatomy of Stephanus or Stephen (garland, crown).
57) JeffreyFrom Geoffrey, of Germanic origin. Notable bearers accommodate the artist Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) and the chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth (1155). Some say it’s a alternative of Godfrey; others say it comes from gawia “territory,” walah “stranger,” or gisil “pledge.”
58) RebeccaBiblical name. The Hebrew basis occurs in the Bible alone in the cant chat marbek “cattle stall,” and its affiliation with the name is doubtful. In any case, Rebecca was Aramean, and the name apparently has a antecedent in Aramaic.
59) GaryA abbreviate anatomy of any of the names alpha with gar “spear.” One notable agent was the American baron Elbert Henry Gary (1846-1927), who gave his name to the animate boondocks of Gary, Indiana.
60) SharonFrom the byword “I am the rose of Sharon, and the afraid of the valleys” (Song of Solomon 2:1). The bulb name “rose of Sharon” is acclimated for a brier of the cast Hypericum with chicken flowers, and additionally for a breed of hibiscus.
61) RyanFrom the Irish surname, Gaelic Ó Riain “descendant of Rian.” It began as a boy’s name but is additionally now able-bodied accustomed in North America as a girl’s name.
62) CynthiaFrom Greek Kynthia, an appellation activated to the goddess Artemis, who was declared to accept been built-in on Mount Kynthos. Cynthia was afterwards acclimated by the Roman artist Propertius as the name of the woman to whom he addressed his adulation poetry.
63) NicholasForm of the post-classical Greek claimed name Nikolaos, acquired from nikē “victory” laos “people.” The spelling with -ch- aboriginal occurred as aboriginal as the 12th century.
64) KathleenIrish origin; acceptable Anglicized anatomy of Caitlin.
65) EricNorse origin, from ei “ever, always” (or einn “one, alone”) ríkr “ruler.” It was alien into Britain by Scandinavian settlers afore the Norman Conquest.
66) RuthBiblical name of a Moabite woman who larboard her bodies to be with her mother-in-lawi. It was acclimated amid the Puritans in England, partly because of its affiliation with the English cant chat attrition acceptation “compassion.”
67) JacobAccording to Genesis, Jacob was the cunning adolescent accompanying of Esau who abiding his brother to allotment with his bequest in barter for a basin of soup. The ancestry is declared as actuality from Hebrew akev “heel” and to accept meant “heel grabber.”
68) AnnaFrom Hebrew: “God has favoured me.”
69) StephenThe name of the aboriginal Christian agonize whose barbecue is appropriately acclaimed abutting afterwards Christ’s own (26 December). His name is acquired from the Greek chat stephanos “garland, crown.”
70) ShirleyFrom Old English scīr “county, shire” or scīr “bright” lēah “wood, clearing.” It was accustomed by Charlotte Brontë to the charlatan of her atypical Shirley (1849). This arcane access anchored it durably as a girl’s name.
71) JonathanBiblical name acceptation “God has given.” The name is about taken as allegorical of abiding accord and loyalty.
72) AmyAnglicized anatomy of Old French Amee “beloved.” It may accept had a different, pre-Roman, agent in classical belief as the name of the mother of the Roman people.
73) AngelaA feminine anatomy of the boy’s name Angelus, or Angel. The earlier anatomy Angelis has been absolutely abolished by Angela.
74) FrankGerman name acceptation “free,” “trustworthy,” or “Frankish.”
75) VirginiaIt was bestowed on the aboriginal American adolescent of English parentage, built-in at Roanoke, Virginia, in 1587 and has back remained in constant, if modest, use.
76) ScottOriginally a name for a affiliate of the Gaelic-speaking bodies who came to Scotland from Ireland.
77) BrendaProbably a abbreviate anatomy of names acquired from Old Norse cast “sword.” Its acceptance in Gaelic-speaking countries has no agnosticism been afflicted by its affinity to Brendan.
78) JustinEnglish anatomy of the Latin name Justinus, a acquired of Justus. Assorted aboriginal saints had the name, conspicuously a 2nd aeon Christian apologist and a boy agonize of the 3rd century.
79) PamelaInvented by the Elizabethan pastoral artist Sir Philip Sidney (1554–86). Afterwards taken up by Samuel Richardson for the name of the charlatan of his atypical Pamela (1740). In Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews (1742), which started out as a apology of Pamela, Fielding comments that the name is “very strange.”
80) BrandonFrom Old English brōm “broom, gorse” dūn “hill.” There has conceivably additionally been some access from the surname of the Italian American amateur Marlon Brando (1924–2004).
81) CatherineFrench affiliated of Katherine, the English anatomy of the name of a saint martyred at Alexandria in 307. The adventure has it that she was accursed to be burst on the caster for her Christian beliefs. However, the caster fell afar and she was beheaded instead.
82) RaymondFrom German ragin “advice, decision” mund “protector.”
83) NicoleFeminine anatomy of Nicholas, acquired from nikē “victory” laos “people.”
84) GregoryFrom the post-classical Greek Gregōrios “watchful” (a acquired of gregōrein “to watch, be vigilant”). The name was a actual accepted one amid the aboriginal Christians, who were alert of the admonition “be sober, be vigilant” (1 Peter 5:8).
85) SamuelBiblical name, possibly acceptation “He (God) has hearkened.”. It may additionally be accepted as a apprenticed anatomy of Hebrew sha’ulme’el acceptation “asked of God.” In the case of Samuel the son of Hannah, this would be added in befitting with his mother’s account “Because I accept asked him of the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:20).
86) ChristineA anatomy of the Latin Christianus “follower of Christ.” The name of Christ (Greek Khristos) is a adaptation of the Hebrew appellation Messiah “anointed.”
87) BenjaminBiblical name. His mother Rachel died in giving bearing and in her aftermost moments alleged him Benoni, “son of my sorrow.” His ancestor didn’t appetite such an bedevilled name and renamed him Benyamin, “son of the appropriate hand” or “son of the south.”
88) JanetOriginally a diminutive of Jane. Jane is a feminine anatomy of John. It is not a aristocratic name. The adverse Lady Jane Grey (1537-54) was unwillingly proclaimed queen in 1553, deposed nine canicule later, and accomplished the afterward year.
89) PatrickFrom Latin Patricius “patrician,” the name of the advocate and angel saint of Ireland (c.389–461) as recorded in his Latin autobiography.
90) HeatherFrom the chat cogent the hardy, blithely coloured bulb (Middle English hather).
91) JackOriginally a pet anatomy of John, but now a absolute name in its own right. It is acquired from the Middle English Jankin, afterwards adapted to Jackin, from Jan (a anatomy of John) and the diminutive suffix -kin.
92) SamanthaOf ambiguous and abundant debated origin. It arose in the United States at the end of the 18th century, possibly as a aggregate of Sam (from Samuel) a anew coined feminine suffix -antha (perhaps appropriate by Anthea).
93) DennisAn adjective cogent a addict of the god Dionysos, a almost backward addition to the classical pantheon. His orgiastic band seems to accept originated in Persia or abroad in Asia.
94) CarolynAltered anatomy of Caroline. Caroline was acclimated by assertive elite families from the 17th aeon onwards, no agnosticism in account of the Stuart kings alleged Charles.
95) JerryA pet anatomy of Jeremy or Gerald. Gerald comes from gar, ger “spear” and “rule.” As a girl’s name it is a alternative spelling of Gerry.
96) RachelBiblical name (meaning “ewe” in Hebrew).
97) AlexanderFrom alexein “to defend” anēr “man, warrior” (genitive andros). Its use as a accepted accustomed name throughout Europe, however, derives abundantly from the acclaim of Alexander the Great.
98) DianeForm of Diana, who admired hunting and were accordingly appreciative to name their daughters afterwards the classical goddess of the chase. In Greek belief Diana is agnate to the Greek Artemis and is characterized as both admirable and chaste.
99) HenryFrom haim “home” rīc “power, ruler.” Eight kings of England accept been alleged Henry. Not until the 17th aeon did the anatomy Henry (as against to Harry) become the accepted colloquial form, mainly beneath the access of the Latin anatomy Henricus and French Henri.
100) FrancesFeminine anatomy of Francis, originally acceptation “French” or “Frenchman.”
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