The book features complete "snapshot" of every name:
popularity, style, alternatives, sibling ideas and more...
Style: Celtic, The -ens,
Variants: Aiden, Aden, Ayden
Sisters: Chloe, Avery, Caitlin, Brenna, Sydney
Brothers: Liam, Gavin, Connor, Dylan, Riley
It's a fair bet that few of the parents now choosing this name have ever met an adult Aidan. As recently as the late 1980s, it was an obscure Irish saint's name. Today, Aidan's sublimely clean sound is the sound of a generation. In fact, with its authentic Celtic roots, Aidan is now the traditional alternative to names like Brayden, Kaden and Jaiden.
Style: Nicknames, Solid Citizens
Nickames: Bette, Betts
Variants: Bettie, Bettye
Sisters: June, Billie, Rosalie, Jean, Shirley
Brothers: Gene, Donald, Jimmy, Ted, Joe
From Betty Grable to Betty Crocker, this name is a symbol of wholesome, all-American womanhood. Yet that very symbolism seems to be scaring off today's parents. Even the traditionalists who've dusted off chestnuts like Lucy and Maggie have left this classic by the wayside. Maybe it's a tad too domestic, suggesting a lifetime spent in an apron. Or maybe we're just not quite ready. Look for a new batch of Bettys in fifteen years.
Style: Antique Charm, Biblical
Nicknames: Cale, Cal
Sisters: Abigail, Chloe, Hannah, Sophie, Isabel
Brothers: Gabriel, Cole, Connor, Elijah, Noah
A terrific biblical rediscovery, Caleb is equal parts Puritan antique and soap-opera chic. Until recently, this name seemed like a fresh alternative to the super-popular Jacob, but today it's a super hit in its own right.
Style: Biblical, Mid-Century
Nicknames: Deb, Debbie
Variants: Debra, Devorah
Sisters: Cynthia, Pamela, Diane, Teresa, Carolyn
Brothers: Mark, Douglas, Randall, David, Craig
Deborah was ahead of its time. In the '50s, when cheery little names like Nancy, Karen, and Linda were the rage, this graceful Old Testament name elbowed its way to the top of the charts. Deborah tends to be overlooked today because of overfamiliarity, but it's as gracious as ever.
Sisters: Janis, Presley, Delilah, Scarlett, Viva
Brothers: Rhett, Jagger, Arlis, Jude, Holden
This is an American creation of obscure origins that sounded fancy to parents a hundred years ago. Elvis is a rare survivor among that style, with similar names like Clovis long since . . . pardon me, what was that? Oh, THAT Elvis! Yes, forget everything else, the King rules this name absolutely. If your kid is the cool and confident type, he'll probably revel in the image.
Style: '70s-'80s, Lacy and Lissome
Variants: Felisha, Felice
Sisters: Melinda, Monique, Christina, Shawna, Adrienne
Brothers: Derrick, Brent, Dustin, Byron, Lance
Felicia is as flamboyantly feminine as you can get, with a sunny boost from its meaning, "lucky." The name is as attractive as ever, though it's no longer the exotic surprise it was in the '60s. today, demure sister Felicity is the up-and-comer.
Style: Celtic, The -ens
Sisters: Gillian, Kyra, Macy, Bethan, Jocelyn
Brothers: Duncan, Gavin, Jonah, Carson, Conor
The griffin (or gryphon) is a majestic creature of legend, part eagle and part lion. As a name, Griffin is a form of the Welsh Griffith. It's spirited, traditional, and just plain cute.
Style: Antique Charm, Biblical,
Variants: Hanna, Hana
Sisters: Abigail, Olivia, Chloe, Ava, Emily
Brothers: Caleb, Noah, Austin, Ethan, Jacob
Looking for a warm, old-fashioned bibilical name? Male choices abound, but for girls' names it's slim pickings. Hannah is one that hits the bulls-eye. It's simple and sweet and sounds great with almost any type of surname. Hugely popular, especially in cold-climate states where warmth is always in fashion.
Style: Guys and Dolls, Nicknames
Sisters: Evie, Goldie, Nell, Mazie, Mae
Brothers: Abe, Mose, Lonzo, Dock, Gus
Ike is traditionally a nickname for Isaac, and occasionally for other strong I names like Ivan or Isaiah. (Or, in the case of I-Like-Ike Eisenhower, for Dwight.) It's tough and playful, like Spike without the silliness. If you want to make absolutely certain your son goes by Ike, it's not out of bounds to choose it as a full name.
Style: Biblical, Timeless
Nicknames: Jim, Jamie, Jem,
Sisters: Mary, Elizabeth, Anne, Camilly, Charlotte
Brothers: Robert, William, Thomas, Philip, John
James is one of the strongest of all names, an elegant, slashing verbal sword. Jim, on the other hand, is a laid-back sort of guy. And this is a name where you have to pick sides -- if a guy is called Jim, he's always, only Jim. If you want just an occational nickname try Jamie, or go the initial route Ã la James "JT" Taylor, or James "JC" Penney.
Sisters: Trisha, Kari, Meredith, Alisa, Tara
Brothers: Shaun, Derrick, Brent, Shannon, Lance
Krista was a card-carrying memeber of the '70s Kris Brigades. It was a quiet choice at the time, but it turned out to be a trendsetter. Krista helped set the blueprint for current favorites like Tessa and Jenna, and those names in turn have kept Krista contemporary.
Style: Biblical, New Classics
Variants: Lukas, Luke
Sisters: Jenna, Bethany, Miranda, Brooke, Gabrielle
Brothers: Colin, Zachary, Ian, Nathaniel, Jared
Lucas is the Latin form of Luke, and both names are soaring up the charts. Lucas sounds more formal and old-fashioned and gives you the option of Luke as a nickname. Very popular with Ivy League grads as both a first and middle name.
Style: Androgynous, Celtic,
Last Names First
Nicknames: Mac, Kenzie
Sisters: Kennedy, Riley, Reagan, Mckenna, Madison
Brothers: Logan, Brennan, Mason, Donovan, Hunter
'70s sitcom star Mackenzie Phillips was named by her rock-star dad John in honor of singer Scott McKenzie. It was an unconventional, aggressively androgynous choice at the time. But a generation later, the name is thriving in the mainstream. It's the standard-bearer for a whole crop of elaborate Celtic surnames for girls.
Style: Lacy and Lissome, Nickname-Proof, Slavic
Sisters: Alina, Tatiana, Dasia, Anya, Natalia
Brothers: Damian, Kukas, Ivan, Alexis, Maxim
In the 1976 Olympics, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the world's sweetheart. Her first name (traditionally short for Nadezhda) also vaulted into America's consciousness, and today it still carries her image of petite foreign beauty.
Style: Exotic Traditional, Italian, Latino/Latina, Shakespearean
Sisters: Bianca, Noemi, Silvia, Mariana, Angelica
Brothers: Lorenzo, Antonio, Demitrius, Leonardo, Antony
This Italian version of Roland has always given off a romantic, artistic image in English. It has a regal literary lineage from Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf. Actor Orlando Bloom is now giving the name teen-dream style, just as Leonardo DeCaprio did for his romantic moniker.
Style: Charms and Graces
Sisters: Mae, Olive, Madge, Fern, Nellie
Brothers: Homer, Otto, Lester, Dock, Cecil
Once upoon a time, Pearl sounded as light as Lily, as romantic as Rose, and as radiant as Ruby. Yet today's parents seem to feel that it's as old as Olive. Pearl still has great charm; it just takes a little daring to use. That makes it a particularly appealing middle-name choice.
Style: African-American, The -ens, Exotic Traditional
Nicknames: Quint, Quin
Variants: Quinten, Quintin
Sisters: Alexa, Giselle, Jocelyn, Dominique, Larissa
Brothers: Damian, Xavier, Darius, Adrian, Tristan
Assertively classy, Quinton is a name that demands your attention. It's not quite the refined classic that Quentin is, but it has the advantage of stronger nicknames. The spelling Quintin is traditionally used for the fifth son in a family.
Style: Celtic, Mythological
Sisters: Guinevere, Siobhan, Aeron, Scarlett, Bronwyn
Brothers: Rowan, Donovan, Evander, Griffin, Emmanuel
Rhiannon was a goddess in Welsh mythology. Her name (hree-AN-un) generally wasn't used by humans until the past century, which contributes to its romantic essence. The Fleetwood Mac song about a shadowy, elusive Rhiannon reinforces the image.
Style: Latino/Latina, Muslim
Sisters: Fabiola, Yasmine, Paulina, Layla, Thalia
Brothers: Ezequiel, Adan, Khalid, Jairo, Tariq
Ready for a global ride? The Latin diva Shakira is Colombian, but her heritage is Lebanese and her name Arabic. (The singer's publicists translate it as "woman full of grace"; the more standard translation is "thankful.") In the U.S., the name has been used occasionally by Arab- and African-Americans and is now a hot choice for Latinas.
Style: Surfer Sixties
Sisters: Tina, Robin, Dana, Heidi, Dawn
Brothers: Darren, Todd, Scott, Kip, Brad
In the late '50s, as studio executive suggested that handsome young actor Merle Johnson change his name to Troy Donahue. A heartthrob was born, and so was a glossy hit name. The name is no longer young, but it still has a golden-boy style. The Simpsons' "actor Troy McClure" poked fun at that very image.
Style: Exotic Traditional, Mythological, Nickname-Proof
Sisters: Athena, Evangeline, Aurora, Genevieve, Salome
Brothers: Augustus, Leopold, Constantin, Magnus, Napoleon
I can already hear the grandparents howling in dismay. "Ulysses? You're naming MY grandson Ulysses?!!" It's a bold stroke all right, and not even softened by an easy nickname. But if you're looking for classical panache, you've absolutely found it.
Style: Country & Western, Ladies and Gentlemen, Place Names
Nicknames: Ginny, Ginger
Sisters: Georgia, Charlotte, Eleanor, Geneva, Josephine
Brothers: Marshall, Everett, Vernon, Roy, Theodore
A grand old dame with a flirtatious side, Virginia is bubbling over with personality. Yet it's less common than ever, even as neighbors Georgia and Carolina climb the charts. Why? Well, there is that pesky "virgin" problem. Just accept that during the self-conscious adolescent years, your daughter may insist on Ginny.
Style: Country & Western, Nickname-Proof
Sisters: Faith, Carolina, Scarlett, Sierra, Mariah
Brothers: Zane, Colton, Bryce, Jonah, Caleb
Wyatt is rawhide tough, but polished enough for the big city. One of the strongest and most versatile of the retro-cowboy names.
Style: African-American, French, Saints
Variants: Javier, Zavier, Xzavier
Sisters: Paloma, Ivy, Fabiola, Ione, Athena
Brothers: Sebastian, Dominic, Elias, Fabian, Maximilian
You love the ey-catching panache of this X name. But you're stunned to discover it is one of the fastest-risiing hit names in America! It's even spawning spin-offs, like Alexavier and Xzavier. Yes, Xavier is not as distinctive as it once was, but it's still plenty cooler than the pack. The traditional English pronunciation is "ZAY-vee--uhr," the religious and X-men version ex-AY-vyer.
Sisters: Marisa, Selena, Angelica, Liliana, Alejandra
Brothers: Sergio, Gerardo, Gustavo, Omar, Josue
The name Yesenia has bloomed thanks to a pair of popular telenovelas. Actress Adela Noriega's portrayal of a passionate gypsy cemented the name's romantic image, but its sound is dreamy all on its own.
Style: Biblical, New Classics
Nicknames: Zach, Zack, Zak
Variants: Zachery, Zakary, Zakary, Zachariah
Sisters: Samantha, Miranda, Abigail, Rachel, Alexandra
Brothers: Nicolas, Joshua, Alexander, Gabriel, Nathaniel
It's almost hard to believe that in the first half of the twentieth century, no one was being named Zachary. Zack has made an astonishingly quick leap from relic to classic in the U.S. It's now the epitome of biblical cool.