If you HAD to pick a name from the current Top 25, which would it be and why?

I noticed that the Top 1000 names of 2013 are up, so I have to ask: If you were obligated to choose one of these twenty-five names for a child's first name, which would it be and why? Usually expectant parents are so caught up with trying to find a unique name which is anything BUT popular that they overlook the positive points of some of these "common" names. After all, there is something to be said for a child fitting in and feeling a part of the community of his/her generation.


I'd choose Samuel or Grace. Samuel is my soon-to-be husband's middle name and also the name of one of his grandfathers. It's "traditional" but not stodgy, masculine but not "hard," and amiable without sounding soft or feminine. I also love the male nickname Sam. I'd choose Grace because I think it's extremely classy, easy to spell, and never confused in terms of gender or spelling. It would sound good on someone over five years old. I also like its nickname, Gracie, as an option. 


Noah        Sophia

Liam         Emma

Jacob        Olivia

Mason       Isabella

William      Ava

Ethan         Mia

Michael      Emily

Alexander     Abigail

Jayden       Madison

Daniel        Elizabeth

Elijah          Charlotte

Aiden         Avery

James        Sofia

Benjamin    Chloe

Matthew      Ella

Jackson      Harper

Logan        Amelia

David         Aubrey

Anthony      Addison

Joseph       Evelyn

Joshua       Natalie

Andrew       Grace

Lucas         Hannah

Gabriel       Zoey

Samuel      Victoria



May 9, 2014 10:43 PM

Daniel, Andrew, and Lucas were all on the not-so-short boy's name list when our daughter was born, and Gabriel and Joseph were also contenders (eliminated at that point for reasons that no longer hold). I still don't know which of them I'd pick, though.

On the girl's side, Elizabeth definitely wins, although Emma, Charlotte, and maybe Sofia also fit my various criteria.

For this thought experiment, it helps if one's surname is highly unusual, I think. Alternately, maybe we need an "expansion" of the game: pick a middle name that's not in the top 1000. (Has the beyond-1000 data been published yet for 2013? I didn't look.)

May 10, 2014 11:15 AM

I don't remember: why'd you eliminate Gabriel?

May 10, 2014 11:28 PM

Orsi's brother was still alive, and we felt it would've been too confusing.

By EVie
May 10, 2014 12:29 AM

I actually really like a lot of the top 25 names, so this is pretty easy. 

For girls, it would be between Charlotte and Victoria, but I also really like Sophia, Ava, Chloe, Amelia and Evelyn. Victoria might still be on my short list for our next baby despite its popularity, because it's my middle name. It will definitely be in contention for the middle spot. Charlotte would be on the short list as well, but my sister has claimed it, so I will probably pass--popularity + sister's ire + we have another friend who used it as well = three strikes. 

For boys, there are several names that will definitely be in contention, as I really don't care about popularity as much for boys' names. William, Alexander, James, Lucas and Gabriel are all on my short list for our next baby (with James and Gabriel two of my top picks). 

May 10, 2014 10:21 AM

Definitely Elizabeth for the girl. It's about as classic as you can get, and it has a ton of nickname options to suit every personality. For the boy, I'd probably go with Michael just because it's my dad's name, but if that weren't the case, I'd choose Joseph.

May 10, 2014 11:25 AM

There are actually a *lot* of usable names on those lists. If I stick to names that are usable in Hungarian, I get:

Daniel, Matthew, David, Joseph, Andrew, Lucas, Gabriel, Samuel
Isabella, Abigail, Elizabeth, Sophia/Sofia*, Amelia, Evelyn, Victoria

If the bilingual consideration is removed, I could add:

William, Michael**, Alexander, James, Benjamin, Anthony
Emma, Emily, Charlotte, Grace, Hannah

If push came to shove, I think I'd choose Gabriel for a boy, and Elizabeth for a girl.

* Sorry, those are the same name, don't care what anybody says.

** This does have a Hungarian equivalent, but I hate it, and would never inflict it on a child. Which is a shame, because I love the name in English.

May 10, 2014 12:46 PM

Great choices, everybody!

TheOtherHungarian, what is the Hungarian equivalent to Michael?


A lot of these are really great names, I agree. But I know a lot of people try to avoid them because they're popular.

May 10, 2014 11:33 PM

Michael is Mihály in Hungarian. If you break it into syllables, it sounds like "what lard". This hasn't kept millions of parents from bestowing the name, of course, but neither my sister nor I can get past it.

May 10, 2014 2:05 PM

These names are popular for a reason!  There are so many great ones here.  For a boy, no question it's Samuel for me as well.  My son came very close to being named Samuel two years ago when it was just outside the top 25.  I also really like Noah, Jacob, William, James, and Lucas.

For girls, I think I'd choose Ella.  I'm just a sucker for names with E's and L's in them!  Others I love: Sophia, (Baby Name Wizard book says of this name something like "it's hugely popular, but that's the price you pay for perfection.  I kind of agree.  Wonderful name.) Emily, Charlotte, and Evelyn.

May 10, 2014 3:01 PM

Well, Alexander, James, Michael, William, Sophia, Amelia, and Grace are all names we've used on kiddos so far (not all as first names, and several of those are for babies we have lost).

I eliminate all boys'/surnames for girls (and surnames for boys although we contemplated Jackson as a tribute to my maiden name, but I don't want just be part of the "trend"). I eliminate all A, E, G, J, and S names as duplicate initials (bummer about Gabriel, Andrew, Abigail, and Samuel). Several of these are names that are of extended family that I wouldn't want to duplicate, but otherwise like (Evelyn, Hannah, Joseph, Ethan). Charlotte is alliterative with our last name, which is super disappointing to me as I love the name.

Names actually on our list as possibles:
Benjamin, Matthew, Isabella, Natalie, and Olivia

We likely won't actually choose any of these, but I'd have to say Matthew and Isabella would like be the winners of this list.

May 10, 2014 9:36 PM

Lots of names I'd be happy to use here, too. Including a few long time favorites - I wanted to use Ethan and Amelia when I was like 7 years old. My tastes are definitely in a line with many of my peers.


For me, it'd be Evelyn (grandmother's name) or Natalie for a girl, and Joseph or Alexander for a boy. Joe is such a timeless great nickname but there's baggage with it as a family name on my side. A lot of these might make our short-list anyway, popularity isn't a huge drawback for me as long as the name is a classic that won't immediately date a child or feel too trendy. (So no Addison and Jayden here.) 

May 10, 2014 10:10 PM

Evelyn or Andrew; Evelyn was my husband's grandmother, and Andrew was a close friend of his who passed away, so both of those names have been on our short lists before. 

May 12, 2014 5:13 PM

I love most of these names. In fact, I can't remember a year when I've liked as many of the top names. I would choose Gabriel, except that my first son is named Peter. His middle name is Joseph and my second son is Alexander James, so those are obviously out as well. One of my brothers is named Matthew, so I'd eliminate that as well. Between Samuel, Lucas, Daniel, and Joshua I think I'd have to choose randomly. They're all great. I also like Ethan, Andrew, Michael, and Noah to a lesser degree, and wouldn't complain too much if I ended up with a Liam, an Aiden, or a Benjamin.

On the girls' side, I think I'd go with Victoria, Grace, Charlotte, or Emily. My nieces are Evelyn and Amelia. The rest are nice enough; I just wouldn't choose them.

May 16, 2014 2:14 PM

Great responses everyone. I've enjoyed reading your replies. :)

May 16, 2014 2:48 PM

When I was of child-bearing age, I always wanted a "Bella or Bell" for a future daughter - this was before the big wave. Never tried or didn't try to have kids - just never happened for me - maybe that's why I like this blog - I can vicariously name kids. Anyway, so Isabella would be at the top. I agree that you can't get much more classic than Elizabeth. Mia is nice and I like Ella - grandmother's middle. Ella Grace if going for full-blown popular, but classics for both fn and mn.

Most of the "M" names are my nephews, so I wouldn't be able to use them. Always day-dreamed about girls - not much about boys. I remember a post from someone who decided as a child that her future son's would be adopted out! Ha. Ha. I do think I would have kept mine, though! The think it's just that boy names are harder to love sometimes for us gals.

Hummm...I think I like Samuel, William, and Benjamin the best.

May 17, 2014 4:55 PM

What a fun question!  I think it's easier to come up with the boy names because for me it seems less important to choose something unique.  Solid, masculine, like-able, with a positive and preferably spiritual meaning would be my criteria for boys.  We already have a Noah and a Daniel and if this baby due in 3 wks. was a boy we were going to name him Samuel or Elijah.  So, those would be my top picks for boys.

It's a little harder for girls, because for some reason it feels more necessary to choose something unique.  My favorites would be Hannah, Evelyn, Avery and Elizabeth.  I don't think I would realistically choose one of these, but I like them :)

May 17, 2014 8:21 PM

Fun question!

While I had my last child twenty-two years ago, if I had a baby now, I think I'd name a boy James (whether I had to use one of the top-25 or not).  It is my father's name (and my son's middle name), plus I like the Biblical references.  It is so classic and I still like--though I'm in the minority on this site--the nicknames Jim & Jimmy.  However, I really liked the name Aiden when it first came on the scene, before it became so popular.  I was voting for that name for my first grandson.  So I might use that now.

For a girl, I imagine I'd choose Amelia or Ava.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I don't like 'surname' names on girls, so no Harper or Avery for me.  I don't really care for gender neutral names, so even though I know they are used more for girls, I wouldn't choose Addison or Aubrey.  I am so surprised that Hannah and Natalie are on the top-25--they seem like 'mom names' to me, and I guess I'd want something more trendy. After all, I picked 'Amanda' for my 80's daughter! Which starts and ends with A, so maybe that's why I'd pick Ava or Amelia!


August 30, 2014 10:27 AM

Willam or Jackson. William is my dads name and I think Will is a cute nicknamliked like Jackson it has a nice sound, jack is a cute nickname. Charlotte for a girl. It's beautiful. And Charlie is a cute nickname.

September 1, 2014 11:16 AM

I like a lot of these names, honestly. Or at least the boys names (but I'm generally pickier with girls names anyway)

For girls, I like Victoria ("Tori"), or Amelia ("Lia") for a girl.

 For boys, Jacob, William ("Liam"), Liam, Alexander ("Alec") or Logan.

By mk
September 2, 2014 2:22 PM

Boys: Daniel, Matthew, Aidan, Jacob, William, Andrew

Girls: Amelia, Sophia, Olivia, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mia

I'd consider any of the above names even if I wasn't limited to the top 25.

September 13, 2014 4:27 AM

For a boy, William Matthew because William is a strong, classic name that I've always liked and Matthew would be after my husband.

Charlotte Ava for a girl just because all of the other top names bore me.

September 25, 2014 9:17 AM

Hands down Amelia for a girl. I'm in love with it, and it's popularity makes me very happy, but also very sad because I don't think I could ever use it. Hopefully by the time I'm actually popping out babies it'll be less popular.

For a boy, Ethan or William. William is so fresh to me. I think a lot of people know a William that they'd want to name their baby after. I'm really glad this is popular. And I just like Ethan a lot. No reason why, I just do.

October 5, 2014 2:21 PM

Let's see....

For a girl, I think I would have to go with Elizabeth, love that it happens to have so many nickname options.  It fact one of my favorite names Birdie happens to be a nickname choice for Elizabeth.  I also  like Zoey but my {step}son's name starts with a Z and I would feel weird if we happen to have three kids...like they all needed Z names just to be fair.

For a boy, I LOVE the name James.  It's classic and happens to be a family name for both me and the hubs.  The hubs on the other hand, HATES the name James (even though it's his middle name).  His sister was married to a guy named Jamie, who cheated on her more that once.   Now all the hubs can think about is the fact that Jamie is a nickname for James. :(

I guess Joshua could work.  It does happen to be the hubs brother name.  But my mother-in-law calls my son that all the time because he happens to look so much like his Uncle....so maybe not. 

I know that the hubs happens to really like the name Alexander but I'm not really feeling it.  So lets just hope that if I was forced to pick a name out of the top 25 it would be for a girl.

October 8, 2014 8:53 AM

Either Amelia & Matthew, Charlotte & Daniel, or Evelyn & Andrew; but I also love a lot of these names!

October 8, 2014 8:34 PM

For a boy, I'd go with Liam Gabriel. Liam, I really like the name, but the popularity ruins it for me, plus my dad's name is William, so it's a nice tribute to him, without directly naming the kid William. 

As for girls, I'm gonna have to say Amelia Evelyn. I LOVE Amelia, and no less popular version satisfies me. As for Evelyn, I've loved this name for a while, it's just SO BEAUTIFUL. I almost went with Olivia, but I can use Olivienne (pronounced Olivian) as an alternative. 

October 10, 2014 11:49 PM

I would pick Alexander and Elizabeth because they both have many nicknames (probably Zander or Zane for the boy and Liz or Bess for the girl).

I truly like most of the names on the boys list (William, Noah, Joseph, Jacob, Samuel, ect (the classical ones) (not Jayden or Liam ect.)) However, I am not a fan of many of the girls names (Zoey, Chloe, Mia, Ava, ect), and I really like Victoria, Grace, Charlotte and the likes.

October 11, 2014 7:55 AM

I would pick Daniel for boys and Sofia for girls.

Daniel is my favorite name I like its Turkish variant also, Danyal

Sofia is my favorite among Sophia, Sophie etc. But still Sofya is better for me. 

October 18, 2014 11:41 AM

Personally I like a lot of these:


Noah, Ethan, Daniel, Aiden (would use Aaden), James, Benjamin, Jackson, Logan, Joseph, Lucas


Sophia, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Madison, Abigail, Charlotte, Chloe, Ella, Harper, Amelia

October 28, 2014 12:30 AM

I have an Ethan already but am not a fan of any of the oither boy names.

I like a bunch of the girl names right now. I really like Ava, Evelyn, Avery, and Aubrey. (I have a thing for vowel names! LOL!)

December 1, 2014 12:33 AM

Girls: I'd go with Evelyn.  

Boys: Harder, because we tend to go for way less common boy names.  Probably Anthony, simply because that was my father's name and we lost him 6 years ago.  In fact my oldest son was going to be Atticus Anthony for awhile, but eventually we decided we liked the sound and feel of Atticus Michael better (Michael was Dad's middle name).  And we sometimes call him Ace, which is what almost EVERYONE called my dad.  

December 7, 2014 3:46 AM

My GGB triplets born in mid 2013 are Abigail, Emma, and Jack, so I actually chose two names from the list without meaning to.


December 7, 2014 11:00 AM

Definitely William and Victoria, because of the awesome nickname options. I also like long, traditional names.

January 21, 2015 7:32 PM

I avoided really popular names with my first two but now that they are older I've discovered my neighborhood is full of my favorite names-the same names that are very popular on this site. but I have yet to meet a Sophia, Emma or Olivia so for the next one I'be pretty much given up on worrying about popularity. Names I am considering: Emma (although most likely I would go with Emmeline), Alexander and Joseph are on the short list. also considering but less likely to use: Victoria, Samuel,  Anthony,  Lucas, Evelyn,  Grace.  names I would have considered if not for  already being in my social circle/too much like current child's name etc: Andrew, Amelia, Olivia, Sophia,  Jacob, William, Emily. Charlotte is the only name on this list that actually seems popular in my neighborhood.

January 21, 2015 11:13 PM

David and Elizabeth. Really can't go wrong with those names! Michael and Sophia a close second, although Sophia is just too, too popular these days. I also kind of love Noah, especially in the context of global warming and sea level rise. 

February 28, 2015 5:11 AM

One of my daughters is an Isabella, so naturally I would use that.

Alexander and Lucas have always been on my shortlists for a boy, and had the daughter I'm currently pregnant with turned out a son, she would be Alexander Lucas. Other than those too, I would also consider James, Jeseph and Matthew.

As for girls, I would use Chloe if it wasn't my niece's name, and Amelia if it wasn't my sister's. A few of the contenders for this baby's middle name are here (Charlotte, Victoria, & Elizabeth), and I also like Natalie, Zoey, and Hannah.

January 5, 2018 8:17 AM

I'd pick Mia, I like Natalie as well but I already have a Natasha so it is too close.


January 30, 2018 10:44 PM

For a boy, Liam because despite its popularity it’s a name I really love. 

For a girl, Elizabeth because not only do I like the name as a whole, but I love the nickname Elle!

February 16, 2018 8:18 PM

For a girl, I'd choose Natalie. I think it's a very cute name that can grow with a girl throughout her life. Plus, I don't know anybody named Natalie (I know people with a lot of those names on the list). I also like Grace, Hannah and Elizabeth (mainly for nn Libby or Buffy).

I'd choose Samuel for a boy, again because it will grow with him and is cute. I love the nn Sam. It's just a timeless classic! I also like Andrew, Daniel and James.