Most popular short and sweet baby names
There’s something to be said about keeping it short and sweet, especially when naming a baby. Less can be more, with some classic names like Ann or new-age monikers like Dream. For those seeking names that ring short and sweet, Stacker reviewed 2018 data from the Social Security Administration (the most-recent baby names data available) to identify the 100 most popular one-syllable names for each gender. And we came up with some interesting titles in our research.
Take, for example, Reign. Rather than being used in its sovereign terms, it is now the name of rapper Lil’ Kim’s daughter, Royal Reign. Then there is Rayne. While it sounds the same and means “counsel,” it is also a variant of Raina and Rayna, unlike its homonym sister. Farther out names, including Kade, Jett, Kai, Noor, Rhett, and King, make names referencing Christian virtues, like Faith, Hope, and Charity, seem normal.
While some short and sweet baby names are more common than others, none of the names on Stacker’s list have been banned. According to The Huffington Post, Lucifer was shot down several times in Germany and New Zealand, and French officials denied a couple who wanted to name their baby Nutella. Other names barred worldwide include Ikea, RoboCop, Pluto, and Babar. If those monikers were not out-of-the-box enough, a Welsh mother was kept from naming her daughter Cyanide, while a Turkish couple was told they could not name their child Osama Bin Laden.
Along with the most popular one-syllable names, from Ann, with or without the letter e, to Zane, with or without the letter y, Stacker has published an extensive list of the most popular baby names in America, and the most popular baby names for millennials. Read on to find out the most popular short and sweet baby names, where they came from, and some famous names associated with them.
#50. Shay (for girls)
- Births in 2018: 164
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,360
Shay finds her name origins from Hebrew as an alternate spelling of Shai, meaning gift, or as a shortened form of the name Isaiah. Canadian actress Shannon Mitchell, better known as Shay, brought fame to the name in the 2010s while starring in the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars.” The Irish form of the name is used primarily for boys, including Shay Mooney from the country music duo “Dan + Shay.”
#50. Jase (for boys)
- Births in 2018: 874
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #370
Jase is a shortened form of Jason, which draws its origins from Greek, meaning “healer.” Jase entered the Social Security names list in 2002 in 964th place and spiked in popularity to a peak of 83rd in 2013. The precipitous rise can be attributed to the success of the show “Duck Dynasty,” which followed the Robertson family, including bearded brother Jase, as they ran the family duck call business in Louisiana.
#49. Bryn (for girls)
- Births in 2018: 168
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,332
Though used primarily as a boy's name in Wales, Bryn reached the top 750 as a girl's name in 2011. Canadian voice actress Bryn McAuley helps keep the name, which means hill, seen by playing the title character in the popular children’s show “Caillou.” Bryn was chosen by “Real Housewives of New York” actress Bethenny Frankel and now ex-husband Jason Hoppy for their only child in 2010.
#49. Troy (for boys)
- Births in 2018: 904
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #363
The ancient city of Troy in Homer’s “Iliad” gave birth to Troy as a name, while actor and sex symbol Troy Donahue helped the name reach the top 50 in the 1960s. Former Major League Baseball player Troy Glaus and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Troy Aikman have helped make the name popular among sports fans. Brad Pitt also helped the name jump a few spots by starring as Achilles in the 2004 blockbuster “Troy."
#48. Tess (for girls)
- Births in 2018: 176
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,285
Tess cracked the top 1,000 names in 1983 due in part to Roman Polanski’s Academy Award Best Picture nominee “Tess,” a take on Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Also helping Tess, a diminutive of Theresa, meaning harvest, was actress Tess Harper, who was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1983 for “Tender Mercies.” It has since been worn in films by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, and Cher.
#48. Wade (for boys)
- Births in 2018: 913
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #361
Wade, taken from an English surname meaning “river crossing,” has never been outside the top 1,000 names, peaking at 183 in 1966. Hall-of-Fame baseball player Wade Boggs, former NFL coach Wade Phillips, and professional wrestler Wade Barrett have all sported the name. Although a surname, basketball fans may give the name in homage to Miami Heat forward Dwyane Wade.
#47. Drew (for girls)
- Births in 2018: 177
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,282
Actress Barrymore is probably the most recognizable female with the first name Drew, which premiered as a name for girls in 1994. The name has remained in the public eye thanks to the single-monikered singer Drew, a finalist on the “X Factor USA” in 2011, and actress Drew Sidora from the Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven.” Drew has remained in the top 500 for boys' names every year since 1946.
#47. Kade (for boys)
#46. Shea (for girls)
- Births in 2018: 195
- Overall name rank for girls in 2018: #1,204
Drawn from Irish origins, and meaning “the stately, dauntless one,” Shea enjoyed simultaneous success as both a baby boy and baby girl name in the 1980s and 1990s. Australian-born country singer Shea Fisher is one of the more-recognizable Sheas. Atlanta Braves Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones used the name Shea for his first daughter as a way to troll the rivaled New York Mets, who played in Shea Stadium.
#46. Hayes (for boys)
- Births in 2018: 969
- Overall name rank for boys in 2018: #343
An English surname meaning “enclosure,” Hayes was the last name of the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. The name took a 78-year hiatus from Social Security’s list before reappearing in the top 1,000 in 2009. Actress Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren chose the name for their son in 2017, while internet star Hayes Grier brought national attention to the name by appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2015.2018 All rights reserved.