Stories behind the 50 most popular baby names for girls
Most peoples' name is someone else’s name, whether the person came before or after you. Names may derive from cultural or biblical influences or be long-standing family handles. At different times, certain baby names are more popular than others. They come into vogue, and go out, often depending on world or cultural events of the time.
Curious about the current top names? You can now track and look up the most popular baby names of any given year and correlate them to cultural phenomena. Stacker checked with the Social Security Administration and rounded up the top 50 baby girl names from 2017.
Read on to find out the popular names, their meaning, origin, and other fun facts.
Number of babies named: 4,683
Rank in 2016: #40 (nine spots higher than 2017)
The name Claire also is of Latin origin and means "bright” and "famous.” It was popular in the early 1900s, but rose again to the top of the baby lists in the mid-1980s and has stayed there ever since.
Number of babies named: 4,699
Rank in 2016: #47 (one spot higher than 2017)
Violet has three different origins with different meanings. The English meaning comes from the "Viola," who was a character in Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night,” while the Italian and American meaning of the girl’s name is "flower.”
Number of babies named: 4,706
Rank in 2016: #42 (five spots higher than 2017)
Skylar is a unisex name that was brought to New York in the 17th century by English settlers. It has many different spellings and spiked in popularity, as both a girl’s and boy’s name, in the early 2000s.
Number of babies named: 4,808
Rank in 2016: #39 (seven spots higher than 2017)
Audrey is a name that has been around since the time of Shakespeare and means "noble strength.” It was originally derived from Saint Audrey, and became more popular because of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn. It has stayed high on the list ever since the 19th century, but saw a surge in the 2000s.
Number of babies named: 4,927
Rank in 2016: #46 (one spot lower than 2017)
Paisley, a Gaelic name meaning ‘church or cemetery’ first popped up as a baby girl’s name in 1988. It’s remained popular over the years, especially in Western states like Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota.
Number of babies named: 4,993
Rank in 2016: #43 (one spot higher than 2017)
The name Ellie has Greek origin and means "shining light.” It's commonly used as a nickname for Eleanor or Ellen. The name's popularity grew after 2002, the same year NBC released a new sitcom called "Watching Ellie" starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Carrell, and Darren Boyd.
Number of babies named: 5,004
Rank in 2016: #52 (nine spots lower than 2017)
In 2016, Bustle picked the name Hazel as a retro baby name that is making a comeback. Indeed, ever since 2015, Hazel has seen an uptick for the first time since the 19th century. The name is English and is based on the hazel tree.
Number of babies named: 5,038
Rank in 2016: #45 (three spots lower than 2017)
Stella comes from the Latin language and means "star.” It was most popular in the early 1900s, but popped up again (and stayed at the top) in the late 1990s. Stella, in pop culture, is widely known for a main character in Tennessee Williams’ play, "A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Number of babies named: 5,129
Rank in 2016: #35 (six spots higher than 2017)
A Greek name, Zoe means "life.” When the name first came about, Hellenized Jews took the name as a translation of "Eve.” As time went on, it became a more Christian name and had peak popularity in the 1990s. The name dropped to a lower point on the most popular baby names list in 2007 and then spiked again in 2008.