Baby names with the most timeless popularity

September 7, 2020
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Baby names with the most timeless popularity

Baby names are all unique, whether super popular or not as commonly known. Names also tend to follow trends; if a name was popular the year you were born, you might tend to know more people with that name. Every year, the Social Security Administration tallies the most popular baby names based on how many infants were registered with that name in the past year.

The following names, however, never went out of style. Year after year, they remain in the top ranks for a variety of reasons: The names are usually traditional, whether biblical, royal, or family names. Some of these perennial favorites have clear etymological reasons that parents might choose. For example, the name Nicholas comes from the Latin “victory of the people”—not a bad choice for a parent hoping to give their child every advantage in life.

But other names have no such clear meaning that explains their popularity. One example is Charlotte, which comes from an obscure French recipe for a dessert similar to apple pie or apple tart. Some names receive a boost from famous figures who have that name in the time period they crest in popularity, while other decades of peak popularity for a given name are best seen in retrospect, with a look at famous bearers of the name who were born during that time.

Stacker looked to the Social Security Administration Baby Names Database to round up the top 50 baby names for each gender with the most timeless popularity. Analyzing baby name popularity rankings by decade from 1910 to 2019 (the most recent year released), Stacker ranked names with the highest average ranking across all decades. To qualify, a name must have ranked in the top 200 for at least seven of the eleven decades from 1910 to 2019.

These names have been at the top of the baby name list for over 100 years, and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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#50. Albert (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #79.1
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #21)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #474 (614 babies born)

Albert is a German name meaning “noble bright” or “noble family.” The name has had an illustrious history since the turn of the 20th century, with Albert Einstein, Albert Camus, and Albert Pujols representing the name at the highest levels of science, literature, and sports.

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#50. Rachel (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #109.0
- Most popular decade: 1990s (average rank: #15)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #191 (1,529 babies born)

Rachel is a biblical name for the wife of Jacob. The name was most popular in the 1990s, which should come as no surprise to those who know the fictional character Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston on the hit TV show “Friends.” The character was so popular she even had a haircut named after her—one of the decade’s most famous.

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#49. Dale (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #78.3
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #50)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,460 (118 babies born)

In the 1950s, the name Dale was among the most popular names for boys. Maybe it's because of past noteworthy name holders, like Dale Carnegie, an American writer who passed away in 1955, or Dale Earnhardt SR., who, according to Bleacher Report, is the second best NASCAR driver of all time.

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#49. Sara (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #107.1
- Most popular decade: 1980s (average rank: #30)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #163 (1,731 babies born)

Sara is a popular alternative spelling of Sarah, which means “princess.” Some of the most popular Sara/Sarahs today include the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, the comedian Sarah Silverman, and the politician Sarah Palin.

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#48. Eugene (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #76.0
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #24)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #784 (294 babies born)

Stately and echoing of importance, the name Eugene is of Greek origin and means "wellborn" or "noble." While the name has sort of fallen out of favor among the cool kids these days, it was one of the most popular names at the turn of the 19th century, all the way up to until the 1940s, writes Nameberry. The article continues that there are even a few popes and saints that carry the name.

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#48. Melanie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #102.4
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #56)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #110 (2,582 babies born)

The name Melanie goes back literally thousands of years, derived from the Greek name "Melania," which means "blackness," according to Henry George Liddell's "A Greek-English Lexicon." But the name burst into the American mainstream with the 1936 novel (and subsequent film), "Gone with the Wind," as one of the leading women is named Melanie Hamilton. By 2007, it was the 80th most popular name for girls in America, according to Behind the Name.

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#47. Sean (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #75.7
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #39)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #301 (1,120 babies born)

Irish in origin, Sean is the Emerald Isle's version of the biblical name, John. It is pronounced "Shawn" in the majority of Ireland, but in the northern counties the name is pronounced "Shan" or "Shayn." According to Behind the Name, Sean was at its most popular in the United States in the 1980s.

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#47. Ruby (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #97.3
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #28)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #66 (3,707 babies born)

The name Ruby derives from the precious stone with the same name. The name was more popular a century ago than it is today, but that didn’t stop the parents of the actress, model, and TV presenter Ruby Rose’s parents from naming her Ruby when she was born in the 1980s. Earlier in the century, civil rights activist Ruby Bridges—who was only 6 years old when in 1960 she became the first African American child to attend a previously all-white school in New Orleans—was born in '54.

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#46. Willie (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #75.0
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #28)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,004 (206 babies born)

There are a few famous Willies who have graced history — both fictional and real. From Wonka to Nelson, the name Willie is well-known throughout the United States. For most countries, however, the name Willie is a nickname for the English name, William.

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#46. Anne (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #96.9
- Most popular decade: 1920s, 1960s (average rank: #81)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #569 (530 babies born)

Anne is a biblical name for the mother of the Virgin Mary. Today, some of the best-known Annes include the actress Anne Hathaway, and the author Anne Frank, whose “The Diary of Anne Frank” has sold more than 30 million copies since being first published in Dutch as "Het Achterhuis" ("The Secret Annex") in 1947.

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#45. Arthur (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #74.4
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #20)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #178 (2,173 babies born)

Although the etymology of Arthur is disputed, some believe that it means “man” or “king.” Certainly King Arthur is one of the most famous in history, whereas more recent well-known Arthurs include author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the titular character of the animated children’s series “Arthur.”

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#45. Charlotte (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #89.7
- Most popular decade: 2010s (average rank: #9)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #6 (13,138 babies born)

Charlotte has an extremely specific origin: it means “apple marmalade covered with bread-crumbs” from an old French recipe. It has peaked in popularity in recent years, perhaps in appreciation of famous Charlottes, including the French actress Charlotte Rampling, the royal Charlotte Casiraghi, or perennial favorite, E.B. White's Charlotte the spider. Charlotte was also the name of one of the key characters in the popular show "Sex in the City," which ran from 1998 to 2004, and was followed by two feature films.

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#44. Ralph (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #73.7
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #25)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,022 (202 babies born)

Ralph is one of the oldest names in history, deriving from the Old Norse language, and translating to "wolf counsel." Throughout the centuries there have been dozens of famous Ralphs, from the Middle Ages to more modern representatives, like essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, actor Ralph Fiennes, and designer Ralph Lauren. There are even a few fictional Ralphs of fame, like Ralph Malph from "Happy Days" to Ralph Wiggum on "The Simpsons."

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#44. Marie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #89.1
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #14)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #648 (446 babies born)

The origins of the name Marie are disputed, with some saying it means “sea of sorrow” and others saying “wished-for child.” The name was most popular at the turn of the 20th century, with a wealth of well-known Maries to choose from, from the former queen Marie Antoinette to the scientist Marie Curie.

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#43. Jerry (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #73.0
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #19)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #676 (377 babies born)

A shortened version of Gerald or Jerome, the name Jerry originates from German and translates to "ruler with the spear," according to Nameberry. Today most Jerrys these days are "jerry-atrics" as the name peaked in popularity in the 1940s. Still, it continues to remain in conversation with household names like Jerry Seinfeld, Jerry Lewis, and Jerry Garcia, not to mention the Tom Cruise classic, "Jerry Maguire."

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#43. Janice (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #87.2
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #23)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,531 (140 babies born)

Janice translates to "God is gracious," and originates in Hebrew. It's also a lengthened version of the name, Jane. Gen Xers know the name from the endearingly annoying "Friends" character, but history has seen other larger-than-life Janices, from Joplin (technically Janis) to Dickinson.

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#42. Mark (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #72.6
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #6)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #223 (1,678 babies born)

Marks are meant to make a mark; their name literally means a sign, a boundary, a designation, or an impression. Marks living up to these high expectations in recent years have included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the actor and activist Mark Ruffalo.

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#42. Bonnie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #87.0
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #33)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #652 (445 babies born)

If you're up on your "Outlander" reading, you'll know the word "bonnie" is used in the Scots language to mean "pretty," but it is also a name given to girls. It peaked in popularity in the United States 1940s. Interestingly, the largest amount of Scottish immigrants arrived in the United States between 1871 and 1931, according to the John Gray Centre's Library Museum Archive Archaeology.

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#41. Terry (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #72.2
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #29)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #841 (266 babies born)

Terry can work for both a boy and a girl, but the masculine version today is ranked #72.2 among popular baby names. Its most popular decade was the 1950s, though, when it ranked at #29. It is derived from the medieval name, Thierry, according to OhBabyNames.com, and was originally used as a last name. There are famous Terrys in all corners of entertainment and sports, from Terry Bradhow and Terry Fox, to Terry Crerws and Terry Rozier.

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#41. Wanda (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #86.3
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #50)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #8,094 (13 babies born)

Polish legend tells the tale of Princess Wanda, a legend that has been passed down since the 12th century. The story has it that Princess Wanda was the daughter of King Krak, who founded the city of Krakow, says Behind the Name. As a result, Wanda is one of the most popular names among women in Poland. The name Wanda peaked in the United States in the 1930s.

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#40. Russell (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #71.4
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #54)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #391 (797 babies born)

Russell is an old name deriving from the French word for red. One of today’s most famous Russells is the actor, comedian, radio host, author, and activist Russell Brand, who has over 11 million followers on Twitter alone.

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#40. Grace (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #83.9
- Most popular decade: 2000s (average rank: #15)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #28 (6,062 babies born)

Grace means God’s love, favor, or help. Parents have plenty of role models to name their Graces after, including the beloved actress Grace Kelly, the rocker Grace Potter, and the singer-songwriter Grace Slick.

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#39. Joe (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #70.3
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #24)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #705 (350 babies born)

While the name Joseph is the 24th most popular boys name in the United States, according to the 2019 Social Security Administration, its shorter version, Joe, is almost just as popular. With legendary characters throughout history toting around the name Joe (Montana, Pesci, DiMaggio, anyone?), it's no wonder why this abbreviated version has gained so much traction.

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#39. Rose (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #82.3
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #24)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #115 (2,507 babies born)

The name Rose comes from the color rose—which ultimately derives from the flower. The name was most popular in the 1910s, a fact the director James Cameron noted when he named his leading lady Rose in “Titanic,” set in 1912.

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#38. Roger (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #69.6
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #24)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #695 (359 babies born)

Talk about timeless — the name Roger has been around since the Norman era in England, though iterations go back farther than that. The name became common during the Middle Ages. During World War II, the military started using 'Roger' to mean "Received and understood," writes The Guardian. Beloved figures throughout history and entertainment bear the name, from Roger Moore Roger Daltry to Roger Federer and Roger Maris.

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#38. Virginia (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #82.0
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #7)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #537 (567 babies born)

Virginia was the colony name in honor of the British Queen Elizabeth I—the virgin queen. The name peaked in popularity in the 1920s, and one of the most famous Virginias came from that time period, writer Virginia Woolf.

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#37. Gerald (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #68.4
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #21)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #894 (243 babies born)

Germanic in origin, the name Gerald means, "ruler of the spear." It was one of the many names the Normans brought over to England. It was also popular in Ireland. Gerald was at its peak in the United States in the 1930s, which is right around the time when Ireland was slowing down its mass emigration to the United States, according to the Library of Congress.

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#37. Jacqueline (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #81.1
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #51)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #382 (815 babies born)

Jacqueline is a French name that means “protected by God.” It's the female version of the French name “Jacques,” and has been in use since the 19th century. Jacqueline Kennedy contributed to the rise in this name's popularity in the 1960s, where it had its highest ranking.

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#36. Douglas (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #67.8
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #28)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #682 (372 babies born)

While it may be a perfectly accepted first name these days, Douglas originally began as a last name. It originated as the surname of a particular noble Scottish family. It was an incredibly popular name for baby boomers of the 1950s, following World War II. Interestingly, one of the most notable military heroes of World War II was General Douglas MacArthur.

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#36. Lillian (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #79.8
- Most popular decade: 1920s, 2010s (average rank: #25)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #37 (5,092 babies born)

The name Lillian comes from the lily flower. Although the name reached its nadir in the 1980s, some of the most famous Lilys today were born in that decade, including the singer Lily Allen and the model Lily Cole.

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#35. Peter (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #67.0
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #39)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #212 (1,799 babies born)

Peter is a biblical name meaning “stone” or “rock.” The name was most popular in the 1950s and has dipped in popularity in ensuing decades, but that didn’t stop the parents of bassist Pete Wentz from giving him the name in 1979, or the actor Pete Davidson’s parents from doing the same in 1993.

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#35. Andrea (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #79.8
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #28)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #142 (1,975 babies born)

While applicable to both boys and girls, it's the girl version that rose in popularity in the 1970s. In fact, it has been popular virtually ever since. The name has remained in the Top 100 baby names since the 1960s. However, the name was knocked out of the Top 100 in 2013, according to the Social Security Administration.

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#34. Jonathan (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.9
- Most popular decade: 1980s (average rank: #18)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #64 (5,418 babies born)

The earliest use of the name Jonathan can be found in the Bible. Jonathan was the son of King Saul. It's a name with many centuries under its belt, but was most popular in the United States in the 1980s.

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#34. Rebecca (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #78.6
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #13)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #264 (1,246 babies born)

The name Rebecca first appeared in the Old Testament, spelled “Rebekah.” This Hebrew name means “captivating.” Famous Rebeccas throughout pop culture include actress Rebecca Romijn and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff.

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#33. Billy (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.7
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #20)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #891 (244 babies born)

Traditionally Billy is the nickname for the more formal "William," but it has become a proper first name in its own right. There have been numerous Billys that have strewn the pages of history, from Billy the Kid to Billy Baldwin, Billy Joel, Billy Mays, and Billy Graham. The meaning of the name Billy is "Gift of God," according to Names.org.

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#33. Angela (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #76.1
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #7)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #256 (1,266 babies born)

Angela is a way for parents to incorporate the word “angel” into their child's name. Angela comes from the Latin name Angelus, which translates to “angel.” In the Bible, it means “messenger of God.” The first record of the name Angela dates back to the 18th century.

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#32. Walter (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.0
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #16)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #278 (1,275 babies born)

Walter is an Old German name meaning “ruler of the army.” The short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” by author James Thurber has been adapted for the big screen and is one of the best-known Walters of the 20th century.

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#32. Theresa (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #75.6
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #39)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,265 (182 babies born)

Theresa is thought to come from the Greek for “harvester.” The name peaked in popularity in the middle of the 20th century, when one of today’s most famous Theresas—former British Prime Minister Theresa May—was born.

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#31. Lawrence (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #65.1
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #31)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #536 (527 babies born)

The name Lawrence (alternatingly spelled Laurence) was a particularly popular name in the Middle Ages. Since then it has often been used to signify lassitude (“lazy Laurence”) which may explain its dip in popularity. However, this certainly doesn’t apply to one of today’s most famous Lawrences: TikTok star Lawrence Bing.

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#31. Amy (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #75.3
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #2)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #203 (1,471 babies born)

Amy is derived from the old French Amee, meaning beloved. Although the name peaked in popularity in the 1970s, one of the most famous Amys was more recent—the iconic singer Amy Winehouse, who tragically died in 2011.

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#30. Gregory (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #64.7
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #23)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #390 (798 babies born)

While Gregory has dropped in popularity since its peak in the 1960s, there are versions of the name in virtually every language, such as Grigoris in Greek, Gregor in German, or Grigory in Russian. The first iteration, however, was Gregorios, which comes from Ancient Greek. The name rose to popularity in the 1960s, which is right around the time actor Gregory Peck played the role of Atticus Finch in the on-screen version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1962.

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#30. Christina (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #74.3
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #16)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #523 (590 babies born)

The name Christina is one of the most popular and historic names, seeing as it is the feminine form of the name/word "Christian." It is spelled a variety of different ways and has a slew of different nicknames and versions. In the past 20 years, the name Christina has slowly started to decline in popularity. According to the Social Security Administration, it was the 73rd most popular girls name in America in 2000. Today it is the 523rd most popular.

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#29. Raymond (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #64.7
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #15)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #328 (1,011 babies born)

The name Raymond is meant to indicate good judgment. It was most popular in the early decades of the 20th century, which is when the singer Ray Charles was born, although it has been given a boost in more recent decades by actor Ray Liotta and the titular character of the hit television show “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

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#29. Carolyn (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #73.3
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #12)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #940 (279 babies born)

A variant of the name Caroline, Carolyn peaked in the United States around the 1940s, when more than 20,000 babies were given the name. Of all the Carolyns in pop culture over the years, a solid portion have been Olympic medalists, including Carolyn Schuler, Carolyn Wood, Carolyn Steinseifer, and Carolyn Waldo, according to Behind the Name.

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#28. Eric (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #62.9
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #14)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #176 (2,187 babies born)

One of the most common names in Old Norse, Eric traveled over to England with Danish settlers during the Anglo-Saxon period. According to Behind the Name, Eric petered out in the Middle Ages but had a resurgence in the 19th century. In recent history, Eric has always had high rankings, holding the 42nd most popular spot in 2000.

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#28. Natalie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #73.0
- Most popular decade: 2000s (average rank: #21)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #41 (4,782 babies born)

The name "Natalie" is the gift that keeps on giving because it literally translates to "Christmas Day," writes Behind the Name. The origin is the Latin word, Natalia. There are many A-list celebrities who share the name, from Natalie Wood and Natalie Portman, to Natalie Cole and Natalie Merchant.

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#27. Harold (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #62.2
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #13)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #816 (277 babies born)

Harold has roots—deep roots. The name goes back to Old English, as well as Old Norse, and was the name of five kings of Norway and three of Denmark, according to Behind the Name. It also happens to be the name of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, as well as the full name of current global icon, Prince Harry.

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#27. Ruth (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #72.7
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #6)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #231 (1,335 babies born)

Ruth is a biblical name meaning “friend” or “companion.” The name peaked in popularity in the early 20th century, which is when one of today’s most famous Ruths was born: the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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#26. Adam (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #62.0
- Most popular decade: 1980s (average rank: #22)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #90 (4,168 babies born)

If the stories are accurate, then Adam is truly the oldest name in the book. As a result, it continues to be one of the most popular over the centuries. It is used in dozens of countries around the world with a variety of pronunciations and spellings. In most recent history, the name surged in popularity in the 1980s, when more than 20,000 boys were named Adam. Other table Adams include Adam Sandler, Adam Brody, and Adam Driver.

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#26. Gloria (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #71.8
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #27)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #555 (544 babies born)

It may be a bit obvious, but the name Gloria comes from the Spanish or Portuguese word that means "glory." According to Behind the Name, Gloria was popularized in the early 1900s by the famous actress Gloria Swanson. The name continued to hold weight with iconic feminist Gloria Steinem. Its popularity has been steadily declining over the past 20 years, but it was the 358th most popular name in 2000, according to the Social Security Administration.

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#25. Stephen (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #60.9
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #20)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #311 (1,084 babies born)

Stephen means “crown,” “wreath,” or “garland.” The name was most popular in the middle of the 20th century, which is when two of the most notable Stephens of the past century were born, the novelist Stephen King and the scientist Stephen Hawking.

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#25. Maria (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #71.7
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #35)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #106 (2,700 babies born)

Maria originally has Greek origins but is common throughout Europe. Maria has royal connections as the name of two queens of Portugal. The best known who have helped keep the name atop of the charts are opera singer Maria Callas, journalist Maria Shriver, and actress Maria Menounos.

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#24. Nathan (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #60.8
- Most popular decade: 2000s (average rank: #26)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #55 (6,049 babies born)

Nathan is a Hebrew name meaning “he gave.” There has been an array of famous Nathans in recent decades, from the actor Nathan Lane to the rapper Nate Dogg to arguably the most famous contemporary Nathan—Nathans’ Famous Hotdogs.

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#24. Ann (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #71.3
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #34)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #981 (261 babies born)

Ann is a less common spelling of Anne, and even less common than name-relatives Anna and Hannah. The actress Ann-Margret popularized the name in the middle of the century, but today one of the most famous Anns is a more polarizing figure—the political commentator Ann Coulter.

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#23. Matthew (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #59.3
- Most popular decade: 1980s, 1990s (average rank: #3)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #23 (9,199 babies born)

Matthew means “gift.” The name peaked in popularity in the 1990s, perhaps in part due to the actor Matthew Perry, who was an actor on the hit television show “Friends,” which defined the decade in entertainment for many.

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#23. Nicole (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #69.0
- Most popular decade: 1980s (average rank: #8)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #228 (1,355 babies born)

With roots in both France and Greece, Nicole translates to "victory," and is the feminized version of Nicholas. It peaked in popularity in the 1980s, when nearly 23,000 girls in the United States were given the name, according to Behind the Name. Today's current bearers of the name include Nicole Kidman, Nicole Richie, and Jersey Shore favorite, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.

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#22. Scott (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #58.2
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #15)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #527 (536 babies born)

Scott may be a name today, but it started as a descriptor of someone who hailed from Scotland or who spoke Scottish Gaelic. In the early 1970s, nearly 30,000 boys were named Scott, as evidenced by the numerous famous Scotts who were born in that Time period: Scott Grimes, Scott Foley, Scott Elrod, Scott Speedman, and Scott Caan, according to Behind the Name.

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#22. Alice (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #67.2
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #15)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #73 (3,527 babies born)

Alice derives from the ancient Greek word for “truth.” The name was most popular early in the 20th century, which is when some of the most famous Alices were born, including the writer Alice Walker and the chef Alice Waters.

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#21. Carl (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #57.6
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #27)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #754 (314 babies born)

Carl has had its roots in royalty for centuries. It's the German variation of the name Charles, and both versions have been associated with European royalty for hundreds of years.

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#21. Julie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.5
- Most popular decade: 1960s, 1970s (average rank: #18)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #631 (471 babies born)

Julie comes from the Latin name, "Julia," which is another popular American name. The name peaked in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, right around the time the "Sound of Music" hit the silver screen in 1965, skyrocketing Julie Andrews to superstardom.

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#20. Brian (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #57.3
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #8)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #247 (1,465 babies born)

One of the most common and classic names in the English-speaking world, Brian is Irish in origin because it was the name of one of the High Kings of Ireland, Brian Boru. During the Irish Diaspora, more than 4 million Irish emigrated to America, making them one of the largest immigrant groups in the country, reports The Irish Times.

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#20. Cynthia (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.3
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #10)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #748 (373 babies born)

Cynthias have been making pop culture history for decades, from Cyndi Lauper to Cynthia Nixon, Cindy Crawford and Cynthia Stevenson. The name is Greek in origin, meaning "woman from Kynthos," which is a mountain on Delos, one of the Greek Islands, according to Behind the Name.

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#19. Gary (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #56.6
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #12)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #773 (302 babies born)

While the English-origin name has been popular for more than 100 years, Gary seems to be on a steady decline. The name peaked in popularity in the 1950s, no doubt receiving a boost from the popularity of iconic actor, Gary Cooper, writes The Guardian.

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#19. Christine (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #66.3
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #22)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #922 (285 babies born)

Christine is the French version of Christina, and means “anointed one.” It is also the female version of Christopher and was popular in the 1970s when names ending in "e" were in vogue. Christine was the protagonist in “Phantom of the Opera,” cementing the name in theatrical history.

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#18. Jeffrey (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #54.4
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #10)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #364 (876 babies born)

The Americanized version of the British name "Geoffrey," Jeffrey hit the scene in the 1930s, according to The Bump, and topped the charts around the 1950s. Today there are Jeffreys all over the media, on all ends of the spectrum, from Jeff(rey) Bezos and Jeff(rey) Goldblum, to the notorious Jeffrey Epstein and Jeffrey Dahmer.

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#18. Martha (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #63.5
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #23)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #795 (346 babies born)

Martha is an Aramaic name meaning “lady” or “mistress.” One of the most famous businesswomen of the past 50 years is the domestic empress Martha Stewart, who is worth an estimated $640 million.

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#17. Aaron (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #54.2
- Most popular decade: 1990s (average rank: #31)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #61 (5,509 babies born)

Aaron is a biblical name for the brother of Moses. Some of the most well-known Aarons today are musicians (the rapper Aaron Yates) and athletes (the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Packers’ Aaron Rodgers).

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#17. Brenda (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #62.5
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #18)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,069 (235 babies born)

Brenda didn't emerge on the scene in the United States until the end of the 19th century. Before that it was mostly a Scottish and Irish name, likely of Scandinavian origin, according to Oxford Reference. Brenda peaked in popularity in the 1950s, which was around the time singer Brenda Lee was topping the charts.

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#16. Frank (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #53.4
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #12)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #403 (768 babies born)

While Frank has recently taken a dive from the top ranks of baby names, it remains a popular choice. Frank is of German descent and came from the word for “spear” in medieval times. The name was made popular in the past century by classic crooner Frank Sinatra, and more recently, pop singer Frank Ocean.

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#16. Stephanie (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #62.1
- Most popular decade: 1980s (average rank: #6)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #352 (891 babies born)

The name Stephanie comes from the Greek name Stephanos, which means "crown." It is also the feminized version of the popular name, Stephen. While Stephanie has always been a popular name, it was the sixth most popular name in the 1980s, which is when popular characters named Stephanie splashed into entertainment, from Stephanie Forrester in "The Bold and the Beautiful" to Stephanie Tanner in "Full House," and Stef Steinbrenner in "The Goonies."

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#15. Timothy (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #50.6
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #13)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #188 (2,069 babies born)

Timothy is a Greek name that means “honoring God.” It has consistently been in the top 150 names for the past 100 years and remains in the top 200. Famous Timothys that have contributed to the name's popularity are film director Tim Burton, actor Tim Conway, actor Tim Allen, and young Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet.

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#15. Laura (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #60.4
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #16)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #337 (944 babies born)

Laura was originally a Latin name derived from the word “laurus,” or laurel, an evergreen shrub used in crowns. There have been many Lauras throughout history, notably former first lady Laura Bush, writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, and actress Laura Prepon.

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#14. Ronald (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #50.1
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #10)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #527 (536 babies born)

Ronald has a variety of origins, mainly in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The name's meaning is “rules with counsel.” One famous Ronald that contributed to the name's popularity was President Ronald Reagan.

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#14. Sharon (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #60.0
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #8)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,183 (197 babies born)

Sharon is a girl's name that comes from the Hebrew word that means, "plain," as in a field. It reached peak popularity at the end of the 1940s, when nearly 30,000 babies were named Sharon, according to Behind the Name.

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#13. Jacob (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #48.3
- Most popular decade: 2000s (average rank: #1)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #13 (10,679 babies born)

For nearly 15 years, the name Jacob was the #1 baby name for boys. It also happens to be one of the oldest names around, as it comes from the book of Genesis. In 2014 the name was pushed aside to make room for the name Noah, according to CBS News.

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#13. Janet (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #58.5
- Most popular decade: 1950s (average rank: #20)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,696 (122 babies born)

Janet is the Americanized version of European names, like Jeannette in French or Juanita in Spanish. The name's popularity rose dramatically in the early 1930s, peaking in the 1950s before a rapid decline. In the 1950s and 1960s, actress Janet Lee was at the top of her game, when "Psycho" debuted, earning her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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#12. Kevin (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #47.1
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #13)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #149 (2,610 babies born)

In the early 1950s, the name Kevin became one of the most popular names in America, maxing out in the 1970s, when it was the 13th most popular boy's name in America. In the 1960s, more than 261,000 Kevins were born in the United States. Films were dominated by Spacey, Kline, and Bacon. And everyone tuned in to watch Kevin Arnold on "The Wonder Years." Kevin remained top of the charts until about 1979.

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#12. Michelle (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #58.1
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #4)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #292 (1,137 babies born)

The most famous Michelle in America these days is undoubtedly former first lady Michelle Obama, but the name Michelle has been in fashion for decades. The name, which is the feminine version of Michael, peaked in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Its peak year was 1966, when it shot up more than 170%. Over the years, Michelle has reached the top 10 most popular girls' names seven times.

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#11. Jason (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #45.8
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #3)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #104 (3,555 babies born)

Jason has been around ever since that particular Jason led the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. But it wasn't until the 1970s in the U.S. that the name really exploded. In 1977, more than 55,000 Jasons were born, writes Behind the Name. Other famous Jasons include Jason Priestly, Jason Biggs, and every woman's favorite Jason these days, Jason Momoa.

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#11. Sandra (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #55.9
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #6)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #986 (260 babies born)

In history the name Sandra has been used as a shortened version of Alexandra or Cassandra, writes BabyNameWizard.com, but nowadays it stands as a name in its own right. While the name shot to top popularity in the 1940s, it has been kept alive by notable public figures, from Sandra Bernhard and Sandra Bullock, to Sandra Day O'Connor and even the iconic fictional "Grease" character, Sandra Dee.

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#10. Steven (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #44.3
- Most popular decade: 1950s, 1960s (average rank: #11)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #200 (1,962 babies born)

Steven has Greek origins, means “crown” or “wreath,” and has many different spellings—the original being Stephen. This name rose to the top of the charts in the 1950s and '60s, and remained in the top 150 for decades. Famous Stevens that have helped maintain the popularity are filmmaker Steven Spielberg, "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, and musician Steven Tyler.

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#10. Melissa (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #55.8
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #3)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #339 (930 babies born)

Melissa may have been one of the most popular names of the 1970s (with more than 250,000 Melissas born in the decade, according to the Social Security Administration), but there are plenty of modern-day Melissas keeping the good name going. There is Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa McCarthy, Melissa Etheridge, and Melissa Rauch, just to name a few.

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#9. Donald (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #38.9
- Most popular decade: 1930s (average rank: #7)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #552 (506 babies born)

While the current ranking of Donald is low, it has remained in the top 200 names over the past century. Donald is of Scottish origin and means “mighty.” Some of the most notable Donalds in history are classic cartoon character Donald Duck, and actors Donald Glover and Donald Sutherland.

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#9. Emma (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #54.8
- Most popular decade: 2010s (average rank: #1)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #2 (17,102 babies born)

Emma was originally a shortened version of longer German names beginning with Ermen, which means universal or whole. The name is extremely popular today, thanks perhaps in part to famous Emmas like the actresses Emma Thompson, Emma Stone, Emma Watson, and Emma Roberts, and the YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain.

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#8. Paul (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #37.9
- Most popular decade: 1920s, 1930s (average rank: #14)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #245 (1,495 babies born)

The name Paul originated in the New Testament: Paul the Apostle was one of the founders of Christianity. Paul is an English name that means “little.” For the past 100 years, Paul has remained in the top tier of names for baby boys.

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#8. Carol (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #52.7
- Most popular decade: 1940s (average rank: #5)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,804 (112 babies born)

A variant of the name Caroline, Carolyn peaked in the United States around the 1940s, when more than 20,000 babies were given the name. Of all the Carolyns in pop culture over the years, a solid portion have been Olympic medalists, including Carolyn Schuler, Carolyn Wood, Carolyn Steinseifer, and Carolyn Waldo, according to Behind the Name.

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#7. Christopher (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #31.9
- Most popular decade: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s (average rank: #2)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #44 (6,960 babies born)

Christopher has been a go-to name for parents for decades, holding the #2 ranking for 30 years. The lowest the name has ever fallen was #147, never out of the top 150 names for boys. Christopher has origins in Greece, and means “Christ-bearer.”

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#7. Linda (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #49.3
- Most popular decade: 1940s, 1950s (average rank: #2)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #774 (355 babies born)

Linda, which translates to "pretty" from Spanish, is actually one of the longest-running name trends in the country, according to Proffreader.com. It was at its peak in the 1940s due to a Jack Lawrence song that hit the radio waves in 1947, reports Mental Floss. The name of the song was, shockingly, "Linda."

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#6. Joseph (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #11.5
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #7)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #24 (9,058 babies born)

Joseph translates to “God will increase” in Hebrew, was mentioned in the Old Testament, and is the name of the Virgin Mary's husband. In 100 years, Joseph has never fallen out of the top 25 most popular names for boys. Famous Josephs include baseball player Joe DiMaggio, former Vice President Joe Biden, quarterback Joe Montana, and singer-songwriter Joe Jonas.

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#6. Kimberly (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #46.0
- Most popular decade: 1960s, 1970s (average rank: #5)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #193 (1,527 babies born)

The name Kimberly doesn't seem to have a clear agreed upon origin, however many sources can agree that it either comes from a city in South Africa or derived from an Old English word that means meadow or clearing. While it was once a male name, today the most famous Kimberlys are all female, from Kim Bassinger and Kim Cattrall to TV characters like Kim Possible and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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#5. Michael (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #11.1
- Most popular decade: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s (average rank: #1)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #14 (10,514 babies born)

A name of Hebrew origin, it means “who is like God.” The #1 name from the 1960s to the 1990s was influenced by superstars like Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan.

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#5. Susan (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #42.5
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #3)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,056 (240 babies born)

Susan is a variation on the name Susanna. One of the most famous Susans in American history is the feminist Susan B. Anthony. Although the name has grown dramatically less popular in recent decades, the actress Susan Sarandon gave parents another reason to give the name Susan a look.

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#4. David (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #9.7
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #2)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #27 (8,896 babies born)

Never falling lower than the top 25, David has stayed afloat as one of the most popular and timeless baby names for a century. With Hebrew origins, the name David is used frequently throughout the Bible. St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and was also the name of a number of royals. Other famous Davids are David Bowie and David Beckham.

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#4. Barbara (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #40.1
- Most popular decade: 1930s, 1940s (average rank: #3)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #945 (278 babies born)

Barbara derives from the Latin word barbarous—meaning strange and foreign. Some of the most well-known Barbaras are talk show host Barbara Walters, singer Barbra Streisand, and former first lady Barbara Bush.

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#3. John (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #8.9
- Most popular decade: 1920s (average rank: #2)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #28 (8,779 babies born)

John has never fallen below the #30 spot on most popular baby boy names. John means “the grace or mercy of the Lord,” and has Hebrew origins; John was also one of the most well-known apostles. In 1960, John was #3 for baby boy names, most likely due to the president at the time, John F. Kennedy. From there, the list of famous Johns goes on: John Legend, John Travolta, John McCain, and John Mayer.

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#3. Donna (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #37.7
- Most popular decade: 1960s (average rank: #8)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #1,804 (112 babies born)

The name Donna translates to "woman" in Italian, but has been a popular name in America over the past 100 years. It had its peak in the 1960s, partly bolstered by the popularity of "The Donna Reed Show," the longest-running television sitcom of its time, which ran from 1958-1966.

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#2. William (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #8.1
- Most popular decade: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 2010s (average rank: #4)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #4 (13,542 babies born)

The lowest ranking of the name William was in the 1990s, when it held the #18 spot. William is an English name that means “resolute protector.” One of the most famous Williams in the world is the possible future King of England, Prince William, who has helped keep the name popular in recent years.

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#2. Jennifer (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #29.3
- Most popular decade: 1970s (average rank: #1)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #392 (780 babies born)

In 1970, Jennifer was the most popular girls name in the United States—a title it held for 14 years, according to the National Post. The article attributes its rise in popularity to the wildly successful movie, "Love Story," which starred Ali McGraw who played the role of Jennifer, a character who suffers a tragic, untimely death.

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#1. James (for boys)

- Average rank 1900-today: #6.1
- Most popular decade: 1940s, 1950s (average rank: #1)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #6 (13,087 babies born)

The #1 most timeless name for boys is James. James is a Hebrew name that means “follower.” In English, it can also be a form of Jacob. The name has remained consistently popular over the past 100 years, remaining at the top for two decades: the 1940s and 1950s. Other famous people named James are actors James Corden, James Brolin, and James Franco.

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#1. Elizabeth (for girls)

- Average rank 1900-today: #14.0
- Most popular decade: 1990s (average rank: #8)
- Popularity rank in 2019: #14 (7,844 babies born)

Elizabeth is the most popular name for girls over the past 100 years. Elizabeth has many variations, including Lizzie, Eliza, Liz, and Beth. The Hebrew name means “my God is beautiful.” Famous Elizabeths in history include Queen Elizabeth II, actress Elizabeth Taylor, businesswoman Elizabeth Arden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

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