American First Names

Updated: May 3, 2022
Learn the most popular American names today, and discover the meaning and origin behind names in the United States.
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American first names

The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. This is why you see names with a wide variety of origins. There is no real rhyme or reason when it comes to picking out a given name for your new baby in the US, but many people rely on several different factors when they are expecting. Below you will find a list of popular baby girl names, baby boy names, and unisex names. Several of them are on the top 10 list of the Social Security Administration as well. We will also touch on some of the ways Americans find inspiration when it comes to naming.

American Naming Traditions

There are several ways that Americans draw inspiration for baby names. One of the most popular ways is through pop culture. Many parents will look to their favorite TV shows, movies, video games, etc. The list keeps going and going! Since they are no real strict laws when it comes to naming, besides the use of numerical characters and profanity, there are so many choices. Of course, the restrictions are on a state level, so if you are looking at a name that is really outside of the box, it may be worth checking out.
Other ways that Americans choose names for their children is using historical figures, ancestors and elder family members, or baby books to find a name they love because of how it sounds or they love its meaning. The possibilities are endless!

American Baby Boy Names

  1. Asher - This boy’s name is of Hebrew origin and it means “blessed” or “fortunate.”
  2. Benjamin - This name has origins in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It means “son of my right hand” in Hebrew.
  3. Elijah - In Hebrew, this popular American boy’s name means “God the Lord, the strong Lord.”
  4. Liam - This name is Irish and Gaelic for “unwavering protector.” It is a shortened version of the Germanic name “William.”
  5. Lincoln - Old English name for “home by the pond.”
  6. Lucas - In Latin and English, this name means “bringer of light.” It is also the name of the Patron Saint of doctors, artists, and creatives in Greek.
  7. Noah - This is a popular Old Testament name that means “comfort” or “wanderer” in Hebrew.
  8. Oliver - This name actually has several origins and meanings. It is Old Norse for “kind one,” French for “peace” and Latin for “olive tree.”
  9. Shane - This American boy’s name is Hebrew and Irish for “God is gracious.”
  10. William - This is one of the most popular boy names of all time. It has a Germanic origin and means “the protector in Spanish.”

American Baby Girl Names

  1. Abigail - In Hebrew, this girl’s name means “a father’s joy.”
  2. Amelia - This popular American baby girl name has German origin and it means “industrious.”
  3. Ava - This name means “blossoming” in Latin and “life” in Hebrew.
  4. Isabella - This is the Spanish version of “Elizabeth” and it also means “consecrated to God in Spanish and Hebrew.
  5. Kaelyn - This name has several meanings and origins. In the American language, it is the combination of “Kae” which is Greek for “rejoicer” and “Lynn” which is English for “waterfall.”
  6. Makayla - There are many spelling variations of this common baby girl name, but this version is used most. It means “who is like God” in Hebrew and American.
  7. Mia - This popular name has a few different origins. It has Italian roots and means “mine,” and it means “star of the sea” in Scandinavian.
  8. Nevaeh - This name has been a very popular choice for baby girls in recent years. It is “heaven” spelled backward.
  9. Olivia - This is the feminine form of the baby boy's name, “Oliver.” It has the same meaning including Old Norse for “kind one” and Latin for “olive tree.”
  10. Sophia - In Greek, this name means “wisdom.”

American Gender-Neutral Names

  1. Brooklyn - This is derived from the English surname, and it means “beautiful brook” in Modern English.
  2. Charlie - Many parents are opting for this fun version of “Charles” or “Charlotte.” It is Italian for “strong” and “free” and Spanish for “little and womanly.”
  3. Dakota - This name is Native American for “friend.”
  4. Emerson - This is Old English for “Emery’s son.”
  5. Finley - This name has Celtic and Irish roots. It means “fair-haired.”
  6. Frankie - This unique name is Old French for “free man” and a modern alternative to “Frank” or “Frances.”
  7. Kaden - There are several spelling variations as well as meanings and origins. Some origin examples are Welsh for “pure,” American for “charismatic,” and Arabic for “friend.”
  8. Peyton - This name is English for “fighting man’s estate” and Irish for “warrior’s town.”
  9. River - This name of English origin simply means “by the riverbank.” It is derived from the Latin word “ripa,” which also means “riverbank.”
  10. Sailor - This unisex name is rising in popularity and it is American and English for “mariner.”

Most Popular American First Names on FamilyEducation: Ethan, William, Ava, Harper

Image: Washington, DC., America

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