The top baby names of 2020 feature a host of names that went virtually unused a generation ago. These include newly-minted names, rediscovered antique names, plus names imported from around the world.
Nameberry, an expert resource on baby names, predicts 2020’s top baby names by calculating which names saw the biggest increases in interest from our readers so far this year compared with last year.
Some top names of 2020 are influenced by high visibility celebrities or pop culture events while others contain a fresh spin on a stylish sound or form.
Our top baby names are a radical departure from the official national list, which suffers from a considerable time lag. We won’t know which names were really used most often for babies in 2020 until May of 2021.
The names here offer baby namers a heads up on trends and specific names destined to get more popular in 2020 and beyond.
TOP GIRL NAMES 2020
Our top girl names for 2020 feature several choices that feel familiar, yet contain some element that’s new. The Top 10 girl names, in order of popularity, are:
- Adah: All girl names starting with the letters and sound Ad have been rising quickly in recent years, including Ada and Adele, Adelaide and all spellings of Adeline. Adah, a Biblical name pronounced AH-dah, is a fresh choice with deep roots.
- Reese: Actress Reese Witherspoon had a highly visible year in 2019, between Big Little Lies and her book club. Now her name is poised to take off ala Scarlett (Johansson) and Adele. Reese is the phonetic spelling of the unisex Welsh name meaning ardor.
- Mika: Journalist Mika Brzezinski undoubtedly had some influence on the popularization of her name, pronounced mee-ka, but it’s also a new Michael feminization, taking over from the now-flagging Mikayla and cousins.
- Paisley: Paisley is one of those super trendy names that morphed quickly from fascinating and fresh to super trendy, rising in the official list to Number 52 in just a bit over a decade. But according to our data, the Scottish Paisley is only getting hotter.
- Amina: Amina is an Arabic name with Quranic significance — she was the mother of prophet Muhammad — and international appeal.
- Teagan: The Irish and Welsh Teagan is one of those names that is technically unisex but is used far more often for one gender, in this case over 90 percent girls. The name has deeper roots than you might imagine — there was a Welsh St. Tegan — and takes over for 90s favorites Megan and Reagan.
- Nova: Nova is one of those, well, nouveau names that’s enjoyed a meteoric rise. Closing in on the Top 50 on the official charts, Nova could soon join Luna as a celestial name at the top of the popularity lists.
- Aura: Aura may be the least-used name among our top girl names of 2020 — only 120 baby girls were named Aura in the US in 2018, where it still lies outside the Top 1000. But it’s a natural successor to Aria and Arya, carries a stylish spiritual feel, and is also popular with Spanish speaking parents.
- Pearl: Gently old-fashioned Pearl is a granny name turned modern superstar. Pearl was a Top 100 name from the time the Social Security Popular Names count started in 1880 through the mid-1920s, when it started a long decline. But in the past decade it’s come back in a major way.
- Billie: Teen singing sensation Billie Eilish has done for this name what Billie Holiday could not: Made it a modern star. Billie hit its high point in the US charts in 1929 and 1930, when it was in the Top 100, which according to the Hundred Year Rule makes it destined for widespread popularity again in the next decade.
Go to Nameberry to see more popular girl names, which showed a big bounce in interest in 2019 compared with the previous year. We’d look for them to gain greater visibility in 2020.
TOP BOY NAMES 2020
The top boy names of 2020 feature some ancient choices not heard in centuries as well as brand new names. Our picks for 2020’s top names for baby boys:
- Austin: This Texas city name is poised to climb again now that the memory of Austin Powers has faded. You can also see it as a feminist literary name, a tribute to author Jane Austen.
- Alva: Every American schoolchild knows this as the middle name of the great inventor Thomas Edison, whose surname has also become popular. With Alma and Alba now stylish for girls, Alva could gain visibility for boys.
- Acacius: This ancient name carries the trendy s ending and a botanical meaning, a style winner on three counts.
- Tate: Norse surname name Tate, which means cheerful, is theoretically unisex but used 95% of the time for boys.
- Diego: This name, which you’d be forgiven for not knowing was the Spanish form of James, is one of the hottest Latinx names for boys in the US.
- Easton: Technically a place-name literally meaning east town, Easton is preppier and more popular than the cowboyish Weston.
- Lucius: Lucius can’t help being a luscious name, one of the male forms of the ancient Roman clan name meaning light. While Lucy, Lucia, and Lucian are all rising on popularity lists, Lucius has yet to hit the US Top 1000.
- Cash: This is a multi-dimensional name, theoretically a short form for the stylish ancient names Cassius or Cassian, a tribute to Johnny Cash, or a straight-out ode to money.
- Ash. The short form of the popular Biblical Asher, which means happy, Ash might also be considered a tree name. It still stands outside the Top 1000.
- Luca: A pan-European favorite, Luca is receiving an enthusiastic welcome from American parents. Related to Lucas and Luke rather than the Lucius family, it’s set to break into the boys’ Top 100.
Based on Nameberry data, we predict these boys names to be among the hottest of 2020 and rise through the ranks in the decade ahead.
This piece was originally published on Nameberry.