What is the Meaning of the Most Popular Girl Names?

What You Need to Know Before Choosing Baby's Name

What’s in a name? A lot of history, at least if you choose a popular name with deep roots. Some of the most commonly-used baby names date back centuries or even millennia. If you’re having a hard time choosing between Emma and Emily, learning the origins and meanings of these names may help you finalize your choice.

What Does the Name Hailey Mean?

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Looking for a pretty name that’s popular without being overused? Hailey might be it. It’s a variation in spelling of the name Hayley, which was the name of an English town. The name originally meant “hay clearing,” but you don’t have to tell your own little Hailey that.

What Does the Name Alexis Mean?

Alexis is a lovely choice if you want your daughter to be a friend to those in need. The name, which has historically been used for both boys and girls, is derived from the Greek word for “helper” or “protector.”

What Does the Name Emily Mean?

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Emily sounds sweet, but its meaning is fierce. It’s the English feminine version of the name Emil, which comes from the Latin word for “rival.” The name first gained popularity as a nickname for Amelia, but it has long been used as a given name all its own.

What Does the Name Avery Mean?

Avery doesn’t have a specific meaning all its own. It was originally a last name that was derived from two different names, Alberich and Alfred. If you’re looking for a pretty name that doesn’t have ties to any particular meaning, Avery might be the right choice.

What Does the Name Jessica Mean?

Hoping to raise a daughter who has a love of literature? Consider Jessica. It was famously invented by Shakespeare, who gave the name to a character in the play “The Merchant of Venice.” The name was probably derived from the Hebrew name Yiskah, meaning “to behold.”

What Does the Name Ashley Mean?

It may seem strange that the feminine name Ashley was primarily given to boys until the 20th century, but that’s the case. Before it was used as a first name, Ashley was a last name that referred to a meadow or clearing in a forest of ash trees.

What Does the Name Emma Mean?

It was largely popularized by Jane Austen, who named one of her most beloved books after its main character, Emma Woodhouse. This hugely popular choice originally came from an ancient Germanic word meaning “whole.”

What Does the Name Elizabeth Mean?

Elizabeth and all its many nicknames are derived from Elisheva, a Hebrew name believed to mean “my God is an oath” or “pledged to God.” It’s been a popular choice for centuries, thanks in part to Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II.

What Does the Name Grace Mean?

If you’re looking for a feminine, classic name with an aspirational meaning, Grace is the perfect fit. It was commonly used by the Puritans, who favored “virtue” names such as Faith, Charity, Patience and Mercy.

What Does the Name Olivia Mean?

We have Shakespeare to thank for the name Olivia as well. He used it for a character in “Twelfth Night,” perhaps inspired by “oliva,” the Latin word for olive. Olivia’s popularity is fairly recent. In the United States, it wasn’t widely used until the 1990s.