For most people, picking out a name for their baby is really difficult! It’s a huge commitment. You want the name to be special, unique, and in some cases, meaningful. As a result, many parents turn to the internet for ideas and inspiration. While the names “Olivia,” “Emma,” and “Liam” still rank as the most popular names in America, every year new trends emerge.
If you’re expecting a child in 2020, it’s time to do some research! Whether it’s a boy or a girl, there are several trending names that might peak your interest. While we won’t know what the most popular names of 2020 are until 2021, here are some predictions by Nameberry based on searches between 2018 and 2019.
1. Acacius (a-KAY-us)
Acacius is a very unique name, but not totally unheard of. Acacius is the name of three early saints. It’s a Latin name that comes from the Ancient Greek name, Akakios. The meaning behind it translates to “thorny; or innocent, not evil.” In addition to its Akakios roots, this name can be tied back to Acacia in spelling and meaning. Acacia means thorn bush and Akakios means “not evil.”
According to Nameberry, this name is peaking in interest thanks to the “s” or “us” ending which is a growing trend at the moment. Another popular movement is to take ancient names like Akakios, and put a modern twist on them, turning it into Acacius. You’ll see this trend continue on throughout this list.
2. Adah (AD-uh)
You’ll quickly notice that names beginning with the letter “A” are having a “moment.” According to Nameberry, girl names with the sound and letters “Ad” have been rising quickly in the last several years. Other popular names right now are Adele, Adelaide, and Adeline.
Adah is a not only beautiful, but it’s super unique with a rich history. The name is of Hebrew origin which translates to “ornament,” but it’s also the name of Jabal and Jubal’s mother, as well as the wife of Esau. Ada was also the name of the first female in Genesis after Eve. As a popular biblical name, it was used for many women in the Old Testament.
3. Alva (uhl-VAA)
This name carries a lot of weight because it was the middle name of the famous inventor, Thomas Edison. While this name lands on the Top 10 for upcoming boys names in 2020, it’s actually a popular choice for girls too. Alva is of Hebrew and Spanish origin, meaning “his highness.”
Now that other similar girl names like Ava and Avery are on the rise for girls, Alva is regaining strength in the boys department. It’s the perfect name for parents who are looking for something soft and subtle, but one that also has some historical significance.
4. Amina (ah-mee-NUH)
Yet another popular girls name beginning with the letter ‘A,’ this one is a traditional Arabic name that means “trustworthy” and “faithful.” This name also comes with some serious Quranic significance as it is the name of the mother of prophet Muhammad. This name is commonly used by Muslims all over the world.
5. Archie (AHR-chee)
In the spring of 2019, the whole world waited with bated breath for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s (Harry and Meghan) baby. Not long after Meghan gave birth, it was revealed the couple had welcomed a baby boy named Archie. While it was a surprising choice to some, the name has German origin and translates to “truly brave” making it a perfect choice. Obviously, the rising interest in this name is a result of the royal couple, but even before that this name was on the upswing thanks to the CW show Riverdale who’s lead character is named Archie.
While Archie still isn’t in Nameberry’s Top 10 for 2020, many expect it will be by 2020. It was in the Top 1000 in the US back in the late 80s and has been a Top 100 name in Britain since in beginning of the century.
6. Ash (ASH)
Another English name with a botanical, nature appeal is Ash. The reason for this is because it’s meaning translates to “ash tree.” This name has a lot of southern charm and is commonly used for boys in southern states. It’s short and sweet, but also a strong, solid name for a baby boy.
Even though this name is trending right now, unlike some of the other names of this list, we know Ash will always be a classic name, so it’s a safe bet for any parents who don’t want to go too trendy. If you like this name, but don’t like how short it is, you can lengthen it to Asher or Ashton.
7. Aura (awr-UH)
While Aura hasn’t hit the same level of popularity as the other names on this list (Nameberry admits it was only used 120 times in the US in 2018) part of the prediction for its success comes from previously popular names like Aria and Arya. It’s also a popular choice among Spanish speaking parents and one of the more commonly names used in Central America.
This new age name doesn’t have much history of being popular, but it’s not totally unheard of. It was number 511 on the Social Security List in 1882 and can be traced back to Greek mythology where the name was used for the Titan of the breeze. Aura represents the fresh, cool air of the early morning. Unfortunately her story ended in tragic fate as she was transformed into a fountain by Zeus. This name was also used in the comic strip Flash Gordon for the character Princess Aura.
8. Austin (os-TIN)
People from Texas love it so much they’re naming their babies after the city capital! Just kidding. City names have long been a hot trend for babies and Austin is one of the most commonly used. While the name Austin has always been a favorite (shortened from Augustine), it was on the decline in the years following the release of the movie franchise, Austin Powers (for obvious reasons). Now that enough time has passed, this name is making a comeback.
Austin means “great, magnificent,” so we see why parents are drawn to it. It’s got a nice southwestern feel which is great for anyone with southern roots, but also has a rich history. It has been an Anglo-Saxon surname since the medieval times. This name was one of the Top 10 boy names in the 1990s and after a short trip downhill it’s back on top as one of the Top 10 names for 2020!
9. Billie (bil-LEE)
This name is likely on the rise due to teen sensation, Billie Eilish. Another popular singer with this name was Billie Holiday, who rose to mainstream fame in the 1930s and 40s. However, at the time, the jazz singer wasn’t able to propel this unisex name onto the Top 10 like today’s pop singer has.
While we often associate the name “Billie” or “Billy” as a male name, it’s actually more commonly used for females and part of the growing trend of boyish or tomboy names being used for girls. Billie originated as a male name in 1880, but it only took a decade for this name to become predominantly female. By 1929 and 1930 this name peaked on the US charts landing on the Top 100. If the “Hundred Year Rule” is correct, this name is bound for a comeback in the next decade.
10. Camila (ka-MEE-la)
Pronounced “ka-MEE-la,” Camila is a popular Spanish name that comes from a Latin origin meaning “young ceremonial attendant.” According to Nameberry, Camila is the fasting rising version of the original ancient Roman name. In the Roman myth, Camilla “was a swift-footed huntress so fast she could run over a field without bending a blade of grass.” writes the source.
Aside from Roman mythology, the recent rise in popularity may also be due to the rise of pop star Camila Cabello or Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, a member of the British royal family.
11. Cash (kAsh)
Despite it being a form of currency, this name is obviously a nod to the legendary Johnny Cash. While it’s often viewed as a southern name, Cash is a multi-dimensional name that is widely used all over the country. Cash isn’t it’s original form. This name has been modernized into Cash from the ancient names Cassius or Cassian. The meaning behind this name is “hollow.”
If you’re thinking of using this name, you’d be following in the footsteps of several other celebrities like Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.
12. Darcy (dAHr-see)
Darcy is the first unisex name to be included on our list! Darcy is one of Nameberry’s Top 10 unisex names to watch in 2020. While the name is gender neutral, it’s rarely used on boys. We more commonly see it as a female name. The reason for this may be because it seems more feminine than masculine, but it’s important to remember the origin of this name. The male version of this name is of French, Irish origin meaning “from Arcy.” When used for girls, the meaning changes to “dark one, or from Arcy, or from the fortress.”
If you’re a big literature fan, you might be drawn to this name thanks to literary genius, Jane Austen. Prefer movies over books? No problem! Think back to Bridget Jones Diary. Our favorite male character and Bridget’s main love interest was a handsome man named Darcy.
13. Diego (dee-AI-goh)
This may come as a surprise to you (or anyone for that matter), but Diego is actually the Spanish form of James! The Spanish meaning behind this name is “supplanter.” Thanks to its versatility, right now, this Latino name is one of the Top 10 boys names in the US for 2020, but it’s long been one of the most popular Spanish baby names.
Nameberry suggests Diego could be a derivative of Santiago. The name Diego may come from the Sevillian saint by the same name. Another cultural namesake for Diego is Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
14. Easton (EES-ten)
Yet another southern name that made it onto this list! The rising interest in these traditional southern names may be due to the recent uptick in country music fans as the genre moved away from its old fashioned roots and adopted a much more modern sound.
Easton is a stylish, modern take on the surname, Weston. While Nameberry has this name on its Top 10 for boy names in 2020, it’s currently sitting on the Top 100 names in the US. Continuing on with popular trends, Easton is also technically a “place name.” The English origin meaning of this name is “east-facing place.” It may be rising in popularity thanks to the celebrity trend of direction baby names like North and West.
15. Ellis (ELL-iss)
Ellis is one of the top unisex names to watch for 2020! This name is of English, Welsh origin meaning “benevolent.” Names beginning with “El” are extremely popular right now, but Ellis is definitely one of the more unique versions. It’s sometimes spelled Elis and is also a common English surname derived from Elijah, as well as the Greek name, Elias.
Even though it’s unisex, Ellis might seem more masculine than feminine, but it’s long been used as an ambisexual alternative to Ella. Ellis was a surname used in the Wallace/Morris period. Since then, it’s slowly made its way to the Top 1000 names in the US.
16. Emerson (Em-uhr-suhn)
I’m not at all surprised to see this name on here! I’ve been watching this name grow in popularity in recent years, not only celebrities, but even in my own circle of friends! This name is super hot right now because it’s considered a very trendy unisex name. In addition to being gender neutral, parents have the ability to play with the spelling. I’ve seen it spelled as Emerson and as Emeryson to make it more feminine.
This name is of German origin meaning “son of Emery.” Similar to names beginning with the letter “A,” “E” names are big right now too thanks to popular picks like Emma and Emily. It was thought of as strictly a boys name for such a long time until celebrities like Teri Hatcher and Shonda Rhimes began breaking the mold and using it as a female name. Today it’s become one of the most popular unisex names starting with the letter “E.”
17. Finn (FINN)
Finn is a name of Irish origin meaning “fair or white.” A name with good energy and charm, Finn was popularized thanks to the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn McCool (also known as Finn Mac Cummhaill). This hero was an intrepid warrior with supernatural powers, as well as great wisdom and generosity.
While I’d never thought of this name as a unisex name, a friend of mine just named their daughter Finnleigh which I thought was super adorable and unique! Nameberry also points out that this name was popularized after it was used for the female protagonist in How to Make an American Quilt. Other popular spellings of this name are Finlay, Finley, Finian and Finnian, Finnegan, as well as the German spelling, Fynn.
18. Harlow (HAR-low)
Harlow can sometimes be used for a boy, but is predominantly a female name. This name is of English origin meaning “army.” Harlow is a beautifully unique name that only just started becoming popular in the past decade thanks to celebrities like Nicole Richie and Joel Madden who used it for their daughter. But it doesn’t start there. Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter) was the name of one of the biggest movie stars in the world, a glamorous American actress who rose to fame in the 1930s.
In 2009 the name Harlow landed on the Top 1000 which was exactly one year after Nicole and Joel Madden named their baby girl Harlow. Proof that pop culture can influence baby names! This name follows suit in terms of sound and spelling with other popular names right now such as Arlo and Marlow(e).
19. Kieran (kiR-uhn)
While Nameberry does note that Kieran can be used for a girl, it’s primarily used as a boy name. However, as we all know, people are getting much more trendy and fluent with their baby names, so many boy names are being used as a modern twist on old fashioned names. For example Kieran might be a modern take on an older name like Karen or Kiera (which can also be spelled Kyra or Keira).
Kieran is listed on Nameberry as a boy name to watch for 2020. It’s of Irish origin meaning “little dark one.” This name has long been popular in Ireland and England as it was the name of Ireland’s first-born saint and 25 other saints. In Ireland it’s often spelled Ciaran, but as it gains more traction in US, Americans are spelling it Kieran because it’s easier to understand and pronounce.
20. Kit (KIT)
You don’t hear this name too often in America, but it’s actually an old-time British-accented unisex name that is being revived thanks to the widely popular HBO show, Game of Thrones starring male actor Kit Harington. The name is of English origin, but it’s Greek and Latin meaning is “bearer of Christ.”
Kit is a short name so it’s sometimes used as a short-form of Christopher (for boys) and Katherine (for girls). We suspect this name is only going to grow in popularity because it’s so fresh and modern. Itas this awesome nickname style appeal to it.
21. Luca (LOO-kuh)
Luca is a European name that has traveled across the pond and now become popular among Americans. I mean, we can’t say we’re all that surprised as this name is pretty darn cute! A part of the Lucius family, Luca is similar to other popular boy names, such as Lucas and Luke. The Italian origin meaning behind this name is “mean from Lucania.”
People were once hesitant to use this male name as many thought it was too feminine, but now that unisex names are becoming more popular, Luca has enjoyed the journey back into the Top 2000 boys names in the US. It’s also become a top choice throughout Europe, as well.
22. Lucius (LOO-shuhs)
While this name may seem similar to Luca, it’s got it’s own spot in the Top 10 on Nameberry’s up and coming 2020 boy names. Lucius is a male form of the ancient Roman clan meaning “light.” Despite its long past as an old Roman clan name with religious history and literary resonance, Lucius has stood the test of time. It was the name of three different popes and three people in the Bible, it appears in several Shakespeare plays, and was one of a limited number of forenames used in ancient Rome. This name can also be found in fictional works like Harry Potter (Lucius Malfoy), Le Morte d’Arthur, Batman, Talladega Nights, The Incredibles, and many more.
If you love this name but are having a girl, other similar names are Luca, Lucia, as well as Lucian. All of these names are on the rise, and even though Lucius has yet to hit the Top 1000 in the US, Nameberry lists it was one of the male names to watch in 2020, and we agree!
23. Marlowe (mar-LOW)
Marlowe is another name that made it onto Nameberry’s Top 10 unisex names for 2020. This name is of English origin which means “driftwood.” This name can be a bit confusing because there are so many different spellings to it — sometimes it’s spelt Marlow and Marlo. Neither of these surnames are gender specific which is why they are interchangable. However, Nameberry does point out that this name is only used on males about 5-percent of the time. Interest in this name for girls could come from similar sounding names like Harlow and Arlo, which are also on the rise in the US.
Celebrities like Jason Schwartzman and Sienna Miller both used this name for their baby girls and both chose the “Marlowe” spelling. Pop culture aside, this name also dates back to the sixteenth century as it was the surname of the popular poet and playwright, Christopher and later exemplified by Raymond Chandler private eye Philip.
24. Mika (MEE-ka)
It’s possible this unique name was inspired by journalist Mika Brzezinski, but it could also be a feminine twist on Michael. Either way, this name comes from a Japanese origin, but also has a meaning in Hungarian and Russian, all of which translate to “beautiful fragrance.”
In Japanese, Mika is a name commonly used for females which easily translates to English. Mika can also be traced back as a shortened version of the male name Mikael, a Scandinavian and Finnish version of Michael. Both versions are spelled and pronounced the same.
25. Nova (NO-vaa)
Yet another name originating from Latin, the meaning behind Nova is “new.” Not only does this name mean new and fresh, it sounds it too! It also pulses with energy thanks to its astronomical reference which refers to a star that suddenly increases in brightness before it fades. Deriving inspiration from astronomy is another new trend that is also responsible for popularizing the name Luna.
Nameberry points out that while using this term as a name is a relatively new idea, it did experience some popularity during the turn of the century and into the early 1930s. After quieting down for quite some time, it’s now making a comeback. Potential inspirations for this name are Nova Pilbeam, who starred in Hitchcock’s early British films, as well as the Canadian province, Nova Scotia.
26. Paisley (pAI-z-lee)
Paisley has always been a staple name, but in recent years it’s gone from being fresh and new, to super trendy. Derived from a Scottish origin, Paisley means “church, cemetery.” It’s the name of a Scottish town, as well as a patterned Indian fabric, and of course, the uber famous country singer, Brad Paisley.
Don’t expect this name to go anywhere anytime soon, because according to data on Nameberry, interest in this name is only increasing. It ranked among the Top 1000 names in 2006, but it was only in 2015 that the name cracked the Top 50, and today it’s one of the most popular girl names beginning with the letter ‘P.’
27. Pearl (PER-ul)
Pearl is often thought of as an old-fashioned name, but classics like this never disappear for long. Celebrities like Jack Osbourne, Busy Philipps, Jake Owen, and Maya Rudolph have all used this name for their children. And we don’t blame them! This female name has a Latin origin meaning “pearl.” Other spelling variations are Perle and Perla.
The name Pearl has ranked in the Top 100 ever since the Social Security Popular Names began collecting data back in 1880 and it remained steady until about the mid-1920s. It also ranked as one of the Top 25 names until the late nineteenth century. After that, it descended into a long decline. In the last decade this name has made a major comeback. It cracked the Top 1000 in 2010 and is now on Nameberry’s Top 10 girls names for 2020.
28. Piper (PIPE-err)
Piper isn’t a name we come across very often, but it’s making a comeback. This name is of English, Romanian origin meaning “one who plays the pipes or flute.” While it can be used for both genders, it’s rarely ever used for boys. Interest in this musical name peaked in 1999 after the debut of Charmed, a popular TV series featuring a character named Piper. Ever since then, this name has been steadily rising. Since then, it’s also gained even more traction thanks to the Netflix show, Orange is the New Black which also features a female character by the name Piper.
Several different celebrities have chosen this name for their daughter including Gillian Anderson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and today, it’s one of the most popular girl names starting with the letter ‘P.’
29. Phoenix (FEE-nicks)
Phoenix is unisex name that has a Greek origin meaning “dark red.” This name is no doubt a trendy one. It basically checks all the boxes. It’s a name-place, bird name, plus the spelling is just so juicy! Names with cool spelling such as this one with “x” at the end are always popular picks for parents looking to step outside the norm. This name is tied to the mythic bird, also called Phoenix, which is said to rise from the ashes as a symbol of rebirth and immortality.
30. Quinn (KWIN)
According to Nameberry, Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn meaning “descendent of Conn, chief leader, intelligence.” Conn could have two different meanings. One is the old Irish cond which means “intellect” and the other is cenn, meaning “chief.” One of the most notable Quinn clans was from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. This influence for this name in the US may be due to shows like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, as well as female characters on shows like Daria, Zoey 101, and Glee.
Nameberry lists it as one of the Top 10 unisex names for 2020 making it one of the first unisex Irish surname. While Quinn may have originally been thought of as a predominantly male name, the source states that it’s now more commonly used for females. However it still has male roots thanks to movies like “The Mighty Quinn” and the Bob Dylan song.
31. Reese (REE-suh)
The first thing that comes to mind with this name is either that delicious peanut based chocolate bar or the beautiful Oscar-winning actress, Reese Witherspoon. Both are amazing! Nameberry assumes this name is now on the rise because Reese Witherspoon had such a big year in 2018 and 2019 with the success of her HBO show, Big Little Lies. Despite the newfound popularity in her name, her real name is actually Laura Jeanne, but she chose the stage name “Reese” because it was her mother’s maiden name.
The origin of this name is Welsh and can be translated to “ardor.” Reese was formerly popular as a boy’s name, but it’s now making the transition over to females as an up and coming girl’s name in 2020. It was also one of the Top 10 unisex names viewed on Nameberry.
32. Remi/Remy (re-ME)
This name can be spelt with either a “y” or an “i.” Both versions are pronounced the same and can be used for either a girl or a boy. The name Remi/Remy is of French origin and means “oarsman.” Although the name Remy has been around for a long time, it’s still considered a unique name, especially since parents can play with the spelling. This name has the rare ability to be both old fashioned thanks to its ancient roots, but also modern.
Remi spelt with an “i” is a more feminine version of the original male “Remy” name. There are definitely more Remy boys than there are Remy girls. Despite this, the version ending with an “i” has been steadily growing in popularity in the US since it entered the Top 1000 in 2013. Parents who love this name for a girl, tend to choose the version ending with “i” rather than the “y.”
33. Rowan (ROH-on)
Where are all my cute little redheaded babies at?! Rowan, a popular unisex name, is of Scottish and Irish origin meaning “little redhead.”At first glance it might not seem like it, but Rowan is actually a nature name. It’s the name of a tree found in Scotland that grows red berries. According to legend, this tree wards off witches. Nameberry also notes that some scholars believe the name Rowan was used for girls and boys back in the Middle Ages, however the name has not been found in any literature from this time period. In fact, some believe it was a girls name derived from Rowena and Rhonwen, while others thinks it was used for both genders.
The name female version of this name was basically nonexistent in the US until Brooke Shields used it for her daughter in 2003. That year it landed on the Top 1000 and is now a popular choice for both sexes. Another celebrity who used this name was Sharon Stone, however she chose the spelling Roan which also relates to reddish hair. You can also spell this name as Rowen.
34. Tate (Teyt)
Technically this is a unisex name, but 95-percent of the time Tate is used for boys. As of now, it’s sitting as one of the Top 10 boy names for 2020. The origin of Tate is English from Norse, meaning “cheerful.” So if you’ve got a happy, smiley baby on your hands, this may be the name for you! Even though this name is short and sweet, it’s also a strong single-syllable name with a positive meaning, so don’t be surprised if you start hearing it more in 2020.
Celebrities like former Spice Girl Emma Bunton named her second child Tate. Not only that, but Tate also has a cultural vibe to it in London thanks to the Tate and Tate Modern Museums. You could also tie this name back to philanthropist Henry Tate or actor Tate Donovan.
35. Teagan (TEE-gan)
Even though Teagan (also sometimes spelled Teaghan) is currently sitting on the Top 10 girls names, it’s technically a unisex name. However, it’s almost predominantly used for females. According to Nameberry, 90-percent of the time this name is used for girls.
An Irish name, the origin meaning behind Teagan is “little poet or fair.” The name may be a more modern take on formerly popular names Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan, both of which are showing signs of slowing down. People began using the name Tegan in the late twentieth century following St. Tegan, a Welsh saint. The more female spelling of Teagan comes from Irish roots but is sometimes also used for boys.