Expecting a baby is both exciting and stressful. It is exciting in that one gets to start a family and watch a baby grow into a happy, healthy young child and then later into a successful adult. It is stressful in that expectant parents only have a few months to prepare for the arrival of their newborn. In those few months they have to not only purchase various baby items, prepare a nursery and make life-altering decisions (such as whether to leave one's job or not) but also choose the perfect baby name.
Choosing a baby name seems fun in theory. In reality it is stressful and annoying. More often than not, the expectant parents just can't seem to agree on any name at all. In addition, it often seems as if family members and friends are suggesting the most ridiculous - or boring - names on purpose.
One of the reasons why choosing a baby name is so difficult is because there are so many options out there. Parents usually don't want a name that is too popular but at the same time they are not so sure about uncommon baby names either. What they want is middle ground - a baby name that is rare but at the same time well-liked by many.
1Pick or Pass Alexander?
The name Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros. It means someone who is the protector of the people. This name was popularized by Alexander the Great who won numerous military battles in his time and who is to this day regarded as one of the best military commanders in history.
2Pick or Pass Melanie?
It is generally believed that the name Melanie comes from the Latin name Melania which in turn comes from the Greek word “melaina” (which, when translated, means “dark” or “black”). This name was popular in France during the Middle Ages and was later introduced to England by the Normans. However, it only became truly popular in the 1930’s after the release of Margaret Mitchell’s famous novel Gone with the Wind (which featured a character named Melanie).
3Pick or Pass Michael?
The name Michael is of Hebrew origin and is especially popular in France. It is also quite common in Germany (where it has been popular since the Middle Ages), Denmark and South Africa. The name Michael became popular in the U.S. sometime in the 1940’s. Currently, it is the 17th most popular baby boy name in the country but its popularity is declining.
4Pick or Pass Brooke?
Theoretically, the name Brooke can be given to both baby boys and baby girls. Nonetheless, it is generally seen as a female name. This name is of English origin and it is generally believed that it became common sometime in the 1950’s.
5Pick or Pass Thomas?
Variations of the name Thomas include Tom and Tommy. This name comes from Greek which in turn traces its origins back to the Aramaic language (which was spoken by the ancient Northwest Semitic people). The name Thomas means “twin”. In Europe, this name has been popular ever since the Middle Ages.
6Pick or Pass Emma?
The most common baby girl name in the U.S. at the moment, Emma was once used as a shortened version of Germanic names that started with “ermen”. Emma of Normandy popularized this name in England. It later fell out of popularity but was revived sometime in the 19th century and has not fallen out of fashion since.
7Pick or Pass William?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name William? The name comes from Old German and means someone who is a “strong-willed warrior”. This name became popular in the English language in the 11th century, after the Norman Conquest of England.
8Pick or Pass Lucy?
Meaning “light” the name Lucy is derived from Latin, and more specifically, from the Latin name Lucia (which is the feminine version of Lucius). It has been in use ever since the Middle Ages. It is popular in countries all over the world including Slovakia, Denmark, Romania and Spain. This name is currently the 53rd most popular baby girl name in the U.S.
9Pick or Pass Jackson?
For a long time the name Jackson was actually a surname. As a surname it was extremely popular in England and Scotland (for example, back in the 80’s it was the 24th most common surname in the U.K). It means “son of Jack”. It is currently the 11th most popular baby boy name in the U.S.
10Pick or Pass Lauren?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name Lauren? This name is a variation of the name Laurence and the name Laura. It is common in the U.S. (where it was especially popular in the late 1980’s), the U.K. and Australia. It was popularized by the actress Lauren Bacall.
11Pick or Pass David?
The 32nd most popular baby boy name in the U.S., David is of Hebrew origin and means someone who is beloved. The name David has been around for centuries (for example, the patron saint of Wales who was alive in the 6th century was named David). So, pick or pass David?
12Pick or Pass Helen?
The name Helen originated in Greece. However, its etymology is unknown. For example, some believe that the name was derived from the Greek word “helene” meaning torch whereas others think that it might have been derived from the Greek word “selene” meaning moon.
13Pick or Pass Dylan?
The name Dylan originated in Wales. Its meaning is rather lovely and connected to the sea – it means someone who was “born from the ocean” or, alternatively, someone who is the “son of the sea”. In Wales this name was made popular by the poet Dylan Thomas whereas in the U.S. it was made popular by the singer Bob Dylan.
14Pick or Pass Sarah?
The name Sarah comes from Hebrew. It was the name of Abraham’s wife in the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. This name became popular in England after the Protestant Reformation. This name is especially popular in the U.S. (It was particularly popular between the early 80’s and the early 2000’s), the U.K. and Ireland.
15Pick or Pass Robert?
If you think that your baby is destined for fame you could name him Robert. The name Robert means “bright fame”. It is generally believed that the name Robert originated in Germanic countries. This name is to this day popular in countries such as England, Germany and Denmark as well as France and Ireland.
16Pick or Pass Lane?
The name Lane apparently comes from a surname that meant a lane or a road. It was used to refer to a person living near a road. As a name it is suitable for both boys and girls. However, it is far more popular among boys. So, who'd pick and who'd pass the name Lane?
17Pick or Pass Gabriel?
The name Gabriel is of Hebrew origin. Apparently its meaning is “God is my strength”. This name was popularized by a Biblical figure, and to be more specific, by the archangel Gabriel who revealed to Mary that she was about to bear the son of God.
18Pick or Pass Taylor?
Another name that is suitable both for boys and girls is Taylor. It comes from an English surname that used to be given to those who worked as tailors. This name is popular in countries such as the U.K., Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
19Pick or Pass Julian?
This name comes from Latin and means someone who is youthful. It is popular in the U.S. (where it is currently the 28th most popular baby boy name), the U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. So, who’d pick and who’d pass Julian?
20Pick or Pass Jennifer?
Derived from the Cornish version of the name Guinevere, the name Jennifer has been around ever since the 18th century. However, it did not become popular until the 20th century. In the U.S., the name Jennifer was the most popular name given to newborn baby girls between the years 1970 and 1984. It is nowhere near as popular nowadays.
21Pick or Pass Andrew?
The name Andrew originated in Ancient Greece and means someone who is strong, manly and courageous. It is a very popular name although not as popular as it was back in the 90’s (when it was one of the most common baby boy names in English-speaking countries).
22Pick or Pass Kate?
The name Kate is a shortened version of a number of other names, such as Katherine (which is of Greek origin) and Kathleen (which is of Irish origin). In England, this name was especially popular in the Middle Ages. In the U.S., it was popular in the late 19th century.
23Pick or Pass Joshua?
Like so many other names, the name Joshua also comes from Hebrew. As such, before the 17th century it would have been rare to give a baby boy this name if he was not Jewish. Joshua means “God is salvation” Who’d pick and who’d pass this name?
24Pick or Pass Rose?
The name Rose is said to be a Norman version of a Germanic name. However, it has always been linked to the flower rose. This name was especially popular in the 19th and the early 20th century but has since declined in popularity.
25Pick or Pass Matthew?
The name Matthew is of Hebrew origin. It means someone who is a gift from God. One of the most famous bearers of this name is without doubt Matthew the Apostle who penned the Gospel of Matthew. In Northwest Europe this name became popular sometime during the Middle Ages and is still very popular to this day.
26Pick or Pass Juliet?
The name Juliet comes from Latin, and more specifically, from Julius, a Latin clan name. Shakespeare was the first to spell this name as Juliet (as opposed to Juliette or Giulietta for example) in his famous play Romeo and Juliet.
27Pick or Pass Ryan?
The name Ryan is of Irish origin. No one knows as to what it means exactly. Some possible meanings include someone who is related to the King or even “little King”. This name is actually derived from the surname Ryan.
28Pick or Pass Hayley?
The name Hailey comes from the English surname Haley which according to some, in turn comes from the village of Hailey in Oxfordshire. This name was made popular by the actress Hayley Mills. As a name it became quite common in the 90’s but then declined in popularity. Currently it’s the 62nd most popular baby girl name in the U.S.
29Pick or Pass Charles?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name Charles? The name Charles comes from a French name which in turn comes from a German name (Karl). It supposedly means someone who is free and strong. In the U.S. this name was especially popular in the late 19th century but has since drastically fallen in popularity.
30Pick or Pass Agatha?
The name Agatha comes from the Greek word Agathos which apparently means “good”. A famous bearer of this name is St. Agatha of Sicily, a Christian martyr who was alive during 3rd century AD. As far as names go it is quite rare in the U.S. (and was never particularly popular to begin with, at least not since the 19th century).
31Pick or Pass Henry?
As many as eight English kings have been named Henry. It means someone who rules the home. In the Middle Ages Henry was deemed to be a royal name in countries such as England, Germany and France. It is (and has been) one of the most popular baby boy names in English speaking countries.
32Pick or Pass Tessa?
At the moment, the name Tessa is the 311th most popular baby girl name in the U.S. Some say that it is a shortened version of Theresa, which comes from a Greek word. A number of saints have been named Theresa, the most famous one being Mother Teresa.
33Pick or Pass Caleb?
The name Caleb is of Hebrew origin. It has a few meanings. For example, some say that it means “dog” (not in a derogatory sense - Biblical characters often had animal names) whereas others say that it means someone who is loyal and brave.
34Pick or Pass Alice?
In the U.S. the name Alice was most popular in the early 20th century. For example, in 1906 as many as 14,196 babies in every million were named Alice. Today this name, which is of Germanic and French origin, is still popular – it is currently the 61st most popular name in the U.S.
35Pick or Pass Leonard?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name Leonard? This name comes from Old High German and means someone who is very brave or “lion-hearted”. In the Middle Ages, one of the most respected and honored saints was named Leonard. He was the patron saint of prisoners and performed many miracles.
36Pick or Pass Alex?
Those looking for names that are suitable for both boys and girls should go with the name Alex. The name Alex is of Greek origin. Indeed, it is believed that it is a shortened version of the name Alexandros (and modern names Alexander or Alexandra).
37Pick or Pass Addison?
The name Addison comes from Old English and apparently means “son of Adam”. It is suitable for both boys and girls although it is much more popular among girls. Indeed, currently the name Addison is the 38th most popular baby girl name in the U.S. whereas it is only the 1,271st most popular baby boy name in the U.S.
38Pick or Pass Adrian?
The name Adrian is of Latin origin. It is believed that this name was inspired by the river Adria which stopped flowing in the 1st century B.C. As many as six popes were named Adrian. In English speaking countries this name has been around ever since the Middle Ages although it only became popular in more recent times.
39Pick or Pass Kimberly?
Both a masculine and a feminine name, Kimberly is nowadays most commonly given to baby girls. This name is derived from a place name (and to be more specific, from a city in South Africa known as Kimberley). As a name, Kimberly became popular sometime in the mid-20th century.
40Pick or Pass Nicholas?
The name Nicholas is made up of two Greek words – the word “nikē” which means victory and the word “laos” which means people. This name was popularized by the bishop Nicholas of Bari, better known as Saint Nicholas (the figure that inspired Santa Claus).
41Pick or Pass Audrey?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name Audrey? This name comes from Old English. It apparently means someone who is of “noble strength”. Funnily enough, back in the 17th century this name became associated with the word “tawdry” (after the St. Audrey fair where one could buy inexpensive lace). Of course, this association has long been forgotten. Indeed, today Audrey is the 50th most popular baby name in the U.S.
42Pick or Pass Dominic?
What are your thoughts on the name Dominic? This name (or to be more specific, a variation of this name – Dominicus) comes from Latin. It means someone who belongs to God or someone who is lordly. A well known Dominic is Saint Dominic who is known as the founder of the Dominican Order of monks.
43Pick or Pass Scarlett?
The name Scarlett is of English origin. It is actually derived from a surname which referred to someone who either made or sold clothes that were made from a material known as scarlet. This name was made popular by Scarlett O’Hara, the fictional heroine of the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind which was written by Margaret Mitchell.
44Pick or Pass Ian?
In the U.S. the name Ian was most popular in the early 2000’s whereas in the U.K. it was most popular sometime in the 1960’s. This name originated from Scottish Gaelic which in turn originated from Hebrew (from the name Yohanan). Today this name is especially popular in Scotland.
45Pick or Pass Lily?
The name Lily obviously comes from the name of the flower (known as Lilium in Latin) and as such means someone who is pure and passionate. This name became especially popular in English-speaking countries sometime in the 20th century. At the moment it is the 22nd most popular baby girl name in the U.S.
46Pick or Pass Evan?
The name Evan is of Welsh origin. It is actually derived from the Welsh name “Iefan” which is basically just a Welsh form of the very popular English name John. However, some believe that Evan could also be a version of the Greek name Evangelos.
47Pick or Pass Hannah?
It is said that the name Hannah comes from the name Channah, which in Hebrew means “grace of God”. It was only after the Protestant Reformation that the name Hannah became truly popular in English-speaking countries. So, who’d pick and who’d pass the name Hannah?
48Pick or Pass Draco?
Those looking for a unique baby boy name should opt for the name Draco. Indeed, as far as names go, this one is pretty rare. It apparently comes from the Greek name Drakon which as most have probably guessed, means dragon.
49Pick or Pass Natalie?
Who’d pick and who’d pass the name Natalie? This name was derived from the Late Latin name Natalia which was in turn derived from Natale Domini, meaning Christmas Day. Natalie is the name of a saint that is worshipped by the Orthodox Church. In the U.S. this name was made popular by the actress Natalie Wood.
50Pick or Pass Miles?
The name Miles comes from Latin. In Classical Latin the word referred to a soldier whereas in Medieval Latin it referred to a medieval knight. According to statistics, this name is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. each year.