US naming traditions & popular names

Looking for baby naming inspiration? Find out what monikers are the most popular across the pond in America…

As it was the colonies established by the English that formed the basis for the new nation, the major influence in American names follows English naming trends, with a lot of names having a Norman or Old English origin. First names were also derived from the Bible and Puritan virtues.

Mayflower names

The names of some of the passengers on board the Mayflower, which set sail in 1620, gives an idea of the prominent names of that time.

Mayflower passenger names
Anne EstherMiles
EdwardHenry Roger
ElizabethJohnSarah
EnochJosiahWilliam

Revolution heroes

The American Revolution in the eighteenth century inspired parents to name their children after the heroes of the war.

American Revolution heroes
Anthony FrancisNathaniel
CharlesHenryPatrick
DanielIsraelPaul

American royalty

The American equivalent of the British Royal family has been the Presidents of the country and their wives, who have inspired baby names.

Boys named after American presidents
Franklin JamesThomas
GeorgeJohnWilliam
HarryTheodoreZachary
Girls named after American First Ladies
Abigail HannahMargaret
CarolineHillaryMary
ElizabethJacquelineNancy
EllenJaneRachel
GraceLucySarah

Hollywood trends

Another great inspiration for baby names comes from the names of Hollywood royalty, with trends being set by the leading stars of the day.

Boy names inspired by Hollywood stars
Arnold GregoryKiefer
CaryHarrisonMel
ClarkHughRobin
DustinJackRyan
GaryKevinSpencer
Girl names inspired by Hollywood stars
Ava FarrahHayley
DarylGeenaHalle
DemiGloriaIngrid
DorisGretaJamie
DrewGwynethUma

The most popular names in the United States in 2005

RankBoyGirl
1JacobEmily
2MichaelEmma
3JoshuaMadison
4MatthewAbigail
5EthanOlivia
6AndrewIsabella
7DanielHannah
8AnthonySamantha
9ChristopherAva
10JosephAshley
11WilliamSophia
12AlexanderElizabeth
13RyanAlexis
14DavidGrace
15NicholasSarah
16TylerAlyssa
17JamesMia
18JohnNatalie
19JonathanChloe
20NathanBrianna

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