What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? A lot more than you might think! Your name is probably the first thing you learned to write. Names can mold personalities — for good or bad.

  • A lot more than you might think! Your name is probably the first thing you learned to write. Names can mold personalities — for good or bad.
  • In 1898, the top 10 names for girls were Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Annie, Rose, Marie, Esther, Sarah, Frances, Ida. The top 10 names for boys were John, William, Charles, George, Joseph, Edward, James, Louis, Francis, Samuel.
  • In 1988, the top 10 girls’ names were Jessica, Jennifer, Stephanie, Melissa, Nicole, Ashley, Tiffany, Amanda, Christina, Samanatha. The top 10 boys’ names were Michael, Christopher, Jonathan, Daniel, Anthony, David, Joseph, Matthew, John, Andrew.
  • In 2006, the top 10 girls’ names were Emily, Emma, Madison, Isabella, Ava, Abigail, Olivia, Hannah, Sophia, Samantha. The top 10 boys’ names were Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Ethan, Matthew, Daniel, Christopher, Andrew, Anthony, William.
  • In 2014, the top 10 girls’ names were Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Mia, Zoe, Lily, Emily, Madelyn. The top 10 boys’ names were Jackson, Aiden, Liam, Lucas, Noah, Mason, Ethan, Caden, Jacob, Logan

Here are some common names and what they mean.

  • Jennifer: fair one (Welsh) or white wave (Celtic)
  • John: God is gracious and merciful (Hebrew)
  • Kimberly: the fortress hard by the meadow (old English)
  • Baird: the minstrel (Celtic)
  • Leilani: flower of heaven (Polynesian)
  • Gerald: he who rules by the sword (Germanic)
  • Colette: a short form of Nicolette (Greek for “the people’s victory”), and a feminine combination of Nicholas (Greek for “the people triumph”) and Colin (Celtic for “child, or strong and virile”)
  • Leroy: the king (French)