It was a year of alternative spellings.
Every New Year, Mayo Clinic releases a list of the most popular baby names from its birth center. And boy, are there a lot of forward slashes on this list. We rounded up them up, attempted to provide some context with the help of BabyCenter-dot-com, and ran them here, so our expectant parents in 2019 have ample inspiration heading into their own maternity stays.
Girls’ Names: Nora/Norah tied with multiple variations on Adeline for the most popular girls’ baby name in 2018. Let’s just list the options out: Adalyn/Adalyne/Adalynn/Addalynn/Addelyn/Adeline/Adelynn/Adelynne. Nora, which has Latin origins, could be a shortened form of older names meaning “honor” or “light.” Adeline, which is French, is another form of the name Adele – it means “noble.”
In second place, Olivia/Olyvia tied with Harper and Evelyn/Evelynn, with 13 entries each.
Olivia is the feminine form of “Oliver,” and is Greek. It means “olive tree.” Harper is originally a last name (literally “someone who plays a harp”), but it’s growing in popularity in 2019. And Evelyn, which is Irish, may be a combination of Eve and Lynn.
Charlotte, Emma, and Amelia all tied for third place, each with 12.
Boys’ Names: Owen and Liam both tied for first place in 2018, with 16 entries apiece. Owen is a traditional Welsh name meaning “well-born” or “noble.” Liam, which is Irish, is a shortened version of “Uilliam” or William. It means “protector” or “warrior.”
Benjamin was the second most-popular name for boys, with 15, and Henry was third, with 13. Benjamin, with its Hebrew and Biblical associations, means “son of the South” or possibly “son of my old age.” Henry has German origins, and is associated with rulership.
Variations on Jackson (or Jaxon/Jaxyn) merited 12 entries. Jackson, one of the most popular baby names in the U.S., was originally a last name. It means “son of Jack.” Levi, Hudson, and Jack each had 11. Levi is a Hebrew name meaning “joined in harmony,” and Hudson is an English monicker meaning “son of Hudde.” Jack is English. It’s a shorter version of John and James, which has become a name in its own right.