Baby Day is May 2 and we’re celebrating all the babies we love by chatting about baby names! Every parent wants to pick just the right name for their child, something original but not so unique that it can’t be pronounced by schoolteachers and abuelas. We want something cute, yet still a name that also sounds like that of a respected neuroscientist or movie star… and something that doesn’t rhyme with ‘fatty’ or ‘stupid’ or something equally awful. Plus we want to avoid the trendy. (Hence we are not naming our baby “Khaleesi” of “Games of Thrones” fame.) Here are 20 classic baby names that are coming back because they defy the baby-naming trends.
1. Emma – Emma is an old name with German origins. Since Rachel gave the name to her baby with Ross on “Friends,” it has risen in popularity greatly. It holds steady in the top five most popular names for girls.
2. Emily – Emily is slowly on the decline but remains in the top ten. It means either ‘hard working’ or ‘rival,’ depending on who you ask.
Read Related: The Meaning of Popular Classic Baby Names
3. Sophie – Sophie is a Greek name meaning wisdom and, hovering around the #50 mark on the Social Security list of most used names, we think it’s popular but not so popular that you risk there being three girls named Sophie in your daughter’s class at school.
4. Maria – ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?’ The Sound of Music serves to bring the name Maria into the top 30 names but it’s since fallen, remaining obscure enough to be original but easily recognized and rarely mispronounced by even the most distracted elementary school teacher.
5. Camilla – Camilla is an old name with Latin origins. It is perhaps on the rise thanks to the British royal family, but we’re not sure.
6. Juliana – We’re wondering if this one is climbing the charts in popularity thanks to many a mami being a fan of Giuliana Rancic, and they just don’t know how to spell her name.
7. Ethan – Ethan is a Hebrew name meaning strong, safe, and firm.
8. Matthew – Matthew is another name of Hebrew origins meaning gift of God. It pretty consistently hovers around #20 on the list and has enough variations for nicknames that we’d use it in a heartbeat.
9. Joshua – A Hebrew name that was popular perhaps thanks to Rachel’s love interest Joshua on “Friends”? Who would have thunk one television show could have so much of an impact on what we’re naming our kids, right?
10. Samuel – The Biblical names are here to stay!
11. David – David is another Hebrew name that’s falling in popularity, but we like it. Besides, how cute is the nickname ‘Davey’ for your baby, right?
12. Thomas – Thomas is a Hebrew name meaning a twin. So we’re not so sure about the meaning of this one but the possibilities for variations are plentiful.
13. Christopher – Christopher is a name of Greek origins that means Christ-bearer. It’s slowly decreasing in popularity but is an old name that’s sure to not disappear anytime soon.
14. Lauren – Lauren is a variation of Laura or Laurel.
15. Molly – Molly is a sweet name thought to actually be a variation of Mary, meaning bitter in Hebrew.
16. Stella – Stella is an old name that seems to have come back out of nowhere over the last 20 years.
17. Claire – With Latin origins, the name Claire is just lovely. It means clear or bright.
18. Elizabeth – An oldie but a goodie and how cute is ‘Lizzie’ for your little one?!
19. Sarah – Sarah is Hebrew meaning princess and its history is extensive in the Bible. It rides a wave of popularity remaining in the top 100 names most of the time.
20. Dylan – Dylan is a Welsh name that’s actually one of our favorite crossover names! What used to be thought of as a ‘boy’ name exclusively is now embraced for girls and we think it’s awesome and adorable when parents think outside the box like that.