The Most Popular Baby Girl Names Of 2018 So Far

What baby girl names do you associate with different eras throughout human history? Whether it's the Adeline, Clara, and Clementine of the early 1900s, the Mary and Jane of the 1950s, the Heather and Jennifer of the 1970s, or the Jessica and Ashley of the 1990s, popular names define generations just as much as unique ones do. 

In the present day and age, however, popular names are unique names, and they're more beautiful — and more versatile — than ever. Though the elegant retro names of days gone by are making a comeback, unique musical names are also all the rage, and a mixture of symbolism, classic beauty, and quirkiness appears to be defining the most sought-after monikers of the times we live in.

So whether you're planning on naming your little one after a mythological goddess or are just curious to see what names parents are gaga for nowadays, read on.


With its meaning of "universal," or "whole," the lovely, timeless old-fashioned baby girl name Emma is presently the number one name in the country, according to Baby Center's stats and data — and has been so since 2017. 

With parallels in the form of the popular Emily and the equally alluring (and old-fashioned) Emmeline, Emma is widely associated with many celebrities, like Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Howards End star Emma Thompson. The name has notable literary associations, as well, from Jane Austen's Emma to heroine Emma Bovary of Madame Bovary fame. 

Though the name's popularity was considerable in the late 1800s, it went largely out of vogue circa the 1930s through the 1980s, and is now steadily on the rise again. Moreover, though it sounds contemporary (as in, only a couple of centuries old), the name is actually far older than its elegant Victorian parlor-and-waltz sound suggests, as evinced by the reign of Viking Queen Emma of Normandy in the year 1002.


This beautiful name seems to have almost universal connotations of sophistication and intelligence. One of Olivia's first appearances was in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and its meaning (distilled from its male variant Oliver) of "olive tree" gives it a symbolic Biblical kind of quality, as well. 

According to Baby Center, Olivia has been holding steady as the country's second most popular girl's name since 2015. In popular culture, many people may associate the name with Olivia Hussey, star of Franco Zeffirelli's celebrated 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare, again), or perhaps with Grease star and Australian singer Olivia Newton-John

Interestingly, and according to the above-referenced Baby Center stats, Olivia was a name that was distinctly unpopular, for a significantly long time. From about 1885 to about the late 1980s (that is, almost a century), it was rarely used. In the early '90s, however, it started to catch on, and has been accelerating ever since. 


Ava Gardner, anyone? Perhaps because of her iconic beauty, this name has connotations of glamour and femininity. A variation of the Biblical name Eve (and, in turn, Eva), Ava may also be descended from the Latin "avis," which means bird (see: aviary); or could even be a variant of the Hebrew name Chava, which translates to "living one," according to Baby Center

Ava is presently the number three girl's name in the United States, an honor it's held since 2016. In celebritydom, Ava is the name of the daughter of actress Reese Witherspoon and actor Ryan Phillippe. Actor Hugh Jackman and his wife, actress and producer Deborra-Lee Furness, also have an Ava.

Because of its Gardner association, Ava has a quality of Old Hollywood elegance to it that might be perfectly suited to parents who are movie buffs. Or who just like the idea of resurrecting a name that will always be associated with the silver screen, film noir, and Technicolor, all at once.


Isabella is a gorgeous four-syllable baby girl name that spills over with beauty, like a series of pearls descending from the palate. A variation of the classic name Elizabeth, it's presently the fourth most popular female name in the United States, up just one notch from the number five spot in 2017. 

From Queen Isabella of Spain to actress Isabella Rossellini to poet Isabella Gardner, who was in turn the great niece of famed art connoisseur Isabella Stewart Gardner, the name has a distinctly august lineage. With its meaning of "devoted to God," it's also a religious and/or spiritual moniker.

Despite its classic appeal, however, the name did tank in popularity (in the United States) from the late 1800s to the late 1980s. Its status may be eternal in Europe, but it also seems destined to stay popular on American shores for quite some time to come, as well.


This beautiful Greek baby girl name, which means "wisdom," seems to be a huge favorite of almost everybody. Sophia is presently the number five most popular female name in the United States, slipping down just one notch from its number four status in 2017. 

In Biblical legend, Sophia is said to have been present at the very dawn of creation itself — a quality that makes her name as ancient as ancient can be. Whether you spell it Sophia or Sofia, your baby girl is going to be in good company. Famous Sophias include director Sofia Coppola and actress Sophia Loren. There's also many famous Sophies (a variation on Sophia), including singer Sophie B. Hawkins and French actress and director Sophie Marceau.  

Sophia shows no signs of slowing down as a popular name, and like so many other classically beautiful monikers, it's going to sound just as lovely, and be just as classy, 50 or 100 years from now.


Amelia, clocking in at the number six most popular baby girl name in the country thus far, is as quaint and lovely of a moniker as one can find. Nevertheless, according to Baby Center, it means "industrious," "striving," and (in Teutonic terms) "defender," which gives it a valiant, tough-as-nails quality that contrasts with its gentle femininity in really interesting ways. The name itself is actually a fusion of the medieval monikers Amalia and Emilia, and the latter is sometimes used as an alternate spelling.

As far as Amelias in history go, the first figure that comes to mind is undoubtedly aviator Amelia Earhart. Actress Minnie Driver is also an Amelia by birth, though most people don't know it. In literature, there's of course the iconic children's book series Amelia Bedelia, as well as novelist Carson McCullers' eccentric heroine Amelia Evans in the famous novella The Ballad of the Sad Cafe


At the number seven most popular baby girl name in America, Mia is down just slightly from the number six spot it held from 2013-2017 — a pretty steady run. A derivative of the name Maria, this beautiful name is perhaps most widely associated with actress Mia Farrow, in pop culture — even if Rosemary's Baby isn't the film that most expecting mothers probably wish to conjure up as their time of delivery draws nigh.

If you prefer, there's also the sultry yet mischievous Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction to draw from. Too, there's actress Mia Sara of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Legend fame, and on the sports end of the spectrum, there's Olympic gold medalist and soccer champion Mia Hamm

Mia is also the name of actress Kate Winslet and director Jim Threapleton's daughter, and with its meaning of "mine," or "wished for child,"  there can hardly be a name more suited for a baby-girl-to-be.


From Charlotte Bronte to Charlotte's Web to The Cure's "Charlotte Sometimes," this lovely French name, which is descended from its male counterpart Charles, seems like the kind of moniker that ought never go out of style. As of now, it's the eighth most popular female name in the country, a slot it's held since 2016. 

History-wise, Charlotte's popularity has fluctuated: it was fairly popular (but perhaps less so than some might suppose) throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, peaked suddenly through the 1920s to the 1950s, and then gradually dropped off in the early 2000s. But it has been on the rise again since then. 

In history, there's Charlotte Delbo, courageous playwright and Auschwitz survivor, and American feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In other words, Charlotte is a name that's as widely associated with heroism and intelligence as it is with feminine beauty, which makes it a wonderful moniker for any girl.


The first figure that comes to mind when one hears this unique baby girl name is probably invariably the novelist Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird fame. As might be expected, the literal meaning of Harper is "one who plays the harp," which makes this moniker a perfect choice for a child who might be expected to be musically inclined (perhaps because she has musician parents?). 

Harps are also, of course, universally associated with angels, so the name has lovely heavenly connotations, as well. According to Baby Center, Harper has been the ninth most popular female name in the United States since 2017, up from its ranking as number ten in the years 2015 and 2016. Despite its current popularity, it was almost not used at all from about 1972 to 2004, but it's been on a steady upswing since the mid 2000s. Perhaps the fictional Harper Avery award on ABC's Grey's Anatomy had a thing or two to do with that.


Since the beginning of 2018, Mila has experienced a sharp spike in popularity, rising up to become the tenth most popular baby girl name in the United States from its position last year at number 18. The contrast was even more drastic in previous years: it was number 72 in 2014, number 53 in 2015, and number 48 in 2016. In pop culture, of course, there's actress Mila Kunis of That 70s ShowBlack Swan, and Bad Moms fame.

With its meaning of "industrious," "hardworking," and "dear one" (as per Baby Center), Mila is a variation on the equally lovely moniker Milena, as well as several other, far older names like Camilla and Ludmila. Mila is also derived from the Spanish name Milagros, which means "miracle" and is also a Mexican folk charm. So it's a moniker that has many potential meanings, all of them wonderful and perfectly suited for your own little miracle.


Continuing on the musical trend of Harper, Aria is a name that refers to an operatic solo — a soaring one, as per its Italian meaning of "air." According to Baby Center, it's also derived from Hebrew name Ariel ("lioness of God"), which in turn was popularized by Shakespeare and poet Sylvia Plath.

Aria has been the 11th most popular girl's name in the country since 2017, but it didn't start to become popular until the mid 2000s. In kid-dom pop culture, Aria Blaze is the name of a character on the current My Little Pony animated series. There's Aria Montgomery, one of the lead characters in the hit show Pretty Little Liars

There's also an alternate spelling of the name in the form of Arya, which means "noble air/song," but which is Sanskrit in origin, and is in many ways more popular than the conventional spelling of Aria, thanks to the character Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. Whichever version you prefer, however, Aria is a gorgeous name.


Avery clocks in at the 12th most popular baby girl name in America, up three from its position at number 15 in 2017. Though it's generally been used as a male name, Avery also has an unmistakably feminine ring to it, so it's a moniker that's as potentially suited to a tomboy as it is to a girly-girl, as the saying goes. Even though all names are, of course, technically unisex.

More specifically, Avery has traditionally been used mostly as a last name, and is a derivative of the name Alfred. With its meaning of "wise," it's an intelligent choice as well. In literature, it's the name of Fern's brother in Charlotte's Web. It's also the last name of famed illustrator Tex Avery, who's renowned for his work on iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, and Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes across the board. So if you're a cartoonist, Avery might just be the perfect option.


Like Avery before it, Evelyn is a unisex moniker, and also one that's traditionally been used as a last name. Baby Center shows it ranking as the 13th most popular baby girl name in 2018. It is likely also a derivative of Eve, and may therefore encompass the Hebrew meaning for "life."

Famous (albeit male) Evelyns include novelist and journalist Evelyn Waugh, author of the satirical masterpiece The Loved One. Interestingly, the male Evelyn is pronounced "Eve-a-lynn," as opposed to the female Eh-va-lyn — odd that the "Eve" aspect is more prominent in the male pronunciation, but there you have it.

As for famous women with the name, there's Evelyn Nesbit, aka "the girl in the swing," the early 1900s artist's model and chorus girl who has been called both "the most beautiful woman in the world" and "the world's first supermodel." In any case, Evelyn is a name that seems to exude both style and distinction.


From Cinderella to famed jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald to silver screen actress Ella Raines, this pretty baby girl name is timeless. A derivative of Eleanor and Ellen, both of which mean "light," this English name indeed symbolizes the stuff that fairytales (and fairy princesses) are made of, as it means "beautiful fairy woman" in English. 

Ella is presently the 14th most popular girl's name in the country, down just slightly from its rank as number ten in 2017 and up from its rank at number 17 in 2016. It's also a bonafide old-fashioned hit: Baby Center charts show it skyrocketing in popularity throughout the late 1800s. It declined circa the '30s through the '80s, bottoming out in the '90s, but is now once again a household name.

Once your little girl finds out that she is, in a sense, descended from Disney royalty via the Brothers Grimm, she's bound to be happy — if she's the Disney princess type.


Abigail, the Biblical wife of King David, has seen herself replicated (name wise) countless times throughout the centuries. Though Abigail, which translates to "the father's joy," is presently the fifteenth most popular girl's name in the United States, it has, of course, been around pretty much forever — even though it appears to have been rarely used between the late 1800s to about the mid-1970s. 

Famous Abigails include Abigail Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams and spouse of John Adams, and actress Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame. There's also Abigail Salmon, mother of Susie Salmon in Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bonesand in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the same name. Although there are many Biblical names (like Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, and Mary) that have always been popular, Abigail is the moniker that's presently in the country's top 15. With its beauty and dignity, it's a surefire winner.