Popular Names 2019Time to look back at the most popular names 2019 at Appellation Mountain.

These are the most-read posts here at the site. It’s a wild, quirky list. My Top Ten looks nothing like the US Top Ten. And yet, the names that rank here often do make their way up the popularity charts over time.

And speaking of numbers … this is actually the Top 16 and change. That’s because this list fuels March Madness baby names, coming in, well, March 2020. We’ll pit all the reader favorites against each other in a series of match-ups running every Saturday, until there’s just one boy name and one girl name left to take home the trophy.

But for now, we’re just looking back at the names that had a great year in 2019. Some surprised me. Others do match up with what’s trending elsewhere. But I can promise this is a list like none other!

#16 REID

Current US popularity rank:

Classic and buttoned-up, but not too starchy, Reid feels like a modern traditional pick. One challenge: spelling! Reed, with two Es, ranks about 100 spots higher on the US popularity charts. Combined, it’s more popular than it seems.


Current US popularity rank: #702

Rugged and outdoorsy, Ridge follows a long list of outdoorsy boy names, from River to Forrest to Heath.


Current US popularity rank: #801

A romantic place name with a heroic, literary prince attached. How can Caspian not succeed?

#13 FOX

Current US popularity rank: #804

Soundwise, Fox falls somewhere between Max and Felix. Better still, this generation of parents grew up watching Fox Mulder seek the truth on ten seasons (plus) of The X-Files.


Current US popularity rank: #992

The firstborn son of a prince and an actress would always make headlines, but with a name as adorable as Archie, the attention doubled.

#11 ARLO

Current US popularity rank: #278

A long-rising favorite, Arlo has gone from edgy to mainstream favorite.

#10 KOA

Current US popularity rank: #816

A Hawaiian name that marries the best of Kai and Noah.


Current US popularity rank: #343

A Presidential surname name that blends the appeal of Hayden and Brooks.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

Launched by Fantastic Beasts, but with all sorts of reasons to feel wearable.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

The ultimate surname name, seldom heard as a first.


Current US popularity rank: unranked; Grey is #727 and Grayson is #32

A color name that belongs to the boys, after years of Grayson rising through the US Top 100.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A tough guy name, thanks to the Fast & the Furious franchise.


Current US popularity rank: #523

At home on a hiking trail or in the boardroom.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A word name that leans a little bit superhero.


Current US popularity rank: #980

An Irish appellation that follows so many popular two-syllable, ends with -n names.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A nature name with that sharp  middle V sound.


Current US popularity rank: #784

A logical longer name in the era of Emma, Emily, and Adeline.

#20 CORA

Current US popularity rank: #73

Powerfully popular, in the US and on Appellation Mountain, too.


Current US popularity rank: #732

Louisa May Alcott makes this classic name literary.

#18 FAYE

Current US popularity rank: #706

An old-fashioned name, packing lots of style into just one syllable.

#17 WREN

Current US popularity rank: #469

The most popular of the bird names, and the name I cite when others insist animal names are just too out-there.

#16 ESME

Current US popularity rank: #556

JD Salinger used the name in a story. So did Stephenie Meyer. Twilight raised the name’s visibility, but those older literary roots combined with a great meaning – love – helped this name soar.

#15 ISLA

Current US popularity rank: #82

A vowel-heavy, fast-rising favorite.

#14 TESS

Current US popularity rank: unranked; Tessa ranks #245

Once a nickname for Theresa, Tess is often elaborated Tessa. But it’s just Tess – literary, thanks to Thomas Hardy – that ranks highest on Appellation Mountain.


Current US popularity rank: #281

Juniper descends from vintage June and 70s chart-topper Jennifer, by way of Willow and Rowan. It’s a nature name with a bouncy energy, now nearly as mainstream as the names it followed.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A logical successor to Penelope.


Current US popularity rank: #181

A surname name in the key of Top 100 favorite Quinn, sleek Sloane offers a boatload of 80s and 90s references – but feels like a name at home in the twenty-first century.

#10 VERA

Current US popularity rank: #257

Vintage, richly meaningful and nicely compact, Vera has shaken off the dust and joined Ava and Evelyn as a fast-rising favorite.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A silver-screen invention, Evolet is a near-anagram of “the love,” first heard in 10,000 BC. The movie. Not the year. (As far I know.)


Current US popularity rank: unranked

An elaborate, night-sky alternative to Isabella or Luna.


Current US popularity rank: #897

We do like a middle-V name. Just ask Ava, Ivy, and Evelyn … and now maybe Sylvie, too.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

Part-flower name, part-color name, and the perfect mix of easy to spell and pronounce, while still being quite rare.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

An imported Susan nickname occasionally heard on its own. The youngest Bailey child in It’s a Wonderful Life answers to Zuzu.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

A sleek, sophisticated surname name option for a girl.


Current US popularity rank: unranked

The Finnish word for snow, and an on-trend choice with Lucy, Luna, and Louisa so in favor.

#2 NOA

Current US popularity rank: #654

It looks like Noah, hold the H, but Noa claims separate – and feminine – roots in the Old Testament.


Current US popularity rank: #498

A sweet and spunky Margaret nickname, with a certain retro appeal, Maisie was the #1 girls’ name post on the site this year. Could it translate to big gains in the US charts, too? We’ll have to wait and see …

So why are there 21 names on the girls most popular names 2019 list, compared to just 16 for boys? The following five girls’ names have previously won March Madness: Cora, Sylvie, Isla, Wren, and Louisa. Past winners are not eligible to compete in the contest, so I kept going until we had sixteen names that could take part.

Popular Names 2019


About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Thanks for the quick reply and for asking on facebook, lots of great replies. I have been leaning towards Caspian Wilder, but am now finding that Asher Everett sounds pretty good too.

  2. I have a 3 year old Faye and I get lots of compliments as well as many who are like, “that’s my middle name!”

  3. Naming our baby son in three months. Any thoughts on the best way to combine these names into a first and middle combo?

    1. Hi David – I’m asking on Facebook in a few minutes, but off the top of my head …
      Archer Caspian
      Caspian Wilder
      Alexander Everett
      Asher Everett

      I like Alexander Everett best if you’d prefer something more mainstream; Caspian Wilder for something more daring. And then I’d put Asher Everett and Archer Caspian somewhere in the middle.

      Congrats on the new addition!