Every generation seems to have its favorite baby names. Sometimes, names are so common during a particular period that you immediately know when a person was born based on their name. In the last few years, many of the same names for boys and girls remain in the national top ten. Why is this?
Baby names trend for various reasons. Sometimes, vintage names come back, or names with particular sounds start trending. Popular TV shows or movies may inspire naming trends. In the 21st century, online media and communities may influence popular names. Ultimately, baby names often reflect the overall trends of a time period.
State baby name lists typically follow national trends; however, there are usually a few regional deviations. Let us look at Maryland's top baby names for 2023. We will examine the origins and meanings of these popular baby names and note the ones not in the top ten for the entire country.
Maryland's Top Baby Names for 2023: An Overview
Here are the most popular baby names in Maryland in 2023.
Baby names in Maryland follow the nationwide naming trend except for including the name Michael in the state's top ten for boys. Chloe and Zoe are also not in America's top ten baby names for girls.
Maryland's Top Baby Names for 2023: Girls
Let us take a closer look at the origins and meanings of the top five baby names for girls in Maryland.
Olivia is of Latin origin and means “olive tree.” Moreover, the name may be a feminine form of Oliver. While it dates back to the 13th century, this girl's name has been trendy since 2018. Many people credit William Shakespeare with creating the name after he had named one of his characters, Olivia, in his comedy Twelfth Night.
Charlotte is the feminine version of the name Charles. The name means “strong and virile.” Dating back to the 14th century, royalty has contributed to the popularity of this girl's name. It grew in popularity after the birth of Princess Charlotte of Wales in 2015. Moreover, Charlotte became a popular girl's name in the 18th century after the marriage of King George III of England to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; likewise, the popularity of the Queen Charlotte character on the Netflix series Bridgerton has likely contributed to the name's recent popularity.
Emma has remained one of the most popular baby names in the United States for twenty years. Meaning “whole” or “universal,” the name originates from the Old German word “ermen.” It has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. Moreover, Jane Austen named her comedic novel Emma for her main character, a beautiful, wealthy, and somewhat spoiled young woman.
The origins and meaning of the name Ava are murky, but that hasn't stopped parents from embracing the name. It is a recent name that may be a variant of Eva. In the Persian language, Ava means “voice or sound.” Actress Ava Gardner is the person who made the name famous. Many celebrities named their daughters Ava, including Reese Witherspoon, which helped the name gain popularity in recent years. While typically considered a girl's name, a small percentage of parents have named their boys Ava.
Originating from the Greek word for “wisdom,” Sophia, sometimes spelled “Sofia,” is a name that conveys elegance and sophistication. Initially popular in Eastern Orthodox countries and among royalty in the Middle Ages, it started gaining popularity worldwide in the 1990s. Throughout the 21st century, Sophia remains a popular baby name after topping baby name lists from 2011-2013.
Of Latin or German origin, Amelia means “hard-working” or “industrious.” An old-fashioned name popular in 18th-century Europe, Amelia is now one of the trendiest baby names. It is the feminine version of the name Emil.
Originally a nickname, this girl's name was first recorded as a given name in America in the 1960s. Derived from the name Maria, it started gaining traction in the 1990s and is now one of the most popular baby names.
Meaning “God is my oath,” Isabella is the Spanish variation of Elizabeth. In 2009 and 2010, this was the most popular baby name for girls, possibly due to the popularity of the Twilight film series. In past centuries, it was a popular name among royalty.
Chloe is of Greek origin and means “blooming” and “fertility.” It also refers to the color green, sometimes translated as “young green shoot.” Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture and the harvest, was sometimes called Chloe.
Meaning “life,” Zoe started trending in the 21st century even though it dates back to the early Christians. It is a name that sounds vintage but, at the same time, is thoroughly modern. Very few popular girl names begin with the last letter of the alphabet.
Maryland's Top Baby Names for 2023: Boys
Now let us examine the origins and meanings of the top five baby names for boys in Maryland.
Of Irish origin, Liam is a name that means “protector” and “strong-willed warrior.” It is a variation of the English name William. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the name was popular in England and Wales but didn't crack the American baby name chart until 2013. Irish actor Liam Neeson and English singer Liam Gallagher are two famous men named Liam.
The biblical name Noah originated from the Hebrew word for rest. From 2013 until 2015, Noah was the most popular boy's name for American boys. It is also popular in Australia, England, and Wales and remains near the top of American baby names each year.
Originating from the same Hebrew word that inspired the name Jacob, James means “supplanter” or “substitute.” The name was also a popular one for monarchs during the Middle Ages. While typically a male name, some parents have chosen the name for their daughters. Jamie is a popular nickname for boys and girls with the name. Moreover, the name has many variations worldwide, including Seamus in Irish/Gaelic and Giacomo in Italian.
Meaning “bringer of light,” Lucas originates in Ancient Rome. from the Roman name “Lucius,” which was quite common in ancient Roman society. Moreover, there are many variations of the name throughout the world, especially in Europe and Brazil, including Luka, Lukas, and Luke. Steadily climbing baby name lists since the 1970s, Lucas is now one of the most popular names for boys in the 21st century.
Like Olivia, Oliver means “olive tree” or “olive branch.” Initially popular in England due to a medieval poem called The Song of Roland that featured a brave knight named Oliver, the name has been a favorite choice for centuries. In the late 1990s, the name began trending again, breaking the top three American boy names in 2019.
This biblical name means “son of the south” or “son of my right hand.” Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob in the bible and was also the name of one of the twelve Jewish tribes. Another reason for its popularity may be the number of nicknames it inspires, including Ben and Benny.
Appearing in the top twenty names for the first time in 2021, Theodore is an old-fashioned name gaining popularity. The nickname Theo is also becoming a common given name. The name means “gift from God.”
William comes from the German name Willhelm, meaning “resolute protector” or “strong-willed warrior.” This classic name has endured for centuries and never really goes out of style.
From 1954 through 2008, Michael was often at the top of the baby name lists. It dropped out of the top ten in 2017 but is making a resurgence. While typically a boy's name, it is actually a unisex name, with some parents using it as their daughter's name. Michael means “a gift from God.”
From the German name Heinrich, Henry means “home-ruler.” After the Normans introduced the name to England, it became popular among the royalty, with no less than eight English kings having the name.
Baby names tend to follow trends that change with each generation, often making it easy to identify when someone was born based on their name. The 21st century is no different. Many names for boys and girls have remained consistently popular in recent years. Baby names tend to mirror the cultural trends of the time. These influences are usually evident in national baby name lists produced each year.
Comparing state baby name lists to the nationwide list often reveals regional preferences. This year in Maryland, three baby names appear on that state's list that are not on the national list: Michael, Chloe, and Zoe.
Whatever name you choose for your child, start thinking about names early and decide whether you want to follow naming trends or avoid them. There are many beautiful names out there and what matters most is what feels right for you and your family.
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