Baby Names


North Carolina’s Top Baby Names, Revealed

Baby names concept

North Carolina’s Top Baby Names, Revealed

The Tar Heel State is a sucker for tradition, and when it comes to baby names in 2023, families have chosen to keep things familiar. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the top two baby names in the state remained the same as the previous year. They’re not the only ones who prefer these names, as research shows plenty of other states also popularized them. Discover North Carolina’s top baby names for 2023, including a bit about what each name means!

Preparing for a baby girl means tons of cute, tiny clothes. But it also means deciding on the perfect name.



Pregnant woman holding a handmade embroidery with the name Olivia in her hands, concept in anticipation.


Making it to the top of the list for baby names for girls in NC, Olivia is exalted as a name representative of peace. It’s of Latin origin and means “olive tree,” which ascribes an earthy, well-grounded, and nature-loving name to little bundles of joy born in the natural and ever-mesmerizing tapestry of the state.


Cute baby with word EMMA lying on bed. Choosing name concept

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

It’s short and sweet but the name denotes wholeness, both in Germanic and Hebrew, though the interpretations differ. The Germanic name refers to wholeness and completeness; something universal. In Hebrew, Emma is understood as “all containing.” However, the name also means “My God has answered.”


Toy blocks spelling out the name "ARIA"


This name has a literal translation to “air,” and it flows well with its meaning of “melody.” Music travels through the air, reaching vast audiences, and containing an ethereal nature reminiscent of a place you’ve been to but can’t see. Each melody stands out amid an orchestra in the same way new life shines in this bustling world.


Aurora Name in Daisy Letters Reclaimed Wood Background

©Erika Kirkpatrick/Shutterstock.com

This name means light in the sky, pointing both to the promise of dawn after the darkest night and the magic of the Northern Lights, which swirl in beautiful displays against a dark backdrop. It’s apt for a baby born to be bright in the world. These souls have an enduring inner light that dazzles even when darkness falls.


Toy blocks spelling out the name "CHARLOTTE"


This name denotes freedom and comes from the name Charles. It also means “petite” or “little,” which works wonderfully for babies. As they grow, they experience a greater sense of freedom, which further epitomizes the name’s meaning.


A handwritten greeting card with the name "Madison" on it.


This name was once an English surname, its spelling changed from Mathieson. It means “son of Matthew,” which many interpret as a direct connection to the disciple from the Bible. Additional meanings of Madison include “strength in battle” and “mighty warrior.”


Toy blocks spelling out the name "LUNA"


This name translates to “moon,” the pale, cratered light source that cuts through the night. In Roman mythology, Luna was divine; she was a moon goddess. She was depicted in a chariot and when nightfall would inevitably arrive, she was prepared with an arrow. She would shoot it upward to spread stars across the sky each evening.


Young pregnant woman with name AVA written on her tummy, closeup. Concept of choosing baby name

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

With several similar meanings, Ava means “life,” “bird,” and “sound.” It also has the Germanic root, “avi,” which means “desired.” These varying meanings make this name ideal for a free-spirited child; one that is full of life, free to wander, and with limitless expression.

Each baby name for a boy holds a special meaning. As you explore the options, consider which traits you'd most love for your new addition to embody.



Cute baby sitting on floor with word LIAM composed of wooden letters. Choosing name concept

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

The baby name for boys that made it to the number one spot in North Carolina is Liam. This name originated in Ireland and means “helmet of will” and “protection.” The name ascribes both courage and protection to a young boy who will learn how to navigate the battles of the world, determined and unafraid.


Toy blocks spelling out the name "OLIVER"


Like the top name for girls, Oliver means “olive tree.” It also represents peace, which makes it a great name for the ultimate peacekeeper and mediator. Oliver also means “ancestor’s descendants” in Old Norse, which makes it suitable for little ones taking on the family legacy of dignity and peaceful dealings.


Popular and modern baby boy fashion name WILLIAM in wooden English language capital letters spilling from a pile of letters on a red background

©Ian Peter Morton/Shutterstock.com

This name is both popular and powerful and means “resolute protector.” This is the name of a leader who embodies courage and determination. It comes from the German name Wilhelm and Biblically, it means “God is my strength,” and “the Lord is my shield.”


Toy blocks spelling out the name "NOAH"


Noah stems from the word, “noach,” which in Hebrew means “rest.” This name is also in the Bible and is ascribed to a righteous man who was chosen by God. It’s apt for a baby boy who rests in his faith and trusts in miracles to come.


Boy's baby name James in wooden toy blocks in red and green on blanket closeup


This name means “supplanter,” which is to take the place of someone else. Biblically, James was one of Jesus’s apostles who followed Jesus faithfully. Additional meanings of the name include, “May God protect,” and “He shall guard.”


black keys of keyboard with different years words or names

©MXW Stock/Shutterstock.com

Pointing to a union, Levi means “joined.” This name is used in the Bible as Levi was one of the 12 sons of Jacob. Levi is the result of a union that brought forth life and makes a wonderful name for a firstborn. However, Levi is also popular among twins, considering they were “joined” before birth.


Baby Boy Name Lists Letters O to Z

©Kent Weakley/Shutterstock.com

Originating from the English surname, Jackson has a rather straightforward meaning as “son of Jack.” However, considering Jack is also a variation of “John,” the name also points to God’s grace. This name works if your baby is truly a son of Jack or John, or you are celebrating God’s grace in receiving and raising this new life.


Portrait of infant baby boy weared funny hat. Kid lying on bed and playing with teething toy

©Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com

Similar to Jackson, the name Grayson is also straightforward. It means “son of the steward.” However, it also means “son of the everlasting,” and “son of a grey-haired man.” A steward assumes responsibility and cares for others, while a grey-haired man tells of long life and wisdom acquired.

shower, decorations, blue, celebration, pink, yellow, pastel, letters, blocks
Maybe you're skipping the gender reveal but still want to settle on a name. Consider a gender-neutral choice!

©Marcie Fowler – Shining Hope Images/Shutterstock.com


Riley written in a speechbubble

©Happy Stock Photo/Shutterstock.com

This name has two distinct meanings. It’s a gender-neutral name that means “valiant and courageous” but also “woods clearing” or “rye meadow.” Originally, it was designated for boys, but in modern times, the name has shifted and become popular for girls, too.


The name Alex - Stunning gold plated dinner plate with wooden name tag Alexander and love heart chopped wood log

©Matthew Troke/Shutterstock.com

This name assigns a sense of responsibility as it means “defender of humankind.” It’s the shortened version of both Alexander and Alexandra and is suitable for natural defenders who operate with the knowledge that they have a responsibility to protect others.


Mother holding her newborn baby hand with name tag bracelets. infant boy first day of life in bassinet bed at hospital.

©Onjira Leibe/Shutterstock.com

This name holds power and means “ruler” and “industrious.” If you’re raising a leader who knows how to influence, this name matches that energy. An industrious person can move mountains and setting up your little one with a powerful name like Emery can help steer them in the direction of their dreams.


A handwritten greeting card with the name "Brooks" on it.


This name means “small stream.” There is comfort in water sounds for babies as they’re reminiscent of the womb. There is also wisdom in water in that it flows with ease, effortlessly polishing rocks in streams over time. This name is for the steadfast spirit that embodies their silent power.


Mother hands wash the ears of a happy infant baby with a cotton pad. Mom holds hygiene face toddler kid on the sofa, six to seven months old

©Zhuravlev Andrey/Shutterstock.com

Similar to Brooks, River represents a “flowing body of water.” It’s more expansive than a small stream. It holds greater power, and Biblically, the river of life refers to the presence of God. This is a name for a child who is connected to nature and draws strength and power from their faith.


baked biscuits with shape of letters forming the name Avery


This name points to wisdom and means “ruler of elves.” There’s a light-hearted and amusing feel to the name. However, with its long history and representation of wisdom, the light-heartedness is not without solid footing. This name is for those who can walk a narrow path and laugh at themselves when they stumble.

To top