San Francisco's most popular baby names for the year 2023 showcase the city's love for diversity and uniqueness. The national top baby names list does not include many of the most popular names in San Francisco. Furthermore, some are not even in the top 100 or 500 baby names. If you are looking for some unconventional names for your baby, San Francisco's list may inspire you.
We will take a closer look at the top ten names for boys and girls in San Francisco. We will also delve into the meaning and origin of each name. Furthermore, we will compare the city's naming trends with those of the national and international baby naming trends.
San Francisco's Top Baby Boy Names for 2023
Most states and cities tend to follow national trends when it comes to naming babies. However, San Francisco stands out for its unique baby names, which are not commonly found in the national top ten list. Instead, the city embraces names that reflect its diversity, such as Kai and Eliseo. There are also a number of literary baby names on San Francisco's list, including Atticus and Caspian. So, let us explore the top baby boy names in San Francisco for 2023.
The top boy's name in San Francisco is Soren, which is a Danish name meaning “stern” or “severe.” In Scandinavia, the name is spelled Sören or Søren and pronounced as “Sur-en.” However, the English spelling is pronounced as “Sorr-en,” which is more friendly to English speakers. Although it is not currently among the top 500 baby names in America, San Francisco parents embraced it. The famous philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is one of the most well-known people with this name. Soren's presence extends into popular culture, where fictional characters bearing the same name can be found in movies such as “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Underworld.”
Originating from Latin, this boy's name means “happy” or “fortunate.” In recent decades, Felix has grown popular, perhaps because parents are looking for traditional names that sound unconventional. As a result, Felix is now in the top 100 baby names in many English-speaking countries.
Originating as a Roman family name, Felix has a long history, having been the name of four popes and 67 saints. Additionally, in the bible, Felix was the Roman procurator of Judea, meaning he was responsible for governing the area on behalf of the Roman emperor.
Although ranked only #567 nationally, Hugo was a popular choice for parents in San Francisco. The name Hugo, derived from the Latin form of Hugh, originates from German, Spanish, and Portuguese roots, signifying “mind” or “intellect.”
While less popular in the states, Hugo enjoys widespread popularity across various European nations such as Spain, France, and Sweden. Since 2018, it has consistently ranked as a top name in Spain. Hugo is steeped in European flair and intellectualism, which may be part of its appeal to intellectually-minded San Francisco parents.
“Theodore” originates from the Greek name Theodoros, which means “God's gift.” Saint Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Byzantine Greek martyr, was one of the first people to bear this name. The Normans introduced the name during the Middle Ages, and it gained popularity in Western Europe. As a result, it became a common name among English speakers.
Theodore gained popularity in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century when Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president. The creator of the teddy bear named the stuffed bear in honor of him. However, the name fell out of fashion for decades, only to reemerge as one of the most popular boys' names of the 21st century. Other popular nicknames for Theodore include Theo and Ted.
Silas, a name of Latin origin, means “of the forest” and is derived from the Roman deity Silvanus, who was worshipped as the guardian of forests, fields, and boundaries. Silvanus was often depicted as a shepherd with a crook and a wreath of pine needles. Moreover, he is closely associated with Faunus, the god of the wild and fertility. In 2020, Silas became popular in the United States, ranking in the top 100 baby names, as well as in Germany and Switzerland, where it ranked in the top 200 baby names.
Atticus is a boy's name with a strong literary history. While it is an ancient Roman name popularized by Titus Pomponius Atticus, a Roman writer known for his literary works and cultural refinement, many people now associate it with the beloved character Atticus Finch from Harper Lee's famous novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” While popular in Greece and Italy, Atticus only ranked #226 in the United States in 2021. However, the name seems to be growing in popularity and may eventually break the top 100 names.
Kai, pronounced “Kye,” is a name that can be used for any gender. However, it is currently more common for boys. The name Kai has various origins and meanings. For instance, Hawaiians interpret Kai to mean “sea,” while in Japan, it means “shell.” Moreover, Scandinavian countries define Kai as the “keeper of the keys.”
On the other hand, some Native American cultures interpret Kai to mean “willow tree.” The name is popular worldwide, appearing in different parts of the world, including Africa, China, Korea, and Turkey. Therefore, Kai is a name that is truly diverse and global.
A Spanish and Italian variant of the Hebrew names Elisha or Elijah, Eliseo is a biblical name that means “God is salvation” or “My God is salvation.” Like the other names on this list, the name Eliseo is popular in many cultures, including Christian, Italian, Jewish, and Spanish families.
The name Eliseo has different versions in various languages and cultures, like Eliseus in Latin, Yelisey in Russian, and Elisaie in Greek. In Portuguese, it is Eliseu. Additionally, the name lends itself to many nicknames, which parents seem to love right now. Some cute nicknames for Eliseo include Eli, Leo, Elio, and Elle.
Dating back to ancient Rome, the name Miles comes from the Latin word miles, which means “soldier” or “warrior.” Interestingly, some people believe that Miles is a combination of both miles and another Latin word, misericordia, which means “mercy.” This combination suggests that Miles represents a warrior with a compassionate heart.
The name Caspian has several meanings. Some believe it comes from the Latin word Caspii, which means “white,” while others think it originated from an ancient tribe called Cas. The name is often associated with the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water that lies between Europe and Asia.
Prince Caspian is a character in C.S. Lewis's popular children's book series, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” which many parents may recognize. Caspian is a name that trendier parents are embracing. In 2022, this name finally broke into the top 100 names for boys.
San Francisco's Top Baby Girls Names for 2023
San Francisco parents often pick unique names for their newborn daughters, but overall, they follow several popular naming trends for feminine names. Today's parents tend to prefer short and sweet girl names that end with the letter “A,” such as Clara and Brianna. Even with outliers like Isla, this trend is evident.
Moreover, traditional names with biblical or mythological associations, like Iris and Daphne, or ancient names, such as Luna and Aurora, with ethereal connotations, are currently popular. So, while there are names unique to San Francisco on this list, the most current naming trends are still evident. With these caveats, here are the top baby girl names in San Francisco for 2023.
The name Aurelia, meaning “the golden one,” was the most popular name given to baby girls born in San Francisco in 2023. It is the feminine version of the Latin name Aurelius, which was a common Roman family name that meant “golden.” The name was often given to someone with blonde or golden-colored hair. Although it was a popular name in ancient Rome, it did not gain popularity in the United States until 2012 when it entered the top 1000 names for girls.
Maeve is a short and sweet girl's name that stems from the Gaelic name Medb, meaning “intoxicating” or “she who intoxicates.” In Irish mythology, Queen Maeve (Medb) was a powerful warrior queen of Connacht known for her beauty, strength, and independence. The Irish spelling Meabh is more popular in Ireland, but this variation is rare in the United States.
Eloise is a classic girl's name with origins in French, English, and German. Scholars believe that the name is derived from the French names Éloïse or Héloïse. It is also linked to the Old German name Helewidis, which means “healthy,” “wide,” and “wholesome,” associating the name with strength. Interestingly, Eloise's popularity last spiked in 1918, after which it fell out of fashion until 2002. However, Eloise is now one of the trendiest baby names in the twenty-first century.
Associated with “laurel” or “bay trees,” Daphne is a name of Greek origin. In Greek mythology, Daphne was a nymph who was transformed into a laurel tree to escape the pursuit of the god Apollo. While popular in England in the 1800s, Daphne was less popular in the United States. However, in 2013, Daphne suddenly appeared in the top 500 baby names. This popularity may be influenced by the Netflix series “Bridgerton,” which features a central character named Daphne Bridgerton.
While Brianna sounds like a modern invention, it is actually a very old Irish name dating back to the 16th century. Brianna is a feminine form of Brian and is often interpreted to mean “strong,” “virtuous,” or “noble.” It should be noted that Brianna, with two “n's,” only emerged as a girl's name in the 1970s. Before that, it was commonly spelled “Briana.”
In Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn, so the name means “dawn” or “morning light.” While this name has enjoyed favor since the 19th century, its popularity in the 21st century is unparalleled. Not only does it appear in the top American baby names, but it is also popular in many European countries, including Italy, Spain, Norway, and Switzerland.
Luna is a beautiful Latin name that means “moon.” This ethereal name, like Aurora, has become increasingly popular for girls in recent years. Luna is not only popular in the United States but also in other countries like France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and Denmark.
Its popularity may be due in part to its use in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Luna Lovegood, a beloved character in the series, has this name, and Rowling also used it as the middle name for Harry Potter's daughter.
Isla is a popular name for baby girls that follows the trend of short vintage names ending with an A-sound. The name has Spanish and Scottish origins and means “island.” It is worth noting that “Isla” is the name of two Scottish rivers, while in Spanish, Isla simply means “island.” Parents in San Francisco may be drawn to this name due to its connection with nature and the sea, mirroring the city's history and allure.
Meaning “bright” or “clear,” the name Clara is of Latin origin. Moreover, Clara stems from the Latin word clarus, which is translated as “bright” or “illustrious.” The name Clara has several variations, including Claire in French and Chiara in Italian. There are also a number of English variants and nicknames, including Clare, Clarinda, Clair, Kiara, and Clarissa.
In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. She served as a messenger between the gods, carrying notes between heaven and earth. The flower Iris also shares its name with this goddess. In the language of flowers, the iris symbolizes royalty and wisdom. In 2020, Iris was a popular name for newborns, ranking at #127 on the national list of most popular baby names.
San Francisco's Top Baby Names for 2023
For comparison purposes, here is a table comparing San Francisco's top baby names with the most popular baby names in the United States in 2023.
|Top Baby Names for San Francisco
|Top Baby Names for the United States
San Francisco's most popular baby names for 2023 highlight the city's appreciation for diversity and individuality. The list includes many unique names that don't commonly appear in the top ten, top 100, or even top 500 names nationwide.
The boys' names, in particular, feature some rare and unusual choices. While the list of girl names is also unconventional, San Francisco parents are still following the national naming trends. If you are searching for popular but less common baby names, San Francisco's list is a great place to discover unconventional and distinct names for your baby.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Structured Vision/Shutterstock.com.