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Wonderful Word Names

Wonderful Word Names
Word names — basically, words used as names — are a growing class as parents rush to find truly unique baby names for their children. Now, formerly one-of-a-kind names such as Maverick and Serenity can be found in Kindergarten classrooms around the country! But don’t worry — there are still plenty of undiscovered choices.

Along with Serenity and Maverick, other word names in the US Top 500 Include Crew, Genesis, Major, Meadow, Baker, Sage, Melody, and Ember. Cool, one-of-a-kind word names used for fewer than 5 babies at last count include Whimsy, Ballad, Reader, and Flair.

While you'll find word names among nature names and day names and occupational names and color names and spiritual names, most of those collected on this list don't fit neatly into any category. You'll find even more word names in our lists of Nature Names, Place Names, and many other lists in the category Nature, Place, and Word Names.

Finally, a word on gender: English words are not gendered and so most of these word names can work for both boys and girls, even if we have only one gender noted here.

Word Names for Babies
  1. RoyalHeart
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "royal"
    • Description:

      Even less subtle than Duke or Earl, this name shot up the popularity charts in 2013, the same year young Prince George was born and the craze for all things royal (and Royal) began. Today, it's a leading boys' name on Nameberry's own popularity charts. While Royal ranks on the US Top 1000 list for both girls and boys, It's rising more precipitously for boys. The gender count of baby Royals is currently running 2 to 1 in favor of boys. Pop culture references: the hit Lorde song "Royals.", the Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums (in which the paterfamilias was named Royal), and most recently, the Amazon Prime series Outer Range, a supernatural neo-Western starring Josh Brolin as Royal Abbott. The name's resemblance to the more classic Roy doesn't hurt either.
  2. IvyHeart
    • Origin:

      Botanical name
    • Description:

      Ivy is derived from the name of the ivy plant, which got its name from the Old English word ifig. Ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. In the language of flowers, Ivy signifies faithfulness.
  3. MaverickHeart
    • Origin:

      American
    • Meaning:

      "independent, nonconformist"
    • Description:

      At the rate it's growing, Maverick soon won't seem like such a maverick anymore. Heard first in a 1950s James Garner western TV series, and then as the Tom Cruise character in Top Gun, Maverick symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit.
  4. SageHeart
    • Origin:

      Herb name; Latin
    • Meaning:

      "wise"
    • Description:

      Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.
  5. GraceHeart
    • Origin:

      English, virtue name
    • Description:

      Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
  6. PhoenixHeart
    • Origin:

      Arizona place-name and Greek
    • Meaning:

      "dark red"
    • Description:

      Phoenix rolls a lot of cool trends into one: it's a place-name and a bird name, it ends in the oh-so-hip letter x, and as the mythic bird that rose from the ashes, it's a symbol of immortality. It's also got celebrity chops, via the acting family that includes Joaquin and the late River, and as the child of an ex-Spice Girl.
  7. AriaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian and Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "air; song or melody; lion"
    • Description:

      Aria has origins in both Italian and Hebrew. In the former, Aria's literal meaning, air, is meant as a musical term denoting a kind of song or melody. Hebrew Aria is a variation of Ari, meaning "lion." In Persian, Aria is a male name, and in Indian it is considered unisex. Arya is an alternate spelling.
  8. BriarHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "a thorny patch"
    • Description:

      Fairy-tale memories of Sleeping Beauty inspire some parents—such as Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen—to call their daughters Briar Rose. But Briar plus a different middle name might work even better. It's one of the newly popular nature-word names, charting in the US for the first time in 2015 for both genders.
  9. WilderHeart
    • Origin:

      Surname or word name
    • Description:

      New to the US Top 1000 in 2015, Wilder is on many parents' possibility lists, one of the new generation of bad boy names growing in popularity. Wilder got a big boost in interest through Goldie Hawn's grandson, born in 2007, via son Oliver.
  10. RueHeart
    • Origin:

      Botanical names or word name
    • Meaning:

      "herb; regret"
    • Description:

      Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.
  11. BirdieHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bird"
    • Description:

      Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
  12. IndigoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "Indian dye"
    • Description:

      Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
  13. SageHeart
    • Origin:

      Herb name and also Latin
    • Meaning:

      "wise and knowing"
    • Description:

      Fits many criteria sought by modern parents: it's short and strong, with intimations of wisdom as well as fragrant herbal properties. At this point, Sage is given about a third of the time to boys.
  14. PearlHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin gem name
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
  15. HunterHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "one who hunts"
    • Description:

      Hunter has been dropping a bit for the past few years but is still one of the leaders of a distinctive band of boys' names that combines macho imagery (Hunter, Austin, Harley) with a softened masculinity. Hunter was for years attached to gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; Josh Holloway used it for his son.
  16. ScoutHeart
    • Origin:

      Word name
    • Description:

      Scout, a character nickname from To Kill a Mockingbird (her real name was Jean Louise), became a real-life possibility when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their now grown middle daughter, followed by Tom Berenger a few years later. A unisex choice that is growing in popularity for both genders -- but given to girls about four times more often than to boys -- it was picked by skater Tai Babilonia for her son and Kerri Walsh for her daughter Scout Margery.
  17. AmberHeart
    • Origin:

      Word name, English
    • Description:

      Though perhaps not as currently stylish as Ruby, Jade, or Pearl, Amber has a colorful history (remember the notorious Forever Amber heroine?). Unfortunately, it does come with the "Amber Alert" connotation for modern parents (and their children).
  18. OnyxHeart
    • Origin:

      Gem name
    • Description:

      Unlike Pearl and Ruby, this is one gem name suited for boys, the final x making it sound strong and virile. Musician Iggy Azalea chose the name Onyx for her son.
  19. CashHeart
    • Origin:

      Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
    • Meaning:

      "hollow"
    • Description:

      Whether it's due to its economic connotations, or its link to American legend Johnny Cash, this name is widely used, and has been used by several celebrities including Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.
  20. HopeHeart
    • Origin:

      Virtue name
    • Description:

      Can a name as virtuous as Hope be cool and trendy? Strangely enough -- yes. But though this optimistic Puritan favorite is experiencing substantial popularity, Hope is too pure and elegant to be corrupted, a lovely classic that deserves all the attention it's getting.