10 Most Popular Baby Names Of The Century

Choosing a name for a child is difficult. After all, this is what people will be calling them for the rest of their lives. One of the things expecting parents have to keep in mind is how their family and friends will feel about the name of their baby, and whether they want a common name, or something really unusual.

Unusual names are increasingly popular, but for those parents who want something that remains a total classic, they might want to look at the names that have stood the test of time. According to the Social Security Administration, these are the most popular baby names of the last 100 years.

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10 Thomas

This name has been used a lot over the last one hundred years. Thomas makes a great first name, but one of the best things about it is that there are so many nicknames that kids can use if they aren't as big of a fan as the parents are. Tomas, Tomasso, Tomaz, and Tam are just a few of them. Of course, the most popular version is Tom.

This would be an especially appropriate name for a male twin - as the name comes from the Aramaic word for 'twin'... although of course, naming two twin boys Tom would be taking it a little far!

9 Joseph

Some names seem as though they are as old as time itself, and Joseph is one of them. It certainly has been around for a very long time, and it does not look as though it will become less popular anytime soon.

It's really not hard to see why so many parents have been choosing this name for so long. After all, kids named Joseph can have a lot of different nicknames, which only makes this name that much more likable and cool. One of the best examples of this is Joe. It's a very popular nickname, and sometimes it is a name on its own.

8 Richard

Anyone who has ever spent any time around children knows that some of them are just a little on the bossy side. That's not bad, it simply shows that they are natural born leaders. One name that is absolutely perfect for a natural born leader is Richard. If you're wondering why, it's because the meaning of this name is "dominant ruler."

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Anyone who has a name with that sort of meaning seems bound to be a great leader, so of course, parents have been snatching that name up for years. There are even some historical figures that shared this name.

7 Mary

While many of the most popular names from the last century have been given to little boys, there are some that belong to baby girls as well. For example, Mary has been a consistently popular name for little ladies for years now.

This name sounds beautiful and delicate, but it does have an odd meaning to it. Despite the fact that the name Mary actually means "bitter", Mary is a lovely name, and clearly, there are a lot of parents who like it. Perhaps the bitterness is sweetened by the association with the Virgin Mary.

6 David

It seems that nearly everyone knows someone who is named David. That's because approximately 3,560,660 people have been given that name at birth over the last century, which definitely makes it one of the most common names out there.

As well as biblical connotations, David means 'beloved' - no wonder so many people are choosing to name their children after the incredibly powerful love that they feel for them... and for how loved they hope they will be in their lives.

5 William


Want your baby to rule the world, even just the business world? Name a baby boy after William the Conqueror! William is the kind of classic name that can be found throughout history, especially in European Royal Families - it's still part of the British Royal Family today - and who wouldn't want a child as lucky as Prince William in their family? Like so many other classic names, William also comes with plenty of popular nicknames, from just Will to Bill, Billy, and even Liam.

4 Michael

In the past, Michael has actually been used for both female and male children. But these days, it is a name that is primarily given to little boys. There's no reason to stick to that, though!

Michael has always been an extremely popular name. As a matter of fact, there was a time when this was the most popular baby name, and it held that spot for nearly fifty years. While Michael does not hold the number one spot anymore, it is still on the list of the most popular baby names. The name Michael has been used in numerous countries around the world for a long time. Over the last 100 years, approximately 4,323,074 Michaels have been born.

3 Robert

Robert is a pretty awesome name, and apparently a lot of people agree with that, since there have been over 4,000,000 Roberts born over the last century. Like many other classically popular names, the popularity of Michael may come from biblical and historical associations.

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Anyone named Robert is sure to be an awesome and unique person, since the meaning of this name is “bright fame.” Parents who are hoping for famous children might want to see if the name Robert helps their kid on the way!

2 John

John is actually the second most popular baby name from the last century - and second place is still pretty impressive!

There are definitely some religious connection to this name, since the meaning of it is "God is gracious." Of course, so many of these classic names have a connection to the bible, but that doesn't mean that parents have to be religious to think that they are beautiful. John is a sweet and simple name, and at less likely to be misspelled at Starbucks, at least!

1 James

James is actually the most popular baby name of the last century, since 4,764,644 babies who were born throughout that time were given it. It's pretty easy to see why this name is so popular, too. James is a classic name that has some biblical roots. It was taken from the Hebrew name for Jacob, and since it has such a strong religious background, there have been a lot of Kings that were named James.

One of the best things about this name, though? It's gender neutral! While James may be a classic name for a boy, for a girl, it's both classic and unusual - a perfect combination.

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