If judging by the popular baby names around the world is any indication, the world is becoming more of a melting pot. Once upon a time, baby names were very much reflective of the continent, country, and even city where the child was born. It’s admittedly a vast generalization, but by and large, people from the United States gave their children traditionally Old World or American names, just as those in Italy gave their children traditional Italian names, those from Africa named their babies in keeping with their particular culture, and so on for every other part of the world.
So when we heard that Nameberry took its data from 2021 to chart the most popular baby names in 25 different countries (based on site visitor searches), we at CafeMom couldn’t help but to dive in, too. What’s very interesting to see is that a lot of the “popular” names today are the same worldwide. Blame it on social media or celebrity trends or just word of mouth, but it’s fun to see. For example, the name Denzel is in the top two searched names for boys in Ghana and Nigeria — possibly sparked by a love for Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington — even though the name has never charted as a popular name in the US.
Speaking of the US, the most popularly searched names for girls, in order, are: Luna, Maeve, Aurora, Isla, and Aurelia. The most popularly searched names for boys in the US, in order, are: Silas, Atticus, Arlo, Theodore, and Finn. We’re sure you can spot a few of these names as the monikers of celebrity children, which we’ll get into below. According to the Nameberry, there are also some other uncommon names that their international readers are searching for the most so far this year, so let’s dive in! We’ve chosen 10 boy names and 10 girl names to inspire your baby-naming journey.
Luna means “moon” in Italian, but it should also mean No. 1. The name of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s first child — who recently turned 5 years old — also happens to be the No. 1 searched girl name in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Philippines, United Kingdom, and the United States. It’s No. 2 in South Africa and New Zealand, No. 3 in China and Spain, and No. 4 in Finland.
Arlo is the top searched name for boys in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the UK. It’s the third top searched name in China, Israel, and the US. Some sources claim Arlo is an Old English name that means “fortified hill,” while others say it is of Spanish origin and translates to “barberry tree.”
The name Maeve is of Irish and Gaelic origin meaning "intoxicating.” According to the Social Security Administration, 860 baby girls born in 2017 were named Maeve ― an increase from 819 in 2016, 701 in 2015 and 648 in 2014. A popular search in the US, the UK, the Philippines, Canada, Brazil, and Australia, it’s pronounced May-veh, not Mayv as most assume.
A completely nontraditional name in China, Jordi is the No. 1 searched boys name there. Jordi is of Hebrew origin, meaning "down-flowing.” According to Wikipedia: “Jordi is the Catalan form of the ancient Greek name Georgios. Jordi is a popular name in Catalonia and is also given in the Netherlands and in Spanish, English and German speaking countries. Jordi may also refer to Sant Jordi – Patron saint of Aragon and Catalonia.”
Aurora is a name popularly searched in the US, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Finland, Brazil, and Australia. In the Disney world, Princess Aurora (also known as Briar Rose) is the star of Sleeping Beauty. Aurora is also the Roman goddess, and the name refers to the natural light in the sky and means “dawn” in Latin.
Jayden is a popular name for boys, especially in the last decade, particularly in the US, but it’s also popular today in Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria. The name, known famously as the moniker of the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith (who spells his name Jaden), means “thankful” or “God will judge.” Biblically it’s a Hebrew name spelled Jadon, meaning “grateful, thankful.”
This pretty name is the top searched girl name in India. Anjali is a Sanskrit word that means “divine offering,” and as a name it’s been translated as meaning “gift” or “offering.” Anjali is said to also be the name of a greeting “between Hindus, Buddhists and other religions on the Indian subcontinent: hands folded together.”
Jiro is such a cool name because of its unusual spelling, though the pronunciation is a common yet strong word in English, “hero.” Jiro is the main character in the 2013 Disney movie, The Wind Rises, based on the real life Jiro Horikoshi, who was responsible for creating the infamous "Zero" fighter during the first years of World War II. This is the fifth most searched name for boys in Japan, and it’s of Japanese origin, and means “second son.”
Elodie is of French, Spanish, and Greek origins meaning “marsh flower” or “foreign riches.” As the third most-searched name in Canada, it’s a beautiful name derived from “Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. Saint Alodia was a child martyr in 9th century Spain.”
Hugo is such a strong name for a boy and we love that its meaning lends itself to more of the brains side than the brawn, but both work well together. Parents in the UK, Spain, Germany, Brazil, and Australia are all considering this name as a top pick for a baby boy. Said to be the “Latinized form of Hugh,” the name means “mind, intellect.” In the pop culture world, Harry Potter and Hermione name their son Hugo in the seventh novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.
Aria can be a name for a boy or a girl, depending on the country of origin, but in Spain and the United Arab Emirates it’s the top-searched name for girls. The word aria means “air” and is most commonly known as a solo musical melody in Italian. In Hebrew Aria means “lioness” and in Albanian, Aria means “treasure, gold, or “of high value.” Spelled with a y, Arya Stark was a fiery princess on Game of Thrones.
Levi is rising in popularity as a boys’ name, and we’d love to see it get more use. The third most searched baby name for boys in Canada, Levi means “joined in harmony” in Hebrew. Levi is the third son of Jacob in the Bible. Celebrities who’ve named their sons Levi include actor Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves, as well as musician Sheryl Crow.
We have to admit to never hearing the name Pedi before, and now we love this short and sweet name! It’s the top-searched name for girls in South Africa, but Pedi’s origins are in Greece, a feminine variation of Peter, meaning “rock, stone.” Also known as a variation of Petra, it’s hard to ignore the fact that a "pedi" is also American slang for a pedicure.
This is literally a worldwide name. Atlas ranked No. 1 in the search for boys’ names in Finland and No. 5 for boys in Sweden. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan who is known to have carried the world on his shoulders, so the modern-sounding name fittingly translates to “bearer to the heavens” and “to carry.” Actress Shay Mitchell and her partner Matte Babel gave birth to their daughter Atlas Noa in October 2019.
If you’re looking for an unusual name for a girl, how about Lilibet? As the top-searched name for girls in Russia, this sweet name of Hebrew origin means “pledged to God.” It’s the perfect blend of Lily and Elizabeth. This name is also similar to English names Libby and Lilibeth.
Cassius is a centuries-old Latin name that is getting some modern-day love in Italy as the No. 3 most searched name for boys. Meaning “hollow,” according to Nameberry, there were two notable Ancient Romans named Cassius: Cassius Dio and Gaius Cassius Longinus. It’s hard to mention the name without also acknowledging Cassius Clay, the birth name of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.
Rio is such a modern, stylish, and fun name, so we can see why it’s the fifth-ranking most popularly searched name for girls in Japan. It conjures thoughts of the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro, but the name actually has a more stunning meaning. Of Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese origins, Rio means “place of the cherry blossoms.”
Finn was spotted three times on Nameberry’s list of most searched baby names for boys in the US, Sweden, and Canada. Finn is a shortened version of the Irish name Fionn, it’s also a nickname for Phineas (which happens to be the name of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s newest son born in 2020). Of course, we can’t forget Mark Twain’s character Huckleberry Finn. Also, according to Nameberry, “Finn was the name of a mythical Irish warrior and folklore hero who, with his followers, protected the king.”