Alternate Choices for the Top 10 Baby Names

Parents are seeking out more unique names, intentionally avoiding names that rank in the top ten of the popularity charts. But if you love a name on the top ten, what should you do?

Some parents are choosing to go with an alternate/creative spelling of a more popular name – like Kymberleigh as opposed to Kimberly. But creating an alternative spelling of a common name is putting a burden on your child to spell their name for people their entire lives. “Like Kimberly with a y and eigh.” UGH. Online name communities will call these types of names a Tragydeigh, and they could very likely subject your child to ridicule and teasing.

So our staff has curated a special list of alternatives to the top ten names on the charts. We hope this will help you in your search for cool and unique names!

Oliver – A solid name, beating Liam for the first time since 2017. If you love the name Oliver, you might want to consider: Archer, Olivier (pronounced Oh-LIV-ee-ay), Orion, Ormond, Orville, Oscar, Valentino, Varian, Xavier or Zavier.

Liam – Currently #1 for boy births in the United States, Liam is the most popular name by far. If you love the name Liam, you might want to consider: Cameron, Elam, Ephraim, Flynn, Lane, Linus, Lorne, Luken, Keegan, Kyan, Maxim, or Teom.

Theodore – Theodore along with its popular nickname Theo has been trending for the past couple of years. If you love the name Theodore, you might want to consider: Alistair, Claudius, Currier, Denver, Dominick, Forrester, Thane, Thatcher, Thayer, or Theon.

Ethan – Ethan jumped onto the top 100 in 1989 and has stayed every since. If you love the name Ethan, you might want to consider: Abram, Banyan, Caspian, Deacon, Efram, Elkan, Errol, Evron, Jathan, Kenan, Nathaniel, and Tristan.

Aidan – On the charts now for four decades, Aidan is definitely an oversaturated name, at least in the United States. If you love the name Aidan, you might want to consider: Adair, Adonis, Aidric, Aithan, Alair, Amadeus, Boden, Holden, Rowan, Ruben, or Theoren.

Benjamin – A solid and stable Biblical name, Benjamin has been a popular name for centuries. If you love the name Benjamin, you might want to consider: Barrington, Bastien, Benedict, Benniton, Benjen, Bennison, Jolyon, Julius, Malachi, or Reuben.

Declan – Like Liam, a wonderful Irish name that has burst onto the baby names scene, but becoming more popular by the year. If you love the name Declan, you might want to consider: Damian, Darwin, Dathan, Dexter, Draco, Durin, Harlan, Kellan, Kylan, Rohan, Rowan, or Stellan.

Gabriel – In the Bible, Gabriel is an archangel who was God’s messenger. Common nicknames for the name Gabriel include Gabe and Gabey. If you love the name Gabriel, you might want to consider: Abiel, Azriel, Emmanuel, Gable, Gaius, Galvan, Garrison, Jeriel, Oriel, or Taniel.

Finn – Another Celtic name that is popular for boys, that’s solid and easy to spell. If you love the name Finn, you might want to consider: Colm, Duff, Fews, Finnegan, Flynn, Fox, Fritz, Kian, Niall, Seath, or Sloan.

Elijah – Elijah is another popular Biblical name that’s been in the top 100 names in the U.S. since 1995. If you love the name Elijah, you might want to consider: Efren, Eisley, Elden, Eliezer, Ellison, Elon, Emeric, Ender, Enzo, Essery, Evander, or Lysander.

Amelia – A classic name that has been in the top of the Baby Names charts for 14 years. If you love the name Amelia, you might want to consider: Acadia, Amelie, Azalea, Alaska, Alessandra, Alucia, Andromeda, Aniela, Apollonia, Aretha, Astra or Exandria.

Charlotte – The name of the U.K. princess has risen to the top of the charts on both sides of the pond! If you love the name Charlotte, you might want to consider: Carlotta, Chamonix (Sha-moh-NEE), Channery, Chenille, Cheryl, Chrysanth, Claudette, Corliss, Elliette, Harlow, Rosette, Ondelette, or Vignette.

Aurora – A Disney princess name (Sleeping Beauty) as well as a nature name, Aurora has shot into the top ten. If you love the name Aurora, you might want to consider: Arielle, Artois (Ar-TWAH), Aubergine, Aurelia, Aurica, Arcellia, Aramis, Arabella, Ariadne, Orion, Rhianna, or Rorah.

Violet – Both a nature and a color name, Violet has been popular since Downton Abbey hit the airwaves. If you love the name Violet, you might want to consider: Avalon, Avril, Evangeline, Eveline, Valtina, Velvet, Verily, Vianca, Ville, Villette, Viola, or Vyla.

Olivia – A name that has been popular for several decades, it’s time to be more creative! If you love the name Olivia, you might want to consider: Aviva, Geneva, Guenevere, Octavia, Odille, Odette, Olivier, Olympia, Olinda, Ophelia, or Sylvia.

Ava – A name that dates back to the glamorous Ava Gardener and beyond, this name is known for its beautiful simplicity. If you love the name Ava, you might want to consider: Ada, Avalon, Avelina, Avari, Aveline, Aven, Avice, Tavia, Verona, Vesta, or Xava.

Aria – Strong female characters from Pretty Little Liars and Game of Thrones propelled the name Aria/Arya onto the top of the charts. If you love the name Aria, you might want to consider: Aaliyah, Achaia, Agatha, Akeelah, Alarice, Alchemy, Alodie, Amaya, Amberly, Anya, Arra, or Carolie.

Luna – The Harry Potter series is likely to have brought this name onto the charts. If you love the name Luna, you might want to consider: Aylin, Chandra, Lena, Lana, Lara, Laurel, Leia, Lilith, Lois, Ojai, Selena, Uma, or Venus.

Isla – Thanks to actress Isla Fisher, this name has popular for just under a decade. If you love the name Isla, you might want to consider: Ainslie, Aislynn, Ayla, Delilah, Eulalie, Giselle, Iola, Liesel, Lilac, Sloane, Tesla, or Teslin.

Hazel – A nature name that is also a popular strong character name (Fault in Our Stars) Hazel appeared on the U.S. Charts in the year 2000 and has risen ever since. If you love the name Hazel, you might also want to consider: Azalea, Brazil, Eliza, Gazelle, Hadria, Halina, Halston, Harlow, Harriet, Haven, or Kenzie.

We hope this has sparked cool name ideas for names to add to your favorite name list. For more unique names, check out the Community Forums, or listen to the many episodes of The Baby Names Podcast!

Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.