2016 Top Ten Baby Names and Alternatives

Hello friends! I know I'm a little late to this party (the new top 1000 list was released in May), but I still wanted to dip my toe in and talk about the new top ten lists, and some alternatives. Let's get started with the new top tens!

There weren't many changes to the top ten lists this year. The top two names on both lists stayed the same, and there were no new names on the girls list. Elijah was the only new name on the boys list. I was slightly surprised to see it there because based on the research I've done before, while Elijah was moving up in ranking, the actual number of babies born that were named Elijah was going down. However, based on my own experience, I knew at least 3 baby Elijahs born in 2016 so I wasn't shocked. On the boys list, William, James, Benjamin, and Michael moved up in rank, while Mason, Jacob, and Ethan went down. Elijah entered the top ten for the first time and Alexander dropped out. Noah and Liam stayed in the same spot. On the girls list, Ava and Charlotte moved up, while Sophia, Abigail, and Emily moved down, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Mia,and Harper stayed at the same rank.

Here's the 2015 list for comparison: 

Overall, all the top ten names from 2016 (and 2015) are all good, solid names with meaning and history. You really can't go wrong with any of these names, however some parents are looking for names that are not in the top 10, usually to avoid the child having to go by a nickname or tack on their last initial in school. For those parents, I have some suggestions of names that would be great alternatives to names in the top ten!

The way I designed this list is the "Top Alternatives" are names that are not in the top ten but still in the top 200. "Adventurous Alternatives" are names that aren't in the top 200.

Alternatives to the Top Ten Boys Names:

~A biblical name with a softer sound that has gone from bearded to baby~

Top alternative: Nolan (same first letter, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Jonah, Rowan

Adventurous Alternative: Nehemiah (biblical, same first letter, same ending sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Noble, Bowie

~A spunky Irish nickname for the traditional William~

Top alternative: Lincoln (same first letter, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Leo, Levi

Adventurous Alternative: Callum (same ending, Scottish instead of Irish)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: LachlanLeland, Leroy

~An ultra-traditional classic name with fun nickname possibilities~

Top alternative: Maxwell (traditional name with a fun, modern nickname)
Other alternatives: Henry, George, Edward

Adventurous Alternative: Winston (same beginning sound, ultra-traditional)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Wilson, Remington

~Occupational surname with a cute southern twang~

Top alternative: Carson (surname, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Carter, Sawyer

Adventurous Alternative: Macsen (same first letter, similar sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: LawsonMarsden, Turner, Orson

~A traditional biblical favorite that has recently reentered the top ten~

Top alternative: Miles (traditional, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Jude, Joel, Silas, Thomas, Jameson

Adventurous Alternative: Justus (biblical, same first letter, similar sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Zane, Jonas, Julius, Jairus, Moses, Amos

~A traditional biblical favorite, with a short natural nickname, that has recently entered the top ten for the first time ever~

Top alternative: Bennett (same first syllable, same nickname)
Other alternatives: Bentley, Abraham, Abel

Adventurous Alternative: Benaiah (biblical, same first syllable, same nickname)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Jamin

~A biblical favorite that held the top spot for over a decade~

Top alternative: Caleb (biblical, same ending)
Other alternatives: Jace

Adventurous Alternative: Eliab (same ending, biblical)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Jacoby, Jasper

~A biblical favorite that held the top spot for multiple decades~

Top alternative: Malachi (same first letter, biblical)
Other alternatives: Gabriel, Micah, Nathaniel

Adventurous Alternative: Micaiah (same first letter, similar meaning)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Milo, Othniel, Raphael 

~A biblical name with a softer sound that has gone from bearded to baby, just like #1 Noah~

Top alternative: Ezra (same first letter, similar sound, biblical)
Other alternatives: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elliot

Adventurous Alternative: Azariah (same ending, vowel beginning, biblical)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Zechariah, Zephaniah, Eliezer

~A biblical name with the trendy -an ending that you might not even realize is in the Bible~

Top alternative: Easton (same first letter, similar sound)
Other alternatives: AsherEmmett, Everett, Ezekiel

Adventurous Alternative: Ephraim (same first letter, similar sound, biblical)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Enoch, Edison

Alternatives to the top ten girls names:

~A simple-but-sweet traditional name that is easy to say and spell, and has been at the top for a few years now~

Top alternative: Cora (traditional, two-syllable, easy to say and spell)
Other alternatives: Lucy, Nora, Lila, Clara

Adventurous Alternative: Emmeline (same first syllable)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Gemma, Etta, Alma, Willa, Mabel, Louisa

~A traditional name with a zippy, modern sound, vowel beginning, and fun nicknames~

Top alternative: Lydia (traditional, same ending, similar sound, similar nickname)
Other alternatives: Eliana

Adventurous Alternative: Lilia (same ending, similar sound, similar nickname)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Olive, Olivet, Octavia, OpalOdette, Ottilie

~A short but sweet palindrome that rings of old Hollywood ~

Top alternative: Ivy (similar sound, two syllables, three letters, prominent V sound)
Other alternatives: Isla, Aria, Audrey

Adventurous Alternative: Haven (similar sound, prominent V sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Eve, Aviva, Aveline, Maeve, Neva, Dava, Monroe

~A classic Greek name that is very popular in two spellings~

Top alternative: Stella (same first letter, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Lucia, Luna

Adventurous Alternative: Seraphina (same first letter, similar sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Susannah, Selah, Sylvia, Sasha, Calista, Athena, Thalia

~A frilly Italian version of the classic Elizabeth that held the top spot once~

Top alternative: Arabella (vowel beginning, same ending, same ending)
Other alternatives: Briella, Liliana, Annabelle, Alessandra, Julianna, Anastasia, Natalia

Adventurous Alternative: Belle (similar name)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Isobel, Mirabella, Viviana

~Italian for "mine", Mia has affection and charm packed into just three letters~

Top alternative: Gianna (Italian roots, similar sound, similar nickname)
Other alternatives: Leah, Mila, Layla

Adventurous Alternative: Bria (Italian roots, similar sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: TheaMira, Carmina, Kia, Zara Gia

~A vintage, regal name, with cute nicknames, that was already on the rise before the birth of the British princess~

Top alternative: Eleanor (vintage sound, regal association, lots of nickname potential)
Other alternatives: MargaretAlice, Violet, Josephine, Genevieve, Juliette, Caroline

Adventurous Alternative: Harriett (similar sound, vintage, lots of nickname potential)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Bridget, Jacqueline

~An endearing biblical favorite with Hebrew roots and a sweet meaning~

Top alternative: Naomi (biblical, Hebrew roots, great meaning)
Other alternatives: Ruth, Rachel, Hannah, Ariel

Adventurous Alternative: Abra (same first syllable, same nickname, Hebrew roots)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Tabitha, Abrial, Deborah, Talitha, Junia, Joy, Phoebe

~A classic name full sweetness that used to hold the top spot~

Top alternative: Everly (same first letter, similar sound,same ending sound similar nickname)
Other alternatives: Emery, 

Adventurous Alternative: Elodie (similar sound, similar nickname)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Adelie, Emiliana, Emilina, Coralie, Waverly, Romilly

~A musical occupational name that was given a boost by a popular author and many celebrity daughters ~

Top alternative: Piper (musical occupational name, similar sound)
Other alternatives: Hazel, Harmony

Adventurous Alternative: Fifer (musical occupational name, similar sound)
Other Adventurous Alternatives: Parker, Harlow

What are your favorites on this year's top ten lists? What are some other cool alternatives?! Leave me some awesome name combos in the comments using current top tens or alternatives!

Here are some combos that I like:

James Alistair
Caleb Truman
Azariah Levi

Abigail Kerenza
Naomi June
Seraphina Joelle

Important announcement! Please read!

Friends, want to help a Mama out and get some cute hair stuff at the same time? The reason I've been away from my blog for so long is because last summer my husband and I became host parents (international foster parents) to two amazing Ukrainian kids! They visit us in America when they have breaks from school. We hope to adopt them as soon as we're able to! (Only positivity please! After much thought and prayer, we decided after much thought and prayer, that because we want to add these two particular children to our family, international adoption is the path we're taking.) Fundraising for their visits to us in America and for their adoption takes up a lot of my time, but I do hope to get back to more blogging! I've started making and selling hair accessories to help us save for some of the initial adoption expenses. You can help me out by liking the Forever Together Hair Acessories facebook page, and by sharing. If you have a little girl in your life who likes headbands, hair ties and clips, maybe consider purchasing something! Thanks so much for your time! ~ Alyssa

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