Want your child to stand out on the preschool roster? Going with a strong noun name is an all-American tradition. Below are some names that you may not have even realized were nouns. And, with a little help from Babylist (who we love because they named the dictionary and thesaurus as some of the top ways to pick a baby name), we’ve ranked awesome noun-inspired names based on their popularity in 2018. That way, you can either be in on the trend … or go the complete opposite (unique, unpronounceable, but amazingly you) way with your dream baby name.
Names that are also attributes
While the Puritans may have been way off about many things (corporal punishment, shunning outsiders, the Salem Witch Trials), we have to respect their bold taste in first names. In early America, many first names were nouns—suggesting the virtue or countenance the pilgrim parents wanted their children to embody. Some Puritanical names are best left to the 1600s (Humiliation and Obedience, we’re looking at you), but others are perfectly descriptive for 2018. None of these made the Babylist ranks (read below for those trendy names), but we like these all the same.
- Constance (Yup, this one is a noun, it means “constant.”)
- Credence (This one means “belief or acceptance in an idea as truth.” Pretty profound.)
- Prudence (Hunger Games worthy and a noun meaning “cautiousness.”)
- Giles (Cute, right? You don’t have to tell people it means “goat skin.”)
- Felicity (She’s independent, goes to college in New York, and has a name that means “peacefulness.” This is a winner.)
- Patience (Every time you say your child’s name, it will be a good reminder to take a breath. You got this!)
Names that are also occupations
It’s likely that you know someone with the last name Miller (one who mills), Baker (one who bakes), or Cook (one who—you get the idea). Similarly, many occupations have been adopted as first names. These occupational names have been popular since the 1600s and 1700s, so there’s history here and a bit of a vintage feel … plus naming your child one of these names doesn’t mean you’re determining their career for them—don’t worry, they’ll still live in your basement in 22 years no matter what.
- Carter (Babylist ranks this one at #38 for 2018.)
- Hunter (Babylist ranks Hunter at #43 for 2018, how wild!)
- Parker (Babylist ranks Parker at #49 for 2018.)
- Cooper (Cooper means “someone who makes or repairs barrels,” ok … but it is #57 on the Babylist ranks for 2018 so maybe there’s something to it.)
- Mason (Mason means “a stone worker” and it’s #70 on Babylist.)
- Maverick (Babylist ranks Maverick at #72. This is a pretty awesome noun-name, and we have some insider information that editors at Babylist are rooting for this one to scale the ranks! )
- Piper (Piper is a Babylist Top 500 name, and culturally relevant in the Netflix day and age.)
- Sawyer (Sawyer is a Babylist Top 500 name … also pop-culture relevant—Lost, One Tree Hill … OK maybe not so relevant anymore.)
- Taylor (Taylor is another Babylist Top 500 name.)
- Thatcher (Thatcher means “someone who fixes or repairs holes.” It’s not on the BabyList ranks just yet … but we think it’s pretty unique for a newborn.)
- Tanner (Tanner means “someone who cures leather,” maybe one to skip for any vegans out there?)
- Page (This one means “an attendant” as an occupation, but naming your child Page also shows your bibliophilia, so you know we here at the dictionary love it.)
Names that are also outdoor nouns
Flowers, plants, mountains, bodies of water: Lovely outdoor vistas have always been popular sources for names. While some of these old-fashioned names have fallen out of favor, many have been making a steady comeback—from River Phoenix in the ’90s to Bear Grylls today.
- Lily (Babylist ranks this one at #14 for 2018.)
- Forest (Well, what’s a better Tom Hanks movie reference than this?)
- Flint (Flint means “a small stone used to ignite or set fire.” But, it might be too soon for this one if it reminds you of our friends in Michigan who aren’t getting the resources they deserve.)
- Luna (Latin for “the moon,” it just sounds so dreamy.)
- Daisy (A literary classic plus a pretty dainty flower … win win.)
- Dahlia (Exotic, literary and cinematic, and from the dictionary. We approve.)
- Everest (Everest means “a high point or summit” and it’s also that huge mountain people dedicate their lives to exploring … so this name is guaranteed to stir some intrigue around your LO.)
Names that are also food
When in doubt, everyone loves food and food names. Don’t believe us? Ask Kobe Bryant.
- Madeleine (Babylist ranks this sweet, sweet name at #10 for 2018.)
- Clementine (Babylist ranks Clementine in the top 500 for 2018 because Clem is just too cute for a nickname.)
- Olive (Babylist ranks this one in the top 500 for 2018.)
- Sage (This one is rising in the Babylist ranks—it’s in the top 500 this year and it’s a pretty bohemian unisex name that we dig too.)
- Apple (Healthy and celebrity-approved.)
- Brie (Cheese … what’s better for a name than something so delicious.)
Names that are also geography nouns
In recent years, Americans have paid homage to the classic “noun as first name” tradition with a relatively new trend: naming children after world cities. Metropolitan names are increasingly popular, with Madison consistently ranking in the top 500 for girl names. Huh—must be a lot of honeymoons in Wisconsin.
- Hudson (Babylist ranks Hudson at #31 for 2018.)
- Jackson (Babylist ranks this one at #44 for 2018.)
- Brooklyn (Another NYC gem, except no one can afford to live there anymore …)
- Sydney (For your inner-Aussie …)
- Devon (To give your LO a little British heritage.)
- Florence (Ciao bella!)
- Cleveland (Hmm … Ohio, really? Just kidding, Ohio, we’re sure Cleveland is great …?)