The meanings you never knew behind 25 very common baby names revealed – is yours on the list?

Knowing the meaning behind these names might help you pick a favourite

A close up of a baby sleeping on a blanket
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every baby name has a meaning, but it's often overlooked when expectant parents are making their decision.

There are lots of reasons why parents might choose a particular name for their baby. They might be on the hunt for unique baby names or something more specific, like a space-inspired baby name. But for others, it's all about the meaning behind the moniker.

Baby name consultant SJ Strum told GoodtoKnow, "All names have personality and it's fascinating to discover what your own name means as a first step to picking a special baby name that you really bond with. Couples I work with as a baby name consultant can often find a strong connection to a name through either linking the meaning of their own name (which becomes a lovely family tradition for siblings too) or by finding a name meaning that fits your values and passions."

But you don't have to go with an unusual choice to find a baby name with a meaning that resonates. Some of the most popular baby names out there have beautiful meanings. Luca, for example, which Baby Centre recorded as the eighth most popular boy's name in 2023, means 'bringer of light'. Meanwhile, Sophia – which was the ninth most popular girl's name – means 'wisdom'.

SJ added, "If you're struggling with an A-Z list or have lots of ideas but no big stand-out names; I always recommend going with the story of the name – and that's often what the name's meaning can bring. "

Below, SJ has revealed the lesser-known meanings behind 25 of the most common baby names...

A close up of a baby bump with post it notes of names stuck to it

(Image credit: Alamy)

25 common baby name meanings revealed

  1. Amanda - she who must be loved
  2. Ellie - light or sunbeam
  3. Alfie - elf counsel
  4. Philippa - lover of horses
  5. Xavier - new house
  6. Dylan - born from the ocean
  7. Mia - mine
  8. Aurora - dawn 
  9. Frank - to be free
  10. Abigail - my fathers joy
  11. Freya - goddess of fertility 
  12. Ava - bird like 
  13. Oscar - deer lover
  14. George - farmer
  15. Henry - ruler of the home
  16. Sophia - wisdom 
  17. Florence - to bloom
  18. Otis - wealthy
  19. Mabel - loveable
  20. Luca - bringer of light
  21. Everly - boar in a meadow
  22. David - beloved
  23. Logan - little cove
  24. Ellis - kind
  25. Riley - courageous 

Looking for more baby name inspiration? We've put together a list of 500 twin baby names and over 180 old-fashioned baby names too. Check out these cool baby names and some cute baby names too.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.