So you’re getting ready to name your baby, but you want to choose a name that is poplar, while also still a bit off the beaten path. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! When looking for inspiration from popular baby names, don’t limit your search to names that are just popular in the U.S. Other countries around the world have a lot to offer, too.
Many of the popular baby names from across the globe might not sound as unfamiliar as you might think. A lot of them are widely used names in America, although they’re nowhere near as popular over here. They are recognizable enough, though. Grab one of these names, and you get the best of both worlds: your baby is getting a name with some international flair, but also one that is just far enough from the status quo to be unique. You will want to add these trendy baby names from around the world to the top of your list.
Variations of the name Lukas are popular all over the world. Lucas is the preferred spelling in more than 20 countries, including the United States, where it ranks in the top 100 names. It might be the overall more preferred spelling of the name, but a handful of countries prefer the “k” version of the moniker. Lukas is the German, Scandinavian, and Lithuanian version of the name, and it is one of the most popular names for boys in Austria, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic.
One of the of the most popular people named Lukas these days is singer Lukas Forchhammer. Forchhammer is the frontman of the Danish pop group Lukas Graham, whose debut album hit made a splash on the Billboard 200, making it to number three. Denmark actually prefers the “c” spelling of the name, but that might change as Lukas Graham keeps churning out more hits like their song “7 Years.”
The goddess Freyja is one of the most iconic of the Norse gods and goddesses, so it’s no surprise that the name Freja, a slightly modified version of the goddess’ name, is popular in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Sweden. She was the goddess of many things, including love and fertility. Her name means “lady” in old Norse. Freja is one of the most popular names for girls in Denmark and Sweden, but other variations are popular across Europe.
Freya, the preferred English spelling, is a top 100 name for girls in Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland. The name is also in the top 100 in New Zealand, and is even slowly climbing up the charts in the United States. In spite of Freyja being the original spelling of the name, this variation is only popular in Iceland, where it is a beloved name for little girls.
Leo is a name that is adored in several countries across Europe and is also widely used in Australia. The Latin word for lion, Leo has been a popular name for centuries, along with its Greek equivalent, Leon. The name was used by popes, saints, emperors, and kings, and can also be found in astrology as one of the twelve zodiac signs.
It has a lot of history, but rather than seeming old-fashioned, is still an overwhelmingly cherished moniker in modern times. The name appears on charts all over the world, but is the most popular in Australia, Finland, Galicia, New Zealand, Scotland, and France. This traditionally masculine name even started to be used as a feminine name in the United States over a century ago, but stopped being given to girls by the 1920s. Though it sadly did not transition to a gender neutral name, you can go against the grain and pass it on to your little girl anyway. If you find yourself attracted to more traditional baby names, this strong and powerful moniker is a surefire mainstream choice for your little boy.
The feminine name Isla comes from the masculine name Islay, which itself comes from the name of an island off the coast of Scotland. The name Islay isn’t very commonly used, but its feminine incarnation is a whole other story. While the name Isla has only started gaining traction in the United States in 2008, it has been a popular name in other English-speaking countries for decades. While it’s popular in several European countries, this name is especially beloved in Australia, England, Wales, Canada, Scotland, and New Zealand, where it consistently falls in the top ten names for girls.
Part of the name’s growing popularity can probably be attributed to the fame of the actress Isla Fisher, who has starred in blockbuster films such as Now You See Me and The Great Gatsby. The film icon is also a talented writer, and has a few books under her belt.
This famous first name can also be used as a last name, as The Jonas Brothers famously showed us in the 2000s. While it is the Lithuanian version of the English name John, Jonas is also a trending name outside of that country — it is one of the most popular names for baby boys in Austria and Norway, in addition to its native Lithuania.
John, Jonas, and many other forms of the name are some of the most popular worldwide. In addition to these two appellations, there are many other familiar names that can be traced to the Hebrew name Yochanan meaning “Yahweh is gracious.” Names as seemingly unrelated as Johannes, Hans, Jane, Evan, and Vanya can trace their roots back to this ancient baby name. Considering its long history, this means that Jonas will probably stay at the top of the baby charts in Lithuania, Austria, and Norway for years to come.
You might best recognize the name Aurora from the tale of Sleeping Beauty. She is one of the classic Disney princesses, so it’s fitting that her name is so beloved. But before Princess Aurora, there was another woman of the same name who held particular significance in Italy. In Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the morning. The name itself is Latin for “dawn.” According to legend, she would rise from the sea each morning and ride across the sky in a horse-drawn chariot, sprinkling dew over the earth.
Aurora is one of the most frequently used names for baby girls in Italy, and is also seeing some growth in other countries that are following the Italian trend. It has slowly started creeping up the charts in the United States, entering the top 100 names for girls in 2015. It’s also widely used in many other countries, including Slovenia, Norway, Chile, and Canada.
Elias is the Latin version of the name Elijah and the two names are often used interchangeably. In Greek versions of the Bible, this name is used for the 9th century BC prophet and miracle worker Elijah. Elijah itself comes from the Hebrew name “Eliyyahu”, which means “my God is Yahweh.” Many saints who were named for the Biblical figure went by the name Elias, which helped to popularize the name in the Middle Ages.
Elias is a top 100 name for boys in more than a dozen countries around the world, but it notably tops the charts in Austria, Sweden, Finland, and Norway. This name has not just endured for centuries, but has also remained popular. In the United States, the name has never been out of the top 1000 names for boys. One of the most famous historical figures to have the name is inventor Elias Howe, who we can thank for inventing the sewing machine in the 19th century.
Lili Reinhart might not have a name that sounds particularly European, but the Ohio-born actress’ first name is actually one of the most popular in Hungary. While as English-speakers, our first thought might be that Lili is a variation of the name Lily, it actually has a different origin. Rather than being named after the flower, Lili is used in Germany, France, and Hungary as a nickname for Elisabeth. Fittingly, Reinhart’s Riverdale character is named Betty — another nickname for Elisabeth. In Hungary, the name is also used as a nickname for Karolina and Júlia.
The name Lili also sees a fair amount of use as a given name in France and Slovenia, but it is most popular in Hungary. Given Reinhart’s quick rise to stardom, however, we may see the name grow in popularity in other countries around the world. The alternate spelling Lily is already popular in many countries, so it’s possible that we will see people opting for Lili, inspired by the actress.
Many of the most enduring names around the world have Biblical roots. This is the case with Levi, a Hebrew name with an uncertain origin, but which possibly means “joined” or “attached.” In the Bible, Levi was the ancestor of the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel that formed the priestly class. In spite of its many centuries of age, the name did not become widespread among English speakers until the 16th century, after the Protestant Reformation.
Outside of the Bible, the name is also widely recognizable as one of the most famous blue jean brands in the world. While the clothing company Levi’s is based in the United States, the country in which the name Levi is the most popular is actually the Netherlands. It is one of the most popular name for Dutch boys, but is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world.
This lovely name is in full bloom in Chile, where it is one of the hottest names for baby girls. This Spanish language name is pronounced “flo-REN-thya” in Europe, but in Latin America, it is said as “flo-REN-sya.” Coming from the name Florentia, the feminine version of the name Florentius, the name Florencia is ultimately derived from the Latin word “florens” which means “prosperous” or “flourishing.” Florencia was also the ancient name of the Italian city of Florence. Many early Christian saints were named Florentius — this made it a popular name choice for Christians, who used the name and its feminine variation in their honor.
While Florentius was a masculine name, Florencia and its English equivalent, Florence, are almost always used for girls. Florence is also a name that has been enduringly popular. While it is largely considered old-fashioned in the United States, other English-speaking countries, including Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, England, and Wales cherish the name and regularly bestow it upon their baby girls.
The name Filip has been given to babies in various forms since ancient times. Its earliest known form is Philippos, a Greek name which comes from the word “philos,” meaning “friend” or “lover”, and “hippos” meaning “horse.” From Philippos, the name turned into Philip, a popular name that has been used since ancient times. Historically, the name is perhaps most notable as the name of Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II, king of Macedon.
While Philip is the more commonly recognized English spelling, many countries opt to spell the moniker with an F, as Filip. Today, the name Filip is one of the most popular names for boys in Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The name is even in the top 200 names in England and Wales, which is surprising considering that the British royal family chooses to use the traditional English spelling, as demonstrated by Prince Philip.
This lovely name has somewhat humble origins. Lola started off as a nickname for the name Dolores before emerging into a given name in its own right. Now, it’s one of the most popular names for baby girls in France. While it has has become so popular in that country that it could be mistaken for a French name, Lola actually has Spanish roots.
The name has been gaining traction in other countries and regions in the last few years. It’s in the top 100 names for girls in Australia, Belgium, Catalonia, England, Wales, Galicia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Spain.
The name Lola has also been immortalized in music. It’s the name of a popular song by The Kinks, and features in the jazz standard “Whatever Lola Wants.” Lola is also the name of a classic film from 1961, which featured the iconic French actress Anouk Aimée.
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