Jewish baby names

The Hot Jewish Baby Name Trends of 2017

cute twins

It’s that time of year again–the season when we tell you what the popular trends in Jewish baby names are. Babycenter recently released its list of 2017 trends–and some of them are classics, while others are based off of popular TV shows and movies (I mean, who doesn’t want a cute little Carrie running around in tribute to the late great Carrie Fisher), which also got me thinking about Jewish names similar to some of the other names on this list. Check out our Jewish baby name bank here for more inspiration.

Here are the most popular names:

Girls

1. Charlotte. Charlotte is a popular name popularized by immigrants because it means “free,” though it’s not strictly Jewish (maybe the fact that both Chelsea Clinton and the Duchess of Cambridge recently named their daughters Charlotte has helped catapult this one into popularity!)

2. Eve/Eva/Chava. Chava, which is Eve in English, is the Hebrew name of Eve, the first woman God created.

3. Dinah. Dinah is a Hebrew name meaning “judgment.” Dinah was a daughter of Jacob.  Dinah Washington is probably the most famous Dinah.

4. Tamar. Tamar is a Hebrew name meaning “palm tree.” In the Bible, Tamar was the widowed daughter-in-law of Judah. When Judah stalled her marriage to his youngest son, Tamar tricked Judah into sleeping with her in order to conceive a child.

5. Eliana. Eliana is a Hebrew name meaning “My God has answered.”

6. Eden/Edna. Eden (or Edna) is Hebrew meaning “pleasure.” The Garden of Eden is the setting for the creation story.

7. Ava. Ava means “life” in Hebrew. Ava Gardner, anyone?

8. Ilana. Ilana, similar sounding to Eliana, is a Hebrew name that means “Birthday of the Trees.” Also, we can only assume that Ilana Glazer of the show “Broad City” is making it popular right now.

Boys

1. Noah. Noah is a Hebrew name meaning “comfort.” Noah built an ark to save his family and representatives of each animal species from God’s mighty flood.

2. Elijah. Elijah means “the Lord is my God” in Hebrew, and was one of the most famous prophets in the bible. But we also inevitably think about Elijah Woods, aka: Frodo Baggins:

3. Ethan. Ethan means “strong” or “enduring” in Hebrew–traits you’d want any child to have.

4. Ezra. Ezra means “help” in Hebrew, and was a scribe and leader of the people of Israel returning from Babylonian exile. Ezra Furman is a Jewish musician who’s making waves right now:

5. Isaiah. Isaiah is a boys Hebrew name that means “God is salvation.” Yeshayahu was an eighth century Prophet of Israel. Yeshayahu is the same name as Yeshaya.

6. Josiah. Josiah means is Hebrew meaning “supported by God.”

7. Levi. Levi is a boys name that means “attached” in Hebrew. Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Levi’s, anyone?

8. Asher. Asher means “happy” in Hebrew, and was the eighth son of Jacob, so one of 12 tribes of Israel.

But, what else is influencing name trends?

Of course, “Star Wars,” which according to Babycenter, has had an unsurprising impact. Carrie, for instance, “rose 11% in 2016 after the release of The Force Awakens. It’s continuing to rise this year, and we’re keeping an eye on it. Parents may be drawn to the name even more after the unexpected death in December 2016 of actress Carrie Fisher, who played beloved character Princess/General Leia.”

Meanwhile, Kylo has seen an “81% higher for boys in 2016 and is already up 123 spots in 2017.” On our end, perhaps that means Kayla will get an awakening, which is a Yiddish girls name meaning “laurel” or “crown.”

There’s also Rey, which moved “up 43% for boys.” For girls, however, you could opt for the Yiddish name Reyna, which means “pure.” For boys, you can go with Raziel (and use Rey/Ray for short!), which is Hebrew for “God’s secret.”

For more naming inspiration, visit our Jewish Baby Name Finder.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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