THE REAL MEANING BEHIND THE MOST POPULAR BABY NAMES
Before you pick that trendy moniker, you should know its history! More here: bit.ly/1ZPLJUr
- •OlviaThank William Shakespeare for this one: He's credited with first using this spelling in the 1602 comedy Twelfth Night. (Oliver and Oliva were names during that time.) The name didn't catch on in a big way, though, until the latter part of the 20th century. Due, in part, to a character on the 1970s TV show The Waltons.
- •JacksonNo surprise: It was originally an English surname that meant "son of Jack." (Andrew Jackson was one of its most prominent bearers, though today it's also the first name of a Grey's Anatomy character.) For parents that really want to find a deeper meaning, Jack was a diminutive of John from the Middle Ages. John came from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning "Yahweh is gracious." So, there you go.
- •MiaThis one crosses cultures, starting as a Scandinavian, Dutch, and German diminutive of Maria (which is often interchangeable with Mary in many countries). It also is the Italian word for "mine." That's perhaps the more positive meaning, since Maria, Miryam, and Mary all roughly translate to "bitterness" or "rebelliousness." An even more upbeat theory? It could have also originated from the ancient Egyptian names Mry or Mr, which mean "beloved" and "love," respectively.
- •AvaIt feels like a more modern variant of Eve, but this name has been around for millennia. In Hebrew, Eve means "breath or life." But there is a version of Ava in Persian, which means "voice, sound," or in ancient German, which likely meant "desired." All we know is that it's one of the most desired girl's names today.
- •MasonWell, this one is just what you'd imagine: Mason was originally an English surname meaning "stoneworker."