Deciding on a baby name is not an easy task! Hours, if not days can be spent sifting through the internet trying to find the right fit for the unborn baby. Most new parents feel overwhelmed by the number of potential names available for their sweet little one, and whatever choice is made will be something that sticks with them for life. Sometimes, having a long, complicated name can feel like the wrong decision. Often parents fear they will look back with regret, but changing it later is obviously not an option.
A shorter, sweeter baby name will generally be easier to pronounce and there is something nice about the simplicity it brings. All the names on the following list will roll off the tongue, and some of them may not have been on the radar of new parents until now. Pair them with longer middle names, or put two together for a name that really flows.
Whether it is for a boy or girl, there is something here for everyone and many of these names can be unisex. Still want to go for a few extra letters and syllables? That’s OK too because this list of 25 names has that covered. Why not use one of these as a middle name? Read on to find out the origins of these short and sweet names and don’t forget to say them out loud...because they certainly do have a nice ring to them. We recommend writing a shortlist and taking the time to find the right name.
Mace is a short and sweet baby boy’s name and has an English background. Think back to those medieval knights and King Arthur days, as a mace was an olden day weapon. The meaning is “Gift of God” and it is loosely related to Matthew. This is a name which has had its ups and downs in the popularity stakes but is on the rise and is set to make a big comeback. Alternatives include Mason, Macey, Moss or Maceo. It rolls off the tongue and has an air of coolness about it.
Celebrity fun fact: Mace is commonly a surname, with French model Deborah Mace a celebrity example. However, Star Wars fans may be familiar with Mace Windu. Played by Samuel L Jackson, this Jedi Master carried a lightsaber. We are thinking it’s actually the Star Wars obsessed Dads who are bringing this name into the spotlight, but there are no complaints here.
Amy is not an uncommon name for girls, but there is something sweet and pure about it which means it never goes out of style. The origin of Amy is French, and it is simple with just three letters, but isn’t it oh so pretty? This name was particularly popular in the 70’s but first hit the mainstream after Louisa May Alcott penned her much loved classic, Little Women back in 1869. The meaning of Amy is “Dearly Beloved” and for those who like this name, other suggestions include Aimee, Amelia, Emma, Naomi, and Emily.
Celebrity fun fact: It isn’t hard to find a celebrity named Amy, the difficulty is choosing which one we love the most. Amy Adams has been a much sought-after actress ever since she appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can. Then, there is the forever young Amy Winehouse, quirky comedians Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer, and actress Amy Ryan.
Eden is a short and sweet baby name which can be given to either a girl or a boy. This is a biblical name which is related to Adam and Eve’s garden of paradise which they fatefully left due to the consumption of “that” apple. Unfortunately for these two, they were banished, but the idea is still there as the name means “Delight” or “Fruitful”. Similar names include Aidan, Edith, Ethan, Eve, and Neve. At just four letters, it may be a surprise but this can be shortened, think Edie or Ed.
Celebrity fun fact: Eden is a name which is starting to emerge in popular culture amongst the under 30s. Eden Sher played Sue Heck, the braces-wearing teenager in comedy series The Middle. At just 12 years old, Eden Wood has made a name for herself after appearing in the reality TV series Toddlers in Tiaras, and Eden Skory is a 17 year old YouTube starlet. However, ask any soccer geek who they know called Eden? It is Eden Hazard, the Belgian soccer star who played for Chelsea.
Kate comes from Catherine, Katherina or Katherine, and has a Greek heritage. It hit its peak in the 1880s, but this level of popularity was almost matched again in 2006. It is one of those short, sweet names which people often forget about, but always come back to! Fans of this girls name may also like Katie, Kat or Caitlin. The meaning of the name Kate is “Pure” and she is sure to grow up to be kind and elegant with a name like this.
Celebrity fun fact: Kate Hudson is lovable as Goldie Hawn’s daughter and a successful actress in her own right as she has even won herself a Golden Globe. Everyone’s favorite royal (although Ms. Markle may be a new contender) is Kate Middleton, and she pretty much sums up the grace that comes attached to the name. And, who can forget Kate Winslet? Poor Jack drowned just to save her character in Titanic. Tragic.
While Skye is the most common variation of this name, Sky comes in at three letters and there is something ultra sweet about it. It can be unisex, but surprisingly it is more widely used for boys. It is an old school Saxon name and not to be obvious but it literally comes from the sky. The meaning is “Clouds” or “Home of God”. Similar names to Sky include Skylar, Star, Skylee, Skylia or Skylynn. This is a name which really only started to hit the charts in the 90s but is more popular now than ever before. Keep an eye on this name as it is sure to hit new heights over the next few years.
Celebrity fun fact: Female Sky Ferreira is an electropop singer, actress, and model. Reality star and tattoo artist Sky appeared on the series Black Ink Crew. Then, there is the male Sky Williams, who has made a name for himself as a gamer and YouTube sensation.
Quin is a name which is both cool and cute and has an Irish background. It means “Intelligent” and this young smartie pants is sure to grow up do big things. Quin can be a name for either a boy or a girl, but it is more commonly spelled as Quinn. It has links to Quintin, and was most popular for baby boys in the early 2000’s, but has seen a massive jump in popularity for baby girls over the last two years. Similar names include Finn and Flynn, and both variations of Quin and Quinn are Irish surnames.
Celebrity fun fact: It is hard to find a celebrity who goes by the name of Quin, so your child will be truly unique with this one. For now, because, Harlequin is beginning to trend, probably due to the DC comics supervillain Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad.
“Chase is on the case”. Paw Patrol fans rejoice, as the much loved cartoon German shepherd police dog has given this name a boost in popularity. Chase is a boy or girl’s name, but is more common for boys, and was originally a surname. It has an English origin and means “hunter”. It can be a standalone name or a shortened version of Chauncey or Chasseur. Similar selections could be Jase, Ace or Chance. Jase has hit peak popularity this year and is likely to stay in the top baby name charts for some time.
Celebrity fun fact: Interestingly, most of the famous folks named Chase that we came across while researching this article are athletes. There are baseballers Chase Utley and Chase Headley, basketballer Chase Budinger, footballer Chase Daniel and wrestler Chase Stevens...just to name a few! Let's just say, sporty parents may be particularly fond of this short and sweet baby name!
Pax is a fun twist on the more traditional Max and is still quite unique for those who want something a little different. This boys or girls name can be short for Paxton or used on its own. The meaning is just as lovely as the name, as it comes from “peace” and has an English origin. Similar names to Pax include Jax, Axe, Dax and Knox. There is something strong about names with the “x” sound, and Pax has a nice ring to it. This is slowly gaining in popularity, so now is the time to use it to be ahead of the trend!
Celebrity fun fact: Movie stars Brad (Pitt) and Angelina (Jolie) are fans of the “x” and named their second child Pax to go with their other boys, Maddox and Knox. Paxton is also a surname, think the late Bill Paxton and the young Sara Paxton.
Zane comes right at the end of the alphabet and has a Hebrew origin. The meaning is “from God” or “God is gracious” and it is typically a boy's name. But, it is occasionally a girl’s name. Zane is similar to Dane, Zan, and Zander. This short baby name can be used on its own, or as a nickname for Zayden. Alternative spelling includes Zayn, Zayne or Zain. Over the last 10 years the name Zane has gained popularity and is often categorized as a hipster name.
Celebrity fun fact: There are a few male celebs who go by the name Zane. There is model turned actor Zane Holtz played Richie Gecko on the TV adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn. However, the man who made this name mainstream was author Zane Grey, and his much loved adventure novels. He was born way back in 1872 and passed in 1939.
Bo is one of the shortest baby names you will find, as it has only two letters. Bo is generally a boy’s name and has a Scandinavian background. It means “to live” and is a very common first name in Denmark. Bo can be short for Robert, Bonnie, Bonita, Beauregard or Beaufort or used as a name on its own. The alternate spelling of Beau has a French origin and means “beautiful”, so simply changing the spelling changes the entire meaning. If you like the name Bo you may also like Bodie, Bobby, Bode or Bodhi.
Celebrity fun fact: Many people associate the name Bo with the Days of our Lives character “Bo Brady” who has been in existence since 1983. Bo Burnham is a popular comedian, Bo Bice is a rock singer and Bo Develius is a Swedish model. Bo Derek may be a famous female, but she originally Mary Cathleen Collins and not born as a Bo.
Bea is a simply sweet girl’s name and an alternative to Beau. It means “bringer of joy”, or “beautiful” and has a Latin heritage but variations are found in many different countries. Bea is an oldie but goldie and comes from the name Beatrice or Beatrix. The alternate spelling is either Bee or B, and similar names include Beate, Betty, Beata, Beah, Beattie, Beatricia, and Beathag. The name Bea may be confused with the best friend term “Bae” which stands for before anyone else. Bea is a name suited to a happy yet cheeky little angel.
Celebrity fun fact: Bea Benaderet was a television actress in the early to mid nineties, along with Bea Arthur who died in 2009. This shows you how retro this name is, but then we have Bea Miller who is an 18 year old pop singer. Bea Alonzo and Bea Binene are actresses who both have Filipino backgrounds.
Eva is Latin and is a version of the biblical Eve. This is a girl’s name and means “life”. Eva is a popular baby name and reached its peak back in the late 1800s, however, it is slowly making a comeback and came in at number 50 for girls born in 2017. Similar names include Ava, Ana, Ada, and Ella. For a longer version try Evianna, Evelina, Evania, Geneva, Evangeline, Genevieve, or Evalet. But, we think Eva is sweet all on its own.
Celebrity fun fact: Debatably two of the most beautiful women in the world go by the name of Eva. First, there is actress Eva Mendes, who scored the handsome Ryan Gosling as her baby daddy. No longer a desperate housewife, Eva Longoria is one talented lady as she now works as a director. Not to mention, Hollywood royal Susan Sarandon has a daughter named Eva Amurri Martino.
Jean is French and for those with this background, it will often be hyphenated with something else. Think Jean-Paul, Jean-Robert, or Jean-Luc. Jean can be either a boy’s or girl’s name and it means “God is gracious”. It is a name which has been around for centuries and was most popular in the early 1990s. Jean isn’t common these days, but while it is decreasing in use for boys, it is slowly gaining traction for baby girls. Similar names include Jeannie, Jeanette, Jenny, Jennifer, June, Juno, Jana, Juniper or Johanna. For the boys, similar names are Eugene or John.
Celebrity fun fact: Jean Harlow was a movie star and adored in the 1930’s. She shot to sex symbol status after her role in Hell’s Angels. Jean Stapleton and Jean Arthur also hit celebrity status during this time. Jean Claude Van Damme is the male version, and his martial art moves have made him famous, despite his disputable skills as an actor.
Kit has traditionally been used as a nickname for Katherine, Katherina or Christopher, but it is cute and quirky and has become a unisex addition based on its own merits. However it is predominantly a boys name, but don’t let that dissuade you. This name is sweet and will never be misspelled. It hit its peak in the 1950s but is now making a resurgence. Kit has a Greek background and means “bearer of the Christ”. Names similar to Kit include Pit, Kim, Kitty, Kat, Kate or Kai.
Celebrity fun fact: Really, the only celebrity Kit we REALLY need to talk about is Kit Harington, the 30 year old who has made it big due to his role in Game of Thrones. Dreamy. Wayne and Coleen Rooney named their baby son Kit. Looking for inspiration for a girl named Kit? There is Kit Hoover, a television host who first hit the screens in 2005.
Van was originally an English surname and has since evolved to become a first name. Sometimes it can be used as a connective middle name - think famous artist Vincent van Gogh. This is a boys name and simply means “of”. Van may be a nickname for Evan, Ivan or Vance. For a girl, it is often used as a nickname for Vanessa. If you like the sound of Van but it isn't quite the right fit, try Sam, Vince, Von, Vin, or the alternate spelling of Vann. In recent times, Van was quite popular in 2008 but has had a few ups and downs since then.
Celebrity fun fact: A van may be a type of car, but it is also common amongst celebrities. Music lovers will be familiar with Van Halen, Van Williams, Van Morrison, and Van Cliburn - although most of these were more to do with adaptations of last names than a simple given birth name. Van Heflin was a black and white movie star, and Van Jones is an actor.
Jax just sounds good, doesn't it? It rolls easily off the tongue and has an air of coolness about it. Jax is English and originally comes from names like John, Jacques or Jack. Although it is a recently “made up name” based on its heritage it has a simple yet sweet meaning “God has shown favor”. Jax can be a nickname for those called Jackson, Jaxon, Jason or Jaxson. Similar names include Dex, Jasper, Jex, Pax, Jazz, Jace, Axe or Max. Three letters are all this name needs to make a statement and while it is on the rise, it was most popular for baby boys born in 2016.
Celebrity fun fact: Tom Arnold named his son Jax Copeland when he was born in 2013. Jax Taylor is known for his appearances in reality TV series Vanderpump Rules with Lisa Vanderpump. Then there is Jax Austin who is a YouTube star.
Ada has a similar sound to Ava, and it means “happy”. Over the last few years, it has seen an upward trend, and we predict it will keep rising on the charts. Ada can be a nickname for Adelaide, Adeline or Adele. Ada can also be spelled as Adah, which is a more biblical version meaning “adornment”. Similar names include Cara, Edie, Eva, Adalin, Adar, Adal or Adair. Ada is a girls baby name and has a French and German heritage, it is used in various countries around the world.
Celebrity fun fact: Ada isn’t a new name by any means, as Ada Lovelace the Countess of Lovelace was a writer and Maths whizz, all the way back in the 1800s. Ada Maris is a television actress who has also appeared on stage. Turkish actor and actress Uraz Kaygilaroglu and Melis Isiten recently gave birth to a baby girl named Ada.
The name Evan was originally a Welsh baby name and is a sweet name for a sweet little boy. It comes from the name Iefan, which was the Welsh equivalent of John. Evan has biblical connections and means “God favors him”. If you like Evan you may also like the names Ivan, Ewan, Ethan, and Ian. This name could be short for Evangelos but is generally just used as is. This is a short name and generally doesn’t need a nickname, but may be shorted to Van or Ev.
Celebrity fun fact: Evan Ross is an actor who appeared in the Hunger Games series. Bruce Springsteen has a son named Evan as does Jenny McCarthy and Paul Stanley. Evan Peters plays a variety of quirky and sometimes creepy characters in the American Horror Story series, and there is no doubt he is talented! There is one female version you may be familiar with, and that is the beautiful actress Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld).
May is simple, yet sweetly innocent. May was originally a nickname for names like Margaret and Mary but has been a standalone name since at least the 1800s. May has a Latin background and has been steady on the charts since the early 1900s with around 100 babies per million given this name. May means "great", and we think it is just that! An alternate spelling could be Mae, and similar names include Mavis, Mabel, Macy, Maia or Maya. May is also a month of the year, but don't let that deter you as she could be born at any time of the year.
Celebrity fun fact: May Anderson is a former Victoria's Secret model, with a Danish heritage. It seems appropriate to mention the much loved author and illustrator May Gibbs who brought the gum nut babies Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to life. May's name is actually Cecilia May but she chose to use a pen name instead.
Leo may be a star sign which represents the lion, but it is also a good choice for a baby name! Just like the horoscope, Leo is Latin for "lion" and it can be short for Leonardo, Leon or Leopold. It is a powerful, yet cute name and has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last few years. Names along the same lines as Leo include Liam, Luis, Lou, Leigh or Lee. He is Leo, hear him roar!!
Celebrity fun fact: Oh Leo, there are so many! Young boys named Leo will be ecstatic when they learn they (almost) share a name with Ninja Turtle Leonardo. Mothers will relate to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio who is often called Leo for short. Leo Sayer is a pop singer and Leo Stronda is a rapper. Keep an eye out for up and coming star Leo Howard, he is a martial artist and actor.
Nico is a strong baby boys name and comes from Nicholas, which originally evolved from Nike. Nike was the ancient Greek Goddess of victory, which may explain the meaning behind the sportswear brand. The name means "victorious" and yes, it has a Greek heritage. Since 1990, this name has had a massive jump in popularity and it has such a sweet sound to it, it is easy to understand why. Names similar to Nico include Gino, Nick, Luca, Enzo, Noah, Milo, Nica or Kino.
Celebrity fun fact: Nico Rosenburg is a racecar driver for the Mercedez team. Nico Liersch is a German actor, you may remember him from the movie "The Book Thief" back in 2013. Christa Paffgen was a singer and her stage name was Nico. She hit fame in the 1960's and her music is still played today. If you are musically inclined, this may be enough to sell this name to you!
Axe has a Scandinavian background, and actually means "the Father of peace". It is short, and crisp and would suit an active little fellow. Names which have a similar sound include Axel, Axl, Jax, Ash, Alex, Alexander or Archie. In addition to its traditional roots, Axe is also the name of a weapon and fits in closely with other names like Hunter and Dagger. It sounds like something from the Viking era and that just makes it even more hip. Not short enough? Axe can also be spelled with just two letters...as Ax.
Celebrity fun fact: While there aren't a huge list of celebrities with the name Axe, it is likely to change over the next generation. Fans of hit television series Billions will be familiar with the ridiculously wealthy Bobby Axelrod, who goes by the nickname of Axe. Larry Henning is an American professional wrestler, and he goes by the name "The Axe".
Isla is Scottish and is a short, yet feminine name pronounced "eye-la". It comes from a place called Islay, which is an island near Scotland. It ranked at number 94 of the top baby girls names in 2017 and has had a massive increase in use since 2000. This name may still feel unique, but it won't be for much longer. Isla means "island" or "a rocky place" and isn't short for anything, but could be loosely associated with Isabelle or Isabella. For names like Isla, think Iona, Iris, Esme, Ivy, Delilah or Lila.
Celebrity fun fact: The most famous example we can think of is the Aussie pocket rocket, movie star Isla Fisher. This movie star is known for her long red mermaid hair and is married to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Athlete and model Amanda Beard gave her daughter Doone the middle name Isla, she was born in 2013.
Luna is a baby girls name and has a Latin heritage. The name appropriately means "Moon" and comes from an ancient, mythical Roman Goddess. Her name was Luna and she was the caretaker of the moon. Luna isn't short for anything, but she may be given the nickname Lulu or Lu. The alternate spelling is Lunah. For a similar name try Stella, as it means "stars". Or, there is Layla, Lula, Lily, Lane or Lucy. In the last 10 years this name has skyrocketed in popularity, this year it was number 24 in the top baby names for girls!
Celebrity fun fact: Fresh off the Boat TV star Luna Blaise has recently released a debut single called Over You. Luna Darko is a YouTube star, and the deceased Luna Vachon was a wrestler. This is another name which is becoming more common, and we are sure it will become a celebrity favorite.
Then, we have Lily which looks and sounds lovely with just four letters. It can be short for Elizabeth or Lillian or used on its own. Lily means "flower" and in the bible the lily flower symbolizes purity. It can also be spelled at Lilly if preferred. Names which sound similar are Lila, Ella, Lucy or Molly. This name was number 19 of the top girl's names in 2017 but was at its highest popularity in 2008. Lily is definitely a girls name but has been very rarely used for boys. Nicknames for Lily include Lil, Li or Lolo.
Celebrity fun fact: Lily Allen is an English singer known for her unique voice and quirky lyrics. Lily Collins is an actress who appeared in The Blind Side and Mirror, Mirror and is the 28 year old daughter of musician Phil Collins. Lily Marston is a YouTube star for ClevverTV.