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2016 Top 50 Alternatives for Girls

Love Emily, but wish it wasn't so popular? Or do you have a grandma Sophia you'd like to name your baby after, but you wish you could make it a little more her own? Read on, as this is a list of familial variants to the top 50 most popular baby names from 2016 - legit alternatives to the most popular girl's names last year.

1. Emma - relations include Emmy, Ima, Erma/Irma, Irmuska
2. Olivia - Scandinavian Vivi, French Olivie, Croatian Olivera, literary Olivette, and Italian Oliviera
3. Ava - ancient Germanic Avila and Aveza are ripe for the picking, classy Evelina/Avelina and Eveline/Aveline are uncommon, and medieval Avis is short and spunky
4. Sophia - try European Sonia, or one of the two Polish versions: Zofia and Zosia
5. Isabella - short and sweet Isa, Disney beauty Belle, older English form Sabella, Basque Elixabete, Armenian Zabel, Biblical Elisheba, the Welsh version Bethan, international Elisaveta/Elizaveta or Elizabeta/Elisabeta, Scottish Elspeth, or the classy Elisa
6. Mia - a form of Mary, but also an Italian word meaning "mine," so in that light Carissima could be a substitute (and she's historically legit). If Maria or Miriam aren't your style, perhaps consider vintage Mara, Moira, or Maura, Polish Marzena or Marika, cute little Mimi, Italian Mariella, Hungarian Mariska, Hawaiian Malia, or Robin Hood maiden Marion
7. Charlotte - replacing that last letter for an 'a' will get you Charlotta, the gorgeous international beauty not given to any U.S. girls in 2016. Also consider Charlize, Karolina and Carlotta
8. Abigail - Biblical Abigaia has the nickname Gaia built right in if you wish to avoid competition over the nickname Abby, but there's also dated Gayle, who still sounds stately and dignified
9. Emily - the ancient Roman name Aemilia (ay-MEEL-yah) from which we get Emily is just begging for some use, unlike Millie who is seeing some popularity.
10. Harper - Harper is a surname with no feminine given name variations

11. Amelia - change that middle letter and you have the romantic international name Amalia, but there's also ancient Germanic Amelina
12. Evelyn - Evelyn comes from the striking Aveline, but there's sophisticated Evelina as well
13. Elizabeth - see #5 for relations, but I'll add Scottish Lillias, Isobel and Ishbel, Romanian Liana, Slovakian Eliska, and Norwegian Lisbet,
14. Sofia - see #4
15. Madison - Madison means "son of Maud," so Maud and her variants apply here - Maudeline is my favorite, Matilda is usually everyone else's favorite, and Mafalda is Italy's favorite
16. Avery - variations on this surname-turned-boys-name-turned-girls-name include Alvery, Auvery Every, and possibly Arey
17. Ella - being a diminutive the possibilities of variants are seemingly endless, but some good alternatives in the family include Elladine, Elea, Elaine, Eleni, and Elina
18. Scarlett - old French Escarlate wasn't a name but could be now
19. Grace - Gratia, Grazia, Graziella/Graciela, and Gracia
20. Chloe - this one only has spelling variants, so I'll suggest similar sounding Cloelia, Clelia, Clorinda and Chloris

21. Victoria - Victory, Victoriana
22. Riley - original spelling Reilly
23. Aria - a word name with no variants, but Arianella and Arietta are very close
24. Lily - Lilia/Lillia, Lilliana, Lili, Liliane, Liana, and Lilias
25. Aubrey - Aubrina
26. Zoey - spelling variants include Zoie, Zowie and Zoe (#35), while an international version is Zoya, and a modern version is Zoelle
27. Penelope - no variants, but Persephone is extremely similar in multiple ways, just very rare
28. Lillian - see #24
29. Addison - meaning "son of Adam," variants on that include Adamina and Adamma
30. Layla - this Arabic name has multiple spelling variants: Leila, Leyla, Lela, Laila, Lila

31. Natalie - German Nathalie, international Natalia, Russian Natasha, and spunky Natalka
32. Camila - Camille, Camilla, and Milla
33. Hannah - Chanah, Anna, Annick, Anka, Aina, Anais, Anita, Anja/Anya, Jana, Hania, Anushka, Anniken, Ona and Hannele are all related
34. Brooklyn - shorter form Brooke (an aside - Ruscella means "brooke" in Italian, is pronounced roo-SHAY-lah, would make for a lovely alternative)
35. Zoe - see # 26
36. Nora - try Eleonora, Alienor, Noor, Lenore, Leonor, Leonora, or Norina
37. Leah - Leia, Lia, or Lea
38. Savannah - Zabana, the word Savannah was based on, would be an interesting choice
39. Audrey - Audrina, Audra, Audrea
40. Claire - the old and rare Clarissent or Clarimonde, literary Claribel, vintage Clara or Clarabel, Italian Claretta, rare Claria

41. Eleanor - see #17 and #36
42. Skylar - can also be spelled Skyler, a variant of Schuyler
43. Ellie - see #17
44.  Samantha - Spanish and Italian variant Samanta
45. Stella - Estelle, Estella, Esther, Estrella, Maristella, Estera
46. Paisley - none
47. Violet - Viola, Violette, Violetta, Yolanda
48. Mila - French Mylene, international Milena, or Slovene Milka
49. Allison - Alice, Alix, Adelais, Alicia, Alise, Alisa, Adelaide, Aileas, Aliz, Adela
50. Alexa - other than Alexandra there is Alexandria, Alexina, Sandra, Sandrine, Sasha, Xandra, Saundra, Sanya, Alessa, Alessia, Alessandra and Alastriona


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Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…