Whether you want something fit for royalty, some vintage cool, or a name that gets back to nature, our list of English baby names has got your back.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the world, so it’s no surprise that English first names are all around us.
Some English names go back centuries, while others are versions of names from other countries.
Our list has it all.
From miniature versions of names from English history to fresh and modern nature names.
And what list would be complete without the names of English kings and the monikers of the British royal family?
Take a look at these positively spiffing English baby names!
In this article: 📝
- Popular English names for boys
- Popular English girls’ names
- Classic English names
- Gender-neutral English first names.
- What are some unique English names?
Popular English names for boys
This just in: most of the top names in the US over the last 100 years are originally English. Here are some of the most enduringly popular.
Wondering, “What is the best English name?”
You might just find it in this top ten.
- James: This English boy’s name comes from Jacob and means “supplanter”.
- Robert: This Old English name has its roots in the Germanic name Hrodebert, and shortens to the ever so sweet Bert, Robby, or Bob. It means ‘bright flame” or “shining glory”.
- John: Derived from Latin and Hebrew, John means “God is gracious”.
- Michael: Also from Hebrew, Michael means “who is like God?”
- David: Another Biblically rooted name meaning ”beloved.”
- William: This name was Introduced to England by William the Conqueror almost a thousand years ago and is still worn by the next in line to the throne. It means “vehement protector” so it’s no surprise that it’s associated with strength and courage.
- Richard: The first of a few English kings’ names on this list. It means “strong in rule,” which seems like a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.
- Joseph: Meaning “God will add.”
- Thomas: Meaning “twin”, this name also found its way from Aramaic to English through the Bible.
- Charles: Meaning “free man.” Alternative versions include Charley and Charlie. And it’s the name of the current king, Charles III. Does it get any more English than that?
Popular English girls’ names
- Mary: The English form of Maria from Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Its various meanings include “bitter”, “beloved” and “wished for child.”
- Patricia: Meaning “noblewoman.”
- Jennifer: This name means “fair one” or “white wave”. It’s from Cornwall, a county right at the southern tip of England.
- Elizabeth: Possibly the best known of all English queen names, it means “my God is an oath” and is derived from the Hebrew Elisheva.
- Barbara: Its Greek roots mean “strange or foreign”, but Barbara has long been a popular name in England. On the British side of the pond, it’s more likely to be shortened to Babs than Barbie.
- Susan: Meaning “lily”, “pure” and “lotus flower” this name has Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew roots.
- Ann/Anne: From the French Anne meaning “grace.”
- Jessica: This name first pops up in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. It’s thought to be an Anglicization of the Hebrew name Iscah.
- Sarah: This name also is of Hebrew origin, and means “noblewoman”, or “princess.” It’s an elegant name with a quiet strength.
- Karen: Derived from Catherine, Karen has Danish roots and means “pure.”
Classic English names
When we think of England, we think of quaint country cottages, wildflowers, meadows, lords and ladies, and, of course, copious cups of tea.
Here’s a list of our favorite English names with meanings to capture that beautiful feeling.
Traditional English names for girls
- Audrey: This name has an aristocratic feel and means “noble strength.”
- Birdie: An old-fashioned name that’s climbing the charts.
- Blossom: Meaning “to bloom” and super pretty to boot.
- Bluebell: This delicate name is from the flower that carpets the woodlands of England.
- Busy: A shortened form of Elizabeth.
- Cate: Meaning “pure” and derived from Catherine (the name of 5 English queens) this unusual spelling immediately catches the eye.
- Clover: A pretty nature name for the flower.
- Cora: Meaning “maiden”, this is one of those vintage girls’ names that’s due for a comeback.
- Daisy: This flower name would be at home in any country garden.
- Edie: Short for Edith, meaning “prosperous in war.”
- Ella: A modern fav meaning “fairy maiden.”
- Emely: An alternative spelling of Emily, meaning “rival.”
- Etta: Meaning “poetry.”
- Faye: A delicate name meaning “fairy.”
- Georgina: The feminine version of George, which means “farmer.”
- Ginger: “Virginal and pure”
- Hadley: “Heathery field”
- Harriet: Meaning “estate ruler,” this name is often shortened to Hattie or Hettie.
- Hope: This word name is a powerful one. 💛
- Ivy: Another name at home in a country garden.
- Jane: Simple, classic, and the name of Henry VIII’s favorite wife. Jane means “God is gracious.”
- Jenna: A shortened form of Jennifer.
- Josie: From Josephine, meaning “Jehovah increases.”
- Juliet: The second Shakespearean name on our list, this means “youthful.”
- Lavender: A sweet-smelling flower associated with calm.
- Lillian: “Pledged to God”
- Lucy: “Light”
- Mae: “Pearl”
- Marigold: Who could be sad looking at these gorgeous orange flowers?
- Meg: Sometimes used as a shortened form of Margaret.
- Millie: “Gentle strength”
- Nell: “Bright shining one”
- Norabell: “Beautiful light”
- Pansy: Like the flower.
- Pippa: “Lover of horses”
- Polly: “Beloved”
- Posy: A small bunch of flowers. 💐
- Scarlett: Perfect for a little redhead.
- Tillie: “Battle mighty”
- Wendy: Peter Pan’s friend.
- Winnie: From Winifred, meaning “holy peacemaking”, and “gentle friend”.
Traditional English names for boys
- Aston: As well as being James Bond’s car, Aston is a great boy’s name meaning “eastern settlement.”
- Archer: This Anglo-Saxon surname was given to bowmen, and it’s a great option if you want a little Archie without committing to Archibald.
- Bolton: “Dwelling in an enclosure”
- Booker: Meaning “scribe”, this is one of those old-fashioned names that still sounds fresh today.
- Branley: Meaning “raven meadow”, this shortens to Bran.
- Byron: A well-known English poet and a “barn for cows”. It’s the best of both worlds: literary and down-to-earth.
- Colter: “Colt herder”
- Crew/Cru: “Fort near a slope”
- Culver: “Dove”
- Darrow: “Spear”
- Drake: This English word name originally meant “dragon,” although it’s more commonly used for male ducks today.
- Dryden: “Dry valley”
- Durham: The name of a famous university town in the north of England, this name means “hill peninsula.” The H is silent. 🤫
- Edric: Meaning “wealthy ruler” this name sounds both familiar and unusual at the same time.
- Edward: This name holds a tie with Henry for the most common English names for kings. It also shortens to the adorable Eddie or Ned.
- Ernest: One of Oscar Wilde’s classic characters, this name means “serious” and “resolute.”
- Fenton: “Marsh town”
- Finnick: Not just a hero from The Hunger Games but also an English place name and surname.
- Fitzhugh/Fitzroy/Fitzwilliam: Way back when, the prefix Fitz- on an English name meant “son of.” Here, we have son of intelligence, son of the king, and son of William.
- Flemming: “Man from Flanders”
- Ford: “Dweller at the ford”
- Garrison: “Son of Garret”
- Gerald: “Ruler with the spear”
- Hale: “Someone who lives in a hollow”
- Harris: “Son of Harry”
- Hawes: “Hedged area”
- Heath: “Heathland dweller”
- Hilton: “Hill settlement”
- Holden: We think this English boy’s name is especially strong and atmospheric. It means “hollow valley.”
- Holmes: Meaning “from the island in the river,” this name also references London’s most famous literary detective: Sherlock Holmes.
- Howell: “Mind” or “intellect”
- Ives: A great nature name for boys. This means “yew wood.”
- Jarrett: “He descends.”
- Jeffery: “Pledge of peace”
- Kent: “Edge”
- King: A royal name for your little prince. Check out our other suggestions for names meaning king here.
- Mace: A badass boy’s name meaning “heavy club.”
- Ralph: “Wolf counsel”
- Rhett: “Advise”
- Rod: A powerful name meaning “famous commander.”
- Rowley: ”Rough clearing”
- Rye: “Cavalryman” or “messenger”
- Sinjon: Originally written as St. John, this modern spelling will make it easier for your son’s future teacher to read his name during roll call. 😉
- Smith: An occupation name historically given to blacksmiths.
- Walton: “Fortified town”
- Warrick: “Strong leader who defends”
- Winton: “Friend’s farm”
Gender-neutral English first names.
- Alden: Meaning “old wise friend” this name has a reassuring presence.
- Alfie: This shortened version of Alfred means “wise counselor” and is being used more and more for baby girls.
- Ashley: A beautiful name meaning “dweller near the ash tree meadow.” In England, Ashley was traditionally the male spelling, and Ashleigh or Ashlea were used for girls.
- Bailey: This cool occupational name means “law enforcer.” Baby makes the rules in the house, right?
- Barclay: Of both English and Scottish heritage, this name means “where birches grow.”
- Baxley: Another Old English name with a contemporary sound, this one means “bakers meadow.”
- Beck: Meaning “small stream” this name could be a shortening of Beckett or Beckham — just choose your favorite British icon.
- Bellamy: “Fine friend”
- Bennett: #Blessed
- Billie: A fabulous name that means “resolute protection.”
- Blake: This name means both “fair-haired” or “dark.” A little confusing, but a clear favorite.
- Blakeley: This name means “dark wood” or “clearing.”
- Brayden: “Broad hill”
- Brighton: This place name means “bright town” and is a seaside holiday destination.
- Brinley: Meaning “burnt meadow,” it suggests regrowth and renewal.
- Carlisle: “From the walled city”
- Colby: “From a coal town”
- Dane: “From Denmark”. Danish heritage? This one could be for you.
- Dean: “Church official”
- Devon: A beautiful rural county in the south of England.
- Edison: “Son of Edith or Adam”
- Emmett: A strong name meaning “truth.”
- Evelyn: This unisex name means “desired” or “water island.”
- Everly: “Wild boar in a woodland clearing”
- Faine/Fane: “Joyful”
- Halsey: “Hallowed island”
- Harley: Traditionally means “hare clearing’’ for boys and “the long field” for girls.
- Hayes: “Hedged area”
- Henley: “High meadow”
- Hyatt: “Lofty gate”
- Keats: A poetic classic meaning “kite.”
- Kingsley: “Kings meadow”
- Kit: Traditionally a diminutive of Katherine for girls and Christopher for boys.
- Landry: “Ruler”
- Langley: “Long meadow”
- Lindsay: “Island of linden trees”
- London: An iconic place name that would fit a girl or a boy.
- Lyle: “Someone who lives on an island.”
- Marlow: “Driftwood”
- Mason: “Stone worker”
- Merry: Joyfulness built right in!
- Oakley: “Oak wood” or “clearing”
- Parker: “Park keeper”
- Reed: “Red-haired”
- Robin: Pooh Bear’s best friend, sometimes spelled Robyn for girls.
- Royce: “Son of the king” but works equally well for a daughter.
- Selby: “From the willow farm”
- Sheldon: “Steep-sided valley”
- Shelley: “Clearing on a bank”
- Sterling: “Of the highest quality”
- Whitley: “White meadow”
- Willow: As in the beautiful riverside tree.
What are some unique English names?
- Dodie: A diminutive of Dorothy
- Ebba: This cute and unusual girl’s name means “fortress of riches.”
- Kirby: Meaning “church settlement”
- Odele: A musical name meaning “song”
- Dallin: “From the valley”
- Faron: “Handsome servant”
- Locke: “Fortified place”
- Rad: Meaning “advisor,” this one is — you guessed it — rad.
- Baylor: This name means “one who delivers the goods”. And does it ever?
- Deni: Originally a diminutive of the girl’s name Denise, this one works for boys and girls.
- Joss: “The merry one”
- Poe: “Peacock”. This one would make for a gorgeous middle name too.
- Sutton: “From the Southern homestead”.
There you have it!
The perfect list of cute, traditional, and versatile English names.
And we even have more like these 92 English Names for Girls and 141 English Names for Boys.
Or you could have a look at our picks for Magnificent Old English Names.
Or if you fancy something from the continent, check out these traditional European baby names.
Now, does anyone fancy a cuppa? ☕