21 English Baby Names: Meanings & Origins

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Are you looking for traditional English baby names to honor your heritage or an exciting new name that will make your child stand out? With origins ranging from Anglo-Saxon and Celtic to Latin and Greek mythology, the list of potential names is virtually endless. 


Here we’ve rounded up 21 unique English baby names for boys and girls, complete with their meanings so that you can make an informed choice about your little one’s moniker. Be inspired by timeless English favorites like Jenny and Jack or consider a modern twist on classic options like Norah and Ryan. Read on to discover the perfect name for your special bundle of joy!


  1. Traditional English Baby Names – William, Elizabeth, Thomas, and Emma 
  2. Nature-Inspired English Names – Daisy, Ivy, Hazel, and Robin 
  3. Literary-Inspired English Names – Charlotte, Oliver, Jane, and Augustus 
  4. Popular International Baby Names with English Origins – Sophia, Liam, Maya, and Noah 
  5. Modern Combination Baby Names – EllieJayne or MaxLiam 
  6. Ancient British Baby names – Alba (white), Gwyn (fair), or Hunter (hunter)

What are the origins of English names?

The origins of English names vary greatly, but they can typically be traced back to a handful of sources. Many are derived from the ancient Anglo-Saxon language, while some are taken from Latin or Greek words. Some have even been borrowed directly from other languages such as French and Dutch


Many English names also have religious roots, often coming from Old Testament figures like Daniel or David and New Testament figures such as Mary and Joseph. Today you can find many English names that have been developed over the years to honor certain places, events, and people in history. Whatever the origin, English names are full of rich history and interesting stories, making them an important part of our cultural heritage!

What name means gift from God?

When it comes to finding the perfect name for a newborn baby, many parents take comfort in knowing that the perfect name already exists – one that is given by God himself. Popular biblical names such as Matthew, Michael, and Gabriel all carry the meaning of “gift from God,” making them excellent choices for parents wanting to commemorate their faith by having their child bear this spiritual representation. 


But some more obscure names also carry meanings related to being bestowed as a gift to mankind, such as Zion and Shiloh, making them just as meaningful in an increasingly globalizing world. A name gifted from God is a timeless keepsake that both parent and child can look back fondly on for generations.

What is a vintage English name?

Vintage English names refer to those that were prevalent during the Victorian era in England. These classic names are typically monosyllabic and possess an old-fashioned charm. Some of the commonly seen vintage English names include Arthur, Alice, William, Elizabeth, and Charles. They often evoke a certain timelessness and sophistication, with many people still choosing to give these lovely names to their children today due to their enduring popularity. To sum it up, vintage English names capture the essence of a long-gone era—or at least its nostalgia!

What is the oldest English name in history?

The oldest recorded English name in history is thought to be Cædmon, a 6th-century monk from Whitby Abbey. Cædmon is renowned for having composed hymns and poetic verses centered on Christian teachings and scripture. It is believed that the name originated in Anglo-Saxon England, and is derived from the words “cad”, meaning battle, and “mon”, meaning man. The earliest example of Cædmon’s work is an abridged version of the book of Genesis in the poem “Caedmon’s Hymn” which dates back to 680 A.D. Though the man himself has been lost to history, his name lives on as a result of his eloquence and understanding of God’s word through song.

What is the most famous English name?

Without a doubt, the most famous English name has to be “John” – it is the world’s most popular name in history. According to the 2014 Social Security Administration report, John was the third most popular baby boy’s name in America. 


It’s also one of the oldest names with a long and illustrious history as an English last name that dates back to the 13th century. Even after all these years, this famous surname continues to capture people’s curiosity and has no signs of decline. It remains beloved around the world for its simplicity and universality, making it an apt choice for people from all walks of life.

The Conclusion: 21 English Baby Names Meanings & Origins

Finding the perfect name for your little one is no small feat. Whether you’re looking for a creative, classic, or modern option, these 21 English baby names and meanings provide a great place to start. The strong but meaningful origins of these names will remind your child of their unique identity and special place in the world throughout their life. 


A carefully chosen name can support them in growing into the person they are meant to be and can help give them a sense of belonging alongside any difficulties they may face. In that regard, every parent should strive to pick out a name with appropriate meaning and foundation as it can say a lot about who they are.

Ruth Parcker

Ruth Parcker

My name is Ruth Parcker and I'm a Master of Peeking Baby's Names.
For over 15 years, I've been helping parents make their special moments with their babies extra memorable with beautiful and meaningful baby name selections.
I’m passionate about inspiring parents to take the time to really get to know their baby and their name.

About Me

My name is Ruth Parcker and I’m a Master of Peeking Baby’s Names.

For over 15 years, I’ve been helping parents make their special moments with their babies extra memorable with beautiful and meaningful baby name selections.

I’m passionate about inspiring parents to take the time to really get to know their baby and their name. 

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