Written by Anne Donahue for BabyPost.com
We are hearing a lot of certain baby names. And that's not a bad thing -- those names are popular for a reason, and that reason is because they're good. (Usually. Usually, they are good. The '80s were cruel, and we all know it.) However, no matter how good a name may be, options are important. So because we want you to have as many options as possible, we went to the Official Social Security site (of course we did), and found the five most popular names for boys, and five most popular names for girls. Then, we came up with alternatives.
For you guys, anything.
1) If you like Jacob, try Koby (or Seamus)
"Jacob" is a staple of history, the bible and the baby name circuit, for good reason: it's been around since ancient Greece. The meaning ranges from "supplanter" to "may God protect," and it is present in some capacity in almost every nationality and language. However, "Koby" is the English derivative of "Jacob" and "Seamus" is the Irish equivalent. So if you like the meaning and the history, but want to exercise your options, you've got them.
2) If you like Mason, try Jackson
True: these names don't have much more in common than their endings, but they're still rooted in history: "Mason" means stonecutter, and stems from the days where a person's identity and their career were interchangeable (not 2014, believe it or not), while "Jackson" simply means "son of Jack" -- a form of "John."
3) If you like Ethan, try Evan
While "Ethan" translates to "strength," "Evan" has a much more biblically-rooted name (basically, all names are at this point, and adopting one doesn't mean you have to be a specific religion) and translates to "God is gracious." (And is also a Welsh form of "John.")
4) If you like Noah, try Liam
Of course, we all know "Noah" comes from the movie out now, starring Russell Crowe. (Just kidding!) Okay, but it does come from the story of the man who, in the Bible, led animals onto the arc two by two; its official translation means "peace" and "rest." On the flip side is "Liam," a name that's equally meaningful, but the complete opposite in terms of meaning. In contrast to its Hebrew counterpart, "Liam" means "strong-willed warrior" and its origins are Irish.
5) If you like William, try Guillaume (or Winston)
Actually, "Liam" is the Irish alternative to the English "William," which, like "Liam" translats to "strong-willed warrior." It's a name we've heard for centuries, so if nicknames like "Will" or "Bill" aren't in the cards, opt for the French equivalent of "Guillaume," or the also-English, "Winston." Both have the same meanings, but obviously sound very different.
Related: Spring Inspired Baby Names
1) If you like Sophia, try Zosia
"Sophia" and "Sophie" have a simple but important meaning: "wisdom." And since no one should lack wisdom, adopting a different form of "Sophia" is a safe card to play, especially since (like "Jacob"), "Sophia" is present in nearly every western culture. Enter: "Zosia," the Polish form of "Sophia" you may recognize as the identity of the actor who plays Shoshanna on Girls. (It's pronounced like "Sasha" with a "Z.")
2) If you like Emma, try Emily
While "Emma" comes from Germany (and means "all-containing" and "universal"), "Emily" comes from the Latin "Aemlia" and means "trying to equal" or "rival" (which arguably also means "powerful," let's not kid ourselves). However, its German translation is a little more flattering: "industrious, hardworking," which, ultimately, isn't so different from "Emma" at all.
3) If you like Isabella, try Elizabeth (or Elsa)
A royal name, "Isabella" stems from the name "Isabel," which has been a name of queens and rulers for centuries. That's why "Elizabeth" is a perfect alternative: the name of England's current ruling Queen, it's established itself as a go-to in terms of traditional, foolproof names. Or you could opt for "Elsa," which comes from both names and is a little homage to last year's Frozen. (You're welcome.)
4) If you like Olivia, try Vivien
The first time "Olivia" showed up, it was on the pages of a Shakespeare play (Twelfth Night), and has only been climbing in popularity since the 1970s. On the flipside, there's "Vivien" -- a name that also showed up in literature, and has since been the name of great actresses like Vivien Leigh. The arts, you guys! Important.
5) If you like Ava, try Eve
Since "Ava" comes from "Eve" (the name of the Bible), you may as well consider the girl's name that started it all. And the thing is, "Eve" actually means "breathe," so while she's gotten a negative reputation, "Eve" is actually necessary for us to actually live. So there, Adam. (Eve prevails!)
MORE ON HUFFPOST:
Charlize Theron and Jackson stroll to Pinkberry for a treat.
Sarah Jessica Parker out and about with her precious twins, Marion and Tabitha Broderick.
The Affleck girls are out for a stroll on a sunny day in L.A.
Matilda Ledger steps out with her mom, Michelle Williams.
Kingston and Zuma Rossdale go for a spin in New York City.
Skyler Berman is guaranteed a front-row seat, especially at his mama's show.
Jessica Alba grabs a treat with with daughter Honor.
Katie Holmes and her daughter, Suri Cruise, step out in New York City in August 2012.
Alexis Denisof and a pregnant Alyson Hannigan step out for a walk with their daughter, Satyana.
January Jones and baby Xander hang out by the pool in Topanga Canyon, Calif., in April 2012. (FameFlynet)
Jennifer Lopez hits The Grove with twins Max and Emme.
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden took their kids out for some fun in the sun in Santa Monica, Calif.
A very pregnant Jennifer Garner supports her back as she looks on at daughter Violet.
Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani take their littles out for a day of fishing.
Nicole Kidman steps out with baby Faith, 13 months.
Victoria Beckham was spotted with daughter, Harper, and one of her three sons, Cruz, at the MLS Cup Final in Carson, California.
Heidi Klum takes her kids to the Katy Perry concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Ben Affleck is on daddy duty as he spends the day out with daughters Violet and Seraphina.
Suri Cruise flashes her million dollar smile while out and about in New York City with Mom, Katie Holmes.
Kendra Wilkinson's cute little man, Hank Jr., had a fun day out with his famous mom and dad for a playdate in the park.
Hugh Jackman takes his daughter Ava for a dip while he and his family vacation in St. Tropez, France.
Sandra Bullock steps out with her little guy Louis for a day out in Los Angeles, Calif.
Reese Witherspoon enjoyed a stroll on the beach with her daughter Ava and some friends during a Fourth of July party in Malibu, California.
It was a family affair at the Fourth of July parade in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Garner took their adorable little ladies, Violet, 5, and her younger sister Seraphina, 2, to show their red, white and blue pride on July 4th.
Pink and husband Carey Hart enjoy enjoy a beautiful beach day in Malibu, CA with new baby Willow.
Jennifer Lopez takes her twins, Emme and Max to the Parc Monceau in Paris, France where they played on the carousel and swings.
Heidi Klum spends a fun filled day with daughters Leni and Lou at a park in the Tribeca section of New York City.
Halle Berry wears a blue dress over her bikini as she takes her daughter Nahla shopping for groceries at Bristol Farms.
Ellen Pompeo holds on tight to her daughter Stella during a drink break from their play date in New York City.
Bethenny Frankel strolls with her husband Jason Hoppy and their daughter Bryn through the West Village in New York City.
Rachel Zoe and her husband Rodger Berman show off their brand new son Skyler Morrison at the "InStyle's Dinner With A Designer" for Rachel Zoe at Soho House in West Hollywood, California.
Ashlee Simpson shows off her stylish side in a mini skirt and hat as she carries her son Bronx through Studio City in Los Angeles.
Courteney Cox takes her little lady, Coco and a friend, for an ice cream break in Malibu.
Alanis Morissette leaves her home in Los Angeles with her hubby Mario and their 4-month-old son Ever.
Gwen Stefani heads out to Primrose Hill giving her son Zuma a push in the stroller in London, England.
Sean Combs aka Diddy takes his twin daughters D'Lila Star and Jessie James to the Westfield Mall in Century City, Calif.
Jennifer Garner makes her way out actor Adam Sandler's home with Seraphina who holds on to a balloon and has a painted face.
Katie Holmes and Suri spent a little time in the hotel pool and it looks like Holmes was trying to teach her little lady how to swim.
Rebecca Gayheart goes for a ride with daughter Billie Beatrice, spending a fun filled mother daughter day at the park in Los Angeles.
Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham take little Michael Wahlberg out shopping in Los Angeles.
Gavin Rossdale chases after son Zuma on the beaches in Malibu. He and Gwen Stefani spent their Memorial Day with their boys having some fun in the sun.
Rebecca Gayheart shops with darling daughter, Billie Beatrice in Los Angeles.
Halle Berry takes an after school walk with daughter Nahla Aubrey in Los Angeles. The little overall clad artist colored her mom a picture and carried a pink cartoon backpack!
Little Zuma Rossdale showed his American spirit as he dressed up in a Captain America costume while on a Ralphs run with his nanny in Los Angeles.
Violet Affleck is ready for the 4th of July as she sports some red and white stripes during a playdate with mom, Jennifer Garner, and a friend.
Nicole Kidman was all smiles as she arrived in Sydney, Australia holding hands with daughter Sunday Rose and baby Faith in her arms.
Halle Berry is a proud mommy as her daughter Nahla makes her way across the monkey bars at a local park.
Jennifer Garner gives her youngest daughter Seraphina a lift while out shopping.
Angelina Jolie exits Grauman's Chinese Theatre after the "Kung Fu Panda 2" premiere, holding the hands of two of her six kids, Shiloh and Maddox.
John Travolta steps out with his little man, Benjamin.
Marcia Cross takes her twin girls, Eden and Savannah to the Santa Monica Pier where they had a blast riding the rides.
Follow BabyPost on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thebabypost