50 Cute and Amazingly Short Baby Names
There can be a lot of pressure on parents when it comes to choosing a name for your little bundle of joy. Some people like to recycle old family names. Others want something unique and modern.
But, remember, just because a name is longer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any more meaningful than something short and sweet. In fact, this list of three- and four-letter names will remind potential parents that even small baby names can inspire lots of joy and emotion — just like babies themselves.
A variation of the popular Eve, this name is all about life-giving properties. It’s derived from the Hebrew meaning of “life” or “living one” or “giver of life.”
So, if you feel your little one is infused with life, this is a great choice.
This Latin-originated name’s meaning is exactly what astrology lovers would expect it to be.
It means “lion,” though some translations also consider Leo short for Leon or Leopold, which mean “brave people.”
Lia is another way of spelling the more popular Leah but with a short and modern twist. There are a handful of meanings behind this name, which range depending on your country’s origin. In Greek and America, the name typically means “bringer of good news.”
It can also be a shortened version of Amalia, which means “hard working.” And in Hebrew, it means “relaxed.”
This gender-neutral name has skyrocketed in popularity, likely in part thanks to the multiple meanings it has been associated with across cultures. For Hawaiian people, it means “sea,” but in Greek, it means “keeper of the keys” or “earth.”
Steering away from nature, it also means “warrior” in Germanic culture and “forgiveness” for the Japanese. And there are a handful of other meanings you can easily find on this potent name. But all of them seem to denote a baby that is full of potential and life.
Ada is another shortened version of a longer name that has become popular enough to stand on its own.
The name comes from Adelaide or Adeline and means “nobility” just like its longer counterparts.
Not just a surname anymore, Cash has recently risen in popularity as a first name. It can mean a number of things outside of physical money exchange, including “maker of chests” or “hollow.”
It can also be considered a short version of Cassius, which means “empty” or “vain” in some cultures, but “fighter,” “soldier” or “powerful man” in others.
If Beverly has too many syllables for you, the delightful Bev has the same meaning without as many letters. Bev used to be a surname to denote a location a person is from, which explains in part why its meaning is “beaver stream or meadow.”
Better yet, it’s a name that ends with a v, and who doesn’t love that?
If you’ve ever played with a standard deck of cards, you won’t be surprised to hear that Ace is associated with some very positive name meanings.
It typically means “unity” or “one” or “number one.”
Originally of Italian origin, Gia can mean “God’s gracious gift” or “God is gracious.”
It may be shorter than its longer Gianna or Giana counterparts, but it’s just as beautiful to say.
“Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington put this name on the map.
Short for Christian or Christina, Kit is a unisex name that typically means “bearing Christ.”
Even without knowing the original meaning behind the name Dawn, just the word itself is packed with ideas of sunrise, hope and wonder.
If you feel like your baby might be a light in this world, this name, which means “first appearance of light or daybreak” or “to grow light,” may be a perfect fit.
It doesn’t get much shorter than this easy-to-remember, two-letter name. Bo is usually attributed to an old Norse nickname, which means “to live.”
But in other cultures, like Chinese, it can also mean “waves,” or in French, it’s a variation on beau, which means “handsome.” So, much like Kai, there are plenty of awesome meanings in any attribution you prefer.
This gender-neutral option could be short for Soloman, which means “peace.” Or, it could represent the Latin word for “sun.”
As a bonus, it’s also the name of an Old Norse god, Sól, which also represents the sun.
Dax, like many other short names on this list, was once a surname that has risen in popularity as a first name throughout the ages.
It means “leader.”
This fun-to-say unisex name has origins in both Ireland and Hebrew. In Ireland, it’s a variation of Shea and usually means “admirable” or “majestic” or “Hawk-like.”
In Hebrew, it means “gift” or “present.”
The most common meaning behind Finn comes from a famous mythical Irish warrior, often spelled Fionn.
The name means “white” or “fair” or “wanderer.”
This name has been popular for decades, and with good reason. It’s a beautiful and meaningful old Welsh name that means “white, fair, blessed” or “blessed ring.”
If you love Gwen as a nickname but want longer options, you can name your child Gwendolyn or Gwenllian, which have the same meanings.
Using both a k and an x in just four letters total, the name Knox is already a unique baby boy name.
It’s typically associated with Scottish origin and means “round hill.”
This beautiful name means “bright” or “goal” or “purpose” or “brilliance,” depending on the origin you use.
The -nia is often used at the end of another word or name to add in the same meaning. But on its own, it’s simple, powerful and charming.
This name has multiple origins from Hebrew to Middle English.
It typically means “ash tree” or “at the ash tree,” which was a tree considered to have magical and protective powers in ancient cultures.
If you love the names Alexander, Alexandra or Alexis, but don’t love how incredibly popular they are, consider this shortened variation.
You’ll still get the same meaning of “defender of man” but without centuries of other famous people sharing the name.
From Christ’s disciples to The Beatles, there’s always been a Paul involved throughout history.
It’s a classic, timeless short name that can be found in multiple origins, but it most often means “humble” or “small.”
Even though many of these names are more modern twists on classics, there are still plenty of popular names that stick around for years for very good reasons.
Lily may only have four letters, but this flower-inspired name means “pure” or “passion” or “rebirth.”
This newly popular name comes directly from nature, with its name meaning “young horse.” But there’s more meaning than simply that description.
Young horses tend to be strong, excitable and energetic. So, if those descriptions feel like what you’re expecting from your child, this trendy name might be just right for you.
There’s no big secret hiding behind the meaning of this old French and Latin name, which means “joyful” or “happiness.”
What you see is what you get.
This name has multiple meanings depending on what you want from it. It can be inspired from the Hebrew meaning “law” or “justice.” It can also mean “valley” or “leader of people.”
It’s also popular as a first or last name.
Anytime you can incorporate a less popular letter like z into a name, you know it has some pizzazz.
Zara has both Arabic and Latin roots, and means either “radiance” or “blooming flower.”
Another two-letter name that is packed with meaning, Cy means “master” or “lord.”
Cy can be considered short for something longer like Cyrus or Cyril. Or it can simply stand on its own.
This name has risen and fallen in popularity over the years.
But it has always maintained a steady fanbase, likely because it’s both beautiful to say and has a number of varying delightful meanings, from “fairy” to “loyalty” to “belief.”
Just because a name is simple doesn’t mean it lacks some potent meaning.
You may refer to many average males as “guys,” but the name Guy means “guide” or “leader.”
Rue regained some mainstream popularity after “The Hunger Games” character of the same name became well known. It can either mean “herb” or “regret.”
As a bonus, your baby would share a namesake with Kanga’s little one, Roo, from “Winnie the Pooh.”
Joel is a particularly popular choice for religious families, as it means “Jehovah is God.”
It originated in both ancient Hebrew and Greek cultures.
This usually female name can be short for a variation of other longer names like Cornelia, Eleanor, Helen or Nelly. But it’s so cute that it can very much stand on its own.
And its meaning, “shining light,” is perfect for that new bright light in your life.
This name is popular for a reason. It’s simple and sweet and means “light.”
And small bundles of joy certainly bring light into this world.
This name really jumped into the forefront of prospective parents’ minds thanks to the stereotype-smashing Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.”
It means simply “she.”
This name is often attributed to describing a person from Denmark.
But it can also mean “dweller in the valley” or “God is my judge.”
There are a handful of meanings behind the delightful Cara. Many of the meanings are similar, whether they’re of Italian or Irish descent.
It can mean “friend,” “dear” or “beloved one,” so if you think your child is going to be a friend to all, this is a great choice.
This gender-neutral name brings with it a number of descriptions. There’s the American meaning of “simple happiness” or “exciting” that you can be inspired by or the Old English meaning of “round” or the Welsh meaning of “pure.”
And if that isn’t enough, it could be considered short for Cadence, which is all about the way sounds and rhythms flow together.
This name comes directly from the gemstone, which many cultures believe has all sorts of healing powers from transmitting wisdom to helping inspire courage.
Jade means simply “stone of the side,” and saying it will elicit the vision of that beautiful green gemstone.
Van is commonly used in some languages like Dutch to mean “of” something else.
But it has become a name that can stand on its own to denote the importance, perhaps, of the family’s surname.
One of the most famous short names on this list, Rose has been popular for centuries as a name for the famous flower.
But if you need or want more meaning, it can range from “beloved child” to “famous type.”
This popular name can be traced back to a Scottish Gaelic variation of John, which is a Hebrew variation of Yohanan. All of these have the same powerful meaning of “God is gracious.”
Who knew such a rich history could be found in three simple letters?
The most popular meaning for this name derives from the Hindu goddess in India and means “nation.”
There are other translations and origins that give Uma more meanings, from “tranquility” to “splendor” to “fame.”
This name pops up in European cultures, with some variations even appearing in Iranian stories.
Though the original meaning isn’t totally clear, it seems to usually be attributed to meaning “little rock” or “handsome.”
The meaning behind the name Hope, like the name Joy, won’t exactly surprise you. This English originated name means “desire of fulfillment” or “light” or “life.”
Since hope itself is something people keep feeling no matter what may be happening in these external circumstances, the name continues to live on as well.
While this name is more popular with boys, it has become more widely accepted as gender neutral.
And Reid’s meaning of “red-haired” or “of the reeds” can apply to boys or girls as well.
This name comes up in both Slavic and Latin cultures. It means “faith” or “true.”
It became particularly popular in the early 20th century, but it has maintained a steady parent fanbase since then.
The name Levi is popular with both religious and non-religious parents alike.
Though it has Old Testament roots, its beautiful meaning of “united” or “joined” or “joined in harmony” has universal appeal.
Even with the rise of more modern and unique baby girl names, there’s still something charming about the common name Jane. This one-syllable name has a potent meaning, typically translating to either “God’s grace” or “God is gracious.”
And with centuries of powerful women with the name Jane, your little one would be in good company.
Another popular gender-neutral name, Sky’s meaning is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It typically means “cloud” or “heavens” or “atmosphere seem from the earth.”
But it can also mean “scholar” or “sensitive.”