The 40 HAPPIEST Baby Names on Earth

Everyone has different baby-naming styles. But me? I’m big into the meanings behind names. Maybe it’s the writer in me — the unapologetic word lover — but a negative or dull meaning will always and forever be a deal breaker.

We chose Noah for its soft sound and peaceful meaning, probably because that’s what we needed at the time. We were in a zen space, desperately hoping for a peaceful transition into unexpected parenthood. Yet, I’m positive that if we have a second child, my main name inspiration will be HAPPINESS. Because if there’s one thing I hope for my child, it’s to find a way to live in happiness and to bring happiness to others.

So in that spirit, here are 40 baby names that literally mean “happy” and/or give off an upbeat and friendly vibe.

  • 40 happiest baby names on earth

    40 happiest baby names on earth

    These baby names suggest a cheerful demeanor and a bright, happy future…

  • Blythe


    Meaning: Free spirit, happy

    Perhaps best known on actress Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom), this happy girl’s name is starting to be seen more often in the “baby name” community, although it’s still a relatively under-the-radar pick.

  • Felix


    Meaning: Happy, fortunate

    Once upon a time, Felix was characterized by Felix the Cat and the grouchy half of The Odd Couple, Felix Unger. Yet this name is having a well-deserved revival for the upbeat name that’s brimming with personality and spunk.

  • Felicity


    Meaning: Happy

    Felicity might be shaking off its 90s image (from the popular TV show to the original American Girl doll), considering it LITERALLY means happy.

  • Hilary


    Meaning: Cheerful, happy

    Contrary to your initial instinct, the name Hilary goes far beyond Hilary Clinton — all the way to its roots in “hilarious.”

  • Ilaria


    Meaning: Cheerful, happy (Italian version of Hilary)

    If you can’t get over the political connection to Hilary, this Italian version has the same meaning, but with an exotic flare.

  • Asher


    Meaning: Fortunate, “happy one”

    One of the names on the rise, Asher (a cooler version of Ashton perhaps?) has a soft sound, a strong heritage (with biblical references), and a lighthearted meaning. It’s no surprise that parents are starting to catch on.

  • Bliss


    Meaning: (ahem) Bliss

    This name might be too happy — perhaps putting too much pressure on little Bliss to be happy? But if you want a blissful name…

  • Gwyneth


    Meaning: Happy, blessed

    Gwyneth Paltrow and mom Blythe Danner might be the happiest-sounding family ever. The name “Gwyneth” has a lot of perks — the melodious sound, chic celebrity image, and attractive nickname of “Gwen” — but the happy meaning might push its likability factor over the edge.

  • Leta


    Meaning: Joyful

    You might know this name as mega-popular (Dooce) blogger Heather Armstrong’s daughter, but did you know if has such happy origins?

  • Alisa


    Meaning: Great Happiness

    While similar sister-name “Alice” is getting buzz lately, it’s Alisa that has a more upbeat meaning. (Although Alice means “Noble,” which isn’t a terrible thing.)

  • Darwin


    Meaning: Dear friend

    And isn’t that what we hope all of our children will be? Dear friends? Perhaps you can overlook the evolutionary association and focus on the sweet, friendly meaning. Because there’s nothing that makes a person happier than a dear friend.

  • Merry


    Meaning: Lighthearted, happy

    It’s MERRY! Of course it means happy!

  • Naomi


    Meaning: My joy

    A soft-sounding Biblical name with an uplifting meaning.

  • Nara


    Meaning: Happy

    A similar simple sound to names like Mara and Nora, yet more unique. And happier!

  • Beatrice


    Meaning: She who brings happiness

    A top contender for parents looking for a classic name with a positive meaning — plus has tons of upbeat nicknames, like Bea, Bee, and Trixie.

  • Trixie


    Meaning: She who brings happiness

    Yet if you prefer a nicknamey name (rather than the more classic Beatrice), Trixie is full of spunk.

  • Isaac


    Meaning: Laughter

    Its conservative, Biblical roots might give it a distinguished vibe; but Isaac (quickly climbing the charts, by the way) means laughter.

  • Joy


    Meaning: Joy

    A similar word name to Bliss and Merry, yet not as unusual.

  • Chara


    Meaning: Joy

    If you want a happy, joyous name that’s not an obvious word (a la Joy and Merry), Chara means the same exact thing. And it’s sort of like a unique offshoot of Sarah.

  • Allegra


    Meaning: Joyous

    Musicians will recognize “allegro” as meaning “lively tempo,” which makes the feminized “Allegra” an attractive choice. It also has creative roots with the prima ballerina Allegra Kent, as well as daughters of Lord Byron and Donatella Versace.

  •  Farah


    Meaning: Happiness

    Speaking of offshoots of Sarah, Farah is a modernized version of the 70s idol.

  • Keiko


    Meaning: Happy child

    A Japanese classic with the spunky nicknames of Kei and Kiki.

  • Noam


    Meaning: Pleasantness, Charm

    A more unique alternative to the popular Noah, and with a charming and happy meaning.

  • Halona


    Meaning: Happy fortunate

    An unusual and meaningful Native American name, with a beautiful melodious sound.

  • Belle


    Meaning: Beautiful

    Belle resonates with charm and charisma — a more refined choice than the Isabella/Bella phenomenon. And any name related to Disney — the happiest place on Earth — boosts its cheerfulness, don’t you think?

  • Daisy


    Meaning: Pearl

    To borrow from my favorite romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, “Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?” The name has an upbeat, energetic aura — with, yes, a happy, friendly feel.

  • Annie


    Meaning: Grace

    Whether you use it as a full name or a nickname, Annie has an undeniably optimistic and HAPPY vibe. (The sun will come out tomorooooww!)

  • Charlie


    Meaning: Free man

    One of the happiest, friendliest names ever — for both boys AND girls.

  • Sally


    Meaning: Princess

    Maybe it’s just the nickname-y sound (a la Lucy, Polly, Annie, Daisy…) but Sally is such a cheerful name.

  • Cayo


    Meaning: The happy one

    If you’re into the trendy –o ending (Bruno, Leo, Milo, Apollo, etc.), Cayo is a unique option with a positively cheerful meaning.

  • Iris


    Meaning: Rainbow

    Not only is it a flower name, but it literally means rainbow — and what’s happier than that?

  • Phoebe


    Meaning: Radiant, shining one

    Again with the comedic association (from FRIENDS, of course), Phoebe is a name that’s bursting with personality and happiness.

  • Bonnie


    Meaning: Beautiful and cheerful

    Well with a meaning like that, need we go on?

  • Lucy


    Meaning: Light

    Whether or not it’s the comedic ties to I Love Lucy, I imagine a friendly, warm, and cheerful girl named Lucy.

  • Goldie


    Meaning: Gold

    This name radiates with warmth and laughter.

  • Fane


    Meaning: Happy, joyous

    A unique, off-the-map name that used to be a nickname for someone who was cheerful back in the Middle Ages.

  • Rosie


    Meaning: Variation of “rose”

    A spunkier, happier version of the sweet flowery name.

  • Poppy


    Meaning: Flower name

    Like Rosie, Poppy is a high-spirited, super-cheerful flower name.

  • Polly


    Meaning: Bitter

    OK, OK so the meaning is pretty much the exact opposite of happiness, but Polly is one of the most optimistic names around, next to Annie. (Pollyanna, anyone?)

  • Max


    Meaning: Greatest

    There’s a reason so many dogs are named Max — it exudes happiness and friendliness, with off-the-charts likeability.

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