There’s just something special about “J” names, which have been chart-toppers for decades, from the early 20th century with Jane and John to the 1980s and ‘90s when Jennifer and Joshua reigned supreme. These days you’re likelier to run into a Juniper or Jacob on the playground than the aforementioned, but that soft yet bold starter syllable remains a favorite. 

Whether you’re into hipster baby names, favorite biblical names, nature names with J, or looking for something more off the beaten path, we’ve rounded up 40 favorites that bring vintage and contemporary together in a cumulative list of the best baby names that start with J.

Baby Boy Names That Start With J

Jace: This one-syllable baby boy that derives from the biblical moniker Jason—“the Lord is salvation”—is short and oh-so sweet. 

Jackson: Its nickname Jack is a stand-alone star currently resting at #21 on the US baby name charts, but this longer version is a modern favorite from the English which offers up a long form should you prefer a more proper sounding first name.

Jacob: This biblical name is still shining after hanging out in the top five about 10 years ago; Jacob is now the 15th most popular name for boys in the United States and is a Hebrew name meaning “the supplanter.”

Jameson: Like Jackson for Jack, this long version of James which simply adds “son of” to its tail is a handsome pick for a baby boy.  

Jamarian: The modern American name is a combination of Arabic name Jamar “sparks” and French name Marion “sea,” for the lovely combined meaning “spark of the sea.”

Jasper: It’s a beautiful Persian name meaning “bringer of treasure.” What a legacy for a little one! 

Javier: The Spanish take on Xavier with meanings “new house” or “ bright” is a warm choice for a baby boy.

Javon: A name with Hebrew roots translating to “Greece,” this is a sweet pick for a baby boy with international appeal.  

Jedediah: An oft-overlooked biblical baby name, it means “beloved of the Lord.”

Jefferson: If you have a Jeff or Jeffrey in the family to name Baby Boy after, or just like that name but want something fresh, this version has Presidential vibes and a handsome finish. 

Jeremiah: J names feature majorly in the Old and New Testaments, hence another Hebrew name on our list. This one means “appointed by God” and is a bit more unique sounding than its adjacent name, Jeremy. 

Joel: An oldie but such a goodie! This one is also derived from the Hebrew, meaning “Jehovah is the Lord” and is a nice pick for an ‘80s and ‘90s music fan in honor of Billy Joel. You might consider Joelle for a girl, too. 

Joshua: He had major sticking power in the 1970s and onward, but Joshua never fell out of favor entirely. We love Josh, and its long form meaning “the Lord is my salvation.” 

Judd: It’s a fun one that only sounds super modern; Judd is actually a Medieval name related to Jordan, meaning “flowing down.” 

Julien: The French baby name is technically gender-neutral, but makes our boy list for broader use in the States for boys than girls. It means “youthful” or “sky father.”

Baby Girl Names That Start With J

Jacinta: It’s Spanish for the Greek flower Hyacinth, giving this pretty J name layered meaning and global appeal. 

Jada: The Spanish form of Jade, a name inspired by the green stone, is a perfectly unique choice if you want a nature-themed J name. 

Janie: While Jane in its simplest form will always be relevant, this nickname version is a lovely option in its own right with Greek origins meaning “wellborn.”

Jasmeen: If you love Jasmine but want something a bit rarer, the Persian flower name meaning “gift from God” would be amazing. 

Jessa: While Jessica may feel dated, this take is lighter and more hip. The posh name means “wealthy” and we love it.  

Jezebel: The storied biblical figure with both positive and negative attributes is a striking name meaning “not exalted,” maybe for the baby of proud feminists.

Jewel: Shining bright just like your baby girl, it’s a sparkly nature-based word name to adore. 

Jolene: Dolly Parton fans know why this stunner makes our list; it’s a cool-girl country name that’s actually a modern construct feminizing “Jo” from Joseph in the Bible: “God will increase.” 

Jocelyn: More popular across the Pond than here, the sweet German name that shortens to Jossie has an obscure meaning (“member of the Gauts tribe”), but an utterly charming sound.

Josephine: Whether you call her by the full name or shorten it to Jo or Josie, this is one of those classic baby girl names that will never go out of style. Josephine is another take on Joseph, this one from the French. 

Jubilee: It’s a jaunty, spirited name thanks to the association with parties, but traditionally from the Hebew it means “ram’s horn.” The horn would be blown on special occasion soirees, hence the double meaning here.  

Juliette: By far one of the most beloved J names for girls around the world, the name has multiple spellings (this one is French; dropping the “te” at the end is an English interpretation). The name means “little Julia” and would thus be a perfect choice if naming her after a Julia or Julie. You can’t forget the Shakespearean association, either. 

Juniper: This nature name is a rising star, as flora names retain a strong hold. Juniper is from the Latin, given to an aromatic tree that sprouts edible berries. 

Jovie: A modern name that’s picking up a ton of speed with new parents. It has a happy feel thanks to the association with the word jovial.

Joy: Why not have another happy J name on the list? Joy (and similar name Joyce) might not be as trendy as Jovie or Jubilee, but beautiful nonetheless. 

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With J

Jadis: A bewitching name for parents-to-be who are not looking to follow the crowd. The gender-neutral baby name is believed to be derived from the Turkish word cadi meaning witch, and was first a literary name appearing in The Chronicles of Narnia

Jagger: Edgy and fresh, Mick’s last name is the perfect pick for a rock-and-roll baby of either gender. (See more music-inspired baby names)

James: Long reserved for little boys, the classically handsome choice has been gaining popularity for baby girls in recent years and is so cute for both. James is an English version of Jacob, “the supplanter,” from the Hebrew.

Jayden: Another Hebrew baby name, this one meaning “thankful,” you can keep or drop the “y” and either way it’s an adorable choice for your little boy or girl. 

Jazz: The gender-neutral moniker derives from the style of music by the same name and can be given on its own or used as a nickname for Jasper or Jazlyn. 

Jesse: Popular in the 1880’s and then not again until the 1980’s, it’s a classic meaning “wealthy” that may or may not rise again any time soon. 

Jett: It’s got upward momentum, not only on the naming charts but also by its own proximity to a fast airliner. Coolly, this gender-neutral baby name is actually derived from the black, shiny mineral making it one of those rare nature names that works as well for a boy as it does for a girl.  

Jordan: A place name that’s hit our favorites lists before, Jordan means “flowing down” from the Hebrew in reference to the River Jordan, and has been given to many notable men and women throughout the years.  

Journey: The word name is a lovely metaphor for a life, and thus makes a beautiful baby name for a little boy or girl. 

Justice: Another word name we couldn’t pass up, meaning “fair” or “righteous.” The original form, in German spelled Justus, was mostly popular for boys, but this modern English spelling is on the rise for girls as well. 

Beyond J Baby Names…

Meet SNOO, the bassinet that makes parents jump for joy! SNOO has been proven to add 1-2 hours to a baby’s sleep. Plus, it keeps babies safely on their backs for all nights and naps. Learn more about SNOO

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

View more posts tagged, baby names

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.