RICHARD: From the Old German for "powerful ruler" and Old English for "brave one." Once a leader in the name game, there have been fewer and fewer little Richards in recent years. But this is a can't-miss name with scads of variations. Relatives: Ricard, Ricardo, Richerd, Richman, Ricker, Richmond, Richardson, Rickward, Rickert, Rickard, Richart, Riocard, Ritchie, Rich, Rick, Rickie, Ricky, Rico, Rocco, Dick, Dickie, Dicky. Namesakes: Richard the Lion-Hearted, Richard Strauss, Richard Burton, Ricardo Montalban, Ricky Nelson, "Richie Rich," Ritchie Valens, Dick Cavett, "Ricky Ricardo," "Dick and Jane," Poor Richard's Almanack.
RIDER: Old English for "horseman." Nice for a future equestrian. Relative: Ryder. Namesakes: Rider Haggard, Charles Ryder, Rider College.
RIGBY: Old English for "valley of the ruler." This is very "old school" and yet has a charming youthful ring to it. Namesakes: Cathy Rigby, "Eleanor Rigby," Rigby (Idaho).
RILEY: Irish Gaelic for "valiant." Relatives: Ryley, Reilly. Namesakes: James Whitcomb Riley, General Bennett Riley, The Life of Riley.
RING: From the Old German. Relatives: Ringling, Ringo. Namesakes: Ring Lardner, Ringling Brothers, Ringo Starr.
RIORDAN: Irish Gaelic for "poet." Relative: Reardon.
RIPLEY: Old English for "dweller in the noisy meadow." Realtives: Rypley, Rip. Namesakes: Rip Torn, "Rip Van Winkle," Ripley's "Believe It or Not"
RISA: From the Latin for "laughing one." For the baby girl who comes out smiling. Relative: Risë. Namesakes: Risë Stevens.
RISHON: Hebrew for "first." A feminine version is Rishona.
RISLEY: Old English for "from the wild meadow." Relative: Riston.
RITA: An abbreviated form of Margaret. Although an abbreviated form, Rita has come to stand well on its own. Namesakes: Rita Hayworth, Rita Moreno.
RITTER: From the Old German for "knight." Relative: Ritt. Namesakes: John Ritter, Thelma Ritter, Tex Ritter.
RIVA: From the French for "river" and a shortened version of Rebecca. Relatives: Rivy, Reeva, Rive, Rivi, Ria, Reva. Namesake: Rive Gauche.
RIVERS: From the Latin and French for "stream of water." Like Sky, Sunshine, and Freedom, this has a 1960-ish air to it. Nevertheless, it still clicks. Relatives: River, Rio. Namesakes: River Phoenix, Joan Rivers, Mickey Rivers.