ACADIA: Origin unknown, but probably related to the Acadians of Canada (Nova Scotia). A nice melodic sound; this works well as a middle name. Relatives: Cadie, Caddie. Namesake: Acadia National Park.
ACKLEY: Old English for "meadow of oaks." This is one of those names that sounds as if it's been in the family for generations.
ACTON: Old English for "town with many oaks." Anne Bronte picked this name for her pseudonym, "Acton Bell."
ADA: From the Hebrew for "adorned" and Latin for "of noble birth." A short, sweet palindromic name. Relatives: Adailia, Adalee, Adara, Adah, Eda, Etta. Namesakes: Ada Louise Huxtable.
ADAM: From the Hebrew for "earth." This is it, the original boy's name. Extremely popular in the nineteenth century; peaked again in the 1970's. Relatives: Adams, Adamson, Adie. Namesakes: Adam Clayton Powell, Adam Smith, "Adam Cartwright."
ADDISON: Old English for "Adam's son." Adison, Addisen. Joseph Addison, "David Addison."
ADELAIDE: French variation of the German for "noble kind." Popular in nineteenth-century England, it was given a boost in the United States around the turn of the century by the popular song "Sweet Adeline." But that variation suffers today from its barbershop-quartet image. Try one of the others. Adalia, Adeline, Aline, Adele, Adelle, Della.
ADENA: From the Hebrew for "delicate." Relatives: Adina, Adinna, Adenna. Namesakes: Adena (Ohio.)
ADIE: Most often used as a nickname, but this occasionally stands on its own. Relatives: Addie, Addy. Namesake: Addie Joss.