The ageless appeal of Aubrey: A name for all eras
Choosing a name like Aubrey means providing your child with a name rich in history and versatility.
Its steady popularity ensures it won’t feel out of place in any era, and the selection of variations allows for a personalized touch.
An originally masculine name, Aubrey was relatively popular in the United States in the early 1900s but began to decline mid-century.
However, the late 20th century marked a significant shift, with Aubrey emerging as a popular feminine name, influenced possibly by its resemblance to Audrey or its use as a surname.
In recent years, Aubrey has climbed the charts significantly.
In the United States, it reached its peak feminine popularity around 2012 when it was ranked as the 15th most popular girls’ name.
Since then, it has remained within the top 100, sitting comfortably at rank 81 as of 2022.
Its usage has also been noted in other English-speaking countries, holding a place within the top ranks in Canada, England, Wales, and New Zealand at various points.
Aubrey in the spotlight
Names often become more popular when associated with celebrities and characters in media. Here are some well-known Aubreys:
- Aubrey Plaza, American actress and comedian
- Aubrey Graham, better known as the rapper Drake
- Aubrey Beardsley, an influential English illustrator and author
- Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who starred in the hit series “Modern Family”
- Aubrey Wallace, gaining fame as a YouTube Star
- Aubrey Miller, recognized for her television appearances
- Aubrey O’Day, making her mark as a pop singer
- Aubrey Swigart, another personality from the world of YouTube
- Aubrey Chesna, known for her presence on TikTok
- Aubrey Omari Joseph, an actor with television credits to his name
Characters named Aubrey have also graced the screen in films like “Pitch Perfect.”
Nicknames and variations
You’ll find that Aubrey comes with a delightful array of nicknames and variations:
Modern variants play with spelling, replacing ‘ey’ with ‘ee’ for Aubree or even ‘y’ with ‘i’ for Aubri.
Masculine variations: Auberon or Aubert.
- Auberon (English)
- Aubin (French)
- Alberich (German)
- Alberico (Italian)
Pronunciation and emphasis
Pronunciation is key to ensuring your child doesn’t face a lifetime of corrections.
Aubrey is pronounced as AW−bree, with the emphasis on the first syllable — think of it rhyming with “law free.”
It’s a two-syllable name that’s straightforward, but watch out for the common mispronunciation that sounds like ‘Aub-ray.’
Similar sounding names
If you’re fond of the sound but not sold on the name itself, consider these alternatives:
Origins of Aubrey
Aubrey’s journey from a masculine name of nobility to a unisex choice today is intriguing.
Originating from the Germanic Alberic, it reached English-speaking countries in the Middle Ages.
Aubrey traces its roots back to the Germanic tribes of Europe.
The name originated from “Alberic“, composed of the elements “alb“, meaning “elf” or “supernatural being”, and “ric“, signifying “king” or “ruler” in Proto-Germanic language.
This Old High German name, also rendered as “Alberich“, was synonymous with elves’ sovereignty in ancient folklore.
When the Normans brought the name to England, it was adapted to “Aubry”, and eventually evolved into “Aubrey”.
It’s worth noting that before the Norman Conquest, the Anglo-Saxons used “Ælfrīc“, a native form that was largely replaced by Aubrey after the Normans arrived in England.
Its transformation as a feminine name in the U.S. began around the late 20th century when it started to be used for girls, possibly influenced by the name Audrey.
The contemporary feminine application of the name Aubrey might also stem from an entirely separate origin.
It’s proposed that this modern usage could be an evolution of the Germanic name “Alberada”.
Over time, as it passed through the Old French “Aubrée”, it gradually morphed into the Aubrey known today.
The name tipped the gender balance in 1974, becoming increasingly associated with girls.
Remember, the right name is a blend of sound, meaning, and personal significance.
Aubrey could be a harmonious fit for your child’s identity and story.