Category: Boy Names
By Abby Sandel
Here’s something we hear again and again: naming a boy is hard!
Parents tend to play it safe – or at least safer – when it’s time to name a son. The reasons are many: a tendency to hand down family names, fewer possible variations of popular boys’ names, a narrower definition of what makes a choice appropriately masculine.
All of those trends are changing today, but the numbers still demonstrate that we’re more willing to take a risk if it’s a girl. Less than 70% of newborn baby girls have received a Top 1000 name over the last decade. But for boys, that figure is closer to 80%.
Welcome to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I’ll answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email email@example.com.
Kathleen and her husband are expecting their first child, a boy. She writes:
Here’s our dilemma: my husband is in love with the name Peter.
While I don’t love it, it has started to grow on me. My main concern is the dirty joke associated with it. Do you think that’s still an issue these days? Also, can you suggest any some middle names to go with Peter?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
There are several girls’ names—Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth, Katherine—that have spawned copious numbers of female variations and nicknames, as have boys like John and William, but there is one name whose progeny has embraced both genders, and that name is Alexander.
In 2013, there were 19 forms of Alexander on the Social Security list—almost split between boys and girls, and that doesn’t count names like the Scottish Alistair, which was Number 181 on Nameberry, or newcomer nicknames Xan and Zan. Enough for a two-part blog. Today, it’s gentlemen first.
Let’s take another look at the past! The year 1950 was smack dab in the middle of the century. Babies born that year will celebrate their 65th birthday this year. Many of them are grandparents now and may even be lending their own names to their grandchildren.
The most popular boy names in 1950 were James, Robert, John, Michael and David. How did these names rank 63 years later in 2013? Well, most of them are classics that don’t fade very far down the charts. In fact, James, Michael and David are still in the Top 20 today. Here’s how the 1950’s Top 25 names rank in 2013: