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Category: baby boys’ names

Baby Men Names

photo by Georgia Brizuela

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Baby Men Names are names that sound perennially middle-aged, born wearing ties and carrying leather briefcases, buttoned-up and oh-so-adult.

These names carry several advantages: They’re rooted in tradition, of course, and so give your child a solid base for any grownup pursuit.  And since so many of them have been out of style through the past decades of hippie names and androgynous names and nature names and invented names, they feel distinctive now and even fresh.

And if they feel too forbiddingly adult to bestow on a baby, many of these names come packaged with cuter, more kid-friendly nicknames, so that Frederick can be shorted to Freddy and Philip can be called the playful Flip.

Along with stalwarts such as Edward and James and Thomas, the Baby Men names we like best today include:

Arthur — Arthur was a Top 20 name until 1926, when it began a long, steady descent, touching bottom in 2010 at Number 389 only to bounce back.  We see that new upward trajectory to continue, as Arthur has two prime advantages: It’s an ancient king’s name (and may even be a choice of Kate and Will) and it has the creative nickname Art.

August — We love all forms of this venerable name, drawn from the ancient Roman Augustus, but the simplest is also the most fashionable: August.  August also has a day name gloss and the cute nickname Augie or the more mannish Gus.

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Boys’ Names 2012: Nameberry’s Top 100

boys' names 2012

Now it’s the boys’ turn at the Top 100 list.  These are the most popular names gauged by visitors to their pages so far in 2012.

As with the national list, the boys’ top names are more stable than the girls’ — though the Nameberry list is very different from the U.S. list.  Our Top 5 names are the same as in 2010, with the exception of new entrant Milo.

Trends on our boys’ Top 100:

The Nameberry list is geared to non-traditional but deeply-rooted boys’ names.  We see this trend on the U.S. list as well, but it’s even more pronounced in our statistics — which indicates that overall trend will continue to move toward unconventional boys’ names and away from standards such as Robert and John.  The exceptions: Henry, James, and William.  But however unconventional, the Nameberry favorites, from mythological Irish Finn to Biblical Asher, have deep roots.

– Celebrities and pop culture are important, but not as important as for girls.  We see Finn, partially inspired by Glee, at Number 1 and Atticus in the Top 10 thanks to To Kill A Mockingbird.  While other names — Jude, Liam, Emmett, Hudson, Arlo — have risen on the heels of popular stars, celebrity babies, and movie and TV characters — we see this influence on boys’ names less pronounced than on girls’.

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Boys’ Names 2010: Most Popular So Far

boybluerug

There’s a new Number One boys’ name three-quarters of the way through the year.  Finn beat out Henry to become the most popular of the boys’ names 2010, as the most-searched male name on nameberry for the nine months that just ended.

This is big news, not least because well-liked classic Henry got trumped by a quirky ethnic upstart.  Of course, we’re talking most searched name here, not most used, and this is nameberry, where the patrons’ taste in names tends to be more sophisticated and distinctive than at your average baby-naming site.

Still, reaching Number One – not just for the third quarter, mind you, but for all of 2010 so far – is quite a distinction.  So congratulations, Finn, and we’re sure we’ll be seeing you near the top of the official popularity lists one year soon.

The other major boy name trend evidenced here is the predominance of two-syllable names, with a full two-thirds of nameberry’s most popular boys’ names 2010 having two syllables and 17 more having (like Finn) just one.

In other news, these names are newcomers to nameberry’s Top 100 Boys’ Names 2010:

They replace these, which have fallen off the Top 100:

Names moving up the ladder for the second time in a row include the following, which we now have officially on trend watch:

Names making the biggest leaps upward are:

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frenchname3

To check out the latest trends in French baby names, we turned to a true expert, Stéphanie Rapoport, creator of the popular site meilleursprénoms.com and author of L’Officiel des Prénoms 2010.  For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis on French baby names.

And for those whose high school French is as shaky as mine, we asked Stéphanie to give us a recap, which she’s been kind enough to do:

Baby names in France have never been shorter: exit Sébastien, Alexandre, Frédéric, Caroline, Nathalie, Angélique—the popular names of the 1980’s.  Emma, Léa, Clara now take the limelight as the most popular feminine names, while Lucas, Enzo and Nathan dominate the masculine ranking tables.

As a result, diminutives such as Lou, Tom, Théo and Alex are doing wonders.  Few analysts would have predicted such a phenomenon in a culture which used to disdain diminutives as merely “half names.

Ending sounds are also shaping to a large extent what becomes trendy and what does not.  Fashionable feminine names tend to end in the vowel ‘a’ (Emma, Sara, Léa, Clara, Lola, Éva, Louna and Lina being in the forefront).  Then there’s the explosion caused by Lilou, a new name which has led to the discovery of Louane and renewed interest in hyphenated names such as Lou-Anne.  For boys, names with ‘eo’ vowel juxtapositions abound, as in Léo, Théo, Mathéo, also o-endings (Hugo, Enzo) and names ending in ‘an’—Nathan, Ethan, Kylian, Evan, Esteban.

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boyflowers

For a long time, as girls marched in masculine naming territory, appropriating such boys’ names as Blair and Blake, Avery and Riley, Peyton and Parker, the boys retreated to firmly male turf, reviving such classics as William and Henry, forging into new macho terrain with names like Hunter and Stone.

It was okay, the thinking went with names as with clothing, toys, and career aspirations, for girls to adopt masculine attributes, but not for boys to take up girlish things.

Now, though, something surprising has happened. Boys’ names are getting decidedly softer, with traditional choices that include sibilant sounds and vowel endings gaining in popularity, and parents reclaiming unisex names for their sons.

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