Category: popular boy names
When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.
Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations. The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings. Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.
But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics? Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear. I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.
The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look. They are:
While such monikers as Handy, Spurgeon, Icy, and Toy, culled from the bottom of the Top 1000, are indeed laugh-inducing, it may be even more remarkable to consider the baby names that were equally unpopular back then that went on to win widespread favor.
George vaulted halfway up our boys’ popularity list for 2013, thanks to the naming of the little British Prince George Alexander Louis. George went from Number 92 for the first half of the year all the way up to Number 56 at the year’s three-quarter mark.
At the same point last year, George did not even rank in the Top 100.
The other boys’ name in the news making a strong showing on our list is Kieran, which attracted some controversy after it was chosen for the newly-adopted African-American grandson of Mitt Romney. The Irish Kieran means “little dark one.”
But most names make our popularity list thanks to the interest of parents considering them for their babies. The list tallies which boys’ names attracted the most views among the 14 million visits to our name pages for the first nine months of 2013.
Many of us at Nameberry automatically dislike names that are “too popular.”
But look more closely at the most popular names and you’ll find lots of wonderful names that deserve their widespread use. Names that have stood the test of time, that have intrinsically pleasing sounds, that are associated with heroic characters.
So let’s this once set aside our name snobbery and own up to names we love from the Top 100 most popular names.
I love the name Sophia, for instance, and would proudly give it to a daughter or wear it myself.
For boys, there are even more popular names that I love. In fact, my own two sons’ names, Joseph and Owen, are both in the Top 100. And I also adore Elijah, Caleb, Henry, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Isaac, Thomas….almost too many to mention.
One of our most-read blogs of all time, a makeover of the top 100 most popular boys’ names, disappeared from our archive. We didn’t even notice it was gone until a Berry wrote wondering where it was. The girls’ makeover, also written by Elisabeth Wilborn of You Can’t Call It It, is still there. But the boys’: stolen, zapped, vanished into thin air.
So we set out to fashion a new version, using the current popular boys’ names list of 2012.
These are our suggestions of similar-but-different names you might substitute if you like the original boys’ name, but it’s just too popular.