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Your Favorite Names from the Top 100

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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.

Other girls’ favorites in the Top 100 include Charlotte, Claire, Alexa, Scarlett, Julia, Piper, and Annabelle.

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.

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Popular Boys’ Names: Top 100 Makeover

boys' names

by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz

 It was the Case of the Great Missing Baby Names Blog.

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.

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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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boy names

Which boy names have been most popular on Nameberry so far this year?

The big news in baby boy names: Asher is back on top, a spot he held in our 2011 popularity list but lost to Finn in 2012.  Finn is still enormously popular with Nameberry’s parents, holding onto the Number 2 spot, though longtime favorite Henry is slipping in our rankings for 2013.

New hottie among boy names on Nameberry: Declan, in the Number 3 spot, all the way up from Number 21 for 2012.  And August, at Number 35, was not even on the 2012 Top 100.

Django holds the Number 4 spot thanks the hit movie; it’s a cool name, but we don’t expect to see many baby Djangos.

The names we see leaping the furthest up the list include: Flynn, Dashiell, August, Nico, Bodhi, Gray,  and Frederick.  We can credit the new Pope for Francis squeaking onto the list at Number 100.

Our boy names popularity rankings are based on more than 8 million views of our names pages in the first half of 2013.  The Top 100 boy names on Nameberry so far this year are:

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Boys’ Names 2013: Soft new choices

By Georgia Brizuela

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Sssssssssh, have you heard the secret?

There may be a lot of Wild and Wilder names around these days, but boys’ names in 2013 are also going in a softer direction.

The sh sound is stylish — or should that be shtylish? — for baby boys’ names, introduced by Joshua and Sean and led these days by such trendy choices as Asher and Dashiell.

Among the attractive sh names for boys are the following:

Asher — The Old Testament Asher, which means “fortunate, blessed, happy one,” was one of Jacob’s twelve sons who gave their names to the clans of Israel.  Contemporary diminutive: Ash.

Ashton –This English name meaning “ash trees place” became a mega-hit in 2004, mostly thanks to TV star/model Ashton Kutcher’s popular prank show Punk’d.

Bishop — Actress Reese Witherspoon got the ball rolling on ecclesiastical occupational names when she named her son Deacon in 2003.

Cash — A diminutive of Cassius or an economy-inspired word name, cool name Cash may also pay homage to American music legend Johnny Cash.

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