Category: popular names for boys
Popular baby names get a bad rap, especially — okay, we admit it — here on Nameberry.
But popular baby names are popular for a reason: A lot of people like them for a lot of good reasons. Popular names often have a sound and feel that’s right in step with the times, they’re fresh but also have meaningful roots, they appeal to a wide range of different kinds of parents.
Right now, in fact, the popular baby names hold more intrinsic appeal than ever. Time-honored, noble names for girls; strong, classic names for boys — there’s more to like than to not like.
How are we defining popular? If you can pick from the Top 10, great, but any baby name in the Top 100 is fair game.
The history of baby names is littered with former stars that burned brightly for a decade or two, only to fade from view.
Many of these once-hot names are lovely, even classic. They’re just not as stylish as they once were (although some, especially from the earlier decades, are on their way back in).
We looked at the Top 25 baby names for each decade of the 20th century to pick out choices that were hot back them, and are not today. Included here are Old People Names like Bertha and Clarence, Baby Boomer names such as Karen and Gary, today’s mom and dad names such as Jennifer and Jason, and names like Taylor and Tyler that are beginning to be heard much more often on babysitters than on babies.
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’.
The Nameberry popularity lists track which names attracted the most views on our site this year. Consider them a predictor of which names parents will choose in the future, rather than which names they picked in the past.
As with the girls’ names, the Nameberry Top 10 rankings are very different from the national Social Security list, with not one crossover name for boys. Bentley, the fastest-rising boys’ name on the national popularity list, attracted a significant number of new views on Nameberry too.
Compared with last year’s Nameberry popularity list, the only new entrant in the boys’ Top 10 is, interestingly, classic James. Names rising fastest through the boys’ top 100 are marked in bright green below: note especially Silas, Emmett, Everett, Flynn, and Archer.
Nameberry’s Top 100 Boys’ Names, 2011
up significantly over 2010
I have a friend, a pretty quirky guy, who has one of those generic boys’ names: Bill. I was thinking recently what an advantage it is for Bill to be named Bill rather than something like Jasper or Jarvis, one of those boys’ names that’s his equal in quirkiness. Bill takes the edge off his eccentric attitudes and offbeat style. It’s almost like the name Bill runs interference for my friend, telling the world: Don‘t worry, he may seem odd, but at heart he’s just a regular guy.
Of course, today naming your child Bill wouldn’t have the same effect. Bill is too mid-century a name and so seems old-fashioned or stodgy, not a regular guy of 2018 or 2025 at all. It’s one of those names that count as Regular Guy Names for dads or grandpas, but not for babies. These include: