Category: top boys’ names
Popular baby names go through cycles: They rise to the top, but then in a year or a decade, most fall away to be replaced by….
Well, by new names that are often pretty darn similar to the old ones. In the 80s, Jennifer was number one, until it was replaced by Jessica. Emily held the top spot for several years, and then was supplanted by Emma.
The reason for this same-but-different pattern is so simple and logical it hardly bears stating — but we’ll do so anyway. Popular baby names, by definition, are those that are favored by a wide range of people. Except once they become too popular for too long, parents don’t want to choose them, no matter how much they may still like them.
So they look for names that are the same, but different. That have some twist that makes them new, while retaining the appeal of the originals.
Many of the most popular baby names today have close cousins waiting in the wings, ready to move up and replace the well-liked but overused favorites of today.
On the boys’ side of nameberry’s Most Popular Names 2010, Henry edged out Finn to hang onto the Number 1 place that it’s held for most of the year. If you count related names such as Finnian and Finnegan, however, the Finn family would be Number 1.
Nameberry’s Most Popular Names 2010 list counts the number of times visitors to our site searched each name throughout the year, which we like to think gives the discerning baby namer an excellent insight into which names are attracting the most buzz. Our individual name pages received 4.5 million views in 2010, with top name Henry garnering nearly 10,000 searches. About two-thirds of our visitors are from the U.S., with another 20 percent from Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
None of our boys’ Top 10 are on the national Top 10. The fashionable classic James is Number 11 on our list but only 18 on the U.S. popularity list.
Look here for our 2010 most popular names for girls.
Here are the Top 100 nameberry most popular names 2010 for boys:
The other day we brought you the classic girls’ names: those that had been among the Top 1000 for all of the 130 years the U.S. government has been tracking baby names.
The boys’ group of classic boys’ names as defined the same way is nearly twice as large, encompassing 208 names to the girls’ 114. As with the girls’ names, we broke the classic boys’ names down into categories.
There are the Core Classics, about 20 percent of the group, which include those names everyone commonly thinks of as classics: John, Henry, William. Then there are the Biblical names that have endured in modern usage, from Moses to Matthew. Variations and short forms such as Anton and Andy make two more groups of names that have consistently been in the Top 1000.
And then there are those names that are quantitatively more enduring that you might guess: Harley? Riley? Hard to believe, yet the numbers bear it out. And then there are the Outliers, names whose continued use defies explanation and in some cases, sanity.
All of this gives you a wider range of options in classic boys’ names than you might initially think. Any of the following qualify.
Maybe contemplating the name Rufus sparked my revelation. Or it might have hit me when I encountered an Otis. Whatever the inspiration, I suddenly realized that my most-loved boys’ names end in the letter s. Yep, almost all of them.
Amias? One of my all-time underappreciated favorites.
What is it about s-ending names that hold such appeal?
It’s true, I prefer their soft, sybillant ending to the harder –er ending that’s so popular right now for boys’ names. Besides being more gentle, it feels a bit more surprising, intrinsically distinctive.
Many of my favorite classic boys’ names end in s: Thomas, James, Louis, Charles, and Nicholas. And trendier choices of decades past, from Chris and Curtis to Dennis and Douglas to Ross and Russ to Jess and Wes, helped whet the overall appetite for s-ending names.
Some of the names that end in s are fairly fashionable today. These include:
We first discovered Teresa Strasser when she mentioned us on her hilarious blog, Exploiting My Baby, to be published as a book next year. (That’s her at the right, pretending to be Heidi Klum.) Like many moms, Teresa spent her entire pregnancy obsessing about names, except unlike most moms, she did it publicly, with very funny results.
Here, her blog listing her favorite names and detailing what I and all her other friends and readers said about them. Read to the end to find out what she named her baby!
Me: You know the trouble with this one: the nickname Jim. Jims seem like nice guys, I just don’t want one. I am told by many who have written to me that Jim is an old school nickname, and that James can remain James. Can this be true? Also, how common is James? And have girls overtaken the name James? Those greedy little girl parents are taking everything.
The Name Expert: For me, James is really good. And doesn’t have to be Jim (though I actually like Jim). I have a Joe who has never, ever been called Joey, at least by anyone who lived to tell about it. There are lots of Jameses – but not in your neighborhood. Unless they’re girls. I really don’t think the girls are taking it over, though, not en masse outside the hipster ghetto.