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Category: top boys’ names

Boys’ Names: Regular Guy Names

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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:

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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 JessicaEmily 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.

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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.

Oliver, the Number 1 boys’ name in England but only Number 98 on the U.S. list, is in third place on the nameberry count and Jasper and Milo are the fastest risers in the boys’ Top 10.

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.

The fastest rising boys’ names are marked with an asterisk and include Sebastian, Sawyer, Declan, Silas, and Beckett.

Look here for our 2010 most popular names for girls.

Here are the Top 100 nameberry most popular names 2010 for boys:

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Click here to see all boys’ names.

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.

Core Classics

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Boys’ Names: The Happy Ending

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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.

Amadeus and MilesMusic to my ears.

Augustus, Octavius, Cassius, and Aurelius? Love, love, love, and love.

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:

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