Boy Names: Some Popular Name Cliques

by Sophie Kihm

When a name gets popular, it’s rarely in isolation. Boy names and girl names tend to rise and fall in groups based on sound, image, or some combination thereof. Sometimes just a pair of names will attract attention, but often entire gangs of names will become fashionable at the same time.

This causes some choices to seem more popular than they actually are. Sure, you named your son Kaiser, which is very low on the popularity charts. But when he’s in Kindergarten with kids named Kai, Kyler, Kyrie, and Skyler, suddenly Kaiser feels like part of this boy name crowd.

This isn’t a bad thing—bold names are seen as more usable if they fit into a broader trendy name group. Kaiser may not have been a wearable option if other Ky– names and regal names hadn’t paved the way.

Boy Name Groups

Below are some of the name groups that have become trendy for boys in recent years. Some are centered around a theme (like musicians, animals, or Eastern spirituality) and others share a common sound. Are there any groups you would add to the list?

Asher, Cash, Dash, Dashiell, Nash

Auden, Alden, Arden

AureliusCyrus, Julius, Linus

Axel, Axton, Dax, Pax, Paxton

Bear, Fox, Wolf

Beckett, Bennett, Emmett, Everett, Rhett

Blaise, Blaze, Hayes, Haze

Bodhi, Tao, Zen

Booker, Bridger, Sayer, Thatcher

Bowie, Dylan, Elvis, Hendrix, Jagger

Cassius, Cassian, Casimir

Duke, Noble, Prince, Reign, Royal

Eleazar, Laszlo, Lazarus, Lazer

Elias, Silas, Tobias

Elio, Milo, Nico, Orlando

Finn, Finnegan, Finnian, Flynn

Finn, Hank, Huck, Sawyer

Jupiter, Mercury, Thor

Justice, Justus, Loyal, Noble

Leo, Leopold, Leonardo, Leonidas, Teo

Lincoln, Link, McKinley, Truman

Luca, Lucian, Lucius

McCoy, Macallister, Mack

Omar, Otis, Otto

Osiris, Oz, Ozias

Quenton, Quincy, Quinn, Quinton

Remy, Roman, Romeo, Romulus

Rocco, Rocky, Stone

Walt, Whit, Whitman

Wild, Wilder, Wylie

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.