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?