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Boy Names: Some Popular Name Cliques

Boy Names: Some Popular Name Cliques

When a name gets popular, it’s rarely in isolation.

Both boy names and girl names tend to rise and fall in groups based on sound, image, association, 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, Kylo, Kyrie, and Skyler, suddenly Kaiser feels like part of this trendy boy name crowd.

This isn’t a bad thing – unique names often feel more usable if they fit into a broader fashionable name group. Kaiser may not have been a wearable option if other Ky– names and regal names hadn’t paved the way.

Popular Boy Name Groups

Below are some of the trendiest name cliques that have become popular for boys in recent years. Some are centered around a theme, like musicians, animals or ancient mythology, and others share a common sound, like the stylish O, S or TT endings.

Az- names

Aziel, Azriel, Azrael, Azazel, Azariah, Azaire

Woodsy occupational names

Archer, Bridger, Hunter, Fletcher, Fielder, Sawyer, Thatcher

International O enders

Arlo, Elio, Enzo, Hugo, Leo, Milo, Nico, Otto, Rio, Theo

Bold mythology names

Atlas, Adonis, Apollo, Odin, Orion, Osiris, Jupiter, Loki, Zephyr

Cas- names

Cassius, Cassian, Caspian, Casper, Castiel, Casper

Musical hero names

Axl, Bowie, Dylan, Hendrix, Jagger, Marley, Lennon, Ziggy, Zeppelin

S-ending surnames

Ames, Brooks, Banks, Briggs, Hayes, Jones, Oaks, Riggs, Wells

Wild animal names

Bear, Fox, Hawk, Lynx, Wolf

Bo- names

Beau, Beauden, Beaumont, Boaz, Bodhi, Bode, Boden

Punchy X enders

Knox, Maddox, Lennox, Pax, Phoenix, Felix, Lux, Tex, Onyx, Rex

Luc- names

Luke, Luca, Lucas, Lucian, Lucius, Lucio, Lucifer

Exalted word names

Legend, Maverick, Noble, King, Royal, Reign, Saint, Messiah

Names ending in -us

Atticus, Cyrus, Justus, Linus, Magnus, Maximus, Thaddeus

Finn- names

Finn, Finley, Finnegan, Finnian, Flynn, Griffin, Finneas

Literary surnames

Auden, Booker, Blake, Eliot, Keats, Huxley, Tennyson, Wilde

Names ending in -tt

Beckett, Bennett, Emmett, Everett, Merritt, Jett, Rhett, Truett

Weaponry names

Colt, Cannon, Caliber, Gage, Gunner, Kimber, Remington, Wesson

Kai- names

Kai, Kaikoa, Kairo, Kaiser, Kyrie, Kylo, Kyrie, Khairi

Biblical names ending -ah

Isaiah, Jonah, Josiah, Judah, Micah, Noah, Nehemiah, Obadiah

Ro- names

Roman, Rowan, Romeo, Rome, Rhodes, Romulus, Rohmer

Cowboy cool W names

Waylon, Weston, Wesley, Wyatt, Wiley, Wylie, Wilder, Wade

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@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.