BOYS’ NAMES 2011: The Underground Popularity List

Last week we brought you our underground list of most popular girls’ names 2011; now it’s the boys’ turn.

You may be familiar with Nameberry’s most popular boys’ names 2011, with Asher, Henry, and Finn at the top all the way down to Axel, Nathan, and Landon.

You may even know our hottest boys’ names 2011, with Asher (again), Archer, and Everett.

But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those boys’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest in 2011 compared with 2010.

While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed. Unlikely as it may seem, the ultracool Booker may be tomorrow’s Cooper or Parker; Alden might be as hot as Aiden by 2015.

Our list of secretly popular boys’ names 2011:

Photo thanks to Doctor Lizardo.

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26 Responses to “BOYS’ NAMES 2011: The Underground Popularity List”

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clairels Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 12:28 am

I’ve always loved the classic Edmund, and I prefer Lennon for a girl. The rest aren’t my style. I guess all the popularity in the world can’t convince me to give up Finn.

agirlinred Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 1:08 am

My favorites:


linzybindi Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 1:48 am

I love so many of these names!

Dash – though I prefer Dashiell for a formal name

Scrambledmegs Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 2:00 am

Oh no! So many of my hidden gems!

I love…
Gunner (although I prefer spelling “Gunnar”)

kashed22 Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 8:06 am

Traylor? No! haha

i.heart.nerds Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 8:59 am

I adore Ambrose but am leery of the nick names Amber or Rose for a boy. Edmund is a middle name for if this baby us a boy. I do love Conrad as well. I am glad Percy did not make this list 🙂
Also I AJ on a moms site that there is a mom with a son named Traylor.

klcalder2 Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 9:35 am

Dash is fantastic! I also really like Edmund, Josiah, and Nolan. All are names I’ve considered using. There are even more names on her that are really cool, but I don’t think I’d use them.

skizzo Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 10:12 am

A few of them are already very popular, like Brody and Josiah. Cade and Nolan I see popping up everywhere too.

It seems the ends in “n” trend will continue to dominate, as well as the newer trends ends in “s” or “r”. The ends in “ee” sound is getting less and less popular.

The only name I actually really like from these lists are Zephyr, Rhett, Wesley and Bodhi.

I personally think Balthazar, Booker, Dash, Danger, Edmund, Gunner, Lazarus, Linus, Thaddeus, Thatcher and Traylor are awful names.

skizzo Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 10:14 am

I find Finn and Quinn really overrated too. I think Finley/Finlaey or Quincy much better formal names for boys than the nicknames.

littlepenelope Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 10:17 am

As the mom of a 9 month old Linus, I have to agree that it’s a pretty cool name. Underused, refreshing, geeky-chic. Big thumbs up!

kyburg Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 10:54 am

We just used the name Walter for our little June Bug. We almost exclusively call him Walt, and have received a TON of positive feedback. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this one rise, although I hope it doesn’t! Linus is on our shortlist for our next one, crossing my fingers that doesn’t get super popular…

laurbails Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 11:24 am

Basil’s my top boys name! Had no idea.

OliviaSarah Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 11:29 am

Alden, Basil and Booker are fabulous x

aimvonB Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

My favorite from this list is Zephyr.

Lola Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

ha! Balthazar & Ambrose are huge favorites of mine! Cassius is on our list and I’ve long loved Simeon, so incredibly dashing.

tct1219 Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I so wish Balthazar was more usable and that my husband liked it. I also love Walter and Anderson.

kgcg31 Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Soren amd Linus . . . Top two on our boy list. (And the only boy names that we both love)

Littlepenelope- It’s exciting to hear from an actual Mom who has used the name Linus . . . It’s so handsome and quirky . . . It has so many things going for it. 🙂

And kyburg- I can’t imagine it will ever become that popular. I think the Peanut’s character keeps a lot of people from considering it . . . Even though it’s such a minor association, and kids today don’t know the Charlie Brown comics as much as past generations . . .

Other favorites . . . Lazarus, Calvin, and Edmund.

pam Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hi everyone. A lot of my personal favorites are here: I love Booker, Cyrus, Lazarus, Reuben and several others and would unhesitatingly give them to a son. Traylor, not so much, but lest we be accused of “promoting” the names we like and ignoring non-berry names that may also rising, I had to include it. That is one of those Oooops names that you could keep secret and not get the problem until someone said, “You mean like…..trailer?”

anniebee Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Have been hearing a lot of these on the boards, so some aren’t a big surprise. I am a little concerned that people might be naming their kids Gunner, Danger or Traylor.

I do love Walter, which is a little less underground than some of the others on the list. The only others I might use are Alden, Thatcher and Basil.

MaryB Says:

September 13th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

My prediction is that three of these names are poised for huge mainstream popularity in the near term:
Josiah in particular seems to be catching a lot of mainstream attention; possibly as an alternative/fresher sounding version of Joseph.
Rylan sounds fresh and new to parents but is a close variation of the ubiquitous Ryan, making it a safe, conservative choice.
Cade/Kade is a variation of Caden/Kaden that appeals to parents looking for a more daring, trendy sounding name while also following the one-syllable boys’ name trend. Again a name that sounds fresh/trendy but is a very safe choice that will not raise any eyebrows due to the current popularity of Caden/Kaden.
A few other names I see gaining some ‘trendy’ use in the next few years but not gaining real mainsteam popularity.
A few of the other names on the list strike me as perpetual ‘also-rans’; names I can picture many parents considering, but very few actually committing to:
I see Zion, Lennon, and maybe Zephyr as more likely to be used on a girl.

leffie Says:

September 14th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

It’s fun to see this list, so many of my favorites are on here. Most probably I contributed a little bit to the rise of a few myself when deciding on a name for my son born in July…we named him Edmund George. Strong yet romantic, and so handsome! 🙂

others from this list I contemplated:

lemon Says:

September 14th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I love Thatcher! It’s pretty much my boy (middle) name of the moment. It has a natural feel to it, which I love. It’s strong but not harsh. It’s got a cool, jaunty sound. It reminds me of England, where I lived when I was little. It’s a winner all around, right?!

Also, about Traylor. Is that a combination of boyish-but-dated Trey and gone-to-the-girls Taylor? If so, I like the inspiration. But, Trailer – if it was associated with, say, people who liked to hike trails rather than U-Haul and “trailer trash” – looks more appealing to me. Familiarity factor, perhaps.

consmom Says:

September 15th, 2011 at 12:10 am

So many great names! We chose Conrad for our 7 month old so I highly recommend it! Other names in the running were Eamon, Lucian, and Cade.

What We’re Reading This Week | giggle GAB Says:

September 16th, 2011 at 6:02 am

[…] BOYS’ NAMES 2011: The Underground Popularity List – Nameberry […]

Javad Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 10:31 am

This is crazy, cuz just within the past several days (prior to reading this article) I have put ten of these names on our current top 25 possibilities list.

The Hottest Names of 2015 – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

June 22nd, 2015 at 10:58 pm

[…] back in 2011, we published a “secret popularity list” of girls’ names and boys’ names attracting the biggest jumps in views among our visitors.  The result: An amazingly accurate look […]

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