Boys’ Names 2014: New guys on the block

boys' names 2014

by Pamela Redmond Satran

There’s a new class of boys’ names trending today that has a short clipped sound, contains only one syllable, is undeniably masculine yet not traditionally so.  Many of these boys’ names barely existed a generation or two ago: They’re definitely not your father’s or grandfather’s baby names.

But in some ways, they are the heirs to names like Glenn and Craig and Sean that took over in the 1960s and 70s from the traditional Bills and Toms.  They seek to reinvent masculinity while preserving qualities like strength and energy.

There are names with more conventional roots that you might consider part of this new brigade of short boys’ names: I’m thinking of such popular, stylish choices as Finn and Jack, Max and Jude.

But I’d like to focus today on those boys’ names that are newer and, some may say, fresher than Jack or Jude.   In 1970, most of these boys’ names barely squeaked onto the Social Security extended list, given to only a handful of baby boys.  Today, most are on the Top 1000, many of them moving up quickly.

The new boys’ names on the block include:


What do you think of this kind of new boys’ names?  Did you or would you give one to your son?  Why or why not?


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40 Responses to “Boys’ Names 2014: New guys on the block”

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lesliemarion Says:

August 11th, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Love Tate (reminds me of goofy Larry Tate on Bewitched), but the others leave me cold.

augusta_lee Says:

August 11th, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Great list! I generally prefer nicknamey-names like these as short forms for formal names, but Sage, Zane, Reed, Rhys, and Beau (that spelling only) seem complete to me. I particularly love Sage. I’ve also been hearing a lot more of Ace recently, and I’m surprised to say that it’s growing on me.

nicodesi Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 12:59 am

I have a son called Mick, although he does have the formal name Michael that we don’t use. I really like the short and strong name on him, but I don’t have any other names like it on my list for future sons.

anna.bliss Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 2:42 am

I like Sage, Zane, and West. We have thought about using Ace as a nn for our son Atticus but we tend to use his full name

ShannonLim Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 8:21 am

I like:

Cash – Cashel
Dax – Dexter

mayday Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 8:43 am

I am in the camp that prefers a longer given name, with or without a shorter nickname. One syllable names typically feel incomplete or insubstantial to me, especially if they lack hard consonants. There are a few exceptions, namely Reid. Reid is anchored by strong consonants on both ends and sounds distinguished to me. I also like that it doesn’t fit neatly in a category. (Is it a surname name? Nature name? Modern or old fashioned?)

jame1881 Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 8:57 am

Personally, I like Wade, though I don’t see much wrong with the rest of the list. Short and strong!

SunKissedChild Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 9:05 am

I quite like Ace, and have often considered using it as a nickname for Austen. I also love Reid, but only that spelling. Not a fan of any of the others.

amarie471 Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 9:25 am

Where’s Finn? Love these short, spunky names!

Knelli Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 9:58 am

Of these names, I think Id only use Gray, Jace, Kane and Rhys. The name Kane in on my list of favorite middles.

And although I would never use them, I do like Reed, West, Knox, Zane, Gage, Blaine, Ash, and Cole.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 10:15 am

I love some of these names. Cole, Gray, Jace, Knox, Reed (spelled Reid), Rhys (I love this spelling for boys and Reese for girls), and Trey. They feel very masculine to me. I’m on the fence with Trent and I really only Cash as a nickname for Cassius, a name I’m having about the biggest love affair with right now). The only other name that makes a mark on me is Sage. I don’t like this name much at all, but I especially don’t like it for a boy.

marisarose Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 10:16 am

I love these shorter masculine names. I would 100% use Gray, Cole, Sage, and and Beau/Bo. And my kitty cat’s middle name (don’t judge lol) is Noah Rhys.

dovah Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 10:33 am

Sage and Rhys are nice. Most of these sound a bit like you’re trying too hard to send a “tough guy” image. More appropriate on dogs or bicycles or something, to me.

Chloe14 Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 10:58 am

Some of these are okay. I kind of like Ace but I prefer Acer.

benotnormal Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 11:26 am

I recently come to love Bo / Beau for boys.

Also I think Sage is great for a boy but I’ve only heard it for girls.

iwillpraise Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I actually am surprised to have a lot of associations for this list!

-I just met my first Cade 2 months ago (38 yrs old – married to Kate, so confusing! lol)
-Ace is the little boy in homeschool literature
-Rhys was a neighbor baby (apprx 10 yrs now)
-Cole – yuck! too many of them! (I feel the same way about Aidan). The only classy thing it’s got going for it is that it’s a shortened variation of Nicholas; thankfully my brother had 3 girls or else we would have had a Cole in the family
-Gage – either one of my classmates’ little brothers or maybe one of our past youth group kids, I can’t remember. At any rate, he’s probably in his early to mid 20’s
-Clay – I know a Kley (4 yrs), namesake of a great-grandfather
-Trent – one of my preschool students a few years ago
-Tre – a teenager I know. in his case, it is because he is a third in the family line
-Tripp – literature character, like Tre (above), was a third in his family line. short for Triplet

-Jace is of course on Duck Dynasty, nn for Jason
-Reed, son of Jace (Jason), on Duck Dynasty
-Tait (Michael Tait) Christian singer/songwriter, now lead singer of the renown Newsboys band
-Brock is Reba’s husband on ABC Family’s long-running tv series
-Colt – One of my elementary school teachers sons is named Coltin (early 20’s), then there’s Colton Dixon of course

iwillpraise Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I also know a Bo – he is a teen 🙂

Anotherkate Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Hmm… Not really my style, I have to say! The only two I’d consider are Reed and Zane… I can see why people like them though, the sounds are generally nice but just not names I’d use for my own.

Anotherkate Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Oh, and Grey… I do like that one…

southern.maple Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Hmm. I’m not sure that I would consider Bo, Trip, and King to be “new guys,” but this is a good list! I was surprised by how many I liked.

senseandsensibility Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I really like Gage, Zane & Gray, but especially Gage! I don’t really care for the rest 🙂

» Boys’ Names 2014: New guys on the block Baby Name Suggestion Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

[…] Short, strong, and barely heard a generation ago, these are not your father’s or grandfather’s baby names. Nameberry – Baby Name Blog […]

miloowen Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Nash and Knox are typical New England names. Trey and Trip are typical New England nicknames for sons who are thirds.

Rhys of course is Welsh and Ash is Norwegian.

The others — meh. I’m still old-fashioned enough to ask a name to pass the judge test.

peach25 Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Trey and Trip are longtime nicknames in the South as well. Bo, Beau also longtime favorites. I know many boomers with these names.

indiefendi Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Finn (with the full name Phineas)
Max (with a full name tho)
Dax (and Dash!)

Ace – it doesn’t sound like a real name to me
Ash – though handsome makes me think of dry skin…or death
Blaine – sounds too much like blame
Bo – (I prefer Beau) too informal to me
Brock – sounds like an animal noise
Cade – so girly
Nash – Nash Grier is an freakin’ a-shole, I can’t get past that
Trip – just…why? I think it’s only suited for a Southern boy

indiefendi Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

And I love Zane but spelled Zayn like Zayn Malik!

indiefendi Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Sage is more girly to me.

bluejuniper Says:

August 13th, 2014 at 4:41 am

I love these types of names – Ash is on our shortlist for a boy.

I can think of so many more to add Bram, Rhett, Flint & Moss, just to name a few!

dancingwithdad Says:

August 13th, 2014 at 10:14 am

Trent feels very dated to me. Sage is girly in my opinion (it’s on our list!).
Love lots of the others! Our son’s is on here…hope it doesn’t get too popular (we had several reasons for it).

nlane825 Says:

August 13th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I tend to lean towards shorter names for boys (1-2 syllables) so I really like some of the names on this list. There are some short names I don’t like though because sometimes it seems like they either belong on a pet or are very personality specific. The names I do like are:
Bo (Bodie is one of my top 5 favs)
Gage (and Gabe)
(Lane is our last name so that one is out along with all -ane names)
Reed (another top name for me)

jamynn Says:

August 13th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I like Cole, Clay & Trey! 🙂

chi1127 Says:

August 14th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Nope. I’m not a fan of one syllable first names, having had a one syllable surname my entire life. It just feels so clipped.

bellamama Says:

August 15th, 2014 at 2:26 am

My 4 month old is named Fox! I have gotten good feedback on his name. Only a handful of people have looked at me like I am nuts! We wanted a short, strong name with a nature influence.

lalala__lauren Says:

August 16th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I don’t particularly like ANY single-syllable names as first names. Many of these would be great in the middle, and might even be great on someone else’s kids, but I much prefer naming long and nicknaming short.

LuMary Says:

August 16th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

For the most part, these names seem like part of a full name, Jace and Ash, for example. I’m surprised Cole is ‘climbing up.’ Cole/Colter/Colby are so 80’s and 90’s to me.

deesa Says:

August 17th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

as mom to Reed and aunt to Wade, these names are great with me. short, strong and seem to be easy to grow up with. like most of the others, too.

Netta5187 Says:

August 17th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I like Knox, Sage and Pax. Very cute and strong!

Dadof2 Says:

August 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am

love the short names Finn, Dex, Griff but often torn about whether we like the longer versions eg: Finley, Dexter, Griffin and keep the 1 syllables as nicknames. Changing our minds daily atm!

ktsue Says:

September 5th, 2014 at 10:21 am

We considered Clay, Cole and Colt (but ended up having a girl). They sound like football players to me, which is probably why my husband liked them so much. 😉 I used to like the name Gray as well… unfortunately, when I hear it now, all I can think of is “50 shades”. 🙁 l

jshreck Says:

September 8th, 2014 at 11:18 am

I love this trend; something about the single syllable names really appeals to me. Most of them are cute enough for a little boys name and at the same time strong enough to be a man’s name.
We named our son Drake- not on the list but also single syllable. The names Reid, Cade and Finn and are front runners if we have a second boy.

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