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Brilliant Boys: 27 Boy Names We Love

November 26, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

Every month, millions of visitors view the names in our database. We love seeing the data on the most-viewed names. It’s the basis of the Nameberry Top 1000, a list that includes many a current favorite in the English-speaking world, but also some surprises that can only be found on the most popular lists at Nameberry – at least for now.

Let’s take a look at some of the brilliant names for boys that are far more popular on Nameberry than they are in the US. In some cases, Britberries might push a favorite from the UK farther up the charts – hello, Callum! But we think it demonstrates that Nameberry readers have a great ear for the up-and-coming baby names.

The names are ranked by the gap in popularity, biggest to slightly-less-big. Looking for the girls’ version of this list? Find it here.

Dashiell – Number 78 on Nameberry; not ranked in the US Top 1000

Drop the ending, and literary Dashiell – as in Hammett – becomes sporting Dash. It makes this name versatile, stylish, and surprisingly underused in the US.

Lachlan – Number 56 on Nameberry; Number 904 in the US

Move over, Liam! Scottish names are one of the trends we predicted for 2015, so no surprise to see Lachlan so popular. It also fits right in with long-time favorites like Landon and Logan.

Callum – Number 68 on Nameberry; Number 729 in the US

Another import, Callum’s high ranking on Nameberry could be the impact of Britberries. Or maybe this Scottish name with a peaceful meaning – dove – is finally starting to catch on in the US, too.

Soren – Number 63 on Nameberry; Number 640 in the US

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard gives this name a smart and scholarly vibe, but Soren also feels exactly on trend, a great alternative to Mason and Evan.

Bodhi – Number 57 on Nameberry; Number 615 in the US

Friendly, upbeat Bodhi may owe its success to a deeply spiritual side. The founder of Buddhism first attained enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree, making this name a mix of style and meaning.

Theo – Number 21 on Nameberry; Number 509 in the US

Typically short for Theodore, there’s no reason Theo couldn’t stand on its own in our age of Leo, Marco, and Milo. Theodore is also more popular on Nameberry than in the US, but there’s no doubt that both forms of the name are catching on.

Rhys – Number 89 on Nameberry; Number 483 in the US

Actress Reese Witherspoon made the –eese spelling of this name more popular for girls in the US. But Rhys, the authentic Welsh spelling, remains a solid choice for a son.

Hugo – Number 87 on Nameberry; Number 438 in the US

Boys’ names ending in ‘o’ are a rich category of possibilities. Hugo is already big in the UK and much of Europe, so it seems like a natural import to the US.

Tobias – Number 93 on Nameberry; Number 419 in the US

We love our Biblical boy names – just look at Joshua, Jacob, and Noah. But Tobias picks up some luster thanks to pop culture, from television’s The West Wing to a handsome hero in the Divergent series to actor Tobey Maguire, born Tobias.

Milo – Number 8 on Nameberry; Number 311 in the US

Back in the 1980s, Milo was quirky, counter-cultural, and rare. But Milo’s roots are medieval, and the rise of similar-sounding Miles has paved the way for Milo’s return.

Ronan – Number 65 on Nameberry; Number 366 in the US

Aidan’s day in the sun may be over, but this equally Irish ends in –an name is on the rise.

Gideon – Number 97 on Nameberry; Number 349 in the US

Another Old Testament name with a long history, Gideon has never been more popular than in the US than it is today. But it’s even more liked on Nameberry, suggesting that Gideon will go even higher.

Archer – Number 61 on Nameberry; Number 303 in the US

Part-Asher, part-Carter, with a dash of Archibald, Archer is another traditional name that feels fresh in 2015.

Felix – Number 30 on Nameberry; Number 267 in the US

Felix has been everything – four popes, a world-famous cat, composer Felix Mendelssohn, James Bond’s CIA sidekick. Today, Felix is a fast-rising choice for a boy, bolstered by its meaning – lucky.

Arthur – Number 71 on Nameberry; Number 306 in the US

Regal Arthur slumbered for generations. But this classic choice is slowly gaining favor once more, helped by its stylish –r ending.

Finn – Number 25 on Nameberry; Number 234 in the US

How can it be that Finn isn’t in the US Top 100? Maybe it’s the rise of Finley and Finnegan that makes Finn feel so popular. But for parents worried that Finn is the new Jack, the good news is that it isn’t so – yet.

Jasper – Number 11 on Nameberry; Number 234 in the US

One of the few gemstone names typically reserved for boys, Jasper is a great nature name possibility. It’s also a name traditionally assigned to one of the Three Wise Men, making this a seasonal choice for a boy born over the winter holidays.

Beckett – Number 39 on Nameberry; Number 244 in the US

Playwright Samuel Beckett makes this surname name literary. Spelled Becket, it brings to mind Saint Thomas Becket, a twelfth century Archbishop of Canterbury. Along with Everett and Elliott, it’s one of the fast-rising t-ending boys’ names.

Beau – Number 52 on Nameberry; Number 228 in the US

Handsome Beau feels slightly Southern. Or maybe it’s a brother name for Wyatt, at home on the range. Either way, the masculine answer to Bella is quite stylish.

Kai – Number 13 on Nameberry; Number 177 in the US

A nature name from Hawaii, where it means sea, Kai also has roots in at least three other languages. It’s a short name more modern than Luke or Jack.

Griffin – Number 86 on Nameberry; Number 241 in the US

The name of a mythical beast, part-lion and part-eagle, Griffin feels fierce. But it’s also a name borrowed from Welsh royalty, and a brother for Rhys.

Jude – Number 10 on Nameberry; Number 162 in the US

Thomas Hardy made this Biblical name literary. The Beatles made it musical. Jude Law made it one of the hottest names of recent years.

Luca – Number 41 on Nameberry; Number 185 in the US

Not so long ago, names ending in ‘a’ were reserved for girls. Now Americans embrace vowel-ending names for boys, with Italian-inspired choices like Luca leading the way.

Rowan – Number 98 on Nameberry; Number 239 in the US

Rowan is used in big numbers for boys and girls. The nature name was given to nearly 800 girls and more than 1500 boys in 2014. It fits right in with masculine favorites like Ronan and Roman.

Simon – Number 99 on Nameberry; Number 231 in the US

Simon has traditionally been much more popular in the UK. But now it’s fading there, and rising in the US, another traditional choice in the key of Arthur and Hugo.

Silas – Number 6 on Nameberry: Number 137 in the US

New Testament boy’s name Silas was already rising fast when Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose it for their son earlier in 2015. It could push Silas into the US Top 100, and it’s already one of the most popular names at Nameberry.

Ezra – Number 1 on Nameberry; Number 119 in the US

An Old Testament name with an edgy sound, Ezra brings to mind poet Ezra Pound and child’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. With that modern ‘z’ and history galore, no wonder Ezra is tops at Nameberry.

What are your favorite names that are much more popular on Nameberry than elsewhere?

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