Origin:Diminutive of Andrew
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:Drew, which projects a polished, somewhat intellectual impression, is rapidly becoming the Andrew nickname of choice, replacing the past favorite, Andy. It is fully capable of standing on its own, which it has for many decades, non-stop since 1942.
Meaning:"Jehovah is his God"
Description:In the Old Testament, Joel was one of King David's 'mighty men' and the name was taken up by the Puritans of the sixteenth century. In the mid 1960s, Joel entered the Top 100, and stayed there for about twenty years, as parents tried to jazz up and formalize old standby Joe by reviving this biblical name.
Description:Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements rí, meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.
Description:Though ancient, Marcus now sounds more current than Mark, in tune with today's trend towards us-ending Latinate names.
Origin:Spanish variation of Ralph
Description:Raul and French brother Raoul are much more appealing than flat-footed daddy Ralph. Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia, who starred in the Addams Family movies, brought fame to the name before his death in 1994.
Origin:Greek or English from Latin
Meaning:"anointed one or follower of Christ"
Description:The name Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.
Meaning:"the settlement in the valley"
Description:Dalton is a name with multi-faceted appeal. Many are attracted to the name's resemblance to other two-syllable n-ending favorites: Colton, Holden, and cousins. Others see it as a trendy Western name, recalling the legendary Dalton Brothers gang. It also has something of an upscale, preppy feel connected to the exclusive New York private school.
Description:In the early 1990s, Cody was in the Top 25 most popular boys' names in the USA; but it has been in decline since then. It retains a greater degree of popularity in the UK, however. Cody might be short for Dakota but despite its nickname feeling, it's a name of its own.
Meaning:"from the high stronghold"
Description:This old Cornish name took on a whole new identity via Denzel Washington, who has inspired several thousand namesakes. The actor was named after his father, who was named for a Dr. Denzel, who delivered him.
Origin:English from Hebrew
Description:Jordan became one of the top unisex baby names in the heyday of basketball's Michael Jordan, and is still among the most popular unisex names starting with J. The name was originally given to those baptized in holy water brought back by Crusaders from the River Jordan, the only river in Palestine, and the one in which Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.
Meaning:"cool breeze over the mountains"
Description:An evocative name brought from Hawaii to the mainland by Keanu Reeves, who was born in Beirut to a part-Hawaiian, part-Chinese father. It moved into the Top 1000 for the first time in over a decade in 2016. Keanu ranks among
Origin:English from German form of Theodoric
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Derek started out as a sophisticated Brit, but the name became so common over the last decades of the twentieth century that it lost much of its English accent, along with its stylish edge. Derek was a Top 100 name in the U.S. for 25 years, from 1970 to 1995.
Description:Justin has been widely popular since the 1980s, when parents were seeking a fresher 'J' boys’ name to replace Jason, Jeremy and Jonathan. It's been dipping in popularity a bit in recent years but it reached as high as Number 9 in 1990. At this point it's Justin that is suffering from overexposure.
Description:Francisco is one of the more popular Spanish names for boys in the US, which is unsurprising given its popularity back in Spain and Portugal as well as Latin America, coupled with its classic status. It also has a cool hipster vibe to it, given the reputation of the city of San Francisco.
Description:Jared is an Old Testament name that has been popular for decades--it was revived in the sixties via TV westerns-- and is still an appealing option.
Description:A name popular among African-American parents, with many spelling variations, including Malek and Maliq.
Origin:English variation of Michael
Meaning:"who is like God"
Description:Mitchell has had something of a roller coaster ride, showing some panache in the forties and fifties, when it was seen as a sharper alternative to Michael with its cool Mitch nickname, slipping a bit, then resurfacing in the 90s when it reached as high as Number 71. Mitchell Pritchett is one of the leading characters on the TV sitcom Modern Family.
Origin:English, diminutive of Samuel
Meaning:"told by God"
Description:Sam has long been used on its own for boys, as accepted standing by itself as it is as a short form of Samuel. Straightforward and down-to-earth, Sam is the name of the son of the co-stars of The Americans, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Sam is one of the most popular names that start with S in the Western world, ranking higher in several European countries than it does in the US, where it's trended downward since the 19th century, though it's always been in the Top 1000.
Description:Though some may find such names rather harsh and severe, increasing numbers of parents are gravitating toward this kind of flinty, steely, stony single-syllable name.