American Names · Analysis

Baby Boys’ Names that are Popular (Top 100) in Just One, Two, and All the States

In May, the Social Security Administration released the U.S. national baby name data for 2022 to much fanfare. What’s less known is that they also released state data! While SSA does publish extended state numbers stretching down to 5 births in a year (just as they do for the entire country), their website showcases the Top 100 lists for all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Let’s look at the baby boys’ names that reached the Top 100 popularity threshold in just one, two, and all the states!

Here are the boys’ names that reached the Top 100 in only one state:

  • Alaska: Alex, Killian, Mark, Timothy
  • Arizona: Aziel, Javier
  • California: Nicolas
  • District of Columbia: Ari, Kairo, Nasir, Simon
  • Hawaii: Blake, Duke, Hezekiah, Israel, Kaimana, Keanu, Koa, Koen, Makoa, Tristan, Zane
  • Idaho: Grant
  • Louisiana: Kash
  • Maine: Gavin, Reid
  • Michigan: Cade
  • Minnesota: Mohamed
  • Mississippi: Jamir, Karson, Kashton, Kyrie
  • Montana: Bodie, Colt, Daxton, Ridge
  • New Hampshire: Abel, Callum, Colby, Rory
  • New Jersey: Shmuel, Yaakov, Yehuda, Yosef
  • New Mexico: Luciano, Manuel
  • New York: Abraham, Muhammad
  • Oklahoma: Baker
  • Rhode Island: Armani, Jeremy
  • South Dakota: Atticus, Kyler, Odin
  • Texas: Matias
  • Utah: Crew
  • Vermont: Brantley, Louis, Oakley, Otis, Warren
  • West Virginia: Gunner, Jensen, Remington
  • Wyoming: Augustus, Boone, Colson, Lukas, Tobias

Hawaii and New Jersey have especially distinct names that may or may not appear in the national Top 1000. Both states have ethnic and/or religious communities that strongly influence regional naming. Kaimana and Makoa are Native Hawaiian names; Shmuel, Yaakov, Yehuda, and Yosef are the Hebrew forms of Biblical names that are most popular among certain Jewish populations, especially Orthodox/Traditional. Kaimana, Makoa, and Yaakov did not rank within the national Top 1000, but can be found within the extended data.

And here are the names appearing in the Top 100 of two states:

  • Ali: D.C., Michigan
  • Bodhi: Hawaii, Vermont
  • Brody: Hawaii, Wyoming
  • Chaim: New Jersey, New York
  • Dallas: Alabama, Mississippi
  • Elliott: Maine, Vermont
  • Emilio: Arizona, California
  • Finley: Maine, Vermont
  • Jason: Alaska, Delaware
  • Jesse: Alaska, Wyoming
  • Kayson: West Virginia, Mississippi
  • Lane: Iowa, Montana
  • Malakai: Alaska, Hawaii
  • Matteo: California, Connecticut
  • Moshe: New Jersey, New York
  • Paxton: Maine, West Virginia
  • Peter: Idaho, Utah
  • Riley: Hawaii, Wyoming
  • Tyler: Massachusetts, Delaware
  • Walter: D.C., Montana

Finally, here are the few names that are popular enough to be in the Top 100 of every state plus D.C.!

  • Liam – Ranks #1 nationally. #1 in AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, KS, KY, LA, MD, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, & VA.
  • Noah – Ranks #2 nationally. #1 in GA, HI, IL, MA, MI, SC, WY
  • Oliver – #3 nationally. #1 in AK, AR, CO, ID, IN, IA, ME, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA
  • James – #4 nationally. #1 in MS.
  • Elijah – #5 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in AR and LA.
  • William – #6 nationally. #1 in AL, MT.
  • Henry – #7 nationally. #1 in D.C., VT, WS.
  • Lucas – #8 nationally. Highest rank: #3 in FL, NJ, NY
  • Benjamin – #9 nationally. Highest rank: #5 in MA, NH, PA, & RI. Clearly this one’s favored in New England!
  • Levi – #12 nationally. Highest rank: #6 in LA & VT.
  • Alexander – #17 nationally. Highest rank: #8 in D.C.
  • Samuel – #20 nationally. Highest rank: #9 in GA and OR.
  • Mason – #24 nationally. Highest rank: #11 in GA and PA.
  • John – #26 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in MS. I was surprised by this one since it’s not in the Top 25, but it goes to show the staying power of timeless names.
  • Luke – #34 nationally. Highest rank: #4 in LA.
  • Grayson – #37 nationally. Highest rank: #2 in WV.

Theodore and Asher were respectively the #1 names in New Hampshire and West Virginia, though they didn’t rank in every state.

Traditionally, the Top 10 are the names parents across the country can agree on. That said, #10-ranking Theodore is curiously missing – when I looked through the states, I found that Mississippi is the culprit! Theodore was given to 27 baby Mississippians last year, while the #100 ranking name (Myles) was given to 31. Hmm…

Any remaining names that are popular across the country can typically be found within the Top 20 or so. I was surprised John, Luke, and Grayson are so universally beloved! Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked about John because it’s never dipped below the national Top 30, but Luke and Grayson have never reached the Top 25. Luke, like John, is a name with major religious significance to Christians. I can’t explain Grayson’s universality.

What do you think? Naming is incredibly regional, and it can be hard to see that just looking at the national data. I will post a girls’ list later, but in the meantime, for different ways to look at names within the states; check out Nancy’s analysis of unique appearances in the extended data and Namerology’s state style sampler!

American Names · Analysis · Name Lists

New and Out: Changes to the U.S. Top 1000 in 2022

The United States baby name data-reveal arrived Friday, May 12th. Name writers, consultants, and enthusiasts everywhere are ecstatic! We have a whole new set of names to play with, and it gives us better a chance to predict the end results for the current year. Until next Mother’s Day weekend…

Last week, I published my list of predictions for the 2022 Top 1000. It’s always tricky to determine which names will rise or fall. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to engage with every possible pop culture phenomenon, for one! Names can also be surprisingly erratic and fickle at the bottom of the top. Multiple spellings may dampen the impact of the starter name. Some names fall faster than others, which means a name that isn’t getting more common usage-wise is getting more popular in the ranks. Then, you have all the names that are so close to the Top 1000 that they just, well, reenter! Finally, I didn’t account for the names that were new or returning to the Top 1000 in 2021 that fell out in 2022, since there’s simply little way to know what they’ll do in that scenario!

According to data from the Social Security Administration, the following names reached the Top 1000 most popular baby names in the U.S. in 2022. The bolded names are the names I correctly predicted would either arrive or go; name predictions are never an exact science. Anyways, here are the links for my boys’ names and girls’ names predictions if you’d like to see my thought processes and what didn’t make it!

New Boys’ Names:

Asaiah, Atharv, Aurelio, Cartier, Cedric, Chosen, Crue, Darwin, Dion, Duncan, Dutton, Eren, Ezrah, Imran, Ivaan, Jairo, Jrue, Kaisen, Kaizen, Kamryn, Kanan, Karim, Kayce, Khaza, Koen, Kolson, Kooper, London, Lux, Marlon, Meir, Murphy, Rhodes, Ryatt, Sevyn, Shmuel, Stone, Teo, Terry, Waylen, Westyn, Yael, Yahya, Zen, Zamir

New Girls’ Names:

Aadhya, Amayah, Amiri, Araya, Arlet, Belle, Carla, Casey, Cielo, Elisabeth, Elowyn, Emiliana, Georgina, Inaya, Jream, Keily, Kenia, Lakelyn, Lakelynn, Laylani, Lenora, Lisa, Lottie, Love, Luz, Maddie, Maisy, Marigold, Meilani, Nathalia, Neriah, Nori, Rosalina, Rowyn, Saanvi, Sapphire, Sarahi, Scottie, Sol, Tru, Winona, Wrenlee, Xyla, Yamileth, Yasmin, Zhuri

Some (possible) explanations for the new names:

  • Dutton and Kayce are heavily associated with Yellowstone. I believe Kayce is pronounced like “Casey.” Interestingly, Casey is back for girls and Kacey is out for boys.
  • Zen, Rhodes, Love, and Nori are celebrity baby names. Now that I think about it, I think Dutton may be too…
  • Jrue Holiday is a basketball player who has a daughter named Jrue too.
  • Sevyn is a character in The Hate U Give.
  • Waylen, Westyn, Ezrah, and Koen are (respectively) used as alternate spellings to the trending names Waylon, Weston, Ezra and Cohen, though Koen is technically a Dutch nickname for Conrad/Koenraad.
  • I’m not sure what’s causing the simultaneous popularity of Kaizen and Kaisen, but two things come to mind: a manga/anime called Jujutsu Kaisen and the word kaizen.
  • Elowyn is the most common spelling of Elowen, a Cornish nature name that’s been internet popular for years now. Elowen is still technically rare, though it feels a lot more common when you combine all the spelling variants together. 315 girls were named Elowyn, while 211 were named Elowen, and there are more alternates.
  • Laylani is a variation of Leilani, a popular Hawaiian name that ranks #59 nationally. Names ending in -Lani are ultratrendy thanks not just to Leilani but Kehlani, a musician’s eponym.
  • Maisy, Rowyn, Wrenlee, and Zhuri are variants of Maisie, Rowan, Wrenley, and Zuri.
  • Winona was revived by Winona Ryder and her role in Stranger Things.
  • Lottie and Scottie are part of a wider trend towards nicknames, though Lottie also has Charlotte’s popularity (#3 in the country!) to thank.
  • Marigold was a baby name in Downton Abbey that’s become trendy at just the right time.

Something I do want to note about a few of the names I just mentioned is the potential for offense when used outside of their original cultures (a.k.a. cultural appropriation, which especially impacts historically marginalized peoples). Winona and Leilani are indigenous names (Winona is Native American of Dakota or Sioux origin), while Cohen is a sacred Jewish surname. I personally can’t speak to how people feel about others using the first two names, but as someone converting to Judaism, I can tell you that many Jewish people are deeply offended about the wide non-Jewish use of Cohen, Kohen, and even Koen as baby names. Cohen/Kohen is a priestly title referring to a very specific group of people who sometimes (depending on the religious branch) still have important roles and rules within the community. Some people also consider gentiles naming a child Ezra as cultural appropriation, though I think that has more to do with baby names that are traditional and popular within the Jewish community; compared and contrasted, almost no Jewish person would ever name their own child Cohen.

Here are the names that left the Top 1000:

Exiting Boys’ Names:

Adrien, Aydin, Bishop, Blaine, Bowie, Branson, Carl, Cory, Crosby, Davion, Deandre, Dimitri, Dominik, Elon, Ephraim, Fox, Granger, Graysen, Genesis, Howard, Jabari, Jacoby, Jair, Jakobe, Jamal, Jaxtyn, Jesiah, Juelz, Kace, Kacey, Kamdyn, Karsyn, Kody, Kole, Kristopher, Kyng, Landry, Maurice, Mordechai, Palmer, Ronnie, Turner, Ulises, Yaakov, Yadiel

Exiting Girls’ Names:

Aarna, Aarya, Addisyn, Addyson, Aiyana, Aniya, Austyn, Braylee, Clare, Clarissa, Crystal, Ellen, Ellison, Etta, Frida, Giavanna, Haylee, Ingrid, Jaycee, Jaylee, Jaylene, Jaylin, Kailey, Kaisley, Kathleen, Kiera, Kimora, Kyleigh, Kynlee, Landry, Loyalty, Lyanna, Mazikeen, Meghan, Micah, Nataly, Paisleigh, Paityn, Raquel, Ryder, Sandra, Soraya, Tatiana, Tori, Zoie, Zola

What are some explanations these names leaving the Top 1000? Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Kacey is interesting because I actually predicted it to *enter* the Top 1000, but here we see it leaving. The SSA data always changes slightly each year, which lends me to believe either we’re seeing the results of delayed birth certificates or name changes. I’m also surprised it didn’t reach higher in conjunction with Kayce, which is usually pronounced the same assuming a Yellowstone influence.
  • Jakobe is coming off a boost in conjunction with Kobe and similar names. Jacoby might also be part of this specific downswing.
  • Elon is closely associated with Elon Musk.
  • Howard, Maurice, Ingrid, Kathleen, and Sandra are generally considered classics but dated.
  • Landry fell out for both boys and girls! A few athletes are named Landry, though I think the main pop culture influence is probably Friday Night Lights, which is several years out since release.
  • Mazikeen is a character on Lucifer, which concluded in 2021.
  • Lyanna is from Game of Thrones. Some other names from the series actually got more popular in 2022 though, including Khaleesi and Yara. The new spin-off may be influencing some names in the main saga by keeping them fresh. We do know that Rhaenyra entered the SSA birth data for the first time this year!
  • Meghan is falling after a brief boost to this and Megan via Meghan Markle.

Do you have any favorite names in this list? Are there any other reasons you can think of why some names rose or fell? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

American Names · Analysis

The Top 100 Baby Names in the United States

If you’re based in the United States, yesterday (Friday, May 12th) was the country’s baby name data release day! It’s a huge deal for namenerds and expecting parents alike, giving us a chance to learn the most up-to-date information about popular baby names. Parents who worry that their child will share their name with too many classmates sprint to these lists, while enthusiasts giddily check their predictions and look for major shifts in the data.

While I didn’t end up writing predictions for the Top 100, I still find them very interesting to review. These are names that are universally considered popular, even outside of the top 10. Literally thousands of babies each year receive Top 100 names; in 2022, the names ranking #100 were given (respectively) to 3580 boys and 2702 girls, while the names ranking #1 were given to 20,456 boys and 16,573 girls. Many Top 100 names are some degree of classic, while others are either modern standards or ultra-trendy. And generally, these are baby names that are popular throughout the country, even if most of them aren’t popular in every single state.

Here are the Top 100 baby boys’ names in 2022, including rank changes from 2021:

Rank NameBabiesRank Change
78Walker4232+51 (NEW)
90Micah3933+17 (NEW)
96Rowan3742+10 (NEW)
97Adam3625+7 (NEW)
99Theo3614+43 (NEW)
Data from the Social Security Administration

The newest boys’ names in the 2022 Top 100 are Walker, Micah, Rowan, Adam, and Theo. The names that left the Top 100 are Hunter, Dominic, Carson, Austin, and Connor.

And here are the girls’ names:

RankNameBabiesRank Change
84Iris2922+23 (NEW)
86Eloise2888+23 (NEW)
91Maria2831+14 (NEW)
97Liliana2768+7 (NEW)
98Ayla2735+10 (NEW)
100Raelynn2702+3 (NEW)
Data from the Social Security Administration

The newest names to the top 100 are Iris, Eloise, Maria, Liliana, Ayla, and Raelynn. The exiting names are Allison, Madeline, Rylee, Eva, Piper, and Peyton.

To break things down further:

  • Luna entered the Top 10, expelling Harper.
  • Leo, Ezra, Violet, and Mila entered the Top 25. These are the names we’re closely eyeing for Top 10 entry within a few years.
  • Logan, Jacob, Avery, and Layla exited the Top 25. While they are still very popular, they are no longer as trendy.
  • Santiago, Ezekiel, Lillian, Elena, and Naomi reached the Top 50. Lillian’s popularity peaked in 2010-11, but the rest are rather trendy.
  • Josiah, Lincoln, Leah, Addison, and Everly exited the Top 50.
  • Leonardo, Ian, Wesley, Cora, Quinn, Sophie, and Sadie reached the Top 75.
  • Easton, Landon, Colton, Savannah, Aubrey, Bella, and Skylar exited the Top 75.

We can see a few pop culture influences hitting the Top 100! Violet and Eloise, which were already trending, likely were boosted even further by Bridgerton. Meanwhile, the biggest debut is Walker, which was boosted by Walker, the recent Walker: Texas Ranger reboot.

Within the set, we can also get a better sense of current trends by highlighting the names that rose or dropped at least 5 rankings. They are:


  • Boys: Sebastian, Asher, Leo, Ezra, Luca, Maverick, Elias, Santiago, Cooper, Kai, Angel, Wesley, Ian, Leonardo, Walker, Weston, Bennett, Beau, Micah, Rowan, Adam, Theo
  • Girls: Sofia, Scarlett, Chloe, Mila, Violet, Aurora, Eliana, Ivy, Naomi, Valentina, Madelyn, Sophie, Genesis, Sadie, Quinn, Cora, Athena, Emery, Iris, Eloise, Maria, Liliana, Ayla


  • Boys: Jackson, Mason, Jacob, Logan, Wyatt, Jayden, Carter, Lincoln, Nolan, Jaxon, Eli, Aaron, Easton, Robert, Jameson, Landon, Colton, Jeremiah, Greyson, Nicholas, Hunter, Carson, Austin, Connor
  • Girls: Gianna, Abigail, Ella, Layla, Madison, Zoey, Leah, Addison, Everly, Claire, Aaliyah, Autumn, Brooklyn, Savannah, Aubrey, Bella, Skylar, Gabriella, Nevaeh, Serenity, Allison, Madeline, Rylee, Eva, Piper, Peyton

Upwards trends for boys here include International, Biblical, and Western. For girls, some popular trends include International, Vintage, Nature/Floral, and Feminine. Vowel-heavy names are increasingly trendy for all children.

“Names ending in ‘-n'” is a widely popular trend that’s mostly declining within the Top 100, which also affects Last-Names-as-First-Names like Jackson, Mason, and Landon. Madison and Addison have passed their heyday, and Zoey is now less popular than the classic spelling, Zoe. Though names like Abigail, Leah, and Claire are losing popularity, as a whole popular girls’ names are getting more traditional as “Grandma names” take off. As always, some names buck trends.

Do you have any thoughts about the new 2022 U.S. Top 100? Are there any names you’re intrigued by? Let me know!

American Names

The New Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names in America

It’s May 12th, 2023, the last Friday before Mothers’ Day. That means the Social Security Administration has just released its eagerly anticipated list of the most popular baby names in the United States of America! Excepting a COVID-related delay in 2020, SSA traditionally publishes the previous year’s baby name data for the entire country each May, going all the way down to just 5 recorded uses. Now, a name given to 5 babies is incredibly unique the 21st century, considering that the names that rank in the Top 10 (i.e., Emma, James, etc.) are currently given to anywhere between 9,000 and 21,000 babies. Those names, the most popular names in the U.S., are the names we’re going to talk about now.

Here were the Top 10 baby names given to American boys in 2022:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. James
  5. Elijah
  6. William
  7. Henry
  8. Lucas
  9. Benjamin
  10. Theodore

And here are the top 10 baby names given to American girls in 2022:

  1. Olivia
  2. Emma
  3. Charlotte
  4. Amelia
  5. Sophia
  6. Isabella
  7. Ava
  8. Mia
  9. Evelyn
  10. Luna

Luna was the only entry, which meant that there was only one exit. In this case, as predicted, it overtook Harper. Harper now ranks #11 and is likely to continue falling now that it’s evidently past peak.

What kind of surprises are there with the 2022 Top 10? For me, the biggest surprise is just how stable it is. The top 3 names for both boys and girls didn’t move rankings at all. Liam, Noah, and Oliver are still the top 3 boys’ names, and the same goes for Olivia, Emma, and Charlotte on the girls’ side. In fact, for the girls’, the #4 name also remained the same: Amelia. The biggest change positive change within the top 10 (other than Luna’s ascendancy) was Henry rising from #9 to #7. Ava and Benjamin both dropped two spots, giving Isabella, Sophia, and Henry boosts. And James replaced Elijah in the top 4, though it carried that rank several years ago so that isn’t really a big deal.

How did my predictions match up? I was correct that Liam and Olivia would remain the top names, and as I previously mentioned here, I correctly assumed Luna would reach the top 10. I was also right about Harper likely falling out. However, I was wrong about Jack’s possible entry, though; Jack not only didn’t reach the top 10, it fell from #11 to #15. Nothing left the boys’ top 10, which meant nothing could replace it. If Benjamin weren’t such a classic, we could have easily seen Mateo reach the top 10 this year (Mateo and Levi were *so* close). More remote possibilities I eyed (Jackson and Gianna, namely) dropped significantly, so I think their top 10 chances are gone.

And for one final bit of fun, here are a couple of comparison charts showing the top 10 names for the last 5 years. Let’s start with the boys:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names
Data from Social Security Administration

And here are the top 10 girls’ names between 2018 and 2022:

Rank2022 Names2021 Names2020 Names2019 Names2018 Names

Wow, I think the boys’ names have changed more in the last 5 years than the girls’ names…at least at the top!

What do you think? Do you have a child whose name is in the top 10, or maybe are you considering a top 10? Are you worried certain names are getting too popular? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

American Names · Analysis · Opinions

Baby Name Predictions for the 2022 U.S. Top 1000 (Boys)

Any day now (it could even be tomorrow!), we’ll find out what the most popular baby names in the U.S. are! Except for a COVID delay in 2020, the Social Security Administration releases a new list every May – just in time for Mothers’ Day! The new Top 10 (and especially the #1 spot) is what most people are anxious to hear since that can impact whether they pick a popular baby name. Many parents are concerned if a name even reaches the Top 100. As a name-writer, I’m more excited for the Top 1000.

Why am I so interested in the Top 1000? The Top 1000 is the best, most objective way we have to delineate the popularity or rarity of American baby names. If a name is in the Top 1000, that means at least a few hundred children received it in a given year (for 2021, the last year we have data for, a name needed at least 254 uses for girls and 217 uses for boys to be included). Generally, if a baby name is out of the Top 1000, we call it rare. Here, we’re not talking about names that are popular or unusual across age groups or globally – simply what’s popular or rare for babies born here and now in the United States.

I published my girls’ name predictions yesterday. Here are the boys’ names I think will leave or enter the U.S. Top 1000 in the 2022 dataset! If you’re viewing on mobile, be sure to scroll left to view the entire chart.

Names Likely to Exit the Top 1000:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Data extracted from the Social Security Administration


  • Nova is wildly popular and trendy as a girls’ name, and now that it’s in the top 50 with no signs of stopping the ascent, some parents may shy away from Nova as a boys’ name.
  • Re: Karsyn and Jaxtyn, I personally wonder if there’s a little bit of fatigue towards unique spellings of Jackson, Carson, and similar names. They are still popular and widespread, of course.
  • In this case, Jakobe seems more like a variation of Kobe than Jacob, or a form of Jacob inspired by Kobe. Jakobe became popular again in 2020 after Kobe Bryant’s death.
  • Ermias (a form of Jeremiah) was Nipsey Hussle’s legal name. It debuted in 2019 at a rank of #540 and has been falling ever since.
  • Kody didn’t actually drop too much (just 5 babies between 2020 and ’21, with a rank change of -24), but with a rank of #979 and all the recent Sister Wives divorce stuff I think this name could be knocked out of the Top 1000.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on at the bottom of the top 1000 because some of the names that look like they could fall out are surprisingly trendy or trendworthy. Parents choose from a much greater variety of baby names than they did in past generations, which makes rare names more popular as a whole. Name popularity also becomes erratic at the bottom of the charts. Karsyn dropped heavily between 2020 and 2021 as a boys’ name, but who knows if it will suddenly rebound? Mordechai is like Karsyn in that it’s dropping fast but ultimately depends on outside factors for popularity. That’s partly why I’m not marking Zev for a likely exit despite ranking #996 and dropping from 2020 to 2021; on the whole, the name is still rising.

Names Likely to Enter:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Extended data extracted from the Social Security Administration

I also have a list of maybes for names I’m not sure about. These may be more likely to enter in 2023 or 2024.

Other Names that Might Enter:

Name2021 Rank2021 Babies2020 Rank2020 Babies2019 Rank2019 Babies
Extended data extracted from the Social Security Administration.


  • Rhodes – Celebrity baby name via Emma Roberts, who had her son in 2020.
  • Zen was the name of Nick Cannon’s infant son who sadly passed away from cancer. Nick Cannon has many children, most of whom were born from 2020 on. Watch for these first names too: Powerful (g), Zion (b), Zillion (b), Legendary (b), Onyx (g), Rise (b), Beautiful (g), and Halo (g).
  • We’re long past Harry Potter, so I don’t know what’s driving Draco up all of a sudden. TikTok, maybe? Did an influencer name their baby Draco?
  • Sevyn is a variation of Seven, which have both gotten more popular in part thanks to the character in The Hate U Give.
  • Re: Kilian, I wonder if Kylian Mbappe and the World Cup will give related names a boost.

Do you have any names you’re eyeing for the 2022 Top 1000? Not all of these can come or go, but I’m betting a good number will (plus a few surprises). We’ll see the results soon enough!

American Names · Classic, Old, and Traditional Names · Name Lists

Underused Vintage Baby Names for Boys

A couple weeks ago, I published a darling list of underused vintage baby names for girls. All of the names were popular around the turn of the century (or even earlier!) and are now considered rare by U.S. baby name standards. They range from adorable and cute to elegant and distinguished, and all of them are ripe for a comeback. But what about the boys’ names? Well, here they are! Considering current baby name trends strongly favor old-fashioned names, these underused vintage baby names for boys are fresh and ready to turn the tide. Many of these options were considered fusty and unusable just twenty years ago, but today they’re getting ready for revival.

  • Algernon: This uppercrust gentleman began as a nickname among the Percy family, long the Earls of Northumberland. It delightfully means “mustache,” giving it a firmly masculine vibe. Most people will associate Algernon with Flowers for Algernon, though its appearance in the prep school video game Bully and horror writer Algernon Blackwood give it serious Dark Academia vibes. Shorten to “Algie” for a grandpa name with nature associations (“algae.”). Amazingly, Algernon only appeared in the U.S. top 1000 once (!) in the 1880s, though it saw minor usage throughout the 20th century, peaking in the early 1970s.
  • Archibald: Archie is popular again thanks to Prince Archie, so it’s only a matter of time before Archibald sees a resurgence! And believe it or not, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett have a child named Archibald. If you love literary associations, Archibald Craven is Colin’s father and Mary’s uncle in The Secret Garden. 100 boys were named Archibald in 2021, the highest number the Social Security Administration has ever recorded in birth data since 1880. If you’re not huge on Archie, consider shortening to Archer!
  • Arnold: Considering how popular Arnold Schwarzenegger is, I’m shocked Arnold isn’t a more popular baby name. Only 112 boys were given the name in 2021, which isn’t terribly low but still makes it rare and unusual for a modern baby. And isn’t Arnie such a cute nickname?
  • Bartholomew: This might be the most controversial choice here, but if we forget the nickname “Bart” and Simpsons references we can update to “Ollie,” “Artie,” and even “Arlo” – all of which are more than usable nickname options in 2023. Many parents will love that Bartholomew has Biblical origins and is the name of a famous saint. 37 boys were named Bartholomew in 2021.
  • Basil: With how popular nature and gender-neutral names are, it’s amazing more parents aren’t opting for Basil! Besides the delicious herb, Basil is an independent name of Greek origin meaning “king” and also an Arabic name that means “brave.” 73 boys and 28 girls were named Basil in 2021.
  • Clifford: Remember Clifford the Big Red Dog? Remember how he was the runt of the litter, but grew to the size of a house thanks to so much love? Wouldn’t that be a fantastic, sweet association for a baby? For what it’s worth, Kindercore is a new naming trend that throwbacks to beloved childhood memories. 150 boys were named Clifford in 2021, a more-or-less stable number (it fell out of the top 1000 in the early 2000s). Let’s bring it back!
  • Ebenezer: OK, despite Ebenezer Scrooge, this name has a wonderfully positive meaning: “stone of help.” Even so, didn’t Scrooge reform at the end? Nobody remembers his redemption…anyway. Eben, Ben, and Ezra are lovely nicknames for a little Ebenezer! 46 boys were named Ebenezer in 2021.
  • Edmund: Looking for an alternative to Edward? How about Edmund? Like Edward, Edmund derives from Old English / Anglo-Saxon, but it wasn’t nearly as popular after the Norman Conquest. Shortening to Eddie and all the other classic “Ed” nicknames, Edmund is also a fantastic choice for fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. 172 boys were named Edmund in 2021. It means “wealthy protector.”
  • Gerard: I’ve never understood how Gerald remained popular for so many years after Gerard fell out of general usage. Maybe people emphasized the first syllable instead of the second…that would do it! Gerard has such a handsome, romantic sound. My primary association is Gerard Butler and his many action movies (and also, Phantom of the Opera), but other people likely associate with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. 119 boys were named Gerard in 2021.
  • Gustav: August is a popular unisex choice in 2023, and regal Augustus has made a great comeback for boys starting in the early 90s. Gus is a classic nickname for both…and yet, there’s another way to get to Gus! Gustav is an unrelated German and Scandinavian name that was mildly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries until the early 1930s. That “V” ending is especially distinctive, and art fans may love the association with Gustav Klimt! If you miss the Romanesque prestige and length of Augustus, Gustavus is also an option. Just 34 boys were named Gustav in 2023, though over 400 boys were given the Spanish form Gustavo.
  • Herbert: Even though this is something of a family name, Herbert wasn’t even on my radar until recently, when I spotted it on an influencer’s baby! I was delighted by such a unique and refreshing choice in 2022 and 2023. Herbie and Herb are cute nicknames, and I think the nature vibes of Herb bolster Herbert’s chances for baby name success. Herbert itself means “bright army.” 53 boys were named Herbert in 2021.
  • Horatio: I’m going to be completely honest – this is probably my all-time favorite boys’ name. There are way too many reasons why to fit into this post, but Horatio (pronounced huh-RAY-she-o) boasts major literary and historical references spanning from Shakespeare (Hamlet) to the Napoleonic Wars (Horatio Nelson, Horatio Hornblower) and beyond. Horatio is the English form of Horatius, an old Roman name borne by a city-saving hero (Horatius Cocles) who’s somewhat akin to a smaller-scale Leonidas of Sparta. Distinguished and thoroughly unique, Horatio evokes adventure, courage, and intelligence. Somehow, just 12 boys were named Horatio in 2021. Admittedly it’s not the most nickname-friendly option, but I love the idea of shortening it to Ray, Ray Ray, or even Ori!
  • Isidore / Isadore: If Theodore is getting too popular for you (it’s currently ranked #10 in the U.S.!), try Isidore. Isidore is the English version of a Greek name meaning “Gift of Isis,” a meaning and origin that makes it one of only a few known men’s names derived from a woman’s name (others traditionally include Madison and Emmett). In 2021, 30 boys were named Isidore and another 19 boys and 5 girls received the Isadore spelling. Isidore / Isadore is a great way to honor an Isadora, Theodore, or Isabella in your life.
  • Orson has a lot to recommend it in 2023: for one thing, it means “bear,” which lends itself to fans of nature and animal names. Secondly, it’s short. It doesn’t have or need any nicknames! Thirdly, it has vintage Hollywood charm; I can’t be the only person thinking about Orson Welles! 97 boys were named Orson in 2021.
  • Percival / Percy: Fifteen years ago, I couldn’t even mention Percival without starting a fight. Now, it’s ostensibly fashionable! My generation first became familiar with Percy via Harry Potter, but the Percy Jackson series arguably has a much greater impact on that name. In this latter Percy’s case, it’s short for Perseus – another name that’s rising so quickly it may very well reach the top 1000 in a few years. Percival is great for fans of Percy who want a more formal option that isn’t Perseus, and it has Arthurian props. With the growing popularity of names like Arthur and Guinevere, that latter point likely means something to modern-day parents. In 2021, 46 boys were named Percival and 85 were named Percy; Percival’s actually in the middle of a spike, so it’s one to watch.
  • Phineas: Considering how easily Phineas shortens to “Finn,” I’m surprised more parents haven’t jumped at the opportunity to name their sons this! One of the most recent associations is the amusing Disney cartoon series “Phineas and Ferb.” 129 boys were named Phineas in 2021; an additional 35 children received the Phinehas spelling.
  • Rupert: Is Robert too popular for you? While Robert only ranks #79, that’s still a top 100 name. What *is* rare, though is Rupert. Rupert is an old-fashioned German version of Robert that’s currently far more popular in Britain than it is in the U.S. In fact, it actually broke the English and Welsh top 100 in 2021! While it ranks #93 there, it was only given to 26 boys in the U.S. during that same year. Contemporary namesakes include actors Rupert Grint, Rupert Graves, Rupert Everett, and Rupert Friend. Also…the guy who wrote the Pina Colada song? He’s a Rupert. Rupert was mildly popular in America until the early 1950s.
  • Ulysses: What I love about Ulysses – an unusual first initial and associations to Greek mythology and U.S. history. Ulysses is the Latin form of Odysseus, the titular character of Homer’s Odyssey. An old-school name that packs a punch, it was famously the first name of President Ulysses S. Grant, who was arguably one of the country’s greatest generals ever. Additionally, fans of classic rock may appreciate the connection to the Cream song Tales of Brave Ulysses. Like Horatio, it doesn’t shorten to many nicknames but I did come up with “Yul.” 180 boys were named Ulysses in 2021.

Ah, I love vintage names! There were so many I could have included here, but I limited things for the sake of space and time. Honorable mentions go to Clarence, Lemuel, Mortimer, Ignatius, Aloysius, Eleazar, and many more. Are there any you would add? I’d love to know which underused vintage boys’ names are your favorites!

Name Lists

250+ Isogram Names Starting with ‘E’ and ‘F’

I love isogram names. Don’t you?

If this is your first time tuning into this series or you just want a quick refresher, isograms are names or words that (usually) don’t repeat any letters. For example: Frances is an isogram because each letter is different but Francesca repeats two letters, ‘c’ and ‘a.’ There’s another rare type of isogram where every letter repeats the same number of times (think Fifi or Elle), but you probably won’t encounter that subset most of the time.

My previous isogram posts have all focused on one letter, but I decided to combine ‘E’ and ‘F’ due to their relative rarity. While ‘E’ names are generally popular and varied, it’s unusual and difficult to find ‘E’ isograms. I’m guessing that’s because it’s the most frequently-occurring letter in the English language and is therefore especially tricky to avoid. One brave and ingenious author managed to write a novel containing no ‘e’s anywhere in its text (can you imagine writing a book without the word “the?!”). On the other hand, ‘F’ names are rare in English, period.

Here is a list of over 250 isogram names starting with ‘E’ and ‘F.’ Most, but not all, come from recent U.S. baby name data as provided by the Social Security Administration. Enjoy!

3 Letters:

  • Eli
  • Ema
  • Emi
  • Ena
  • Era
  • Eva
  • Exa
  • Fae
  • Fen
  • Fia
  • Fin
  • Fox

4 Letters:

  • Earl
  • Echo
  • Edna
  • Edom
  • Ehud
  • Eila
  • Eira
  • Elan
  • Elba
  • Elfa
  • Elia
  • Elif
  • Elka
  • Elin
  • Elio
  • Elma
  • Elsa
  • Emil
  • Emir
  • Enid
  • Enya
  • Envy
  • Enzo
  • Epic
  • Eric
  • Erin
  • Eris
  • Erma
  • Erna
  • Eros
  • Esau
  • Esti
  • Eula
  • Evan
  • Ewan
  • Ezio
  • Ezra
  • Fadi
  • Fahd
  • Fajr
  • Fate
  • Fawn
  • Faye
  • Fela
  • Fern
  • Five
  • Fitz
  • Fiza
  • Flex
  • Ford
  • Fred
  • Fulk

5 Letters:

  • Eamon
  • Ebony
  • Edgar
  • Edith
  • Edric
  • Edwin
  • Egypt
  • Einar
  • Elham
  • Eliab
  • Eliam
  • Elias
  • Elihu
  • Elika
  • Eliza
  • Elnaz
  • Elora
  • Elyra
  • Elroi
  • Elton
  • Elvis
  • Elwyn
  • Emani
  • Embla
  • Embry
  • Emiko
  • Emily
  • Emina
  • Emira
  • Emlyn
  • Emory
  • Emryn
  • Emrys
  • Enfys
  • Eniko
  • Enoch
  • Enola
  • Eowyn
  • Epona
  • Erica
  • Erina
  • Eshal
  • Espyn
  • Ethan
  • Evans
  • Evian
  • Eylin
  • Ezlyn
  • Eztli
  • Fabio
  • Fable
  • Faigy
  • Fairy
  • Faith
  • Fancy
  • Farid
  • Faris
  • Fateh
  • Fatou
  • Favor
  • Fayez
  • Felix
  • Fendi
  • Fenix
  • Fiadh
  • Finch
  • Fiona
  • Fjord
  • Fleur
  • Flint
  • Floki
  • Flora
  • Floyd
  • Fouad
  • Frank
  • Franz
  • Freya
  • Frida
  • Fritz
  • Fruma

6 Letters:

  • Easton
  • Edison
  • Edwina
  • Ehlani
  • Eirlys
  • Ekhlas
  • Elanor
  • Eliany
  • Elijah
  • Elinor
  • Eliora
  • Elisha
  • Eliska
  • Eliyah
  • Elmira
  • Elnora
  • Elodia
  • Eloisa
  • Elowyn
  • Elrond
  • Elvina
  • Elvira
  • Elysia
  • Emilyn
  • Emiyah
  • Emslie
  • Emunah
  • Eniola
  • Enylah
  • Eoghan
  • Erandi
  • Erling
  • Ermias
  • Erykah
  • Eshani
  • Euclid
  • Eudora
  • Evalyn
  • Exodus
  • Fabien
  • Fakhri
  • Falcon
  • Famous
  • Fanuel
  • Fausto
  • Fawkes
  • Felton
  • Fenway
  • Fergal
  • Fergus
  • Fermin
  • Fields
  • Finbar
  • Finley
  • Finola
  • Fishel
  • Fisher
  • Flavio
  • Flower
  • Forest
  • Foster
  • Fotima
  • Fowler
  • Fraidy
  • Friday
  • Frimet
  • Fulton
  • Fumiko

7 Letters:

  • Eastlyn
  • Ebtisam
  • Eckhard
  • Eclipsa
  • Egilmar
  • Eilonwy
  • Elianys
  • Eliyahu
  • Elysani
  • Elysian
  • Elysium
  • Ephraim
  • Erlinda
  • Estoria
  • Eudoxia
  • Eunomia
  • Evanshi
  • Evanthi
  • Fabrice
  • Facundo
  • Fitzroy
  • Florian
  • Florina
  • Folarin
  • Fordham
  • Foreign
  • Fortuna
  • Fortune
  • Frances
  • Frankie
  • Frazier
  • Furiosa

8+ Letters:

  • Eastmund
  • Erioluwa
  • Euphoria
  • Eutychia
  • Faithlyn
  • Faustino
  • Ferguson
  • Filomena
  • Flourish
  • Francely
  • Franyeli
  • Florencia
  • Francoise
  • Eugraphios
  • Fitzgerald
  • Franciszek

It’s amazing how creative you can get with strict naming parameters, whether you’re looking for an isogram or not. While I’m not sure how well a handful of these work for a modern child (I’m looking at you, Eutychia), most of these are in use today. Hopefully this list provides you with plenty of inspiration for your baby, pet, or character names!

Do you have any favorites from this list or names you’d add? I’m curious!

If you’d like to peruse my previous isogram lists, here they are:

American Names · Modern names · Name Lists

Baby Name Mash-Ups: Boys Edition!

Do you enjoy mashing two names together to create a third? Whether you love name games, want an unconventional honoring name, or simply like rare baby names, name mashes are a fantastic way to explore the outer bounds of language.

Yesterday, I posted a list of real girls’ names that qualify as baby name mash-ups. Today, I publish the boys’ names! All of the mash-ups listed are legitimate baby names found within the Social Security Administration‘s data set for U.S. babies born in 2021. I also list how many times they were used that year to get a sense of rarity or popularity (For context, the SSA publishes all names used at least 5 times in a year. The most popular name in the country, Liam, was given to over 20,000 babies. To be considered popular, it needs to rank in the Top 1000…which started at 217 boys for the names Atharv, Bishop, Blaise, and Davian. Sense of scale!).

  • Adrius = Adrian + Atreus. 7 boys were named Adrius in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Aidric = Aidan + Godric. 6 boys were named Aidric in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Alexiel = Alex + Daniel. 6 boys.
  • Amarion = Amari + Marion. 136 boys.
  • Augden = August + Ogden. 5 boys.
  • Axcel = Axel + Excel. 10 boys. Hey, some people love spreadsheets!
  • Azaiah = Azariah + Isaiah. 166 boys.
  • Azarious = Azariah + Julius. 6 boys.
  • Baxton = Baxter + Paxton. 5 boys.
  • Braven = Brave + Draven. 94 boys.
  • Breyson = Brayson + Greyson. 12 boys.
  • Briceson = Brice + Bryson. 11 boys.
  • Briggston = Briggs + Brixton. 26 boys.
  • Broxton = Brock + Brixton. 7 boys
  • Chrisean = Chris + Sean. 6 boys.
  • Dylangael = Dylan + Angel, Dylan + Gael. 6 boys
  • Eliam = Eli + Liam. This is actually a Biblical name, but it’s a great mash option. Rank: #736, and was given to 345 boys in 2021.
  • Emmerick = Emery + Merrick, Emery + Eric, Emeric + Merrick. 5 boys.
  • Ethaniel = Ethan + Nathaniel. 20 boys.
  • Faustin = Faustino + Austin. 5 boys.
  • Geremy = Gerald + Jeremy. 9 boys.
  • Gianluca = Giovanni + Luca. 180 boys.
  • Graceson = Grace + Grayson. 47 boys. This is an interesting option for parents who want to honor a woman named Grace with their son’s name.
  • Hughston = Hugh + Houston. 7 boys.
  • Iangael = Ian + Angel, Ian + Gael. 5 boys.
  • Jakayden = Jake + Kayden. 28 boys.
  • Jamichael = James + Michael. 22 boys.
  • Jaren = Jason + Daren, Jason + Karen. 34 boys.
  • Jayco = Jayden + Draco. 9 boys.
  • Jeaven = Jeremy + Heaven. 5 boys.
  • Jebediah = Jeb + Jedediah. 27 boys. This is one of the older mash-ups and one of the older psuedo-Biblical names on the block.
  • Jessiah = Jesse + Josiah. 142 boys.
  • Joevan = Joe + Evan. 5 boys.
  • Juliam = Julian + Liam. 5 boys.
  • Kaydrian = Kayden + Adrian. 11 boys.
  • Kendarius = Kendrick + Darius. 13 boys.
  • Kendrix = Kendrick + Hendrix. 98 boys.
  • Lesther = Lester + Esther. 8 boys.
  • Lloyal = Llewelyn + Loyal, Llewyn + Loyal, Lloyd + Loyal. 9 boys.
  • Maxson = Max + Jaxson. 45 boys.
  • Maxton = Max + Paxton. Rank: #994 for 218 boys.
  • Miking = Mike + King. 22 boys.
  • Nashton = Nash + Cashton. 14 boys.
  • Rhyson = Rhys + Bryson. 7 boys.
  • Rorick = Rory + Rick. 10 boys.
  • Samaj = Sam + Semaj. Semaj is backwards for James. 11 boys.
  • Santonio = Santiago + Antonio. Of course, I also thought about a smoosh of San Antonio. 12 boys.
  • Thobias = Thomas + Tobias. This spelling looks a lot like the word “phobias.” 5 boys.
  • Xaviel = Xavier + Daniel. 6 boys.
  • Zebastian = Zebedee + Sebastian. 9 boys.

What do you think of these? Several of them are Bible-inspired without actually being Biblical, which is a really interesting trend I’ve been noticing.

What baby name mash-ups can you come up with for boys? I spotted Apollo and Pablo together in the boys’ data and misread together them as Apablo, so there’s an option!

Analysis · Classic, Old, and Traditional Names · Religious Names

Name Profile: Benedict

I used to think Benedict was one of those names that was too stained by history for modern usage as a baby name. Growing up in a household with a parent enamored by Early America, and with my own interests in colonial history, Benedict Arnold’s treason always felt like the reason why nobody named their sons Benedict anymore. Why I didn’t consider Benedict‘s decades in the U.S. top 1000 or the more enduring popularity of Arnold never occurred to me. Maybe it’s because my generation grew up watching Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and Hey Arnold, so our positive associations overrode the general’s surname. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked Benedict as a baby name! The fact is, until I was older I simply didn’t know of any living person who bore the name.

Nowadays, Benedict is a semi-popular top 1000 baby name in the United States! A few things have happened in the last 20 years to revive Benedict from the tomes of history and become a suitable modern baby name:

  • The first time I think I heard the name outside of 18th-century history was the 2005 election of Pope Benedict XVI. When he became Pope, the name Benedict received a substantial boost. With his recent death on December 31st, 2022, expect to see another bump to the name in the 2023 data (though, it will be interesting to see if his nearly unprecedented abdication dampens some of the effects here since the papal transition already happened).
  • Sherlock arrived on TV in 2010, quickly obsessing Americans. With that, Benedict Cumberbatch became a ubiquitous household name and at that point, I think the name began making its way out of purely religious circles. If anyone’s had a heavy hand in fading negative historical associations for Americans, he has. It helps too that Cumberbatch starred in a major Marvel role as Dr. Strange.
  • Cumberbatch isn’t even the only Benedict in Dr. Strange! Benedict Wong played another major role as Wong. What are the chances of two major acting credits in the same movie going to men both named Benedict? Either way, both actors have appeared across numerous Marvel productions.
  • One word: Bridgerton. The romance series first arrived over 20 years ago in novel form, but the Netflix series has been a massive phenomenon since its introduction late in 2020. Benedict is the name of the second child and son, and there’s a good chance that the characterization helped push the name back into the Top 1000 for 2021.

Besides all the current religious and pop culture associations, Benedict fits a few popular name aesthetics. It’s long, elegant, and Latin, landing squarely into the maximalist style of distinguished baby names. Benedict is old-fashioned, giving it a boost for parents who love vintage names. Bridgerton grants Benedict Regency vibes. Anglophile parents also may love its British-sounding appeal. It’s not super popular but with a rank of #991, it’s firmly familiar to American parents. If you want to honor a Benjamin but prefer something more unusual, Benedict has you covered. And if you go by meanings, its definition (“blessed”) makes it an honorific option for the Hebrew name Baruch too. Overall, I think Benedict finds itself in a perfect storm for creating a popular baby name.

What do you think of Benedict?

American Names

Boys’ Names Popular in Only One State in 2017

Boys' Names Only Popular in One State in 2017.

Some baby names are popular everywhere; others are local favorites. Here is a list of boys’ names that were in the top 100 for just one U.S. state or Washington, D.C. in 2017! I’ve also posted a list of girls’ names like this.

Alaska: Conrad, Paul

Arizona: Francisco

Arkansas: Kaden

California: Matteo

Connecticut: Jake

District of Columbia: Jeremy, Oscar

Florida: Bryan

Hawaii: Kaimana, Kainalu, Kainoa, Kaleo

Maine: Colby

Michigan: Ali

Mississippi: Braylen, Dallas, Kaleb, Princeton

Montana: Augustus, Warren

Nebraska: Barrett

New Jersey: Chaim, Yosef

New Mexico: Andres, Marcos

New York: Abraham, Muhammad

North Dakota: Mohamed

Rhode Island: Enzo

South Dakota: Briggs, Edward, Jax, Lane

Texas: Emmanuel

Utah: Benson, Boston, Milo, Porter

Vermont: Asa, Charlie, Finley

West Virginia: Clayton, Gunner

Wyoming: Conner, Damien, Dean, Gideon, Grant, Jaxton, Killian, Kyle, Tanner


  • Every name that was only popular in Hawaii last year is also rare in the U.S.
  • Every name on this list that was rare last year nationally was a top 100 name in Hawaii.
  • Compare to the 2016 list.

Thoughts? Surprises? Let me know in the comments!