American Names · Analysis

Almost Popular: Baby Names that Just Missed the Top 1000

One week ago, the Social Security Administration honored a modern Mother’s Day tradition by releasing the previous year’s Top 1000 most popular baby names just before the holiday. The 2022 list is out and we know the names, but what about the names that *almost* made it? The names that would have been popular if not for alphabetical ranking order or alternative spellings?

In 2022, the two names ranked #1000, the names at the very bottom of the top, were Kahlani and London. Kahlani was given to 260 girls, while London is the name of 222 infant boys. Just below them were several other names that could have or should have made it. Here is a chart containing the names that were used up to 10 times fewer:

Boy NameNumberGirl NameNumber
Table created by extracting from Social Security Administration extended data

Many of the names just left the Top 1000. Massimo and Mordechai were common enough that they should have been in the Top 1000, but the SSA ranks alphabetically after their numerical rankings and does not extend the national Top 1000 further for popular names that are later in the alphabet. Other names should have made it in, but were hindered by alternate spellings; Leylani comes to mind, as Laylani was the preferred version to enter in 2022.

As I mentioned, Massimo and Mordechai were given to enough babies that they should have been in the Top 1000 this year. What are some other common-enough baby names that the SSA rejected from the Top 1000 by alphabetical order? Let’s look back 10 years:

  • 2021: Aarya** (255 girls) and Davian (218 boys) were the named ranked #1000. The same number of girls were named Ansley, Eleanora, and Jaelynn; Harris, Koen, and Merrick were equally popular for boys.
  • 2020: Belle (254 girls) and Kylian (212 boys) were the names ranked #1000. Jaelyn and Laylani were equally popular to Belle.
  • 2019: Adrienne (257 girls) and Aayan (209 boys) ranked #1000. Runner-ups: Ariadne, Dixie, Libby, and Marisol for girls; Cedric, Rome, and Seven for boys.
  • 2018: Elina (261 girls) and Kenny (207 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Maliah and Paityn; Korbyn, Marquis, and Zackary.
  • 2017: Zendaya (260 girls) and Jaxx (201 boys) were #1000. Runner-up: Mordechai.
  • 2016: Kensington (264 girls) and Gus (204 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Luz and Sonia; Jamar, Jeremias, Menachem, Reagan, Shmuel.
  • 2015: Jocelynn (269 girls) and Camren (204 boys) ranked #1000. Runner-ups: Mattie and Sidney; Deshawn, Jayvion, Simeon, Tristian.
  • 2014: Kaya (264 girls) and Musa (206 boys) were #1000. Only Musa had runner-ups: Reagan, Rylen, and Sutton.
  • 2013: Tinley (251 girls) and Clyde (196 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups for boys: Graeme and Yisroel.
  • 2012: Aurelia (253 girls) and Augustine (199 boys) were #1000. Runner-ups: Aya, Dalilah, Hayleigh, and Tegan; Ephraim, Jaylon, and Kamdyn.

**Originally, Annabella was the girls’ name ranked #1000 in 2021. The birth data changes slightly from year to year, though whether that’s due to late applications or name changes is unknown.

Do you think the SSA should extend the Top 1000 to account for alphabetical order? With the Top 1000 creating a clear demarcation between popular and rare, I’m not sure it’s fair that two equally-common baby names could be so differently classified. In 2022, a baby boys was just as likely to be named Massimo as London, and yet London is the one we call popular.

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!

Analysis · Name Lists

Formal Names that Started Out as Nicknames

Let’s talk about nicknames. Currently, it seems that one of the biggest disagreements in baby naming centers revolves around the question of giving children formal names for the nicknames their parents will actually call them. For example, parents that want to call their child Jack or Ellie may be considering whether or not to put John or Eleanor on the birth certificate. I think there are good arguments both for choosing a formal option and not. The children may never use Margaret and William, so it makes sense just to call them Maggie and Liam. Alternatively, Liz hates her name and spends her whole life wishing she were Elizabeth, whether she’d prefer to go by no nickname or a different one entirely. Coworkers might be mildly confused to meet a Dan who’s not a Daniel, or they might call a Christopher “Chris” against his will. That’s not even going into what looks better on a resume or next to a professional title.

Here’s the thing, though. So many names that are now considered traditional formal options began their name lives as nicknames. When was the last time you met an Alison whose formal name is Alice, or a Megan that’s short for Margaret? A Robin who’s really Robert? Chances are that you haven’t met one. Some names have stood alone for so long that we’ve forgotten they’re nicknames. I guarantee that as time stretches on, more names will lose their diminutive status and be acceptable formal options. Some of them will even have their own nicknames!

Here is a list of formal names that either started out as nicknames or derived from them! Note that just because it’s a nickname doesn’t necessarily mean it’s shorter; certain endings like “ina” and “illa” turned names into their “cutesy” forms.

  • Aidan / Aiden – Anglicized spellings of Irish Aodhán, the pet form of Aodh. If Aodh means “fire,” then Aiden means “little fire.”
  • Alison – Medieval Norman-French nickname for a name that eventually developed into what we recognize as Alice.
  • Angelina – Via Angela, a Latin-derived name for “angel, messenger.”
  • Anita – Spanish and Portuguese equivalent of “Annie,” via Ana + “-ita,” a popular baby name in the U.S. until the early 2000s.
  • Antoinette – Feminine diminutive form of Antoine, the French form of Anthony.
  • Charlotte – Feminine form of Charlot, a traditional French nickname for Charles. Over centuries of (especially royal) use, Charlotte and her Latinized sister Caroline have served as the classic standalone women’s versions for the original name.
  • Colette – Short for Nicolette, itself an elongated nickname for Nicole.
  • Colin – One of Colin’s possible origins is as a medieval nickname for Nicholas, though this falls under the category of “when was the last time you heard it as a nickname?”
  • Daisy – While Daisy’s status as a flower name has let it stand alone for well over a century in some cases, in other cases it’s a nickname for Marguerite or Margaret. ‘Marguerite’ is the French word for ‘daisy.’
  • Ethel – A lot easier to swallow than longer Ethel names like Etheldreda and Ethelinda, however cool they are. Ethel is the Old English version of Germanic Adal (“noble,”) an element found in popular names like Adeline and Alice.
  • Ginger – Often short for Virginia, though you can also find it on its own because of the spice.
  • Heidi – Short for Adelheid, though very few people still give their children the formal version in the U.S. That said, the English equivalent to Adelheid is Adelaide, which *is* popular!
  • Jackson – Meaning “son of Jack,” this is a patronymic surname deriving from a nickname for John.
  • Juanita – Spanish equivalent of “Janie,” via Juana + “-ita.” Juanita was a popular baby name in the U.S. up until about 20 years ago.
  • Henrietta – Feminine form of Henry via the French Henriette, a pet form of Henri created by adding the “-ette” suffix.
  • Keenan – Anglicized spelling of Cianán, a nickname for Cian (Kean).
  • Kieran – Anglicized spelling of Ciarán, a nickname for Ciar (Keir).
  • Liam – Irish nickname of William. I do know of at least one William who’s called Liam, but this goes either way.
  • Lucille – French, from Latin Lucilla, the pet form of Lucia.
  • Marcellus – More or less, “Little Marcus.”
  • Margot – French nickname for Marguerite / Margaret. In Anglophone circles, I’ve never heard anyone discuss using it as a nickname. Popular alternative spellings include Margo (U.S.) and Margaux (France).
  • Max – Short for Maximilian, Maxwell, and other names.
  • Megan – Welsh nickname for Margaret that was popular for the latter half of the 20th century and early 21st until Maisie and Margot started trending.
  • Molly – This one’s a famous nickname for Mary, but it’s usually just Molly these days.
  • Natasha – Outside of Eastern Europe and Russia, Natasha often seems to remain separate from Natalia. Natalia is currently much more popular for babies born in English-speaking countries,
  • Nina – Short for many names including Antonina, but when was the last time you met a Nina that was short for anything?
  • Nixon – Means “son of Nick.” To be fair, Nixon is a lot more first name-friendly than, say, Nicholason.
  • Priscilla – Ancient Roman nickname/diminutive for Prisca, the feminine of Priscus.
  • Robin started off as a medieval nickname for Robert, but is now a classic gender-neutral option in the U.S. and U.K. Popular namesakes include Robin Hood, Robin Williams, and the bird.
  • Sadie is a vintage nickname for Sarah that now outranks its mother name! Even nicknames go through cycles…a few decades ago, Sally was Sarah’s top pet form.
  • Zelda – When not a Yiddish feminine form of Zelig (“Happy”), it’s traditionally short for Griselda, an medieval literary name from Chaucer and Boccaccio that was briefly popular between the 1970s and 1990s.

I didn’t even mention any nicknames for Elizabeth, which offers several classic options that are now formal names: Lily, Lillian, Ella, Elsa, Lisa, Elise, and more. Then there’s Leo, which has a long standalone history but also shortens to Leonard, Leopold, Leodis. Sophie is often a pet name for Sophia (occasionally, also Sophronia), but it’s also it’s own, classic (French) name. The possibilities are endless!

Do you have any any favorite formal names that started out as nicknames? Can you think of any others? Let me know! And whether you decide you’d prefer to put a “formal” name or “nickname” on the birth certificate, know that a) you’re not alone, and b) compromises are possible! The names on this list are perfect middle-of-the road options to assuage both sides of this debate.

Name Lists

Baby Names Starting with ‘Win,’ From Winter to Wingfield

Where I live, heavy winters are expected. Somehow, though, this season was strangely mild. Where’s all the snow I was promised when I moved to New England a year ago? Last week we vacationed north into ski country and (finally) there was almost too much snow. Spring may be just around the corner, but for a brief period it felt like winter again! And naturally, I was thinking about baby names. Specifically, names starting with “Win,” as in “Winter,” came to mind!

The letter ‘W’ is an interesting one because there aren’t that many girls’ names that start with it. It’s more traditional for boys’ names, but even so it’s no ‘A’ or ‘S’ with gajillions of possible name combinations. Even fewer are names that start with ‘Win,’ but with winter on my brain, those are the names I’m thinking about.

Here’s a selection of baby names starting with ‘Win’ for your name inspiration!

  • Winter – ‘Tis the season, and the name that inspired this list. Winter was briefly popular in the late 70s before reviving about a decade ago. An ultramodern nature option with a gender-neutral sound, I’m surprised this name still veers mostly feminine in usage. Current U.S. rank: #324. Interestingly, the spelling variant Wynter is almost as popular with a national ranking of #344!
  • Winston is a classic boys’ name with strong connections to Winston Churchill. Winston was traditionally a surname, but it’s spent so much time as a first name that I have a hard time putting it in the same category as, say, Miller. Except for a few years in the 19th century when it didn’t rank, Winston is perennially a popular choice for baby boys in the U.S. Current rank: #411.
  • Winnie is a trendy, up-and-coming vintage girls’ name that’s traditionally short for Winifred. I’ve also seen it used as a nickname for Winslet and Gwendolyn, so whether you prefer it as a standalone name or short for something else, you have options! Winnie is adorable either way. Current rank: #690.
  • Winifred is an old English name that derives from an earlier Welsh name (Gwenfrewi) via Latin in honor of an early British saint. Popular until the mid-20th century, it is so close to reaching popularity again! 234 girls were named Winifred in 2021, just 21 fewer babies than the minimum for the top 1000. Maybe she’ll make the 2022 list? Winnifred is a common spelling variation.
  • Winona was mildly popular for girls until the mid 20th century. Though it’s still a rare baby name, it’s risen sharply from just a few dozen a year in the early 2010s to over 170 baby girls in 2021. My guess for the increase? Actress Winona Ryder and her role on Stranger Things, which makes sense since the first big jump was in 2016 (the year the show started). Winona is a Native American name of Dakota or Sioux origin referring to a “first-born daughter.”
  • Winry is a character on the anime Full Metal Alchemist and the inspiration for the baby name, which is rare but trending upwards. 116 girls received the name in 2021.
  • Winslow Homer was a famous American painter, though these days his first name is more popular for baby girls. 63 girls and 27 boys were named Winslow in 2021. I think it makes a great, unique alternative to both Winston and Willow.
  • Windsor comes to us from the British Royal Family, making this one of the preppier surname baby names available to today’s parents. 33 girls and 11 boys were named Windsor in 2021.
  • Winsley – As far as I can tell, Winsley doesn’t have a lot of history as a first name (it’s modern!) but there is a rare surname and a village in England called Winsley. Still, I think it has lots of potential! 33 girls were named Winsley in 2021.
  • Winslet is the surname of famed actress Kate Winslet, who inspires a handful of parents each year to name their daughters after her. 18 girls were named Winslet in 2021…I’m surprised there weren’t more! Winslet has a sweet, feminine sound like Juliet.
  • Winsome – Here’s an unusual word name with a positive meaning: “charming.” Winsome Sears is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s current Lieutenant Governor. 8 baby girls were named Winsome in 2021, the same year she was elected. Since Winsome rarely ever appears in the birth data, I wonder if any (or all) were named after her?
  • Windy is a mid-century nature name that barely sees use anymore. In some cases Windy may be a variation of Wendy, but its popularity in the 60s and 70s was heavily influenced by an eponymous song by The Association. Just 6 girls were named Windy in 2021.
  • Winfield is a surname baby name you don’t really hear anymore. It was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries thanks to Winfield Scott Hancock, a famed Civil War general who ran for President in the 1880 election (Nancy has written on the election’s impact on names). Hancock was named after an earlier Winfield Scott, a general and hero of the War of 1812 who served all the way through to the Civil War. I suspect Winfield may have been a relatively popular baby name throughout the century.
  • Winfred is a great alternative to Wilfred, which is already rare in the U.S. If you’re looking to honor a Winnie or Winifred, try Winfred! Winfred is primarily associated as a men’s name, but I think the proximity to Winifred makes unisex usage possible as a kind of spelling variant (the traditional feminine form of Winfred, though, is Winfreda). Winfred derives from Old English roots meaning “friend” and “peace.”
  • Winnoc is the name of an obscure Breton or Welsh saint, though it’s also close to a word for window (“winnock”). Similarly, I came across another cool saintly name from the same region – Winwaloe.
  • Wingfield – This is a surname that could make a great option for expecting parents and authors who are fans of nature names (double whammy with “wing” and “field!”) and want something elegant or distinguished. Hello, maximalism!

Do you have a favorite name starting with the letters “Win?” Are there any you would add to this list? I like all of these for different reasons, but I think I have a special soft spot for Winifred and Winslow.

In the meantime, let’s toast to the end of winter and beginning of spring. I hear where I’m moving next (yes, I’m moving again!), the flowers are already blooming. It’s funny what a difference a few hundred miles makes, right?

American Names · Name Lists

300+ Isogram Names Starting With ‘C’

I’m a huge fan of isograms. When discussing baby names, an isogram is a name that (usually*) doesn’t repeat letters. For example: Caroline is an isogram, but variant Carolina is not because it repeats an ‘a.’ Playing the isogram game is a great way to find unique and distinctive name options. You would be surprised what you can come up with! All kinds of names can be isograms, so if you’re looking for an interesting way to name your baby, they’re a great place to look.

Here’s a long list of isogram names for boys and girls starting with ‘C!’ Most (but not all) came from recent Social Security Administration data. Even some incredibly old-school options are still in use (I’m looking at you Caedmon and Cephas), though the jury’s still out on Cyneburg.

3 Letters:

  • Cal
  • Cam
  • Cat
  • Che
  • Chi
  • Coy
  • Cub
  • Cyn

4 Letters:

  • Cade
  • Cady
  • Cage
  • Cain
  • Caio
  • Cali
  • Cami
  • Camp
  • Cane
  • Carl
  • Cary
  • Case
  • Cash
  • Cate
  • Cato
  • Cera
  • Chad
  • Chai
  • Ciar
  • Ciel
  • Chaz
  • Cher
  • Chet
  • Chip
  • Cian
  • Cing
  • Ciro
  • Clay
  • Cleo
  • Clea
  • Clio
  • Coby
  • Coda
  • Cody
  • Cole
  • Colm
  • Colt
  • Cope
  • Cora
  • Cord
  • Cori
  • Cove
  • Crew
  • Cruz
  • Cung
  • Cyan
  • Cyra
  • Czar

5 Letters:

  • Cabot
  • Cagri
  • Cahir
  • Caine
  • Cairo
  • Caius
  • Caleb
  • Calix
  • Calum
  • Camry
  • Caomh
  • Capri
  • Cardi
  • Carlo
  • Carly
  • Carol
  • Carys
  • Casey
  • Cason
  • Cathy
  • Cedar
  • Cedra
  • Celia
  • Celso
  • Celyn
  • Cerys
  • Cesar
  • Cesia
  • Chaim
  • Champ
  • Chani
  • Chaos
  • Charm
  • Chase
  • Chevy
  • Chief
  • China
  • Chloe
  • Chord
  • Chris
  • Chumy
  • Cielo
  • Ciera
  • Cindy
  • Clint
  • Clive
  • Cloud
  • Clove
  • Clyde
  • Coast
  • Colby
  • Colin
  • Conal
  • Conri
  • Coral
  • Corey
  • Costa
  • Covey
  • Cowan
  • Cozbi
  • Craig
  • Crash
  • Croix
  • Cuban
  • Curie
  • Cybil
  • Cyril
  • Cyrus

6 Letters:

  • Cadmus
  • Caelum
  • Calder
  • Calise
  • Caloni
  • Calvin
  • Calvus
  • Camber
  • Camden
  • Camilo
  • Camoni
  • Canelo
  • Canute
  • Capone
  • Carder
  • Carine
  • Carlin
  • Carlos
  • Carmel
  • Carmen
  • Carson
  • Carwyn
  • Casein
  • Casper
  • Castle
  • Castor
  • Catori
  • Celina
  • Cephas
  • Chaise
  • Chanel
  • Chaney
  • Chapel
  • Charis
  • Charvi
  • Chavez
  • Chayil
  • Chenoa
  • Chenxi
  • Cheryl
  • Chesky
  • Chetan
  • Chinwe
  • Chioma
  • Chione
  • Chosen
  • Christa
  • Christy
  • Cinder
  • Claire
  • Clarke
  • Claude
  • Cletus
  • Clover
  • Clovis
  • Cobain
  • Coburn
  • Colden
  • Colter
  • Colvin
  • Colwyn
  • Conley
  • Conrad
  • Conway
  • Corbin
  • Cordae
  • Corina
  • Corley
  • Cortez
  • Corvin
  • Corwyn
  • Cosima
  • Coumba
  • Cristo
  • Crixus
  • Cronus
  • Crosby
  • Cruise
  • Crusoe
  • Curtis
  • Cutler
  • Cuyler
  • Cyaire
  • Cyniah
  • Cypher
  • Cyprus
  • Cyrano
  • Cyrine

7 Letters:

  • Caedmon
  • Caelius
  • Caisley
  • Caitlyn
  • Caledon
  • Calhoun
  • Caliber
  • Calixto
  • Calvert
  • Calypso
  • Caoimhe
  • Cambrie
  • Cameron
  • Carlito
  • Carlson
  • Carlton
  • Carmelo
  • Carmine
  • Carolyn
  • Carsten
  • Cashlyn
  • Cashton
  • Castiel
  • Catelyn
  • Cathryn
  • Celiyah
  • Ceriyah
  • Chanley
  • Charbel
  • Charles
  • Charlie
  • Charity
  • Charvik
  • Chadwin
  • Chasity
  • Chaskel
  • Chasten
  • Cherish
  • Chibuzo
  • Chidera
  • Chinedu
  • Chisolm
  • Chloris
  • Clodagh
  • Clarity
  • Claudio
  • Clayton
  • Clifton
  • Coleman
  • Columba
  • Coralie
  • Coralyn
  • Cordula
  • Costner
  • Courage
  • Crimson
  • Crosley
  • Cynthia
  • Cyprian
  • Czeslaw

8 Letters:

  • Caroline
  • Cephalus
  • Chambers
  • Champion
  • Chandler
  • Charline
  • Charlton
  • Charlize
  • Charming
  • Chaselyn
  • Chaseton
  • Chidubem
  • Chifundo
  • Chikamso
  • Chinedum
  • Chrisean
  • Chrislyn
  • Clarkson
  • Claudine
  • Claudius
  • Cleophas
  • Cliodhna
  • Coleston
  • Coltrane
  • Consuela
  • Copeland
  • Cordelia
  • Cornelia
  • Courtlyn
  • Courtney
  • Cynebald
  • Cyneburg

9 Letters:

  • Calogerus
  • Cambridge
  • Cristobal
  • Claiborne
  • Corisande
  • Cornelius
  • Courtland
  • Creighton

10 Letters:

  • Charleston
  • Christabel
  • Christobal
  • Chrysanthe

There are so many great names to choose from here! I honestly thought there wouldn’t be that many isogram names starting with ‘C,’ but I was wrong. Can you think of any others? As always, let me know some of your favorites.

*There’s a second type of isogram that repeats each letter of a word or name, but these are extremely rare. Cece and Coco are examples of this other version, with each doubling two letters.

If you want to look at my previous isogram name lists, here they are:

American Names · Classic, Old, and Traditional Names

Name Profile: Myrtle

What’s the deal with Myrtle? Myrtle is one of those super rare baby names that literally nobody is using, which surprises me for a few reasons. Firstly, “Old Lady names” are highly fashionable, and it’s not uncommon to find young girls with gloriously vintage names like Olive and Maxine that you’d expect a grandmother or great-grandmother to wear. Secondly, “myrtle” is a type of plant, tree, and flower, setting the name firmly in the “nature names” category that is so wildly popular right now. Everywhere you look, today’s children are named River, Sage, and all manner of words taken from the world and environment around us. Then, it’s a color name, which is mildly trendy considering options like Ruby and Indigo. Finally, its sheer rarity makes it an actual unique baby name. Myrtle has a lot going for it!

Derived from the Greek μύρτος or myrtos, Myrtle was a popular women’s name through the end of the 19th century and much of the 20th century. The Social Security Administration tracks U.S. birth data back to 1880, and while those early years before 1937 or so weren’t the most accurate counts, if a name is in the top 100 for that year you’d best believe it was popular or at least some kind of fashionable. Myrtle was already firmly in the top 100 by then, with its popularity remaining relatively steady for quite a while. It wasn’t until 1926 that Myrtle left the top 100, and 1965 when it finally dropped out of the top 1000. From then, it withered into obscurity. Myrtle doesn’t even chart in the SSA’s extended data most years after the mid-90s; there was a tiny spike in 2013-2014 after the 3rd season of American Horror Story, and another small spike in 2019 when just 12 girls were named Myrtle, but that we know of, no children were named Myrtle in 2021 (the most recent year we have data for). When I said earlier that literally nobody is naming their kids Myrtle, I meant it. Myrtle is an extinct baby name.

As far as baby names go, and like most baby names, Myrtle has its pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros!

Myrtus Communis, or the Common Myrtle

This old-fashioned name is usually taken from the plant, a beautiful flowering shrub with powerful historical meaning. The Greeks and Romans associated myrtle with the goddesses Demeter (Ceres) and Aphrodite (Venus), the latter important deity representing love and fertility. With the popularity and trendiness of mythological baby names, perhaps Myrtle (or Ancient Greek Myrto) is a viable name option for a child born around Valentine’s Day? In Judaism, the myrtle is associated with the Sukkot holiday and takes the name Hadassah after brave Queen Esther, who saved her people (incidentally, Hadassah, her original name, derives from a Hebrew word that means “myrtle” or “myrtle tree”). British Royal Weddings have included sprigs of myrtle in bridal bouquets since the Victorian era – I wonder if that’s how the name became popular? Besides its historical and mythical connections, Myrtle is also a lovely shade of dark green. Families who spend a lot of time in Myrtle Beach may love associations with the ocean, summer vacation, and the beach. There’s even a book series for middle grade (grades 4th-8th) readers called the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries, set in the Victorian era like Enola Holmes.

Those are a lot of things to love, but let’s create balance and discuss any possible negativity (this website is, after all, the “Well-Informed Namer”). The first con I can think of is Myrtle’s sound, which is consonant-heavy. Myrtle belongs in the same auditory realm as names like Bertha and Gertrude, names with an “er” sound that also haven’t returned into widespread usage. I don’t think that’s a major con though, and I can see some options (i.e., Gertrude) becoming fashionable again. I think the biggest issue with Myrtle is the potential for disgusting “Moaning Myrtle” jokes that some adults and teenagers of the Harry Potter generation unfortunately might make about a person bearing the name. Need I say more about that?

Ultimately, I think Myrtle has promising potential in the coming decades, but I don’t know if we’re ready for it now. As a vintage flower and plant name, I think we’ll see a few pop up now and again. Parents who want to be absolutely sure they will give their child a truly unique, one-of-a-kind baby name may want to consider this option. What do you think of Myrtle?


  1. Social Security Administration
  2. Myrtle: The Provenance and Meaning of a Plant, by Julia Blakely, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.
  3. Nancy’s Baby Names
Name Lists

Baby Names Inspired by Roots, Grains, Beans, and Vegetables

When it comes to food names, the options that best adapt to baby names are herbs, edible flowers, and spices…you know, plant names! Fruits as names are more challenging, and vegetables are usually difficult to pair with baby names. That said, it’s 2023, and practically anything can be a name. Parents are seeking new baby names from all kinds of sources, whether to find ones that align with their values or that will be too rare and uncommon to duplicate in a classroom or on the playground. The sky is the limit!

Here is a curated selection of baby names inspired by roots, grains, beans, and vegetables, including many of the earthy things themselves. For the crunchy, eco-conscious parent or the foodie who wants something completely different and unexpected for their child, this unique garden salad of nature names is for you.

Let’s start with the vegetables that *do* work as baby names, shall we?

  • Amaranth is a fine standalone name, but it also gives us Amarantha, Amara, and maybe even Amaryllis. Amaranth is a type of grain.
  • Barley – 6 boys were named Barley in 2021. I’m just going to insert a pun about barley counting in the Social Security Administration’s baby name data (the minimum is 5 children)…
  • Bean’s name fame comes from the middle spot of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain. Parents with young children may be more familiar with the Ivy and Bean chapter book series, and adults with a dark sense of humor and Matt Groening shows may be fans of Princess Bean in the Netflix cartoon Disenchantment. Either way, Bean is a cute veggie name on its own! For a longer, formal version, consider Beatrice or Albina. Bean would also make a unique alternative to Birdie as a nickname for Bernadette. The aforementioned Princess Bean’s name is short for Tiabeanie.
  • Calabash – I included Calabash in my list of names beginning with “Cal,” and I’m still convinced that it’s a cool-sounding name even if nobody is using it. Squash, a more common word for the produce, does not sound cool. There’s also Spanish Calabaza, which applies to both squash and pumpkins.
  • Cress makes for a great nature-inspired nickname of Cressida, Christina, Christopher, or Chrysanthemum.
  • Fennel – Need a rare ‘F’ name that’s also gender-neutral? Fennel has you covered.
  • Hyacinth isn’t just a flower…it’s also the name of an edible bean! Just 16 American girls were named Hyacinth in 2021, but expect that number to rise thanks to Bridgerton.
  • Kale – 28 boys. As a men’s name in the U.S., Kale is often treated as the Hawaiian version of Charles, though this is not the only possible origin. It can also be a variant on a German surname relating to cabbages, a variant on a Dutch nickname meaning “bald,” and a Hindi nickname meaning “black” (compare to the Sanskrit name Kali, referring to the powerful Hindu goddess). Additionally, as a women’s name, Kale was one of the three Graces or Charites in Greek Mythology along with her sisters Charis and Aglaia. That version means “beauty,” and today we see the Greek Kale transformed into names like Callidora, Calliope, and Calanthe that ultimately derive from the same root.
  • Lotus – Like Hyacinth, Lotus is both a flower and vegetable…in this case, via lotus root. It’s also the name of a sports car brand. 137 girls and 24 boys were named Lotus in 2021.
  • Lima – In addition to the bean, Lima refers to the Peruvian capital city and possibly to an obscure Ancient Roman goddess of doorways. I’d only recommend not making Bean the middle name since that’s a little on the nose. 7 girls were named Lima in 2021.
  • Maize – This international word for “corn” was given to 23 girls and 10 boys in 2021. Some of those children probably have a unique spelling of Maisie, a Scottish nickname for Margaret that’s picking up steam in the U.S. There are also a few girls named Maizelynn.
  • Navy is another kind of legume and a trendy baby name, ranking #452 for girls and rapidly rising. Unisex, it was given to 688 girls and 74 boys in 2021.
  • Pearl is a small, sweet type of onion found on Thanksgiving tables. Pearl ranked #751 in 2021.
  • Pepper boasts a bright, peppery sound that makes for a great baby name; plus, it’s a surname, so maybe it’s new on your radar of last-names-as-first-names. Or who knows, maybe you love Iron Man’s Pepper Potts? 155 girls and 8 boys were named Pepper in 2021, and 7 girls were named Bell.
  • Rhubarb – I feel like this could work as a standalone name, but Rue and Barb are cute too.
  • Rye – 53 boys and 17 girls were named Rye in 2021. I wonder how many are named after the bread, the whiskey, or as a variation on Ryan and related names?
  • Taro – Taro is both a widely-consumed root vegetable (for example, it’s the main ingredient in poi and a major component of laulau) and a Japanese boys’ name. Like most other Japanese names, Taro’s meaning depends on the Kanji used to write it. Taro is one of Sean Lennon’s middle names. 
  • Vidalia – While “onion” is a terrible idea for a baby name, a few adventurous parents name their daughters Vidalia each year. Vidalia’s meaning likely relates to names meaning “life, vital” (i.e. Vidal, Vitale, Vitalis), but, as Nancy points out, at least some recent usage is related to a song. 18 girls received the name in 2021.

A few vegetables that might not work as standalone baby names but do inspire some great options include:

  • Arugula transforms into Aria, Rue, and Aruna. Avoid Caligula for a person.
  • Asparagus doesn’t make a great baby name, but you can name a little Gus, August, or Augusta after your favorite veggie. Other alternatives inspired by asparagus are Aspen, Casper, Jasper, Aster, Aspasia, and Hesper.
  • BroccoliBrock is the most obvious choice for a baby name inspired by Broccoli, though James Bond fans may also consider Barbara or Albert after the producers.
  • Brussels – Brussels Sprouts taste a lot better than they used to. If anyone asks, Brussels is a place name too. It’s hard to go wrong with Russell, though.
  • Fava derives from the same root that gives us Fabian and Fabiana.
  • Lettuce is not a usable baby name, but it’s similar to antique Lettice (pronounced Leh-TEECE), an English name from the Tudor era (1500s). The most famous bearer is Lettice Knollys, a noblewoman and possible secret grandchild of Henry VIII. Sadly, I don’t think Lettice can be salvaged, but there’s always Lettie and Leticia.
  • Parsnip – I feel like Parsnip is cute enough for the right child to rock it, but maybe it belongs in the middle spot. That said, for first names Parsnip evokes Parthenia, Parvati, Parthenope, and Percy.
  • Pea – This doesn’t work outside the middle name spot for obvious reasons, and unfortunately Sweetpea can sound condescending depending on who says it. However, Cicero is an option which derives from a Latin word meaning “chickpea!”
  • Rutabaga Ruth or Ruthie for short? How about Baker?

I love how Pumpkin sounds, but unfortunately I think it would fall victim to condescension and sexism on a human baby. It’s a great name for a pet!

Do you have any favorite names from this list? Are there any you would add?

Name Lists

Fruit Names for Babies

They say “you are what you eat.” When your name is a food, that’s even more true!

Lately, I’ve been pondering baby names related to food. Food names aren’t usually popular for babies, but sometimes they break through. Remember when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple? That was all over the news, even if the name itself never became popular. Meanwhile, certain types of culinary herbs are popular baby names, and so is Olive! What *is* a big trend currently is nature names, and depending on the type of food I think some food names can double up as nature names.

Here’s a list of baby names inspired by fruit to kick off an exploration into food names! Note that for this post, I treat some produce that technically count as fruit (i.e., pumpkins) like they’re vegetables and plan to include them in a separate list.

  • Apple – A certain former celebrity couple weren’t the first to name their child Apple, but they are almost certainly responsible for the spike in usage we saw after 2004 (and maybe for a few baby girls named Apples too). If you’re looking for a formal name that shortens to Apple, Apollonia is a beautiful option. According to the Social Security Administration, 13 baby girls were named Apple in 2021.
  • Apricot – This name might be a little harder to swallow on its own, but it’s a cute nickname idea for an April or Apricity.
  • Banana is the nom de plume of Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto.
  • Berry – 8 boys were named Berry in 2021. The question is, were they named after the fruit, the surname, or maybe even Chuck Berry?
  • Cherry has a longer usage history than many other fruit names, probably due to its similarity to names like Sherry, Cheryl, and Charity. Only 23 girls were named Cherry in 2021, but it was mildly popular in the mid-20th century.
  • Clementine is one of the most popular fruit names that people commonly associate with the fruit. I wager it’s also popular because it’s vintage, ends in a bright bell-sound, and vaguely Southern. Trendy Clementine currently ranks #549 in the U.S.
  • Huckleberry – Berry names rarely work well as people’s names, but some literary parents have named their children after Huckleberry Finn. 25 boys were named Huckleberry in 2021.
  • Jack – Jackfruit is a popular plant-based alternative to pork for BBQ, since it can be served pulled. Timeless, Jack currently ranks #11 in the U.S.
  • Juneberry is a great option for parents who want something longer than June and rarer than Juniper!
  • Juniper – I reckon many baby Junipers are named after the tree and not the berry, but you can find juniper berries as a main component of gin or (sometimes) paired with venison. Juniper ranks #138 for girls nationally.
  • Lemon is still quite rare as a baby name, but it’s a lot more popular than it was a few years ago. I wonder if that’s at all thanks to the character on the TV show Hart of Dixie, but the name only began reappearing towards the series end in the mid 2010s. The most recent pop culture influence I can think of is the character on Bullet Train, which only came out in 2022 and wouldn’t have affected the 2021 stats. These days, Lemon only appears as a girls’ name (though it didn’t always), though that may change after Bullet Train. 50 girls were named Lemon in 2021.
  • Loganberry – like Juneberry, Loganberry is an intriguing way to elaborate Logan.
  • Mulberry – A berry name that sounds like a people name, probably because it’s an actual surname! Unfortunately, it seems the primary association as a human name is a rather nasty Charles Dickens character from Nicholas Nickleby, a Sir Mulberry Hawk.
  • Olive – Olives are more savory than the other fruits here, but it is the fruit of a tree. Olive currently ranks #182 for girls in the U.S., also benefiting from vintage and nature associations.
  • Papaya boasts such a bright, beautiful sound and rhymes with Maya. I would love to encounter a baby named Papaya.
  • Passion – I’d wager most people named Passion aren’t named after the fruit, but the Hawaiian word name Lilikoi does mean passion fruit (apparently that’s where it was first planted in Hawaii, hence the name). 44 girls were named Passion in 2021, while 9 were named Lilikoi.
  • Peach is an option for fans of Princess Peach, though I wonder if the emoji makes this name a bad idea for a baby in 2023. Alternatively, Peaches hit the naming scene because of Peaches Geldof. 17 American baby girls were named Peach in 2021, and 8 were named Peaches.
  • Pear – I have a hard time seeing Pear as a name on its own, but the pear equivalent of hard cider is called Perry, which works great! There’s also Pearson for fans of last names as baby names. 
  • Persimmon sounds more like a name than a lot of other fruits, and indeed, the following names come to mind: Perseus, Percy, Simon, Simmons, Perry, Perpetua, and Primrose. I’d love to see Persimmon take off.
  • Plum is just plain adorable, especially in the middle name spot…and hey, Moon Unit Zappa named her daughter Mathilda Plum! Damson is a handsome alternative for baby boys. I’m shocked that Plum is too rare to appear in the U.S. baby name data (it did once, when 5 girls were named Plum in 2011). 
  • Rowan is a type of berry commonly used in jams and jellies. Like Juniper, I think more parents associate Rowan with the tree or the wood. Rowan ranks #106 for boys and #241 for girls, making it an excellent gender-neutral choice.
  • Quince sounds a lot like Quintin or Quinta. Perhaps this is a gender-neutral option for parents who want something rarer than Quinn?
  • Star, as in starfruit. 126 girls and 5 boys were named Star in 2021. 104 girls were named Starr, and you can find a slew of related names like Starla and Starlyn in the 2021 data.
  • Strawberry is beyond adorable, evoking the character Strawberry Shortcake. I did discover that there’s a writer named Strawberry.
  • Tangerine is the code-name of a major character in Bullet Train; his brother’s code name is Lemon.

Another fantastic fruit-related name to consider for baby girls is Pomeline, a variant of Pomelline or Pomellina that’s associated with the royal family of Monaco. Then you have the name Pomona, which belonged to the Roman goddess of fruit trees – another great option for parents who love names from mythology.

Do you have a favorite fruit name for babies? Are there any you would add to my list? Let me know in the comments!

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!