Most Popular Baby Boy Names
This name has topped the charts since ’99, and with good reason: It offers both a strong, biblical name (Jacob) and a cool, casual nickname (Jake). Let’s face it: Common as it is, Jacob is a great name.
Both classic and trendy, Alexander comes from the Latin form of the Greek Alexandros, which breaks down into “to defend” (alexo) and “man/warrior” (ander). The meaning is pretty perfect for the name’s most famous bearer -- Alexander the Great
Biblical classic…popular for decades…used all around the world…tons of variations…strong, solid long form…casual nicknames…yeah, Daniel’s in that camp. There’s actually an entire Old Testament book named after the biblical Daniel, telling of his life in Jewish captivity in Babylon and rise in the king’s court as a dream interpreter. He’s also the Daniel who was thrown into a lions’ den because of his refusal to stop praying to God but emerged unscathed thanks to an angel, hence the name’s meaning of “God is my judge.
William has remained popular pretty much ever since it came into play. It comes from the Germanic Wilhelm, which breaks down into “will/desire” (wil) and “protection/helmet” (helm). Oddly enough, the name became wildly popular in England after the Norman invader William the Conqueror stormed in and took control in 1066.
While Ethan certainly counts as (and somehow just sounds like) a biblical name, he played only a small and slightly uncertain role in the testament itself. He was a famously wise man who King Solomon managed to top in smarts and may have also been a cymbal player in King David’s court. A more well-known namesake is Ethan Allen, the revolutionary war hero. (Yes -- and the guy who sells furniture.)
From a Scottish surname meaning “little hollow” to Wolverine from the X-Men comic book series, Logan’s taken quite a journey. Though it feels like (and is) a hugely trendy name, its first wave of popularity came in the early twentieth century, thanks likely to the influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants. After falling off the charts entirely in the middle of the century, it’s now shooting back up both as a male and female name.
After the biblical Rachel named her twelfth son Benoni (meaning “son of my sorrow”) as she lay dying, dad Jacob pulled a clutch move and changed the name to Binyamin (“son of the south” or “son of the right hand”) to represent the place in which he was born. As hard as he tried, though, he couldn’t entirely change the name’s connotations. In the Middle Ages, the name was often given to boys whose mothers died during childbirth. But (!) it’s a solid, strong name and offers a few viable nickname options that work well for a guy of any age.
This shortened, Gaelic version of William (a rare case where the back half of a name catches on) is quickly rising up the charts, no doubt helped by actor Liam Neeson and the general trend towards Irish names. It only hit the charts in ’74, and since then has been rocketing up -- in the last 14 years it has risen 285 positions and doesn’t look to be going anywhere but further up the charts.
From a ranking of 284 in the ’80s, 134 in the ’90s and top 25 today, Elijah has emerged as a clear contender for the “it” biblical name. As a biblical prophet, he was very much “it” -- he managed to raise the dead, bring fire down from the sky, and go up to Heaven accompanied by chariots.
Who doesn’t love the story of Noah and the ark? Tons of little animals, a cool boat and -- oh yeah -- the preservation of all the world’s creatures. These days, the name itself has become just about as beloved. It started to really jump in the ’90s, most notably from ’95 (number 100) to ’96 (number 60). The cause? Perhaps a certain Dr. John Carter, introduced on ER in 1994 and played by…Noah Wyle. The name’s continued to rise since then, shooting even further up the charts over the last decade. The meaning -- “to rest” or “to wander” --