The Social Security Administration sluggishly releases their baby naming data year after year and we are still sorting through their findings from last year! We decided to take a look at names for boys that have changed in popularity year over year to see which appellations parents are currently gravitating towards. What names are the fastest rising for boys?
It turns out the film and book The Hate U Give hugely impacted the culture and it was probably the leading influence for boy names last year. Two of the characters named Sekani and his brother Seven are inspiring so many parents and they have adopted the names for their own sons! How beautiful is that? Now, if you are looking for a completely rare name, this list might not be best suited for your needs as the baby names you will find here are destined to increase their popularity in the coming years. So, what names are moving the needle? Check out the 25 fastest-rising baby names to discover which unique (for now) names parents are giving the newborn boys!
Kylian is a boy’s name of Irish origin that is a derivative of Cillian or Killian. The Irish root means “war or strife” which is not turning parents off to this inventive name. Kylian jumped nearly 200 spots in popularity in just a year. The Kylian spelling of this popular baby name was introduced to the lexicon by French soccer star Kylian Mbappé.
Another name that made huge strides last year was Jakari. This is an American invented baby name that might be an alternative form of Jabari, a Swahili name that means “comforter.” Jakari made its debut on the top 1000 baby names in the US list in 2019. This name comes complete with nicknames Jak and the especially lovable, Kari.
Milo, Miles, and even Myles are all beloved in the US, but the spelling Mylo is not widely used here, even though it ranks among the British top 1000 baby names for boys. However you spell it, a warm, light name with authentic roots. The base-name Milo has German and Latin origins and means “merciful.” The Mylo spelling made the top 1000 last year while Milo is a top 200 name.
A bit of trivia for you! American novelist Truman Capote was known to friends by a couple of nicknames one being Bulldog the other, Tru. Tru is considered a diminutive of Truman, an English name that means “loyal friend.” Fitting, right? Tru can also be considered a virtue name by way of “true.” This baby name first debuted in the top 1000 in the US last year!
An African place name, Zaire was a Central African state from 1971 to 1997, it comes from a Kongo term meaning “the river that swallows all rivers.” Making it a bold and fashionable choice for a son. The country it comes from is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Zaire has been in the top 1000 since 1999. Zyaire recently joined it in 2016. However you spell it, it’s a hot baby name right now!
Like Tru, Crew is yet another word name that was added to the baby name lexicon when this one was chosen by The Young and the Restless star Joshua Morrow for his son. It debuted on the top 1000 in 2010. We’ve also seen the spelling variations Cru and Crue. Crew is an English word name that has traditionally referred to a “fort near a slope.”
One of the many South Asian baby names racing up the US popularity charts, Kiaan, with its user-friendly similarity to Ryan, was brought to the fore when Bollywood icon Karisma Kapoor used it for her son in 2010. In Hindi, this name means “grace of God.” It was the 847th most popular name last year!
Baker is a name that’s lived a curious life in the US being first popular in 1899 before falling off the charts for 119 years! The baby name returned to the top 1000 in 2018 and it enjoys more popularity today than ever before. Baker is an English occupational surname that works well as a given name for boys! The name sounds much fresher than others in its class like Carter and Cooper.
Bellamy belongs to a number of naming traditions including English, Irish, and French! Bellamy is a surname name with an admirable meaning and upbeat rhythm, similar to friendly choices like Rafferty, Barnaby, and Willoughby. Bellamy means “fine friend.” How cute is that!? The baby name jumped over 251 others to land in the top 1000 last year!
Malachi is a boy’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “my messenger.” It has been an exceedingly popular baby name for boys since the 1980s. Perhaps that is why parents are turning to the alternative spelling of the name, Malakhi, to bring variety and a touch of whimsy to the appellation. This spelling debuted in the top 1000 for the first time last year!
Colton has been a top 100 baby name for boys for over a decade now so it should come as no surprise that Colter, a similar sounding name, would appeal to parents. Colter has different origins than Colton and actually has a history as an English occupational name for a “colt herder.” Colter squeaked onto the top 1000 in 1992 before finally making a return to it last year.
One of the boastful, ultra-modern word names soaring in popularity right now, Legacy, is a touch more popular for girls than boys, but that’s not stopping new parents from choosing it for their sons. Legacy, of course, comes from the English word for “inheritance.” It debuted on the top 1000 baby names for boys last year in a big way landing in the 830th spot!
Azrael is a boy’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “help of God” and you will often encounter the name spelled, Azriel. We are not sure that parents know that Azrael is considered an Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim tradition. If they do, it’s not deterring them from picking this baby name more than ever before.
Banks is a topographical surname that refers not to those places where people keep their money but to riverbanks or hillsides, and specifically the people who live on them. Just as Fields is a last name that relates to people who lived in, yes, fields, so Banks was a name originally given to people who dwelled on the banks of a river. Thus, Banks means “one who lives on the hillside or riverbank.” The baby name reentered the top 1000 last year after being absent from the list since 1891.
Salem is a Biblical place name in Canaan, believed to be the same as Jerusalem, as well as the Massachusetts town famous for its infamous, 17th-century, witch trials. Salem is also a popular first name in its own right throughout the Arabic world (also spelled Salim). In Arabic tradition, the name means “safe.” We are most excited that this baby name has finally landed in the top 1000.
Archie made global news as the surprise first name of the newborn royal baby, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Harry and Meghan. Archie has now officially transcended Archie Bunker and Riverdale’s Archie to take the crown as the retro nickname name du jour. Archie is a shortened form of the Teutonic name Archibald which means “truly brave.” The baby name was a very, very popular option until 1940 and we hope the name reaches those same heights. It’s currently trending that way, already ranking at 697.
A unique and unusual Greek mythology name, Atreus, has been gaining favor along with others in its class. An obscure reference, Atreus was the father of king Agamemnon. This delightful Greek name means “fearless” and we could not be happier that new parents have made this unlikely discovery. The name jumped 402 spots in a year to land as the 788th most popular name for boys. We imagine they all get the splendid nickname, Tre.
Aside from being the name of a character in Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, Seven was chosen by Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 for their son in 1997. Seven means exactly what you think it does and barely made the top 1000 landing in the 998th spot last year.
Eliel is a Hebrew name that is Eli-adjacent and means “my God is God.” Perhaps parents are honoring celebrated, Art Nouveau architect Eliel Saarinen. We are not entirely sure what is the driving force behind this exceptional name other than parents looking for an alternative to Eli. Eliel debuted in the top 1000 last year for the first time ever and nearly landed itself in the top 500. This name for boys is red hot!
Aziel is a rarely used name that connotes zeal and has become more familiar thanks to its fashionable initial A and Z in the middle. This old, Hebrew name sounds new again as parents have discovered it and freely given it. Aziel means “God is my strength.”
A favorite of British novelists including Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse, Ambrose has a reputation for blooming well-being and an upper-class upbringing. It comes from the same Greek root as “ambrosia,” the food of the gods, said to confer immortality. Thus, the name means “immortal.” This name was huge in the US until the 1950s, but we are happy to report it’s back in the top 1000 after decades of disuse.
Cairo is an exotic place-name possibility with an upbeat O ending. It debuted in the US top 1000 in 2015. It was shortly followed by Kyro an even more modern spelling of the name. Son of American rapper Tyga, King Cairo Stevenson, might be feeling the rise of this name. Cairo comes from Arabic origins and means “Mars the victorious,” as Mars was visible when the city was founded.
Amias or Amyas is a unique name with an attractive sound, feel, and a warm meaning. Though it might sound like a Biblical name, it is not but is a surname that may be related to Amadeus or even be a male version of Amy. It has Latin origins that mean “loved.” Who could argue with that? We are pleased that this name landed in the top 1000 for the first last year.
Ermias was the given name of late rapper Nipsey Hussle, of mysterious origins. Some suggest that Ermias is of Ethiopian/Amharic origin and is a form of the name Jeremiah which means “God will uplift.” While that is debatable, one thing is undeniable, Ermias is a pleasing moniker that any little boy would be lucky to get. The name debuted on the top 1000 last year and ranked as the 540th most popular choice for boys.
The Sekani, also spelled Tse’khene, are a First Nations culture in Canada. Their name was derived from words in the Sekani language meaning “people on the rocks.” Sekani is also seen as a name in Malawi and Zambia among the Tumbuka people, meaning “laugh.” So, it’s easy to see why it would be a multicultural hit. The name jumped over 6,000 spots to land in the top 1000 last year. We absolutely adore this name and look forward to hearing it even more in the years to come.
There you go! The 25 fastest rising baby names for boys are both surprising and very exciting as they are charting a path forward for modern parents wishing to buck tradition. We were surprised by several of the fastest risers as they represent changing trends away from religious names and a turn toward more secular options. These names are tracking to be big hits so if you pick one of them, expect to find it belonging to another as well in his class.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Kylian
- 2 24. Jakari
- 3 23. Mylo
- 4 22. Tru
- 5 21. Zyaire
- 6 20. Crew
- 7 19. Kiaan
- 8 18. Baker
- 9 17. Bellamy
- 10 16. Malakhi
- 11 15. Colter
- 12 14. Legacy
- 13 13. Azrael
- 14 12. Banks
- 15 11. Salem
- 16 10. Archie
- 17 9. Atreus
- 18 8. Seven
- 19 7. Eliel
- 20 6. Aziel
- 21 5. Ambrose
- 22 4. Kyro
- 23 3. Amias
- 24 2. Ermias
- 25 1. Sekani
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