MM basketballsWhoosh!  That’s the sound of the month of March flying past.

The semi-finals were close matches.

Archer beat out Soren, but not by a huge margin.

Names have to get up a steep hill to become mainstream.  Many of us probably respond best to names that are just beginning to gain momentum.  It takes a little more steam to win March Madness, though – you have to appeal to the casual visitor, too, the one who isn’t necessarily into obscurities.  And it helps if you’ve already been talked about as being stylish, I think.

I was holding my breath on the Finn versus Atticus match.  Could the literary Atticus beat out the upbeat Irish Finn?    Nope.  At least not this year.  But it was close!

What does it all mean?  Even though we’re bidding Soren and Atticus farewell for 2013, I suspect we’ll see them back in the brackets in future years.  Just like basketball teams change and grow, so do our perceptions of given names.

So with no further delay, please vote for your favorite baby names in the March Madness 2013 final match!  Will you give the victory to Archer or Finn?  Please check back for the girls’ finals later today.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I’m not sure Archer would be more appealing to a name nerd than Finn. If anything, Archer is the more trendy-sounding of the two, though neither is really a classic. I voted for Finn as it’s the one I could more see myself using; Archer is a little too, “ooh look, I’m trying to be different while choosing something that’s right on trend” for my taste. 😉

  2. I’m curious about something. It’s always seemed as though most name nerds dislike the name Finn. How is he so highly ranked here? Do you have a very large number of non-regulars voting?

    1. Well … I don’t think there are non-regulars voting necessarily. I know there are a HUGE number of lurkers who have never commented. (Fewer than 10% of page views result in a comment – it is probably closer to 5%.) Voting attracts roughly 20 times as many participants. So, yes, there’s a big block of people involved who don’t necessarily tip their hand as to their favorite names. And I’m sure we have some casual visitors vote, too.

      Still, I think Finn is probably winning because he does have widespread appeal, even for name nerds. I’ve noticed that I find names “over” while they’re still on the rise, statistically speaking. This catches me by surprise all. the. time. I’d guess anyone highly name obsessed might be dismissive of Finn because we find it “so common.” Except it isn’t … he’s hovering around the 300 mark in the US, which is pretty rare. Add in Finley, Finnegan, etc. and he’s more common. But still, Finn is the kind of name that name nerds are already over and the general population is still saying, “Finn – that’s different.”

  3. Oh, I love them both! I had to go with Finn because it was my #1 favorite name for years, and because of it’s closeness to my Flynn. I like it for the same reasons I like Isla, it’s happy and friendly. How can a guy named Finn not be a great guy? Archer is awesome too though and it’s another one I would use myself. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I’m not quite sure how I feel about Archie.

  4. Well, this one was a cinch. I voted Archer. I really dislike Finn. I think Soren is very cool and I can see the appeal of Atticus. I actually do like Archer, I just wish it had come down to 2 different names than these.

  5. I’m kind of sad because I don’t really like either of these names. Finn gets my vote, though.