MM basketballsThe first round of competition for boys held few surprises.  Top seeds Gray, Huxley, and Archer all advanced, as did perpetual favorite Finn.

But there were a few upsets:

  • Atlas bested Indigo by a healthy margin.  Maybe I should have put Indigo on the unisex list instead?
  • Camden lost to Atticus.  That probably signals that we were all curious about Camden when two celebs used the name within weeks of each other – but that AppMtn readers are more attracted to the literary Atticus.
  • Archer and Declan were very closed – they swapped places at one point – but Archer ultimately pulled ahead.  In real life, Declan is much more popular, but Archer is also on the way up.
  • The Otto versus Benton debate seemed to be the toughest one for voters, but Otto’s triumph isn’t a surprise.  Ottilie is competing in the girls’ version of March Madness, too.  It seems to be the moment for Ot- and Od- names.
  • #9 Soren obliterated #10 Cohen – and the voting re-ignited the conversation about the controversial surname once again.

This year’s competition seems a little bit different.  Controversial or headline-making names tend to get knocked out in the first round, leaving the more mainstream choices to advance.  The past two years’ winners were Nathaniel and Arthur – both pretty conservative picks.  None of the names left in the competition are quite as conventional – and we’re only at the quarter finals.

It almost always gets tougher to vote as the rounds progress, but I hope you’ll play in the Round of Eight!

A match of two moderns: The dashing Gray takes on the Scandinavian Soren

Literary surname Huxley is matched against jaunty Irish heritage choice Finn

One carries the whole world on his back, the other has the fate of an innocent man in his hands.  Pick your hero: Atlas against Atticus

It’s all about the endings: the ends-with-r Archer versus the ends-with-o Otto

How did your favorite boy names fare?

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. This round I voted for: Soren, Finn, Atlas, and Otto. Finn is the only one I dislike. Soren was the easiest choice, I don’t like Gray. As for the appeal of Soren, maybe it makes a difference if you have Scandinavian roots? In part I like the name because it’s the name of an ancestor that immigrated here from Denmark. Atticus is nice/ok, I would have voted for it over Finn, but Atlas is so much better. And, as someone else said, Otto is adorable. I also like things I’ve heard about Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, so I like it for that as well. I like Archer, just not as much (again, I would have picked it over Finn. Probably over Atticus as well).

  2. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the boys names this year. The only one I really like is Atticus, and even then it’s not one of my favourites. The girls names seem much more appealing to me.

      1. That’s funny. I’m actually much more disappointed with the girls names! I dislike all of them so much I hardly care to vote! 🙂 The boys on the other hand…..several of them are on our list or have been considered to be on our list: Atlas (my favorite boy name), Finn, Archer…..

  3. Gray is just so… gray. It’s just a step away from naming your kid “Beige”. And Soren has a little bit of exotic appeal to me.

    I kind of wish Huxley was doing a little better against Finn. It has an x in it, for goodness’ sake. (X, V, and Q are my favorite letters. Maybe I married my second husband just for the surname with a Q in it…) Authors’ surnames as first names are cool. (Fiance is a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald…. Hmmm… Fitz is a cute nickname, even if it sounds like “fits”. Maybe that’s a way I could get Zelda onto his list too.)

    I voted for Archer and Otto in the first round. Had to go with Otto in this round. To me, it’s too cute not to…

  4. Interesting that Soren is beating out Gray by so much. I wonder if the Gray/Grey spelling makes any difference?

  5. Am I the only one who thinks it is hilarious that “Huxley” and “Finn” are paired? Just like Huck Finn….

    I don’t like Soren at all either. Reminds me of Sauron from LOTR.

  6. I’m honestly not a fan of any of these. I don’t understand the appeal of Soren at all. For one, the “sore” part sticks out to me like, well, a sore thumb. The other issue I have with it is that it sounds like “soarin’,” which reminds me of High School Musical. “We’re soarin’, flyin’… There’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach.”

  7. Oh my, Soren vs. Gray was so hard. But since I have Grey as a nickname on my list (for Graham), I went with that. I do so love Soren, though…

  8. I know a lot of people think -o = male, but I have a daughter named Calypso, and I’d put Indigo on a girl before a boy, too.