When it comes to boy names, we can all think of the most common picks. Former favorites, like Robert and John. Or today’s top choices, like Liam and Noah.
But the US Social Security Administration publishes the 1000 most popular names given to boys and girls in a given calendar year.
That is a lot of names!
And if a name ranks in the US Top 1000? Chances increase that parents will hear that name discussed. It’s not a lock, of course – Granger, Harlem, and Jesiah rank on the current list and I’ve yet to hear them in the wild.
Still, baby names that debut in – or return to – the US Top 1000 are more likely to catch the ear of someone looking for names. Plenty of parents use it as a guide, ruling out anything more popular than 250, maybe, but knowing that any Top 1000 name is likely on the right side of wearable.
And so let’s look at a dozen possibilities that just might join the roster when the data is released in May 2023.
FUTURE TOP 1000 BOY NAMES
Some of these are appearing on the future Top 1000 boy names for the very first time. Others are making an encore appearance.
It’s a little bit Beckett, a little bit Jack. Beck is brief and brisk. It might honor a beloved Rebecca, or maybe the meaning appeals: stream. Grammy Award-winning musician Beck makes it familiar, too. The name’s rise coincides with his earliest success in the 1990s. It’s continued to rise ever since.
As a new name becomes popular, often variations catch on, too. Wilder and Wylder. Grayson, Greyson, and Grey. Sometimes they’re almost interchangeable; other times, a slight alteration changes the name’s vibe. Stylish Crew can be as polished as J. Crew, as preppy as the sport. But Crue? Crue is Motley. It’s edgier. The spelling makes sense, but it takes a high-energy name and makes it boisterous – even rowdy. And that just might be enough to put Crue in the Top 1000, just like its more buttoned-up brother.
The Fast & Furious media franchise launched in 2001. It’s up to ten films in the original series, plus plenty of spin-offs and related media. (There’s even a ride at Universal.) In 2013, we (briefly) met a villain named Deckard Shaw. He took center stage in 2015, and eventually became an ally. While Deckard hasn’t really caught on, Decker has … at it has teetered just outside of the US Top 1000 ever since. It’s a tough guy name that isn’t too extreme, not in an age with names like Hunter topping the charts.
On paper, Dutton remains far too rare to tip into the US Top 1000. Just 85 boys received the name in calendar year 2021. But the impact of Yellowstone is hard to overstate. Kevin Costner stars as patriarch John Dutton III, and it’s become must see TV for this moment. That might make Dutton the next Khaleesi. It also helps that Dutton feels like David-meets-Sutton, a masculine alternative to that unisex favorite.
An ancient New Testament name with a cool, current sound. It’s always been used in small numbers, and appears as a surname, too. But in our Elijah and Atticus moment, Lazarus seems poised for bigger things.
Leo meets Kyle in this underused vintage gem. You might’ve seen 2022 movie Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, a retelling of the classic children’s book. This name continues to hover just outside the current Top 1000. And yet it fits perfectly with wildly popular girl names like Lola and Lyla, as well as boys’ favorites like Silas and Miles.
A dapper little gentleman name, Montgomery is the new Sebastian. It’s a longer surname name with a polished, vaguely British appeal. Montgomery could follow choices like Bellamy and Kingsley into the US Top 1000.
Irish surname Riley has been a popular pick for our daughters and sons. Now the similar Murphy ranks in the girls’ US Top 1000. Television character Murphy Brown helped cement the name as a feminine possibility, but it’s equally viable as a masculine moniker. It’s a good-natured kind of name, friendly and steeped in history, too.
Ozzy is the sweet, edgy nickname we love to love. It can be short for Oscar, but for parents looking for something a little more daring, Ozias intrigues. It’s a Greek and Latin take on an older name, Uzziah. The name means strong. Like Lazarus, it’s an old school Old Testament name perfectly at ease in the twenty-first century.
Brooks, Wells, Hayes. Boys’ names ending with S are as stylish as it gets. Rhodes shares that style, but so much more. It’s scholarly. Adventurous. Connected to the ancient world. And there’s a link to the Marvel Universe, too. James Rhodes, aka War Machine, is an ally of Iron Man, seen in both the Avengers films and various Disney+ series. The character is sometimes called Rhodey, which makes this already cool name even more appealing.
Speaking of Rhodey, how about … Rowdy? For Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, it’s a nickname for Ambrose. But bold word names are everywhere in 2023, and Rowdy suddenly feels a little less outlandish than it might have in 1993. While the name still has a ways to go, it’s shot straight up in use for the past two years, suggesting that just a little more momentum could make Rowdy a household name.
Tru – no E – ranks in the boys’ Top 1000. So does Truett. It’s not a stretch to imagine that True will join them both.
Here are the 70 boy names I’ve previously predicted would enter the rankings. If they appear in the US Top 1000 as of 2021, that’s noted, too.
- ARCHIE (ranks #399 as of the 2021 data)
- ARIES (ranks #915 as of the 2021 data)
- BAKER (ranks #449 as of the 2021 data)
- BANKS (ranks #503 as of the 2021 data)
- BEAR (ranks #826 as of the 2021 data)
- BENEDICT (ranks #991 as of the 2021 data)
- BODEN (ranks #827 as of the 2021 data)
- BOONE (ranks #573 as of the 2021 data)
- BOWIE (ranks #950 as of the 2021 data)
- CAIRO (ranks #323 as of the 2021 data)
- CALLAHAN (ranks #659 as of the 2021 data)
- CASPIAN (ranks #709 as of the 2021 data)
- CASSIAN (ranks #969 as of the 2021 data)
- CREED (ranks #678 as of the 2021 data)
- DENVER (ranks #505 as of the 2021 data)
- ELIO (ranks #842 as of the 2021 data)
- EVANDER (ranks #767 as of the 2021 data)
- EVEREST (ranks #903 as of the 2020 data)
- FORD (ranks #439 as of the 2021 data)
- FOX (ranks #939 as of the 2021 data)
- GATLIN (ranks #776 as of the 2021 data)
- GRANGER (ranks #953 as of the 2021 data)
- HARLEM (ranks #944 as of the 2021 data)
- IDRIS (ranks #856 as of the 2021 data)
- JONES (ranks #913 as of the 2021 data)
- KAISER (ranks #793 as of the 2021 data)
- KOA (ranks #546 as of the 2021 data)
- LEDGER (ranks #574 as of the 2021 data)
- LEGACY (ranks #710 as of the 2021 data)
- LEIF (ranks #992 as of the 2021 data)
- LIAN (ranks #737 as of the 2021 data)
- LOYAL (ranks #753 as of the 2021 data)
- McCOY (ranks #818 as of the 2021 data)
- OSIRIS (ranks #748 as of the 2021 data)
- OTIS (ranks #647 as of the 2021 data)
- OZZY (ranks #712 as of the 2021 data)
- PALMER (ranks #990 as of the 2021 data)
- REIGN (ranks #608 as of the 2021 data)
- RIGGS (ranks #786 as of the 2021 data)
- ROBIN (ranks #896 as of the 2021 data)
- SHEPHERD (ranks #528 as of the 2021 data)
- WALLACE (ranks #897 as of the 2021 data)
- WILDER (ranks #368 as of the 2021 data)
- ZEV (#996 as of the 2021 data)