March Madness 2016: Boys Opening Round LONGIt’s the first Saturday in March, and that means it’s time for March Madness Baby Names 2016 at Appellation Mountain!

This is the year six of competition, and the first year that prior March Madness winners are expressly excluded from defending their titles – though in the boys’ case, no name has ever repeated.

Past year’s winners are as follows:

  • Our very first year’s winner was the traditional Nathaniel.
  • Arthur took the top spot in 2012.
  • Up-and-coming Archer was the big winner in 2013.
  • Everett carried the day in 2014.
  • In 2015, Finn took 57% of the vote to beat runner-up Everett.

All of those names are excluded from competition going forward, but plenty of names are back, ready to win the 2016 title. Soren, Koa, Atlas, Rafferty, Elliot, Emrys, Shepherd, Sullivan, and Beckett were all in the 2015 tournament, too!

Wondering how a name makes it to the sweet sixteen? It’s pretty simple: I look at page views for the calendar year ending on December 31, 2015. This year, I had to drop past winners Everett and Finn, so the names with the 17th and 18th most-viewed names taking their places.

This makes for a quirky list, of course. Some posts are popular because few  other sites cover the names in-depth. Sometimes a popular post on Pinterest pushes a name into the top page views, even though the name itself isn’t really on the rise.

And yet, I do think the names that advance in the competition tend to be great names that are often trending. That’s certainly true of the past winners.

Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s vote!

March Madness 2016: Boys Opening RoundThe regal Leo versus the raffish Rafferty

Energetic Koa versus gentle Shepherd

Scandi Soren versus ancient Caius

Literary Huxley versus wild Wolf

The battle of the s-ending names: Atlas versus Emrys

Surname showdown: Sullivan versus Wilder

Another last name-first face-off: Beckett versus Reed

And last, but not least: Elliot versus Theodore


Voting stays open through Friday, March 11th. Check back on Saturday, March 12th to see the official results – and to vote in the next round!


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 thought Beckett v. Reed was going to be my hardest choice, and then I got to Elliot v. Theodore.