March Madness boys opening round 2017It’s rendshe first Saturday in March, and that means it’s time for March Madness Baby Names 2017 at Appellation Mountain!

This is year seven of competition. 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 home the trophy.
  • Theodore won big in 2016.

All past winning names are retired from competition.

But plenty of names that competed in 2016 have returned for another shot at the title, including Leo, Koa, Soren, Huxley, Atlas, Emrys, Reid, Sullivan, and Wilder.

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 posts taking their places.

This makes for a quirky list of competitors. Sometimes a name soars here because it’s not covered in-depth elsewhere. Or maybe Pinterest or another site pushes a name into the top page views, even while the name itself remains rare.

And yet as names advance in the competition, it tends to mirror broader trends. Past winners often represent rising names.

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

Two cool, unexpected names face off: Arlo v. Grady


Regal Leo v. deserving Merritt


Surname face-off: Wilder v. Reid


Two distinctive first names compete: Torin v. Lucian


Cool, coastal Koa v. edgy, literary Huxley


Sensational S names: Sullivan v. Soren


Brazilian legend Ayrton v. Irish appellation Declan


Two ends-in-s choices: Atlas v. Emrys


Any guesses on which names will advance to the next round? I have a few thoughts …

Check back to see which names advance next Saturday! 

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 can’t believe we’re at this time of year again! It was hard to choose between some of these names.