March Madness Baby Names 2018 Boys FinalWe’ve made it! Time for the March Madness baby names 2018 boys’ final!

Our contest started earlier this month with sixteen contenders. The names earn a place in the tourney by being among the most-viewed posts at Appellation Mountain during calendar year 2017. We started out this year’s competition with Atlas, Loxley, Oakley, Deckard, Torin, Emrys, Koa, Ayrton, Fox, Endeavour, Credence, and Gray.

Just four names advanced to the SemiFinals. Let’s take a look at how they turned out:

  • Arlo swept past Huxley with a commanding 72% of the vote! Both names are rising favorites, but there’s no question that Arlo is a favorite that’s gaining fast.
  • The Wilder-Rowan contest was much closer, but still decisive. Wilder garnered just 45% of the vote, to 55% for Rowan. I thought this might be Wilder’s year, so I’m surprised to see that one fail to advance.

That takes us to very last match-up of the 2018 season.

March Madness Baby Names 2018: Arlo versus Rowan

Arlo: Baby Name of the Day
Arlo feels upbeat and homespun, a straightforward name with lots of sound. Up until recently, the name belonged to only a handful of men. Folk musician Arlo Guthrie is probably the best known, but not actually the only one! In recent years, Arlo has gone from rare to everywhere, with characters on the small screen (24, Justified) as well as the big (the animated dinosaur at the heart of Disney-Pixar flick The Good Dinosaur). It’s a friendly-sounding name, one that feels just different enough to stand out, while still fitting in with other o-ending names, like Leo and Milo.

While Arlo has appeared in the US Top 1000 before, there’s no question the name is at its most popular, ever, today.

Arlo faces a name with a surprisingly similar sound in the March Madness baby names 2018 finals.

Rowan: Baby Name of the DayRowan shares the strong, bright ‘o’ sound of Arlo. And while Rowan’s construction is conventionally masculine: two syllables, ends with ‘n’, it actually trends unisex. (In fact, I’ve disqualified Rowan from competition in some years past, if only because I wasn’t sure which category it should compete in.)

Of course, true unisex names are increasingly mainstream today, so it makes sense that Rowan would fare well in March Madness. Sometimes an Irish surname, and often regarded as a nature name, thanks to the Rowan tree, it feels effortlessly modern and right at home in 2018.

In fact, just like Arlo, this name is enjoying new heights of popularity today.

Now it’s up to you! Vote, and choose our next March Madness baby names champion!



Voting will remain open through Thursday, March 29th. Check back on Saturday, March 31st to learn which name wins the title!

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 have a son named Rowan and a daughter named Marigold. I should have put money on this bracket!

  2. These are both unisex names in my world. I was a bit surprised about the girl Arlo, but Rowan feels like a firmly unisex name – love it for both sexes!