March Madness baby names 2018 boys semifinalsMarch Madness baby names 2018 rolls into the boys SemiFinals round!

Some years we have crazy close matches, with only a few votes separating one name from another. But this year? So far, nearly every contest has had a clear winner. Even the ones that I thought would be most difficult seem to be delivering a clear and unambiguous victory.

Maybe that’s why I can’t even hazard a guess as to the ultimate winner of March Madness baby names 2018 for the boys. I can see any of the SemiFinalists taking home the trophy.

The name that wins will join an elite fraternity of champions, stretching back to our first year in 2011: Nathaniel, Arthur, Archer, Everett, Finn, Theodore, and Leo.

Let’s review the Quarter Finals:

  • Two tree names faced on, and Rowan stood tall, towering over Oakley (okay, I’ll stop with the tree thing now) with a commanding 71% of the vote.
  • Huxley won by an even bigger margin, scooping up 75% of the votes versus Endeavour’s modest 25% showing. That’s not really a surprise. Endeavour is the quirky given name of long-running British television character Inspector Morse. Now that a prequel titled Endeavour is running, it’s very much in the spotlight. And yet, I suspect there aren’t enough Shaun Evans fans out there to push this name to the top.
  • The closest match this time goes to Arlo versus Gray. Even so, Arlo defeated Gray soundly, with 55% of the vote.
  • This last pairing attracted the most votes, but the outcome was never in question. Wilder advances with a decisive 67% of the total, compared to just 33% for Fox.

Interesting fact: in 2016, Huxley faced Wilder in the summer New Names Showdown. Could that match-up repeat in March Madness baby names 2018?

It’s possible, but there’s only one way to know for sure.

Ready, set, vote!

March Madness Baby Names 2018 Boys SemiFinals: Wilder v. Rowan

Wilder is a preppy hellraiser name, a surname choice that’s both buttoned-up and ready to break free. It’s gone from seldom-heard to rising favorite in just a few short years.

Rowan, on the other hand, has been climbing since the late 1990s. It’s part Irish surname, part nature name pick, and part colorful kid, since it’s ultimately related to Ruadh – red.

That makes this a match-up for the outdoorsy.

March Madness Baby Names 2018 Boys SemiFinals: Arlo v. Huxley

These two names just sound cool, but not in a try-hard way. Arlo strikes me as a friendly, homespun name, at home on the farm or in the heart of the city. Huxley feels a little sleeker, more of an urban pick. And yet, they could almost be brothers, too.

I can’t decide which way I want to vote on this one!


Voting will remain open through Thursday, March 22nd. Check back on Saturday, March 24th for the Final Round! And don’t miss the girls’ SemiFinals, coming up later today.


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 keep trying to get behind Wilder, and I just can’t. I feel the same way about Maverick. They’re just too descriptive for me – what if you get a bookworm or artistic kid? I’m a Wilder on my grandmother’s side, and we’ve done the genealogy back to the 17th century, so it isn’t that I dislike it in general – just not as a first.
    Ohh well, different strokes and all that.

    1. I totally agree. Plus I feel my boys are wild enough already without having to live up to a name like Wilder or Maverick. I’ve not met any Wilders and I guess it could just be a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, but it’s too much name for me. I have heard Maverick in my kids schools.