Before we get to this year’s champions, let’s look back at where we started.
March Madness baby names pits the sixteen most-viewed name posts from the prior calendar year against each other. There’s one constraint: after Cora won back-to-back victories, we decided that all past victors were permanently retired. But other than that, the names that compete are as wild and varied as you might imagine.
The 2022 contest featured the following sixteen names: August, Cove, Emrys, Hayes, Huxley, Jones, Kai, Koa, Otto, Percy, Phoenix, River, St. John, Torin, Wells, and Wilder.
On the girls’ side, these sixteen names competed: Alessandra, Bernadette, Betty, Faye, Laken, Maisie, Marigold, Marlowe, Navy, Noa, Oakley, Persephone, Senna, Vera, Zella, and Zuzu.
THE FINAL MATCH-UPS
On the boys’ side, August bested Hayes with over 76% of the vote. That’s a commanding win!
For the girls’ contest, Marigold narrowly nudged past Vera with almost 51% of the tally. Could that be the thinnest victory of any March Madness baby names final match? Possibly …
Hayes and Vera may return to fight another day. But for now, we add two additional names to our March Madness Baby Names all-time champions’ roster:
- Nathaniel and Louisa in 2011
- Arthur and Genevieve in 2012
- Archer and Isla in 2013
- Everett and Cora in 2014
- Finn and Cora in 2015*
- Theodore and Sylvie in 2016
- Leo and Wren in 2017
- Rowan and Eliza in 2018
- Arlo and Margot in 2019
- Caspian and Tess in 2020
- Raphael and Magnolia in 2021
- August and Marigold in 2022
Of the dozen years’ of contests, this marks the fourth year the winning boys’ name has started with the letter A. For girls, three of the twelve victors are M names – and just as many are straight-up nature names, with an honorable mention for Sylvie, Wren, Leo, and maybe even Caspian.
It remains true that the boys’ names are slightly less surprising than the girls’ names – they tend to be more traditional, and more commonly used.
But overall, this list of names could be a jumping-off point for many families looking for a highly-edited selection of time-tested favorites.