Place your bets, name aficionados! It’s time for the first-ever March Madness event at Appellation Mountain.

Round One matches up the Top Sixteen names from 2010. Vote for your favorite in each of the eight polls below, and check back next week to see who makes the cut for the quarter-finals. We’ll crown the victors after the close of voting in the fourth and final round on Saturday, March 26.

The literary Dashiell (1) versus the wild Wolf (16)

The Irish Eamon (2) versus the ever-so English St. John (15)

A surname match-up: Huxley (3) versus Cohen (14)

Subdued color name Gray (4) v. Old Testament Tobias (13)

Otto the palindrome (5) v. colonial cool Nathaniel (12)

Kelly green Cian (6) v. très français Etienne (11)

The Scottish Lachlan (7) v. the Glee-ful Finn (10)

Sharp Archer (8) v. leading man Liam (9)

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 must admit I’m surprised to see Finn getting so many votes, especially considering his over exposure on Glee…

  2. I’m surprised that some of these are in the top 16! St. John? Eamon? And is the number in parentheses it’s ranking for the year? As in, Dashiell was #1? Shocking!

    These were surprisingly easy to vote for and I was in the majority for almost all of them!

    1. Exactly, Lyndsay – Dashiell was the most viewed boys’ name in 2010! But Elisabeth once pointed out that “most viewed” here is tricky, because some of the names are nearly impossible to find anywhere else. Pomeline always ranks really well on the girls’ side for that reason. So … it doesn’t necessarily translate to greater use, but it does make for an intriguing list.

  3. I think this “tournament” is a great idea! Several months ago on Nameberry I did a few elimination games like these with certain categories of my favorites (and I’ve been thinking about doing them again in the near future).

    About some of new not being familiar with Etienne: It’s one of my guilty pleasures, since I like it but don’t know how well it would fair in a non-francophone area.

      1. Should also be “fare” and not “fair”; sorry for my little mistakes (I’m one who feels like that I should correct/point them out)!

  4. That was actually really easy, especially with Tobias being include. Also I think I’ve found a new favourite boys name, Dashiell! Not that we’ll ever have another one but Genevieve, Oliver, Tobias, Lenora, Matilda and Dashiell dont actually sound that bad together.

    Thanks for doing this Abby, will be interesting to see all the results!

  5. Fun!! Looks like Archer and Liam are awfully close. I’ll have to check back and see how it turns out.

  6. This is so fun! I did leave one category blank (Cian vs Etienne) b/c I really don’t like either one, but I did my best to pick on all other others! When will the girls tourney start?

  7. I love a lot of these names! It was really hard to choose between Dashiel and Wolf… both such great names!

  8. That was fun! I expected to be in the minority more often than I actually was. I’m going to be in & out today but I’ll check back to see where*my* favorites are! 😀