New Names Showdown 2016 boys SemiFinals

Time for the new names showdown 2016 boys semifinals!

It’s the inaugural year for this contest. Our goal: to take a good, long look at the names returning or debuting to the US Top 1000 in the new data set, and guess which ones are The Next Big Thing.

That’s tough to do, of course. Plenty of names hug the edges of the Top 1000 for years. And even names that rise don’t always become the next Mason or Liam.

But I have tremendous faith in Appellation Mountain readers and your powers of prognostication!

Last week’s round opened with eight names. Let’s look at the outcomes of the contests:

  • Preppy hellraiser Wilder sailed past place name Cairo, 87% to 13%.
  • Rugged Ridge bested heroic Achilles, 67% to 33%.
  • Biblical boy Canaan bested unisex nature name Briar, 64% to 36%.
  • And, in the closest call of the week, my inadvertent match-up of Iowa place names ended with Huxley taking 55% of the vote to Boone’s 45%.

That means we bid farewell to Cairo, Achilles, Briar, and Boone! The other four names continue on in the new names showdown 2016 boys semifinals. Please vote!

New Names Showdown 2016 Boys SemiFinals: Canaan v. Wilder

Oprah put the meaning-rich Canaan on parent’s minds. Do you think the name will fare better than outdoorsy surname name Wilder?



New Names Showdown 2016 Boys SemiFinals: Huxley v. Ridge

A surname with literary and scientific overtones, plus that cooler-than-cool letter x, Huxley has a lot to offer. But can it beat out rugged, outdoorsy Ridge?



Which name do you think will win it all? Are we on the right track to find a new hit name? Or do you think the best name has already been knocked out of the contest?

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’m still rooting for Achilles, even if it seems unlikely. 🙂

    Definitely Ridge, unsure about Canaan vs. Wilder.

  2. Wilder has a soft spot for me, although I tend not to gravitate towards “Americana” names; it reminds me of Almonzo “Manly” Wilder, the husband of Laura Ingalls from the Little House on the Prairie. 🙂

  3. Wilder! I think Wilder will win. 🙂 It has such a fun feel, nature names are pretty “in”, and the potential nick name “Wiley” adds a soft, familiar feel. Maybe I’m biased as I’m hoping Dad will open up to using Wilder for DS2.