New Names Showdown 2017 boys finalWelcome to the New Names Showdown 2017 boys final! Looking for something fun to do with your summer weekends? Vote for the newcomer baby name most likely to win over parents in the next decade.

Let me explain: 42 boys’ names joined the US Top 1000 this year, either returning to the list after an absence, or debuting for the first time. From that list, I picked eight promising contenders. Your votes narrowed down the field of eight to just four promising appellations, and now only two remain!

We have to wait until May 2018 to find out if our votes accurately identified a rising star or not, but I think you’ll do well. Last year’s winner of the boys’ New Names Showdown? The white hot Wilder won the whole thing.

New Names Showdown 2017 Boys Final: The Contest So Far …

Here’s how the semifinals played out:

  • In the battle of the surnames, Shepherd roundly defeated Foster, 65% to 35%. If you’ll recall, Shepherd barely squeaked past Gus in the opening round – it won by a mere four votes! (Something similar happened in the girls’ contest – those opening rounds matter!)
  • Two o-enders faced off in the second semifinal: Kylo versus Jericho. Jericho won the contest, 57% to 43%. That’s a good showing for Kylo! Fellow Star Wars villain name Anakin continues to climb, too, suggesting that the sci fi series can launch a successful baby name. But Jericho combines so many trends. It’s an o-ending boy name, an Old Testament name with a modern feel, and a place name, too. No surprise it advances.

That gives us our contestants. Ready, set, vote!

New Names Showdown 2017 Boys Final: Shepherd v. Jericho

Here’s what makes this contest fascinating: both names carry a subtle spiritual meaning. So subtle that I wouldn’t assume that parents chose them for that reason. And yet, I suspect it draws many parents to the names.

Jericho comes from the Old Testament, but sounds bright and modern. In the Book of Joshua, the Israelites won a victory by bringing down the city’s walls. You may have heard the nineteenth century spiritual, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.” It’s been recorded by many a legendary singer, including Mahalia Jackson.

Then there’s Shepherd. It’s a surname name, and an occupational one. But if Hunter and Archer and Remington feel at least a little aggressive, Shepherd stands in contrast, a gentler name. Thanks to the image of Jesus as shepherd of his flock of faithful, it also carriers spiritual significance. Or not – after all, plenty of families have the surname on their family tree.

As with the girls’ final, I think these names could appeal to the exact same parents. But now it’s up to you: which name do you think will rise the highest in the next few years?

Thanks for voting, and please check back next Saturday to see which of your favorite names won the New Names Showdown 2017!

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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