new names showdown 2023 boys opening roundIt’s sunny and warm outside, so that means just one thing: time for the annual New Names Showdown!

Confused? Let me explain.

Every year, usually in May, the US Social Security Administration reveals the 1000 most popular names for boys and girls born during the prior calendar year.

Most years, the Top Ten doesn’t change much. We behave as if Khaleesi and Harry Potter hit #1 on the charts, but really? The most popular names shift only slightly over time.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing interesting. Far from it!

Every year, a few dozen names debut in the US Top 1000, or return after an absence. And these names? Fascinating.

Sometimes they do reflect pop culture trends. (Hello, Dutton.) Other times, they represent sounds and styles that we love. (Lux!) Often it’s a little bit of both.

But once they make the list, names tend to get more attention. And that means they often rise in use even more.

The May 2023 update included 45 new and returning names for boys. (That’s about average.)

Every summer, I choose a handful of those newcomers. And you vote your way through them, bracket-style, until we’ve chosen the very best of the new boy names 2023.

How do you vote? Best can mean the names you can see catching on in the coming years. Or it might mean the names you like best for a future child of your own.

There are no hard-and-fast rules. Except, of course, please do vote! Because it’s your input that determines the next winner.

This year’s winner will join:

  • Benedict (2022)
  • Leif (2021)
  • Callahan (2020)
  • Archie (2019)
  • Wells (2018)
  • Shepherd (2017)
  • Wilder (2016)

Your votes choose the winner of this year’s New Names Showdown!





Thanks for voting!

Polls will remain open through Wednesday, July 12th. Check back on Saturday, July 15th to see which names advance – and, of course, to vote in the next round!

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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