It’s hot, hot, HOT outside. Time to hunker down in whatever patch of coolness you can find for the best way to beat the summer heat: 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. 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, Chozen.) Other times, they represent sounds and styles that we love. (Hollis!) 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 2024 update included 38 new and returning names for boys. (That’s on the low end of 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 2024.

How should 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, or just names you think deserve more attention.

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:

  • Rhodes (2023)
  • Benedict (2022)
  • Leif (2021)
  • Callahan (2020)
  • Archie (2019)
  • Wells (2018)
  • Shepherd (2017)
  • Wilder (2016)

This year’s contenders are:

  • Boaz (#958)
  • Kenai (#959)
  • Foster (#967)
  • True #980
  • Veer #981
  • Wren #991
  • Ulises #994
  • Hollis #1000

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

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BOAZ (#958) v HOLLIS (#1000)

KENAI (#959) v ULISES (#994)

FOSTER (#967) v WREN (#991)

TRUE (#980) v VEER (#981)

Voting stays open until Thursday, July 11th. Please check back then 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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What do you think?


  1. I’ve loved Boaz for a long time. Would still use the name of my husband would agree to it.

  2. I would have voted for both Hollis and Boaz to make it to the finals if they weren’t paired up together!