MM basketballsNext Saturday, the third annual Appellation Mountain March Madness series begins.  It’s just like basketball, but with your favorite baby names instead of point guards and college mascots.

In preparation for the tournament, I thought I’d share the top names on the site in 2012.

Let’s look at a few technical details for the interested among you.  There are two possible measures to consider: actual page views, and searches.  In the past, I’ve tallied them up.

Trouble is that searches lead logically to page views, so counting them probably skews results.  I’ve decided to skip searches this time.

Many more girls’ names are requested, featured, and viewed here at AppMtn, so I’ve listed the 40 most popular names for boys, but 85 choices for girls.  And there are a handful of names that I hesitate to classify as feminine or masculine, so there’s a tiny category called unisex.

It’s worth noting that some of these names aren’t found on many websites.  So Aoyun, Roux, Ender, Twila, and Bindi fare better if only because a search is more likely to lead here than anywhere else.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re our favorite baby names – just ones about which we’ve very, very curious.

On to the names!


  1. Gray
  2. Huxley
  3. Indigo
  4. Archer
  5. Otto
  6. Camden
  7. Finn
  8. Cohen
  9. Soren
  10. Eamon
  11. Atticus
  12. Benton
  13. Declan
  14. Atlas
  15. Etienne
  16. Dashiell
  17. Crew
  18. Nolan
  19. Ezra
  20. Ronan
  21. Cian
  22. Sullivan
  23. Jayden
  24. Arthur
  25. Elliot
  26. Winston
  27. Beckett
  28. Bram
  29. Alexander
  30. Aoyun
  31. Ender
  32. Arlo
  33. Henry
  34. Wolf
  35. Cove
  36. Eli
  37. Asher
  38. Tate
  39. Hugo
  40. Matteo


  1. Elodie
  2. Esme
  3. Mila
  4. Noa
  5. Indie
  6. Sloane
  7. Eithne
  8. Lila
  9. Nevaeh
  10. Romilly
  11. Clio
  12. Ottilie
  13. Adelaide
  14. Isla
  15. Lorelei
  16. Emmeline
  17. Clementine
  18. Elowen
  19. Pixie
  20. Oona
  21. Wren
  22. Colette
  23. Vivian
  24. Sabine
  25. Nina
  26. Felicity
  27. Saskia
  28. Cecily
  29. Aviva
  30. Sylvia
  31. Mireille
  32. Mackenzie
  33. Mirabelle
  34. Carys
  35. Cora
  36. Louisa
  37. Primrose
  38. Claire
  39. Magnolia
  40. Ayelet
  41. Freya
  42. Eleanor
  43. Evelyn
  44. Ophelia
  45. Celeste
  46. Rosalie
  47. Annika
  48. Twila
  49. Beatrix
  50. Isa
  51. June
  52. Remy
  53. Anneliese
  54. Emily
  55. Apple
  56. Brooklyn
  57. Bindi
  58. Milla
  59. Genevieve
  60. Blythe
  61. Elsa
  62. Lydia
  63. Clover
  64. Imogen
  65. Waverly
  66. Alba
  67. Hazel
  68. Megan
  69. Anais
  70. Eloise
  71. Anneke
  72. Coco
  73. Josephine
  74. Livia
  75. Saoirse
  76. Annabel
  77. Harper
  78. Vada
  79. Cordelia
  80. Juliet
  81. Eliza
  82. Poppy
  83. Tess
  84. Frances
  85. Nola


  1. Rowan
  2. Arden
  3. Ariel
  4. Orly
  5. Phoenix
  6. Roux
  7. Ever
  8. Nico

For March Madness purposes, I’ve decided to permanently retire 2011 victors Louisa and Nathaniel, as well as 2012 champs Arthur and Genevieve.  All other names are eligible, even if they competed in years past.  Unisex names are excluded from the competition.  That last part doesn’t seem completely fair to me, but we’ll try it for 2013.  Happily, none of the four were in the Top 16 for their gender this year.  This means that the Top 16 on each list will square off beginning Saturday, March 2.

Can’t wait for the first round!  Who will you be rooting for?

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. Gray, Archer, Camden, Finn, Asher, Ezra, Beckett, Atticus, Henry, and Declan are basically the Hipster Top 10 for boys (not necessarily a bad thing — I must admit, I like them all). Arlo and Dashiell get honorable mentions. I love Elliot and Huxley. Ronan and Cove have possibilities, and I see Benton, Nolan, Tate, and Crew getting big. Far and away my favorite from this list is Atlas.

    Cohen is despicably offensive and if I ever meet a child with this name I will judge his parents very harshly indeed.

    The Hipster Top 10 for girls is certainly Elodie, Sloane, Isla, Clementine, Wren, Imogen, Hazel, Willa, Beatrix, and Josephine. Mila will be the next Maya, Lila the next Lily, and Harper the next Jennifer (seriously). Eleanor, Eliza, Evelyn, Vivian, and Adelaide will see huge jumps, as will Brooklyn (ugh). I adore Carys and Cordelia. Hopefully my beloved Eloise will stay exactly where she is: on-trend but not (yet!) trendy. Fingers crossed she doesn’t climb any higher.

    Also, I think Remy is supposed to be in the boys’ category — in which case he’s a favorite along with Atlas.

    From the unisex list (all of which truly ARE unisex!), I think Phoenix could be a megastar, with Rowan and Arden close behind. Nico and Ever will stay underused but familiar. I do adore Ariel for a boy, and Roux in the middle place for either gender.

  2. Is it possible I singlehandedly put Atlas on the boys’ list? Ha! I seriously read and re-read your post on him. I’m in LOVE! In fact, he is extra special because my google search on babies named Atlas brought me to Appellation Mountain for the very first time! And I was immediately hooked!

    I do realize Atlas will rise due to the popularity of mythological names. I believe he’ll re-enter the Top 1000 very soon, perhaps he did in 2012! But I don’t think he’ll get much higher than he did before. 800s-900s perhaps. At least, I hope he doesn’t get too popular! I’m nervous because I can’t wait to use him….

    1. Haha, I’m convinced I did this too! I reread a couple of the girls names about 20 times each over the course of a month because they were the best (really only) in depth explanations of them.

  3. Gray and Indigo top3 on the boys list, you would think colors would be the next big trend haha.

    I agree with the Remy comment, what is it doing on the girls list?

  4. My personal top ten of the boys would be: Atlas, Dashiell, Ezra, Ronan, Arthur, Bram, Henry, Wolf, Eli, and Asher. That’s just in the order of the post. And one has been vetoed by my spouse and another is too close in the family.

    And top ten of the girls: Nina, Claire, Twila, Emily, Blythe, Imogen, Hazel, Megan, Saoirse, Eliza. The girls list was much, much, MUCH harder to narrow down.

    The boy’s Top Ten is just what survived from when I took out all the ones I didn’t like, the girl’s list required cutting a bunch I was otherwise quite fond of to narrow it down that far! Esme and Eliza were fighting it out to the bitter end and my husband cast the tie-breaker between those two.

    I didn’t tell him I didn’t put Clover on the list or he would still be championing it.

  5. My faves on the boys side: Eamon, Declan, Dashiell; from the girls’ list: Romilly, Lorelei and Emmeline. Looking forward to this year’s March Madness!

  6. Hmm, many I like on the girls’ list but no real standouts for me among the boys. I guess I’ll be pulling for Hugo and Tate, and for girls there are at least a dozen I’d be happy to see win: Elodie, Vivian, Anneke, Livia, Eloise, Rosalie, Elowen, Clio…

    I’m sorry to see Remy in the girls’ category (not even unisex!) – it’s one of my favourite boys’ names of all time.

    1. Remy is all boy to me too. ray-ME pron.
      From top 16 girls I like best:
      Elodie, Esme, Mila, Lorelei, Emmeline. Rest of the list contains lots more beauties, some only for English/French speakers.

      Colette, Vivian, Sabine, Felicity, Saskia (typical 70’s name here), Cecily,
      Sylvia (typical 70’s name here), Mireille, Carys, Louisa, Magnolia, Freya, Eleanor, Evelyn, Rosalie, Annika, June, Elsa, Lydia, Imogen, Waverly, Anais, Eloise,
      Josephine, Livia, Annabel, Cordelia, Juliet, Eliza.

      Best Boy’s name from top 16:
      Etienne (pron. the French way)

      Further down the list I have a soft spot for Hugo.

  7. So many lovely names there. The previous winners, Louisa, Nathaniel, Genevieve and Arthur sound like they could all be siblings. I wonder if this years winners will fit in.

  8. What a bold list, especially for the boys! I’m excited to see my 2012 baby’s middle name on the girl’s list and look forward to voting!

  9. Indie & Atlas!
    Wow the top 16 are a wild bunch.
    I was served by a young man named Camden at Starbucks yesterday…so it didn’t start with the celebs of last summer. He must have been at least 18.