Boy Names 5.28.17

I have a theory. Popularity can be a good thing in some cases. Names that feel bold, even outlandish, transform as they become more familiar.

There’s a sweet spot in the process. For some names, there comes a moment when it feels fresh and unusual – but is popular enough that a great many people react positively to the name.

I think Maverick is in the sweet spot now. It’s a big, dramatic choice. But it’s also a Top 200 name. Combined, that can be a powerful formula.

Are there other names that hit this sweet spot? Names once borderline unthinkable that today we hear everywhere?

While they’re much less dramatic examples, few would raise an eyebrow today at meeting a child named Summer, Brooklyn, or Bentley. King is taking the same path as Maverick to mainstream familiarity.

I’m sure I’m missing plenty of names on the same path. Can you think of any names that once struck you as outlandish that now feel downright ordinary?Girl Names 5.28.17

Elsewhere in name news:

That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

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 known two Pandas, but they are both nicknames: one for Miranda (Mandy/Manda–> Panda), the other for a unusual name (not mentioned for privacy). It’s also the name of a character on the tv show Skins, where it’s short for Pandora. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few Amandas out there who go by Panda, too. It might be one of those names that seems new as a first name but has quite a bit of history as a nickname.

    1. That’s a really good point, anon – I have heard Amanda/Panda now that you mention it.

  2. Everly. Check out that impressive popularity curve. I would hereby like to dub Everly “the name of the new millennium” as it has soared from near obscurity to #107 on the SSA list. It just has a perfect on-trend sound and is at that sweet spot where it feels oh-so perfectly fresh and so cool. Who would think it could be uber popular among newborns by the time a newborn today is in high school? Everly is totally flying under the radar right now.

    To a lesser extent, Nova. Four years ago it got pretty negative feedback on naming sites. (Like that no-go car?) Now thanks to the Teen Mom, it’s all the rage.

    Maybe Arlo for boys. It still feels hipsterish and a little out there, but I can picture Arlo being widely embraced within this decade.

    1. Yes – Everly is the contender for that title. Arlo and Nova are going places, too. Oh no – awful pun alert! But yes, it’s another star launched by Teen Mom. Who would’ve imagined Teen Mom would become the engine for so many new names?