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The 25 Hottest Boy Names on the Rise

One of the biggest and most important tasks for expectant parents is to choose a name for their newest family member. Some people go the traditional route when it comes to names while others opt for names on the unique side. Invariably, some of these less popular names catch on and start rising through ranks on the baby name charts.

Note: All ranking information can be attributed to the U.S. Social Security Administration website.

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25 Baylor

This super cute baby name is on the rise! It jumped 152 spots in the rankings and secured spot #811. This means there were 280 baby boy Baylors born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 7,142 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Baylor.

While it’s still far from popular, it is getting noticed. Despite this, we say Baylor would be a safe pick for a baby boy if you are looking for something unique, but not weird. We think Baylor sounds fashionable and hip. This is perhaps, in part, because of how similar it sounds to Taylor.

Baylor means one who delivers goods. It may have been derived from an English surname although its origins are unclear. It doesn’t have a natural short form, but there is no doubt it would get shortened to “Bay”, especially by his teenage buddies. This is definitely something to consider depending on how you feel about nicknames.

24 Achilles

We are all familiar with the word Achilles as a term associated with a tendon in the heel of the foot. In Greek mythology, Achilles was the name of a warrior who was killed by an arrow to his heel, which was deemed to be the only vulnerable part of his body. As a result, the tendon earned the name Achilles

This name is climbing the ranks for baby boys. It jumped 155 spots in the rankings and secured spot #968. This means there were 212 baby boy Achilles born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,433 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Achilles.

This is one of the odder names on the rise. We aren’t in love with it, but it does have positive associations given it was the name of a Greek warrior. We can’t wait to see what happens next year.

23 Denver

Of course, we all know Denver as a city in Colorado which makes it appealing and comfortable somehow. Denver, in fact, has English origins and means green valley.

This name is climbing the ranks for baby boys. It jumped 155 spots in the rankings and secured spot #900. This means there were 240 baby boy Denvers born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 8,333 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Denver.

Noteworthy is that this name was around in the early 2000s but dropped off the charts again. We wonder if it’s here to stay this time.

Denver is a nice name with a gentle feel to it. It’s unique, but won’t give way to head scratching. We also think it could work nicely as a middle name if you are struggling to find one. We won’t be surprised if it surfaces on the baby girl charts soon, too.

22 Otis

The name Otis is on the up and up for baby boys! It jumped 160 spots in the rankings and secured spot #848. This means there were 240 baby boys named Otis born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 7,604 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Otis.

Otis was derived from an English surname, derived from the medieval name “Otto”. Otto has Germanic roots and means wealthy. The name Otis is slightly more popular in England and Wales (#284) and the Netherlands (#168) than it is in the U.S.

Depending on how old you are, you may recall the famous singer/songwriter named Otis Redding.

We think Otis is a refreshing change from so many of the hip names of today that all seem to end in “en”, “an” or “er”. Your little Otis would be a standout and a natural leader no doubt.

21 Killian

This unique name is climbing fast. It jumped 163 spots in the rankings and secured spot #348. It is one of the three names on this list to break the top 500. This means there were 280 baby boy Killians born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 2,066 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Killian.

Killian has both Irish and French roots. As a result, it is considerably more popular in Ireland (#80) and France (#162). It is associated with the Gaelic word for church.

This name appeared in the top 1000 U.S. charts briefly in 2000 and 2001 but then dropped off the radar again.

The obvious downside to this name is that it sounds harsh and has a disagreeable first syllable, making any short-form name unappealing. If you can get over these things, it is a cool sounding name that is poised to make some bold moves.

20 Cairo

Cairo as a baby boy’s name joins forces with the city of the same name in Egypt. In Arabic, its meaning is victorious.

This appealing name is climbing fast. It jumped 164 spots in the rankings and secured spot #941. This means there were 220 baby boy Cairos born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,091 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Cairo. That said, we think it could also work well for a baby girl.

You’re safe if you choose this name and want something unique. It has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream popular, but it’s made waves of late.

We think the name Cairo is subtle but strong at the same time. We suspect any little Cairo will be sensitive but passionate, always standing up for himself and others. There are few surnames with which Cairo wouldn’t pair well.

19 Yahya

This name, relatively undiscovered in the U.S., is on the rise. It jumped 167 spots in the rankings and secured spot #975. This means there were 211 baby boy Yahyas born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,478 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Yahya.

Yahya is more frequently used in Turkish, Persian, and Arabic cultures and is a form of Yochanan or John. It is widely used by Muslim cultures and honors the prophet, John. It is more popular today in England and Wales (#193) and Italy (#186) than it is in the U.S. That said, we won’t be surprised if it continues to rise in popularity in the U.S.

The name is pronounced just like you’d expect it to be with a little more emphasis on the first syllable. Think YAA-yaa. That said, some may choose the more common American pronunciation of John, depending on where they reside.

18 Ignacio

Ignacio is the 18th fastest-rising boy's name in the U.S. It soared 169 spots in the rankings and secured spot #925. This means there were 229 baby boy Ignacios born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 8,733 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Ignacio.

Ignacio has been on and off the top 1,000 boy's name chart since 2000. It was most popular in 2001 when it came in at spot #621. Ignacio is the Spanish form of Ignatius which is derived from a Roman family name. "Iggy" and "Nacho" are two possible short forms.

Ignacio definitely has an ethnic feel to it so you might want to consider your last name if you choose this for your little guy. For example, "Ignacio Smith" might be a bit of a head-scratcher.

Iggy Pop the musician comes to mind when we consider famous Ignacios.

17 Kyrie

The likable boy’s name is on the rise! It jumped 172 spots in the rankings and secured spot #334. This means there were 1,027 baby boys named Kyrie born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 1,947 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Kyrie. It has been rising fast since 2012 at which point it sat in spot #869.

This name is pronounced just like the girl’s name “Kylie” but with an “r”. Kyrie is Latin-American in origin and means the Lord. Any baby boy called Kyrie could be called “Ky” for short which is cute and sweet.

Kyrie Irving of Cleveland Cavalier fame is one famous Kyrie we can think of. We wonder if this Kyrie is in fact part of the reason for the rise in popularity of the name. Its rise coincided with the year he was named NBA rookie of the year.

16 Kashton

This interesting spin on “Ashton” jumped 176 spots in the rankings and secured spot #942. This means there were 220 baby boys named Kasthon born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,090 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Kashton.

Very little information can be found about Kasthon, an indicator of just how unique it is. It is more or less a “made up” name, but there is nothing wrong with that if you like how it sounds.

A cute short form of the name is “Kash” which we can live with for sure. Your little guy will undoubtedly be called this. Cash, of course, is a well recognized first name, ranking in at spot #267 this past year.

Some might say you are trying too hard if you choose Kashton for your boy, so give that some thought before you choose it. Your little guy will live with the name you select forever.

15 Haiden

This spelling variation of the very popular “Hayden” is rising in the ranks. Kudos should go out to those parents who really wanted to choose this name but put a unique spin on it.

Haiden jumped 184 spots in the rankings and secured spot #981. This means there were 208 baby boys named Haiden born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,615 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Haiden.

Alas, Haiden is an Americanized spelling of Hayden which was derived from the words “hay” and “down” and is English in origin. “Hayden” has also been used for girls.

This name is one of many that rhyme including Aiden, Jayden, and Kaeden. Even though its original spelling is fairly popular (#151), Haiden still has a hip feel to it, which will make your baby boy stand out. We bet any little Haiden will be a trailblazer.

14 Dash

Dash ranked at #766 in 2015 and we bet it’s going to keep climbing! It’s cute and spunky and very fitting for an energetic little toddler. Plus, we think any little Dash will exude confidence and probably get into a bit of trouble, too.

Dash jumped 182 spots in the rankings to secure spot #766. This means there were 309 baby boys named Dash born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 6,472 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Dash.

While Dash as a baby boy name is on the rise, it’s tough to find much information surrounding its origin. It’s obviously a “made up” name, so you’ll have to use your imagination. We assume that at some point, some inventive parent decided “Dash” was it for their baby and started a trend. It joins the ranks of other Everyday Words That Make Awesome Boy Names and is quite fitting for a busy little boy.

13 Matteo

The familiar boy’s name is on the up and up. It jumped 182 spots in the rankings and secured spot #191, making it the most popular name on this list. This means there were 2,155 baby boys named Matteo born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 958 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Matteo.

Matteo has been steadily climbing the ranks. It broke the top 1,000 names in 1998, securing spot #936 but has never been more popular in the U.S. than it was in the past year.

Matteo is the Italian form of Matthew. The name means gift of Yahweh who is a Hebrew god. In Italy, this name ranks in at #7 for boys. Cute short forms include Matt and Matty of course.

The pro football world gives us several famous Matteos including Matteo Ferrari and Matteo Darmian. Plus Italy’s own Prime Minister is named Matteo Renzi.

12 Zayn

Dare we speculate that this name is on the rise courtesy of Zayn Malik--teen heartthrob and former One Direction member. The group formed in 2010 and this name began getting noticed a few years later. We can’t say for certain, but it seems possible.

This name, with Arabic roots, is climbing fast. Zayn jumped 189 spots in the rankings and secured spot #644. This means there were 405 baby boys named Zayn born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 4,938 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Zayn. It was largely unheard of in the U.S. before 2013.

Zayn means “beauty and grace” in Arabic so it lends weight to a great legacy. “Zain” or “Zane” are a possible spelling variation and Zayna or Zaina are female versions of the name.

It is slightly more popular in England and Wales (#239) as well as in the Netherlands (#399).

11 Titan

This strong baby boy’s name is climbing in popularity. It jumped 190 spots in the rankings and secured spot #640. This means there were 412 baby boys named Titan born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 4,854 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Titan.

Titan is actually a noun in everyday English. A “titan” is an extremely important person according to vocabulary.com. Further, it refers to a race of Gods in Greek mythology. If you chose this name for your baby boy, he has a lot to live up to, but we don’t doubt he can do it.

Kelly Rowland, of Destiny’s Child fame, named her baby boy Titan. The name was largely untested territory in the U.S. before 2012 but we are interested to see whether it continues to grow in popularity or not. It’s the 11th fastest-growing baby boy’s name now. We wonder if it will hit the top 10 next year.

10 Jabari

This unique baby boy’s name has been on and off the top 1,000 charts since 1974. Since last year it jumped 219 spots in the rankings and secured spot #945. This means there were 219 baby boys named Jabari born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,132 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Jabari.

Jabari is of Swahili origin and is used prominently in many African countries. Jabari means fearless so if you choose this name, you are setting your baby boy up well for a bright future.

Its most popular year to date was 2006 when Jabari ranked in at #609 out of the 1,000 most popular baby boy names in the U.S.

We think this name is cool and sleek with a fun vibe to it. The sports world brings us several famous Jabaris including, Jabari Parker, Jabari Brown, and Jabari Greer.

9 Omari

This African baby boy’s name is climbing the ranks. Since last year it jumped 198 spots in the rankings and secured spot #510. This means there were 560 baby boys named Omari born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 3,571 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Omari.

Omari appeared on the top 1,000 chart in 1980 and then disappeared until 1997. It has never been more popular than it was in the past year.

Omari is an African name and means God the highest. It is very similar to the more common name “Omar”. This name ranks at spot #217 so it’s much more widely used than Omari. Omar means speaker in Hebrew.

Even though it’s rising in the ranks, the name Omari is far from popular. It’s a safe choice if you like the name and are looking for something unique. We don’t think it will drop off the radar again, but we’d be surprised if it ever cracks the top 10.

8 Ridge

This cute baby boy’s name is making waves. Since last year it jumped 204 spots in the rankings and secured spot #932. This means there were 226 baby boys named Ridge born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 8,849 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Ridge.

This is another example of a noun turned baby boy name. There are a lot of them out there! Think Cash, Ace, and Blaze. It probably didn’t take too long for an inventive parent to decide Ridge is a great choice, too. We think the name is strong and filled with character. We don’t think Ridge will be a wallflower.

You’d be pretty original if you chose this name for your baby boy. It was barely on the radar in terms of popularity before last year, making two brief appearances in the top 1,000 baby boy name chart in 1988 and 1989.

7 Brixton

Brixton is a perfect example of a recently devised baby boy name. That said, it’s catching on! Since last year it jumped 212 spots in the rankings and secured spot #984. This means there were 207 baby boys named Brixton born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,661 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Brixton.

Brixton as a name has no real background or heritage so any pre-conceived notions of the name wouldn’t bog you down. You simply need to decide if you like how it sounds if it goes well with your last name, and whether or not you want to say the name for the rest of your life.

We think Brixton is cute, spunky, and cool sounding without appearing like it’s trying too hard. You could, of course, call him “Brix” for short, which makes us like the name even more.

6 Kaison

Kaison is another name not bound in tradition. It’s one of many “made up” names on this list, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We did find some suggestions to indicate that Kaison means son of fighter or rebel.

Since last year it jumped 251 spots in the rankings and secured spot #730. This means there were 332 baby boys named Kaison born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 6,024 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Kaison.

The name can either be pronounced as KI-son or KA-son depending on your preference. For the latter pronunciation, think of a twist on Mason or Jason.

Bottom line is, we like the name. We suspect this one is going to keep moving up swiftly. That said, it has an awfully long way to go before it becomes popular so don’t worry that your Kaison will be one of many in his class.

5 Canaan

This original baby boy’s name is on the up and up. Since last year it jumped 271 spots in the rankings and secured spot #806. This means there were 283 baby boys named Canaan born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 7,076 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Canaan.

This name was born in the Old Testament. Canaan was the son of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons. It is pronounced like CA-nun. One drawback is that your little guy would need to explain how to pronounce his name constantly.

Your baby boy would definitely be unique if you chose this name for him. Canaan has a long way to go to become mainstream popular. Given that it cracked the top 1,000 for the first time this past year, we are interested in seeing what direction it heads in the next year.

The name itself feels strong but gentle, and is well suited to a trailblazing thinker.

4 Jaziel

This biblical baby boy’s name is rising through the ranks. Since last year it jumped 276 spots in the rankings and secured spot #939. This means there were 223 baby boys named Jaziel born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 8,968 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Jaziel.

Jaziel is an updated version of the name “Jahzeel” which means God apportions in Hebrew. In the Bible, Jahzeel is a son of Naphtali, the sixth son of Jacob.

It’s unique and different but we doubt it will rise to mainstream popularity. It has to rise a lot in the ranks to break even the top 500. That said, if you choose it for your son, Jay is a natural and cute nickname. His buddies might even call him Zee or Ziel.

The name itself rolls off the tongue nicely which gives it a harmonious element.

3 Wilder

This name might ring too true for your energetic baby boy but many parents have decided it’s the perfect fit for theirs.

Since last year it jumped 360 spots in the rankings and secured spot #964. This means there were 214 baby boys named Wilder born in the past year. In other words, one out of every 9,345 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Wilder. Don’t get us wrong--it is by no means popular per se, but it is definitely getting noticed.

Wilder is definitely another one of those “made up” names. The only logical nickname is a bit of an odd one--Wild. We don’t love it. That said, you could opt to nix the nickname and stick with Wilder. Wilder sounds sophisticated and regal, and we bet any little boy with this name will grow up to be someone important.

It is definitely more common as a surname but it did get a lift in interest when Goldie Hawn’s son, Oliver, named his son Wilder (now 9).

2 Huxley

Huxley is definitely on the rise. Since last year it jumped 392 spots in the rankings and secured spot #962. This makes it the second fastest-rising baby boy name in the entire U.S.! In a nutshell, there were 214 baby boys named Huxley born in the past year. This means that one out of every 9,345 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Huxley.

Huxley is of Old English beginnings and means Hugh's meadow. This isn’t a particularly compelling name meaning but it does suggest the name has some roots--unlike some of the others on this list.

Cool nicknames associated with this name are “Hux” and “Huck”. We’d opt for the former; the “x” adds a certain hip factor.

Huxley is more common as a surname, and certainly Aldous Huxley (famous and talented writer) comes to mind when you think of it as a last name.

1 Riaan

This unique name is on the up and up! It’s the fastest-rising baby boy name in the U.S. and we can see why. Since last year it jumped 1360 spots in the rankings and secured spot #926. In other words, there were 229 baby boys named Riaan born in the past year. This means that one out of every 8,733 baby boys born in the U.S. was called Riaan.

Just so you aren’t confused, Riaan is pronounced like Ree-an. The two syllables are given the same degree of emphasis so the name flows effortlessly off the tongue.

Riaan is of Hindi origin and means “little king”. The major drawback to this name, as far as we can tell, is the years of correcting spelling and pronunciation you’ll be facing. He’ll be called Ryan for sure and it might be tough for some to determine if Riaan is a boy’s or girl’s name.

Regardless, we think this is a great name, and we can’t wait to see where it places next year.

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