There are so many different things a person has to think about when they choose a name for their child, because ultimately their choice is not just something their kid has to live with, but it also says a lot about the parents themselves and how they think. As overwhelming as that may sound, it’s very true. If a child is named for a pop-culture icon, their parents are most likely looking for a little confidence boost. Easily recognizable and well-known, people will instantly know what the baby was named for. In this upcoming generation there will no doubt be a lot of Edwards, Peetas, Tonys, Steves, Bruces, and Clarkes.
Choosing a family name tells people that the parents are two sentimental people. It makes the name more personal and gives it a special meaning. There’s always a story behind why that name was chosen, and it’s always interesting to hear. Will and Jada Smith named their children after each other (Jaden and Willow) and just added a couple of letters to switch the gender around.
While an unusually spelled named can mean that the parents want their child to be unique, it can also me a negative thing for the person who has the bear it. They are more than likely in for a lifetime of corrections every time someone either mispronounces or misspells it.
Ultimately, choosing a name for your son can be stressful, overwhelming and difficult. You want it to have meaning while at the same time avoid embarrassing initials and nicknames. Sometimes you can even think of anything, so you turn to baby name books and lists for inspiration. Here is the list of the current 20 most popular baby boy names to help you with your decision.
20 Matthew - The Gift From God
Matthew is a name of Hebrew origin, coming from the name Matityahu, which means gift of God. Historically Matthew (who was also called Levi) was one of the twelve apostles of Christ in the Christian religion. He was a tax collector, and is thought to be the author of one of the four gospels of the New Testament. The use of Matthew as an English name started in the Middle Ages, though in the United States it has risen in popularity since the 1960’s. Some famous people who have born the name include Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858), who was a naval officer, and Matthew McConaughey, an actor.
There are several variations of the spelling, such as Mathew, and the most common nickname used for it is Matt. It is currently ranked 20th in the list of most popular baby boy names in the US in 2017, and it also holds the rank of 7th most popular name in Northern Ireland. Nationally ranked in the US as the 71st most popular given name of all time, there are at least 246 Matthews named for every 100K people in the population. In the last hundred years, upwards of 1.4M people have been given the name.
19 Jayden - God Has Heard
Jayden is an invented name, a modern-day mash-up of the names Jay (Latin) and Hayden (English). It makes use of the incredibly popular suffix -aden which can also be found in names like Braden and Aiden. Also able to be spelled Jaden, this is the manner in which actor Will Smith and his wife spelled it when they named their son, also an actor. Meaning God has heard, the name has grown in popularity since the 1990’s, along with all of the other -aden names.
Ranked as the 19th most popular baby boy name in the US currently, the name Jayden is also ranked 20th in Canada. It is also ranked as the 17144th most popular given name by national standards in the United States, with around one person in every million people in the population being given the name. In the past century there has been a population of about 174K.
18 Daniel - God Is My Judge
Daniel is a name of Hebrew origin that means God is my judge. It comes from the biblical story of Daniel in the lion’s den, which can be found in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament in the Christian Bible. He is one of the more well-known prophets, and because of this the name rose in popularity in England during the Middle Ages, because though it fell steeply in popularity in the 15th century it rose again after the Protestant Reformation. There have been several famous people in history to bear the name, such as the English author Daniel Defoe, the Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli, and the American frontiersman Daniel Boone.
Combined with the nickname Danny, it is ranked 18th on the list of most popular baby boy names in the US, while also being ranked 10th (Iceland and Finland), 8th (Hungary), and 3rd (Ireland). On a national level it is the 15th most popular baby name in the country, with around 606 people being named Daniel for every 100K. In the past hundred years there has been an estimated population of over 1.6 million.
17 Michael - Who Is Like God?
Of Hebrew origin, the name comes from the Hebrew name Mikha’el, which means who is like God. It is, of course, a rhetorical question, implying that there is no one like God. In the Christian Bible Michael is named as the archangel, the protector of the nation of Israel. He is consider the patron saint of soldiers. Though the spelling has not always been the same due to differences in language, the name has been used by nine of the Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of Portugal, Poland, Romania, and Russia.
Currently ranked as the 17th most popular baby boy name in the United States, it has been on a popularity decline since the 1940’s, and has also been ranked as the 8th most popular name in Ireland. Its national ranking is the 5th most popular given name in the country, with around 1300 people per every 100K being named Michael. In the last 100 years the name Michael has had a population of over 3.7M people.
16 Carter - The Cart Driver
A unisex name of English origin, it has only been used as a given name more recently. In past years it was more traditionally used as a last name for people who drove a cart (hence, the carter). One notable person who has been given the name is Carter Bays, who is known as the creator of the famous TV show How I Met Your Mother. It can also be recognized thanks to Dr. Carter, a character on the TV show E.R, and through President Jimmy Carter.
Ranked as the 16th most popular baby boy name in the US, it is also ranked 20th in New Zealand and 15th in Canada. Nationally it is ranked as the 1340th most popular given name in the country, with around six people per every 100K being named Carter by their parents. In the past hundred years there has been an estimated 106K people who have been given the name.
15 Jacob - The Supplanter
Most widely known thanks to the biblical Jacob and his twelve sons who would eventually form the twelve tribes of Israel, Jacob is a name of Hebrew origin that means both supplanter and the holder of the heel (Jacob held his twin brother Esau’s heel when they were born). An extremely popular name it can often be seen in Jewish communities and has been at one place or another on the list of the top 100 US baby boy names for over thirty years. A common nickname that people use for people named Jacob is Jake.
While it has been mainly a Jewish name it came into use as an English name after the Protestant Reformation. One of the more famous people to bear the name was Jacob Grimm, one half of the brother duo to author the Grimm Fairy Tales. Ranked 15th in the United States, it also holds the ranking of 10th in New Zealand, 6th in Canada, and 5th in England and Wales. Its national ranking is the 381st most popular given name, with around 53 Jacobs in every 100K people. In the US in the past hundred years there has been an estimated 815K people who have been named Jacob.
14 Jackson - The Son Of Jack
Jackson is a name of Hebrew origin with a simple yet straightforward meaning: the son of Jack. It can be used as either a given name or a surname, and can often be seen either way. A common nickname people use for individuals who are named Jackson is Jack, while younger boys might be called Jackie. Some of the more well-known people to bear the name are President Andrew Jackson, General Stonewall Jackson, the artist Jackson Pollock, and the musician Michael Jackson.
Currently holding the ranking of the 14th most popular baby boy name in the United States, it is also ranked 19th in Canada. The national ranking for the name is 1290th, with around seven people who are named Jackson for every 100K Americans. In the past century there have been over 174K people born who have been named Jackson.
13 Alexander - The Defender Of Men
Alexander is a name of Greek origin that means the defender of men. Over the years and throughout history there have been many emperors, kings, and even popes who have been named Alexander, ever since the time of the Ancient Greeks and the famous Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. Due to his fame and his conquest of most of Europe the name spread across the continent. Some of the more famous people to bear the name include Alexander Pope (an English poet), Alexander Hamilton (an American Statesman) and Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor of the telephone).
Ranked as the 13th most popular name in the US, it is also ranked 9th (Australia and Austria) 8th (Scotland) 6th (Canada) and 2nd (Iceland). One of the more popular names, it holds the national rank of 378th with an estimated fifty-four people for every 100K being named Alexander. In the past century the name Alexander has had and estimated population of 560K.
12 Sebastian - The Revered One
Latin in its origin, the name Sebastian means revered or venerable. The name came from the Liten name Sebastianus which literally meant from Sebaste, which was a town in Asia Minor. In history, St. Sebastian was a martyr who was killed by the emperor Diocletian, and due to this fact the name gained extreme popularity during the middle ages and the crusades, especially in Spain and France. The name is also well known thanks to Johann Sebastian Bach and the crab Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Ranked as the 12th most popular given name in the United States, Sebastian is also ranked as the 14th most popular name in Chile and the 6th most popular name in Mexico. In the United States it is ranked as the 1569th most popular given name, with around five people given the name for every 100K people. There have been an estimated 101K people named Sebastian in the past century.
11 Benjamin - The Son Of The South
In history Benjamin was the youngest of the 12 sons of the biblical figure Jacob, and he was the founder of one of the southern tribes of Israel. This could be the reason why the name-which is of Hebrew origin-means son of the south. In England, thanks to its biblical context the name began to be commonly used after the Protestant Reformation. One of the more notable bearers of the name was Benjamin Franklin, the American philosopher, inventor, and statesman.
Holding the eleventh spot on the list of top baby boy names in the United States, in other countries it is ranked 5th (New Zealand), 4th (Canada), and 2nd (Chile). Nationally it is the 169th most popular given name in the country, with around 118 people named Benjamin for every 100K people. In the past hundred years there have been over 596K people who have been given the name.
10 James - The One Who Follows
James is one of the more classic and common names in existence. Being Hebrew in its origin it derives from the name Jacob, meaning supplanter, or one who follows. It has been the name of some of the more well-known kings in Europe, such as James VI who was the first ruler of the whole of Britain. It was also the name of two of the Apostles in the New Testament in the Christian Bible. One of more modern uses of the name comes from the British spy James Bond, who was created by the author Ian Fleming.
This year the name is ranked as the 10th most popular baby boy name in the United States, while in other countries it is also ranked 6th (Australia), 4th (New Zealand), 2nd (Ireland and Scotland) and 1st in Northern Ireland. Nationally James is ranked as the 2nd most popular given name in the US with over 1650 people being named James for every 100K in the population. In the past hundred years over 3.3M people have been given the name James.
9 Aiden - The Fiery One
The name Aiden is Irish in its origin, coming from the name given to the Celtic sun god, and meaning fiery. Once traditionally a boy’s name, it has now become very popular as a unisex name, and when used to name a girl it is frequently spelled Aidan instead of Aiden. It can also be spelling Aden by some people. Currently ranked as the 9th most popular baby boy name in the United States, it is also ranked as the 18th most popular baby boy name in Canada. On a national level it is ranked as the 11736st most popular given name in the country, with around one person for every 500K people being given the name Aiden. In the past century around 145K people have been given the name.
8 Elijah - My God Is Yahweh
Coming from the Hebrew name Eliyyahu, the name Elijah means my god is Yahweh. Elijah was a Hebrew miracle worker and prophet who, in history, can be found in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. He worked in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. He often confronted the two because of their idol worship of the Canaanite god Baal. The most memorable moment of his life was his death, when it is said God carried him to heaven in a chariot of fire. Because of his fame, and because his bane was born by several early saints the name itself came into common use during the Middle Ages, reviving in popularity by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
Ranked as the 8th most popular baby name in the United States in 2017, Elijah has a national rank of the 1561st most popular given name, with around five people per every 100K being named Elijah. In the past hundred years alone over 215K children have been given the name.
7 Ethan - The Strong One
The name Ethan is of Hebrew origin, coming from the name Eitan. It means strong, safe, and firm. In the Old Testament of the Christian bible Ethan was a wise man from the Israeli tribe of Ezra. While it was used on occasion during the Middle Ages, it became more common in America in thanks to revolutionary Ethan Allen (1738-1789), and later became more popular toward the end of the 20th century. It holds the 7th position in the list of top baby boy names in the United States, in addition to Australia. It is also ranked 9th in France and 2nd in Canada. It also holds the national rank of the 1325th most popular given name in the United States, with around seven people per every 100K being named Ethan. In the past hundred years an estimated 351K have been named Ethan.
6 Oliver - The Olive Tree
Latin in origin, it is most likely derived from the word olivarius, meaning olive tree. It became popular in its use in the Middle Ages in thanks to the French epic La Chanson de Roland, where Oliver was the companion of the title character and hero Roland. The most common nickname for people who are named Oliver is Ollie, and it has a feminine form, Olivia. It became a common medieval name, although its use died out slightly during rule of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, though it was later revived in the 19th century, partially due to the character in the Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist, which was published in 1838.
In the United States it is ranked as the 6th most popular baby boy name while it is also ranked 5th in Finland, 4th in Denmark, 3rd in Scotland, 2nd in Norway, and 1st in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. In the national ranking it holds the 853rd place, with around 14 individuals per every 100K being named Oliver. In the past century alone, more than 73K people have been given the name.
5 Logan - The Hollow One
Logan is a name of Scottish origin that literally means small or little hollow from the Scottish Gaelic word lagan. It is a unisex name and can be used for either a boy or a girl should the parents so choose. There are many famous people who bear the name, although arguable the two most known in today’s modern times are Logan Lerman (an actor) and Logan Howlett, a popular comic book, TV, and movie character.
Currently ranked as the 6th most popular baby boy name in the United States, it also holds this ranking in Scotland, while also being ranked as the 12th most popular name in Canada. In the national rankings of most popular given names in the United States it holds the 1501st ranking, with around 5 people per every 100K having the name. There have been an estimated 283K people named Logan in the past hundred years.
4 Mason - The Stone Worker
An Old French Word of slight Germanic origin, the name Mason used to be a surname before coming into use as a given name. Some people consider it a unisex name and use it to name their daughters as well as their sons. Typically in the Middle Ages, having the last name Mason meant that a person was a stoneworker, hence the term masonry. It can also derive from the Old English word macian, which means to make.
Mason is currently ranked in the United States as the 4th most popular baby boy name. In other countries it ranks 6th (New Zealand) and 8th (Canada), among others. On a national level Mason is ranked as the 1629th most popular given name in the country with more than four people per every 100K in the population being named Mason. In the past century an estimated 205K people have been given the name.
3 Lucas - The Light Giver
Another form of Luke or Lucius, the name is Latin in its origin. The Apostle Luke was the author of one of the four gospels and the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament in the Christian Bible, in addition to being considered the patron saint of doctors and artists. The name means light giving or illumination. In the United States it is the 3rd most popular baby boy name, while it is also ranked 5th (Canada and Australia) 4th (Belgium and the Netherlands), and 3rd (Denmark and France). In the national rankings of given names it holds the 1036th place in the United States, with an average of ten people being named Lucas for every 100K in the country. In the past hundred years around 185K people have been given the name.
2 Noah - The Resting One
The name Noah is derived from the Hebrew name Noach, which means rest or comfort. Like many other names of Hebrew origin, it is popular and well-known because of a character in the Christian Bible. In the book of Genesis in the Old Testament it is Noah and his family who are chosen to be the sole survivors of the Great Flood and afterwards, the caretakers of creation. The father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, his bloodline repopulated the world. Like most biblical names it came into popularity after the Protestant Reformation, though it is only more recently that it has begun to be used as a unisex name.
Ranked as the 2nd most popular baby boy name in the United States, it also holds the position in Denmark and the Netherlands. Noah is also ranked 3rd in Belgium and Ireland, and 1st in Switzerland. On a national level in America is holds the 1309th position, with around seven people being named Noah for every 100K in the country, while in the past century an estimated 288K have been given the name.
1 Liam - The Strong Willed Warrior
Liam is a name of Irish origin that is a shorter form of the Irish name Uilliam, which itself comes from the Frankish name Willahelm, which means helmet of will. It can also be considered to be a shorted form of the name William. The name Liam means strong-willed warrior and protector. Two well known people who bear the name in modern times are Liam Neeson and Liam Hemsworth, who are both extremely famous and talented actors. Ranked as the most popular baby boy name in the United States in 2017, while also being ranked the 3rd most popular name in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada. On a national level it holds the 3431st position in the list of given names, with less than two people per every 100K Americans being named Liam.
Sources: BabyCenter.com, MyNameStats.com, BehindTheName.com