Stealth Hit Names, Part 2: The Boys
Yesterday I introduced the "stealth hit" baby names: names with no dominant spelling, so that their overall popularity is obscured in statistical rankings. Take a look at that post first for more explanation and the list of girls' names. Today, we conclude with the stealth boys' names.
You'll see that the boys' list is half the length of the girls', which isn't a big surprise. Boys' names are still more conservative and concentrated. What's more, the wide-open creativity on the girls' side can have the effect of making parents of boys less free with spellings. Think of how often you've seen parents of girls use variations like Ryleigh or Ashtyn to "feminize" names. Since those spellings are used to signal girl, parents of boys are more inclined to stick to the most standard male versions.
A few notables:
- Elliot/Elliott is the only name that appears on both lists.
- Blaze/Blaise fulfills all of the criteria for the list, but it's hard to think of those two as just alternate spellings of the same name. The have separate meanings and origins and appeal to very different families.
- Kaden is the stealthiest name in America, with nothing close to a standard spelling. Four versions met my two-thirds threshhold, and five more rank in the boys' top 1000.