The Fastest-Rising Boys' Baby Names of The Year, 2011: Giddyup, Preppy Cowboys!

May 14th 2012

In 2010, the hottest rising boys' names of the year were Bentley and Easton. Both were surnames that used to sound as preppy as a seersucker jacket and bermuda shorts. But both had been transformed into Southern good ol' boys, with assists from country music stars Dierks Bentley and Easton Corbin.

In 2011, the hottest rising name name in America was:

Brantley.

No, not Bentley again, Brantley. A formerly preppy surname that has been transformed into a good ol' boy, with an assist from country music star Brantley Gilbert. And Bentley and Easton are far from done -- both rank among this year's top 10 hottest boys' names, too. It's fair to say that a large swath of the country should be prepared for a stampede of preppy cowboys in the years to come.

The rest of the hottest, as calculated by the Baby Name Wizard Hotness Formula, which takes into account both the percentage change and the impact in terms of number of babies:

#2. Declan
Aidans all around us! Liams lurking behind every corner! What's an Irish-name-loving parent to do? Declan is making its case as the next in line for the throne.

#3. Mason
Yes, it's a Kardashian name -- but more importantly, it's a trim tradesman surname that sounds like Jacob, Macy and Jaden all rolled into one. Or to put it another way: American boys' names are still living in the house that Jason built. (See previous post for more on Mason.)

#4. Iker
A warm welcome to the hottest Basque name in American history! The name Iker was apparently created by a Basque nationalist as a Basque equivalent to the Spanish Visitación. It has become a popular name throughout Spain, and was introduced to America by goalkeeper Iker Casillas of the World Cup Champion Spanish soccer team. (No, that doesn't make it the biggest soccer-inspired name trend in America. That honor remains with Mia, via American soccer star Mia Hamm.)

#5. Raylan
Raylan Givens is the Deputy U.S. Marshal at the heart of the tv series "Justified." The show is based on a series of stories by writer Elmore Leonard, who has said that he named the character after a young man he met in Amarillo, Texas. Like Mason, it's just a small tweak on other names of the moment (Jalen, Rylan, Riley), but this time with a distinct Texas twang.

Also noted...
The top 25 rising names include Jaxen, Jaxson, Jaxon and Jaxton, plus the more traditional Axel for good measure. Our national love affair with the letter X rages on.

 

Also be sure to check out the fastest rising girls' names, and the full top 1,000 names for boys and girls, with last year's ranks for comparison.

Comments

1
By Guest225 (not verified)
May 14, 2012 1:04 PM

I do so love your analysis!!  It is seriously bringing me giddy pleasure to read the resutls of this year's baby-name stats release!

 

Would you mind posting the list of top 25 movers in its entirety?

2
By Joni
May 14, 2012 1:32 PM

All the hottest names are boy names? Wow. I am impressed that these boy name moved so much that they could out pace what I typically think of as girl-name domain.

3
May 14, 2012 1:48 PM

No, Laura is just doing boys first. I'm sure the girls will follow shortly in a blog post of their own.

4
May 14, 2012 1:50 PM

The one that's truly in That's Not A Name territory for me is Iker: "iker" means "twin" in Hungarian, and I'm an identical twin.

5
By AWWH (not verified)
May 14, 2012 2:02 PM

A friend of mine just had b/g twins this month and named them Brantley and Paisley... the "country-ness" of the names surprised me since their older son is named Miles, but they are big country music fans.

6
By J&H's mom (not verified)
May 14, 2012 2:26 PM

I just have to say, "You told me so!" to Laura and others.

Mason just does Not seem like a current, trendy name to me, but I clearly don't know what I'm talking about!

Can't wait for the girls' names!

7
By Kallie (not verified)
May 14, 2012 2:32 PM

Declan definitely is "in" as a new Irish name - sounds fresher than the older Sean or newer Aidan.  I like it too, but I'd probably go farther afield and pick Cormac or Dermot, notwithstanding they don't have the -n ending!

Love seeing the new name lists, and this is definitely the place to be discussing it!  Everywhere else it is linked you can guarantee that within 20 comments you will be hearing about Le-dasha-a (eye roll). 

8
May 14, 2012 2:41 PM

I did not enter the Pool but there were names I was wastching and had on my list to enter had I not been caught up in life stuff.

Risers were: Mason, Chase, Asher, Finn, Hugo, Hazel, Iris

Fallers:Morgan, Chanel, Elin, Logan (b+g), Tenley 

Mason has been rising here for awhile.

 

9
By 4xMom (not verified)
May 14, 2012 3:45 PM

Shedding a little tear at this list. For the last 11 years I've been assuring people I did not create the name Declan when we gave the name to our son.. Sounds like that won't be the case much longer!

10
May 14, 2012 7:58 PM

I haven't even heard of some of those names. Iker, Brantley and Raylan are all new to me. I kind of like Iker but the others not so much.

Declan is an interesting one. Here in Australia, Declan is not very out there. I know several under 10 year old Declans. It's the name people pick when they aren't keen on Liam, Sean or Aidan. I've always liked it but it would never make our list as it has already been used by family.

Given it's a little popular for me taste I'm much more likely to go with Cormac or Diarmuid as per a poster above.

11
May 14, 2012 8:14 PM

Is it just me, or are Jackson and Jaxon, et. al. completely different names, even though I say them almost identically?

12
By J&H's mom (not verified)
May 14, 2012 9:48 PM

Well, I should have thought of Declan! We heard of three baby Declans last year.

13
By ckizzie (not verified)
May 15, 2012 12:21 AM

We named our 2011 baby Declan, but people still react to it like they've never heard of it before.

14
By Guest3241 (not verified)
May 15, 2012 11:17 AM

If there were girl names included in an article titled "The Fastest-Rising Boys' Baby Names of The Year" I'd be surprised.

15
By Linz3 (not verified)
May 15, 2012 1:42 PM

Wonder if some of the upswing in Declan comes from a popular book that came out at the beginning of 2011. Kresley Cole's hero is named Declan (from Dreams of a Dark Warrior). Truly an author with a gift for great names. Either way, love it and considered it for our 2011 baby, but she was a girl instead.

16
By Sophie nli (not verified)
May 15, 2012 6:38 PM

fancynancy:  Bless you! Our 5 year old is a Jackson, and while I am fine with it's popularity, I am a little peeved by the multiple spelling variations. To me they are a completely different breed. Ah well. We call him Jackie most of the the time anyhow :)

17
May 16, 2012 1:19 AM

I LOVE Declan, but could never use it with our last name. Too Irish against our very Slavic surnames. Sigh...

18
By BLS (not verified)
May 17, 2012 11:00 AM

I've wanted to use the name Declan for 15 years, but couldn't talk dh into it. He was for it the last time, but we had a girl. It's still on my list, but I don't know if I would use it if it's really rising that quickly in the U.S.

19
By Allison Margaret (not verified)
May 17, 2012 10:16 PM

I wonder if some of those Raylans are Spanish versions of Rylan where the "Ray" is pronounced "Ry". I live in an area with a fairly large Hispanic population and my teacher frieds tell me that Brayan (Bryan) and Eydan (Aidan) are popular for boys around here. Without knowing that, I would have assumed Brayan was said like Brayden with no d, which seems perfectly in line with trends. However, I was kind of surprised that neither Brayan nor Eydan was on the top 1000. 

20
February 4, 2013 5:54 AM

I am really new to the names being mentioned, though the name "Declan" sounds like one of my favorite names in my list,"Dylan".  Another one is Mason, have heard of it many times, but the rest of the names sounded new to me. But anyways, they sounded great and provided me new ideas of nice names.

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