The Fastest-Rising Boys' Names of 2012: One Name to Rule Them All?
The hottest boys' names of the year are no shriking violets. The rise of names like King, Major and Messiah takes our era of bold meaning names to a new level. And that's just one of the big stories in this year's rising boys' names.
The fastest-rising names for boys, as determined by the BabyNameWizard.com Hotness formula:
#1 Gael. No matter the year, you just can't go wrong with a devilishly handsome fellow with a Spanish accent. Actor Gael García Bernal starred in the Oscar-nominated film No, and a character named Gael made his mark in the popular telenovela Abismo de Pasión.
#2 Brantley. What would a hottest-boys list be without a "preppy cowboy"? Country-music name Brantley was the hottest riser last year, and country-music name Bentley was #1 the year before.
#3 Jase. Duck Dynasty star Jason "Jase" Robertson may seem an unlikely trendmaker. But the popularity of names like Chase makes this longtime nickname sound more like a fashionable update of old favorite Jason. A 2004 Jase boom was also triggered by a reality tv personality (from Big Brother) whose given name was Jason.
#4 Major, #6 King. Way back in 2005, I contrasted the trend toward humble tradesman names like Cooper and Carter with high-status title names of the 1800s like King and Major. Are more names of that era, like Judge and General, around the corner?
#5 Iker. Spanish soccer goal Iker Casillas; see note on handsome hombres above.
#7 Messiah. One of the most controversial of all hit baby names keeps soaring. Messiah is not a traditional given name, but it has the fashionable biblical form of names like Josiah and Isaiah. Note that Emmanuel, the prophesied name of the Messiah, is also a contemporary hit.
#8 Liam. The double-whammy of The Hunger Games and boy-band One Direction helped keep this name moving up. It's part of a trend toward smooth, trim little names for both boys and girls.