The Fastest-Rising Boys' Names of the Year: "Teen Mom" Rules America

May 8th 2015

Sorry, Angelina Jolie. Step aside, Game of Thrones. America's top trendsetter for our biggest, most lasting and consequential style decision – naming a child – is Teen Mom.

For the second time, the #1 fastest-rising boys' name in America comes from the reality tv show that follows the lives of teenage girls struggling to raise babies even as they grow up themselves. The hottest name of 2010 was Bentley; this year it's Gannon.

Gannon isn't just a "Teen Mom" name. It's a surname that follows the uber-popular boy's rhythm of two syllables ending in –n. The spelling Ganon is also the King of Evil in the video game "Legend of Zelda," and video villains are a surprisingly hot baby name source. But reality tv reigns supreme, as proven by two more Teen Mom baby names in the overall rising top 10: Paislee and Nova for girls.

More top risers:

#2. Karter: The reality tv power continues. Love and Hip Hop features a photogenic young Karter, the son of stars Kirk and Rasheeda Frost.

#3. Bode: This name is typically pronounced the same as Bodie and Bodhi, which also ranked among the top 40 fastest risers. A quick guide to the three sound-alike names:

- Bodhi is a Buddhist term for spiritual awakening. It's a popular name choice of Hollywood parents, including actress Megan Fox. This is a name that people seem to love or hate; our advice columnist The Name Lady fields a lot of questions about it.

- Bode is associated with skiing champion Bode Miller, who comes from a creative-naming family in New Hampshire. It's also heard in Western Africa and -- full disclosure, here -- is Portuguese for "billy goat."

- Bodie is a ghost town in California, a drug-dealing character on the tv series The Wire, and a popular choice to clarify the pronunciation of Bodhi or Bode.

#4. Royal: We've been talking about royal babies, why not baby Royals? This is actually an old name returning to the charts with a new gloss. Between rapper Lil' Kim's new daughter Royal, singer Roc Royal of "Mindless Behavior," Lorde's hit son "Royals" and a movement toward bold meaning names, it has momentum.

#5. Axl: Oh, Sweet Child O' Mine! Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses debuted on the music charts back in 1987. It took 27 more years for him to hit the baby name charts. The spur was singer Fergie, who named her son Axl and led parents across the country to say "Whoa, yeah, we could actually DO that!" Axl takes the "X Games" style of names like Jaxxon and cranks up the volume.


Check out the fastest-rising girls' names and the full top 1000.


May 8, 2015 2:19 PM

I find the rising boys' names really hard to predict. Last year it was all Jace and A and I sounds. This year is all Bo Ro Lo. I'll stick to picking girls' names to rise!

One thing that caught my eye on the SSA "Change in Popularity" page was the block of names a dozen lines down. On the boys' side, three in a row are Finnley, Henrik, and Hendrix (gaining about 200 places in the rankings). On the girls' side, the corresponding names are Freya, Henley, and Frida (gains of around 300). Perhaps I'll put my chips on the H/R/F combos next year.

May 12, 2015 7:47 PM

Bodhi is also the name of the bank-robber surfer played by Patrick Swayze in POINT BREAK.

May 20, 2015 12:41 PM

I think another reason Axl may be rising is becuase of the popular sitcom, The Middle, where the eldest son is named Axl.