The Fastest-Rising Boys' Names of 2013: Chasin' Jason?

May 9th 2014

The two fastest-rising* boys' names of the year were boosted by celebrities with wildly different public images and audiences. One is black, one white. One urban, one rural. One raps, the other makes duck calls. And yet the two names have one very big thing in common: they both sound a whole lot like Jason.

(for Fastest-Rising Girls' Names of 2013 click here)

#1 Jayceon. (#206, up from #1,017. Most parents pronounce it "Jason.") A major name in rap, Jayceon illustrates how complicated naming and branding can get in the hiphop world. Rapper Jayceon Taylor has built an enormously successful career over the past decade under the name The Game, which he eventually shortened to simply Game. A top rapper, Game has also done some acting and, starting in late 2012, starred in a reality tv series called Marrying The Game which gave his given name more visibility.

Around the same time, an emerging young hiphop artist started recording under his first name: yes, "Jayceon." While it's his own name, it's a risky branding move. If you Google "rapper Jayceon," after all, you get a whole lotta Game. The more successful Jayceon becomes, though, the more the risk shifts as the Game loses control of the "brand" that is his given name.

#2 Jase. (#89, up from #270) This name is a repeat from last year's fast-rising list, thanks to Duck Dynasty star Jason "Jase" Robertson. Originally a nickname, Jase is streamlined version of Jason for the age of Chase and Gage. Yet it also has a down-home charm via the reality tv personality and his family of mega-bearded Louisiana duck-call makers.

Together, these names point to the power of pure sound in today's baby name choices. Consider that Jayceon/Jason is a mashup of the top-10 names Jayden and Mason, and that Jace, Jayce, Cason, Kason, Case, Kase and even Ace also rose last year. Across styles, across communities, there's remarkable agreement on what sounds good.
More fast risers:

#3 Milan. (#484, up from 1,159) Singer Shakira, who made her Arabic name more common amoung both Spanish and English speakers, did the same for this classic Slavic men's name when she chose it for her son.

#4 Thiago. (#485, up from #828) Thiago/Tiago is a Portuguese form of James that is hugely popular in Brazil. Soccer player Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento goes by the single name Thiago, in the Brazilian style.

#5 Atlas. (#789, up from #1,372) The world-bearing Titan of Greek mythology, Atlas also carries cultural connotations from Atlas Shrugged to Cloud Atlas to Rand McNally Road Atlases. A key character in the BioShock video games is named Atlas, as is the son of actress Anne Heche.

* Rising names calculated with the Baby Name Wizard hotness formula, which balances the percentage rise with absolute number of names affected.


May 9, 2014 7:15 PM

Wow, Atlas!! I am really thrilled!

May 9, 2014 10:43 PM

My 2 year old's name broke 1000 last year for the first time (in social security's counting): Grey. From 50 shades of pap as I understand.

I spelled it with an 'A', but I'm still a little concerned.

May 10, 2014 7:13 AM

With Shakira, I assumed Milan was a place name forher son, after the the Italian city. If someone chooses the Slavic tradition, does it have a different pronunciation, like MY-lahn instead of mee-LAHN?

May 10, 2014 4:33 PM

I think Milan would be pronounced the same as the city from the Slavic. Milena, another Slavic name with a similar sound, also got a boost this year.

May 10, 2014 6:19 PM

Milan the city and Milan the name have different first vowels, to me. Milan the city is mih-LAHN and the name is mee-LAHN. 

May 12, 2014 1:00 PM

The 50-something Croatian man I know named Milan pronounces it to close friends in the US as rhyming with "Dylan" but generally introduces himself to American strangers as "Milano" with the stress on the middle LAH syllable. I suspect the Dylan-like pronunciation is still somewhat anglicised and it's really more of an ee vowel in that first syllable.  

May 22, 2014 4:51 PM

Just wanted to point out that the two rappers use different pronunciations. I haven't been able to run across a video of The Game pronouncing his own name yet, but most of his fans do seem to insist that it's pronounced like Jason. However, there is at least one video on YouTube of an interview with Jayceon (Beaumont) where he clearly says his name in three syllables, as "Jay-see-on." So there isn't consensus  on the correct way to say it.