The One Hundred Club: Boys' Names on the Verge for 2014

May 28th 2014

Each year, a new crop of names steps in from the fringes to become a significant part of the American name landscape. I mark that transition with a "100 Club": names that reached the threshold of 100 new American babies for the first time last year.

Some of these names will prove to be passing fads that quickly fade. Others, though, are just beginning their climbs and will become fixtures in the schoolyards of tomorrow. Already, four of the names I featured in last year's 100 club (girls, boys) have risen to claim places in the top 1,000 list: Sutton (female), Castiel, Zayn and this year's fastest-rising name Jayceon.

Today I'll introduce the new boys' 100 club. (Stay tuned for the girls!) This is particularly intriguing group, with a biblical bent and some surprisingly deadly choices.

(Note: alternate spellings of more common names are excluded unless the spelling gives the name a distinctly new style and identity.)

The Boys' 100 Club:

Abdullahi (Variant of Abdullah, common in the Horn of Africa. A gradual riser over the past two decades.)

Alaric (5th Century King of the Visigoths! OK, also a vampire hunter in the tv series The Vampire Diaries. So it's a goth name in every sense of the word.)

Ansel (Formerly associated overwhelmingly with photographer Ansel Adams, now rising thanks to actor Ansel Elgort of Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars.)

Aryeh (A biblical name meaning "lion," and part of a major trend toward bible names ending in vowel sounds.)

Bane (The mercenary villain of The Dark Knight Rises; also a word meaning a scourge, curse or poison. A great demonstration of the power of style over meaning.)

Boaz (From the Book of Ruth in the Bible, Boaz features a cool -z ending and the cowboy nickname Bo. This name seems like a strong candidate to rise further.)

Brixton (A district of London, a clothing label, and a wee little step from the popular name Braxton.)

Caius (A Roman name, a saint's name, and now a trendy name thanks to the deadly villain of a recent Final Fantasy video game.)

Dyland (This looks a lot like a Cowboy name – a cross between Western favorites Dillon and Ryland – but actually owes most of its rise to a Puerto Rican reggaeton star.)

Fox (Zippy animal name with many cultural associations, from The X-Files' Fox Mulder to Fox News to Dark Knight character Lucius Fox.)

Keoni (A common Hawaiian name, sometimes called a Hawaiian form of John; pronounced kay-OH-nee.)

Kyden (A tweaking of Kayden that doesn't have as many rhyming names to contend with...yet.)

Lazarus (Two separate biblical figures, one a sore-covered beggar, the other raised from the dead. You might think of Lazarus the point of intersection of this list's Bible and death themes.)

Ledger (Thanks to late actor Heath Ledger, parents hear Ledger as a surname rather than an account book.)

Osiris (The Egyptian God of the Dead, Osiris seems an unlikely baby name choice until you consider the rising popularity of Cyrus. Also a brand of skate shoes.)

Smith (see Wesson, below)

Tadeo (The Spanish form of Thaddeus, featured in the animated film Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones.)

Truett (Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, who was renowned for building his business on conservative Christian principles, retired in 2013. Note the name's double-t ending.)

Wesson (Firearms brand names Smith & Wesson enter the 100 club hand in hand, demonstrating that the gun name trend is far from over. Twins, anyone?)

Wilder (Has been climbing as an even "wilder" alternative to macho surnames like Hunter and Ryder.)


On to the 100 Club for girls!


June 1, 2014 5:30 PM

Delighted to see Truett on the rise! I've been name crushing on it for years (both genders) and I will feel much less weird for using it when it is more familliar. :)

June 3, 2014 1:36 AM

Interesting. My son's name is on that list. I feel both flattered and concerned. It will be interesting to see how many continue to climb. 

June 3, 2014 12:54 PM

FYI, Caius is also one of the three ancient leaders of the vampire Volturi clan in "Twilight," along with Aro and Marcus.

I figured Alaric would be attractive to parents.

June 4, 2014 10:33 PM

I'm guessing Brixton is actually a nod to The Clash and their song "The Guns of Brixton" (about the district in London). It was just stuck in my head today because my husband played it at an open mic night! :)

June 6, 2014 9:35 AM

I've been searching with no luck; where're these data from? I can only find top 1,000 lists.

June 6, 2014 10:40 AM

Bulbasaur: the beyond-the-top-1000 data can be downloaded as text files from the SSA website:

By Zee
June 19, 2014 2:56 PM

Are you planning on posting the girls soon? I'm very curious!