So far in 2018, parents are combining naming traditions and creativity like never before. Add to this a continued focus on the baby as a complete individual from day one. There are some fantastic and surprising baby boy name choices that are trending this year. Some parents look for deeply personal meanings coupled with total originality. Others honor events or people, or they try to convey a sense of whimsy and fun with the name that baby will carry through the rest of his life.
From celebrity originality to hipster influences and millennials who are starting families, a new crop of names is climbing the charts. Some names are total surprises quietly going viral, and other names seem to be in every baby name forum already and showing no signs of slowing down. In contrast, some names are so new and different that parents may even find themselves in the position of having to explain them to older generations.
Gone for most parents are the days when they felt restricted to a set of family names to choose from for their baby boy. Nowadays, parents are opting for totally new creations. Others are enjoying the ability to choose to approach tradition in completely new ways and with often unexpected results. Here are 20 Baby Boy Names That Are Going Viral Right Now.
20 Chicago, Baby
Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West make waves the way others breathe air—it just comes naturally. The birth of their newest daughter this year was no exception and her name started everyone talking.
It’s a gender-neutral option that parents are loving, and the Kardashians once again influenced popular opinions with their original choices.
The conversation is still going months later about Chicago, even though she was born in January, according to People. While Kanye and Kim named their baby daughter Chicago, location names like Chicago are definitely rising through the ranks as a hot new choice in the boy’s name categories.
19 X-Factor, Logan
For better or for worse, pop culture does impact how parents think about baby names. Logan was a rare choice in the previous century, but according to NameBerry, characters like Logan on Gilmore Girls or arguably the most famous.
Logan of the famed X-Men franchise may have greatly influenced parents who grew up with such characters and were familiarized with their names.
If parents think Logan is super popular here, they may be surprised to learn that it is even more well-liked in British north of Wales and especially Scotland. The Social Security Administration ranks Logan in the top five names for boys.
18 Atta-Boy, Atticus
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a literary classic that has been made into a motion picture, as per IMDb, and it tells a story that remains relevant in U.S. culture. Lee’s newer release: Go Set A Watchman once again brought to life the iconic characters of her book—especially the father, Atticus Finch.
Literary-themed names are experiencing a bit of a renaissance and Lee’s Atticus is a complicated human figure that continues to speak through the generations, including current parents.
Atticus is a thoughtful and less playful baby boy name choice that is nevertheless, increasing in popularity.
17 Little Baby, Louis
The newest little Duke of Cambridge is Louis Arthur Charles. Louis, pronounced ‘Loo-ee’ is bound to influence the current generation of parents in the U.K. The enormous popularity of Prince William and wife Kate in the U.S. means the influence will undoubtedly be felt in the states as parents consider Louis for a baby boy name.
While the royal family generally pick traditional names to bestow on this newest generation of British royals, The Washington Post noted that Louis and the alternate pronunciation was not a totally unusual choice.
Baby Louis might have just been born this year but he is already influencing name choices.
16 'Bodhi' And Soul
Some folks out there might be a teeny bit older and remember the infamous surfer Bodhi from 1991’s Point Break, as per IMDb. But despite that Bodhi, played by the late Patrick Swayze, the name didn’t experience a huge spike in popularity until recently.
In the last six to seven years the rise of Bodhi has been truly meteoric. According to Baby Name Wizard, the name Bodhi is derived from the Buddhist word for the tree under which Siddhārta Gautama attained enlightenment.
Many parents actually name their baby boy Bodhi without knowing the Sanskrit origins of the name or the more accurate pronunciation of Bodhi which sounds like “Bo-thee.”
15 Axel, Rising
Many people in the states might be very surprised to learn that the name Axel is the Scandinavian version of the Biblical name Absalom which is Hebrew and means “my father is peace,” according to Oh Baby Names. While the Hebrew Absalom has never enjoyed much popularity in the U.S., Axel is definitely on the rise.
It’s a name considered simultaneously non-traditional yet it’s a fast climber up the baby name charts of the Social Security Administration.
Possibly, the most famous Axel born this year was that of Seth Meyer and wife Alexi after an unusual apartment lobby birth, as disclosed by Insider.
14 Fun, Finn
Short and sweet and full of hipster charm, Finn is quietly going viral as parents look for baby boy names that stand apart yet are easy to pronounce and understand. Finn might refer to Huckleberry Finn—Mark Twain's invention—or stand on its own inspired by the Irish hero Finn, as suggested by The Bump.
But either way, parents are loving this option. While Finn hasn’t broken the top 100 baby boy names yet, it may only be a matter of time if recent increases continue. The best part about the name Finn is how it can be paired with all kinds of middle names for a very unique combination.
13 Grin And 'Bear' It
Animal names are nothing new in the baby name charts. But this year, Bear is poised to go viral in a big way. The BBC reported that celebrity couple Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole chose the name Bear after much debate for their new baby boy because it would be a very memorable name but isn’t super outrageous.
Bears are animals which can either seem cute and cuddly, like the teddy bear, or fierce and ferocious like a grizzly bear. Outdoor enthusiast, Bear Grylls is one famous bear that may have influenced the naming of Liam and Cheryl’s little Bear.
12 Crossing The 'River'
A generation ago, the most famous celebrity River was River Phoenix, born River Jude Bottom, as per IMDb; he was the younger brother of actor Joaquin. Nature-inspired names are experiencing a new resurgence in baby names in 2018 and celebrities are loving River again.
This Earthy name can be paired with a funky choice like Rocket, or a more traditional family name.
The Daily Mail reminded us that Jools Oliver and husband Jamie welcomed their 5th addition—baby boy River Rocket—over a year ago, but the name River seems poised to take off as a refreshing baby boy name choice in the near future.
11 The Little 'Saint'
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West might be baby naming gurus if the objective of baby naming is to get a lot of people talking and thinking about it. People recently reminded fans that Saint West is now two years old—time really flies! Saint West is Kim and Kanye’s second child and for many folks, celebrity names like Saint can take some time to get used to.
It seems like people are deciding that they like the sound of it after all. When the West family recently expanded to include baby Chicago, fans were reminded of older siblings North and Saint and renewed expectant parents’ interest.
10 'Miles' To Go
It’s no wonder that a jazzy name like Miles was a great fit for Chrissy Teigen and singer John Legend. Born in May 0f 2018, according to Newsday, little Miles Theodore is only a couple months old but already an incredibly famous baby who is definitely upping the cool factor of the already cool baby boy name Miles.
This name has been holding pretty steady in the charts in the last several years, according to the Social Security Administration, but with celebrity influence, this baby name may jump up the charts in a big way as parents consider a name with impeccable musical associations.
9 'Noah’s' Arc
Going viral right now in 2018 is the biblically-inspired name Noah ranking as high as number two, as per Baby Center.
The baby boy name, Noah even edges out the ever-popular William, according to the Social Security Administration, and continues to be a favorite choice for thousands of parents this year.
Parents may associate a lot of positive feelings with the name Noah, which is the name of several celebrities like Noah Wyle and is also the name of a man celebrated in one of the most famous stories in the Christian Old Testament as trusting in his faith to save himself and his family.
8 Classic, James
While some parents go the route of the intriguing or unusual, other parents are returning in droves to the more classic choices, and the baby boy name James is swiftly moving up the list.
James is a surprising viral baby name with its long history in the past as a standard pick because it fell into relative obscurity as a choice for a significant period of time.
This top five name last peaked in the U.S. in the 1940s, according to Baby Name Wizard. It has recently made a roaring comeback as parents may be honoring grandparents or fondly looking back with nostalgia at a different time in baby names.
7 'Crew' Cut Above The Rest
Titans of home design fashion Joanna and Chip Gaines are definitely not afraid of a big family, or of setting trends. Recently baby boy Crew was born and fans are in love with the simple and catchy baby boy name. Country Living welcomed baby Crew and noted the very recent surge in popularity of the name.
It’s hard to deny that celebrities are certainly influential, and Crew is a fantastic name that is inspiring parents-to-be all over the U.S. Having only broken the top 1000 names in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration, Crew is a delightful trend that is going to continue to rise.
6 Baby 'Livingston' I Presume
Celebrities Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey might have been on to something when they recently named their third baby boy Livingston. Since then, Nameberry has shown a 71% increase in interest just this week.
Livingston might appeal to parents who are looking for a serious and grown-up name for the baby but prefer not to choose from the traditional list, and Livingston does easily lend itself to great little boy nicknames like Levi or Liv.
Livingston is a slightly different choice that still fits in with the new trend of baby names ending in -ton. This name was extremely rare until very recently and it is rapidly gaining favor.
5 Wyatt, Please
Wyatt is a top 25 name, according to Baby Center with origins in Old English and French. In the U.S., many people associate the name with the famous Wyatt Earp of the American Wild West, according to Legends of America.
Legendary Wyatt Earp may have made the name Wyatt famous for stateside folks for a time, but the popularity of the name waned until increasing recently. In the last few years, it has steadily climbed higher and is a popular choice that many parents don’t realize is so popular.
Wyatt is poised to truly go viral very soon, as parents continue to explore names with historical significance.
4 Wells, Baby Checkup
Wells is another breakout name beginning with a W and this sleeper won’t be flying under the radar much longer. According to Nameberry, Rosie Pope likes to use the name Wells as a nickname for her baby Wellington.
Many parents are starting to catch on to Wells just as it is. Up until recently, this baby boy name was ranked far down the list at #915. Still, the handy and easy to pronounce Wells is ready to surge in popularity and still has the sound and feel of a more traditional choice.
Whether Wells will be a flash in the plan or not remains to be seen.
3 Long May He 'Reign'
Kourtney and Scott Disick’s son Reign was born back in 2014, but with more recent Kardashian births, Reign is back in the news. Reign—in some spelling variation—was apparently a consideration when thinking about names for each of Kourtney’s children, according to E! Online.
The name Reign has popped up again more recently with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter’s little boy named Odin Reign, according to People. Reign has obvious kingly associations, but phonetically also calls to mind rain and this gives this up and coming baby boy name a lot of mileage.
2 Sage, Wisdom
A sage is a wise person but sage can also refer to the fragrant herb used in cooking and also burned in cleansing ceremonies. With one of the biggest overall baby name trends being a return to the natural world and plants, it’s no wonder that Sage is ready to gain a solid following as a baby boy name choice in 2018.
Sage was considered more popular as a girls’ name recently, according to Babble, but increasingly gender associations for names are going straight out of the window for parents who are open to considering names in a completely different light.
1 Super 'Nova'
The celestial-inspired Nova—which means “new” in Latin—has absolutely blasted up the boy name charts, according to the Social Security Administration. While The Bump notes the increase in popularity of the name Nova for girls, the gender line for names is increasingly blurred and Nova has a gender-neutral quality that makes it a versatile and exciting choice for baby boys.
Short names like Nova are trending and parents like the ease of a recognizable word in the unusual setting of a baby’s first name.
Look for the name Nova to hearken to its astronomical associations as it shows an impending burst in popularity.
References: People, NameBerry, Social Security Administration, IMDb, The Washington Post, IMDb, Baby Name Wizard, Oh Baby Names, Insider, The Bump, BBC, IMDb, Daily Mail, People, Newsday, Baby Center, Social Security Administration, Baby Name Wizard, Country Living, NameBerry, Baby Center, Legends of America, NameBerry, E! Online, People, Babble, Social Security Administration, The Bump