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Top 10 Baby Boy Names

  • Right after "boy or girl?", the most common question asked of parents-to-be is "What's his/her name?" The choices for baby boy names are endless—Parenting.com has a database of more than 35,000 names—but there are a handful that hold mass appeal. Here's a look at the top 10 baby boy names registered for Social Security in 2012.

    See the Top 10 Baby Names for Girls

    1. Jacob

    Origin/meaning: Hebrew, "Supplanter, substitute"

    Why it's a top name: Jacob has held a top spot since 2000, thanks to its dependable, all-around good guy feel. Nickname Jake shows off their fun side.

    Jacobs you might know:

    • Twilight series character Jacob Black
    • Biblical figure Jacob

     

  • Splash News

    2. Mason

    Origin/meaning: French, "Stone worker"

    Why it's a top name: Did Kourtney Kardashian start a trend? In 2009, when she gave birth to son Mason, the name was ranked 34th in popularity. A year later, it was 12th, and by 2012 it shot to second place. Whether it was Kardashian-inspired or not, the name's laid-back vibe and last-name-as-a-first-name trend will keep it popular for a while.

    Masons you might know:

    • Mason Kardashian
    • Actor Mason Lee
  • Amazon.com

    3. Ethan

    Origin/meaning: Hebrew, "Strong, firm"

    Why it's a top name: Ethan is cerebral and poetic, but still holds all-American appeal—keeping it in the top 25 since 2000.

    Ethans you might know:

    • Actor Ethan Hawke (pictured)
    • Furniture company Ethan Allen
  • Amazon.com

    4. Noah

    Origin/meaning: Hebrew, "Peaceful"

    Why it's a top name: Noah was a new name to the top 10 block last year, but jumped five places from 2011. Noahs are quiet and thoughtful, and just saying the name invites calm. Although Noah might have to deal with a few ark jokes now and then, it's a great alternative to flashy, trendy names or the more common classics.

    Noahs you might know:

    • Actor Noah Wyle
    • The Notebook character Noah Calhoun (pictured)
    • Biblical figure Noah
  • Wikimedia

    5. William

    Origin/meaning: English, German, "Protector"

    Why it's a top name: You're bound to know at least one William; the name hasn't slipped from the top 20 since 1900, and has held its fifth place for a second year. While the full name has a proper, grown-up feel, nicknames Bill, Will and Willy take the formal edge off.

    Williams you might know:

    • Prince William
    • William Shakespeare (pictured)
    • President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton
    • Fictional character Will from Will & Grace
    • Musician will.i.am (born William)
  • Wikimedia Commons

    6. Liam

    Origin/meaning: Irish, short for William

    Why it's a top name: A newcomer to the top 10 list, Liam has grown exponentially in popularity since the early 2000s. The name brings to mind a handsome, strong presence, and it's a nice alternative to the formal William. 

    Liams you might know:

    • Actor Liam Neeson
    • Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth
  • imdb.com

    7. Jayden

    Origin/meaning: Hebrew, "God has heard"

    Why it's a top name: Ten years ago, Jayden barely made the top 100 boy names. Today, it's in the top 10. Yep, Britney, who gave her second son that name, did have a hand in its popularity boost. When her son was born in 2006, it ranked 49; one year later, it skyrocketed to 18. The name's modern, unisex feel will likely keep it on the top ten list for a while.

    Jaydens you might know:

    • Britney Spears' son Jayden James Federline
    • Will Smith's son and actor Jaden Smith (pictured)
  • Getty

    8. Michael

    Origin/meaning: Hebrew, "Who is like God?"

    Why it's a top name: Michael is a perennial fave for the ages: it's held a number one or two spot since 1954, although it slipped to eighth place in 2012 to make way for trendier names. Even as grown men, Michaels always seem to maintain their boyish charm.

    Michaels you might know:

    • Actor Michael Douglas
    • Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps (pictured)
    • Singer Michael Jackson
    • Basketball player Michael Jordan
  • Wikimedia

    9. Alexander

    Origin/meaning: Greek, "Defender of mankind"

    Why it's a top name: This regal name conquered the top 20 list in 2000, and even though it dropped from fourth place in 2011, it was still a popular choice in 2012. You can bet an Alexander will be noble and courageous—but the nickname Alex conveys a playful side.

    Alexanders you might know:

    • Alexander the Great
    • U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton
    • Late fashion designer Alexander McQueen (pictured)
  • HBO

    10. Aiden

    Origin/meaning: Irish, "Fiery"

    Why it's a top name: Whether you spell it Aiden or Aidan, the name radiates calm and boasts a sage quality. The name ranked ninth for two years on the top ten list recently and was one of the most-searched names by Parenting.com readers last year. Even in 10th place, parents are still showing their love for it in 2012.

    Aidens you might know:

    • Sex and the City character Aidan Shaw
    • Soap opera actor Aiden Turner

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