Top 10 Baby Boy Names
by Elena Donovan Mauer
Want to know what other parents are naming their baby boys? Look no further than the latest list of the most popular baby names, according to the Social Security Administration.
Why it’s big: We all know the original and most memorable Noah—the one who had the ark. And perhaps it was last year’s movie about him that helped this classic name move up to No. 1. Noah is strong and staid, yet fresh and current; unlike some other longstanding baby boy names, it’s only been in the Top 10 for six years.
- Noah Galloway, military veteran and Dancing with the Stars contestant
- Noah Webster, the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”
- Noah Wyle, actor (pictured)
Meaning: Short for William
Why it’s big: I think we all can agree there’s nothing to dislike about the name William. (More on that later!) But Liam is a trendier, edgier take on the traditional moniker. Liam’s popularity shows that names don’t need to be stuffy or proper; they can feel more like nicknames. And doesn’t Liam sound like the most popular boy in school?
- Liam Hemsworth, actor (pictured)
- Liam Neeson, actor
- Liam Payne, singer
Meaning: Stone worker
Why it’s big: Mason may be the “Jason” of the new generation. This common name is easy to spell and pronounce, and while it’s got a strong, hardy, hardworking feel, it’s also gotten a new life as a more upscale choice—especially seeing how it’s a celebrity favorite, with Kourtney Kardashian, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ne-Yo naming their sons Mason. Sure, a mason is a bricklayer, your Mason can be whatever he wants to be!
- Mason Disick, son of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
- Mason Gooding, son of Cuba Gooding Jr.
- Mason Evan Smith, son of Ne-Yo
- Mason Cook, actor (pictured)
Meaning: Supplanter, substitute
Why it’s big: Before it fell spots a couple years ago, Jacob was the No. 1 boys’ baby name every year since 1999. That’s a 14 year reign. Millions of Jacobs later, the name is still a solid choice. Jacob has religious roots but works for several different faiths. Despite its popularity, the name stands out because of its strong consonants. Plus, it’s versatile: Jacob could be the strong silent type, but Jake is a true tough guy.
- Jacob Artist, actor (pictured)
- Jakob Dylan, singer
- Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa
Origin: English, German
Why it’s big: William has royal and literary ties, and it also has a bevy of nicknames to choose from: Will, Bill, Billy, Liam and Willy. It’s a perennial favorite—not just topping the list for years or decades, but for centuries. Basically, we’re saying you can’t go wrong choosing William for a baby name.
- Prince William (pictured)
- William Blake, an English poet, painter, and printmaker
- William Faulkner, an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate
- William Shakespeare, poet and playwright
- William Wordsworth, poet
- William Butler Yeats, poet
- will.i.am, musician
Meaning: Strong, firm
Why it’s big: Ethan has a preppy, bookish feel and while it’s been in the Top 10 for over a decade, it still seems like you don’t meet an Ethan every day. So it’s an appealing pick for many parents who want an approachable name that isn’t too traditional.
- Ethan Allen, author and military leader
- Ethan Coen, screenwriter and director
- Ethan Hawke, actor (pictured)
Meaning: Who is like God?
Why it’s big: If you said you didn’t know someone named Michael, we wouldn’t believe you! Michael has long been—and probably long in the future will be—a favorite of many. So, it makes sense that you might want to name your baby after an awesome Michael in your life. In fact, we simply couldn’t list nearly all the notable Michaels below. There are just too many!
- Michael Buble, singer (pictured)
- Michael Douglas, actor
- Michael C. Hall, actor from Dexter
- Michael Jackson, singer
- Michael Jordan, athlete
- Michael Keaton, actor
- Michael Phelps, swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time
- Michael Strahan, TV personality and former NFL player
Meaning: Defender of mankind
Why it’s big: Alexander is great! While most of the other top baby boy names are fairly short and simple. Alexander boasts four syllables and an exciting X. If you want your son to go by a nickname, you get to choose from Xander or Alex. Still, when he’s in trouble, we’re sure you’ll be pulling out all four of those syllables.
- Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator
- Alexander the Great, king and military leader
- Alexander Hamilton, founding father of the United States
- Alexander Skarsgard, actor (pictured)
Meaning: Derived from Jacob, supplanter
Why it’s big: It might seem like James is hot right now because it’s piggybacking on its predecessor Jacob, but while Jacob is on the downturn, James is on the upswing. It makes a great middle name, too.
- James Brown, singer
- James Franco, actor (pictured)
- James Garner, actor
- James Earl Jones, actor
- James Monroe, fifth president of the United States
- James Spader, actor
Meaning: God is my judge
Why it’s big: Daniel has multicultural appeal and timeless style. We’re seeing parents use this classic name in full, rather than going for the nicknames Dan or Danny that generations past used; we love that back-to-basics trend on this no-fail baby boy name.
- Daniel Boone, American pioneer
- Daniel Craig, actor (pictured)
- Daniel Day-Lewis, actor
- Daniel Radcliffe, actor