The Most Surprising Baby Boys' Names Trends for 2024 (2024)

It used to be that the most popular baby boy names were relatively unchanging. According to data from the Social Security Administration (SSA), Michael was the No. 1 name in the United States from 1954 all the way to 1998 (except for one year when David briefly took over). After the reign of Michael, it's anyone's game: We've had three different names cycle through the top spot — Jacob, Noah and Liam — and a constantly rotating top 10.

Whether you want to pick a timeless name like Michael or an ultra-popular one like Liam, when looking for a baby name it's good to know what trends are exerting their invisible forces over this current crop of new parents. By looking at the official SSA list, as well as sites like Nameberry, The Bump and BabyCenter, which keep track of the favorite baby names among their users, we've determined that these will be the hottest baby boy name trends of 2024. What's on the rise this year? There's good news for sports fans, as well as anyone who likes to keep things short and to the point.

Traditional "girl" names are switching sides.

Each year, it's becoming more and more antiquated to have lists of "boy names" and "girl names." In many ways, it increasingly does not matter — parents are choosing whatever name they like for whomever they like. In the past, it used to be that names that were thought of as unisex or gender-neutral would slowly drift over and become girl names: think Ashley, Courtney and Leslie. Now, in its 2024 baby-name trend report, Nameberry sees things heading in the other direction. "Feminine boy names often appeal for their symbolism, soft and sensitive image, or connections to the past," the site notes, using Rihanna's son's name, Riot Rose, as an example. Nameberry sees a rise in names like Artemis, Carmen, Cleo, Fern, Harlow, Raven, Sunny, Willow and Winter on the rise for boys.

Sports starts are giving baby-name inspo — especially international ones.

In its own year-end baby name trend round-up, BabyCenter notes that sports documentaries are proving to be fertile ground for baby-name hunting. The one the site brings up that had the most impact is the docuseries Beckham, about David Beckham.

BabyCenter says that both David and Beckham are climbing its own charts; Beckham also had its highest-ever position on the SSA chart at No. 202, up from its modern debut at No. 900 in 2008. (The perennial popular David is much higher at No. 31, but that's harder to attribute solely to the footballer's fame.)

The Most Surprising Baby Boys' Names Trends for 2024 (1)

And Beckham isn't the only soccer star moving the needle, according to BabyCenter. Lionel, as in soccer star Lionel Messi, has made huge leaps on the BabyCenter list. Lionel has been hovering around the 600s on the SSA rank since 2018 — will Messi Meets America be just what the name needs to really break through?

In a different kind of football, the names Travis and Jason have both been on the decline, peaking in the '70s. But will the Kelce brothers turn that around, too? For now, the data doesn't say — it's only speculative — but their football careers, Saturday Night Live-hosting stints and, ahem, dating lives could set those names up for a comeback. For that matter, the name Kelsey only ranks for girls at the moment, but the Earth-shattering momentum of the Kelce brothers and the practice of giving boys "feminine" names might flip that around, too.

And soccer and football aren't the only sports to inspire baby names. BabyCenter notes that a surge in interest in Formula 1 racing due to Formula 1: Drive to Survive has sparked a renewed interest in some of the drivers' names, especially Fernando, as in Fernando Alonso.

Make it short, and end in -ai.

Every year, certain sounds or letter combos seem to trend. Last year, there was all the -ias names: Silas, Elias, Amais. This year belongs to -ai: Malakai, Makai, Zakai and Jakai are all in the top 1000. Nameberry says Ozai, Azakai and Mordecai are not far behind.

Another element that contributes to a name's sound? It's length. And this year, it's all about punchy and short names for boys, especially of the three-letter variety. BabyCenter has seen increased interest in names like Teo, Jay and Max.

Put those two together, and you have names that are ready to rocket up the list: three-letter names that end in -ai. The big winner is Kai, currently No. 59 on the SSA list, but Tai and Zai could be joining it soon.

Names are going spiritual.

"The Bump’s religious and spiritual baby names list saw a 10,000% increase in interactions from 2022 to 2023," The Bump reports in its own year-end baby name trend report. There's no single religion or practice that dominates this space — they come from different religions and even myths — but it just shows that parents are looking for names for their babies that are imbued with a lot of meaning. Some of the names gaining traction in this category are names like Angel, Bodhi, Elijah, Gabriel, and Micah.

"Adult" baby names are trendy.

Nameberry clocked the rise of a new adage when it comes to names, "You're naming an adult, not a baby." And while we've seen this for a while, in the use of old-man names like Gus, Oscar and Henry, this new iteration challenges parents to think of their newborns as adults but doesn't require they add a vintage quality to their names. These sophisticated names include Casimir, Cedric, Duncan, Heath and Lars.

These are the current most popular baby boy names — and the ones that are quickly gaining in popularity.

According to the SSA, these are the official, current most popular names for baby boys.

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Oliver
  4. James
  5. Elijah
  6. William
  7. Henry
  8. Lucas
  9. Benjamin
  10. Theodore
  11. Mateo
  12. Levi
  13. Sebastian
  14. Daniel
  15. Jack
  16. Michael
  17. Alexander
  18. Owen
  19. Asher
  20. Samuel

But will they stay on top in 2024? The SSA also keeps a list of the fastest-climbers — the names that have jumped up the most number of places in rank from one year to the next — and this year, these are the names with heat:

  1. Dutton (hello, Yellowstone fans)
  2. Kayce
  3. Chosen
  4. Khaza
  5. Eithan
  6. Waylen
  7. Asaiah
  8. Karim
  9. Kaizen
  10. Zen

Many of these — like Dutton and Waylen — were singled out as part of the "neo-Western" trend of last year, and they indeed made inroads, which shows that sometimes the trends really are predictive. Will anything else come to claim Dutton's crown? Either way, the list provides plenty of baby-name inspiration.

Looking for more great baby names? Check out these Good Housekeeping lists:

French Baby Names | Hispanic Boy Names | Indian/Hindu Boy Names | Irish Boy Names | Japanese Baby Names | Long Boy Names | Short Boy Names | Baby Girl Names | Gender-Neutral Names

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts


As an expert in baby names and trends, I can provide you with valuable insights and information on the concepts mentioned in this article. I have a deep understanding of the current trends, popular names, and factors that influence parents' choices when it comes to naming their baby boys. Let's dive into the different concepts discussed in the article and explore them further.

Traditional "girl" names are switching sides

The article mentions that traditional "girl" names are increasingly being used for boys. This trend reflects a shift in societal norms and a move towards breaking gender stereotypes in baby naming. Names like Artemis, Carmen, Cleo, Fern, Harlow, Raven, Sunny, Willow, and Winter are gaining popularity for boys. These names often appeal for their symbolism, soft and sensitive image, or connections to the past [[1]].

Sports stars are giving baby-name inspiration

Sports documentaries, such as the one about David Beckham, have influenced baby naming trends. The name Beckham has climbed the charts, and the popularity of the name Lionel, inspired by soccer star Lionel Messi, has also increased. The success and fame of these athletes have contributed to the rise of their names in baby naming trends [[2]].

Make it short, and end in -ai

Certain sounds or letter combinations trend each year, and this year it's all about names that end in -ai. Names like Malakai, Makai, Zakai, and Jakai are among the top 1000 names. Additionally, three-letter names are gaining popularity, such as Teo, Jay, and Max. Combining these trends, names like Kai, Tai, and Zai are expected to rise in popularity [[3]].

Names are going spiritual

Parents are increasingly choosing names with religious or spiritual significance for their babies. The Bump reports a significant increase in interactions with their religious and spiritual baby names list. Names like Angel, Bodhi, Elijah, Gabriel, and Micah are gaining traction in this category. These names come from various religions and myths, reflecting the diverse spiritual beliefs of parents [[4]].

"Adult" baby names are trendy

There is a growing trend of choosing sophisticated and "adult" names for babies. Parents are considering names that will age well and suit their children throughout their lives. Names like Casimir, Cedric, Duncan, Heath, and Lars are examples of this trend. These names have a mature and timeless quality without necessarily being vintage names [[5]].

Current most popular baby boy names and fastest climbers

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the current most popular baby boy names are Liam, Noah, Oliver, James, Elijah, William, Henry, Lucas, Benjamin, Theodore, Mateo, Levi, Sebastian, Daniel, Jack, Michael, Alexander, Owen, Asher, and Samuel. However, the SSA also keeps track of the fastest climbers, which are names that have jumped up the most number of places in rank from one year to the next. Some of the names with heat in 2024 include Dutton, Kayce, Chosen, Khaza, Eithan, Waylen, Asaiah, Karim, Kaizen, and Zen. These names reflect emerging trends and can provide inspiration for parents looking for unique and distinctive names [[6]].

I hope this information provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the concepts discussed in the article. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

The Most Surprising Baby Boys' Names Trends for 2024 (2024)
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