There was an omission in last week’s discussion on the eight rising star names for girls. The omission was that, of course, we are going to discuss their boy counterparts. Today is the day we discuss the eight notable boy names that could be headed for the top 1000 on the Social Security list for 2012.
While 2013 has begun, we won’t know the top 1000 names for 2012 until May. In the meantime, guessing which names will be on this list will be a fun game. Once the top 1000 names for 2012 are made public we will revisit the boy and girl list and see how well the names did.
With the girl names, I had some names on my mind that I had tracked for years that, frankly, I was surprised hadn’t hit the top 1000 sooner. For example, I expected Sylvie to enter the top 1000 for 2010 and Cecily and Louisa to enter the top 1000 for 2011.
With the boys names, the situation was a little different. Most of the boys names I follow have already hit the top 1000. Off the top of my head, I could only think of a few boys names that had top 1000 potential (in my opinion): Lachlan, Roscoe, Rufus, and Viggo. The girl list was twice as long. The boy list had to expand.
Off to explore the Social Security data I went, wading through the creative spellings (e.g. Aedan, and Isaak) and outdated names, making a note of any name that stood out. After the list was made, I used the same (unscientific) system I used for the girls to check each name’s online presence and guesstimate how likely each name will reach the top 1000 in 2012.
This system comprises of average monthly Google keyword searches,* BabyCenter name rankings, and number of search results on nameberry. For those of you who saw the girls’ list, I will spare you the details, but for those of you who are interested, you can read about it here.
Once I explored the data, something curious happened. The boy list was quickly becoming bigger than the girl list. Somehow I had to cut back. With my top-of-mind guesses, only one of them, Lachlan, seemed possible based on 2011 birth numbers. My other three guesses, Roscoe, Rufus and Viggo had very low birth numbers. One of them would stay as our dark horse, but the other two had to go.
Viggo, with the lowest 2011 birth numbers (31), was easily eliminated, not because it had the lowest birth numbers. The birth numbers for Roscoe and Rufus weren’t that much higher. The difference between a handful of births is negligible.
Viggo was eliminated because it still feels unexpected to me based on how many times I remember hearing and seeing it this past year. That left Roscoe (47 births) and Rufus (39 births), which are both hipster favorites. Deciding between the two was difficult. In the end I went with Roscoe because it’s my favorite of the two.
And now for the big reveal…
- Number of 2011 births: 108
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Alistair baby name”: 140 everywhere, 73 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #896 and trending upwards
- nameberry search results: 1,364
- Number of 2011 births: 169
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Ephraim baby name”: 46 everywhere, 28 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #1300 and either trending slightly upwards or at a plateau
- nameberry search results: 860
- Number of 2011 births: 138
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Ewan baby name”: 110 everywhere, 46 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #630 and trending upwards
- nameberry search results: 752
- Number of 2011 births: 178
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Lachlan baby name”: 170 everywhere, 91 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #379 and trending upwards
- nameberry search results: 2,369
- Number of 2011 births: 124
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Linus baby name”: 73 everywhere, 36 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #862 and trending upwards or hit a plateau
- nameberry search results: 1,343
- Number of 2011 births: 152
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Magnus baby name”: 73 everywhere, 36 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #831 and trending upwards
- nameberry search results: 1,356
- Number of 2011 births: 47
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Roscoe baby name”: 28 everywhere, 16 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #3179 and seems to have hit a plateau
- nameberry search results: 962
- Number of 2011 births: 164
- Avg. Google keyword searches for “Thatcher baby name”: 36 everywhere, 36 for the U.S.
- 2012 BabyCenter rankings: #993 and seems to have hit a plateau
- nameberry search results: 898
When evaluating which names have the best shot at reaching 2012’s top 1000, I looked to nameberry search results first because nameberry readers are ahead of the mainstream, and are good at spotting up-and-coming names. I define up-and-coming names as names that rank between 400 – 1000 (and climbing) on the Social Security list.
Here’s how the names rank, starting with the highest and ending with the lowest number of nameberry search results:
The boy and girl rising stars were comparable in 2011 birth numbers but that’s where the similarities end.
When it comes to nameberry search results, the boy list is much weaker than the girl list. While only the bottom three girl names got fewer than 3,000 nameberry search results, the boy names’ all fell under 3,000. I’m not sure why this is, but I suspect it might have something to do with more people searching for girl names in general.
There were also bigger discrepancies between nameberry and BabyCenter with the boy names. The boy names ranked higher than the girl names in 2012 on BabyCenter. Only half of the girl names (Louisa, Mabel, Sylvie, and Viola) were already in BabyCenter’s top 1000, while six of the eight boy names are in BabyCenter’s top 1000: Alistair, Ewan, Lachlan, Linus, Magnus, and Thatcher.
After checking how these names compare with nameberry readers, I am not surprised at how well top-ranking Lachlan did, but I’m very surprised Ewan is not more popular on nameberry. Top-ranking Lachlan is the highest ranked name for both nameberry and BabyCenter, but Ewan is the second highest ranking name on BabyCenter, and falls dead last in nameberry search results.
Ewan does very well on BabyCenter, where it ranks at #630 for 2012. Since I consider BabyCenter readers a good representation of mainstream parents, and Ewan is so close to mainstream Owen (#44), I’m very surprised Ewan isn’t already in the top 1000.
But the real star here is Australian import Lachlan, which ranks at #3 over there, and has been close to the Australian top 5 for over a decade. Australian name blogger, Waltzing More than Matilda, commented on our Founding Fathers post that Lachlan counts as a modern classic over there. Lachlan also has the highest rank on BabyCenter, where it is already in the top 400.
Due to the discrepancy between how well these names do on Google, BabyCenter, and nameberry, it’s hard to say which one is the dark horse. The dark horse based on 2011 births, Roscoe, actually does respectably on nameberry, which leads me to suspect we may see huge gains for Roscoe for 2012 or 2013. But Roscoe’s 2012 BabyCenter ranking is a dismal #3179.
We will have to wait until May when the Social Security Administration releases the top 2012 baby names to see how many of these names reach the top 1000.
Readers: Which 2013 rising star name is your favorite for the boys?
*On the Google keyword search tool, I searched each name with the term “baby name” to find out how many people on average were searching those terms per month. For example, the number one boy name is Jacob and there are 590 people everywhere and 320 in the U.S. searching the terms, “Jacob baby name” on average each month.