Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon @cmliwagdixon


Keeping up with trending baby boy names can be tricky business. Popular names go in and out of style, but they can often change drastically from one year to the next. While it’s a little too early to know for sure which baby names are going to prove to be the most popular of 2018, we do have a pretty good idea of which names are likely to make the list. Baby name website BabyCenter compiles user data so that parents-to-be can see which names are trending right now.

So far, the top baby boy names of 2018 seem to be a blend of newer, modern names and traditional monikers. Of course, the year is far from over, so it’s totally possible that there will be some new names to disrupt this list, or that others will change in rank. Here are the most popular baby boy names of 2018 so far.

Liam

Coming in at number one is Liam, which has been holding steady at the top of the list since 2017 after spending three years in second place. While the name is often used as a shortened version of the more formal name of William, Liam is actually a shortened form of Uilliam, an Irish name derived from the Frankish name Willahelm which means “helmet of will.”

It’s not surprising that it’s so popular when you consider just how many famous people bear the name. The name is particularly prominent in the entertainment industry. Actors Liam Neeson and Liam Hemsworth are household names. In music, there’s Liam Payne, one of the members of the band One Direction. It’s no doubt that Liam is having its moment, but the spotlight can’t last forever. Can Liam hold on to the top spot for the rest of the year? Or will it soon fall from grace? Only time will tell.

Noah

Noah might only be ranked number two, but it is by no means second best. In fact, the name held the top spot for three years before losing its crown to Liam, which is now number one. This biblical name, meaning “rest” or “comfort” is short and sweet, so it’s no wonder that its popularity has endured over the years. Usage of the name began to climb in the 1970s, and has proved to be an unstoppable force ever since. It might not be at the top now, but it’s quite possible that it may reclaim its number one spot in the coming years.

Noah may be a figure from ancient times, but that doesn’t mean his story has been forgotten. In 2014, a film named Noah based on the biblical tale was released, and the blockbuster film coincided with the name’s jump to the top. The moniker might be old, but it looks like you can’t sink a good name.

Oliver

In third place is Oliver, a name that comes from the French name Olivier and is derived from the Latin word Olivarius, which means olive tree. The name was quite popular in medieval England, although it fell out of favor in the 17th century due to its association with Oliver Cromwell who ruled the country after civil war broke out. The name once again became beloved in the 19th century, thanks to Charles Dickens’ famous novel Oliver Twist. Oliver is also a last name, such as with chef Jamie Oliver and comedian and TV personality John Oliver.

The name’s popularity in the U.S. dipped in the middle of the 20th century, but it has seen a resurgence since the 2000s. Just a year ago, Oliver was just ranked sixth, but in 2018 it has jumped up the list. If Oliver continues its upward climb, it will be at the top of the list sooner than we know.

Logan

The name Logan is ranked fourth on the list and, while it has dropped one place in the rankings since 2017, it’s still holding on. Although it is far more popular as a boy name, Logan is actually a gender neutral name that is increasingly used for girls. As a girl’s name, Logan is ranked 277. That number might not seem too impressive, but consider the context: It’s up 31 places from 2017. It might only be a few years until it catches up to the boys list ranking.

Logan was originally a Scottish last name which translates to “dweller at a little hollow,” and became a boy’s first name and then a gender neutral first name gradually. One of the best known uses of the name is in Marvel, where it is the alias of Wolverine, one of the X-Men. In 2017, the film Logan, based on the Wolverine character, was released. That same year, the name Logan was ranked third — up a staggering 15 points from 2016, when it was ranked at 18th. The film was a box office success, which could be part of the reason for the name’s increased popularity.

Mason

Holding steady at number five is the name Mason, which held the same ranking in 2017. This is another name that was originally a last name. The English name translates to “stoneworker,” and ultimately comes from an Old French word meaning “to make.” You’ve certainly been hearing this name more and more, but that’s not the only reason “Mason” sounds so familiar.

Mason jars are everywhere these days. You might have seen these jars used in the traditional way, for storing food, but they have a lot of other uses. Mason jars are often re-purposed as glasses or as vases and are often used in craft projects. Whether or not the popularity of the mason jar is directly related to the popularity of the name Mason is uncertain. Either way, we’re certain that this name is probably going to be sticking around for a while.

Lucas

Lucas, a variation of the name Luke, is the sixth most popular boy name of 2018, down two places from 2017. Meaning “light-giving” or “illumination,” versions of this name date back centuries. In the Bible, Luke is known as the author of one of the New Testament gospels. Because of the religious connection, Luke became a popular name, and its Latin variation, Lucas, has been used since the 12th century.

The name has been used as both a first name and as a last name. One of the most famous people to have the name is George Lucas, the creator behind both of the wildly successful film franchises Indiana Jones and Star Wars. It’s likely that George Lucas might have had a role in the name’s growing popularity. Lucas started to rise in popularity as a given name in the late 1970s, around the same time that the first Star Wars film was released.

Ethan

Next up on the list, at number seven, is Ethan. The name holds the same place in the rankings as it did last year. Ethan is a Hebrew name which means “strong,” “safe,” or “firm.” Like many of the names on this list, Ethan is a Biblical name. In the Bible, Ethan is known as a wise man — a legacy that any parent would want for their child. There are famous examples of the name in history, such as Ethan Allen, a pivotal figure in the American Revolution. 

While the name has been around for a long time, it took centuries for it to truly become popular. The name didn’t really start to catch on until the end of the 20th century, starting to noticeably grow in popularity in the 1990s. Now that it has finally become a mainstream name, though, it looks like Ethan is here to stay.

Elijah

At number eight, retaining its rank from 2017, is Elijah. A Hebrew name meaning “Yahweh is God,” Elijah is best known as the name of an Israelite prophet who wrote two books of the Bible. This name has a long history and has been closely associated with Jewish and Christian tradition for centuries (though, the name is so mainstream these days, it doesn’t seem tied to any particular religious background). The Biblical Elijah dates back to the 9th century BC. In Europe, the name was popular during the Middle Ages, although its use had dwindled by the 16th century.

In the United States, the name saw a resurgence in the 1990s when it began to climb the charts. Since then, it has gradually been working its way up in the ranks. At this rate, it probably won’t be very long before Elijah becomes the top baby name for boys. One of the most notable bearers of the name in modern times is actor Elijah Wood.

Aiden

The ninth spot on the list is taken by the name Aiden, which is holding steady in its 2017 rank. Aiden is derived from the Irish name Aodh, the Celtic god of the sun and fire. Given the name’s powerful history, it’s no surprise that it’s on fire right now. The name is an old one, but was experiencing a lull in popularity in the U.S. until the mid 1990s, when it started to rise in popularity. While it is identical in pronunciation and meaning to the name Aidan, the spelling variation of Aiden is far more frequently used.

Aiden spelled with an “e” may be the preferred spelling, but it’s the “a” variation of the name that helped to make it famous. Irish-American actor Aidan Quinn uses the less commonly used spelling of the name. The alternate spelling of the name was also used as Carrie’s nicest boyfriend on Sex and the City.

James

Rounding out the top ten is James, which has remained in tenth place since 2017. This name is a perennial favorite and has existed in various forms for millennia. It is ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, from which we also get the name Jacob. The name means “supplanter” and has been a popular one for European royals. One of the most famous royals to bear the name is King James I, who is responsible for the King James version of the Bible.

Aside from royalty, the name James has been used by many other famous people throughout history. The name has been particularly popular in the White House. Five U.S. presidents have been named James: James Madison, James Monroe, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, and Jimmy Carter (whose full name is James Carter). The name is also frequently seen in the entertainment industry. Some famous people named James in show business include James Franco and James Corden.

Carter

Once used primarily as a last name, the name Carter is now a first name — and a popular one at that. The 11th most common name for baby boys is an English name meaning “one who uses a cart.” It’s not exactly the most exciting of definitions, but it has proven popular with parents nonetheless. The name slowly began gaining popularity in the 1980s, around the same time that former president Jimmy Carter was in the White House, but it was in the 1990s that the name began to soar to the top. It jumped five places from 2017 to 2018, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping any time soon.

While the name is most frequently used for boys, it’s starting to gain popularity with baby girls as well. In 2018, the name is ranked at 524 on the list of names for baby girls.

Alexander

It may only come in at number 12, but Alexander is actually a sleeping giant. Up three places from 2017, the name has cycled in and out of popularity for centuries. A Greek name meaning “defender of men,” Alexander has been popular for generations, dating back to ancient times. Possibly the best-known person to bear the name is Alexander the Great, the 4th century B.C. military strategist who was the king of Macedonia and conquered the Persian Empire.

The name has often been used for royalty. Rulers of Scotland, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Russia have used the name. In the United States, one of the most famous people named Alexander was Alexander Hamilton, one of the country’s founding fathers. Other notable people who bore the name, or variations of it, include Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and Alexandre Dumas, the author who wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. The name may also be appealing because it offers some awesome nickname possibilities: You can go cool and different with Xander, or stay classic and sophisticated with Alex.

Sebastian

Another centuries-old name on this list, Sebastian, comes in at number 13. Sebastian has dropped one rank since 2017, but the year isn’t over yet. Far from being on its way down the list, Sebastian has been climbing up the charts since the late 1980s. Given its steady ascent to the top, it’s quite likely that the name won’t stop growing in popularity until it is ranked number one.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the name’s spike in popularity had something to do with the 1989 film The Little Mermaid. Sebastian the crab may have been a little, well, crabby, but it doesn’t look like that character trait hurt the name’s popularity at all. The name means “venerable” or “revered,” so it makes sense that parents would clamor to associate their kids with those traits. Given how old the name is (Sebastian has been used since at least the middle ages), the fact that it is still so beloved says a lot about its enduring quality.

Jackson

At number 14 is Jackson, which has dropped down one place since 2017. Originally a last name, the name Jackson means “son of Jack.” While the name’s meaning might not be particularly flashy, the fact that there have been so many notable people with the last name could explain why it has become such a beloved first name. It began to climb up the charts in the 1980s, at the height of singer Michael Jackson’s popularity.

Jackson was the last name of a U.S. president, Andrew Jackson, and a Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson. One of the most famous people to have the name as a first name is renowned artist Jackson Pollock, an iconic figure in modern art.

While Jackson is the most popular version of the name, there are a couple of spelling variations that are catching up: Jaxon is ranked at number 33, while Jaxson comes in at 63.

William

Finishing off the top 15, up five places from 2017, is the name William. Its position on the list isn’t surprising, given the fact that this name has been popular for a long time. It’s so popular that the top-ranked baby name of 2018 (so far) is Liam, a name that is commonly used as a nickname for William.

Of German origin, William means “strong-willed warrior” and was introduced to England in 1066, the year of the Norman invasion. Like other traditional names, William spikes in popularity at times, but never really falls out of fashion. History books are filled with the name William as it was the name of many prominent figures throughout the years — including several English kings as well as U.S. presidents. The name is still popular with presidents and royals in modern times. Prince William is the current heir to the British throne, and former U.S. president Bill Clinton’s full name is William.

Source: TheList

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.