Some Popular A Names, Boys

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Yesterday we covered popular A names for girls, so today it’s the turn of the boys. The premise is the same: this is a list of boy names beginning with the letter A that have risen and are now within the Top 200 in England&Wales in 2013. Whilst there were 16 girls names, there are only 9 male names that qualified.

1. Arlo

Our highest riser started at #567 in 2008 and is now at #189 – that’s an impressive 378 places. Like Arthegal before him, this name likely came via The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, which features the location of Arlo Hill. However, there are alternative suggestions that he originates from Charles, or even Carlo.

2. Albie

The new Alfie ? It’s an intriguing possibility as in the past 5 years the name has risen 202 places from #341 to #139. Since the name is originally a nickname for Albert (see below), he could follow him into the Top 100 in the near future.

3. Austin

The first of many names on this list that  is already in the Top 100. For Austin, he briefly entered the Top 100 in 2009 at #100, before dropping back out and not re-entering until 2013 at his current ranking of #94. Given his shaky popularity in recent years, this name could go either way. That said, in the five year difference we’re looking at, he rose 66 places from #160. Whilst the name looks modern, he’s actually a medieval contracted form of Augustine, which comes from the Roman name Augustus, a name that means great.

4. Arthur

This name is one that I’ve always liked in the back of my mind, and what’s not to love ? The Legend of Arthur is my second favourite folklore to come from this fair isle behind my local hero of Robin Hood, of course. The name is also our second name on the list to already rank inside the Top 100 at #43, and I was personally surprised to discover that Arthur’s current reign in the Top 100 only began in 2009, as his 2008 ranking was #101.

5. Ayaan

This name has risen 52 places, from #167 to #115. Ayaan is probably the first unfamiliar name on the list. He appears to be Arabic in origin, and appears as a word in the Koran, meaning good luck and destiny; the name is particularly used in the Somali community.

6. Alan

Probably the biggest surprise on this list is this name. After falling down to a low of #296 in 2003, he’s started to rise back up again and in the last few years has risen a total of 41 places from #226 to #185. The name likely originated from the Brittany region of the world and means little rock or handsome in Breton – this means he’s one of the many names that came to Britain in the Norman Conquest.

7. Albert

One of the new entries for the boys in the Top 100 in 2013, he has risen 18 places in the last five years from #117 to #99. The name became a mainstay amongst the British Royal Family thanks to Prince Albert – the current members of the senior royal family to bear the name are Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, both obviously as middle names. The name is Germanic in origin, coming from Adalbert, and means bright and noble.

8. Archie

The highest ranking name on the list is Archie at #16. In the past five years he’s risen only 15 places, from #31, but it’s worth noting that names tend to rise more slowly at the very top of the list due to the leap in number of births needed to go up a ranking. the name is a short form of Archibald, a name meaning genuine and bold.

9. Aiden (#104 to #92, 12 places)

It’s also worth noting that whilst this spelling has flourished – rising 12 places from #104 to #92 – alternative spelling Aidan has instead fallen 52 places to #143. An indication of Aiden’s future ? Perhaps. The name in the anglicised form of Aodhán, which comes from the Old Irish name Áed and means fire.

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Categories: Popular Names, Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Some Popular A Names, Boys

  1. Pingback: Some Popular A Names, Boys | Name News | Scoop...

  2. Gosh, I wouldn’t have expected Alan to be rising, either. I’d always thought it very much my parents’ generation. I wonder why…a homage to grandads? Fans of Alan Shearer reaching childbearing age? People just finding it’s a rather nice name?

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    • Yes, I’m still puzzling over it. My first thought was maybe Harry Potter fans naming their sons for Alan Rickman, aka Snape – but that seems a little far-fetched. Alan Davies is a prominent comedian, but again I can’t see him inspiring a surge in the name.

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