The Meaning of Popular Boy Names

What determines the name parents choose for their children? According to studies on naming trends in populations, names come in and go out of style in the exact same way fashion does. People like to do what other people are doing-so they copy each other.  Some names might start out as unusual in a population, but over time these names become commonplace. The less daring will give their child a name that has become fashionable, because a few bold iconoclasts dared to start a trend.  These types of names will also quickly go out of style, since the whole point of unusual names is to be unusual. If unique names are overused, they become ordinary and they will no longer be used.

Classic Baby Names

Other names tend to maintain their popularity steadily through time. These are the classic names which seem more immune to fashion trends. Parents tend to give more traditional boys names while they are more willing to be daring with girls names.

Popular Baby Names

According to the United States Social Security office the most popular boys' names in the year 2006 were Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Ethan, Daniel, Christopher, Andrew, Anthony, and William. These are classic, "no-nonsense" names. The first six names on this list are from the Old Testament. Jacob was the father of 12 sons that eventually developed into the 12 tribes of Israel. Michael is from the Hebrew name meaning "who is like God" and is the only angel mentioned by name in the Bible. Joshua succeeded Moses after his death, and led the Israelites into the Land of Israel after 40 years of wandering in the desert. Joshua means "God is salvation". Matthew is from the Hebrew name "Matitiyahu" meaning "gift of God" and wrote on of the books of the new Testament. Ethan was a wise man in the Bible and it means "solid, enduring".  Daniel means "God is my judge". He was a prophet during the Babylonian exile of the Jews. The name Christopher is Greek meaning "bearing Christ" and is the name of the legendary saint who carried the young Jesus over the river. Andrew was one of the apostles. Anthony is the first name on this list not from the Old or New Testaments, but it is quite an ancient name with an unknown etymology.  William is originally a Germanic name which was introduced by the Normans to Britain many centuries ago. Several Kings of England, Germany, and Prussia bore this name which means "desire protection".

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