How popular is the baby name Knox in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Knox and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Knox.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Knox

Number of Babies Named Knox

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Knox

The Earliest Celebrity Baby Name Debuts

When a major celebrity chooses an uncommon baby name, there’s a good chance that name will become trendy.

Seems like this might be a modern phenomenon, right? Maybe tied to the rise of the Internet?

Nope. In fact, I bet you’ll be surprised at just how far back it goes.

Let’s take a look at celebrity baby names through the decades, focusing on those that inspired debuts on the SSA’s baby name list. (To debut, a rare names needs to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other in a single year.)

1940s

Jerilyn Jessel
Lois Andrews and baby Jerilyn
Which baby name was the very first to debut on the charts thanks to a celebrity baby?

The answer depends on how strict you want to be about spelling.

If you exact-spelling debuts are what you want, the first I know of doesn’t appear until the late ’40s.

If variant-spelling debuts are okay, though, there’s a celebrity baby name from the early ’40s that inspired at whopping six of them:

Jerilyn

In October of 1941, actor/comedian George Jessel (43 years old) and showgirl Lois Andrews (17) welcomed a baby girl named Jerilyn.

The name Jerilyn itself had already been on the list for a few years, but usage rose significantly in both 1941 and 1942:

  • 1943: 182 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 558th]
  • 1942: 325 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 397th]
  • 1941: 135 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 608th]
  • 1940: 10 baby girls named Jerilyn

The popularity of similar names like Jerrilyn and Jerelyn also increased, and six other variants appeared on the national list for the very first time in either 1941 or 1942 (asterisks denote debuts):

Name 1940 1941 1942 1943
Jerilynn x 56* 162 58
Jerrilynn x 9* 38 19
Gerilyn x x 15* 5
Jerilynne x x 7* x
Jarilyn x x 6* x
Geralynn x x 5* x

In fact, Jerilynn and Gerilyn were the top baby name debuts of 1941 and 1942, respectively.

I was skeptical about this one for a while, as I’d never heard of George Jessel before. Was he really high-profile enough for his baby to have that sort influence? Turns out he was indeed a popular entertainer from the ’20s until at least the ’50s. He’s the one responsible for the “Garland” part of Judy Garland’s stage name, and some sources even claim he invented the Bloody Mary.

Even more variants of Jerilyn (e.g., Gerilynn) debuted during the ’40s and early ’50s, when young Jerilyn was being mentioned in newspaper articles and appearing on TV and in films with her father. Here’s a fundraising film from 1953, for instance, featuring both George and Jerilyn.

Jerilyn Jessel’s influence on the U.S baby names was impressive, but, technically speaking, she didn’t put “Jerilyn” on the map.

Yasmin

The first exact-spelling celebrity baby name debut was Yasmin, which appeared on the list in 1949.

In December of 1949, actor Rita Hayworth and her husband Prince Aly Khan welcomed a baby girl named Yasmin. The same year, the baby name Yasmin appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

(The name Yasmin was late addition to the post. Thank you, Becca!)

1950s

Elizabeth Taylor and daughter Liza on the cover of LIFE in 1957
Liz & Liza in 1957 © LIFE
At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1950s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Romina

In October of 1951, actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian welcomed a baby girl named Romina. The same year, the baby name Romina appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

Taryn

In September of 1953, Power and Christian welcomed their second baby girl, Taryn, whose name was likely inspired by “Tyrone.” The same year, the baby name Taryn debuted on the list.

Seneca

In November of 1956, boxer Floyd Patterson and his wife Sandra welcomed a baby girl named Seneca. The same year, the traditionally male name Seneca debuted on the list as a female name. Patterson said the name was inspired by a street sign.

Monsita

In October of 1958, actor/singer Rosemary Clooney and actor José Ferrer welcomed a baby girl named Monsita — their fifth child. The same year, Monsita debuted. It fell off the list the very next year, though, making it a one-hit wonder.

Honorable mentions from the ’50s include:

  • Liza, which became more popular after Liz Taylor named her daughter Liza in 1957.
  • Tyrone, which became more popular after Tyrone Power named his third child Tyrone in 1959. The increased usage could also have been influenced by the death of the actor himself the same year, though.

1960s

Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963
Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963 © Ebony
At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1960s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Timolin

In September of 1961, singer of Nat King Cole and his wife Maria welcomed identical twin baby girls named Timolin and Casey. The same year, the baby name Timolin debuted on the list.

Xan

In September of 1965, actor/director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands welcomed a baby girl named Alexandra “Xan” Cassavetes. The same year, the baby name Xan debuted on the list.

Maryum

In June of 1968, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed a baby girl named Maryum. The same year, the baby name Maryum debuted on the list.

Chastity

In March of 1969, singers Cher and Sonny Bono, welcomed a baby girl named Chastity. The same year, the baby name Chastity debuted on the list. In May of 2010, Chastity legally changed genders and adopted the name Chaz.

1970s

Rasheda & Jamillah Ali in 1971
The Alis and babies Rasheda & Jamillah in 1971 © Ebony
At least eight of the baby names that debuted during the 1970s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Rasheda

In August of 1970, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed twin baby girls named Rasheda and Jamillah. The same year, the baby name Rasheda debuted on the list.

(An Ebony article from 1971 misspelled her name “Reeshemah.” The same year, there was a spike in the usage of Reeshemah and a dip in the usage of Rasheda.)

Ayanna

In 1971, comedian/activist Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian welcomed a baby girl named Ayanna. The same year, the baby name Ayanna debuted on the list.

Yohance

In July of 1973, Dick Gregory and Lillian welcomed a baby boy named Yohance. The same year, the baby name Yohance debuted on the list.

(I wrote more about baby names in the Gregory family a few years ago.)

Kidada

In March of 1974, musician/producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton welcomed a baby girl named Kidada. The same year, the baby name Kidada debuted on the list.

Taryll

In August of 1975, singer Tito Jackson (of The Jackson 5) and his wife Dee Dee welcomed a baby boy named Taryll. The same year, the baby name Taryll debuted on the list.

Turkessa

In April of 1975, singer Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) and her husband Pedro welcomed a baby girl named Turkessa. The same year, the baby name Turkessa debuted on the list. Turkessa was just 3 babies away from being the top baby name debut of the year. Here’s how Mary came up with the name:

Pedro brought me a beautiful plant. I asked him was it was called. “Turquesa,” he replied, “Spanish for turquoise.” So we named our daughter Turkessa.

Chudney

In November of 1975, singer Diana Ross (also of The Supremes) and her husband Robert welcomed a baby girl named Chudney. The next year, the baby name Chudney debuted on the list. Here’s how Diana came up with the name:

Friends kept suggesting popular names like Courtney, but so many girl babies were getting that. I suddenly thought of something I liked very much — chutney. Only I didn’t know how to spell it — I put a ‘d’ where the ‘t’ should have been on the birth certificate. And that’s how my little girl became Chudney!

Katiria

In 1978, Puerto Rican dancer/singer Iris Chacón and her husband Junno welcomed a baby girl named Katiria. The same year, the baby name Katiria debuted on the list. Most of these babies were born in New York.

1980s

Condola Rashad in 1987
The Rashads and baby Condola
© Ebony
At least three of the baby names that debuted during the 1980s were inspired by celebrity babies, and at least one was inspired by a celebrity grandbaby:

Rishawn

In September of 1984, singer Gladys Knight didn’t have a baby, but her son James (b. 1962) and his wife Michelene did. They welcomed a boy named Rishawn. The next year, the baby name Rishawn debuted on the list.

Shakari

In November of 1986, football player Willie Gault and his wife Dainnese welcomed a baby girl named Shakari. The next year, the baby name Shakari debuted on the list.

Condola

I wrote about Condola a few months ago, but here’s a recap: In December of 1986, actress Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad welcomed a baby girl named Condola. The next year, the baby name Condola debuted on the list.

Satchel

In December of 1987, filmmaker/actor Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow welcomed a baby boy named Satchel. The next year, the baby name Satchel debuted on the list. He now goes by Ronan, and rumor has it that he is *possibly* the biological son of Frank Sinatra.

1990s

Demi, pre-Scout, on cover of Vanity Fair, August 1991
Demi Moore and baby Scout (kinda)
© Vanity Fair
At least three of the baby names the debuted during the 1990s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Scout

In July of 1991, actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis welcomed a baby girl named Scout. (And in August, that famous image of 7-months-pregnant Demi ran on the cover of Vanity Fair.) The next year, the baby name Scout debuted on the list, for both genders.

Aquinnah

In February of 1995, actor Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy welcomed twin baby girls named Aquinnah and Schuyler. The same year, the baby name Aquinnah debuted on the list. (I wrote more about the name Aquinnah a few years ago.)

Sailor

In July of 1998, model Christie Brinkley and her husband Peter welcomed a baby girl named Sailor. The same year, the baby name Sailor debuted on the list as a girl name. It had debuted as a boy name the year before.

Honorable mentions from the ’90s include:

  • Seven, which became more popular after Erykah Badu named her son Seven in 1997.
  • Zion, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her son Zion in 1997.
  • Selah, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her daughter Selah in 1998.

2000s

Angelina and Maddox Jolie in 2002
Angelina Jolie and baby Maddox
© People
At least five of the baby names that debuted during the 2000s (the decade) were inspired by celebrity babies:

Eja

In August of 2001, singer Shania Twain and her husband Robert welcomed a baby boy named Eja. The same year, the baby name Eja debuted on the list (as a girl name).

Xen

In August of 2001, actors Tisha Campbell-Martin and Duane Martin welcomed a baby boy named Xen. The same year, the baby name Xen debuted on the list.

Diezel

In March of 2003, singer Toni Braxton and musician Keri Lewis welcomed a baby boy named Diezel. The same year, the baby name Diezel debuted on the list.

Moxie

In June of 2005, magician Penn Jillette and his wife Emily welcomed a baby girl named Moxie (middle name CrimeFighter). The next year, the baby name Moxie debuted on the list.

Dannielynn

In September of 2006, model Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead welcomed a baby girl named Dannielynn. The next year, the baby name Dannielynn debuted on the list.

Honorable mentions from the ’00s include:

  • Massai, which became more popular after Nia Long named her son Massai in 2000.
  • Rocco, which became more popular after Madonna and Guy Ritchie named their son Rocco in 2000.
  • Denim, which became more popular after Toni Braxton named her son Denim in 2001.
  • Maddox, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted son Maddox in 2002.
  • Carys, which became more popular after Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas named their daughter Carys in 2003.
  • Stellan, which became more popular after Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their son Stellan in 2003.
  • Apple, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple in 2004.
  • Coco, which became more popular after Courtney Cox and David Arquette named their daughter Coco in 2004.
  • Zahara, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted daughter Zahara in 2005.
  • Moses, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their son Moses in 2006.
  • Kingston, which became more popular after Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Kingston in 2006.
  • Suri, which became more popular after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their daughter Suri in 2006.
  • Shiloh, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh in 2006.
  • Pax, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their adopted son Pax in 2007.
  • Harlow, which became more popular after Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow in 2008.
  • Knox & Vivienne, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their twins Knox and Vivienne in 2008.
  • Honor, which became more popular after Jessica Alba named her daughter Honor in 2008.
  • Nahla, which became more popular after Halle Berry named her daughter Nahla in 2008.
  • Bronx, which became more popular after Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx in 2008.

*

The 2010s are only half over and already we’ve seen more celebrity baby-inspired debuts than in any other decade — Naleigh, Aleph (for boys), Locklyn, Aaradhya, Sebella, Sparrow (for boys), Viaan, Naiovy, Eisele, and no doubt others I’ve missed. Follow along as we uncover more year by year in the Pop Culture Baby Names 2010s category.

Sources:

  • Manners, Dorothy. “Off the Grapevine.” Toledo Blade 14 Feb. 1977: P-3.
  • Wilson, Mary and Patricia Romanowski. Supreme Faith. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2012

Which boy names rose the most from 2011 to 2012?

And which ones fell?

We just looked at the girl names, so now let’s check out the boy names.

Here are the differences between the two “increases” and “decreases” lists–

My list, on the left, looks at the raw number differences between the 2011 names and the 2012 names. My analysis covers all 14,162 boy names on the 2012 list.

The SSA’s list, on the right, looks at the ranking differences between the 2011 names and the 2012 names. Their analysis covers approximately the top 500 boy names on the 2012 list.

Biggest Increases

The baby boy names that saw the biggest popularity increases from 2011 to 2012 were…

Nancy’s list (raw numbers) SSA’s list (rankings)
  1. Liam, +3,286 babies [rank: 15th to 6th]
  2. Gael, +2,044 babies [rank: 408th to 146th]
  3. Brantley, +1,583 babies [rank: 321st to 158th]
  4. Jaxon, +1,539 babies [rank: 86th to 66th]
  5. Jace, +962 babies [rank: 106th to 86th]
  6. Ethan, +911 babies [rank: 7th to 3rd]
  7. Damian, +844 babies [rank: 138th to 97th]
  8. Eli, +814 babies [rank: 58th to 44th]
  9. Henry, +795 babies [rank: 57th to 43rd]
  10. Iker, +763 babies [rank: 379th to 230th]
  11. Hudson, +761 babies [rank: 112th to 93rd]
  12. Grayson, +744 babies [rank: 97th to 85th]
  13. Colton, +739 babies [rank: 74th to 65th]
  14. Lincoln, +726 babies [rank: 178th to 132nd]
  15. Dominic, +725 babies [rank: 76th to 70th]
  16. King, +699 babies [rank: 389th to 256th]
  17. Jaxson, +684 babies [rank: 140th to 106th]
  18. Jase, +667 babies [rank: 562nd to 304th]
  19. Hunter, +633 babies [rank: 55th to 45th]
  20. Mateo, +626 babies [rank: 171st to 138th]
  1. Major, +505 (988th to 483rd)
  2. Gael, +262 (408th to 146th)
  3. Jase, +258 (562nd to 304th)
  4. Messiah, +246 (633rd to 387th)
  5. Brantley, +163 (321st to 158th)
  6. Iker, +149 (379th to 230th)
  7. King, +133 (389th to 256th)
  8. Rory, +118 (599th to 481st)
  9. Ari, +73 (508th to 435th)
  10. Maverick, +72 (428th to 356th)
  11. Armani, +70 (502nd to 432nd)
  12. Knox, +66 (434th to 368th)
  13. Gianni, +66 (515th to 449th)
  14. Zayden, +63 (292nd to 229th)
  15. August, +62 (395th to 333rd)
  16. Barrett, +61 (436th to 375th)
  17. Remington, +58 (479th to 421st)
  18. Kasen, +58 (526th to 468th)
  19. Zaiden, +56 (489th to 433rd)
  20. Orion, +52 (471st to 419th)

Looks like the movie Lincoln influenced a lot of parents last year.

Here are last year’s raw number jumps and last year’s ranking jumps.

Biggest Decreases

The baby boy names that saw the biggest popularity decreases from 2011 to 2012 were…

Nancy’s list (raw numbers) SSA’s list (rankings)
  1. Jacob, -1,370 babies [rank: 1st to 1st]
  2. Justin, -1,238 babies [rank: 59th to 74th]
  3. Tyler, -1,178 babies [rank: 38th to 50th]
  4. Christopher, -1,168 babies [rank: 21st to 23rd]
  5. Joshua, -1,162 babies [rank: 14th to 17th]
  6. Anthony, -1,117 babies [rank: 11th to 15th]
  7. Hayden, -1,068 babies [rank: 90th to 109th]
  8. Daniel, -1,063 babies [rank: 10th to 11th]
  9. Jaden, -994 babies [rank: 100th to 140th]
  10. Jonathan, -925 babies [rank: 31st to 35th]
  11. Jayden, -913 babies [rank: 4th to 7th]
  12. Nicholas, -908 babies [rank: 42nd to 49th]
  13. Gabriel, -850 babies [rank: 24th to 24th]
  14. Brandon, -795 babies [rank: 47th to 56th]
  15. Gavin, -789 babies [rank: 36th to 40th]
  16. Evan, -776 babies [rank: 40th to 47th]
  17. Jose, -762 babies [rank: 65th to 72nd]
  18. Christian, -747 babies [rank: 30th to 33rd]
  19. David, -743 babies [rank: 18th to 19th]
  20. Ashton, -735 babies [rank: 109th to 141st]
  1. Braeden, -105 (476th to 581st)
  2. Yahir, -85 (429th to 514th)
  3. Kieran, -82 (474th to 556th)
  4. Cullen, -79 (472nd to 551st)
  5. Brayan, -73 (426th to 499th)
  6. Jalen, -70 (400th to 470th)
  7. Amare, -70 (425th to 495th)
  8. Trey, -69 (324th to 393rd)
  9. Casey, -62 (424th to 486th)
  10. Payton, -60 (398th to 458th)
  11. Jakob, -60 (335th to 395th)
  12. Randy, -57 (356th to 413th)
  13. Zackary, -56 (451st to 507th)
  14. Eddie, -56 (488th to 544th)
  15. Jerry, -53 (394th to 447th)
  16. Jaylen, -51 (206th to 257th)
  17. Ernesto, -50 (491st to 541st)
  18. Devon, -46 (351st to 397th)
  19. Braylon, -46 (233rd to 279th)
  20. Braden, -45 (258th to 303rd)

Here are last year’s raw number drops and last year’s ranking drops.

Source: SSA’s Change In Popularity From 2011 To 2012

Baby Name Battle – 6 vs. 6

We all know that actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have six kids named Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh, Pax (boy), Knox and Vivienne.

Well, football player Scott Wells and his wife also have six kids now — Jackson, Lola, Kingston, Caroline, Elijah and R.J. (boy).

Which set of six names do you prefer?

I like:

View Results

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2 Baby Naming Tips for Minimalists

We’ve all heard the word minimalism used to describe things like literature, art, music, fashion, architecture and interior design. But did you know that minimalism is also a lifestyle?

It’s simple living, basically. Modern minimalists aim to simplify their lives by retaining only what is essential/important, then getting rid of the rest.

Why am I talking about minimalism here?

I’ve noticed a few discussions online about “minimalist baby names.” I’ve also noticed that these discussions are often focused on very short first names.

I had three thoughts about this.

First, isn’t applying minimalism to baby-naming a bit…silly? Maybe it’s just me. If you want a short name, why not just say you want a short name? No need to bring minimalism into it.

Second, the “very short first name” interpretation misses the point of minimalism (the lifestyle). Minimalism isn’t about absolute minimums, but about minimizing complexity.

Third, the interpretation is also needlessly restrictive. There aren’t many super-short names out there, but there are plenty of longer names that fit the bill just fine. Why overlook them?

Here’s what I would suggest to expectant minimalists:

Skip the Middle Name

Everyone ought to have a first name and a last name nowadays. Life gets complicated if you’re lacking either one or the other. But a middle name? Very few people need a middle name. Middle names are non-essential.

So, instead of giving your baby a first name and a middle name–or, worse, multiple middle names–just stick to a first name. Anything more isn’t really necessary. [Bonus: This should also simplify the process of naming your baby appreciably.]

Think Utilization, Not Length

Knox, Hugh, Anne, Emma. They’re short names, but they contain superfluous letters. They’re more complex than they need to be. You could spell them Nox, Hu, An and Ema and arrive at the same pronunciations. Not great examples of minimalism.

Now take Alexander, Benjamin, Penelope, Victoria. They’re long names, but they don’t contain silent letters or redundancy. Each letter in these names has a purpose, and the names are just as long as they need to be, no longer. Very good examples of minimalism.


What thoughts do you have on this topic? (Any minimalists out there with an opinion?)

The Biggest Loser Baby Names

I’m seeing a lot of discussion today about the fastest-rising baby names of 2010. There’s Maci and Bentley (thanks to a reality TV show about pregnant teens), Tiana (thanks to Disney), Kellan (thanks to Twilight), Knox (thanks to Brangelina), and more.

But let’s look at the flip side. Which names fell in 2010? Which were some of the biggest losers?

I’ll give you a hint: Many were once the fast-risers. They became trendy for a little while, thanks to pop culture (e.g. a singer, a band, a movie, a book). But when that influence began to fade, the names began to fall.

  • Ciara, down 79 spots (singer Ciara)
  • Jonas, down 80 spots (musicians Jonas Brothers)
  • Marley, down 85 spots (movie Marley & Me)
  • Kimora, down 90 spots (model Kimora Lee Simmons)
  • Rihanna, down 198 spots (singer Rihanna)
  • Analia, down 472 spots (telenovela El Rostro de AnalĂ­a)

This group even includes the names of the president’s daughters, Sasha (down 84 spots) and Malia (down 111 spots), whose names have not been in the news as much since 2008 and 2009.

Sources: SSA’s Change in Name Popularity page, “Maci” and “Bentley” soar in baby name game

Baby Names Needed for Triplets

A reader named Skylar is expecting triplets in June. She writes:

I do not know the gender of the babies yet as my husband and I have decided to keep it a surprise. The triplets will be joining and older brother Beckett Wade (Wade after my brother) and Britton Pearl (Pearl after my great grandmother, also my middle name). I am looking for boys and girls names to name the triplets. I do not like common names, I would prefer something trendy to pair with family middle names.

I rarely get requests for trendy names, so this e-mail really stood out.

One great place to look for trendy (or soon-to-be trendy) names is the SSA’s Change in Popularity page, which lists names that increased in popularity from 2008 to 2009. Here are some of the names on that list:

Emmett
Jasper
Paxton
Ryker
Graham
Leon
Silas
Abram
Arabella
Norah
Penelope
Harper
Willow
Lyla
Melina
Daphne

The SSA’s list doesn’t include names that didn’t make the top 500, though, so here are a few more names (from a bit lower down in the rankings) that also increased in popularity from 2008 to 2009:

Knox
Kellan
Archer
Hayes
Daxton
Lucian
Dexter
Uriah
Harlow
Gemma
Milan
Nylah
Myra
Millie
Leona
Catalina

Do you like any of the above with Beckett and Britton? What other names would you suggest? How about name combinations?

Baby Name Needed – Strong, Unusual Boy Name

Cassandra is expecting a baby boy in early June and she’d like some name suggestions.

She’s looking for “strong, unusual names” with one or two syllables. So far, Cassandra likes the name Fox and her partner prefers Aston. The baby’s surname will begin with an L and have one syllable. (Think Ladd.)

When I hear “strong,” I think of plosives (p, b, t, k, etc.). So I focused on short names with strong sounds that aren’t currently in the top 100. Here’s what I came up with:

Bennett
Brent
Brett
Brock
Cash
Chet
Clark
Colt
Corbin
Craig
Dane
Dax
Deacon
Drake
Duke
Emmett
Flint
Frank
Garrett
Grant
Gray
Holt
Jax
Jett
Kai
Keaton
King
Knox
Paxton
Pierce
Quinn
Rex
Rhett
Stone
Tate
Trent
Tucker
Victor
Zack
Zane

Which of the above do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Cassandra?

Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to see the name.