The top boy-name debuts of 2015

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The television-inspired name Gotham was the top debut name for baby boys in 2015.

In order for a rare baby name to debut on the Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list, it has to be given to at least 5 U.S. babies of either one gender or the other within a given year.

Of all the boy names that debuted in 2015, the following were the most popular:

1. Gotham, 46 baby boys
2. Jersen, 21
3. Meshilem, 16
4. Jacquees, 15
5. Oberyn, 14
6. Macklyn, 12
7. Nihan, 12
8. Aniv, 11
9. Jidenna, 11
10. Mega, 11
11. Oxley, 11

And a handful from the 10-and-under group: Princeamir, Salix, Maxxis, Mendeecee, Kingmessiah, Mowgli, Nirvik, Obsa, Stoic, Baelfire, Jotaro, Precieux, Axiom, Ayoola, Bilol, Fennec, Finland, Flex, Jesco, Mayceon, Neemias, Vegeta.

Where do the names above come from? Here are some explanations:

  • Gotham – from the Batman-based TV show Gotham, on the air since mid-2014.
  • Mendeecee – from Mendeecees Harris of Love & Hip Hop: New York.
  • Mowgli – from the Jungle Book character.
  • Baelfire – from the Once Upon a Time character.
  • Vegeta – from the Dragon Ball character.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

Here are the girl name debuts, and here are the top boy name debuts of 2014.

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from LotusBud0048a (public domain) by Frank “Fg2” Gualtieri

18 thoughts on “The top boy-name debuts of 2015

  1. Oberyn was a Game of Thrones character. R&B/Hip-Hop singer Omarion and his wife Apryl Jones, who both appear on the show Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood, had a son Megaa (same pronunciation) in August 2014. They frequently post about him on social media, so that probably influenced Mega.

  2. @Skizzo – According to the new 2015 data, Bellamy debuted in 2014 for boys (5 boys). But it’s not listed for boys in the 2014 data — the data must have been revised since then.

    Regardless of debut status, Bellamy did jump from 5 boys in 2014 to 23 in 2015, and usage increased for girls as well…there must be something behind that.

  3. @Nancy Man: It has been revised, I noticed because Camden was #100 in 2014 but now its been booted to #101.
    Its increase for girls has to do with actress Bellamy Young, born Amy. For girls, its probably to do with the character Bellamy in The 100 – i’m surprised its having that much of an influence because its one of the least watched shows on broadcast tv

  4. Jersen Ruiz was a Puerto Rican contestant on “La Voz Kids” (The Voice Kids) last year. He made the finals and was a popular contestant, covered heavily in Spanish-language media. He was on #TeamYankee which might have made it seem a particularly American Hispanic choice?

    Macklyn Warlow is a fairy-vampire in “True Blood”, but why it only debuts now is a mystery, as the show finished 2 years ago. Anyone have some other ideas?

    Jidenna is a Nigerian-American rapper, he’s won a couple of awards. His name means “embrace the father”, which might have been a drawcard. He’s handsome and a very sharp dresser, so it might seem stylish.

  5. Fennec / Finland seem ways of getting to the popular name Finn
    Neemias is the Spanish form of Nehemiah (a Biblical names)

  6. The actor Flex Alexander (played Michael Jackson in some biopic) and his wife, singer Shanice Wilson, recently got their own reality TV show. Flex is a born again Christian, so the name might seem a modern Christian-oriented name?

    I just remembered that “True Blood” was on Netflix last year: I forgot because they took it off again. Enough time for Macklyn to gain a new audience?

    There’s a Brazilian rapper named Neemias MC – not sure how global his influence is, but he has got one of the saddest life stories you ever heard.

  7. Thanks Anna and Rita!

    Flex Alexander is new to me — his Wikipedia page says he was born Mark Alexander Knox, but came to be known as “Flex” because of his “acrobatic dance skills.”

    (source: Flex Alexander)

  8. I think Jesco must be because of Jesco White, an Appalachian mountain dancer, billed as The Outlaw Dancer. There has been a lot of interest in him in the past few years, including a documentary, and he was in one of the Grand Theft Auto games. Would be interesting to see if the name was more common in southern states in 2015.

  9. Jesco only barely made it onto the national list in 2015, so it didn’t pop up on any of the state-specific lists, but I did find one recent Jesco (2012-2013, sadly) in North Carolina.

  10. Oh that’s very sad – but it is in the Appalachian district. (which I know geographically goes all the way up to New England, but culturally more associated with Virginia/Carolina/Georgia).

  11. Thanks for the history, elbowin.

    Looks like Jesko/Jesco can be traced back to Slavic Jaro- names like Jaroslaw and Jaromir.

    Or, if you want to use the Urban Dictionary definition, Jesco is an acronym meaning “Just Expressing Some Creativity Obviously.” Haha.

  12. Technically a non-debut, because there were 6 of them in 2004, but what a burst of Jonael’s we had in 2015:




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