Boy names that debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2022

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Which boy names emerged in the U.S. baby name data in 2022 for the first time ever?

A total of 536 boy names debuted in the data last year, and the most impressive debut was made by Maziyon. Here are the top debuts overall:

  1. Maziyon, 82 baby boys
  2. Kaiyzen, 67
  3. Jahkarri, 36
  4. Xacari, 20
  5. Amiriyon, 18
  6. Heziah, 18
  7. Airmiess, 15
  8. Nogivenname, 15
  9. Kaymere, 14

Airmiess comes from late rapper Nipsey Hussle. His legal name was said to be Ermias (the fastest-rising boy name of 2019) around the time he was killed. More recently, it must have come to light that the spelling of his birth name was actually “Airmiess.”

(“Nogivenname,” as I mentioned in the post about girl name debuts, is just a placeholder.)

Here are some more:

13 baby boysCaylix, Khyrein, Monaco, Xaivius, Yoisel
12 baby boysEnael, Jaimeer, Kaymir, Neyzan
11 baby boysAsen, Caizer, Nawab, Uziyah, Zoro
10 baby boysAtlys, Boman, Cyre, Drakeo, Jahzeir, Jettsyn, Kalian, Prophecy
9 baby boysAmiko, Asun, Cheskal, Claysen, Culture, Dawensky, Ezz, Giveon, Jhream, Kreid, Raymari, Record, Zyarie
8 baby boysAarshiv, Ahson, Ahziel, Arqam, Astrid, Baheer, Bellami, Bhodie, Cardiff, Cazmir, Demiri, Densley, Hendon, Ikaris, Kaiyir, Kosmo, Marvensky, Meruem, Muhammadomar, Oracle, Siddhik, Subhanullah, Xailen, Xandro, Zyland

Zoro probably comes from One Piece character Roronoa Zoro. (The name Roronoa, listed below, also debuted in 2022.)

Giveon is a California-born R&B singer whose early 2020 song “Heartbreak Anniversary” didn’t become a hit until mid-2021.

Finally, here’s a sampling of the rest of the debuts:

  • 7 baby boys: Alaska, Arceus, Boudreaux, Dasher, Eliante, Ezrakai, Johnkerry, Pluto, Rachamim, Rudiger, Shukuru, Skandha, Sofonias, Woodensky, Zeeland
  • 6 baby boys: Alteo, Coa, Dumier, Fiorenzo, Grand, Hareth, Hyperion, Ionut, Jamazi, Kaoir, Kigen, Kobra, Lunar, Meadow, Metzli, Miami, Rakhari, Sacai, Spruce, Wit, Zypher
  • 5 baby boys: Alchemy, Andor, Asmodeus, Azurite, Bilolbek, Brynjar, Crux, Dessalines, Eklavya, Euler, Imperial, Jeneral, Lassen, Lokela, Luxor, Matvii, Mojave, Mosaic, Nanakofi, Oguzhan, Reacher, Rival, Roronoa, Ryuk, Shire, Shoal, Sihtric, Swede, Tiamo, Tribe, Truist, Vandal, Zillion

Rudiger is the surname of German soccer player Antonio Rüdiger, Andor is the surname of Star Wars character Cassian Andor (now being featured in the TV series Star Wars: Andor), and Sihtric is a character from the TV series The Last Kingdom.

Other than that… Arceus is a Pokémon character, Asmodeus is a demon, Azurite is a (blue) mineral, and Tiamo means “I love you” in Italian.

If you can explain any of the above debuts, please leave a comment!

Source: SSA

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

8 thoughts on “Boy names that debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2022

  1. I’ve been waiting to see Giveon show up in baby name data! A bit surprised it took this long and that it only resulted in 9 boys given the name.

    It’s driving me nuts that I can’t figure out what spurred adoption of Maziyon. Will keep digging.

    – Drakeo the Ruler was a rapper who was murdered in December 2021.
    – Xacari might be a variant spelling of Zacari, a singer.
    – Subhanullah seems like an Afghan name. I’m wondering if there will be some increased use of Afghan names traceable to people leaving Afghanistan because of the US military withdrawal in August 2021.
    – Ryuk is a character in the anime Death Note
    – Sofonías is the Spanish version of Zephaniah.
    – Eklavya and Skandha are both Hindi names.
    – Zillion might be inspired by one of Nick Cannon’s sons, Zillion Heir.
    – Rakhari might be a Star Trek reference, but it seems a little out of date.
    – Dumier is a character in the video game series Deus Ex.
    – Lassen and Mojave are California place names.
    – Truist is a bank (formerly SunTrust) that took on its current name in late 2019. Hard to imagine that people started seeing this name on their mortgage bills and stumbled on the on-trend sound, but who knows.
    – Oguzhan Karbi is a Turkish actor who appeared in the soap opera Kurulus: Osman, which I think also inspired the increase in use of Orhan.
    – Reacher is a 2022 Netflix TV series based on the Jack Reacher novels.
    – Boman Martinez-Reid is a Tiktok creator.
    – Ikaris is a character in the Marvel movie Eternals.
    – Yoisel Barrios was a contestant on the athletic reality show Exatlón.
    – Boudreaux as a baby name cracks me up a bit because of the association with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Besides that one, Swede and Johnkerry are probably the most befuddling names on the list.
    – Names I’m most excited to see: Bilolbek (love a good Uzbek name), Dessalines (saw a kid with this name recently, younger brother to Stokely and Garvey!), and Alteo.

  2. Rachamim is Hebrew for “mercy.” It is generally used in the Sephardic Jewish community. I don’t see any particular reason for it debuting this year, as it’s been around for a while. Maybe a coincidence.

  3. I’ve noticed someone named their twins Maziyon and Myheir so I suspect some list of M baby names is what spurred both names, the same way a TikTok list of J baby names seems to have spurred Jazaiyah and Jhersi.

  4. Thank you, Alex and Rachel!

    @Alex – I thought Giveon might show up earlier too! I guess it took a solo hit song to get enough people to notice his name…?

    “Boudreaux’s Butt Paste” — haha! It’s baby-related, though, so I guess we can’t rule it out as an influence. :)

    Johnkerry is befuddling to me as well. All I can think of is the politician, but I know that’s not it.

    Dessalines surely refers to Haitian leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines (who made Haiti the first slavery-free nation in the Americas). But the only place he’s been spotlighted recently (as far as I can tell) is a 2-minute Beats by Dre commercial from late 2020. (It was a brief shot of a painting of Dessalines, and he wasn’t mentioned by name.) Then again, the commercial currently has 22 million views on YouTube, so who knows.

  5. Boudreaux is a very common surname in southern Louisiana, so perhaps it’s related to that – people choosing family names, combined with the current surname trend for boys?

    Johnkerry is very intriguing!

  6. According to the state-by-state data (which came out earlier today), all 9 of the boys named “Record” were born in Maryland. So that one seems to be some sort of placeholder name.

    Incidentally, another placeholder name unique to Maryland (in the early 2010s) was “Child.”

  7. Regarding Johnkerry, I peeked at the data for Kerry (as a boys name) and it seems to show an increase recently as well- from 38 occurrences in 2020, to 42 in 2021 (when John Kerry was named Special Envoy for Climate) to 55 in 2022. Looking back further, Kerry (as a boys name) saw increases in in use in 2004 (the year John Kerry ran unsuccessfully for president; 172 occurrences compared to 112 in 2003) and 2013 (the year he was named Secretary of State; 71 occurrences compared to 53 in 2012), when other than that, it has been declining in popularity since the mid 1980s. So yes- I’m a bit surprised, but I think John Kerry the politician is inspiring naming.

  8. I suppose we can’t rule him out entirely.

    But my hunch is that this name isn’t about John Kerry the politician. He just doesn’t interest people as much as he used to. He had an influence on the name Kerry back when he was running for president, but I don’t think he’s been at the forefront of anyone’s mind since then.

    Maybe the name has more to do with the rise of the Jakari name-group (Jakari, Jacari, Jakhari, Jacarri, etc.). The most recent variants to emerge (Jahkarry, Jahkari) are closer to Johnkerry than the originals. This could be a case of parents constructing a name with a trendy sound out of more familiar/traditional elements — much like the way Elijahjuan (Elijah + Juan) emerged during the years Hakeem Olajuwon was playing basketball.

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