If you were a girl in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s chances are you were obsessed with the American boy band The New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). I had their poster in my room at age six and thought then that if I didn’t marry Jordan Knight that I’d at least have a son with his name. NKOTB still has hoards of followers, many that are now parents, which made me curious as to what the teen idols named their little ones.
I’ve already professed my childhood crush on Jordan, born Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight, the younger brother of fellow band-mate Jonathan Knight. Jordan is a Hebrew river name meaning flowing down. Knight’s parents were ahead of the trend in 1970 when Jordan was born. His name then ranked at Number 486. Jordan peaked in popularity in the late 1990’s when it reached spot Number 26. Today Jordan sits at Number 67. Knight married Evelyn Melendez-Knight and together they have two sons, Dante Jordan and Eric Jacob.
Dante is a Latin Medieval name, a variant of Durante, meaning enduring. One of the most famous bearers of this name was the 13th century poet Dante Alighieri. A bold and masculine name, Dante currently ranks at Number 344.
Eric is an Old Norse name meaning eternal ruler. Eric was a Top 100 name from 1950 to 2010. Today Eric ranks at Number 142, the lowest its been since the mid-1940s.
Jonathan is the only guy in this group who has not yet become a father. He and fiance Harley Rodriguez have expressed interest in one day starting a family. We know Jonathan as Jordan’s older brother, but he also has three older siblings; Allison, Sharon and David. Jonathan was born Jonathan Rashleigh Knight. Jonathan is a Hebrew name meaning gift of God. Since the early 1960’s Jonathan has been in the Top 100. It ranked at Number 53 in 1968, when Knight was born, and today ranks just a few spots lower at Number 56.
Donnie Wahlberg has gone on to be one of the most famous members of the band. Donnie, born Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr. Is the eighth of nine children, the youngest being famous brother Mark Wahlberg. Donald is a Gaelic name derived from Domhnall, meaning ruler or chief. Donald peaked in the 1930’s when it was a Top 10 baby name. Donald ranked at Number 30 in 1969 when Wahlberg was born but has steadily declined every year since, today coming in at Number 488.
Wahlberg has two sons, Xavier Alexander and Elijah Hendrix with his ex-wife Kimberly Fey.
Xavier comes from a Basque place name meaning the new house. A noteable namesake is Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier. Xavier has been a Top 100 name since 2001, today ranking at Number 88.
Elijah has been steadily climbing the charts, peaking in popularity last year reaching spot Number 9. Elijah is the name of an Old Testament prophet and has Hebrew roots meaning Yahweh is God. The attractive nickname Eli aids in Elijah’s appeal.
Danny was the first in the band to become a father, see him pictured with Danny Jr. in 1992. Born Daniel William Wood, Danny has one of the most timeless and classic names on this list. Daniel is a has never dipped below spot Number 55. Today Daniel ranks at Number 13, maintaining its well-loved and well-used status. Danny has a son named Daniel William Jr. with his ex-girlfriend Elise Stepherson as well as son Chance and daughter Vega with ex-wife Patricia Alfaro.
Daniel is one of the many classic names we see passed from father to son. It was Number 7 in 1992 when Danny Jr. Was born.
Chance is a word name meaning luck or fortune though it can also be a diminutive of the English Chauncey meaning chancellor. Chance first entered the Top 1,000 in 1967, peaking in the mid-1990s. Today Chance is ranked at Number 274.
Vega is the rarest name on our list today. Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation as well as an Arabic name meaning swooping eagle. Only 35 girls and 10 boys were named Vegas last year.
Joey is the youngest member of the group and went on to find success in his solo musical career. Born Joseph Mulrey McIntyre, Joey is the youngest of nine children. His older siblings names are Judy, Alice, Susan, Tricia, Carol, Jean, Kate, and Tommy. Joseph is another well-loved classic Biblical name. A Hebrew name meaning Jehovah increases, Joseph is currently Number 20 in popularity, the lowest it has ever ranked. Joey and wife Barrett Williams are parents to Griffin Thomas, Rhys Edward, and Kira Katherine.
Griffin is a Welsh variant of Gruffudd meaning strong lord. Griffin has never been too popular, peaking in 1998 when it reached Number 215. Today Griffin is just a bit lower at Number 229. Nicknames Finn, Griff, and Griffy add to Griffin’s appeal.
Rhys is another handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Numerous Welsh rulers were fittingly named Rhys. Rhys first entered the US Top 1,00 in 2004 and today ranks at Number 494.
Kira is a Russian feminine form of Cyrus meaning young or throne. Kira can have numerous origins and spellings, but with this spelling it currently ranks at Number 369.
Which of the New Kids has the best naming chops?