By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain
There’s something about a name that ends with the letter s.
They’re preppy. Sometimes they sound plural or possessive. But they’re also fresh. In our age of Aiden and Asher, we’re not expecting to meet a kiddo with an s ending name.
I’m not necessarily talking about Charles, Linus, Thomas, Marcus, Atticus, or Louis, though some of those names feel very current in 2013.
Choices like Williams, Roberts, and Evans are too close to common first names to exactly fit the style, either.
Instead, I’m thinking of names like the jazzy, literary Miles. There are more of them than you might guess:
Ames – As in Iowa, but also derived from a given name that means friend.
Bates – Though the dignified Downton Abbey character might make this one feel too grand for a little boy.
Brooks – One of the most popular of this crop of surname names, boosted by country music’s hit-making duo Brooks and Dunn.
Davis – A surname spin on the evergreen David.
Eames – Husband and wife design team Charles and Ray Eames lend their surname a healthy dose of midcentury modern style.
Ellis – There’s something gentle and literary about Ellis, a surname ultimately related to the Biblical given name Elijah, as well as some similar sounding Welsh names.
Gates – Yes, there’s Bill, of Microsoft fame. But Gates feels like an upbeat, approachable possibility. Curtis Sittenfeld gave the name to a female student in her novel Prep.
Harris – There’s Henry and Harry and Harrison, all Top 1000 choices. So why isn’t Harris heard more often?
Hayes – The nineteenth century US president Rutherford B. Hayes is one notable, but odds are that parents considering Hayes will be attracted to his sound.
Hollis – It’s related to the holly tree, and some might associate it with the girls’ name Holly. But Hollis also has a Southern, gentlemanly appeal.
Jones – The first place I heard a kid called Jones was a Park Slope playground. Jones has a jazzy, bold vibe – more like Miles than Keats.
Keats – A preppy, poetic option.
Niles – The most famous Niles was the younger Dr. Crane, Frasier’s brother on the long-running television series.
Parks – Parker is popular, and brings to mind green space. Parks is a similar possibility, but much less common.
Yates – Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has two Y-named children. Her daughter is Yardley, and her son answers to Yates. Like Keats, this name is rich with literary style.
Would you use an ends-with-s name for a son? Which one? Are there others that should be on this list?
Abby Sandel runs the popular website Appellation Mountain and contributes the weekly Nameberry 9, rounding up the names in the news, for us every Monday.