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Boys’ Baby Names: They’re getting cooler all the time

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This week in her Nameberry 9 blog, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel offers evidence that boys’ baby names are rapidly catching up with the girls’ in terms of creativity.

A few days ago, my daughter Clio announced that girls’ names are pretty, but boys’ names are awesome.

She also informed me that her awesome name was Kick, and please refer to her as such from now on.

I think my four year old just voiced the desire of many an expectant parent.  Clio – I mean Kick – called it awesome.  I’ve called the same names cowboy cool or surfer style or a dozen other descriptors. 

No matter the name, boys’ names have become bolder and more multi-cultural than they were in generations past.

Recent baby name news has been packed with boys’ names begging to be accessorized with a lacrosse stick, a snowboard, or a bucking bronco and a ten-gallon hat.  Or maybe just a passport and a pint-sized suitcase.

They’re fresh and inventive, and yet they’re definitely masculine at the same time.  Some of the best picks made it into recent baby name news, like:

Sawyer Collins – He reads like captain of the lacrosse team at a prep school, a kid in a rep tie with a battered LL Bean backpack.  Or maybe Sawyer Collins is a Southern gentleman.  It’s also the name Bryan and David gave to their new son on The New Normal.  Sawyer is David’s surname.  Just like fellow Mark Twain name Finn, Sawyer has been on the rise in recent years.

Jax Copeland Tom Arnold’s new baby boy arrived earlier this month, and he definitely has an awesome name.  The modern Jax splits the difference between Jack and Max.  As for Copeland, my first thought was that Tom and wife Ashley might be fans of Fanfare for the Common Man – only composer Aaron Copland’s surname is spelled without the e.

Cash Cash is king, and if you’re worried that it is too out there for your son, there’s always the antique Cassius or the saintly Cassian to put on the birth certificate.  Anna considers Cash in a name consult for a family looking to name a brother for Ignatius and Louis.  Thanks to Johnny Cash, this name is about as cool as it gets right now.

Matteo – Mexican actress and entertainer Paty Materola is expecting twins with husband Forrest Kolb.  The pair are already parents to son Lucca.  Now they’re about to welcome two more baby boys.  Paty recently tweeted their names.  American parents would have once opted for Matthew, regardless of their heritage.  Today international choices feel downright mainstream, and boys called Marco, Matteo, and Luca fit right in.

Alesso – Matteo’s twin brother will be called Alesso.  Matteo is a favorite in Hollywood, chosen by Colin Firth and Ricky Martin, to name just two.  Alesso is a seldom heard member of the extended Alexander family.  The Spanish Alejandro quite common in the US.  Could Alesso catch on?  He has that vibrant o ending, and everyone loves an A name.

Thatcher – With the passing of Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, this surname has been in the news.  Has enough time passed to separate this possibility from politics?  I think so.  After all, there was also William Thatcher,  Heath Ledger’s up-by-the-bootstraps character in A Knight’s Tale.

Onyx – A color name with the letter x, Onyx is the new son of Australian news presenter Ebbeny Faranda and her husband Omar Varinda.  Onyx shares his first initial with dad, and the meaning of his name with mom.  It’s an unexpected option, but if Felix and Indigo, Alex and Gray are in use, why not Onyx?

Dennis Ricardo – Okay, Dennis isn’t awesome.  He’s your grandpa, or maybe your accountant.  But Homeland actor Billy Smith and wife Kathryn Hernandez named their son after their fathers.  Family names are always great choices, no matter what.  And short forms Den and Denny strike me as surprisingly stylish choices for a twenty-first century boy.

Sage Lavinia – Let’s end with just one name for a girl – a name as cool as any bestowed upon a boy in recent days.  Sage Lavinia is the new daughter of Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston and model mama Shannan Click.  Sage is a great gender neutral choice, one-part nature, one-part virtue.  Lavinia is a frilly, vintage pick for the middle spot, and the 1-4 rhythm is downright daring.

Would you consider your favorite names awesome?  Do you think new choices like Jax, Onyx, and Sage are wearable, or are you more of the Dennis type?

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