I’ve often said that if our second child were a boy, he would have gone nameless.
Blame it on our preferences. My husband and I planned to source family names for our children, without thinking about the imbalance. We have tons of women in our family, with a rich list of interesting names. The pool of masculine names is much smaller, and repeats, again and again, over the generations. Naming a second – or third or fourth – son would have required a willingness to reinvent some antiques and reconsider a few imports.
Is Zbigniew wearable in the US?
But let’s say that we were open to finding a great name, not one with family ties necessarily. Just a name that would serve our child well from infancy into adulthood.
Happily, there’s no shortage of those.
The last few weeks have brought us birth announcements proving that naming a boy can seem effortless in 2013.
The nine most newsworthy baby boy names in the news are:
Theodore – If the parents are a 20-something actress and an indie pop singer-songwriter, you might expect an edgy name. Something headline worthy, like Pilot or Wolf. But Kaylee DeFer – most recently of Gossip Girl – and Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums – surprised us all with their impeccably classic pick. The couple recently welcomed son Theodore Ignatius.
Jameson West – James is evergreen. With his longer surname sound, Jameson is just a little more current. Thanks to his association with Irish whiskey, maybe he’s a bit daring, too. Kathryn Morris, formerly of Cold Case, and her partner Johnny Messner welcomed Jameson and his twin brother last month.
Rocco McQueen – Jameson’s twin is Rocco. Rocco McQueen is just as all-boy as Jameson West. The saintly Rocco has deep roots and a long history of use, but still feels like a tough guy. McQueen might be a rarity as a given name, but Steve McQueen – once known as “The King of Cool” – seems like the kind of pop culture icon ready to inspire an unexpected middle.
Kieran – Mitt Romney’s family is bigger by one this week. Ben Romney and his wife Andelynne adopted a baby boy, a little brother for Soleil. They’ve named him Kieran, which set off a huge flap on Twitter. The trouble? Their adorable little Kieran is African-American, and Kieran means little dark one. Let’s give the Romney family the benefit of the doubt and assume they lovingly chose the name because it makes a great choice for a boy in 2013.
Jack Leon – Speaking of great names, former tennis champ Kim Clijsters and her husband Brian Lynch have a knack for choosing names that are just the tiniest different. Jack is nearly as popular as John these days – and Jackson is more popular than both! Their new son’s name has a casual vibe that feels modern without being too trendy. The unexpected Leon – also a Jolie–Pitt kiddo middle name – anchors Jack nicely. Big sis is Jade Ellie.
Boston – Australian actress Brooke Harman and husband Jeffrey Walker are new parents! They’ve welcomed a son named Boston Scott. Along with Camden, this seems to be one of the place names gone mainstream in recent years.
William Hudson – You can see Nikki DeLoach as the mom of a teenager on MTV’s Awkward, but in real life she’s just expecting her first with husband Ryan Goodell. Nikki and Ryan have already announced their son’s name: William Hudson. I love this quote from a recent interview: “you don’t find a name, the name finds you.” She has a great story of falling in love with the name, then discovering a family connection.
Arlo – This name might have been obscure just a few years ago, but suddenly I’m hearing quite a lot of Arlo. He’s another great A name, a substitute for the very popular Leo. Elea’s list of sibling names for Arlo was filled with interesting combinations. My favorite? Arlo, Seth, and Nell.
Beckett – Let’s end with a great boy’s name that is in the news because of a girl. Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, has welcomed baby #3, a little sister for Harper and Emerson. Word is that little sister is called Beckett. It’s a solid surname pick for a boy, a choice that has soared in recent years. With built-in nickname Becky, it isn’t impossible to imagine a girl answering to this one, but somehow Beckett is still all-boy to me.
What are your favorite boy names? Do you think it is harder to name sons than daughters?