We’ve always loved O Names, from our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason when we declared names that ended (and sometimes also began) with the cheery letter O to be “So Far Out They’re In.” A quarter century later, they still are, with choices like Leo and Marlo officially stylish and a raft of other O names gaining much-deserved attention.
We’re still so fond of the O names that we find it difficult to narrow our favorites down to a dozen, but these to us feel both fresh and usable, contemporary and also deserving of respect. The only down side of the O names as a class is that there are more great choices for boys than for girls.
With photos that connect the letter O’s eternal circle with things relating to childhood, here are the best O names right now.
Benno is one of the most distinctive and undiscovered of the o-ending boys. Though it sounds like an Italian play on Ben, it’s actually German, the name of an 11th century saint, patron of anglers, weavers and—sufferin’ succotash!—alliteration. Two notable bearers: Benno Schmidt Sr., the venture capitalist who invented the term venture capitalist, and Benno Schmidt, Jr., one-time president of Yale.