Category: baby names for boys
One of our favorite fantasies here on Nameberry is to name imaginary families. Today’s challenge: Tell us what names you’d choose for two brothers.
Two boys’ names with matching initials? Traditional family names, or maybe a modern androgynous pair?
And how do your feelings about raising boys and boy name trends today factor into your decision?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
When you think of classic boys’ names, chances are that the first three that pop to mind are John, James and William. Of the three, William is, much like female counterparts Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret, probably the richest in its multiplicity of variations, nicknames, girl versions, etc. Here’s a rundown of the main man and his manifestations.
William—For four hundred years, William was second only to John as the most widely used name in the English-speaking world, and even now is the fifth most prevalent boys’ name in the US, given to almost 17,000 baby boys last year. With Germanic roots, William was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, and has long been a royal name in that country; it has belonged to no fewer than four US presidents and countless notables from Shakespeare to the present popular high-profile prince.
It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.
The party goes downhill from there. Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.
Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums. Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds? Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.
Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son. It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.
Total props to Auggy for creating the list of Hipster Cowboy Names that inspired this post. I love the whole idea, which seems completely right for our times. Yes, there are cowboys – babies whose car seats are buckled into the backs of pickups for a day of roaming the range. And then there are the hipster babies more accustomed to riding the L train, the little dudes who may wear jeans and boots but who’ve never seen a real live cow.
The Hipster Cowboys are a blend of the two types; urban cowboys, if you will. These names combine the image of rugged masculinity with a more modern definition of gender and of cool. Some names we might expect to hear on young hipster cowboys today:
Stylish might mean popular…but not necessarily. More precisely, it means names that strike the right fashion note for the times, that are in today, and may be even more in tomorrow.
Like Pottery Barn furniture or J. Crew clothes, stylish baby names often combine freshness, quality, and broad appeal. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and no wonder that some of the names that achieve this magic mix go on to be adopted by many — some might say too many — parents.
The stylish boys’ names here are among the best in their class. Any would make a handsome choice for a contemporary baby boy.