Category: boy baby names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
We recently served up a dozen female literary names—some of the more unusual and interesting appellations for girls that have never gained widespread popularity the way Jane Austen’s Emma and GWTW’s Scarlett O’Hara have.
We promised to do the same for boys, and here they are—the creatively conceived names of twelve literary lad characters from a variety of novels and plays–names that move beyond the recently discovered Atticus and Holden.
There’s a new class of boys’ names trending today that has a short clipped sound, contains only one syllable, is undeniably masculine yet not traditionally so. Many of these boys’ names barely existed a generation or two ago: They’re definitely not your father’s or grandfather’s baby names.
But in some ways, they are the heirs to names like Glenn and Craig and Sean that took over in the 1960s and 70s from the traditional Bills and Toms. They seek to reinvent masculinity while preserving qualities like strength and energy.
But I’d like to focus today on those boys’ names that are newer and, some may say, fresher than Jack or Jude. In 1970, most of these boys’ names barely squeaked onto the Social Security extended list, given to only a handful of baby boys. Today, most are on the Top 1000, many of them moving up quickly.
The new boys’ names on the block include:
When the 2013 US Popular Baby Names list came out back in May, we ran Kelli Brady aka The Name Freak‘s wonderful Playground Analysis blog, with her count of the REAL Top 50 baby names. Kelli tallies all spelling variations of the top names to arrive at their actual rankings, which puts Aiden et al instead of Noah at Number 1 for boys, for instance, and bumps Jackson (and Jaxen, Jaxon, and Jaxson) up to Number 2.
Our focus is usually on which names are MORE popular than you’d think when you add in all their spelling variations. The idea is that parents want to be forewarned when they’re likely to hear their favorite baby names far more often than they’d guess based on the official rankings. Zoe and Aubrey, counting all spellings, are actually in the Top 10 for girls, for example, while Kayden and his many near-identical twins rank not at Number 93 but at Number 9.
But what about those baby names that are LESS popular than they seem judging by the official statistics? Parents may veer away from some names, both classic and modern, that are actually somewhat more distinctive than they appear. I’m not talking about names that are a couple of rungs further down the ladder, based on Kelli‘s analysis, but those that are significantly softer by our own subjective measure.
The point is: If you’re shying away from these baby names because you believe they’re too popular, maybe you owe them a second look. They are:
This Question of the Week is inspired by a tweet from one of our berries, who said that Pearl and Rome were her two favorite June-inspired baby names. Both great names, I commented, but would she use them together, for a brother and a sister? (And in case you’re wondering, her answer was: Of course!)
Which got me thinking about brother and sister names. Families with two children, one boy and one girl, are the most common configuration in the U.S., so choosing names for one brother and one sister is the naming challenge the greatest number of us will have to face.
So let’s hear your picks for brother and sister names. If you had to choose names for one boy and one girl, which would you pick…..or which did you pick? And why?
What are the best brother and sister names you’ve heard? The not-so-best? What advice would you give about brother and sister names?
Last week was the girls’ turn; now, we’re going to invite you to list your Top 5 boys’ names.
These can be names you’ve already used or are planning to use for a son, or just may be your five favorite names for boys.
If you can’t limit yourself to five, you can add runners up. And tell us why you love these five names above all others, if you have the time and energy!