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What Names Do YOU Think Are Cool?

Photo by Georgia Brizuela

As the authors of a book called, ahem, Cool Names for Babies, we have put ourselves in the position of being the arbiters of coolness when it comes to baby names.

Which is a very hard thing to define.  In the book, we deal with the question by pointing out, quite rightly, that there are many different kinds of cool baby names.  There are vintage cool names and newly-minted names that many consider cool, there are the names of undeniably cool heroes such as Abraham Lincoln or Booker T. Washington and there are the names of cool literary or film characters.

On Twitter recently, we pointed out a name whose sound to us was undeniably cool — Domino — and the single response was someone saying: Um….nope.

So now we’re turning it back on you.  What names do YOU think are cool?  And why?

Photo by the ever-fabulous Georgia Brizuela of Documenting Delight

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By Pamela Redmond Satran

We like to think the names we choose will help determine the people our children grow up to be.  Serious, classic names create serious, classic (and classy) people; gorgeous names breed future stunners; and cool names will make your kid cool.

And sure, it works out like that sometimes.  From Beyonce to Leonardo Di Caprio, there are lots of examples of cool people with cool names.

But sometimes people transcend the image of their names, like the 25 folks here who are undeniably cool yet have names that are pretty much not.

  1. Allen Ginsberg
  2. Armie Hammer
  3. Bruce Springsteen

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Names You’ll Be Hearing A Lot More Of

baby name faye

These baby names won’t rank among the most popular when the official statistics are announced next month; many of them won’t even make the Top 1000. But the dozen names here are choices we predict are bound for greater stardom. If you’re looking for a sleeper name likely to gain in style value, or want to avoid a choice that could get a lot more popular, keep your eye on these 12 baby names.

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Oh my goodness!

O Baby Names — names that start or end with the letter o — is one of our longest lists, with 16 pages of names totaling more than 150 selections.

O Names are also among our most enduring classes of cool names, first introduced in the original Beyond Jennifer & Jason and still going strong, with lots of new entries to the group.

The O Names include such hotties as Oscar and Milo, Theo and Owen and  Olive (though O names are more often for boys).

Then there are such rising stars as Orion and Oz,  Indigo and Cato.

There are classics among the O names, too: Octavia, Olivia, Oliver, and Otto, for instance.

And of course, the O names also include such cool international choices as Viggo and Mateo, Laszlo and O’Brien.

In fact, we believe there’s an O name to suit every sensibility and style.

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What are you favorite unusable names?

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A berry named Iamamiam gets credit for this question: What are your favorite unusable names?

Over on the forums where this question was first posed, answers include Hypatia and Paine, Alaska and Aristotle, Lucifer and Lucrezia.

Reasons people wouldn’t use the names they love? Association with a tragic story or character is one problem. Difficulty of spelling or pronunciation is another. And then there are those high-drama names that feel like they wouldn’t fit into the modern world.

What are your favorite names that nevertheless can never be used?

Bonus points for telling us why not.

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