Category: “Cool Names”
Names that break with convention — style and family and culture and spelling and, yes, gender — have become more and more desirable for many parents looking to reinvent baby naming.
While we’re all familiar with such trendy unisex names as Rowan, Rory, and River, there’s a new generation of choices that are more unusual and push the gender boundaries even further. Here, a dozen uncommon choices that work for a girl or a boy.
By Abby Sandel
Lately, celebrity baby name news has a split personality.
But everywhere else?
The Top 100 names of England and Wales are resplendent with choices that feel a lot more chic and surprising in the US than they must in the UK.
Freya, for instance, the Norse goddess name that’s become a Top 20 staple on the other side of the pond, just cracked the US Top 1000. Florence, which has been stylish in the UK for decades now and still stands at Number 29, fell off the US Top 1000 in 1982 and has yet to reappear. Harriet is Number 61 in the UK while it hasn’t been on the US Top 1000 since the 1970s, while Martha stands at Number 73 in the UK and rising yet is at 803 and sinking in the US.
Below the UK Top 100, it’s impossible to quantify baby name trends as statistics don’t exist. Instead, we must rely on anecdotal evidence: What fashionable young parents in Shoreditch and Swansea are naming their babies, compared with names considered stylish in Soho (the New York one) and Silver Lake. While there are some similarities — fashionable parents on both sides of the pond love Iris and Oscar, Ada and Arthur — there are many fascinating differences in taste.
Our prime examples of names that are more stylish on the UK side of the pond than the US:
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?
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.
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.