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Category: cool names 2011

boysecret

Last week we brought you our underground list of most popular girls’ names 2011; now it’s the boys’ turn.

You may be familiar with Nameberry’s most popular boys’ names 2011, with Asher, Henry, and Finn at the top all the way down to Axel, Nathan, and Landon.

You may even know our hottest boys’ names 2011, with Asher (again), Archer, and Everett.

But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those boys’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest in 2011 compared with 2010.

While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed. Unlikely as it may seem, the ultracool Booker may be tomorrow’s Cooper or Parker; Alden might be as hot as Aiden by 2015.

Our list of secretly popular boys’ names 2011:

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The Hottest Baby Names of 2011

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Click here for the Top 200 Baby Names of 2011

What are the hottest new baby names this year? Based on an analysis of over 23 million page views at Nameberry since January, we’ve pegged these choices as the Hottest Names of 2011.

It’s a surprising list, driven by unexpected celebrities, rediscovered classics, and the year’s most compelling events.

Nameberry’s Hottest Baby Names of 2011:

Pippa – It wasn’t only Pippa Middleton’s bottom that attracted widespread attention at the Royal Wedding; her name – both the familiar Pippa and the more formal Philippa – is the Number 1 hottest baby name of the year on Nameberry. Pippa ranks 35 on our most-searched list so far this year and did not appear at all among the 200 most popular girls’ names of 2010. While Kate is up too, it’s not nearly as hot.

Asher – The soft, Biblical Asher takes the Hottest Boys’ Name spot by virtue of having unseated Henry as the all-time Number 1 name for boys on Nameberry. For the first time in 2011, Asher has pulled ahead.

Elula – New celebrity baby name trend: Parents choose attention-getting name, then refuse to reveal the name they’ve picked, perhaps to heighten interest and publicity? This unusual choice of Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen for their second daughter was not even in our database last year – it’s a name drawn from the Hebrew calendar — and now is the Number 38 most-searched name on Nameberry.

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nerd

When Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany recently named their newborn daughter Agnes, I was very excited.  For a baby name connoisseur, the choice of Agnes by two stylish and attractive stars heralded the arrival of a new kind of cool name: the slightly awkward, somewhat geeky name that’s so uncool it’s cool.

Of course, Geek Chic has been around for awhile now, in names as in other aspects of fashion.  In our book Beyond Ava & Aiden, we featured a category – now on Nameberry – of Clunky but Cool Names for boys and for girls.  (There are also more, similar choices on the lists of Old Lady Names and Old Man Names.  The list of Old People Names, taking off from the twitter sensation, is full of names that are terminally geeky.)

Some of these choices, like Hugo and Oscar for boys, for instance, and Imogen and Matilda for girls, sound a lot more cool than clunky these days.  As vintage names become more mainstream and our tastes broaden, names that seemed edgy just a few years ago now feel normal and pretty – pretty normal.

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Royal-Baby

How would you describe your favorite name style?, asked a recent Nameberry Question of the Week. Do you prefer cool names?  Classic?  Stylish?  Or what?

Which put me in mind of trying to characterize my own name style.  You might think that we at Nameberry were born knowing our personal name styles, since we’ve made a life’s work of classifying names into styles and helping other people figure out what kinds of names they love.

But like the shoemaker’s child, I’d never really defined my own name style until Linda posted this question.  I definitely like vintage names, I decided, along with names that are a bit unusual.  Cool names, but not too cool.  Classy, yet quirky.

And then the right term for it came to me: Eccentric Aristocrat.   You know, the kind of names that might belong to madcap lords and exotic baronesses (baronessi?) dashing around the countryside in yellow roadsters, drinking champagne and weekending at castles.

Yes, it’s a little bit British, but it’s also kind of Eurotrash and pretty F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton sophisticated American too.   Eccentric Aristocrat names hint at a Russian count as a grandfather, a Scottish pile as an inheritance, ancient relatives who have to be honored with highly unfashionable names – except now that you think about it, those names are actually kind of cool.

Regular readers of Nameberry will recognize the Eccentric Aristocrat in many of the names that, not coincidentally, are favorites on this site: Violet and Jasper, Flora and Felix.  Those are the kinds of names that I’d choose for my own children.  (The fact that I didn’t choose those kinds of names for my own children is another story, one that starts with my husband’s name style being more Solid Midwestern than Eccentric Aristocrat.)

A few rules on what makes a name an Eccentric Aristocrat:

1.   It must be rooted in tradition, but not traditional. So: Circe yes, Charles no.   Edward no, Edgar yes.

2.   It must have a distinct gender identification, but not a conventional one. The name Inigo is clearly male, while India plainly female.   Yet Inigo might just as well design clothes as play football, and India seems as appropriate a name for an international financier as for a supermodel.

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