Category: cool names for boys
People often ask us how we come up with our baby name trend predictions.
The short answer: It’s a mix of science and inspiration, with a dash of magic.
One of our major predictions for baby names 2015, for instance, was a trend toward short, simple names. The basis for this prediction was scientific: These names are now stylish and popular throughout Europe, and the names themselves are both fresh and easily translated to the American culture.
But now suddenly we see that trend for sleek, cool names really taking off, and here’s where the magic comes in. First, early this morning, we noticed extremely positive comments on the Nameberry pages for both Jude and Lux, perfect examples of this kind of short, modern, stylish name.
And then, just as we were beginning to compile a list of similar names we saw as fitting the same attractive mold, we opened the New York Times magazine to read about a hot new clothing company called Kit and Ace, named for two prototypical millennials who personify the cutting-edge brand.
In the baby name trend predicting world, three influences like this from three different sources — international statistics, grass-roots comments, and the fashion world — add up to a bona fide trend.
And then a fourth item drove the idea home: Abby Sandel’s Monday column right here on Nameberry, discussing all the new celebrity baby names that fit the short, simple trend.
Here, our picks for baby names that embody this major trend toward sleek, simple, cool names. Most of these move beyond traditional choices such as Bill and Anne but stop short of being word names or nature names such as Wren or Snow (though there are selections here that veer toward both the traditional and the nature categories). But the best of them, to our mind, live somewhere in the middle.
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?
Declan, an Irish choice that flirted with the Number One spot on Nameberry throughout 2013, finished at Number Two.
Finn’s star may be flickering, but waiting in the wings is Finn‘s understudy Flynn, another Irish name that was brought to widespread notice by the young son of supermodel Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom.
Our popularity lists are tabulated by ranking the unique page views each name attracts out of the over 20 million total views of our baby name pages in 2013.
Boy name trends we extrapolate from our 2013 popularity list:
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.