Category: “Cool Names”
Everyone’s always asked us what the cool baby names are.
Which is a much harder question to answer than it would first seem, as we discovered when we wrote our book Cool Names for Babies.
But more important than how the world defines cool baby names, how do YOU define the concept? Do you think cool names are names that are unusual or vintage names that have long been forgotten, names with personal meaning or those that are truly unique?
How would you define cool baby names, and which are your favorite cool names?
The hot baby names making the most dramatic leaps up the popularity list at Nameberry so far this year include several surnames newly favored as firsts; names inspired by a beloved literary character, a historic president and a new pope; the name of a cuddly animal and a term for a laid-back attitude.
Our 2013 hot baby names list is made up of those names whose views on Nameberry for the first half of this year show the largest gains over views during the same period in 2012.
While our hot list includes a couple of traditional girls’ names – Francine and Margo in all her spellings – along with one choice, the Irish Declan, that is decidedly a boys’ name, most of the hottest names today can work for either gender.
And most have until recently not been used as first names. Sometimes it’s a celebrity, like funny girl Rebel Wilson, who brings a new name to the fore. Celebrity babies or pop culture influences can also introduce new names to the lexicon.
But mostly, what makes a name hot is some combination of factors that catches fire in the moment.
Our hottest baby names for the first half of 2013 are:
Unisex baby names, when they begin to veer toward use for one gender more than the other, typically move to the girls’ side.
But not always. Thanks to the wonderful chart by Steve Ruble that we are delighted to feature on our new unisex baby names home page, we can see how the gender ratio of unisex names morphs over time. And an increasing number of unisex baby names names are turning decidedly more blue.
The multi-ethnic Amari was two-thirds female in 2000, soon after in entered the U.S. Top 1000, and now has reversed course and is 63% male.
by Suzi Catchpole
There are so many pretty names; the wallflowers, the shy, prim and delicate ones. I love them and am delighted when people use them, but of late, my own lists aren’t populated by the pretty ones. I want them edgy, loaded with pomp, prestige, colourful associations… and even a little arrogance.
We recently had our third baby son and we named him Jarvis. A friend exclaimed that Jarvis is a name with ‘serious swagger’ and we admit, we wanted something completely leftfield and totally cool. Bets were had that we would name our new baby Hugo, Sebastian or Jasper – all lovely names, but we were searching further afield for a wildcard; that neglected gem which so many parents seek.
After haggling and disagreeing about Wolfgang (his choice) and Rupert (my choice), we knew we had struck pay dirt when Jarvis was resurrected from the very first list I wrote back in 2004. It had been there all along, nonchalantly waiting for us to acknowledge its cred.
We live in Sydney Australia, and were aware that in the US, Jarvis is sometimes seen as a redneck or country and western name. Here, it has more of a hipster, Jarvis Cocker, upper crust British image. It does seem to have two identities though, and we decided we were fine with that.
And what if we had had three girls? Their names wouldn’t have been shrinking violets, that’s for sure! The feminine counterparts of Felix, Theodore, and Jarvis, my three sons’ names, that I would have loved to use for three daughters might have been Beatrix, Dahlia, and Juno.
So here’s a list of names which I think embody sass and swagger; girls and boys who have an edge and sit on the fringes… with attitude.