Category: “Cool Names”
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.
Sometimes the changes are subtle. In the late 1800s, Sallie was more popular than Sally. In the 1950s, Kerry, Jimmie, and Lester were ordinary names for little boys, and their sisters were called Toni, Yolanda, and Marlene.
… it makes sense that we constantly adapt and expand our vocabulary to account for new concepts, events, inventions, etc. For example, we may invent new words, give existing words new meanings, or borrow words from other languages.
The big news in baby names this week has been the Most Popular Names 2012: Top 1, Top 10, Top 100, Top 1000.
But swimming just below the surface — not quite on the radar but not truly off, either — are dozens of more unusual baby names poised to find wider favor….or dropping from view.
Of course, that may bring relief rather than disappointment to many parents. If you want to name your baby Magnolia or Clementine, Bishop or Langston — or already have — you may tremble on surveying the new Top 1000, hoping your favorites stay off the list.
We looked below the Top 1000 for girls and boys and found those names within 50 points of the cutoff that we felt were heading back into style, along with those sailing off into the sunset.
In raw numbers, 251 girls received the Number 1000 name Katalina while 197 boys were named Number 1000 boys’ name Dangelo. The numbers after each name below represent the number of children given that name in 2012.
Here, the names just under the Top 1000 coming into style and heading out:
Sophia, which took the crown as the Number 1 girls’ name last year, is a Greek name that means “wisdom.” It entered the Top 10 in 2006.
Arya and Major were the fastest-rising names for 2012. Arya’s popularity stems from the show and book Game of Thrones, while Major is a military name featured on reality TV show Home by Novogratz.
Second fastest-risers Gael and Perla are widely used by parents of Spanish descent.
The complete Top Ten are: