Category: hipster baby names
What are the cool baby names?
That’s the first question most people ask us when they hear we have the unlikely profession of baby name experts. We hear it so often, in fact, that we wrote a book called Cool Names for Babies.
Still, when people ask us the question, we find ourselves stuttering and stammering.
Why? Mostly because cool is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.
Certainly, the websites that have sprung up purporting to direct you to cool baby names do nothing of the sort. They only pop up when you google cool baby names because they’re optimized for that popular search term (one of the hard facts of the rough-and-tumble baby name biz) and not because they know anything about cool….or even baby names, for that matter.
One way to identify cool baby names might be to look at what cool people are naming their babies. For the most part, this dovetails nicely with the names that nameberry visitors like best — yes, of course we’re cool! — and that are most searched for on the site. These tend to have traditional roots but an offbeat feel and include:
Saturday Night Live has been around for 34 years, and over its long run it has featured many of the funniest, most creative, offbeat comic talents in America–some of whom have gone on to become so iconic that we’ve almost forgotten they were ever regulars on the show. As in Billy Crystal, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Martin Short and Senator Al “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough” Franken.
The question is: did they apply their quirky creativity when it came to naming their babies? The answer is: not so much. For example, Billy Crystal named one of his daughters Jennifer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Brad Hall have a Henry and a Charles, Dana Carvey a Thomas, Al Franken a Joe, and Jim Belushi a Robert.
Journalist and New York City mom Laura Dunphy reports that the pressure is on for Gotham parents to choose baby names that are more creative, more unusual, cooler than those anyone else is using. But no matter how hard you try, you still might not make it.
That’s because like everything else in NYC, baby naming is intense. If most people think naming children is a pleasant activity, like badminton or a picnic, Manhattanites treat it as a competitive sport, like rugby or bond trading.
A year ago this week, nameberry was born. The site had been months (about nine, actually) in the making, and so the launch felt like a culmination. But like most new parents, we quickly saw that it was only the beginning. Here, an inside look at nameberry’s first year.
We’ve had one million unique visitors look at a total of 14 million pages, a number that would have staggered us a year ago and thrills us now. And 35,000 people have visited nameberry more than 200 times (you know who you are).
Our visitors have come from 216 countries – only Chad, Central African Republic, Western Sahara and Serbia and Montenegro have missed out – and speak 140 languages. While the United States boasts the lion’s share of visitors, 100,000 have each come from Canada and the United Kingdom and 75,000 from Australia.
When the mother of all hipster mommy bloggers, Heather Armstrong aka Dooce, named her second daughter Marlo, all I could think was…..Marlo? Really? You’d have to work hard to find a less hipsterish name, and Dooce herself has said she was inspired to choose the name by its original bearer, That Girl actress and Free to Be You and Me author Marlo Thomas, not exactly a hipster icon.
So I was thinking about how true hipsters would by definition search for names that were not pegged as hipster, when I came across a nameberry forum launched by the ever-brilliant Susan Chesney, called Outhip the Hipsters.
“What names are even more edgy and nerdy-cool than the Hipster List?,” Susan writes in the introduction to her thread. Rule #1, says Susan: The names on the Outhip the Hipsters list cannot be on the Hipsters list or be enthusiastically endorsed on Nameberry.
Over the next 50 posts, dozens of the nameberry resident geniuses added their own entries to the Outhip the Hipsters list. I’ve reclassified many of the name suggestions below, plus added some of my own.
Here, names that may Outhip the Hipsters:
RISING HIPSTER NAMES
The choices below are rising quickly through the hipster ranks and may soon be so hip they’re not hip anymore.