Category: hipster baby names
There’s something undeniably cool and, well, jazzy, about the names of jazz musicians. Take the ultimate example, the personification of cool —Miles Davis— who imparted a silky, seductive veneer to his name, as Quincy Jones did to his.
The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald gave hers a jazzy edge long before Ella was anywhere near the pop lists. Names like Ray and Roy, Cecil and Percy and Dexter all take on an appealing funkiness and rise to another level when looked at in the context of jazz.
Jazz immortals’ surnames are another possiblity,as chosen by a few celebs—model Helena Christensen called her son Mingus, and Woody Allen used Bechet, the name of one of his musical heroes, Sidney Bechet.
Here, some of the jazziest choices:
- ABBEY Lincoln
- ALBERTA Hunter
- ANITA O’Day
- BESSIE Smith
- BLOSSOM Dearie
- CARMEN McRae
- CASSANDRA Wilson
- CLEA Bradford
- CLEO Laine
- DAKOTA Staton
- DELLA Reese
- DINAH Washington
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.