Category: hipster names
In retrospect, it was so cliché it hurts.
The first real-live hipster I spotted was back in 1997. He was entering a record store (I know, I know…), wearing a mustard colored cardigan, black-rimmed glasses, skinny denim and Chucks.
A lengthy 18 years later and hipster culture has finally spilled over into the mainstream. From Zooey Deschanel’s prime time show, to fast food commercials featuring 20-somethings donning plaid shirts, slouchy hats and handlebar moustaches, the modern hipster style is prominently featured and easily identifiable.
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:
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.
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.
One thing we learned when we wrote about hipster baby names is that nobody wants one. Many people were horrified if they found their favorite names — or worse, their actual children’s names — on our list of hipster names. No matter how much they’d loved the name before, they immediately went in search of something new, something different, something with a bit less of the whiff of hipsterdom about it.
Well, okay. We can dig grok understand that. It’s intrinsically uncool to be seen as trying hard to be cool, even if you’re doing so by deliberately being uncool. Which, of course, is uncool.
We wrote about this before, in our exploration of names that hit the baby name sweet spot between too cool and not cool enough.
Today we look at how to downshift the hipster factor in some of the prime suspect names. Making a name less hip might mean making it more classic or plainer, but it also might mean making it more unusual, less obviously stylish. If you truly want to pull back from the edge of cool, consider making the following swaps.
Any more bright ideas? We know you have some…..