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Category: macho names

Boys’ Names: Names gone wild

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Boys’ names have gone wild. You can hear a sudden growling on the popularity and starbaby lists, with sweet little babies being given such fierce animal appellations as Wolf and Puma, born-to-be-bad names like Bandit, Wilder, Maverick, Rogue and Rebel, Gunners with Colts, and others suggesting such heavy duty gear as Cannon and Diesel, as well as the names of powerful mythological gods like Thor and Ares and Mars.  There are lots of boys named Blaze, and even one starbaby called Fire.

What’s with the fashion for fierceness in boys’ names?  We see it as a wish to recapture traditional male strength and power along with an impulse to leave conventional civilization behind.  These names suggest old school bad boys in a brave new world, one in which boys still throw rocks and ride dirt bikes but also wear earrings and headbands.

Here are the fierce names we’re hearing today:

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Boy names have undergone a radical shift over the past few decades, with the old stalwart names like James and Robert making room for a whole army of new choices that break the traditional masculine mold.

The trendiest boy names are not exactly feminine, or even androgynous, but are decidedly male names that nevertheless don’t hail from conventional masculine roots. We mean the two-syllable, surname-sounding names like Caden and Brody, Logan and Landon.

Many parents seem more willing than they might have been before to bestow upon their sons unisex names also well-used for girls: Peyton, Jordan, Taylor, Sasha.

Then there are the more traditional names, but with softer sounds — vowel endings, the sibilant s or sh — usually associated with girls’ names. The most popular of these include Joshua and Noah, Asher and Isaiah.

Another branch of the new baby boy names are macho names that also break ranks with traditional masculinity: Breaker and Ryker, Harley and Ace.

What we’re interested in is your view of masculinity as evidenced by these changing boys’ names.

Do you think the change in names is evidence of a deeper change in the way we think of boys, of masculinity, of what we want for our sons growing up?

How did your own views of masculinity play into the name you chose for your son, or a name you might pick in the future?

Would you give your son a name that was also used for girls — why or why not? Would you want a traditional boys’ name or look for one that broke the masculine mold — again, why and why not?

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