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Category: names for boys

Best Boys’ Names: 10 stylish selections

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Our new book The Nameberry Guide to the Best Baby Names for Boys includes many different styles of great boys’ names — including, well, stylish ones.

Stylish might mean popular…but not necessarily. More precisely, it means names that strike the right fashion note for the times, that are in today, and may be even more in tomorrow.

Like Pottery Barn furniture or J. Crew clothes, stylish baby names often combine freshness, quality, and broad appeal. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and no wonder that some of the names that achieve this magic mix go on to be adopted by many — some might say too many — parents.

The stylish boys’ names here are among the best in their class. Any would make a handsome choice for a contemporary baby boy.

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abby--9-30-13

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

I’ve often said that if our second child were a boy, he would have gone nameless.

Blame it on our preferences.  My husband and I planned to source family names for our children, without thinking about the imbalance.  We have tons of women in our family, with a rich list of interesting names.  The pool of masculine names is much smaller, and repeats, again and again, over the generations.  Naming a second – or third or fourth – son would have required a willingness to reinvent some antiques and reconsider a few imports.

Is Zbigniew wearable in the US?

But let’s say that we were open to finding a great name, not one with family ties necessarily.  Just a name that would serve our child well from infancy into adulthood.

Happily, there’s no shortage of those.

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palindromes (1)

If you’re looking for a name with perfect symmetry and balance, nothing could fit the bill better than a palindromic appellation, meaning one that reads the same backwards and forwards. Granted, that’s a pretty limited field, and a lot of the choices begin and end with the letter ‘a’ with only one consonant in-between, but there are a few others as well. Here are the most usable:

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Baby Boy Names: The long and short of it

boy baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

A friend is searching for baby boy names that start out long – three or more syllables long – and can be reduced to one-syllable nicknames.

If you’ve got a two-syllable last name, this is a good strategy. You end up with not one but two euphonic pairings.  And your child has the benefit of a proper, even imposing formal name as well as a short, friendly, accessible nickname.

Some stylish options for long baby boy names with short nicknames:

AbrahamAbe or Bram

AlexanderLex or Xan

Augustine or AugustusGus

Balthazar or Lazarus – Zar 

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Baby Men Names

photo by Georgia Brizuela

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Baby Men Names are names that sound perennially middle-aged, born wearing ties and carrying leather briefcases, buttoned-up and oh-so-adult.

These names carry several advantages: They’re rooted in tradition, of course, and so give your child a solid base for any grownup pursuit.  And since so many of them have been out of style through the past decades of hippie names and androgynous names and nature names and invented names, they feel distinctive now and even fresh.

And if they feel too forbiddingly adult to bestow on a baby, many of these names come packaged with cuter, more kid-friendly nicknames, so that Frederick can be shorted to Freddy and Philip can be called the playful Flip.

Along with stalwarts such as Edward and James and Thomas, the Baby Men names we like best today include:

Arthur — Arthur was a Top 20 name until 1926, when it began a long, steady descent, touching bottom in 2010 at Number 389 only to bounce back.  We see that new upward trajectory to continue, as Arthur has two prime advantages: It’s an ancient king’s name (and may even be a choice of Kate and Will) and it has the creative nickname Art.

August — We love all forms of this venerable name, drawn from the ancient Roman Augustus, but the simplest is also the most fashionable: August.  August also has a day name gloss and the cute nickname Augie or the more mannish Gus.

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