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Category: names that sound smart

Smart Boys’ Baby Names

smart baby boy names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Some parents want their babies to be beautiful, some put an upbeat disposition first, while others wish most for an intelligent child.

If you’re interested in a name that means or conveys intelligence and wisdom, here are a range of choices for boys. (Of course there are wonderful choices in this vein for girls too, including the popular Sophia, name of the goddess of wisdom. But today is the boys’ turn.)

Aakil — This Hindi name means intelligent or smart.

Alden – This English surname, quietly but historically used as a first, means “old wise friend”.

Alfred – After nearly touching the bottom in 2013, Alfred — which means “wise counselor” — has regained nearly 200 places on the US popularity list. The name is Number 19 in Sweden and was discussed as an option for one of Britain‘s royal babies, so its profile is rising. Alfred was a Top 50 names until the early 1930s.

Apollo — This GrecoRoman god ruled wisdom and knowledge, along with light and the sun. And was obviously adept at multi-tasking.

Boman – This unusual-but-accessible Persian name has a stylish sound and means “great mind”.

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Names That Sound Smart

photo by Alex Ho

One of my most vivid memories of writing our very first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, is of Linda and me cracking up as we read aloud from our list of what we called Intellectual Power Names.  Frances, Ruth, Howard, Norman

We couldn’t help laughing.  We might as well have been making a list of nerd names.

When we reinvented the book as Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, we abandoned the Intellectual Power names in the book’s Image section to talk more about classic names and unusual names and how those qualities influenced the world’s perception.

And I suppose we felt a bit squeamish about pegging names too closely with qualities like intelligence and attractiveness that have more to do with the person than with his or her name.  A Ruby or a Rylee, after all, may easily be every bit as smart as a Ruth.

But sometimes, I see a name and instantly think it sounds intelligent.  Makes me expect, if I met that person, that they would be smart — and not just smart, but studious, serious, cultured, intellectual.

So I decided it would be fun to update the Intellectual Power names, Nameberry-style, with a contemporary twist and sensibility.

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Name Stereotyping: Are you guilty?

naughtykid

Is Jesse a “bad boy name“?, a visitor to our message boards asked.

She wanted to know because she loved the name Jesse but was afraid that any boy named Jesse would be stereotyped as wild, naughty, rebellious — a bad kid.

That question summoned up an issue that simmers beneath many discussions on names: What’s the image that name conveys, and do we want to take that on for our child?

To put it more plainly, do some names carry stereotypes, positive or negative, that go beyond our individual expectations and experiences?  Are you guilty of stereotyping people based on their names, and what names carry the strongest stereotypes for you?

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