Category: uncool baby names
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…..
We made waves recently by writing a piece for The Daily Beast about Hipster Names. Almost universally, the cry went up: Oh no! I’ve given my baby a hipster name! “I have a one-year-old named Matilda,” one mom wrote. “I hate you.”
Ooops, sorry. We love the name Matilda. Really! We’re just a little confused about why hipster has become such a dirty word.
Or not. I mean, we do get it, in a way. There’s something sneering, something dismissive about branding someone or something “hipster.” It connotes the feeling that someone (or something) is trying too hard to be cool, which of course is the definition of uncool.
Would not caring about style lead you to a transcendentally cool name? Or a thoroughly uncool one?
Insert deep sigh here.
The real question on many parents’ minds: How do you choose a name that’s genuinely stylish and interesting but that’s neither too hipsterish or too uncool?
Let’s play (and for you Message Board fans, this would make a great Name Game):
Too cool: EVA
Too cool: LENNON
When it comes to calling the sweet spot, we’re not always that sure of ourselves either — or in agreement. (After I posted this, Linda emailed me, Estelle? Really???) We’d love to hear your ideas on which names hit the sweet spot, and why.