By Abby Sandel
Happy Leap Day! There are more than 10,000 babies born every day in the United States, and around 360,000 born worldwide. If you’re celebrating the birth of a child today, he’ll grow up with the rarest of birthdays.
It would be tempting to name your new leapling – that’s the term used for anyone celebrating a birthday on February 29th – according to the calendar. Names that mean rare could work. A name that refers to the number four would be fitting, too.
They range from Top 100 choices to retro names to rarities, but any one of these baby names would convey an energy and excitement that’s just right for a Leap Year baby.
Chase – Part-buttoned down banker, part-rugged outdoorsman, Chase has been a Top 100 favorite since the 1990s. The name originally means “to hunt,” but in the twenty-first century it implies the pursuit of any goal. That makes Chase an energetic verb name, but also one that implies achievement.
Gage – To gauge is to measure, and while we almost always spell the noun and verb with a ‘u’, the given name is more popular without. Gage can also mean to promise or pledge. Both spellings are in the current US Top 1000, though Gage is far more popular.
Cruz – Cruz is a Spanish surname meaning cross, from the Latin crux. Cruise is the verb, a synonym for smooth sailing – or driving or flying. But cruise also comes from the Latin word, and the sound-alike cruise lends Cruz a certain sporty, high-energy vibe. Cruz has charted in the US Top 1000 every year since 1980.
Ace – You can ace a test or a tennis match, and since the first World War, a very successful fighter pilot could be an ace. Ace is also a vibrant, upbeat name for a boy. Jessica Simpson has a son named Ace Knute, and No Doubt’s Tom Dumont is father to Ace Joseph. Ace is currently Number 379 in the US, and rising steadily.
Jett – Jett brings to mind the wild blue yonder, thanks to jet engines and the jet set. With one ‘t’ or two, the name has energy to spare. James Dean played Jett Rink in 1956’s Giant. Actor and amateur pilot John Travolta named his son Jett in 1992. But it was the Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson that propelled the name into the US Top 1000 in 1999. More than a decade later, Jett continues to soar.
Wade – You can wade into a river or an argument. There’s something vaguely Western about Wade, but it’s also a surprisingly traditional choice for a son, never out of the US Top 1000. Wade Wilson is better known as Deadpool, the dark superhero at the center of the blockbuster movie, a pop culture association that could boost this active name.
Dash – Dash is quickly catching on in the US, entering the US Top 1000 in 2014. It can be short for literary surname name Dashiell, or it can be a speedy verb name. In the case of The Incredibles’ Dash Parr, it’s both – the Disney-Pixar school-aged superhero is known for his ability to run faster than fast.
Scout – To scout is to seek or explore, but the best-known Scout is To Kill a Mockingbird’s Jean Louise Finch. The popularity of Harper Lee-inspired baby names in recent years has brought Scout to just outside the US Top 1000 for girls, though it is also heard for boys.
Reign – Reign is one of the royalty-inspired baby names that have recently caught on. Kourtney Kardashian named her new son Reign in late 2014. A few months earlier, rapper Lil’ Kim welcomed daughter Royal Reign. To reign is to rule, typically a kingdom – though perhaps a nursery, too.
What are your favorite verb baby names? Would you consider any of these for a son or a daughter?