Boys’ Names 2013: Soft new choices
Sssssssssh, have you heard the secret?
Among the attractive sh names for boys are the following:
Cassian — This Latin variation of Cassius alludes to Saint Cassian who was the patron saint of stenographers. The monk and ascetic writer, John Cassian, introduced Eastern monasticism into the West. If Cassian feels too traditional, exchange the C for a K like actor Patrick Wilson did for his son Kassian in 2009.
Cassius — This Shakespearean name meaning “hollow” has an ancient feel and an august American legacy: boxer Muhammad Ali was originally named Cassius Clay after his father, who was in turn named after the famous emancipationist Cassius Marcellus Clay.
Dashiell and Dash — Dashiell originated as the Anglican form of the French name Chiel, but its meaning is unknown. Diminutive Dash is simple and handsome and may also, for better or worse, reference the Kardashian sisters.
Hamish — This traditional name meaning “supplanter” is actually the Scottish variation for James. Though it hasn’t quite made its mark in the U.S. yet, it currently sits in the Top 50 in South Australia.
Ishmael – Not many parents call their sons Ishmael these days: The name made most famous by Moby Dick was briefly among the Top 1000 in the late 1990s for the first time since 1916. The Biblical Ishmael was Abraham’s first son with the Egyptian servant Hagar. In Islamic tradition, it is believed that Ishmael was the ancestor of the Arabs.
Joshua — This name mixes an old-world biblical feel with the laid-back popularity of its diminutive Josh, resulting in its spot in the Top 10 from 1983 until last year! In the Old Testament, Joshua was the successor to Moses who ultimately led the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Krishna — In the Hindu Sanskrit tradition, Krishna was the human incarnation of the god Vishnu, a valiant figure who represented love and joy. Though it represents a male deity, this name is often used for both boys and girls in Hindu families.
Oisin — This Irish name can also be spelled phonetically as Osheen, which sounds a lot like Ocean. In Irish mythology Oisin was the son of Finn McCool and Sadb, a goddess who was transformed into a deer.
Sasha – A diminutive for Alexander, Sasha is often used for boys in Russia, though in the U.S. there are now 30 girls named Sasha for every boy. The Obamas use this nickname for their younger daughter Natasha, and singer Beyoncé chose it for her alter ego Sasha Fierce!
Shay or Shea — Though Shea is a common surname in Ireland, it can be spelled phonetically as Shay and means gift. For both sexes, Shea is the more popular spelling and the name is slightly more popular for girls, but only slightly.
Shepherd — This pleasant occupational name can be spelled in a number of variations, Shepard, Sheperd, and Sheppard, which all yield the likeable nickname Shep. It was chosen for their youngest child by Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld.
Sheridan — This Irish male name may sound tranquil but it means “wild one.”
Shiloh – This Biblical and Civil War place name tipped toward the girls’ side when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie chose it for their daughter in 2006; there are now about three girls named Shiloh for every boy, though the name works equally well for either gender.