Boys’ Names: Nameberry’s newsiest boys’ names this week

It’s all-boy week in Abby (Appellation Mountain) Sandel’s latest round-up of the most recent interesting baby names.

Happy Halloween, berries!  Let’s start off with a very important piece of business.  The winner of the bookplate give-away from Etsy shop My Kids Eat Off the Floor is Emily (emily.m******@*****.com).  You should have already received an email with details about how to claim your prize.

Last week’s chatter about Gatsby – literary or pretentious?  Just different enough or downright bizarre? – got me thinking about boys’ names in general.  Conventional wisdom holds that we can be creative with our daughters’ names, but choices for sons should be a little more conservative.  Whether you personally agree or not, statistics suggest that parents do hold back when considering boys’ namesJust under 67% of US-born girls receive Top 1000 names, while nearly 79% of boys do.

A comment from last week’s post mentioned Evangeline Lily’s son is named Kahekili – and since dad is Norman Kali, his full name Kahekili Kali.  According to mom, Kahekili is a Hawaiian name means thunder. (Kahekili shown in illustration)

Maybe Kahekili isn’t on your short list, but it does feel like more parents are considering a broader range of options for sons.  This week’s Nameberry nine is all for the boys:

Ajax He’s an ancient hero and a powerful cleanser, and now a baby name for a kiddo born in an art gallery.  Artist mom Marni Kotak gave birth at the Microscope Gallery in a show called The Birth of Baby X.  Considering the unconventional circumstances of his birth, Ajax feels like a rather tame name, one that follows logically from Alex and Axel.

Solomon – Speaking of unusual circumstances, what is it like to be baby #17?  The Brown bunch, a polygamist family profiled on TLC reality series Sister Wives includes kids with all sorts of names, including nouveau virtue picks like Truly – baby #16 – and now this old school, Old Testament appellation.

Finnick – Take fast-rising Finn, add a nickname for Nicholas and you get this pleasing choice from bestselling young adult trilogy The Hunger Games.  The character is valiant, too.  It caught my eye this week as the middle name of a brand new baby berry, Milo Finnick Alexander.

Baylor – This name was in the news this week, but not exactly on a baby. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber gave the name to their new puppy.  Gomez is from Texas, home to Baylor University, so perhaps that’s the inspiration.  Or maybe they’re just following trends.  Bay names feel poised for a big rise, and plenty of stylish parents practice on pets years before they’re ready for kids of their own.

Dakin –  Character actor Dakin Matthews is back on Desperate Housewives as the ladies of Wisteria Lane head into their last season.  Matthews has appeared as the local reverend in several episodes over DH’s  long run.  His first name sounds like a modern, invented choice, but is actually a medieval short form of David, via Day.

Knight – Somehow I missed the birth announcement for signer Kelis and her ex, Nas.  Their tot is now two!  Knight feels less extravagant than Lancelot, but more dramatic than Night.

Dusk – Speaking of nighttime, Isadora at Bewitching Names mentioned DuskDawn, of course, has a history of use and even a catchy song or two with her name in the title.  Dusk could be that elusive nature name that works well for boys.

Walton – One of my favorites!  He’s an update for Walter or Wallace, and carries with him the cozy, homespun sensibility of the long-running television family. but word is that West Wing alum Richard Schiff has signed on to play Snow’s pop, King Leopold.  ForReal recently spotted a Walton, proof that names don’t need to be completely invented or unfamiliar to stand out.

Leopold  – Fairy tales are all the rage on the small screen this Fall.  Once Upon a Time debuted earlier this month, with Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White in exile.  Grimm premieres this week with a similar theme: fairy tales are real, but most of us don’t know it.  I’ve been a little let down by the names so far.  If anything invites creative onomastics, surely it is transplanting fairy tale figures to 21st century life.  I’m still waiting for a Ghislaine or Everild to appear, but word is that West Wing alum has signed on to play Snow’s pop, King Leopold.  That’s the kind of daring name I was hoping to hear.

Are you more conservative with your choices for boys?  And have you spotted anything interesting in the world of names this week?

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17 Responses to “Boys’ Names: Nameberry’s newsiest boys’ names this week”

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lemon Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 1:28 am

Interesting point about the gender disparities in naming, Abby. And, it does seem to be true, for whatever reason!

To me, Ajax is a bolder choice than, say, Axel because it conjures up images of household cleaner. Seriously – even though I should be thinking of the Trojan War, I’m thinking of toilets. Yikes! (It’s a cool name, though, Marni. Bravo!)

I think Selena Gomez’s pup’s name is definitely a tribute to Baylor University; the only pic I saw of the dog featured Gomez in a Baylor sweatshirt. I love the name, and Bay alone. Good choice, kid!

Something rubs me the wrong way about title names, like Knight or Prince or even cutesy Queenie. My title-name-phobia goes so far as Delphine, which I’ve avoided because it looks too much like dauphin(e)!

The variety of names in the Brown family truly astonish me and make me wonder how much influence Kody really has when it comes to naming his children. Or does the same guy really like both Garrison and Mykelti? By the way, Abby, Baby #16 is truly Truely, not the “conventional” Truly. Of the Brown babies, I think Solomon has a winning name.

And, finally, Kahekili Kali? Not sure how I missed that, but if people are saying they don’t like Emily Deschanel’s Henry Hornsby (which I think is melodically adorable), I doubt Evangeline’s choice is much of a hit. The baby name-birth situation connection with Lilly’s son’s name is intriguing, though…

namemuststay Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 2:04 am

Finnick is very interesting, especially with The Hunger Games coming out next year. Katniss is getting more attention, too; I think it’s inevitable!

thetxbelle Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 2:56 am

I have a hard time accepting that people would use the name Ajax, its a legit name but I wouldn’t use it since it’s such a popular cleaner. Then again, my Husband wont use Athena because its an underwear/swimwear brand so maybe that’s where I get the skepticism from.

ReeseHere Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 3:52 am

Milo Finnick Alexander is my son! My husband and I love the name and I’m glad to hear someone else likes it too.

anniebee Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 6:18 am

I dig Solomon. I also dig Dusk and Knight but in a guilty pleasure kind of way, not for use.

Walton I just can’t get behind. I do not want Walmart or any relation thereof to be associated with my kid. I do love a lot of the other W’s right now, though. Love Walter, Winston, Walden, and Wallis, Waverly, Winter for girls.

littlebrownpony Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 6:56 am

I know a little boy named Ajax. He has a baby sister named Maxima. I’m not making that up. I always hope that his parents were getting paid handsomely by the Nissan and Colgate-Palmolive companies.

abeezee Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 7:48 am

I like Dusk. It’s different but it works. Another similar one I have been considering is Cove.

i.heart.nerds Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 7:59 am

I find that I am unusually brave with boys names (in theory since I have yet to name a boy, but these made by top list for this baby)
Percival -Percy
Augustus/Augustine -Gus
Bertram – Bertie

I like Dusk and Night/Knight as a pretty cool and unexpected middle name.
Let me be the first to say that Henry Hornsby is fab! It has the feel of tweed, a pipe and horn rimmed glasses. I like it!

cristinag Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 8:58 am

Heard a great name this weekend, Keller. I don’t usually like K-names but that’s a good one!

erem Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Evangeline never confirmed that her son’s name was Kahekili. All she said was that it was Hawaiian and meant “thunder”. Halulu and Hekili are two other Hawaiian names that mean thunder. Kahekili was just a rumor/speculation. 🙂

littlebrownpony Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Cristinag, I LOVE Keller! I like it much better than Kellen. It was on my “If Only” list for my son, and I might have to put to back on the table for Baby #2!

skizzo Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I’m actually a lot braver with boys names, I guess I just dont like the same old boring ones that are continuously popular.

Quite like Kahekili, different but cute at the same time. Not sure about the name with Kali, but it works. Sounds very Hawaiian.

Dakin sounds very on trend with the -n ending, it could work I guess.

I’ve been loving Baylor ever since I saw Project Runway Canada, its a great alternative to Taylor, and you get the nickname Bay. I also enjoy Saylor.

Ajax reminds me too much of the glass cleaning brand.

Not a fan of the rest. Leopold sounds very grandpa to me – another style of names that I dont like.

Overall I think I’m a brave namer when it comes to boys because I like fresh choices, that arent too popular, such as Shiloh, Azure, Salem, Emrys, Shia, Wynn, Wylie, Enzo, Koa, Sage, Cassian, Amari, Presley, Bianco, Luka, Kenzie…

Sarah A Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Kahekili Kali is, um…wow, not my style. Maybe he can go by Kai?

I completely agree with Lemon about the variety in the Brown family names. Solomon got the best one in my opinion, but Solomon/Suleiman has been on our longer short list for years.

Ajax is all cleaner to me. Kudos to them for being able to move past that, but I couldn’t!

Finnick is great, I love Hunger Games names. Congratulations ReeseHere!

Leopold is lovely! Leonidas is my favorite name to get to Leo, but Leopold is just so wonderfully regal.

Abby Says:

October 31st, 2011 at 8:01 pm

@ReeseHere, your kids have great names – congrats! I have to ask – did you find Finnick in The Hunger Games?

@cristinag, Keller is appealing.

@skizzo, there’s a Project Runway Canada? Oooh … that’s HOURS of television that I have yet to see.

@abeezee, Cove is cool.

@littlebrownpony, Ajax and Maxima is a no-joke combination. Very tough – you sort of expect them to be superheroes.

@namemuststay, I wrote about Katniss over the summer and just got my first comment from the mother of a Katniss. Interesting …

MaryB Says:

November 2nd, 2011 at 12:03 am

@abeezee I also love Cove! I have a young teen cousin who is ‘Grove’ short for Grosvernor(family name). He is #4 in line w/ this name and the older Grosvernor’s go by “Jerry”, “Bud”, and “Rusty”.

Panya Says:

November 6th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Evangelina Lilly denied on Jimmy Kimmel’s show that the baby’s name was Halulu or Hekili. So Kahekili is the logical guess. I like it, but then, my child’s middle name is Keikikalani. 🙂

Panya Says:

November 7th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Just realised I misspelled Evangeline…*face palm*

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