Boys’ Names: Names gone wild

Boys’ names have gone wild. You can hear a sudden growling on the popularity and starbaby lists, with sweet little babies being given such fierce animal appellations as Wolf and Puma, born-to-be-bad names like Bandit, Wilder, Maverick, Rogue and Rebel, Gunners with Colts, and others suggesting such heavy duty gear as Cannon and Diesel, as well as the names of powerful mythological gods like Thor and Ares and Mars.  There are lots of boys named Blaze, and even one starbaby called Fire.

What’s with the fashion for fierceness in boys’ names?  We see it as a wish to recapture traditional male strength and power along with an impulse to leave conventional civilization behind.  These names suggest old school bad boys in a brave new world, one in which boys still throw rocks and ride dirt bikes but also wear earrings and headbands.

Here are the fierce names we’re hearing today:


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Most parents considering this name probably think more Teddy bear than grizzly. It was heard first via football coach Bear (born Paul) Bryant and then British adventurer Bear Grylls (originally dubbed Edward Michael but nicknamed Bear by his sister when he was one week old). A couple of celebs started using it as a middle name, then Alicia Silverstone made the leap to first, calling her boy Bear Blu. (Note: Grylls named his sons Huckleberry and Marmaduke.)

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