Cool Boy Names: The Nameberry 9

September 3, 2012 Linda Rosenkrantz

Just in case you’ve been agonizing about the lack of good names for boys, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel presents the case for cool boy names in this week’s The Nameberry 9.

Convinced there are no great names for boys?

Spend a few minutes on message boards and you’ll hear the laments.  “There are so many girls’ names I love, but nothing feels right for our son.”  “Girls keep stealing all of the good names!”

This week’s baby name news proves that parents are discovering plenty of great names for boys.  There’s no need to choose anything as outlandish as Rebel or as obscure as Theodule to find a stand out name for your son.

You will have to do your homework.  In a New York Daily News article announcing that Isabella and Jayden remained the top names in the Big Apple, one mom said that they’d landed on Jayden for their 2011 baby because they “were trying to do something that was different.”


Plenty of parents echo the same sentiment, surprised that our choices have expanded beyond names like Michael and Robert.  Therein lies the challenge.  Names like Logan and Elijah seem novel at first, but are actually pretty popular.  How do you pick a boy’s name that manages to be masculine and modern, interesting and not too weird all at once?

The nine newsiest names from last week all manage that feat nicely:

Lorenzo Dominic – Is Jersey Shore alum Snooki a closet name nerd?  Her new son with Jionni LaValle will answer to the appropriately Italian Lorenzo Dominic.  It’s a great heritage pick.  The couple earned even more style points when they announced their plan to call him Enzo, a lively, underused choice.

Edward Duke – Another reality television couple paired an unassailable classic with a daring middle.  Edward sees less use than William or James, but he’s right at home with those evergreen appellations.  Duke brings to mind basketball and John Wayne.  It’s a tough guy middle that lends some spark to the solid Edward.

Finn Davey – The new McDermott baby might be my favorite from last week.  Finn qualifies as a staple name for boys these days, along with Kai and Cole.  The big news is the new baby’s middle name.  Tori Spelling’s full name is Victoria DaveyDavey honors her grandfather, David Spelling.  Tori and Dean have done a nice job of picking meaningful middles, and I love the grandfather-to-granddaughter, mother-to-son gender hopping.  Finn also fits right in with siblings’ names: Hattie, Stella, and Liam, and half-brother Jack.

Jack – Speaking of Jack, he’s huge in the UK, but still not quite epidemic in the US.  Jackson is actually more popular.  Anna Faris and Chris Pratt went with just Jack for their new son.

Miles Crosby – Great names aren’t reserved for celebrities.  Miles Crosby popped up in the birth announcements at Names for Real.  Like Finn Davey, there’s an unexpected surname in the middle spot, and I think ends-in-y middles work better than most of us realize.  Miles is another rising favorite.  He’s a little bit colonial, a little bit jazzy.

Beck MartinBeck’s parents wrote to Swistle for help naming baby #2.  No wonder they’re in a bind – their firstborn’s name is really quite perfect!  Beck is less expected than Jack or Ben, but fits right in circa 2012.  Martin is a family surname, and also feels like a great way to ground the bold Beck.

Arthur Gerard Wayne – Some of the most intriguing options are the names that we’re not using.  File Arthur with Edward – classics that are just starting their comebacks.  Arthur has been popping up more and more lately.  I found this combination in the July birth announcements at Waltzing More than Matilda.

RoryBritish Baby Names discussed the top names in Northern IrelandJack remains #1, but there are some kelly green possibilities farther down the list, like Rory, Calum, and Cian.  Are you ready for the next wave of imports?  They’re terribly dashing.

Pilot – Call me crazy, but I don’t think that Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf were completely out there when they named their son Pilot.  In a recent poll, I was surprised by how many people feel the same way.  It’s an occupation, and the idea of piloting a ship makes him feel a little bit like a modern virtue name, like Haven or Sage.  As for Inspektor?  I’m not going there …

Are boys’ names harder for you?  Are your favorite boys’ names more conservative than the ones you might consider for a daughter?  And what do you think of Pilot?



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