Cool Boy Names: They’re ending in R!
By Abby Sandel
Boy names ending in r got a recent boost from an unlikely source: Olympic champion Michael Phelps.
Phelps might be the most decorated Olympian of the modern era, but his name? It’s one in the crowd.
Their baby boy is Boomer, a name both bold and rare. My first thought was the Battlestar Galactica character, but Phelps and Johnson just plain liked the unconventional sound. The new dad added that his son is “definitely gonna be the cool kid.”
But it’s not just Boomer. R-ending cool boy names are having a moment. Wilder broke into the US Top 1000 last year, and the winner of this year’s Invent a Name contest is the edgy, outdoorsy Trekker. Other contest entries included Tracker, Raider, and import Elsker.
After years of two-syllable, ends-in-n names for boys dominating, maybe it’s time for ends-in-r names to be the new cool boy names. Here are nine possibilities inspired by Boomer.
Briar – Nature name Briar debuted in the US Top 1000 for boys and girls last year. While it sounds just like boys’ staples Brian, Bryson, and Bryce, Briar Rose is a fairytale character you might recognize from Sleeping Beauty. There’s no reason this thorny nature name can’t remain unisex – maybe Briar is the new Rowan.
Bridger – Legendary mountain man and guide Jim Bridger has at least a dozen places named for him, especially in Montana and Wyoming. That explains the name’s burst of popularity in the West, enough to put this one in the US Top 1000 in recent years. While Bridger was out of the rankings in 2015, it feels like a rugged, edgy, and cool possibility for a son.
Kaiser – Who would have guessed that MTV’s Teen Mom would become such a major influencer in the baby name game? Bentley and Gannon are just two of the bold boy names boosted by the reality series. Here’s one more: the regal Kaiser – derived from Caesar. Chosen by Jenelle Evans for her son in 2014, the name doubled in use to 140 boys in 2015. Creative/phonetic spelling Kyzer is climbing, too.
Calder – If Boomer and Kaiser are unapologetically bold, Calder feels more subtle. It’s a buttoned-down name, with ties to ice hockey – Frank Calder was the first president of the National Hockey League – and the arts – Alexander Calder was the name of three famous sculptors, grandfather, father, and son. If you love Carter and Parker, but want something less common, Calder makes a great option.
Valor – Emile Hirsch chose this brave name for his son in 2013. Valor has climbed steadily since then, a brother for other modern virtue names like Justice. It sounds more like a name than, say, Courage, probably thanks to that stylish r ending.
Warner – Do you remember Elle Woods’ first boyfriend in Legally Blonde? Warner Huntington III might have been unworthy of our hero, but he had a great name. Walker, Weston, Wilder … why not Warner? Early twentieth century college football coach Glenn “Pop” Warner was one of the most successful coaches of his era, and the movie studio founded by brothers Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner remains a major film studio today.
Evander – Evander sounds like an Evan–Alexander smoosh, but that’s just not so. Instead, it’s the name of ancient hero Evander of Pallene, as well as former boxing champ Evander Holyfield. If Achilles, Apollo, and Julius all make the current Top 1000, why wouldn’t Evander fit right in?
Keller – Irish surname Kelly became a 1970s favorite for girls. In more recent years, Kellen and Kellan have climbed into the Top 1000 for boys. Could Keller be next? As a surname Keller was given to the cellar master, another term for a castle steward. If you’d love to honor a Kelly, but want a fresh spin on the name, Keller is one to consider.
Eliezer – Plenty of Biblical baby names are edgy and cool. Think of Asher and Ezra, Ezekiel and Jude. Eliezer – pronounced el eh EE zer or el ee AY zer – belongs to at least three figures from the Bible, including a son of Moses. If you love names like Boomer, but prefer something rooted in the past, Eliezer might be the name for you.
What are your favorite rare r-ending names for boys?
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on September 4th, 2016 at 11:47 pm
Perhaps it is time to change “Briar” from pink to yellow.
on September 5th, 2016 at 12:10 am
Well, these are OK, but I fear I am more old-fashioned and occupational. I love Roger, Rutger, Anders, Trevor, Miller, Falconer, Farmer, Currier, Collier, Wilbur, and the like better.
on September 5th, 2016 at 2:37 am
I’m not the biggest fan of some of these, but I do really like Evander, as well as Valour (this spelling as I’m a Brit). But my favoirite -er names are definitely Prosper, Lysander, Arthur, and Skandar closely followed by Walter, Alasdair, and Archer. I really like Isidore too, but that only really applies in terms of sound. I also think Briar has always sounded more like a boys’ name. It reminds me of Friar (like Friar Tuck) and I could never imagine it on a girl, although I find it difficult to imagine on anyone to be honest.
on September 5th, 2016 at 2:55 am
I like Abner, Arthur, Dexter, Elmer, Evander, Foster, Fraser, Hector, Leander, Lester, Luther, Oleander, Oscar, Peter, Sylvester, Victor, Walter, Wilbur, Xavier and Zephyr. Not quite Wilder or Trekker, but there are still some lovely boys names ending in -r that I’d love to see become more popular!
on September 5th, 2016 at 9:13 am
Some other cool “R” ending names to add: Cedar, Hunter, Adair, Cahir, Silver, Casper, Jasper, Leander, Porter, Forester, Sawyer, Xander, Fisher, River, Tanner, Tucker, Culver, Thatcher.
on September 5th, 2016 at 10:56 am
I’m not a fan of these names…also Kaiser makes me think of the bread roll….
I like the names that textlikekisses has suggested though! Cedar, Adair, River are very cool 🙂
on September 5th, 2016 at 4:47 pm
Keller sounds too much like Killer. Kelly is a better choice. I like River, Becker and Walker, they are really trendy now. Wheeler and Rider could be a good name if a couple are really into motorcycles.
on September 5th, 2016 at 5:23 pm
I like Eliezer, Keller, Booker, Wilder, Calder, Casimir, Evander, Leander, Lysander, Valor, Archer, Abner, Ryker, and Tanner.
on September 5th, 2016 at 5:31 pm
To me, Evander is still Holyfield, a chunk of whose ear was bitten off by Mike Tyson. I just don’t see the name going anywhere for awhile. Maybe I’m wrong; it’s pleasant enough, otherwise.
on September 5th, 2016 at 5:56 pm
My favorite name ending with an r is Cedar. It has no gender and doesn’t sound as “harsh” at the end like so many other r ending names.
on September 5th, 2016 at 9:07 pm
I never really got in on the ends in N trend, but Caspar, Rainier, and Walter are on my favorites list for a boy.
on September 5th, 2016 at 10:34 pm
Oh yes, Rainier is a wonderful name! I also love Keir, Tangier, and Frasier.
on September 5th, 2016 at 11:35 pm
The only Keller I know is a woman.
on September 7th, 2016 at 8:46 am
Asher is definitely my favorite -er name!
on September 7th, 2016 at 7:06 pm
I like Kaiser and Valor.
on September 13th, 2016 at 3:39 pm
I like Keller and Calder, also Alasdair. I think Walter is ready for a comeback, for sure, and maybe Roger too.
I don’t like Evander, it’s 100% Holyfield to me still.
I also don’t like Kaiser, it makes me think of Kaiser Wilhelm and WWI.
on December 11th, 2016 at 6:50 am
Okay with Boomer. But for a parent who is in need of baby names, you can take a look at this http://www.suggestbabynames.com/meaning_of_african_boyname_labaan.html
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