Cool Names: What’s quirky got to do with it?

cool names

As the authors of, literally, the book on Cool Names, you’d think we’d know everything there is to know about cool baby names.

But the definition of cool is so fluid and so subjective, it’s difficult to point to one name, or one group of names, and proclaim it as universally cool.

Yet sometimes, you know cool when you see it.  I was reading about the British actor Damian Lewis the other day — the redheaded hunk on Homeland — and noticed (of course) that the names of his children with fellow actor Helen McCrory are Manon and Gulliver.

Huh, I thought.  Now THOSE are cool names.  Undeniably quirky, but cool.

I suppose to people who think that a name like Jaycyn is cool — and there are a lot of such poor misguided souls out there — Manon and Gulliver are just….weird.  Old, foreign, disgusting.

But to me, when it comes to names, old and foreign are prime ingredients of cool.  And as for disgusting, some people also fail to see the virtues of oysters and martinis.

What other names embody this quirky kind of cool?

Here’s a start:






























What names would you add to the quirky and cool list?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


36 Responses to “Cool Names: What’s quirky got to do with it?”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Rin Says:

September 10th, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Casimir, Thaddeus and Winston are all on my shorter list 🙂 Love them!

asiabean Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 12:31 am

I had so many teachers in elementary school (French school in Canada) whose first names were Manon I just cannot picture it on a child!

I love some of the other names though like Cressida and Keturah.

leonielee Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 1:06 am

Love Circe, Minerva, Romilly, Casimir, Leopold, Reuben and Thaddeus!

thetxbelle Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 1:13 am

Should be pointed out Malou is also used for boys and is not necessarily a diminutive for other names, there have been two male Saint Malous

Mara_lyn86 Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 1:43 am

Claude sounds lovely when said in French, but if I was a girl in an English speaking country with the name Claude I would hate it. To me it sounds horrible in English.

I have really been loving Minerva lately, with the nickname Minnie. I love it even more with the Harry Potter connection. Minerva McGonagall was awesome! My husband would never love it though.

For the boys I love Leopold, Ludovic, and Winston.

Darci Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 2:32 am

Love Leopold; Cressida and Minerva are both growing on me.

maggiemary Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 3:26 am

I love Cressida, Keturah and Minerva, and Winston, Reuben and Leopold.

I think Caspian is quirky and cool.

Alexp Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 5:21 am

I love Mannix (my son’s name) for a boy and Nico/Neko for a girl.

I also think Vespa has a sleek charm to it, but my hubby would never go it!

BMG Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 5:26 am

I’m familiar with Malo for a boy so think Malou for a girl is very pretty.

kateinindia Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 6:35 am

Aah! I love the name Otis so much. I’ve been trying to convince my husband of this and I think he might actually be coming around!

KristinJay Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 7:46 am

Romilly is on my super short list for a girl, and my sons are Cashel (similar to Casimir in sound) and Torin. Love quirky cool names!

Samantha-Bianca Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 7:54 am

Amedea is great but I’m in love with Medea. I think it’s even a name my nearly 8-year-old daughter approves of. And she lets me know when I mention a name that’s, in her words “Just weird!”

Also in the 8-year-old’s book of cool names: Imogen, Archer (because of what an archer is, she thinks that’s pretty cool).

Also, she thinks Jaxon is a terrible way to spell Jackson and people should stop doing it. I agree, but she came up with that on her own – a little nameberry already, lol. What have I created?!

bluejuniper Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 8:25 am

For the girls I’d add Xyla, Artemis, Psyche, Zenobia and Araminta, and for boys I’d add Caspian, Lorcan, Errol and Finnick.

Love seeing Circe on the list!

Lo Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 8:28 am

I’m a traditionalist so most of those names don’t appeal to me. I find Damian and Helen much “cooler” than Manon and Gulliver. But I do love Thaddeus.

Lynae Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 9:37 am

I want another baby girl so I can name her Minerva!!!

labmama Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 9:38 am

Hmm, not a big fan of the girls names. But on the boys list, I love Otis and Winston!!

Taz Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 9:52 am

My daughter’s name, Leonie, made the list! Guess I’m ‘cool’ lol. But really not much else on the girl list appeals to me..besides way too similar Ione.

tarynkay Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 11:32 am

I don’t like Manon or Gulliver (bitter and glutton?) but I do love Amedea, Cosima, Keturah, Azariah, and Casimir. I love Ket as a nickname for Keturah, maybe Miro for Casimir? I’m not sure about nicknaming a boy Cas, it seems like people would think of Cassie, short for Cassandra if you did that.

GoodHope Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 11:39 am

Back in the late 70s when I was a little girl, my babysitter was named Cressida. Her college-aged brother was named Orpheus. As an adult, I can see the coolness of both, but my family laughed for years about what weird names they were.

I really like Cressida now, as well as Romilly, Ivan, Reuban, Thaddeus, and Otis.

starophie Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Though I probably would never use any of these names, I love the variety and uniqueness of this list :3 Romilly, Thaddeus, Leopold, and Monroe are all super cool (though I kind of really like Monroe on a girl, a la Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon)!

And speaking of Jaycyn (ick), I just heard of triplets named Jaydin (b), Jerzee (g), and Journee (g). I am so sad right now.

saraallison Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Girls: Flavia; Romola; Madlenka
Boys: Milo; Lorenzo (yes, I know Snooky just used it); Sebastian

I definitely think when it comes to quirky/cool opinions are going to differ pretty vastly. I think a lot of times they are names that you either love or hate (and I have to admit I hate a lot of the ones you listed in the post-haha!).

susan.n Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I love this post. Romilly is on my list!

blueberry1215 Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I’m so glad to see Keturah on this list! Ever since I found it on my family tree, I’ve been hoping it will get some attention. My ancestor’s name was Keturah Follet, and I’m very tempted to re-use her name, it just sounds so nice to me. (: She also had an aunt named Kezia and a brother named Otis.

Other than Keturah, I love Circe, Cressida, Ione, Ivan, Lazarus, and Monroe.

LexieM Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

In theory I really like Circe but now I just think of the Circe from “Game of Thrones” and that give a beautiful name a huge negative mark in my register.

Saracita00 Says:

September 11th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I happen to like a good number of the names on the boys list today.  My own sons’ names very well might be considered, by some, to fit into this quirky-cool category.  Notwithstanding, I think this blog entry is pretentious, condescending and outright rude.  

eponymia Says:

September 12th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I’ve always loved Manon! My surname starts with Man-, though, and it goes horribly with my husband’s surname. Love this category of name.

Dearest Says:

September 13th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Love Manon, Amadea (prefer this spelling), Cosima, Cressida, Ione, Minerva and Vesper for girls. Gulliver, Casimir, Ivan, Lazarus, Oberon and Thaddeus for boys. Also love pp’s suggestions of Xyla, Artemis, Psyche, Zenobia, Caspian, Errol, Lorcan, Romola, Lorenzo and the Orpheus mention. Orpheus is wonderful!

Further suggestions might be Calixta, Philomena, Alba, Leto and Tesla for girls, along with Dmitri, Rupert, Jules, Ignatius and Moses for boys.

katybug Says:

September 15th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

My FIL is named Ivan and we strongly considered it for our son. But it was a bit *too* quirky for us. I love Reuben!

luckycharm247 Says:

November 21st, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I’d add Lincoln for a boy and Cordelia for a girl

BerryBry Says:

December 25th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

For boys Zanzibar, Ajax, Absalom and Solomon and for girls probably Constantina, Esperanza and Florentina

Waverly1234 Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I love Vesper!!! It’s so pretty! Leonie and Monroe are cool too.

CynthiaJane Says:

June 14th, 2013 at 6:37 am

My favorites from the girls’ list are:

Circe, Claude, Cressida and Romilly( which is a family name and one I would consider using if I ever had a girl) . Vesper is one of my guilty pleasure names. I love it!
I would also add these quirky names to the list: Thisbe, Odilia, Ondine, Iseult, Xanthe and Zenobia.
Oh, and Leonie is one of my middle names, along with Jane and Elisabeth.

My favorites from the boys’ list:

Casimir, Lazarus, Leopold, Ludovic, Winston and Reuben( which is under serious consideration for our fifth son).
I would add my oldest brother’s name to the list: Laszlo. I’d also add Alban, Anselm, Breccan, Horatio, Cosmos, Roscoe, Noble and Tarquin.
I think two of my four sons’ names are quirky and cool: Boaz and Jethro. The other two are Asher and Simon. I love quirky names very much!

phantomprincess333 Says:

August 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

The names my fiancée and I have picked out for our future children are:
Boy: Erik James, Stacee Jaxx, Liam Hadley, and Enjolras (don’t have a middle name picked out to go with that yet)
Girl: Christine Rose, Guinevere Elise, Emmy Nicolle, and Lola Marie
When we do have children, we’re not going to find out the gender until they’re born, and we aren’t going to choose a definite name for each gender. We’re going to wait until birth and see which name fits the baby most.

explorach1 Says:

September 1st, 2013 at 12:17 am

I love Linus, Casper, Felix, Tobin and Kip for boys. But, I’m more traditional for a girl’s name.

BabyNameCrazy95 Says:

September 21st, 2013 at 10:32 am


Are my Quirky names x

manneniah Says:

July 1st, 2014 at 11:21 pm

What about Quirky for a boy

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.