Cowboy Baby Names: This week’s Nameberry 9
Some weeks, it feels like all of the birth announcements are from one big extended family.
Nameberry dubbed this style trend Iconoclastic Cowboy, and indeed, it does seem to be popular with parents everywhere. Wyatt and Colton are both in the US Top 100. For Real Baby Names spotted a crop of little cowpokes with names like Cayson Poe, Lathan West, and Adan Prayer in Connecticut – not exactly a place you associate with ranches and wranglers.
This week’s round-up of the nine most intriguing names begins in Manhattan:
Tristan – The Trump family is bigger by one, with Donald, Jr. and wife Vanessa welcoming Tristan Milos, a little brother for Donnie and Kai Madison. Tristan reads medieval romantic hero, but Brad Pitt’s star turn as Tristan in 1994’s Legends of the Fall transported the name from Arthurian legend to the rugged Montana wilderness.
From New York to L.A., Jenna Fischer and husband Lee Kirk welcomed a son named Weston Lee. I’d almost call Weston nouveau preppy rather than rugged, but his full name – Weston Lee Kirk – sounds right at home in boots and spurs.
Then there’s Nashville. We’d expect country music stars to give us names at home on the range, and they have:
Boone McCoy – Country crooner Eric Church and wife Katherine welcomed a son. Boone brings to mind American frontiersman Daniel Boone, as well as the word boon – blessing or bonus. As for McCoy, the surname brings to mind the phrase “the real McCoy” and implies authenticity. Yes, Boone McCoy Church sounds a little like a Dallas law firm, but it works.
Bloggers have embraced the style, too. Two of my favorite writers at Babble both have new boys with old west names.
Huck – Natalie Holbrook blogs about life with baby Huck. His full name is the impeccable classic Henry August. But the Mark Twain nickname takes this tot from his New York City home to the mighty Mississippi.
Is there such a thing as an Iconoclastic Cowgirl? Boy howdy, there is!
Brit – Baywatch alum David Chokachi and wife Susan are new parents to daughter Brit Madison. Britt is a Swedish short form of Bridget, and the mostly masculine Brett was used for one of Orry’s sisters in the best-selling North and South trilogy. Brit feels modern and tailored, but also tough.
Poet Poppin – Australian country singer Kasey Chambers has a brother called Nash and sons named Talon and Arlo Ray. Now Kasey and husband Shane Nicholson have welcomed a daughter called Poet Poppin. The literary Poet isn’t quite in this group, but paired with middle name Poppin, she sounds delightfully different, and equal to choices like Boone McCoy.
The ultimate Iconoclastic Cowboy name is coming soon to the big screen. The much-awaited reboot of Footloose opens next weekend. They’ve moved fictional Bomont from Utah to Tennessee, and invited country music stars to cover the movie’s iconic 80s pop soundtrack. Blake Shelton performs the cover song. It is tough to imagine anyone filling Kevin Bacon’s dancing shoes, but early reviews have been mostly positive. So let’s hear it for the character name: Ren.
Ren has never cracked the US Top 1000, but he’s been in steady use ever since the original Footloose debuted. He’s my pick for the movie name most likely to leap from the screen to the crib in 2012, the perfect blend of rugged and urban, a modern sound with roots – something that seems very much in demand, at least this week!
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on October 10th, 2011 at 3:38 am
My cousin, who was raised to ride horses from the moment she could sit up on her own and was once a professional trick and fancy rider, has a one-year-old son named Wyatt; our grandmother calls him Cowboy. It definitely suits him!
on October 10th, 2011 at 9:44 am
I don’t know about Ren. All I think is “Ren & Stimpy”. Rather makes the name unappealing. But it’s got a cool sound. Maybe this’ll kick that assocation right out of my head!
Henry August is totally awesome but Huck? Aww, heck, that’s kind of silly. I suppose it works but I would hate to be Huck myself!
Tristan is the only one on this list that grabs me and that’s for his mythical roots, not for his cowboy feel.
The only name on my list that fels even kinda ‘cowboy’ is Rex, and he feels more classic than cowboy to me!
on October 10th, 2011 at 9:45 am
My parents had high aspirations for my now 7 year old brother: to become a Texas Ranger. His name definitely suits this: Wyatt Marshall.
on October 10th, 2011 at 10:28 am
I knew a girl Tristyn growing up. It will always be a girl’s name to me.
on October 10th, 2011 at 12:30 pm
My youngest boy has a name that is very cowboy: Shane!
on October 10th, 2011 at 12:44 pm
@Lola I’m assuming you’re a millennial like me. My parent’s generation wouldn’t associate Ren with Ren & Stimpy, and our children’s generation certainly won’t. Only those of us blessed to have grown up in the glory days of Nickelodeon will make the connection.
I do prefer Wren, though.
on October 10th, 2011 at 1:17 pm
Even we GenXers remember Ren & Stimpy–it debuted in 1991 when I was 13 years old. If anything I’d guess that the Millennials are the ones who wouldn’t make the Ren & Stimpy connection. I toyed with going by Ryn (as a nn for Kathryn) when I was in middle school but it never stuck.
I know two little Hucks! It’s not my favorite but now I’m curious to know if Huck is short for anything…
on October 10th, 2011 at 1:31 pm
@corsue: and if I met a boy named Margaret when I was little, it would always be a male name to me. Ridiculous.
Not a fan of these cowboy names at all, they all seem a bit try hard. Weston, Tristan and Wyatt are ok though – its names like Huck, Hunter, Colt and Colton that really annoy me.
on October 10th, 2011 at 1:38 pm
I was born in 1990 and don’t know what “Ren and Stimpy” is! But, my family didn’t have cable for awhile when I was growing up, so maybe I just missed out. I adore Wren, though, and will definitely fight for it whenever I have a daughter – as a middle name, though.
I don’t think these names are trying too hard, for the most part, but I can see where some come off that way. In general, I think “cowboy names” tend to sound down-home comfy, rugged, and cool. Names a little boy would like. I would add Gage to this list, too.
And, McCoy? That’s just so cool! Boone McCoy is a little much, but McCoy Thomas or Wesley – another “cowboy” name, to me – McCoy would be handsome. I think Huck for Henry August is really fresh and totally puts a spin on the image of the name! Even Gus, though, has a bit of a cowboy feel. Love it!
on October 10th, 2011 at 2:14 pm
I love Ren, even Wren, for a boy. I’m a nanny and it’s my nanny kids name. They chose it because he’s part Japanese and apparently it’s a Japanese name. I adore it.
on October 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
I love Henry August nicknamed Huck and he’s a cutie. I love unexpected nicknames from classic names.
I met a 3 year old Zeke this week. I like the names Boone and McCoy, but maybe not together.
Poet Poppin!! I’ve never heard of Poet’s parents, but I’m pretty sure they need to copyright her name and start writing children’s book. Move over Fancy Nancy, Poet Poppin just arrived. 🙂
Have a good week!
on October 10th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
I like Huck as a nickname for Henry, makes a good excuse not to use Huckleberry, which sounds like a cartoon character. Speaking of cartoon characters, I was born in 1985 and Ren will always be “Ren & Stimpy” to me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in Japan Ren is a girl’s name? I think I prefer it for a girl. Maybe I like Rin even better.
on October 10th, 2011 at 8:12 pm
Henry August nn Huck is spectacular! I was never a fan of Hank, but Huck I can definitely get behind!
I really like Boone McCoy, it has a tough boy appeal.
I will always like West, though I prefer Westley to Weston, but having an elder brother named Wesley makes it an impossible name.
Tristan is a name I can not stand, but I find it ridiculous when people claim it is feminine. It is completely masculine….unless Isolde is keeping a very naughty secret from the world.
on October 10th, 2011 at 10:24 pm
@skizzo – I guess the difference for me is that I’ve never met a boy named Tristan, and only heard it could be a boy’s name when I was in my late 20s. It’s complete absence as I grew up, and my childhood best friend’s little sister (she was given the name when it was ranked in the 600-700s) firmly set it as a girl’s name in my mind. While your example has been close to or far below the top 100 (peeking at 3) for the past hundred years firmly making it a girl’s name. Comparing the two is ridiculous IMO. Additionally, her spelling it Tristyn very much makes it feminine IMO.
I do like Boone and Colt, though I wouldn’t presonally use them. Wyatt, on the other hand, is one I would use. I’ll throw in Levi as a cowboyish name, too. Jeans seem very cowboy to me even if that isn’t the origin of the name.
on October 10th, 2011 at 11:21 pm
Although I love the name Ren, I don’t find anything cowboy about it. My first thought is a Japanese name, my second is “Pirates of the Dark Water” and in a way distant third is “Ren and Stimpy”. Tristan also seems very out of place on this list. It just sounds way too delicate and feminine to ever be used on a cowboy.
on October 11th, 2011 at 12:29 am
Luck Huck and Zeke, and I’m sure Ren could be a growth name.
Poet Poppin’s middle name was chosen by her big brothers, 9 and 4 – I think they did a pretty good job! Although it sounds spectacular, I am still a bigger fan of Rock Jarvis Reddy!
on October 11th, 2011 at 8:42 pm
oh my, Huck as a nn for Henry is amazing to me. I do have a love of western-inspired names. I used to love Wyatt and Cody, but I’m more of a Emmett and Jasper lover these days.
Cowboy Names: Back in the saddle again – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on December 8th, 2011 at 10:43 am
[…] as we’ve been heralding the trend towards cowboy names, it looks like we could be in for a posse of new […]
on March 28th, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Cowboy names that I’ve heard from where I’m from (Idaho).
Gus (lead character in Lonesome Dove)
on December 27th, 2012 at 5:27 pm
I have a Weston – and we never thought it was a “cowboy” name. Our intention was to call him West, but that never worked out.
I met a woman with 4 sons – and thinking on it, most have the “cowboy” sound to me:
Wyatt, Walker, Warner, and Weston
I do love Boone. And as a distant relation to Daniel Boone, I’d use it if it didn’t sound so similar to our last name.
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