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Hipster Baby Names Are So Uncool, They’re Cool

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Hipster baby names are an ever-moving class. Once a name becomes widely used enough to be pegged a hipster baby name, like many of the choices featured here, it may be too popular to make any true hipster’s baby name list. Former hipster favorites such as Anais and Arlo, Clementine and Caspian, Mavis and Magnus have all become — gasp! — mainstream baby names.

The category itself is a paradox, and yet there are identifiable qualities to hipster names. They’re edgy and cool in the ironic can-you-believe-that-baby’s-named-Gladys/Mars/Thoreau way. One of the hallmarks of hipster baby names is that they elicit a strong reaction (sometimes astonishment) — and if you balk, you’ll be told you “just don’t get it.”

So when is a baby name hip and when is it just unusual or clunky or antiquated? Let’s look at some specific groups of hipster baby names and specific names that qualify now:

 

Vintage Hipster Names

Vintage baby names and hipster baby names often meet in the middle…but not always. Hipsters tend to be the first to revive old favorites — although these names often still have a layer of dust on them. The choices below are starting to clean up. 

Girls

  • Agnes
  • Betty
  • Constance
  • Dorothea
  • Florence
  • Harriet
  • Hilda
  • Ida
  • Lois
  • Loretta
  • Lucinda
  • Luella
  • Martha
  • Maude
  • Minerva
  • Odette
  • Opal
  • Theodosia
  • Wilhelmina
  • Winifred
  •  

    Boys

  • Abner
  • Alistair
  • Ambrose
  • Archibald
  • Boaz
  • Casper
  • Chester
  • Cosmo
  • Ira
  • Jethro
  • Lazarus
  • Lev
  • Lyle
  • Montgomery
  • Mordechai
  • Phineas
  • Roscoe
  • Stanley
  • Thaddeus
  • Winslow
  •  

    International Hipster Names

    International names can qualify as hipster if they’re not trying too hard to be cute and especially if they’re from an underserved baby name culture like, say, Portuguese or Welsh or Sanskrit.

    Girls

  • Anahita
  • Apolline
  • Asha
  • Clemence
  • Eithne
  • Eleni
  • Eluned
  • Fenna
  • Fionnuala
  • Ines
  • Io
  • Kyomi
  • Lotta
  • Lua
  • Ludovica
  • Marta
  • Petra
  • Puck
  • Saga
  • Sigrid
  •  

    Boys

  • Artis
  • Bram
  • Corentin
  • Dev
  • Duarte
  • Elio
  • Fergus
  • Ivo
  • Lars
  • Laszlo
  • Ludo
  • Klaus
  • Moritz
  • Nino
  • Oisin
  • Pim
  • Tadhg
  • Timo
  • Vanya
  • Viggo
  •  

    Hipster Nature Names

    Nature names are a delicate thing when it comes to hipsters. You can’t use the obvious nature names like Iris and Bear and Sky. So you have to look further afield — maybe to Field itself.

    Girls

  • Andromeda
  • Blossom
  • Bloom
  • Clover
  • Cricket
  • Fern
  • Hyacinth
  • Indigo
  • Indre
  • Lark
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Marigold
  • Pepper
  • Plum
  • Prairie
  • Saffron
  • Soleil
  • Sparrow
  • Zinnia
  •  

    Boys

  • Canyon
  • Cedar
  • Field
  • Frost
  • Grove
  • Hawthorn
  • Huckleberry
  • Leaf
  • Mars
  • Mercury
  • Moss
  • Oak
  • Ocean
  • Peregrine
  • Quill
  • Quince
  • Reef
  • Ridge
  • Wolf
  • Woody
  •  

    Geek Chic Names 

    The appeal of geek chic hipster names lies in the fact that they are so far out of fashion. Unlike your run-of-the-mill vintage hipster names, which could see a quick comeback in a decade or sooner, the geek chic names have generations to go before they are once again — if ever again — in style.

    Girls

  • Agatha
  • Avis
  • Bernadette
  • Cornelia
  • Dinah
  • Edna
  • Enid
  • Geraldine
  • Gertrude
  • Gladys
  • Henrietta
  • Imogene
  • Mildred
  • Myrtle
  • Nadine
  • Prudence
  • Sybil
  • Thelma
  • Ursula
  • Zelma
  •  

    Boys

  • Arnold
  • Barnaby
  • Clement
  • Clifford
  • Clive
  • Cornelius
  • Ennis
  • Eugene
  • Grover
  • Herbert
  • Homer
  • Irving
  • Irwin
  • Lester
  • Lloyd
  • Nigel
  • Oswald
  • Rufus
  • Seymour
  • Virgil 
  •  

    Hipster Hero Names

    Real and fictional hip heroes may inspire hipster baby names and namers. Particularly noteworthy are distinctive author names, such as Zadie and Kerouac, jazzy hero names including Mingus and Holiday, and those of plucky children’s book characters, like Pippi and Wilbur.

    Girls

  • Arrietty
  • Bowie
  • Briony
  • Bronte
  • Didion
  • Djuna
  • Flannery
  • Greer
  • Holiday
  • Isolde
  • Kahlo
  • Nightingale
  • Nyx
  • Pippi
  • Poe
  • Scout
  • Solange
  • Wednesday
  • Zadie
  • Zora
  •  

    Boys

  • Ansel
  • Brando
  • Calder
  • Coltrane
  • Eames
  • Elvis
  • Ferris
  • Gable
  • Hawkins
  • Kerouac
  • Langston
  • McCoy
  • Mingus
  • Noam
  • Rohmer
  • Tennyson
  • Thoreau
  • Ulysses
  • Wilbur
  • Whistler
  •  

    Hipster Nickname Names

    It can be difficult for a hipster to resist a quirky nickname, especially if it’s going on the birth certificate in place of something more formal. These spunky diminutives are practically guaranteed to elicit questions from grandparents and strangers alike — “is that short for anything?” Nope, it’s just Bee. A hipster dream.

    Girls

  • Bee
  • Bess
  • Billie
  • Birdie
  • Bobbie
  • Cleo
  • Coco
  • Dolly
  • Dot
  • Goldie
  • Lou
  • Lulu
  • Minnie
  • Pixie
  • Polly
  • Posy
  • Sally
  • Tilly
  • Trixie
  • Zibby
  •  

    Boys

  • Alfie
  • Beck
  • Chaz
  • Frank
  • Gene
  • Gus
  • Hank
  • Hodge
  • Huck
  • Ike
  • Iggy
  • Jules
  • Kip
  • Kit
  • Monty
  • Ned
  • Ozzy
  • Rudy
  • Sonny
  • Ziggy
  • About the Author

    Sophie Kihm

    Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

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