Name Sage: What’s the Boy Version of Violet?
We are expecting a baby in July. We’re not finding out the gender – but that’s proving to be extremely difficult when it comes to names!
The Name Sage replies:
If I described your girls’ list, I’d call it eco-vintage revival. Names like Olive, Sylvie, and Hazel aren’t new, but they feel very current in 2016, thanks in part to their ties to the natural world. Some, like Violet, are very popular, while others are less familiar. But I don’t think any of them seem too far outside of the mainstream.
Then there’s your list of names for boys.
Lars, Oak, and Banjo are bolder choices, less familiar in the English-speaking world. (Though Banjo might wear better if you’re Australian.) When I enter those three names into our namehunter, it returns Halifax, Spring, Arpad, and Shade. Pretty daring!
Plenty of parents have different styles when it comes to naming sons and daughters, but I suspect that you’re struggling because your boys’ list is so different.
Assuming that you both generally like the mix of vintage and nature names on your list for girls’ names, I think there are plenty of possibilities that would work for a son.
Hayes – If you love Hazel for a girl, would you consider Hayes for a boy? The only connection between the two names is sound and maybe style. Hayes is a surname name, and a presidential one, too. (Though Rutherford B. Hayes isn’t as top-of-mind as, say, Abraham Lincoln.) It feels traditional, yet unexpected.
Everett – Back in the 1920s, Everett was a Top 100 name in the US. A century later, it feels fresh again. Everett also brings to mind the ‘v’ sound in several names from your girls’ list, including Eva, Violet, Olive, and Sylvie.
Emmett – Or perhaps you’d consider the similar Emmett? It’s as vintage as Everett. It’s also the name of the minifig at the heart of The LEGO Movie, which could be a plus – though he spelled it Emmet.
Abel – Maple brings to mind Abel. It’s a capable-sounding choice borrowed from the Old Testament. While Biblical names can feel quite traditional, Abel has a modern sound. Plus, the similar word able makes this feel almost like a virtue name.
August – As a given name, August traces its roots all the way back to the Roman Empire. And yet, August is right at home with modern nature names like River and Rowan. It’s a great brother name for choices like Ruby and Eva.
Jasper – Jasper is another name for boys with a long history of use, and ties to the natural world, thanks to the gemstone. Jasper Johns makes the name lean artistic. And while it’s the name of one of the vampires in the Twilight movies, I don’t think the association has taken the shine from Jasper.
Felix – One of the reasons names like Sylvia and Hazel feel modern despite their antique status is the presence of certain letters. Parents in 2016 are all about the edgy sounds of V, X, and Z. Jax and Zayden don’t quite seem like your style, but what about Felix? It has a great meaning – happy – and a long history of use.
Arlo – Your girls’ list includes Willow, and you’ve considered Banjo for a boy. I wonder if another ‘o’ ending name might appeal? Arlo brings to mind folk singer Arlo Guthrie. While it’s never been popular, it does seem like the kind of name that will fit in while still standing out.
Readers, looking at Maria’s list of girl names, what would you suggest for a boy?
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on February 3rd, 2016 at 12:05 am
You have some lovely female choices. I’m especially fond of Hazel, Maple, and Sylvie (and Lace is cool, though I prefer Lacy).
Since you seem to like nature names, including Oak, you might consider any of these: Linden, Elm, Pine, Spruce, Alder, Birch, Forest, Frasier, Salix, Marsh, Fen, etc. I also love Kenelm, with Elm as the nickname.
I can see a Kenelm and a Maple or a Hazel and a Linden.
Lars has that cool Scandinavian flavor. Maybe peruse the lists from that part of the world.
Banjo, not sure what to say. Can’t offhand think of names that are similar, except color names pop into my head as unusual and vibrant, such as Auburn, Celadon, Cobalt, Cerulean, Cordovan, Grey or Gray, Brown, or maybe rock names like Carnelian, Jasper, Agate, Garnet.
Have fun, sounds like you are!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 1:12 am
Your girls’ list is lovely. Based on this list, boys’ names that spring to mind are Dashiell, Asa, Ellis, Sylvan and Forest. I hope you can find the perfect name that you both love!
Kara Blakley Said
on February 3rd, 2016 at 2:20 am
The first name that came to my mind was Viggo. It shares the uniqueness of some of your boy choices, the -o ending, and v-beginning.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 5:49 am
Some great suggestions – especially August, Everett, Jasper and Arlo, which would all make perfect siblings for your girls’ choices.
Nature names do seem to be your thing. Aside from those suggested, how about Rowan, Calder, Arbor, Jet, Falcon, Peregrine, Lark, Woods, Heath or Hawthorne?
Other vintage/quirky/international suggestions:
on February 3rd, 2016 at 5:51 am
Pressed send too soon! A couple more:
on February 3rd, 2016 at 6:00 am
What about Bram?
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:42 am
What about Everest or Stellan?
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:46 am
Love suggestions of Jasper, August, and Felix.. I was also going to suggest Viggo! I would call your style vintage nature, which is hard for boys!
What about Clive ( reminds me of Olive), Sage, Brooks, Everest, Leif, Grey.
Love Maple for a girl!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:53 am
Your girl names are all lovely! As for boys I am one of those people that feels a bit strange when the month name isn’t the birth month. Love Hayes though!
Just as a note, Emmett is also a name of a vampire in Twilight. I don’t think it matters for Emmett or Jasper though, they’re both nice. I do prefer Everett though.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:08 am
Lol when I read the title what came to mind was “Indigo, of course” (that’s what we named our son). Probably too daring and/or matchy for most people’s taste but thought I’d mention it anyway!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:24 am
I could have written this question! I’m due in July with a boy and so many of your girl names were on our girl’s list. I love nature names as well and I’m just having trouble finding the perfect boy name. August, Abram, and Jasper (along with the more traditional Levi) are on my list but nothing is jumping out at me as “it” right now. Perhaps Jude? That would have been a strong contender for me except it sounds too similar to my daughter’s name already. Good luck and I’m following for more great ideas!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 10:21 am
I like the name sage’s suggestions of Everett, Hayes and Jasper.
I also like Rex and Forest suggested above!
When I look at your list, the following names come to my mind:
Hope you find the perfect name! 🙂
on February 3rd, 2016 at 12:02 pm
Personally love the suggestion of Ambrose. Very cool, vintage, unexpected name.
My own suggestions for a boy are…
Cedar – A nice nauture name, that sounds masculine to me.
Cypress- Another cool nature name. With a great nick name in Cy.
Hawthorn- Or Hawthorne, cool looking trees with a literary twist. Hawthorn is a handsome unexpected name.
Onyx – If Jasper is too common for you. Onyx is another stone name, that is under used but very masculine sounding.
Peregrine – A wonderful nature name, peregrine falcons make a great name sake.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 12:06 pm
Onyx is a stone like Jasper and Ruby, nature and starts with O like Oak and Olive, shares the X ending with Felix, and is fairly unusual like your other boy choices.
You have so many girls nature names at the top of your list that you might not want to choose a naturey one for a boy. If you have a boy and choose something related to nature, and then he has a little sister, you will likely want to give her a nature name too, since so many of your favorites are. But then you may feel locked in for a future child on a nature name which you may or may not like. Of course, you may like the idea of having your children linked that way, or it may not bother you to have, for example, two nature names and one not. Or this could be your only child and it doesn’t matter. No matter the case, something to think about if you have strong feelings about sib-sets!
Good luck in your search! Hope you find something that you and your husband just love, or that you get a little princess to give one of the lovely names you’ve already picked out 🙂
on February 3rd, 2016 at 12:46 pm
First of all, I really like your list of girls’ names. I think it might help you to imagine your boy’s choice next to a future baby sister. Of Name Sage’s picks, I like August the best. It’s old-fashioned, with a nature-name feel, and would pair perfectly with a baby sister named Hazel, Violet, or Olive.
When I looked at “Lars” and “Oak” together, I thought of Leif. It feels like a tree name, while also being very Scandinavian.
Other names already suggested that I really like for you:
If I were in your shoes, I’d steer away from Banjo. It’s quite a bit further “out there” than your other picks, and you may feel obligated to give your next child an equally daring name. HTH. Have fun!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 2:40 pm
I was thinking Vivian for a boy. Very vibrant, and similar to Violet.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 2:41 pm
Great style! My favorites of those suggested are Arlo and August. Others that may work are:
on February 3rd, 2016 at 2:47 pm
I know everyone’s commenting on how the girls list makes them think nature names, but several of the names were names of friends of my grandparents, so for the boys I immediately leapt to friends of my grandparents for that:
Anyways, none of these seem to match what other have put down yet, so I figured might as well throw them out. Good luck on whatever you choose, you’ve got some great choices regardless of gender.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 3:10 pm
on February 3rd, 2016 at 3:42 pm
If you like Olive for a girl, maybe you would like Oliver for a boy. And the name Lars brings to mind the name Nils.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 3:46 pm
on February 3rd, 2016 at 4:44 pm
Love all of the suggestions so far!
Oak reminds me of:
Lars reminds me of:
on February 3rd, 2016 at 6:15 pm
Jasper always reminds me of the National Park in Alberta (Canada). Its one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I think its a great suggestion.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:10 pm
Baird, Bard, Hart, Flint, River, Alcott, Alden, Ballard, Teague, Slater.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:16 pm
Also Reef, Reeve, Walt/Walter, Whitman, Homer.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 7:19 pm
Violet and Oliver were my twin names forever. They practically share all the same letters, have a vintage feel to them, are about the same amount of popular, and have the nature theme going for it. I see the Olive in Oliver. I have one son and used Oliver as one of his middle names. Everett is another one of his middles.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:12 pm
I was going to say Indigo too! Or Inigo works as well.
on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:21 pm
Most of these are mentioned already but I immediately thought of:
on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:53 pm
on February 3rd, 2016 at 9:07 pm
Eco Vintage — I love that description of the style here! I ran the girls’ names through the Namehunter and came up with these suggestions for boys: Oliver, Henry, Jasper, August, and Oscar at the top of the list, followed by Milo, Felix, Jude, and Leo. Nothing really surprising there, but further down on the list are these more surprising choices: Bamboo (!?!), Celadon, Fintan, Silver (I like it!), Chasen, Forest (mentioned a lot, and great), Saul, Hoyt, Mica, Lowell, Flint, Claudius (why? interesting…), Johan, North (oooo, good idea), Raoul, Howard, and Langston.
Also, you seem to have a fondness for names with v in the middle. There are too many of those to list here, and some people have offered good suggestions, but you could think of names like:
Grove (love for you!)
I could go on….
on February 3rd, 2016 at 9:11 pm
on February 3rd, 2016 at 9:37 pm
Hawthorne immediately came to mind and I know so many others have mentioned it but it seems perfect. Dechen also had some great suggestions. Linden, Heath, Alder, and Peregrine are also very cool.
I have one now suggestion for you that I don’t see above: Ogden! It means from the Oak grove. Nn Oggie.
Similar to Oak and August but more classic than Oak and more unique than August, which I fear (maybe I’m wrong) is getting quite popular. (I feel this way about Hazel too. I love Hazel and August but I’m hearing them everywhere). Best of luck!
on February 3rd, 2016 at 10:47 pm
What about Silas meaning forest/wood?
on February 3rd, 2016 at 11:37 pm
I really love Abel for you. It doesn’t lock you into nature names, but it has the same vibe as your girl names. I like your original names, though, more than the suggestions. Banjo is cool–and Lars is just fun. Leif would be another suggestion, or Badger. Good luck!!
on February 4th, 2016 at 12:39 pm
Many great suggestions so far! From Abby’s list I like Hayes the best, and I also like the reader suggestions of Heath, Silas, Ford, Viggo, and Jasper. Here are a few more suggestions:
Wolf (or Rolf, which means famous wolf)
on February 4th, 2016 at 3:30 pm
My son’s name is 01iver and her daughter is V!olet. Why not Oliver? I think it fits all the criteria, plus it fits great with your girls list!
on February 4th, 2016 at 8:27 pm
on February 4th, 2016 at 8:57 pm
Here are a few names that your question made me think of, sorry for any repeats. Love your name style btw! Here goes 🙂
Hope you like at least a couple of those. Good luck.
on February 6th, 2016 at 9:40 am
Shoutout to the commenter that suggested Viggo! That’s such a cool name! Cool like the mom-to-be’s pick Lars and sleeker than Banjo.
Based on Banjo though, and the headline of “what’s the male version of Violet,” my suggestion is Indigo. Color name, nature name (I’m pretty sure it’s a plant or flower!), quirky, ends in -o.
Not sure of the baby’s last name, but i like Indigo Larson at the first and middle spot!
As for the girls, Maple is one of my favs, but so is Sylvie. How about Sylvia Maple!
on February 8th, 2016 at 7:13 pm
I like Everett and Jasper a lot. I also thought of some others:
-Björn [Swedish for Bear]
on February 22nd, 2016 at 2:44 pm
I love this list of names. I have three kids named Lily, Rowan (boy), and Oliver. I just found out that we are expecting number four! There are so many great suggestions listed above. Hazel is at the top of my list for a girl but boys names are more of a challenge. Boys names that I like that you might consider that have not already been listed:
on June 12th, 2016 at 4:14 pm
I’m surprised Indigo wasn’t suggested by the “Name Sage.”
on June 12th, 2016 at 4:17 pm
Jason Bateman has a daughter named Maple Sylvie. I think that’s too similar.
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