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New Geek Chic Names For Boys

October 21, 2019 Emma Waterhouse

By Emma Waterhouse

Hipster, nerdy, funky-clunky… Call them what you will, there’s no denying that geek chic names for boys and girls are cool.

But fashion moves fast, and some of the original names on our Geek Chic Boys master list — like Jasper, Cyrus and Augustus — now feel almost mainstream.

So we’ve been busy adding lots of intriguing new options to the roster: some a little bit edgy, some simply overlooked, but all outside of the US Top 1000 and ripe for revival today.

Below is a small selection of our favorites; which other geek chic gems would you nominate for this list?

Aldous: Huxley is hot, but Aldous is cool… in a nerdy kind of way, that is. Notably borne by the author of Brave New World, this ancient name derives from the Old English element eald “old”. It has a simple, solid sound and a Potteresque charm.

Barnaby: Consistently in the Top 300 for boys in England & Wales, bouncy Barnaby has never cracked the US Top 1000, despite famous fictional bearers including Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge and TV detective Barnaby Jones, played by Buddy Ebsen. Natural nickname Barney has a similar cute/clunky appeal, but there’s always Barnes if the purple dinosaur is too strong an association.

Chester: Another retro name which is popular across the pond, but in the US today you’re far more likely to run into a canine Chester than a human one — it’s at #85 on our list of the most popular names for dogs. Still, that’s not putting parents off Max or Bella, and music-lovers might appreciate the jazzy nickname Chet.

Cornelius: A Catholic saint’s name with a magical aura, thanks to characters in the enchanted worlds of Dr Faustus, Harry Potter and Narnia. There are plenty of fun nicknames to consider beyond the obvious: try the Dutch Cor, Irish Con/Conor, or the literary Neely (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn).

Digby: This aristocratic English surname has gained some traction there as a first name over the past decade, now sitting just outside the Top 1000. It’s far rarer in the US, but with similar surname names like Shelby, Kirby and Ashby all in regular usage, why not the debonair Digby?

Elmer: We know, we know… Fudd. But hear us out: El- names are in, -er endings are huge, and how cute is the cosy, nature-inspired nickname Elm? With the old associations fading from the memories of today’s new parents, this much maligned vintage option just might start to feel fresh again.

Fergus: Cool guy Gus also makes the list of Geek Chic Boy Names, but at #994 and rising fast, it no longer quite qualifies as an undiscovered gem. But give him the full name Fergus and you’d be onto a winner: outside of the US Top 5000, but with a long and rich history in Irish legend.

Isidore: With Theodore in the Top 50, it seems surprising that this handsome alternative is absent from the official list. But at #776 on the Nameberry charts, the Berries certainly rate it — and that’s usually a pretty good indication of real-life popularity gains to come…

Jethro: Once the ultimate hillbilly name, now an intriguing underused member of the fashionable o-ending gang. And British prog rock band Jethro Tull lends this name an extra shot of rock ’n’ roll cool.

Ludovic: Lu– names Luke and Lucas have been mainstays of the US Top 100 for over two decades. Lately, other options with the same starting sound, like Luca and Louis (as well as Lucy, Luna and Louisa) have all been climbing too. Ludovic, or its jaunty short form Ludo, fit right in — but would certainly stand out from the crowd.

Llewelyn: A classic Welsh name which, despite its rather complex spelling and pronunciation (to the English eye and ear), has the benefit of broad familiarity outside of Wales. As a bonus, sweet short form Llew coincides with the Welsh word for “lion”.

Ned: Ted and Teddy are riding high in the UK at the moment, and both are starting to catch on in the US as well, particularly as nicknames for the popular Theodore and Edward. But Edward and the other old-fashioned Ed– names, like Edmund, Edgar, Edwin or Edison, can also be shortened to the adorably nerdy Ned — or just use it as it is.

Percy: A literary choice, whether your inspiration is the Romantic poet Bysshe Shelley or the pompous prefect Weasley. Sometimes short for Percival, but perfectly legitimate as a full name in its own right, Percy is among the Top 500 most searched boys’ names on Nameberry.

Sylvester: This soft-yet-strong name was a mainstay of the US Top 200 until the mid-1920s, when it started on a downwards trend which was accelerated by the creation of the hapless cartoon cat. According to the 100-Year Rule, it’s due a revival, and edgy nickname possibilities like Silver and Sly certainly seem appealing in 2019.

Woodrow: Carter, Lincoln, Franklin, Reagan, KennedyWoodrow has never caught on in the same way as many other presidential names, but it’s got an interesting, unconventional sound — though we’d recommend the rugged Woods or Row over Woody for short!

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry’s head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England’s smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

STAY TUNED: Geek chic names for girls will be landing tomorrow!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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