New Surname Names for Boys
Okay, okay, I know there are people with the surnames Drake and Deacon, Gunner and Ryder, but I don’t think that’s why those names are popular. It’s more that they aren’t conventional first names that’s important, I think, than that they fit any other kind of mold.
In terms of names that convey the new masculine image, the huge surnameish trend is interesting because it makes boys’ names in some ways more formal and traditional than they were before. What sounds more imposing, after all: Jefferson or Jeff? Jacoby or plain old Jake?
It may be the move away from family names – when’s the last time someone you know named their baby a junior? – as well as from religious and ethnic strictures is what makes these new names for boys so appealing to parents. Names like Fletcher and Hayden convey the aura of family lineage and power without any of the nasty obligations: no endless Thanksgiving dinners or visiting Uncle Theodore in the nursing home to make sure you sew up your inheritance.
Rather, you can wear these faux family names as lightly as a Ralph Lauren sweater. And on a similarly shallow note, the surname trend is partly inspired by celebrities and their characters who are often called by their last names: Beckham (a big winner in the 2008 popularity poll), Chandler, and Donovan, for instance.
While these names are all prominent on the 2008 popularity list for boys, many are of course used for girls too. In the past, once a name crossed to the girls’ side, many parents abandoned it for boys, but that’s not happening as much today — a positive development, we think. For a closer look on surname names and gender identity, see our blog on unisex names.
Reid or Reed
Caden, Kaden and bros
Colton and Colten
Reese or Reece (or the Welsh Rhys)
Trip or Tripp
Zayden et al
Tomorrow, new boys’ names imported from around the world.
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on May 19th, 2009 at 1:30 am
NEW SURNAME NAMES FOR BOYS – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry…
It may be the move away from family names – when’s the last time someone you know named their baby a junior? – as well as from religious and ethnic strictures is what makes these new names for boys so appealing to parents. ……
on May 19th, 2009 at 12:46 pm
I think I’d hesitate with Kane, because it sounds so much like Cain like Cain and Abel. That’s the best association for a name, heh.
on May 19th, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Names like Fletcher and Hayden convey the aura of family lineage and power without any of the nasty obligations…
That’s exactly why I dislike these kinds of name so much. It’s ripping off a wonderful old tradition and stripping it of its original intent.
on May 19th, 2009 at 6:11 pm
I really like the name Carson for a girl, but Samuel is a surname that is also a boy’s first name.
on May 20th, 2009 at 7:36 am
Dallas, Deacon, Drake, Easton, Keegan, Kelvin, Ryder and Slade are all well-known surnames, am I missing something?
on May 20th, 2009 at 7:37 am
Der, yes I am, at the very beginning of the article. Sorry!
Boston Girl Said
on May 20th, 2009 at 1:56 pm
Some of these are already very well-used. Both my stepsons’ names are on the first list, and they both have surnames as middle names too: Griffin Bailey and Logan Carter. Griffin is still fairly unusual; but “Logan” has become so popular in the last few years that the little guy is going through the same thing I went through in my school years — bumping into classmates with the same name. Both boys play baseball, and we got a program listing the members of all the teams in the local league. I must have counted six or seven Logans throughout! It may already be time to retire that one…
Definitely time to retire Taylor too. It’s so overused and unisex atop that. Remember the last Robert Rodriguez movie, “SharkBoy and LavaGirl”? The two co-stars were both named Taylor! Sometimes I think every third kid is called Taylor. Pam and Linda, I’m glad you put up this list of alternative ideas; I just hope not all of thewseof these wind up on the girls’ side. When all the boys’ names have gone to the girls, what’re we gonna name the boys? 😉
on May 21st, 2009 at 9:35 am
Why saddle your child with a “faux” family name? To me it reeks of social climbing.
on May 25th, 2009 at 9:08 am
“While these names are all prominent on the 2008 popularity list for boys, many are of course used for girls too. In the past, once a name crossed to the girls’ side, many parents abandoned it for boys, but that’s not happening as much today — a positive development, we think. ”
I disagree. Whatever other functions a name serves, one of them is to identify the person for others. If someone has a name that is gender-neutral, that doesn’t help. Others should at least be able to know whether the person whose name they’ve read or heard is a man or a woman. I can’t see how unisex names promote equality between the sexes.
Emmy Jo Said
on May 27th, 2009 at 9:34 am
Gunner is actually a family surname for us — it’s my mother-in-law’s maiden name. She hates it (feels it sounds far too violent), but my mom thinks it’s very cool and is trying to convince us to use it for our first son.
It’s not really my style — I tend to go for the revival names like Gideon and Julius. But I think I’d be far more likely to use one of these surnamey choices if I actually had some sort of family connection (or other meaningful connection) to it. Otherwise, like you said, they seem somewhat shallow.
on November 21st, 2009 at 12:30 am
I have three boys, and another on the way. All of there names are on these lists. Devon, Logan, Hayden and baby-to-be will be named Carson. I guess I really like surnames(or those that have the feel)as first names. I love this article. Thanks!
on January 15th, 2010 at 12:09 am
Tripp is actually a nickname for a boy who’s given name ends in III.
My son is John III and we call him “Tripp” instead of John for the third which I think is great of course.
Not sure why people are just naming boys this name that are not the third… 🙂
on February 21st, 2010 at 6:13 pm
Because people choose names THEY LIKE! Am I shouldn’t name my son Jackson just because it’s not a family name? PLEASE! I prefer using names I like instead of family names I hate. Not everybody has nice sounding names in their family tree and some people just happen to dislike their family members. I’m glad that there are less “Juniors” just let children have their own names instead of Junior or little John etc.
on June 25th, 2010 at 11:17 pm
I actually like Trey and Tate a lot. My little cousin’s name is Trey. It’s so unique and cool-sounding in my opinion.
on September 15th, 2010 at 12:24 pm
This will be a our third boy and we are thinking of going with an old family surname. The surname is not on the list but it is a real surname “Starrett”. We thought we would call him “rett” for short. Any thoughts? Our other boys are Baxter and Russell. I would love some opinions!
on June 16th, 2011 at 1:10 pm
you forgot Martin!
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on August 6th, 2014 at 7:31 am
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on August 19th, 2016 at 9:01 am
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on February 28th, 2019 at 7:23 pm
I like the surname, Claery, which means “one who flows freely” as a first name. It has a nice meaning and is ever so subtly Italian. (Claery is an anglicized version of the Italian (from greek) surname Caliri. Thus, I suppose it is a hybrid.)
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