Last month we looked at the newest word names for girls. From Alannis Morrisette’s Onyx Solace to Nicky Hilton Rothschild’s Lily–Grace, word names are everywhere – both the traditional and the unexpected.
This week the same is true, but now we’re looking at baby boy names.
A trio of high profile parents has taken their children’s names straight from the dictionary. Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green made a bold choice for their third son together. A few days later, Terrence Howard and Mira Pak announced an even more daring name. And Holly Madison, mom to daughter Rainbow, also chose a word name for her new son with husband Pasquale Rotella.
Here are the nine kinds of word names for boys we’re hearing in 2016:
Heroic Names – Terrence Howard and Mira Pak named their first son Qirin, inspired by a mythical creature. Now Qirin’s little brother is Hero. Easy to say and spell, this bold word name fits in with picks like Emile Hirsch’s Valor and Benjamin Bratt’s Mateo Bravery.
Preppy Nature Names – After Holly Madison named her firstborn Rainbow, we knew that she and Pasquale Rotella would find something equally intriguing for their son. They went with Forest, a nature name that feels surprisingly restrained. Forest fits in with buttoned-down noun names like Shepherd, Wilder, and Field.
Modern Nature Names – Then there’s the given name of Megan Fox and Bryan Austin Green’s youngest son, Journey River. River is a modern nature name, seldom heard before the 1990s. Kelly Clarkson named her daughter River; Keri Russell gave the name to a son. Another intriguing modern nature name from earlier in the year? Jena Malone’s Ode Mountain.
Spiritual Names – Journey made our list of Modern Virtue Names, and now it’s the names of the latest Fox–Green family member. Megan and Brian clearly like meaningful names. Big brother is Bodhi, from a Sanskrit word meaning enlightenment. Other names in this category include Eden, Messiah, Zion, and Zen.
The Unconventional –ers – Olympian Michael Phelps’ baby Boomer has become an Instagram star. Thandie Newton’s youngest is son Booker. And Love & Hip Hop alum Nya Lee named her daughter Winner earlier. Other unusual heard-in-Hollywood names include Racer (Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan), Breaker (designers Robert and Cortney Novogratz), and Wilder (Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Towne). Are they surnames? Are they nouns? Yes.
The Royals – 2016 is the year of Reign. Nick Carter and Lauren Kitt welcomed Odin Reign earlier this year, just a few months after One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson introduced his son, Freddie Reign. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick started the Reign trend when they chose the name for their son in late 2014. Plenty of other regal names have appeared in celebrity birth announcements, too.
The Wild West – Teen Mom’s Maci Bookout named her third son Maverick, a cowboy name that has become a fast-rising favorite in recent years. Fellow cast member Mackenzie Douthit is set to welcome son Broncs any day now, inspired by husband Josh McKee’s love of rodeo. These word names blend right in with cowboy cool favorites like Colton and Wyatt.
Clocks and Calendars – Jack Huston and Shannon Click chose two noun names for son Cypress Night earlier this year. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden welcomed Sparrow James Midnight in 2009. Other word names with similar inspiration include August and the other months, as well as Winter, which works for a daughter or a son.
Unisex – Margaret is a girl’s name, while William is a boy. But most noun names work for boys and girls alike. A few recent celebrity birth announcements that reinforce that idea include: Story, son of Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg; Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne’s Rocco Robin; Tess and Nick Holliday’s Bowie Juniper, and Oscar Holly, son of Robin Tunney and Nicky Marmet.
What are your favorite word names for boys?