Searching for Casual Cute Boy Names


Holly knows her style: casual, cute boy names. But her favorite choice for a son might be too different. Should they name their baby boy Dill, or find something less daring?


Holly writes:

We need your name wisdom to help us choose a name for our baby boy due in November

The name that tops my list is Dill.

I like how unpretentious and cute it is, especially for a baby. But my partner is unsure and has thought of some unflattering nicknames. Dylan and Dillon just don’t appeal to me as much for some reason even though I think they would work better for a teenager and adult. 

I don’t really love any other names, although ones I quite like include Kit, Milo, Herbie, and Wren

Popular names like Arlo and Jude are out. I like Gabriel, but maybe it is it too religious for us, as well as November, but maybe it’s too ‘out there’ for us.

Please help!  I feel like I have read every single name!


The Name Sage replies:

I never say this, but I’m going to say it.

Don’t name your baby Dill.

Here’s why: your list is packed with casual, cute boy names. They’re breezy and unpretentious. But they’re also familiar, accessible choices that everyone recognizes. I’ve sometimes called them homespun boy names – an appealing blend of modern and traditional styles.

November strikes you as a little too much, and I’d agree – it would be a bold choice. But Dill might be even more extreme, and it sounds like your partner shares that feeling.

There is a character from To Kill a Mockingbird called Dill, but it’s a nickname. (His real name is Charles.) And unlike Atticus or Scout, it’s yet to catch on. People actually named Dill in the English-speaking world are vanishingly rare. That means lots of repeating, spelling, and explaining your son’s name. Some parents welcome that, especially if there’s a great backstory. It sounds like you’re a little more hesitant about choosing something that’s really different.

Dillon called Dill would be the obvious compromise. But if you’re not sure, I wonder if you might consider a few other suggestions?

Let’s look for casual, cute boy names that stand out on the playground, and far less popular than Arlo and Jude – but still strike a familiar chord.



BEAR – Yes, Bear tends to appear on lists of crazy celebrity baby names. And yet, we’re borrowing names from the animal kingdom more and more often. After all, Wren is on your list, and Fox is gaining in use, too. Bear feels just daring enough now, but it fits with lots of casual, cute boy names like Jude and Beau.

GILBERT – If not Dill, would Gil appeal? It’s far less common than Will, but shares the same sound. Plus, Bertie is a second nickname option.

GUS – Cuddly Gus can be short for August, but it stands alone nicely, too.

OTIS – Many casual cute boy names tend to be nicknames – Charlie and Herbie, Jack and Kit. But Otis feels complete, a little bit vintage, and still every bit as breezy.

RIO – The Spanish word for river, Rio is catching on faster in England than the US. But it remains less popular than Arlo, Milo, or many o-enders. Could it be just different enough?

ROSCOE – Speaking of o-enders that stand out, Roscoe centuries of history. And yet, it’s nearly unknown as a given name today. But unlike Dill or November, we all recognize it as a given name, even if we don’t hear it very often.

WOODY Woody shares the same casual style as Herbie. But it also feels a little outdoorsy, and just slightly familiar. (Credit to actor Harrelson, and, of course, the Toy Story character, hero of four movies over more than two decades.)

Gus strikes me as the most obvious substitute for Dill. And, of course, formal name August echoes month-name November. If you’re feeling like it’s still too predictable, then maybe a choice like Roscoe, Bear, or Otis would satisfy?

A name like Otis November or Gus Dillon would wear beautifully.

But I still wonder if Dillon isn’t the best of all possible worlds? It delivers a cute, cuddly nickname for your baby boy, plus a more formal name to wear as he grows up.

Readers, I’d love your take – is my reaction to Dill too harsh? Is there another compromise name I’ve missed?

About the Author

Abby Sandel

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at