Searching for Casual Cute Boy Names
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.
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.
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.
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.
CASUAL CUTE BOY NAMES
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.
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?
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?
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on August 27th, 2020 at 7:45 am
I love the name Dell, could that be a compromise? It’s casual, outdoorsy, and rare but recognisable. I agree that Dill is too much.
Emma Waterhouse Said
on August 27th, 2020 at 8:17 am
I quite like Dill! November is definitely more extreme, in my opinion.
Love Abby’s suggestions of Bear, Gus, Otis, Roscoe and Woody.
(I love this kind of style!)
on August 27th, 2020 at 9:29 am
I love the suggestions above! Otis November is pretty dreamy… and Wren has been on my favorites list for boys for forever.
on August 27th, 2020 at 10:29 am
I would say to go with Dylan/Dillon as the official first name and just call the baby Dill. You get to call the baby what you want but he as the option of a longer full name as he ages. The only other full names I can think of for Dill are Dillard and Dilbert and neither of those are better options than Dillon.
Rachamim F Said
on August 27th, 2020 at 10:38 am
If Dill is out, how about Del or Dale?
If it’s the D sound you like, consider Duke, Don, Day, Drew, Dow, Daw, Dean or Dane.
If it’s the L sound, consider, Cal, Hal, Mal, Sal etc or Bill, Hill, Kyle or Nils
on August 27th, 2020 at 12:21 pm
I agree with Abby’s take on Dill (especially if your partner is unsure), and Gus and Otis seem like the perfect vibe—great options!
I also LOVE the suggestion of Del / Dell as an alternative, and many of the other suggestions offered (Ike, Wilf, Linus…)
The only one I’ll add is Robin. It also feels “unpretentious and cute” to me, but thoroughly wearable. I know a baby boy Robin, and the name suits him so well!
on August 27th, 2020 at 12:29 pm
Abby’s reaction is NOT too harsh. Much milder than mine. Dill is indefensible. “Unflattering nicknames” puts it mildly.
I think Abby’s comments and suggestions are spot on. I think the other obvious compromise is Dale. Gus and woody are fabulous. In a desperate attempt to offer alternatives to Dill and November (seriously, try introducing yourself as an adult by those names!), I’ll add:
Nat (on its own or as a nickname)
on August 27th, 2020 at 12:42 pm
I suppose Dill could also be short for Darrell. But why, with such a nice list of alternatives to choose from!
Beau Jean Said
on August 27th, 2020 at 1:11 pm
If Dill is at the top of your list, than why move it?
If people name their children Bill, Gil, Jill, Phil, and Will, then I think there is plenty of room for Dill.
I like Dill.
It is NOT weird.
on August 27th, 2020 at 1:51 pm
Dill is too much, but Bear is suggested? Is this a joke?
on August 27th, 2020 at 2:55 pm
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear Dill is pickles, the spice used with pickles and sometimes cucumber sandwiches. But, if I knew it was a nickname, I’d feel warmer toward it. Can Dillon go back on the list?
I also think your runner-up Kit is nice, and you could get there from a few different full names: Christopher, Keith, Crichton (KRY-ton) – choose your spelling, Kynaston, Courtland
If we’re after unpretentious and cute, and not popular, maybe you’d like
Hill (maybe with originally-a-boy-name Hilary as a full name)
on August 27th, 2020 at 3:28 pm
I don’t think I’d raise an eyebrow if I met a little boy called Dill- if you love it I think you should go for it!
on August 27th, 2020 at 8:48 pm
I’d say go for Dill, but if your partner is really opposed I agree with the above poster. I love Dell. I like it as a nn for Cordell or Lindell.
Abby Sandel Said
on August 27th, 2020 at 8:55 pm
@Leah_Said – Nope, not a joke. I get that Bear feels extreme to many, but it’s rising steadily in use. Dill is pretty much unheard of. Part of what makes a name feel more or less mainstream is how many children are receiving it today, and how familiar we are with it as a possible, plausible name. So I’d say it’s less extreme than Dill, which is virtually never used.
But more suggestions are warmly welcome.
Abby Sandel Said
on August 27th, 2020 at 8:55 pm
TiffanyS – LOVE the suggestion of Hill!
on August 27th, 2020 at 11:54 pm
I don’t think it’s a weird name at all. I quite like it. It’s like the herb, no? If you can name your baby Basil, Sage, Willow or Aspen, or apparently Bear, why not Dill (which is close in sound to Will/Phil/Jill, too)?
on August 28th, 2020 at 12:39 pm
If you like November, what about October with NN Toby?
on August 28th, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Dillon nicknamed Dill seems like the obvious answer here. Save your kid from being called Pickles.
I did a quick search of names with “Dil” as part of the name and Odilio came up. Apparently a real German name, which also gives the option of Leo as a nickname. I really think giving this kid something to fall back on, that isn’t just “Dill” is important.
I really like the suggestion of Gus: it has the same cutesy vibe as Dill but is recognizable as a name.
More similar names:
on August 28th, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Sorry for any repeats:
on August 28th, 2020 at 5:24 pm
I just want to say, I love Dill. I think it would be a wonderful choice, and if you truly love it, I think it’s worth using for a human you’ll truly love.
on August 28th, 2020 at 5:28 pm
I’d also like to agree with Gondolin and point out that animal names are very similar to herbal names, in that not everyone likes them and there are excessive bad connotations and making-fun to be had for all of them. I think Bear in particular is a name gaining popularity in the nature names category that comes off as unpleasant to many – so Dill (with all its similarities to other more popular names) has plenty of usability even if it may not be everyone’s favorite.
on August 29th, 2020 at 7:59 am
You could not use Dill in Australia, it is slang for idiot. I really like Kit, Arlo and Jude. I also like the suggestions of Gus and Otis. I love Flynn, Finn and Toby, but they also might be too popular? How about Dash? Or just Ash?
on August 29th, 2020 at 11:55 am
I really like Dill! I agree with others that if some other names are on the table (bear) than why not Dill?? It’s cute and an herb name (which is ‘in’ now) And honestly I think it’s cuter and less cringey than the alternatively suggested name of Dell, which isn’t horrible but is now a brand name first in my mind.
And nowadays a name will only be unused and rare compared to others as long as people are too weary of using it. If no one is the first to embrace it then no one will follow enough to make it seen embracable. I say be the pioneer. If I met a called baby Dill I wouldn’t blink an eye with some of the other Baby names I’ve heard. And as people said, Dill fits with Gil, Will, Bill, Lil, Phil, Jill, etc. And why suggest Gil/Gilbert but not Dill/Dilbert? I’m sure you’ve seen and dismissed Dilbert but as much as it’s associated with the comic I don’t think it’s unusable nowadays as the reference is outdated.
I don’t care for Dillon as a spelling as that would need to be spelled out a lot more than Dylan, but love the alternative formal name route. What about pulling the unrelated formal name route? Perhaps another D name? I think Darrel or another D name ending in L or perhaps a name with the ill sound would work good. One that husband prefers but you’re not as set on? It’d be a good compromise for you to get preferred nn Dill while he gets his preffered choice of formal name that could grow on.
Maybe Dill as Middle name? Middle is great for “guilty” pleasure names it’s hard to be confident about. And many people go by their middle name over their first name. There’s ways I think you could feel comfortable calling a son Dill.
on August 30th, 2020 at 1:36 am
In Australia and England, to call someone “a complete dill” means they’re a moron. Perfect name if you never expect him to travel…
on August 30th, 2020 at 9:43 am
How about the Welsh boys name Dilwyn. Less common than Dylan or Dillon and you get the Dill nickname
on August 31st, 2020 at 12:10 am
I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind Dill as a name. As others have commented, it’s been used as a word for someone perceived negatively; a related insult I’ve heard is “dillweed.” “Dill” is also uncomfortably close to “dull.”
on August 31st, 2020 at 5:25 am
I actually think Dill is super cute but I would think it was short for Dillon. It is important that your partner likes it too so I don’t think it’s your name. Kit is amazing and has the same vibe. I had it on my list. It’s a very casual and cute name. I’d go for Kit! Second place I’d choose Herbie. That’s adorable!
I also love:
You have a great style!
on August 31st, 2020 at 3:37 pm
My feeling is that a little boy named Dill would get quite tired of dill pickle jokes, not to mention the dillweed/total dill insult and very likely in middle school, dild0. I wish that wasn’t the case because I agree on paper it looks like such a pleasant herb name, much like Sage! Someone else said what’s the difference between this and Phil, Lil, Bill, etc. The difference is that in English it’s much more recognizably a word than a name, and that word has connotations & vernacular uses. If not, then why not Drill, Grill or Pill etc?
I think as with anything in life, when it comes to names, a whim or fancy can take hold – especially for people who do have imagination, as you (mama) seem to! And then we become slightly obsessive without even realizing that we’re not giving anything else a fair chance to be fallen in love with as well. Hopefully one of the many great options here will eventually bewitch you just as much.
on August 31st, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Not sure if any of these have been mentioned.
Ned short for Edward, Edwin, Edmond, Edmund, Edsel
Nat short for Nathaniel
Seb short for Sebastion
Mars short for Marshall
Hal short for Henry
on August 31st, 2020 at 10:50 pm
I am against Dill as a name, and most of it is because of this sentence:
” 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.”
Your child will spend, say, two years as a baby. He’ll spend another ten as a kid. He’ll spend about seven classified as a teenager, and then hopefully many, many, MANY more as an adult. Would you mind if I said about seventy?
We think of ourselves naming babies, but that’s not true. We name PEOPLE, and if you look at it, you’re going to be naming an adult more than a teen, a kid, or a baby. And if Dylan or Dillon makes you smile for an adult, then that’s the name you should go with. You should focus on the ~seventy years your child will live with this name, not the ~twenty they’ll have it in their youth.
Also, to echo previous posters- Dill has different connotations than Sage, or Bear, and that’s why it’s being frowned against. It’s not nearly as flattering an herb to be named after. It’s like asking why Lucifer and Lilith aren’t seen as valid names, when they’re so similar to names that are around…though not as severe! XD
on September 1st, 2020 at 8:16 am
I agree with the Name Sage, Dill is not a good name choice. The associations with pickles and with idiots are too much to give to a child or adult. I can only imagine this person very quickly adopting initials over the name Dill.
Reconsider Dylan, Gilbert, August (also nn Augie), as you imagine the adult that your baby will grow into and live with for many many years. I know of boys named Nat and Bay, not nicknames, and they seem to work well. Flynn or Toby seem to fit too. Good luck!
on September 1st, 2020 at 3:20 pm
Please don’t name your baby Dill. As much as you love it, I hate to say it but it has a good chance of being a burden for your son to carry. It could definitely work as a middle name or as a nickname. But going full Dill paints him into a real corner.
I do like herb names, but they’re not all created equal. Sage, Rosemary, Basil all work well. But Dill, like Oregano and Parsley, is just too visceral to crossover to be a useable first name.
Dillon is also just a great name!! I would definitely go with Dillon, with nn Dill if I were you.
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