Category: cowboy baby names

Country Boy Names: The best of the west

We Americans love country names for our boys. Proof is in the current US Top 100: Wyatt and Ryder, Jackson and Hunter, Colton and Easton.

Some boys’ names feel country because of their associations, like Wyatt Earp or Johnny and June Carter Cash singing “Jackson.” Others bring to mind rodeo (Ryder) and the great outdoors (Hunter). Others are harder to pin down, but seem every bit as at home on a tractor or holding a fishing rod.

Country boy names fall somewhere between classic and modern. They’re rustic, but they wear almost as well in the big city as at home on the range.

Our picks for the best country boy names are:

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cowboy baby names

We often hear that a name has a lean and lanky ‘cowboy feel’—we’ve said it ourselves—but why is that? Why Clay and not Ray, why Bo and not Moe, Zane and not Wayne? Well a lot of it goes back to the westerns of the thirties to the fifties and sixties, both on the big and small screens, and to a few real life western heroes as well. So beyond the Texes and Slims and Dallases and Bucks, here are some of the most usable and cowboyish of the cowboy baby names.

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There’s just something about a cowboy name. So lean and lanky, with a relaxed, ambling swagger that calls up the (perhaps romanticized) romance of the Old West. From real life frontier heroes to the characters and stars of early movie westerns and 1950s TV shows, these names project a nostalgic image that’s pretty dang irresistible.

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Hipster Cowboy Names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Total props to Auggy for creating the list of Hipster Cowboy Names that inspired this post.  I love the whole idea, which seems completely right for our times.  Yes, there are cowboys – babies whose car seats are buckled into the backs of pickups for a day of roaming the range.  And then there are the hipster babies more accustomed to riding the L train, the little dudes who may wear jeans and boots but who’ve never seen a real live cow.

The Hipster Cowboys are a blend of the two types; urban cowboys, if you will.  These names combine the image of rugged masculinity with a more modern definition of gender and of cool. Some names we might expect to hear on young hipster cowboys today:

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There’s a whole posse of cowboy baby names in Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel’s roundup of this week’s newsiest names.

Some weeks, it feels like all of the birth announcements are from one big extended family.

Nameberry dubbed this style trend Iconoclastic Cowboy, and indeed, it does seem to be popular with parents everywhere.  Wyatt and Colton are both in the US Top 100.  For Real Baby Names spotted a crop of little cowpokes with names like Cayson Poe, Lathan West, and Adan Prayer in Connecticut – not exactly a place you associate with ranches and wranglers.

This week’s round-up of the nine most intriguing names begins in Manhattan:

Tristan – The Trump family is bigger by one, with Donald, Jr. and wife Vanessa welcoming Tristan Milos, a little brother for Donnie and Kai MadisonTristan reads medieval romantic hero, but Brad Pitt’s star turn as Tristan in 1994’s Legends of the Fall transported the name from Arthurian legend to the rugged Montana wilderness.

From New York to L.A., Jenna Fischer and husband Lee Kirk welcomed a son named Weston Lee.  I’d almost call Weston nouveau preppy rather than rugged, but his full name – Weston Lee Kirk – sounds right at home in boots and spurs.

Then there’s Nashville.  We’d expect country music stars to give us names at home on the range, and they have:

Boone McCoy – Country crooner Eric Church and wife Katherine welcomed a son.  Boone brings to mind American frontiersman Daniel Boone, as well as the word boon – blessing or bonus.  As for McCoy, the surname brings to mind the phrase “the real McCoy” and implies authenticity.  Yes, Boone McCoy Church sounds a little like a Dallas law firm, but it works.

Colt DanielJohn Rich has welcomed a second son.  He and wife Joan are also parents to son Cash.  Yes, that’s right.  Cash Rich.  Only in Nashville.

Bloggers have embraced the style, too.  Two of my favorite writers at Babble both have new boys with old west names.

Zeke Molly Thornberg, a.k.a Digital Mom, writes about life with her four kids, including new son Zeke.  Big brother is Izaiah, which is more edgy Old Testament.

Huck Natalie Holbrook blogs about life with baby Huck.  His full name is the impeccable classic Henry August.  But the Mark Twain nickname takes this tot from his New York City home to the mighty Mississippi.

Is there such a thing as an Iconoclastic Cowgirl?  Boy howdy, there is!

Brit Baywatch alum David Chokachi and wife Susan are new parents to daughter Brit MadisonBritt is a Swedish short form of Bridget, and the mostly masculine Brett was used for one of Orry’s sisters in the best-selling North and South trilogy.  Brit feels modern and tailored, but also tough.

Poet Poppin – Australian country singer Kasey Chambers has a brother called Nash and sons named Talon and Arlo Ray.  Now Kasey and husband Shane Nicholson have welcomed a daughter called Poet Poppin.  The literary Poet isn’t quite in this group, but paired with middle name Poppin, she sounds delightfully different, and equal to choices like Boone McCoy.

The ultimate Iconoclastic Cowboy name is coming soon to the big screen.  The much-awaited reboot of Footloose opens next weekend.  They’ve moved fictional Bomont from Utah to Tennessee, and invited country music stars to cover the movie’s iconic 80s pop soundtrack. Blake Shelton performs the cover song.  It is tough to imagine anyone filling Kevin Bacon’s dancing shoes, but early reviews have been mostly positive.  So let’s hear it for the character name: Ren.

Ren has never cracked the US Top 1000, but he’s been in steady use ever since the original Footloose debuted.  He’s my pick for the movie name most likely to leap from the screen to the crib in 2012, the perfect blend of rugged and urban, a modern sound with roots – something that seems very much in demand, at least this week!

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