Category: geek chic names
Everyone loves a freshly hatched word name or a fledgling celebrity baby name, and many of us appreciate names that stem from flowers, trees, and animals. But for the true biophile, the bug-sketching natural philosopher or the biochemistry disciple who chops thale cress in the lab? Here are some worthy tribute names for the lovers of the life sciences.
Rosalind (Rosalind Elsie Franklin): Rosalind Franklin was an X-ray crystallographer and unsung hero of molecular biology, and her diffraction patterns gave competitor-colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick crucial insight on the three-dimensional structure of DNA. Her death at age 37 disqualified her for the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The meaning of Rosalind is as prepossessing as Dr. Franklin’s acclaimed x-ray photographs—“pretty rose”.
Jane (Valerie Jane Morris Goodall): Jane is a true classic, not only in the English-speaking world of names but also in conservation biology. Goodall’s observations on chimpanzee behavior have done much to promote empathy toward animals. The name of the childhood toy chimpanzee that inspired her enthusiasm for animals was Jubilee, and later, one of her favorite female chimps she dubbed Gremlin. Gremlin may not be the next great classic for a baby girl, but other renowned conservationists with classic names will inspire: Helen Beatrix Potter and Rachel Carson.
Have you heard of Warby Parker? They’re the cool vintage=inspired online eyeglass company that launched a huge trend. And now they’re joined by a host of other geek chic eyewear purveyors, including one for kids called Very French Gangsters, where we found our adorable glasses-wearing model.
But the real point here, as it always is on Nameberry, is names.
I was perusing the wares on Warby Parker the other day when I was distracted by the names of the frames. Some embody a lot of geek but not much chic: Fillmore, Digby, and Duckworth. And then there are those like Sloan and Sawyer, Reynold and Larkin, which are chic without the geek.
When Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany recently named their newborn daughter Agnes, I was very excited. For a baby name connoisseur, the choice of Agnes by two stylish and attractive stars heralded the arrival of a new kind of cool name: the slightly awkward, somewhat geeky name that’s so uncool it’s cool.
Of course, Geek Chic has been around for awhile now, in names as in other aspects of fashion. In our book Beyond Ava & Aiden, we featured a category – now on Nameberry – of Clunky but Cool Names for boys and for girls. (There are also more, similar choices on the lists of Old Lady Names and Old Man Names. The list of Old People Names, taking off from the twitter sensation, is full of names that are terminally geeky.)
Some of these choices, like Hugo and Oscar for boys, for instance, and Imogen and Matilda for girls, sound a lot more cool than clunky these days. As vintage names become more mainstream and our tastes broaden, names that seemed edgy just a few years ago now feel normal and pretty – pretty normal.
When the mother of all hipster mommy bloggers, Heather Armstrong aka Dooce, named her second daughter Marlo, all I could think was…..Marlo? Really? You’d have to work hard to find a less hipsterish name, and Dooce herself has said she was inspired to choose the name by its original bearer, That Girl actress and Free to Be You and Me author Marlo Thomas, not exactly a hipster icon.
So I was thinking about how true hipsters would by definition search for names that were not pegged as hipster, when I came across a nameberry forum launched by the ever-brilliant Susan Chesney, called Outhip the Hipsters.
“What names are even more edgy and nerdy-cool than the Hipster List?,” Susan writes in the introduction to her thread. Rule #1, says Susan: The names on the Outhip the Hipsters list cannot be on the Hipsters list or be enthusiastically endorsed on Nameberry.
Over the next 50 posts, dozens of the nameberry resident geniuses added their own entries to the Outhip the Hipsters list. I’ve reclassified many of the name suggestions below, plus added some of my own.
Here, names that may Outhip the Hipsters:
RISING HIPSTER NAMES
The choices below are rising quickly through the hipster ranks and may soon be so hip they’re not hip anymore.
One thing we learned when we wrote about hipster baby names is that nobody wants one. Many people were horrified if they found their favorite names — or worse, their actual children’s names — on our list of hipster names. No matter how much they’d loved the name before, they immediately went in search of something new, something different, something with a bit less of the whiff of hipsterdom about it.
Well, okay. We can dig grok understand that. It’s intrinsically uncool to be seen as trying hard to be cool, even if you’re doing so by deliberately being uncool. Which, of course, is uncool.
We wrote about this before, in our exploration of names that hit the baby name sweet spot between too cool and not cool enough.
Today we look at how to downshift the hipster factor in some of the prime suspect names. Making a name less hip might mean making it more classic or plainer, but it also might mean making it more unusual, less obviously stylish. If you truly want to pull back from the edge of cool, consider making the following swaps.
Any more bright ideas? We know you have some…..