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The 4 Varieties of Hipster Names

The 4 Varieties of Hipster Names

By Shauna Carlson

In retrospect, it was so cliché it hurts.

The first real-live hipster I spotted was back in 1997. He was entering a record store (I know, I know…), wearing a mustard colored cardigan, black-rimmed glasses, skinny denim and Chucks.

A lengthy 18 years later and hipster culture has finally spilled over into the mainstream. From Zooey Deschanel’s prime time show, to fast food commercials featuring 20-somethings donning plaid shirts, slouchy hats and handlebar moustaches, the modern hipster style is prominently featured and easily identifiable.

Most notably, we can see this stylistic movement in baby name selection, as hipsters settle down and begin to bestow their little darlings with unique monikers.

Hipster naming conventions are nuanced and can be segmented into different levels of hipsterdom. These include Urban Hipsters, Mainstream Hipsters (a tad ironic), Hippie Hipsters and Unaffected, dyed-in-the-fair-trade-wool Hipsters.

The Urban Hipster

One might find an urban hipster baby playing in his or her refurbished Post-War era home, wearing a hand-crafted Etsy onesie and bearing a literary, Golden Hollywood or music-inspired name:

Girls

Anais

Beatrix

Eisley

Everly

Etta

Flannery

Greer

Ingrid

Isadora

Jane

Lennon

Lola

Mae

Scout

Zola

Boys

Arlo

Atticus

Cash

Clark

Crosby

Dylan

Hendrix

Huxley

Jasper

Jude

Oscar

Otis

The Mainstream Hipster

A mainstream hipster parent may not readily identify as hipster, but is influenced by and ascribes to two hipster ideological tenets:

  • Highly personal and emotional associations are best

  • Quirky and vintage feel right

  • Mainstream hipster babies will probably meet at least one or two other buddies with the same name at mom’s Stroller Strides fitness class, while sipping on organic veggie and fruit pouches:

    Girls

    Alice

    Charlotte

    Evelyn

    Harper

    Hazel

    Margot

    Molly

    Ruby

    Presley

    Piper

    Vivienne

    Zoe

    Boys

    Davis

    Gus

    Bennett

    Hudson

    Julian

    Max

    Milo

    Luca

    Oliver

    The Hippie Hipster

    The hippie hipster is a hybrid of the Portlandia hipster, mixed with a modernized hippie. A hippie hipster baby can many times be found peering from a sling wrapped close to one of her babywearing parents. Her gentle, natural lifestyle would most likely include a soft, yet sleek nature-inspired name:

    Girls

    Flora

    Juniper

    Luna

    Pearl

    Wren

    Willow

    Boys

    Hawk

    Slate

    River

    Wolf

    The Unaffected Hipster

    Unaffected hipster parents do not entirely askew mainstream, as the media would have you believe, they simply gravitate toward offbeat choices which are not readily understood at first by the general populace.

    An unaffected hipster baby might be spotted at an outdoor fair-trade café, chewing on her Baltic amber teething necklace and swiveling her head when called by one of the following names:

    Girls

    Alma

    Agatha

    Clementine

    Delilah

    Dottie

    Edith

    Georgette

    Imogen

    Marlowe

    Maisie

    Maeve

    Myra

    Opal

    Polly

    Prudence

    Theodora

    Virginia

    Boys

    Atlas

    Arthur

    Barnabas

    Casper

    Diggory

    Errol

    Clive

    Crusoe

    Hareton

    Kepler

    Langston

    Linus

    Tennyson

    Silas

    Rex

    Walter

    Naming influences come and go.

    However, the hipster baby name trend borrows from all eras of history, thereby creating a beautiful muddling of eclectic elements of bygone areas, aspirational namesakes and just down-right fun and quirky name options. This of course skews the perceived normalcy of easily identifiable baby name timelines; making any hipster’s heart instantly happy.

    Onomastics has been a love of mine since childhood. My husband patiently waits for me to scan through all the credits at the end of movies. I scour through staff listings in magazines. I collect names like one might collect movies, shoes or music. When it came time to name our own little boy back in 2011, I was heavily influenced by my hipster tendencies. I am the Urban Hipster. We welcomed our son Atticus, and I continue to be in love with his name to this day.

    So which–if any–kind of hipster baby namer are you?

    About the Author

    Linda Rosenkrantz

    Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.