The New Generation of Boys’ Names

Gender identity takes a turn for the middle

By Pamela Redmond

Many of today’s most fashionable boys’ names carry a gender identity that’s decidedly masculine but not conventionally so, softer than macho but stronger than unisex. These boys’ names fall right in the middle on the gender scale, in contrast to their stylish female counterparts, which tend to be ultra-feminine (Arabella, Ophelia) or frankly boyish (Hayden, Frankie).

Many of these hot new boys’ names carry sounds that are soft and/or traditionally connected to girls’ names, such as vowel endings, and so depart from the classic male names once dominant. These stylish boys’ names with a fresh gender identity include:

Kai and Kylo

Two names that scream 2017 and share defining vowel endings. Kai is arguably the ultimate multicultural name, with lovely meanings in languages from all around the Pacific Rim, including Japanese, Maori and Hawaiian. Kylo, by contrast, has one clear source: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s the assumed named of the movie’s central villain, Kylo Ren, and captured parents’ imaginations so forcefully that it entered the Top 1000 in 2016.

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