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:

Jasper and Sebastian

Two Romantic, sinuous-sounding names with major literary ties. Sebastian is the name of characters in not one, but two Shakespeare plays, while Jasper owes much of its recent popularity to the Twilight series. While many of the names on this list have Biblical sources, Jasper and Sebastian are relatively pagan; Jasper is the name of a semi-precious crystal, and Sebastian is a demonym for people from the ancient city of Sebasta.

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