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:

Miles and Milo

My, my, my -- aren’t these great names? Though the etymological history is somewhat disputed, they seem both to be derived from the Latin word for “soldier,” “miles.” Miles is said to be the English version, while Milo is the French version. Milo, in particular, sounds rascally and handsome, perhaps due to the growing fame of Gilmore Girls and This Is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia, while Miles still carries the cool of jazz musician Miles Davis. Their s and o endings are equally soft and distinctive.

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