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:

Soren and Stellan

Call it a Viking invasion. These two Scandinavian names -- both associated with semi-famous Nordic actors -- have started to make inroads with American parents. For now, Soren is significantly more popular, at Number 568, while Stellan hasn’t yet hit the Top 1000. Their S beginnings and exotic origins situate them in the group of unconventionally masculine boys’ names.

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