The PERfect Boy Name: PERcival and jasPer

February 3, 2015 bluejuniper

By Brooke Cussans, at Baby Name Pondering

Now it’s the boys’ turn.

Just starting your name search or stuck in a rut? Not sure where to start, or just need some fresh inspiration? Then how about one for every day of the week! Here are seven names containing the PER sound – one “per” day. You may be surprised just how versatile this syllable is. So versatile that I couldn’t put them all in one list – so, as promised on Monday, here come the boys:

Jasper – The Special Gift

It’s the eighth most popular boys’ name on Nameberry, but this hasn’t quite translated to real life. Yes, it has been on the rise. But in 2013 it was ranked at #248 in the U.S, nowhere near the top 10 (undoubtedly delighting Jasper fans). You could say it’s a classic – Jasper hasn’t been out of the top 1000 since 1880. It’s the English variation of a Persian name meaning ‘bringer of treasure’, relating to the fact that he was one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts for the baby Jesus in the Bible. He’s also one of those sparkly Twilight vampires, but with the last movie now more than two years old that association is already starting to fade.

Peregrine – The Spiritual Surprise

You may think of Peregrine as a bird name, thanks to the peregrine falcon. And he may even seem somewhat eccentric and aloof to some ears. But Peregrine is actually quite a spiritual name. It’s Latin, meaning ‘traveller’, ‘pilgrim’ or ‘crusader’, and is said to symbolise the transitory nature of life on earth. This is possibly why the name was worn by several early saints – and an adventurous J.R.R Tolkien hobbit better known by the perky nickname “Pippin”. He’s very rare in the U.S, so hits a great balance of stately, down-to-earth and underused.

Rupert – The Hipster Dream

There can be a lot of debate on what exactly a “hipster” name is, but I think ‘S My Name is Sophie‘ summed it up succinctly recently when she said “A hipster baby name is on the cusp of cool. It seems unstylish or out-there to most parents, but then gains favor.” That said, meet Rupert. He is wildly unpopular on the charts (placed in the 6000’s in the U.S). He’s often considered to be stuffy, snobby and “very British.” The last of which isn’t entirely unfair as most of the current famous Ruperts are British actors and the name is just outside the Top 200 in England and Wales. But I can envision him moving slowly into our hearts. Rupert is charming and rakish – deserving of a place on a list with other hipster-esque names like Roscoe, Silas and Winston.

Hyperion – The Mythological Legend

In Greek mythology Hyperion was one of the twelve Titan children of Gaia and Uranus, making him a brother to Phoebe. He’s so much more though, often seen in computing, comics, literature and science fiction, just to name a few of his uses. Hyperion means ‘the high one’, which together with the prefix “hyper” could make it hard to wear, so perhaps best as a middle name. But he’d make a daring and surprising choice. Other Ancient Greek ‘Per‘ choices? Perseus and Pericles.

Cooper – Your Hard Working Mate

At the other end of the scale to Hyperion we have the friendly, popular Cooper. He’s an occupational name, a fact easily forgotten as a Cooper – a barrel maker – is not exactly a common occupation now. In 2013 he was a Top 100 name in the U.S, New Zealand, the U.K and Canada. In Australia he’s Top 10 material, despite Coopers being a popular Australian beer. But this perhaps helps to make Cooper feel so approachable, like he’s your laid back, easy-going best mate. Nickname Coop just adds to this.

PerryInspiration From The Family Tree

You might have the surname Cooper in your family tree, or maybe you have a Perry. Perry was a Top 1000 name in the U.S for a long, long time, only dropping out in 2007. That means there are plenty of Perry‘s to look to for inspiration – from musicians to sportsmen to designers to fictional detectives. Perry could be a nickname for many of the other names on this list, so if he feels a little informal on his own and you can’t resist a surname, perhaps saucy Perez or preppy Perkins would be more your style.

Percival – The Knight In Shining Armour

Yes, he’s one of those Knights – a Knight of the Round Table. The name was actually invented by a medieval poet for the telling of the Arthurian legends. Of the knights, Percival was said to be the most pure. This may make you think of Percival as strong, noble, dashing and chivalrous. But for a long time Percival has suffered from an image problem. ‘Pure’ became inexperienced and weak in some eyes, and this in turn became effeminate and finicky. But I think the time is ripe to reclaim Percival‘s strength! He’s dashing, romantic, heroic and deserves more love.

About the author


Brooke Cussans – better known on the Nameberry forums as bluejuniper – is based in Melbourne, Australia and is the author of name blog Baby Name Pondering. She especially loves rare and unusual names.

View all of bluejuniper's articles


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