Jazz Baby Names
Origin:Surname derived from David, Hebrew
Description:Davis is a fresh way to say David. Some sources define it as "son of David," but we see it as a surname spin on the original. While David is an everyman name, Davis has some creative edge -- and still gets you to the classic guy nickname Dave.
Meaning:"God will judge"
Description:As the song says, "Dinah, is there anyone finer?" Dinah is a charming, underused Old Testament name with a rich literary and musical resume.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Indie actress Parker Posey put a female imprint on this sophisticated surname that's still about three times as common for boys but rising for both sexes. Parker has the advantage of its nature connection, relating it to such occupational names as Gardener and Forester.
Origin:English rank of nobility
Description:While John Wayne and Duke Ellington are worthy role models, the reason Duke is currently enjoying a revival and returned to the Top 1000 in 2013 as one of the year's fastest-rising boys’ names is more likely due to the name given to high-profile TV couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Christened Edward Duke, he has always been called by his middle name, just as Edward Duke Ellington was. Duke is just one of several aristocratic titles being increasingly used by ordinary citizens.
Description:Tatum is one of the rare examples of a name that was exclusively female, as in Tatum O'Neal, but now is used for boys too, entering the male Top 1000 in 2010. Khloe Kardashian made headlines when she revealed her son is named Tatum Robert, breaking from the family theme of using unique word names for their children.
Description:Django — the D is silent as most everyone now knows — the nickname of the great Belgian-born jazz guitarist Django (originally Jean Baptiste) Reinhardt, makes a dynamic musical choice for any jazz aficionado. Reinhardt's nickname "Django" is Romani for "I awake." The name has become more familiar with the release of and acclaim for the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
Origin:Diminutive of Chester
Meaning:"fortress, walled town"
Description:Chet is an old-fashioned short form that, ala Ned and Joe, is starting to sound cool again.
Origin:Latinized variation of Tillo
Description:One of the coolest of names, thanks to legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk, who inherited it from his father. It has been used very sparingly since the 1960s--just a sprinkling of baby boys receive the name each year. Monk's middle name Sphere is pretty unique too--a cousin of Cosmos and Cosmo. Some other jazz names to consider: Bix, Ellington, Ella, Etta, Mingus, Dexter and Calloway. :
Origin:English aristocratic title
Description:Earl is a title name - brought to England by the vikings - that's out of fashion right now, unlike King and Duke. Its peak popularity was in the 1920s, which gives it a dusty great-grandpa feel, but there are also younger Earls in pop culture, like the reformed criminal in "My Name is Earl".
Origin:Scottish, variation of Menzies
Meaning:"tenants of a manor"
Description:Supermodel Helena Christensen named her son in honor of jazz great Charles Mingus, opening up a whole category of jazzy possibilities: Kenton, Calloway, Ellington, Gillespie, Mulligan, Tatum, and Thelonius.
Origin:English and Irish
Description:The name of three hundred saints, a mustard, and your own baby boy. Coleman was off the US Top 1000 list for much of the 1960s and 1970s, but it was a mainstay before and has been for most years since. It could be an interesting way to honor a Colin or Cole.
Origin:English from Latin
Description:Calloway is one of those irresistibly jaunty, animated three-syllable surnames, like Sullivan and Finnegan — but this one has the added attraction of jazzy ties to the immortal "Dean of American Jive," Cab Calloway.
Origin:Diminutive of Elizabeth
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:After a century of association with horses and cows, this name just could be ready for revival by a fearless baby namer -- after all, it did happen to Jessie and Becky.
Origin:Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"son of Gerald"
Description:Made famous by F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Fitzgerald Kennedy; still works best as a middle name.
Origin:English place-name and surname
Description:Ellington is a swinging musical name, evoking the jazzy and elegant persona of the Duke (born Edward Kennedy Ellington). While that reference may seem to make Ellington a male name, it is also occasionally used for girls.
Origin:English place-name; phonetic form of Leicester
Description:Lester is one of the British surname names that were popular in the US in the early decades of the twentieth century: it was in the Top 100 through 1931, reaching a high of Number 52 in 1906. But dropping of the list in the late 1990s, along with Hester and Sylvester, we don't see much hope for a return visit.
Description:Jazz as a full name is used slightly more often for boys than girls and has a distinctive, well, jazzy feel. Jazz is also occasionally used as a nickname for Jasper, much more often for Jasmine or Jazlyn. Could work as a middle name.
Description:Bix is a cool and jazzy nickname name, thanks to that final x. It's largely associated with the legendary and influential cornet player (and inspiration for the novel Young Man With a Horn), Bix Beiderbecke. He was born Leon Bismark Beiderbecke and his nickname derived from his middle name.
Description:Elvin had his peak in the 1920s - which was when jazz musician Elvin Jones was born - but parents are still using it for over 100 boys a year. That's less than Kelvin, but more than Delvin.