Baby Names Inspired by Athletes

Looking for unusual baby names? You might find some of the choicest while watching a football game or a tennis match. While the legendary stars of sports history usually had regular guy names like Joe and Jimmy and Michael and Mickey (not to mention Billie Jean), some of the newer luminaries, as well as the surnames of classic athletes, offer options for baby names that go beyond the perimeters of that limited playing field.

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  • Moss

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    This evocative green nature name, heard much more frequently as a surname, is associated with playwright Moss Hart (born Robert), who co-wrote (with George S. Kaufman) such enduring Broadway ... Read More 

  • Neville

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    More often used in Britain than here, where most names ending in ville fall into the unthinkable class, this might make an exception via fans of the musical Neville Brothers.

    Charles... Read More 

  • Nolan

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Nolan is one of the rising Irish surname names, in the spirit of Conan and Ronan, partially inspired by pitcher Nolan Ryan-- who was named Lynn at birth, after his father. Nolan is a cheerful,... Read More 

  • Orlando

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Orlando, the ornate Italianate twist on the dated Roland, with a literary heritage stretching back to Shakespeare and before, has appealing book-ended o's, and is open to combination with almost... Read More 

  • Palmer

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Palmer is a name that derives from the fact that pilgrims often carried palms, thus the double meaning. It's a fresher sounding twist on such upper-crusty surname names as Porter and Parker. Read More 

  • Payton

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Though Peyton remains extremely popular for both boys and girls, and Payton is in the Top 200 for girls, Payton as a boys name has started to fall out of favor. It was in the Top 300 from 2000 to... Read More 

  • Peerless

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Peerless Price may be a football great, but his name would exert undue pressure. Substitute idea: Peer.Read More 

  • Pelé

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    The name of the Brazilian-born soccer great (whose name at birth was Edson) is popular in France and could make it here too. Read More 

  • Peyton

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Peyton is the most-used spelling of this popular name, thanks to football star Peyton Manning, but it's playing increasingly for the girls' team. The Manning family excels in all-star names, with... Read More 

  • Picabo

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Olympic skier Picabo Street was allowed to choose her name at the age of three, and picked it possibly (a) after a nearby Idaho town or (b) because she loved to play peekaboo. No longer a... Read More 

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