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Too-Cool Baby Names

Too-Cool Baby Names
Maybe you can't be too rich or too thin, but if you're a baby name, it just may be possible to be too cool. A too-cool baby name runs the risk of overshadowing your child. How many children can live up to a name like Rambo or Hallelujah or Heathcliff?

Along with Hallelujah and Heathcliff, other too-cool names for babies include Dagger, Scorpio, Vanellope, Boo, Sativa, Marmaduke, Pirate, and Baby itself. Some too-cool names are literally too cool, such as Antarctica, Ice, Icelyn, and yes, Kool.

While the line of what constitutes a too-cool baby name seems to get redrawn every day, these choices will probably be on the wrong side of it for a long time to come. Browse our list of too-cool baby names below.
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LuciferHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light-bearer"
  • Description:

    Lucifer is the name of the archangel cast into hell -- theologians disagree on whether he and Satan are separate beings -- and as such has long been on the forbidden list for religious parents. Still banned in New Zealand, Lucifer is occasionally used in the contemporary U.S.: Six boys were given the name in the most recent year counted.

MazikeenHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Meaning:

    "harmful spirits"
  • Description:

    Neil Gaiman invented this name for a character in his comic book Sandman. It can now be seen on the TV show Lucifer.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

TalonHeart

  • Origin:

    French word name
  • Meaning:

    "large claw of a bird of prey"
  • Description:

    Despite its somewhat menacing meaning, this name has been widely used in recent years, probably due to the appeal of its trendy on ending.

ZeroHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "void"
  • Description:

    Zero Mostel took on this name for its comedic value, but there would be nothing funny about giving it to an unfortunate child.
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BluebellHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name from English
  • Meaning:

    "blue bell"
  • Description:

    Bluebell is one flower name that is used very quietly. Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell joined her former Spice Sisters in creative baby-naming with this adventurous -- some might say outlandish -- choice. Distinctive and charming? Or better suited to a farmyard animal? Your call.

DaggerHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Dagger is one of the new badass baby names, a sharp and scary choice that some parents may feel arm their child for battle in a cruel modern world.

RogueHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Now that names like Cannon and Gunner, fit for comic book heroes, are rising up, Rogue may fit right in.

AppleHeart

  • Origin:

    English nature name
  • Meaning:

    "apple"
  • Description:

    When people talk about unique baby names, Apple is often one of the first examples they mention. Apple made international headlines when Gwyneth Paltrow chose this wholesome fruit name for her daughter. Many have called it ridiculous, but we have to admit, we find it appealing enough to list as one of our top cute baby names. Rocker Bob Geldof named one of his daughters Peaches; Banana Yoshimoto is a hipster writer. Another choice in this genre is the luscious Plum, though for different reasons, neither Prune nor Cherry will fly.

MarmadukeHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "devotee of Maedoc"
  • Description:

    One of the ultimate teasable names, an Irish saint's name now associated with the oversized comic-strip dog. Scottish adventurer Bear (born Edward) Grylls took up the challenge when he used it for his son.
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AristotleHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "superior"
  • Description:

    The great philosopher's name is commonly used in Greek families, and is one that could work for daring, philosophy inclined American ones.

BusterHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern nickname
  • Description:

    An old-fashioned nickname in the Bud/Buzz/Biff mold; this one's kind of belligerent. Michelle Hicks and Jonny Lee Miller moved outside the box when they used it for their son--given the safer middle name of Timothy.

ValkyrieHeart

  • Origin:

    From Norse
  • Meaning:

    "chooser of the slain"
  • Description:

    In Norse mythology, the valkyries decide the fate of men in battle and convey the spirits of those killed in combat to Valhalla, to dwell with the god Odin.

DiabloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "devil"
  • Description:

    Diablo Cody, self-named (she's really Brook Busey) screenwriter of Juno, singlehandedly helped popularize not just her heroine's name and her own but all o-ending names for girls. You don't need us to tell you that it takes a brave parent, in every way, to name a baby Diablo. Diablo is one of the Spanish baby names that diverges furthest from the well-paved camino.

GypsyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wanderer"
  • Description:

    Gypsy, long associated with the intellectual stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and the musical that was made about her life, was used by Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings as the middle name of their daughter Alabama. Be aware, however, that the word gypsy is now considered an ethnic slur when used for the Romani, or Roma, people.
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ZeppelinHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Zeppelin is one of those quintessential rock star names (it was used--or invented--by Jonathan Davis of the group Korn)--which not many other parents are likely to pick up on.

RenesmeeHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary invention
  • Description:

    Invented by author Stephenie Meyer for the Twilight series for the half-human, half-vampire daughter of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, it's an amalgamtion of the names of Bella's mother Renee and Edward's adoptive mother Esme. Much to our surprise, some people are trying this at home.

PlutoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "rich"
  • Description:

    The Roman god of the underworld, the former ninth planet, a cartoon dog...but not a baby.

DaenerysHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary name
  • Description:

    Daenerys is yet another girls' name invented by "Game of Thrones" author George R. R. Martin that is beginning to gain some traction in real life. Daenerys was used for 67 baby girls in 2013 while one of the character's titles, Khaleesi, was given to 241 baby girls. And the name Arya, also from the hyper-popular series, is one of the fastest growing girls' names in the country.

BooHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name or nickname
  • Description:

    Boo may have started out as a nickname for the male character Arthur "Boo" Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird and these days may be closely associated with another male Boo, the "world's cutest dog" or with the adorable little girl in Monsters, Inc.
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BuckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "male deer"
  • Description:

    Comedian Roseanne Barr chose this for her son...which seems in character. In the 18th century it was used to describe a dashing, fashionable dressed man.

BanjoHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    When actress Rachel Griffiths chose this highly unusual name for her son, many assumed it was a bizarre invention. But a noted Australian poet (Griffiths is an Aussie) is known by this name.

RebelHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Meaning:

    "rebel"
  • Description:

    Asking for trouble. Rebel Wilson is female, but this name is truly gender neutral, though hardly neutral in any other way. Rebel is undoubtedly one of the edgiest boys' names starting with the letter R.

ScorpioHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "scorpion"
  • Description:

    Of all the astrological names —think Leo, Aries, Gemini— Scorpio probably has the most dramatically potent presence, which could prove something of a burden to a young boy.

CoronaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "crown"
  • Description:

    Corona was once an improbable choice due to the beer brand. After the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, its firmly cemented its status as a nonviable baby name.
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SapphoHeart

  • Origin:

    Ancient Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sapphire"
  • Description:

    Name of the 7th century BC Greek lyric poet born on the island of Lesbos, whose name has been synonymous with lesbian love. Though this name is rarely used today, it certainly could be and, some might say, SHOULD be revived.

BeyonceHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Description:

    You know who Beyonce is. One of the most famous people in the world. When she was born, her name was truly unique; it was a riff on her mom's maiden name, Biyence, with an accent over the final e.

BoomerHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "gatekeeper"
  • Description:

    This upbeat, friendly surname name has appeared on television's Battlestar Galactica a handful of cartoons, and on a literary note, a character in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Sports fans might think of Boomer Esiason, the NFL quarterback turned color commentator. He's not the only athlete to answer to the upbeat nickname.

FlashHeart

  • Origin:

    Word and comic book name
  • Description:

    Flash Gordon makes this a superhero name, but Flash might just appeal to modern parents looking for one of the new active boys' names, ala Ace and Breaker and Ranger. We'd recommend something more pulled-together as a proper name with Flash as a nickname or middle name.

HeathcliffHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "cliff near a heath"
  • Description:

    Heathcliff is the name of the original passionate macho hero of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and also of the cartoon cat. It was chosen by fashionista Lucy Sykes for her son, and inspired the late Heath Ledger's name. But otherwise it's barely used, and perhaps a bit much of a namesake. For a modern boy we'd recommend Heath....or Cliff.
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LuckyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Recently chosen by singer Elle King for her son. Lucky is a name that could see a considerable rise in the near future, as word names continue to heat up.

AdonaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my lords"
  • Description:

    Adonai is a title meaning "my lords" used in the Torah and in Jewish prayer to refer to God, whose name is forbidden to be spoken. Even the title Adonai is considered by some Orthodox Jews to be too holy to say outside of prayer, being replaced by HaShem, meaning "The Name". This makes Adonai a highly culturally loaded choice, which is never used as a name in the Jewish community. Nevertheless, several dozen boys and a handful of girls receive this name each year in the US.

DeuceHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name or nickname
  • Meaning:

    "two"
  • Description:

    Basketball's Jayson Tatum introduced this to the naming lexicon when he used it as a clever nickname for his son, Jayson Christoper Jr. It fits in with nicknames like Trey or Trip for boys who are the third in the family with their name; we've even heard Quatty and Quinto.

RamboHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname name
  • Description:

    No one could seriously consider choosing this cartoonishly macho name for a real live child.

SativaHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    If you live in a state where marijuana is legal (or maybe even if you don't), you might know that Sativa is one of the major strains of weed. And yes, 12 baby girls were named Sativa in the US in one recent year, versus 29 for Indica, the other strain. Sativa is said to produce a more energetic and creative effect, while Indica makes you feel calm and dreamy. Sativa is not a name you would choose if you envisioned your daughter going into law enforcement.
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RocketHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Starbaby name that might prove too supercharged for real life, but if like director Robert Rodriguez you're interested only in boys' names starting with R, you may need to add Rocket (and Rebel and Racer) to your list.

ShooterHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Previously known only as the nickname of Waylon "Shooter" Jennings, Jr., who's married to Sopranos star Drea DeMatteo, the violent Shooter recently became a proper name when painter Julian Schnabel used it for his newborn son with gallerist May Andersen: The little boy is named Shooter Sandhed Julian Schnabel, Jr. Does this mean that Schnabel's own first name is really Shooter? We're not buying that and see Shooter as a too-cool addition to such trendy badass baby names as Breaker and Rebel.

SecretHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Mysterious.

SatchelHeart

  • Origin:

    American nickname
  • Description:

    First Woody Allen, then Spike Lee named their children to honor the great early black pitcher, Leroy "Satchel" Paige. A bit luggage-related for non-celebrity use, however.

VanellopeHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented name
  • Description:

    Vanellope is a Disney creation, given to the protagonist of "Wreck it Ralph" and now a character on Sugar Rush. She is energetic, tomboyish and very sassy.
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WildHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Asking for trouble.

MaebyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Mae
  • Description:

    Maeby sprang into the modern consciousness via the cult TV favorite Arrested Development, in which the appealing teen character Maeby's name is a nickname for Mae. It's also a homonym for Maybe, which undercuts its inherent cuteness. Is Maeby prime for a real life baby name? Sorry, but we can't resist: Maybe.

EpiphanyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "manifestation, striking appearance"
  • Description:

    Epiphany is based on the ancient Greek word for a feeling or realization that comes upon you suddenly. It often relates to the divine, as in the realization that Christ is the son of God. The Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus, takes place on January 6, ranking Epiphany among the unique January baby names. As word names and spiritual names become more popular, the attractive Epiphany becomes a more viable choice.

MajestyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Alternative to Prince, Duke, King, or Earl, but not an improvement on them.

PinkHeart

  • Origin:

    Color name
  • Description:

    The singer known as Pink (born Alecia) brought this hue onto the name-possibility palette, especially as a middle choice. Could Pink be the next Blue?
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TigerHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Description:

    If it's a choice between golf champ Woods's real name Eldrick or nickname Tiger, we'd have to go with the latter. But while animal names are becoming more familiar and stylish, we'd recommend Wolf or Fox over Tiger.

TornadoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish word name
  • Description:

    Tornado first meant thunderstorm and only later came to mean whirlwind, the common modern meaning. More recently, Tornado is the first name of a tennis-playing teen whose sister is called the equally attention-getting Hurricane. Both names work for either gender, if you think you can withstand the storm jokes.

ParadoxHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    A paradox is a statement that while seeming true contradicts itself. With the less-than-pleasant "Doxy" as an obvious nickname, Paradox is perhaps a better name for a cat than a baby.

RacerHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    New, fast, cool, and chosen by director Robert Rodriguez, whose other sons are Rebel, Rocket, and Rogue, all somewhat risky options.

SinbadHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian literary name
  • Description:

    When comedian David Atkins adopted this Arabian Nights-type name, it became almost feasible, but could lead to tough times in the schoolyard.
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