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Hipster Baby Names

Hipster Baby Names
Hipster baby names are names that are favored by hip, stylish parents, none of whom want to be accused of using hipster names for their children. That makes hipster names a moving target — as soon as a name becomes identifiably hipster, hip parents start to avoid it.

What qualities are shared by hipster names? They're usually conventional names but never popular ones. They are quirky and edgy but may also have deep roots. Old-fashioned nickname-names, such as Sally and Sonny, often strike a hipster vibe, as do mythological names and boys' names used for girls. The letters O, Q, X, and Z are often found in hipster names, including Opal and Io, Zelma and Ziggy.

Along with Opal and Sonny, other hipster names in the US Top 1000 include Cleo, Eugene, Florence, Ira, Langston, Rudy, Stanley, and Zelda. Former hipster names that are now mainstream include Matilda and Clementine for girls, Arlo and Otto for boys.

Below, the hipster baby names most often heard around Brooklyn, Austin and Madison these days (though we can't resist pointing out that the names Brooklyn, Austin and Madison are nowhere among them).
  1. OttilieHeart
    • Origin:

      German, French
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in battle"
    • Description:

      Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Ottilie does have a few cultural references: She is a key character in Goethe's Elective Affinities, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a poem called To Ottilie, Franz Kafka had a sister named Ottilie, and it is the name of the protagonist in the John Wyndom sci-fi story Random Quest.
  2. FlorenceHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "flourishing, prosperous"
    • Description:

      Florence is back, returning to the US Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after a nearly 40 year absence. Other English-speaking countries have been quicker to welcome Florence back into fashion.
  3. AmbroseHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "immortal"
    • Description:

      A favorite of British novelists including Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse, Ambrose has an air of blooming well-being and upper-class erudition. It comes from the same Greek root as 'ambrosia', the food of the gods, said to confer immortality.
  4. KitHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Christopher
    • Description:

      Actor Kit Harington, aka the dreamy Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, has given this nickname-name new style and appeal for boys. Actress Jodie Foster used it for her son. For girls, it's an updated diminutive of Katherine.
  5. CasperHeart
    • Origin:

      Dutch form of Jasper, Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      This ancient name, also spelled Caspar, is finally shedding its ghostly image and moving into the 21st century. Popular in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where it's sometimes shortened to Cas, Casper could ride the style coattails of cousin Jasper. Casper was one of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus along with Melchior and Balthasar.
  6. CloverHeart
    • Origin:

      Flower name, from Old English
    • Meaning:

      "key"
    • Description:

      Clover is a charming, perky choice if you want to move beyond hothouse blooms like Rose and Lily, and it's recently become a new celeb favorite, chosen by both Neal McDonough and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who used it to honor her mother, Natalie Wood, one of whose most iconic films was Inside Daisy Clover.
  7. CosmoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, Italian, English
    • Meaning:

      "order, beauty"
    • Description:

      We all heard it on Seinfeld as the long-concealed first name of Kramer, then considered a punchline. Now some pioneering parents are embracing this expansive Greek name, which makes a creative and cool choice for a baby. Influential celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost chose it for their son, born in 2021, which will likely drive Cosmo up in popularity. In the UK, it currently ranks within the Top 1000 boy names and is trending upwards.
  8. AlistairHeart
    • Origin:

      English spelling of Alasdair, Scottish version of Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      With many British names invading the Yankee name pool, the sophisticated Alistair could and should be part of the next wave. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. You have a triple choice with this name--the British spell it Alistair or Alastair, while the Scots prefer Alasdair--but they're all suave Gaelic versions of Alexander. Adopted by the lowland Scots by the seventeenth century, the name didn't become popular outside Scotland and Ireland until the twentieth century.
  9. AgnesHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure, virginal"
    • Description:

      Agnes is the Latin variation of the name Hagne, which itself derived from the Greek word hagnos, meaning "chaste." In medieval times, St. Agnes was a very popular saint, leading to its popularity as a girl's name. Agnes Grey is the title of one of the two novels written by Anne Brontë.
  10. IsoldeHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "ice ruler"
    • Description:

      Now that Tristan has been rediscovered, maybe it's time for his fabled lover in the Arthurian romances and Wagnerian opera, a beautiful Irish princess, to be brought back into the light as well.
  11. PhineasHeart
    • Origin:

      English, Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "the Nubian"
    • Description:

      Phineas is the English variation of Phinehas, a Hebrew name likely derived from the Egyptian name Pa-nehasi. Pa-nehasi, meaning “the Nubian” can also be translated as “the bronze-colored one.” The Egyptians distinguished themselves from their Nubian neighbors through differences in skin tone.
  12. AlfieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alfred, English
    • Meaning:

      "wise counselor"
    • Description:

      Alfie is a Top 20 name throughout the British Isles, where retro nickname names are mega-popular, but it hasn't really been picked up in the US yet. Both Alfie and rising star Archie are spunky nickname possibilities with a bit of an English accent.
  13. LevHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "heart; lion"
    • Description:

      This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
  14. AndromedaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "advising like a man"
    • Description:

      One of the stellar unique baby names from mythology, Andromeda was the beautiful daughter of Cassiopeia who, like her mother, literally became a star--the constellation that bears her name.The Bohemian Andromeda makes a dramatic and adventurous choice in a time when four-syllable mythological names are gradually making their way into the mainstream.
  15. HarrietHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of French Henriette
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Harriet has long been considered a stylish, upscale name in England, but it's still waiting to be revived in the US—though some parents seeking a solid, serious semi-classic are beginning to consider it.
  16. WinifredHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "blessed peacemaking"
    • Description:

      One of the few remaining unrestored vintage gems, with a choice of two winning nicknames--the girlish Winnie and the tomboyish Freddie--as well as the slight stretch Freda. Winifred, the name of a legendary Welsh saint, was a Top 200 name into the mid-1920's.
  17. MarigoldHeart
    • Origin:

      Flower name, from English
    • Meaning:

      "golden flower"
    • Description:

      Marigold, once found almost exclusively in English novels and aristocratic nurseries, is beginning to be talked about and considered here. It has a sweet, sunny, quirky feel. The marigold was the symbol of the Virgin Mary.
  18. BirdieHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "bird"
    • Description:

      Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
  19. IndigoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "Indian dye"
    • Description:

      Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
  20. RufusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.