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Hipster Names for Boys and Girls

Hipster Names for Boys and Girls

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.

Hipster boy names finding the most favor today include the literary Ambrose, the quirky Cosmo, and the gender-neutral Kit. Hipster boy names are often off-beat names with lots of history, like Boaz or Phineas, or edgy modern names, like Hopper and Huckleberry.

Hipster girl names often fall along these style lines too. Quirky vintage girl names that qualify as hipster include Agnes, Ida, and Marigold. More contemporary hipster girl names include Nightingale and Nyx.

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 h 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. CleoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "glory"
    • Description:

      Cleo, one of the few girls' names to boast the cool-yet-lively o ending, is of course short for Cleopatra, the name of one of the most powerful women in history.
  11. ThaddeusHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic, meaning unclear, possibly from Theodore
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Thaddeus, a distinguished, long-neglected name, has several areas of appeal: a solid New Testament legacy, a nice antique feel, and the choice of several more modern nicknames and international variations.
  12. 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.
  13. IdaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "industrious one"
    • Description:

      Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.
  14. 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.
  15. NyxHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "night"
    • Description:

      In Greek mythology, Nyx was a powerful goddess and the embodiment of the night, but when spoken, its negative meaning can't be ignored.
  16. WilburHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute, brilliant"
    • Description:

      Wilbur is a stylish name in the UK whose merits are just starting to be discovered in the US. Wilbur, the loveable pig who Charlotte of the Web called Some Pig, is an inspirational hero. And Wilbur and Orville Wright were early aviationists.
  17. IsoldeHeart
    • Origin:

      Welsh, German
    • 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.