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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), ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. 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.
  2. OttilieHeart
    • Origin:

      German, French
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in battle"
    • Description:

      Ottilie is trending in the UK, where the pronounced T helps the name sound pretty and delicate, ala Amelie. Ottilie is less popular in the US, where many Americans pronounce it as a near-homonym for "oddly".
  3. KitHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Christopher
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. RomyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Rosemary, Roma, Romana, Romilly etc.
    • Description:

      Austrian actress Romy Schneider seemed to be the singular bearer of this international nickname name until it found new style currency in the past decade.
  8. CosmoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, Italian, English
    • Meaning:

      "order, beauty, universe"
    • 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.
  9. 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.
  10. StellanHeart
    • Origin:

      Swedish, meaning unknown , possibly "calm"
    • Meaning:

      "calm"
    • Description:

      Stellan is a strong, attractive, Scandinavian possible up-and-comer, known through actor Stellan Skarsgard, and his namesake, the son of Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany. Its trendy 'an' ending and the similarity in sound to the popular Kellen/Kellan make it all the more accessible.
  11. 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.
  12. OrsonHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin and English
    • Meaning:

      "bear cub"
    • Description:

      Orson has had in the past a rotund teddy-bear image, a la Orson Welles, who early on dropped his common given name of George in favor of his more distinctive middle one, and who seemed to own it during his lifetime. No longer a single-person signature, it's now an interesting possibility for any parent seeking an unusual yet solid name. It's started to appear to the celeb set--both Paz Vega and Lauren Ambrose have little Orsons.
  13. 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.
  14. OdetteHeart
    • Origin:

      French, from German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Odette is the good swan in Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, a role for which Natalie Portman won an Oscar ---and it would make a particularly soigne, sophisticated yet upbeat choice, unlike some of the more dated other 'ette'-ending names.
  15. 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.
  16. IraHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "watchful one"
    • Description:

      Ira is one of the shortest, non-biblical sounding Old Testament names, belonging to one of King David's thirty 'mighty warriors.' It was widely used in the US from the 1880s to the early 1930s (it was Number 57 on the Social Security list in 1881), but fell off completely in 1993. Although Ira is also a retirement-account acronym, it's back on the table for those seeking a short biblical name for their sons, and reentered the US Top 1000 in 2016. A musical namesake is lyricist Ira Gershwin (born Israel), a literary one is Ira Levin, and there are two prominent Iras hosting NPR radio shows.
  17. 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.
  18. AnselHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "with divine protection"
    • Description:

      Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.
  19. 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.
  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.