Hipster Names for Boys and Girls
Origin:Diminutive of Montague, Montgomery
Description:Monty, a name with a World War II feel, is rarely used on its own. But we're hearing rumblings of a comeback and think that Monty, whatever it's short for, is an adorable vintage nickname name of the future.
Meaning:"follower of Marduk"
Description:Mordechai and Mordecai are equally valid — both are used as transcriptions from the Hebrew bible, and one did not originate before the other. But although popular culture tends to prefer the (slightly simpler) Mordecai, Mordechai has always been the more common version for babies born in the US.
Origin:German form of Maurice
Description:The unusual-to-the-English-ear Moritz is a Top 25 name in Germany and Austria and a form of Maurice or Morris, which are modern variations of the ancient Roman Maurus. There were several early saints named Maurus and a famous 3rd century Saint Maurice, who was a Roman infantryman who was martyred when he refused to worship Roman gods. The Moritz form also references the posh Swiss ski resort St. Moritz.
Meaning:"delivered from the water"
Description:Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's choice of this white-bearded Old Testament name helped bring it into the modern age, along with brethren Elijah, Isaiah and Isaac. User-friendly nicknames include Moe and Mose.
Meaning:"descendant of Moses"
Description: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 comedies as The Man Who Came to Dinner and You Can't Take it With You.
Origin:English, diminutive of Edward
Description:Ned is a gently old-fashioned Nancy Drew-Bobbsey Twins-era short form for Edward that sounds cooler than Ed and is enjoying a small style renaissance.
Description:A name that Yanks might see as overly British, but combined with the right surname, it does have a measure of Sherlock Holmesian dash via Nigel Bruce, who played the original Dr. Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes.
Origin:Bird name from German
Description:Charming nature name made even more appealing by the connection to iconic nurse and statistician Florence Nightingale.
Meaning:"pleasantness, charm, tenderness"
Description:Noam is an underused modern Hebrew name with any number of attractive attributes attached to its meaning; it doesn't have the biblical weight of Noah, but could make a more distinctive alternative to that popular choice. Noam is a Top 10 boys' name in Israel.
Origin:English tree name
Meaning:"tree from the genus Quercus"
Description:Oak, a symbol of solidity, strength, and longevity, is joining Cedar and Pine as a viable name, one that would work especially well in the middle.
Origin:English, nature name
Description:Nature names like Ocean and River are flowing back into favor, especially with nature lovers and green-oriented parents.
Origin:Latin and English
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.
Description:Despite the success of so many O-starting boys names--Oliver, Owen, Otis, Oscar--Oswald has not yet shown any signs of resurrection, though he does have the animating nicknames Ozzie/Ozzy and Oz. The name has some literary cred--in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's King Lear and a novel by H. G.Wells--and there was early cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Meaning:"strength, powerful, courageous"
Description:This may be a legitimate Hebrew name denoting power, but to any American kid, it will evoke ruby slippers and a yellow brick road. The full Hebrew name is Ozni, who was a grandson of Jacob in the Bible.
Origin:Pet form of Oswald, Osborn and Osmond.
Description:Hard-core rocker Ozzy (born John) Osbourne might not be everyone's idea of a role model, but his nickname name, along with others like Iggy and Izzy, are now being used. Ozzy was one of the fastest-rising boy names of 2021.
Description:Peregrine is considered to be an elegantly aristocratic name in England, but has never made it to the U.S., where it has been seen as extravagantly eccentric. In the new naming climate, though, it's not beyond consideration — in fact it's already been chosen by at least one Berry.
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.
Origin:Swedish or Cornish
Description:Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.
Description:An evocative unisex one-syllable name, Poe is most distinguished by its literary reference. Edgar Allan Poe was an influential American author and poet, credited with inventing the genres of detective and science fiction, which might provide inspiration for parents who are fans. And now its choice as the name of the hero played by Oscar Isaac in the new Star Wars movie is sure to catapult it from literary choice to major favorite.
Description:Puck, the mischievous sprite of Shakespeare, is a unisex name given more often to girls in The Netherlands and is also the name of one of the moons of Uranus, discovered in 1985 and named Puck for the Shakespearean figure.