Hipster parents are everywhere these days. They are the ones playing their children lullabies on vinyl and keeping their tots’ heads warm with handmade hats. Moms and dads who dress their babies in metal band T-shirts and opt to pull their kids everywhere in wagons in lieu of driving a car are definitely venturing into hipster parent territory, but one of the most telling things about parents are the names they choose for their bundles of joy.
According to Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder and CEO of Nameberry.com, “People are working a lot harder to come up with a name that is really distinctive and has a lot of personal meaning.”
When it comes to naming their babies, hipster parents love to draw inspiration from the world around them. However, they often go searching in interesting and unexpected places. In short, if Mom's baby is named after a Greek god, a popular 70s rocker, or a character from a Kurt Vonnegut novel, she might just be a hipster parent.
The following 20 names are considered by some to be too outdated, washed-up or stereotypically nerdy to be assigned to a modern-day baby: music to a hipster parent's ears. In fact, these names are so uncool, they’ve become cool again, and, simply put, are names only a hipster mom would choose.
Atticus is an ancient name of Latin origin that means from Attica. It is a hipster mom’s dream, combining timeless appeal with a quirky sound and a literary connection. Today, it ranks as the 405th most popular name for boys in the United States. It’s a safe bet that the majority of parents who have chosen this name for their tots have also gifted their babes mustache binkies and cloth diapers.
Nameberry.com states, “Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among boys’ names.” (Especially among hipster moms and pops.)
Bijou is an exquisite name of French origin that means jewel. Pronounced bee-zhoo, this unexpected moniker is sure to spark the interest of hipster parents searching for a name that is as dazzling as it is rare. Some may consider it to be a bit on the pretentious side, but for others, (hipster progenitors) it's sheer perfection.
Currently, Bijou ranks as the 13,372nd most popular name for girls in the United States. The alternative spelling Bijoux takes it to an even hipper level that is definitely worth considering. According to Nameberry.com, “Bijou is a name that lives up to its definition--a real jewel." The site also cautions, "Warning: not unheard of on poodle dog collars.”
Beauregard is name of French origin that means beautiful gaze. Some may consider it stuffy and outdated, but it’s a choice that undoubtedly possesses a certain sophisticated charm. Presently, this name ranks as the 12,187th most popular name for boys in the United States, and its popularity has fallen 7,648 spots since last year.
Nameberry.com states, “In the past this was seen as a jokey Southern colonel name, but we have heard of some parents considering it as a path to the likable Beau.” This three-syllable designation will undoubtedly help a little man stand out from the crowd; it’s unclear, however, whether it will be in a good way or a bad way.
Cordelia is a name of Latin and Celtic origin that means heart; daughter of the sea. Perhaps Anne of Green Gables heroine Anne Shirley summed up the delicate grace of this name best when she stated in the novel, “I would love to be called Cordelia. It’s such a perfectly elegant name.”
At the present time, this vintage choice ranks as the 501st most popular name for girls in the United States, and has risen an impressive 790 spots in use since last year. According to Nameberry.com, “Cordelia, the name of King Lear’s one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today.” Totally. Especially hipster ones.
Carleton (also spelled Carlton) is a name of English origin that means settlement of free men, Carl’s town or farmer’s town. Today, Carleton is most definitely flying under the radar, and ranks as the 13,164th most popular name for American boys. Alfonso Ribeiro’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character made this name synonymous with a slightly spoiled rich boy, but it’s time for hipster parents to make this name mainstream again.
On the name Carleton, Nameberry.com states, “Carleton has a great meaning behind it,and should really have more popularity than it has found to date. You can shorten it to Carl or keep it upscale and formal in the longer form.”
Dorothy is an English variation of the Greek name Dorothea and means gift of God. Currently, Dorothy ranks as the 1,481st most popular name for girls in the United States. One of the most famous hipster families to date, The Bucket List Family, chose to name their eldest daughter Dorothy, putting this name on the map once again, and most likely piquing the interest of hipster parents around the globe.
According to Nameberry.com, “In the 1930s, Dorothy left Kansas and landed in the Land of Oz; by the ‘80s she had become a Golden Girl living in Miami with roommates Blanche and Rose...But parents today seeking a quiet classic are bringing Dorothy back.”
Dewey is an anglicized variation of the Welsh name Dewi and a nickname of the the name Dafydd that means beloved. In 2018, it ranked as the 6,429th most popular name for boys in the United States.
Nameberry.com explains, “Not heard since the 1980s, Dewey shot into the Top 20 in 1898 thanks to the popularity of the Spanish-American War naval hero Admiral George Dewey...It has a strong but dewy feel and is appealing enough to be ripe for a modern revival.” This name possesses some nerdy undertones thanks to Donald Duck’s nephew and the Dewey decimal system, but, when it comes to hipster parents, these facts most likely do nothing but add to its overall appeal.
Elora is a variation of the name Eloria. It became a widely-recognized first name after the 1988 release of the fantasy film Willow in which Elora Danan was a character. At the present time, Elora ranks as the 522nd most popular name for American girls, and is up 208 spots in popularity since last year.
According to Nameberry.com, "While the etymology of the name is unclear, it's most likely a contraction of Eliora or Elnora. Despite the uncertain heritage, it's a winning construction based on its El- prefix, [its] feminine three-syllable flow, and [its] a ending. It debuted in the U.S. Top 1,000 in 2015."
Ender is a name of Turkish origin that means very rare. Today, Ender ranks as the 1,347th most popular name for little lads in the United States. It has risen a whopping 592 spots in popularity since 2018. Thanks to its literary pedigree, and its appearance in the game Minecraft, this name is a hipster parent's dream.
Nameberry.com states, "This popular Turkish name has a very on-trend sound and is familiar to English speakers thanks to Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel [and the subsequent film adaptation] Ender's Game." Gamers and readers alike won't have a hard time falling in love with this unique option.
Gretchen is a German diminutive of the name Margarethe and means pearl. Presently, it ranks as the 1,410th most popular name for girls in the United States. It has risen an astronomical 2,187 spots in popularity since 2018. Possibly due to the fact that this name contains the word “retch”, it has been given a bad wrap over the years, but many hipster parents may consider it a timeless choice ripe for rediscovery.
According to Nameberry.com, “Like Greta, Gretchen...has become an American quasi-classic...She was at her high point in the 1970s, making it into the top 200...the name is currently enjoying a dash of modern glamour via actress Gretchen Mol.”
Grimm is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin that means fierce. It currently ranks as the 7,571st most popular name for American boys, but has risen a staggering 9,946 spots in popularity since last year.
Fairytale fans will be quick to point out that the Brothers Grimm are the two genius writers responsible for crafting some of the most ghastly and exciting fairy stories ever published. Those who can’t get enough of the gore and intrigue surrounding the tales written by these two mysterious men would count themselves lucky to pass the surname of these celebrated writers on to a treasured tot.
Leia is a variation of the name Leya, a moniker of Hindi and Spanish origin that means the law; lion. It also has origins in Hebrew and means weary. Star Wars fans will quickly recognize it as the name of a princess that lived long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Nerdy? Yes. Gorgeous? Unmistakably. Today, Leia ranks as the 216th most popular name for girls in the United States. It has risen 57 spots in popularity since last year.
According to Nameberry.com, "The spelling variation of Leya was popularized by the Star Wars films, but is still firmly in the U.S. Top 1,000 many years later." Parents who wish to pass on their love of George Lucas's movie masterpieces to their darling daughters have found just what they are looking for in the name Leia.
Milton is a name of English origin that means settlement with a mill. It’s a surname that invokes images of thick glasses wrapped in tape and pocket protectors, but if anyone can turn this name from out-of-favor to completely chic, it’s an effortlessly cool hipster parent. Currently, it ranks as the 2,995th most popular name for girls in the United States, but who’s to say it won’t be a beloved choice in years to come thanks to a few bold parents who aren't afraid to take a chance on an unpopular name?
Nameberry.com states, “Once an upper-class British surname conjuring up the epic poetry of John Milton, it then descended to the antics of ‘Uncle Miltie’ Berle, and now has left the stage completely.”
Nancy is a fancy diminutive of the Hebrew name Ann and means grace. Presently, it ranks as the 1,481st most popular name for American girls. Fans of the hit show Stranger Things and hipster parents will most likely agree that it’s time to bring this long-beloved name back into circulation.
In reference to the name Nancy, Nameberry.com explains, “A name that has always been in the Top 1,000, Nancy was in the Top 20 from 1931 to 1962, in the Top 10 for several of those years; in 1940, Nancy was given to about 20,000 baby girls, However, Nancy’s star appears to be waning, as it has lost popularity in recent years. But the name itself is still lovely. Nancy has a pleasant sound and look that is easy to spell and pronounce.”
Napoleon is an ancient name of Greek origin that means lion of the new city. At the present time, Napoleon ranks as the 7,572nd most popular name for boys in the United States. It may not be anywhere near close to the top of the pack, but it’s worth noting that it has risen a staggering 9,946 spots in popularity since last year.
According to Nameberry.com, Napoleon is an “overly ambitious choice, recently borne by the hapless hero of the cult movie hit Napoleon Dynamite.” If there was every a name made to appeal to a hipster parent, it’s this one.
Persephone is a name born of Greek mythology. Nameberry.com explains, “Persephone is the esoteric name of the Greek mythological daughter of Zeus by Demeter, the queen of the harvest. After she was taken by Hades to be Queen of the Underworld, it was decreed by Zeus that she would spend six months of the year with her mother, allowing crops to grow, and six in mourning, thus accounting for the seasons.” Today, Persephone ranks as the 522nd most popular choice for American girls, up 969 spots since last year.
The beautiful tale behind this name makes it one fans of the changing seasons are sure to adore. The site continues, “Despite the mixed message of her mythological past, Persephone has a light and lyrical aura, and pleasant associations with springtime and harvest.”
Sheldon is a name of English origin that means steep-sided valley or protected hill. Currently, this name ranks as the 1,683rd most popular name for boys in the United States. Love for this name is on the rise, and its popularity is up 388 spots since last year.
According to Nameberry.com, “Like Marvin and Melvin, Sheldon has been perceived as about as far out as you can get, though there are very pretty towns in Devon and Derbyshire that inspired it. Sheldon Lee Cooper is the lead nerd character on the TV hit "The Big Bang Theory", giving the name a brainy image.” What more could a hipster parent want?
Trillian is an interesting, gender-neutral name that is as unheard-of as it is expensive-sounding. At the present time, it doesn’t appear on popular baby-naming charts. Despite what some may wonder, it is not a misspelling of the number trillion, but a name created for a literary work. Understandably, it’s one most hipster parents won’t be able to resist.
According to BabyNameWizard.com, “[Trillian] is the name of a fictional character from the science fiction series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by British writer Douglas Adams. The character's given names Tricia McMillian are combined to form Trillian.” Talk about a name created to stand out.
Winston is a name of English origin that means wine’s town or town of victory. Today, Winston ranks as the 344th most popular name for boys in the United States. It’s a long-forgotten choice that is recently making a resurgence, and has risen 105 spots in popularity since 2018.
According to Nameberry.com, “Long associated with the Churchill family and common in the West Indies, the distinguished Winston has tended to be neglected here. The exception was during the World War II period...With the current trend towards using hero names, we can see this upstanding Anglo-Saxon example making a return.”
Willow is an English name inspired by the ever-beloved weeping willow tree. Presently, this name ranks as the 66th most popular name for girls in the United States. It is also a popular choice among parents all over the world, and is currently topping charts in the United Kingdom, Scotland, Australia and Canada.
Nameberry.com explains, “An ancient tree that figures in literature from Shakespeare to Harry Potter and is believed to possess magical powers, Willow is a lovely name, as graceful as its inspiration, that is growing in popularity along with Willa and Will.” What’s not to love about the name Willow?
Sources: Nameberry.com, BabyCenter.com, BabyNameWizard.com, SheKnows.com