I am old enough to remember the original hippies, although not with great clarity. They seemed to wear the best, lived-in and soulfully-embellished blue jeans, had great, let-it-loose hairstyles and funky make-up. They also renamed themselves some of the most far-out names one could imagine, and if they happened to have a baby of their own, the names were fantastic. Born just shy of the movement, I missed out on most of the stuff, but it made a lasting impression. I didn't have a bra to burn or gender to revolutionize, but I was sure I would be great at writing placards for one of the myriad protests.
The remnants of those intentions can be seen in the conservationists and recyclers, the protesters and the headshop devotees. For everyone out there burning incense, wearing a peace sign t-shirt and donning flip flops, we know you're out there.
We know you won't settle for establishment popular names like Brittney or Jacob, Caitlyn or Kyle. For those of you now wanting to conjure up the absolute best of those "Make love-Not War!" days, here's the baby name list you've been searching for.
Now if you could only find a commune or an organic farm to raise the baby on!
Solstice is a wonderful hippy name. It encapsulates a lot of what works for this group, such as invoking nature and sounding poetic. The summer solstice is when the sun reaches its highest point of the year at noon, creating the longest daylight hours of the year, and the winter solstice is when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky at noon for the year, and creates the shortest day.
Solstice comes from the Latin words, 'sol' meaning sun, and 'stit', meaning stopped or stationary. In 2014, the baby name Solstice charted at #15,474 for American baby girls. Solstice has a soft sound, thanks to the sibilant /s/ sounds that nearly whisper themselves. Nicknames could include Sol, Soli or Solsti. It could work well with a lot of different types of middle names, such as Solstice Rain, Solstice Hannah or Solstice Trinity. Just avoid any more /s/ sounds to avoid sounding like a hissing snake.
Rain is a fairly popular hippy-style name that over the years, and with some celebrity help, has gained some mainstream traction. Rain ranked #1913 for baby girls in 2017 in the US, while for boys it ranked #2102, so very little space between genders as far as numbers go. Celebrities have given their offspring this name fairly often, including Richard Pryor, whose daughter Rain is also an actress and comic.
Rainn Wilson, a male to don the name, starred in The Office as the oddball Dwight. Rain Phoenix, the sister of famous bros River and Joaquin, is an actress as well. Rain can be spelled a number of different ways, including Raine, Reign or Reinn. Nicknames seem kind of unnecessary but could include Rai or Rainy. Often people prefer to give their children this name as a middle name.
Summer is a lovely hippy-type name. Who doesn't love summer? It evokes images of pool time, vacations and sunny days spent carefree. It is a fairly popular name, having survived the rise of the hippy names in the 1970s and finding its own place in the new millennium. Summer ranked in 2017 at #183 for American baby girls.
It literally means, "the hot season of the year," and comes from the Old English Sumor, which was derived from the Proto-Germanic, Sumar. The latter name actually meant, "season; half-year." This is because this culture only recognized two seasons - winter and summer. Famous Summers include hippy, acting family daughter, Summer Phoenix, the sister of the late River, and award-winning Joaquin. Perhaps the most accomplished and best-known Summer is the Olympic swimmer, Summer Sanders.
The baby name River could be for either gender. The etymology of the word river is from the Latin ripa meaning, "from the bank of a river". The baby girl version of the name ranked #283 in 2017, and is coming in at #263 so far in 2018. The boy version hit the chart in 2017 at 205, and so far this year is at #209, so this is truly an equally popular name for both sexes.
River Phoenix was perhaps the first modern bearer of the name, who had a bright future in acting ruined by a drug-related death. However, it has seen a real upsurge in recent years as a name bestowed by celebs on their sons, such as: Jeff Goldblum, chef Jamie Oliver, Jackie Jackson and Taylor Hanson. Riv could be a nickname, and some are opting to add an 's', making the name, Rivers.
Willows are lovely trees, also known as weeping willows. The word comes from the Middle English word, wilwe. Thus willow is a plant name. Willows are noted for their slender, flexible branches and are often seen by small bodies of water such as ponds. Willow has been steadily increasing in popularity and in 2017 for girls ranked #75 in America. Willows are ancient trees, often found in mythological or very old texts, representing strength and mystical powers of healing.
Willow Bay is a broadcast journalist, Willow Smith is the famed daughter of celeb power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Willow was a cult favorite film directed by Ron Howard, and a younger set discovered the name when a character named Willow starred in TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Singer Pink's daughter is named Willow, as well.
Bliss is another possibly gender-neutral name, although in the US we much prefer it for girls, as in 2017, the girl version ranked #3518, while the boy version was #11,492. However, the gap seems to be closing as this year begins. Bliss is an old English name, which came from blithe. It means "perfect happiness".
Bliss Carman was a prominent Canadian male poet. Bliss is the name of a song by Tori Amos. This name has a lovely meaning, for what parent doesn't want to instill joy in their child. Nicknames for Bliss would include Blissi or Blissy, Lis or possibly Lissy. I'd avoid a middle name with the /s/ sound, to avoid a lispy tongue twister, like with Bliss Cecile. Instead, you may opt for Bliss Rain, or Bliss Annika.
Dream is a gender-neutral name but is much more popular as a girl's name. In 2017, it came in at #818 for baby girls; for boys, it was ranked #3456. Dream originally meant "joy; music; or noise." However, after years of the Norsemen attacking and settling in Britain, their Norse meaning of draum as a dream influenced the English word to take on the meaning we recognize today.
While no particularly famous folks have borne the name, a number of celebs have given it to their children including NBA great, Allen Iverson, rapper-couple Ginuwine and Solé, and Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. Dream is both a noun and verb as well as a name, so it can take on different connotations. Dream doesn't lend itself particularly well to any shortened form, but if you insist maybe you could call baby, Dreamy.
Heaven is a definitely dreamy, idealistic name that projects a lot of hope onto a newborn child, most likely, a daughter. The word comes from the Old English "heofon" meaning "place of eternal happiness". Many of late have opted to do the trendy thing of spelling heaven backward to give the name Nevaeh. Heaven though is doing OK on the charts, stacking up at #357 for 2017 for baby girls in the US.
It's become popular for celebs to name their daughters this name, including comedian/actor, Kevin Hart, actor Terrence Howard, and pro-skateboarder Paul Rodriguez. Heaven is likely to continue to be more popular, so if you tend to be more like me, someone who wants their child to be the only one in their school with their name, it may not quite be the right choice for you.
Karma is a definitely cool, hippy-vibe name, that can be used for either boys or girls. However, the girls' version gets the bigger edge, coming in at #978 in 2017 versus the boys' form ranking at #4750. Karma is a Hindi name meaning, "spiritual force; destiny; fate." It also can be traced to the Sanscrit root word, kwer meaning, "to make; form".
It is a concept where one's life actions determine one's future. Karma Wilson is a singer/personality, and some celebs have named their kids Karma, including rappers Ludacris and Flavor Flav. Karma could be shortened to Karm, Kar or Karry, or Karmy or Kars. Karma would work well with another name from the hippy list as a middle name, such as Karma Rain, Karma Bliss or Karma Joy, to name a few.
Joy is an old name meaning, "happiness; joy and pleasure". Joy comes from the Old English as well as the French, "joie". It was a name favored by the early American Puritans, as a virtue name. It's an almost exclusive feminine name and ranked #262 in 2017 for US baby girls. However, the real zenith of popularity for Joy was in 1974, with the rise of the hippy, counterculture.
Yet there's been a true resurgence of the name, with last year's numbers being the highest in 20 years. Joy Harjo is a famed American poet, while Joy Behar is a comedian and American talk show host. Other famous Joys include Joy Lynn Fawcett, a US soccer player, and the film Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence, the true story of inventor Joy Mangano. Joy begs for no nicknames.
Ocean can be a boy or girl baby name, so for parents seeking one perfect name no matter the baby's gender, Ocean will work great! This name inspired by nature is a name that follows its word meaning. It ranked #1763 for US baby girls in 2017, and #1757 for boys. This shows how they are equally popular and so work equally well for whatever gender. Ocean is a wonderful name choice for folks who adore the beachscapes and find the big waters beautiful and beguiling.
Ocean has a definite hippy vibe, though. There haven't been a lot of big name folks with the moniker, however. Singer Frank Ocean has it as a surname. Celeb couple Alexa Vega and Carlos Pena Jr. welcomed their son, Ocean, in 2016. Vega starred in the Spykids movie series and Pena was a member of Big Time Rush. They also competed against one another in Dancing with the Stars.
Hope is a virtue name that was popular among Puritan settlers to America. It means, "faith; trust." It is derived from the Old English, hopa meaning, "wish; expectation." It was specifically tied to the Christian faith in the hope for eternal life through faith. Hope has been on the name charts for well over a century and has enjoyed a resurgence in the last 20 years or so. Hope ranked #304 in 2017 in the US for baby girls.
Virtue names were also popular during the counterculture revolution of the 1960s. Hope represented an optimism during a time of great disappointment, despair and distrust. Hope is associated with some famous folks including Olympic soccer athlete Hope Solo, actress Hope Davis and the TV show Raising Hope. Hope doesn't require a nickname, and would probably make for a strange one. It is also the name of comedian and actor, Brad Garrett's daughter.
Forest is an Old French word meaning, "forest; woods," and later in the 13th century became an occupation-type surname meaning, "woodsman". Perhaps along the lines of a lumberjack? Forest ranked at #1231 in the US for baby boys in the US. It could feasibly be used for a baby girl as well, but it's pretty locked in as a boy's name so you'd be bucking the dominant trend. Nothing wrong with going against the gender tide, but it can make for difficult situations at times for children.
Forest is associated with some positive and negative folks; positive with the Oscar-winning film Forest Gump; negative with the infamous Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the KKK. Forest Whitaker is an Oscar-winning actor; Forest Dewey Dodrill was the first doctor to perform open-heart surgery. Forest blends well with many types of names and could be shortened if desired to Fore or Forey.
Ever has a truly romantic quality to it, such as happily ever after. However, it can be traced to something a little less romantic via its roots as a Scandinavian name (through Eber) meaning "strong as a boar". Ever ranked fairly equally among the genders, with a number of 1975 for boys, and 1919 for girls, in the US ratings for 2017. Ever is somewhat catchy for celebs, with singer Alanis Morissette and husband Mario "Souleye" Treadway naming their son, Ever. Other celebs with children named Ever include Robert Carradine (his daughter is also an actress, and was born in 1974).
Model/actress Milla Jovovich and filmmaker Paul Anderson gave their son, born in 2007, the name Ever Gabo. Ever could be shortened to Ev, or Evie (particularly for girls). Ever is a solid name, but don't make it too goofy by combining it with other "word" names like More as a middle name.
Stone has its roots in one of the earliest recorded English surnames, going back to before the 7th century, with the Old English stan or stans, meaning "the stone" or "stones". Related names include the ancient Scandinavian "Steinn," the Dutch "Sten," and "Steen". Stone is another form of nature-type names popular with hippies and former hippies. Stone Phillips is a journalist, while Stone Gossard is a member of the band, Pearl Jam.
The name ranked at #1345 in the US in 2017 for boys. Stone Hopper was a character in the movie, Battleship and Jacob Stone aka Stone is a character on the TV show, The Librarians. Stone could be (and probably will) given the nickname Stoney or Stony. Bad associations would be that of a stoner. But chances are that if your son doesn't grow up to smoke weed, no one would bother calling him that in the first place.
Field is a name that originates from the Old English, feld, meaning "an open tract of land without woods or buildings". It could be either a boy's or girl's name, with the 2017 American ratings being #17934 for boys, and #9675 for girls in 2014. So both are fairly rare.
Field Cate is an actor and musician in the band, Fencer. Field is a bucolic name, conjuring up images of idyllic pastoral scenes. Field works well but should be used with caution with other word names. For instance, Field Flowers is hokey. Field Stream is also too gimmicky for a child's name. Field could be given the nickname Fie, Fieldy or Fie-Fie, if so desired. Field might transcend its hippy days to an eco-friendly family name.
Justice comes from the Latin justus meaning, "administration of the law". The meaning is "righteous; just; upright; fair". Justice is used by parents for both baby girls and baby boys, with the boy version ranking at #772 in 2017, and the girl version at #526. It is considered a "virtue" name, but without religious implications.
Justice is a great name for parents to consider if they place a high value on true justice in society. Or perhaps it'd work for those working in the law field, or hoping for a child to grow up to be a lawyer! Justiss is an alternative spelling for a girl, and the original Justus would be another variation probably best fitting a boy. However, it is up to you! Justy, Jus or Tice are possible nicknames.
Rebel is another word name, first recorded in 14th century and deriving from the Middle English, back from the Anglo-French, ultimately coming from the Latin rebellis meaning war. Rebel first appeared in the US baby name charts back in 1967, lining up with the hippy movements of the 60s. Counterculture meant that the hippies were rebelling against the establishment, including the government's involvement in the Vietnam War, oppression of women and minorities and embracing new societal norms such as free love and the revolution.
Rebel Wilson is a famous comedic actress, while director Robert Rodriguez named his son born in 1999 Rebel. An obvious nickname is Reb. As far as popularity numbers, for girls in 2017 the number was 2486, and for boys 1761. So it's a bit more favored as a boy name.
Zen is a baby name with its origins in a religious belief system called Zen Buddhism. It began in China and then continued its growth in Korea and Japan. Its focus is on achieving enlightenment. Zen is how the Chinese word Ch'an sounds in Japanese. The rough translation is "meditation." So if you are an adherent of Zen Buddhism, or just like the cool, laid-back vibe and meaning, Zen may work for your baby's name, regardless of gender.
In 2017, the girl's version ranked at #3520, while the boys' came in at #1431. So it is more used as a boy name, but both are still so rarely used that it shouldn't be an issue. Zen first appeared on name charts in 1998, so it's trending upwards, albeit slowly. Zen shouldn't need a nickname; after all, how much shorter could it be?
Sage is, of course, a spice, but the word itself is traced to the Middle English from the Old French sauge which came from the Latin salvia, meaning "healing plant". Sage is a gender-neutral name, and the girl version ranked at #296 in 2017, while the boy's name came in at #477. Sage Steele is an American sportscaster; Sage Walker an American novelist; and Sage Kirkpatrick, a Czech-American actress.
Actress Toni Collette named her daughter Sage, as did film director Brian Grazer. Sage has also come to mean "wise; or a wise person". Of course, we all want our children to grow up to be wise people, so that's a great trait name as well as a nature name. Sage works well with a lot of different lengths and sounds of names, but I'd avoid pairing it with another plant name, like Sage Thyme. Too corny!
Poet is a name that could be used for a boy or girl. It goes all the way back to the Greek word, poētēs, meaning "maker; poet," which comes from the Greek word poiein meaning, "to create." It is currently more popular for boys than girls, but since they are so relatively rare it shouldn't make much difference.
The name ranked at #11,236 for girls and #8,426 in 2017 in America. Remember Punky Brewster's Soleil Moon Frye? (If not, ask your mom.) She named her daughter Poet Sienna Rose. Poet doesn't easily break down to a nickname, but perhaps you could try Poe or Po, or maybe Etty. Poet could be shared with a middle name of a famed poet, like Poet Dylan, Poet Byron or Poet Maya, for instance.
Storm emerged as a baby name in America first in 1978. The word comes from the Old High German sturm and the Old English styrian "to stir." The name is virtually equally popular between boys and girls. For girls, it came in at #1867 and for boys at #2105, in 2017 in the US. Storms are weather phenomena that are loved by lots of people (me included) and it also seems like a powerful name because of a storm's power in nature.
I'd avoid the nickname Stormi due to quite unpopular references in regards to porn stars or reality stars at the better end of things. Storm would work well with a wide variety of middle names, with the exception of strong /s/ sounds in the name. That would create a potential tongue twister, or nursery-rhyme, sing-songy name.
Echo was a magical wood nymph in Greek mythology and a romantic target of Zeus. She was said to possess a beautiful voice, but depending on the myth's particulars, as there are a few versions of her story, she ultimately loses her voice and may only repeat the last sound she hears. Echo rated #2922 for girls in 2017, and #3242 for boys, so not much difference. Both are rare. Echo has a strong, hippy feel to it.
As you notice, many hippy favored names contain virtue or nature characteristics. People named Echo include Echo Leta Johnson, a model. Musician Nick Hexum named his daughter Echo Love in 2009. You could spell Echo creatively such as Ehko or the like. There have been tons of songs titled Echo. Artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Tom Petty, and Pink Floyd, for instance, have such songs.
Orion is another name from Greek mythology. Orion has a number of myths explaining his place in the mythology as well as our constellations, but the constant factor in all is that he was a hunter who pursued the wrong woman and ended up killed, then placed in the stars. The name is said to mean, "son of fire; the hunter." Some people report having their child's name confused with O'Ryan since it's pronounced the same.
Orion could be shortened easily to Rion pronounced the same as "Ryan". Orion in 2017 ranked #4208 for girls and #357 for boys, so it has a clear gender bias towards the male. I guess that's due to the association with the Greek god. Orion is a great name recalling the hippy and counterculture revolution reclaiming nature and myth and virtue-related names.
Sources: Babycenter.com, Behindthename.com, Babynamewizard.com, Biography.com, Sheknows.com