Let's be honest; it's not typically dads who buy up all the baby name books. It's rarely fathers who flood the baby name websites with comments or questions. There's no notepad at bedside throughout pregnancy on Dad's side of the bed with potential names scrawled all over.
Guys don't spend too much time mulling it over, usually. They have more of a simple approach and most often just like saying yea or nay to any choice Mom comes up with. So if the expectant mother wants to get her man excited about a baby name, she might want to ply him with one he has a very positive association with, be it something car or sports related especially.
I have a good line on some of this. My man is a sports fanatic, and I'm no slouch myself in fandom, particularly when it's NBA or boxing, perhaps a dabble here or there in NFL. But car talk, that's a family obsession on both sides and in my new family. My dad is a gearhead; my uncle ran a bodyshop, and my cousins are all devout carmen. My grandfather ran a service station and my uncles were mechanics. My man is an Army helicopter mechanic and car mechanic, and muscle car freak. So I know some names that get their motors revved up.
Ah, is there a sweeter name to a Mustang lover? Carroll Shelby is an iconic figure in automobiles. He was a car designer and race car driver, and created the Shelby GT 350 and 500, as well as the 427 Shelby Cobra. Shelby was Sports Illustrated's Driver of the Year in 1956 and 1957. He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992. He died in 2012 at the age of 89. Shelby is a fitting name for a boy or a girl. It means "from the estate," and is ranked #340 for girls in the US this year, and #3688 for boys, so it's obviously much more commonly used for girls today. Shelby could be shortened to Shel or Shelly, or Shellie or Shelli. The name is of English origins.
There are 2 important people linked to the name Harley. The first is motorcycle designer William S. Harley, of the Harley Davidson Company whom you have, no doubt, heard of. The second is revolutionary car designer, Harley J. Earl, the first Design Chief at General Motors. You know all those cool things to do with cars, most are traced back to this man. The concept car, the Corvette and all those bold, stylish designs that make classic cars truly classic. The name Harley means "from the hare's woods or meadow." It is an English name and is used for both boys and girls. It ranks #662 currently in the US for boys, and a considerably higher #159 for girls. It has seen a significant spike in usage since the late 1980s, as well.
Even people who don't love sports know Tom Brady, and if your guy likes football he most likely either loves or hates the Patriots, and therefore, Tom Brady. Brady makes a cool baby name but particularly for Pats fans. The name Brady has varied meanings depending on the source you refer to. Some say it's an Irish name meaning, "spirited," which is a meaning a lot of dads will appreciate it. Until he tries raising a "spirited," preteen, I imagine! But at any rate, the name Brady for boys ranks currently at #246 for boys and for girls, a much rarer choice the name ranks #4274. For a girl you could consider optional spellings that may seem more feminine to you, such as Bradi, Bradie or Braedy, even Bray or Brae make cute nicknames.
Emmitt Smith is one of football's most revered figures. He was running back for the Dallas Cowboys and while there he won the Superbowl and MVP award in 1994, and became the league's all-time leading rusher. While at the University of Florida he set numerous records, many of which still stand today. You may know him from 2006's season of Dancing with the Stars. He came back to the show's season 15 All Stars. The name Emmitt means "strength" and "hard worker," both meanings that will appeal to Dad. It's an alternative to the more conventional Emmett. Spelled as Emmitt it ranks only #583 as a boy's name, and down near #6000 for girls. Spelled Emmett it ranks #134 for boys, and near #7000 for girls. So if you like an unusual name for a girl your football loving man will jump for, this could be it. Or if he also prefers a more standard name for a son, this will fill the bill.
Surely you know Bo. Bo Jackson was a sports superstar and a true freak of a human specimen in athletics. He played both professional football and professional baseball; a rarely achieved feat. He was also a track star at high school and in college at Auburn University, although he was recruited to play baseball for the New York Yankees straight out of high school. Chances are your husband not only knows, but is crazy about Bo. Most people have been. His football career ended after four seasons due to a career ending injury. The name Bo comes from the French, "beau," meaning "handsome." Not a bad meaning! It can be used for boys, or for a daughter. Remember Bo Derek "the perfect 10?" Popularity wise, Bo for boys ranks #583, and for girls it is coming in at near #7000.
David Beckham is one of, if not the richest soccer player ever. He was identified as a talent at the tender age of 11, and became professional at 18. He landed record-setting contracts and became a worldwide name. Beckham retired at age 38, but still pulls in cool millions annually in endorsements. He is married to former Spice Girl, Victoria Adams aka Posh Spice. They have four children. Beckham currently ranks #299 in boys names in the US, while for girls it lands at #5902, so clearly a masculine fav. It is an English place name, meaning "homestead by the stream." Evokes a lovely, bucolic picture! Beck is a natural nickname for a child named Beckham. Should it be a girl's name, Becki or Becky would work, as well.
If your man loves basketball, he has to have admiration for Dr. J! Julius Erving was born in 1950 and played for both the ABA and the NBA. He has 3 championship rings and scored over 30,000 points in his career over 800 games. He is in the Basketball Hall of Fame and is noted for his style and grace both on and off court. He left the game at the end of 1987 and went on to be a sports announcer and to work with the Orlando Magic as an executive. He is also a business man. The name Julius comes from the Latin and means "youthful." It was popular during the Roman Empire, and was Groucho Marx' real name. It ranks #380 for boys in the US, and is rare for girls, ranking around 5000.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the quintessential Laker, and one of the NBA's greatest of all times. He played for UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden, winning 3 National Championships while there. He retired as the first player to complete 20 seasons in the league, and as the league all-time leading scoring and holder of most MVP awards. He has dabbled in acting, and is an author. He is one of the most popular and enduring sports figures of all times, so the moniker has wide appeal to sports fans. The name Kareem is Arabic, and means "generous," or "noble." It is moderately popular, coming in at #567 for boys and quite rare for girls, ranking in the 7000s. Other Kareems include Kareem Jackson, a cornerback for the Houston Texans, and professional skateboarder Kareem Campbell.
For football fans the name is quite noteworthy. First, for Walter "Sweetness" Payton, one of NFL's greatest of all time. Payton played his entire professional career with the Chicago Bears, and earned 9 Pro Bowl selections, and famously won the Super Bowl in 1986. He was admired for both his on field prowess and off field charity work for children and veterans. Sadly, he died of cancer in 1999. Peyton Manning is part of a family football dynasty, as son of Archie Peyton and brother of Eli. Peyton played for 2 teams, Indianapolis and Denver, and won 2 Super Bowls, plus 5 NFL MVP awards. He is known for his humility and surprising comedic timing, shown off in ads and on Saturday Night Live. The name Peyton is a place name from a town in Sussex. Some say it means "royal" and is from Scottish roots.
While the name may not rate highly, not charting as spelled since 2011 for boys in the US, the man Earvin "Magic" Johnson is one of the most beloved figures in all of sports. Magic played his entire professional career with the LA Lakers, and earned 5 championships. He won 3 MVP awards, was part of the US Olympic Dream Team and remains the NBA's all-time assist per game leader. He retired from playing after his shocking HIV announcement, and changed the world's perception of both who gets the disease and how it can be fought. Magic is an admired public figure and a very successful businessman, and father of 3. The name Earvin means "fresh, green water," or "verdant hill," and comes from the UK.
Usain Bolt has been called "the world's fastest man," and for good reason; he has won 9 gold medals at 3 Olympics. He is also the first and only man to set 3 world records at one Olympics game. He has perhaps the world's most obvious nickname Usain "Lightning" Bolt. The name Usain is Arabic and means, "beautiful." It is still relatively rare in usage, at least in the US. I imagine it's more used in his native Jamaica. The name is related to the more widely used, Hussein. Usain has said he has competed in his last Olympics, and will officially retire from sprinting in after the 2017 World Championships, but many are banking the sport will lure him back for one more Olympics and definite history. Anyone who enjoys track and field has been struck by the imposing figure of Usain Bolt, and therefore, it may prove a popular name with Dad.
Cam works as a name for football fanatics or car enthusiasts, since one refers to Cam Newton, and a cam is also an important car part! Cam Newton is as polarizing as Tom Brady; you love him or hate him. Just celebrating his 28th birthday, this football star won the Heisman at Auburn University, and as first pick in the 2011 NFL draft he went to the Carolina Panthers. He became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4000 yards in a season. He won the 2015 MVP and faced the Broncos in the Super Bowl that year, losing to Peyton Manning. Cam is dad to 2 children and loves taking pics with them! The name Cam comes from Cameron, which is a Scottish name meaning "crooked nose." That definitely isn't the case for Mr. Newton, so it's not a trait name that must come to fruition, obviously. Cameron is becoming rather popular in the US for boys, ranking #56 right now. While not as popular, (#483) it still works as a girl's name. Just ask Cameron Diaz!
The name Enzo doesn't ring any bells for you? How about his last name...Ferrari? Ah, now you know we're talking cool car name! Enzo Ferrari was born in Italy in 1898 and became a race car driver in 1919, eventually becoming the head of a racing team and a car designer. He had to put his work aside during WWII, but over his lifetime his cars won 4000 races and 13 world championships. He was also inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994. The name Enzo means "ruler of the house," and is rated at #182 for US boys so far this year. For girls it ranks near 7000. The name Enzo is, naturally, much more well used and loved in Europe. It is a less flashy car name than using Enzo's surname of Ferrari.
I have personal regrets associated with this name. My first son was adopted transracially, and as a new and less than confidant mom, I caved to pressure and didn't stick with the original name I chose for my son which was Isaiah. At the time, I may add, Isiah Thomas was one of my favorite basketball players, and I loved the Biblical poetry of that name. Isiah Thomas is one of the best point guards in NBA history and played for the Detroit Pistons from 1981 to 1994. He averaged 19.2 PPG and 9.3 assists. He later managed the Toronto Raptors, coached the Pacers, was GM for the Knicks and works in sports broadcasting today. Isiah was an All Star 12 consecutive years and earned 2 championship rings. Isaiah Thomas is a current hotshot for the Celtics, playing in the playoffs currently. Ironically, Isaiah was named after Isiah because his dad, a true Lakers fan, lost a bet. The name means, "salvation of the Lord," and is a Hebrew name. It ranks #36 this year for boys and #3246 for girls.
Rose is a big sports name, with legendary baseball player Pete, and basketballers Derrick and Jalen sharing the surname. Derrick currently is on the Knicks roster, but started out as a Bull in his Chicago hometown. He was first pick in the 2008 NBA pick and while a star, he's not quite achieved to his potential yet, with significant injuries sidelining him. Jalen Rose was part of the Fab Five at the University of Michigan, and played for 6 different NBA teams. He's now a sports broadcaster and a busy philanthropist, including his own charter school in hometown Detroit. Rose is a decidedly old-fashioned name for girls that has been having a bit of a comeback of late. It is coming in at #141 in the US, but celebs such as Scarlett Johansson, Kelly Clarkson and Carson Daly.
Marcello Gandini is an Italian car designer who has worked for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lamborghini and Maserati, no less. He is responsible for such beloved Lamborghini models as Miura and Countach, and he also pioneered the Scissor Door concept. Just plain cool to most car enthusiasts. The name Marcello is Latin and means "brave." The name isn't in wide usage in the usage, landing at # 1561 for boys and around 15,000 for girls. Other famous Marcellos include Mastroianni, the famed Italian actor, and a good number of soccer players from around the world sport the first name, although some with only one "l." Some name buffs believe the name originated from the name Mars, the Roman god of war. Nicknames include Marc or Marco.
Walter De Silva is a car designer who has worked with the Volkswagen company as head of design, overseeing among other Audis, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Bugattis. He is responsible for such models as Audi R8, Audi A5 Coupe, Lamborghini Egoista. Silva is from Latin roots and means "woodland maid," which is kind of fairy-tale feeling name. It is definitely unusual and not often heard in the US, ranking down near 7000, which is a plus to those seeking less common names. But this name is a two-fer, as Anderson Silva is a MMA legend, the Brazilian middleweight champ and record holder for 16 consecutive wins as title holder. Silva could be shortened to Sil, Silvy or Silvi, or possibly Silvie. Definitely for those with discriminating and off the beaten path taste!
Do I really have to explain who this name may be referring to? Michael Jordan earned 5 MVPs, and 5 championships with the Chicago Bulls. He left college for the pros after a couple years, but in 1985 he finished his degree in geography. (Perhaps to learn all the places in the world where he's a star?) He achieved a fame not approached by any other sports star, and endorsements have earned him a reported net worth of, gasp, 1.31 billion dollars. Yup, billion. The best ever and Jordan have become synonymous. The name Jordan comes from the Hebrew word for the river in the Middle East, meaning "flowing downward." It ranks at #63 for boys in the US, and at #364 for girls, so it's a pretty unisex name in both ideal and practice.
Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time, male or female. She has won 23 Grand Slam championships and is tied with sister Venus with 4 Olympic gold medals--the most of anyone in tennis. She has dominated the sport unlike any other woman, and has earned an amazing $150 million thus far. She is pregnant and is engaged to entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. Serena is a name that comes from Latin roots and means "calm and serene." The name Serena is neither rare, but isn't overly common, either, coming in at #358. While admittedly a lot of men show little interest in women's sports, Serena and her take-no-prisoners tennis game attracts fans of both genders making it a possible thumbs up from Daddy.
Yet another love/hate relationship with a sports star. Some people, (self included) hated all the early talk when Lebron James entered the NBA, touting him as the heir apparent to the Air Jordan. No way, nonsense! Well, there's unlikely to be another Jordan... but Lebron has proven his mettle and worth, with domination of the game that hasn't slowed yet. He has earned 3 championships so far, 2 with Miami and 1 with Cleveland... but this year looks good to give Ohio another! The name Lebron can be traced alternate ways and that means different meanings depending on which you follow. French roots mean "brown haired," while African origins mean "king." It's never cracked the top 1000 in US boy names, at least only counting this precise spelling, and naturally there are plenty of variations on spelling such as Labron, LeBron, or Lebronn. It would work as a girl's name, too and more feminine spellings might take it more in that direction such as with LaBronne.
Montana is certainly an obvious place name, and a Western-minded man may like this moniker for that reason alone. But there is also a football Hall of Famer by the name of Joe Montana that has aplenty of loyal fans. Montana played most of his career for the San Francisco 49ers and brought the team 4 Super Bowl championships. He played late in his career for the Kansas City Chiefs, before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. Some cite him as the best quarterback ever, and in a 2010 list of the 100 Top All Time NFL players, Montana ranked #4. Not too shabby, so likely a daddy fave. The name Montana means, as you may guess, "mountain," and certainly brings to mind the US state of the same name. It is ranked #3738 for boys currently, and perhaps surprisingly, 2194 for girls, so def unisex. It is from Latin origins.
When Muhammad Ali passed away last June, his memorial service was aired live and included among the thousands were former presidents, sports stars and Hollywood luminaries, and clergy from all major faiths. While his career began blighted by racism and under the tumultous 60s chaos, and he was derided by many, at the end of his life he was considered one of the most beloved and world renowned figures from the US. He was a philanthropist and wonderful wit, but his body betrayed him with Parkinson's Disease. Ali means "high; elevated; excellent and noble," and is from Arabic origins. It can be used well for boys or girls, and the pronunciation and precise spelling have a number of variations. It's fairly popular, but not to the level of commonplace, rating at #120 currently in the US for boys, and #1102 for girls.
Tired of the worn out and somewhat tacky car names typically doled out, particularly to baby girls, like Porsche, Lexus, and Mercedes? How about a real, superluxury car name? Then Veyron, as in the Bugatti Veyron, last year to be released before being dubbed the Chiron, has 1500 horsepower, and cost a cool 1.5 million. Sleek, powerful and sexy it is the epitome of a hot sports cars. Veyron is the name of a river in Switzerland, and reportedly means, "goddess of love and beauty." Should you decide to name a child Veyron, know that you'll be about the only one to do so. In 2015, it ranked down around the #10,000 level for boys, and didn't chart at all for girls. So for those men who love exotic sportscars, and women who love unusual names, this might just be the winner!
Another classy car name has to be the Aston Martin. I mean, it's forever linked to none other than James Bond, 007. The British luxury car is cool, stylish and luxurious. The company was founded in 1913, and has a hefty price tag for all models. If your husband is a Bond fan and you would never relent to naming a kid James Bond or Bond or some combo, then this would make a perfect, livable compromise. Aston is a place name, meaning "East Town," and is an English name. It ranks #1216 for boys right now in the US, and down near 7000 for girls. You could play with the spelling if desired, to make it a little more personalized, like say Astyn, or the like.
Again, the British know legendary classy, luxe cars and just saying Rolls-Royce feels fancy, doesn't it? The brand began in 1904 and continues to hold high esteem among car lovers worldwide. The name Royce means, "son of the king," and ranks #403 currently for boys, and #1731 for girls in the United States. Famous people with the name include Royce Grace, an MMA legend (and possible double reason for many guys to consider this name!). Royce could be spelled in alternative names to make it seem more girly, such as Roice or Royse, or add a diminutive such as -lyn, -lee or -leigh if desired. Again, a Rolls-Royce is sophisticated, not easily obtained and has an air of elegance, all pretty good traits to bring to mind with the mention of the name.
Sources: BabyCenter.com, BabyNameWizard.com, NameBerry.com, Biography.com, LaunchPadAcademy.com, ESPN.com