While baby was in the womb, his father called him the Hulk. The couple had experienced a previous miscarriage, and their first superhero didn't make it. The hope was things would be different the second time around. It was. Hulk made it.
Of course, these parents did not want to name their child Hulk. That would just be a nickname for the latest member of this new little family. After all, a name like Hulk would guarantee some hard times on the playground. But mom and dad did seek to find a strong name that would suit their little superhero and set him up for success in life.
They are not alone. Parents want to pick a name that not only fits their child's personality but also will endure, something that will be suitable for their entire life, something that will help them fulfill their greatest potential. And that's never easy. Any new parent will tell you, the name took a great deal of thought.
For some couples, it even requires intense debate. A few families have waited days to name their newborn. They look unto the child for clues on what to call him or her.
Superhero names, however, just might be the answer to all these challenges. Who doesn't want their kid to be a strong, striking superhero? What little boy wouldn't love a name that seems to give him superpowers, right? If parents aren't down with calling their kid Batman or Spidey, they can still find other options that harken to superheroes.
It's all about unlocking the meaning of names. Here are some options for baby names for boys that are inspired by beloved superheroes and their powers:
The Hulk's parents decided to name him after his Italian grandfather, Vincenzo. In English, Vincenzo is translated to Vincent. It comes from the Roman name Vincentius, which comes from the Latin word, vincere, which means "to conquer," according to Behind the Name.
In Italian, the name is shortened to Enzo, which is what little Hulk is now called most of the time. In English, there are many versions of the name, including Vince, Vin, and Vinnie. Conquering - at least for the side of good - is certainly a superhero trait. Coming from the word for "winner" only adds to its heroic feel.
Some famous people with versions of this name include Vince Vaughn and Vin Diesel. Of course, perhaps, the most famous historical figure with the name is Vincent van Gogh.
A name related to Vincent is Victor, which also means "conqueror," in Latin. As most know, this name has come to be known as winner. The word victory, of course, means just that. Americans even say, "To the victor goes the spoils," which means that the winner gets all the rewards. Again, this name has heroic qualities.
And who doesn't want a winner for a child? This name has Christian roots, too, according to nameberry.com. In fact, a version of it, Vittorio, was held by several saints and popes. It remains popular in countries such as Belgium and Italy today. Thanks to Queen Victoria, the female and male versions had a popular run in English-speaking countries.
Famous people with the name include singer Vic Damone, entertainer Victor Borge, and author Victor Hugo. Nameberry.com suggests that the name is having a resurgence among hipsters in London, which means it could become more popular in other English-speaking countries, such as the United States, in the near future. There's a chance to be ahead of a trend here, at least according to the Internet.
Although the name might have some Egyptian history behind it (it has been suggested), Aaron is a Hebrew name meaning "lofty, exalted, and high mountain," according to Behind the Name. Anyone who is a high mountain suggests a person of moral character and strength, all of which is associated with super men.
In the Bible, Aharon (the original version of the name) was the brother of Moses and the first High Priest of the Israelites. That doesn't sound as super heroic as it is. He helps lead the Hebrews out of slavery and through years of wandering the desert, according to the Bible.
Like Moses, Aaron is probably of Egyptian origin, with a meaning that is no longer recoverable. Granted one of the most famous men with the name, Aaron Burr, is best known for killing Alexander Hamilton in the 1804 duel in Weehawken, N.J. There's another piece of history for parents considering this name.
Obviously, that might not be the best motivator for choosing it. Still, it has its merits. Other less popular versions of the name include Aron, Ahron, Arron, and Aaren.
This boy's name is Japanese and means the "strength of 3,000." That sounds like the equivalent of calling one's kid Mr. Incredible, doesn't it? Certainly, the strength of 3,000 is a superpower of epic proportions.
Nerds out there might appreciate Michio Kaku, a physicist and scientist, who is the co-founder of string field theory. Born in San Jose, Calif. of parents of Tibetan descent, Kaku has spent most of his career working as a professor at the City College of New York. But he's had a bit of fame, too.
"Kaku's efforts to popularize science have made him something of of celebrity. Over the years, he's appeared regularly on the BBC, Discovery, CNN and the History Channel, among others," according to Biography. "In addition, Kaku hosts the radio programs 'Science Fantastic' and 'Explorations in Science with Dr. Michio Kaku.'"
Not only is this the name for Batman's sidekick, but it has also been a popular boy's name since the Middle Ages. In fact, it's the shortened version of the Medieval name Robert. This name is listed on sheknows.com as being German, and as meaning famed, bright, and shining. Interestingly, this name works for boys and girls. Sometimes, the feminine version has a "y" instead of an "i."
In the comic books, the original Robin, whose real name was Dick Grayson, appeared in 1940 alongside Batman. "Dick Grayson was everything Batman wasn’t: flippant, inexperienced and clad in primary colors," according to CBR. Like Batman, he had been orphaned as a child.
Together, the two of them became their own family and channeled their abandonment issues to fight for justice. But Batman's Robin was not the only one taking on the bad guys to help the little guys. Robin Hood famously stole from the rich to give to the poor, which is pretty heroic to most, too. Robin is also a type of bird, often with a red breast.
Both flying and the color of fire lend themselves to the superhero theme.
Everyone knows Marvel's Thor, son of Odin, king of the Norse gods. But this is not just a made-up superhero name. Thor comes from the Old Norse Þórr name and refers to the Norse God of strength, thunder, war, and storms, according to Behind the Name. Tor is the version of the name in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
The Thor most people have come to know and love is the superhero of Marvel comics, who is based on the mythological figure that came before him. "While others have described Thor as an over-muscled, oafish imbecile, he's quite smart and compassionate," according to Marvel.
"He's self-assured, and he would never, ever stop fighting for a worthwhile cause." One of the most memorable things about this character is his weapon of choice, the enchanted hammer of Mjolnir.
Bookworms among us are thinking about Leonardo da Vinci right about now. But just about any 5-year-old boy will tell you that Leonardo, who is known as Leo for short, is the leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and the one who wears a blue mask.
He's capable and strong, and he keeps a level head in the face of grave danger from the likes of Rocksteady, Bebop, the Krang, or arch enemy Shredder. Leo is the glue that keeps TMNT stuck together and able to save April O'Neil, New York, and the world from all sorts of nefarious goings on.
The cool thing about this name is that it's a popular one, and this version lives on in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Leonard is the English version, which is sometimes shortened to Lenny or Len. Leonardo itself is often shortened to Leo. The name means "brave lion," according to Behind the Name. Cool, no? In other words, no one is going to look at mom funny when she introduces little Leo.
Most will not even realize the inspiration came from the world of superheroes. They might, however, think mom named her kid after the hunk Leonardo DiCaprio. Nothing wrong with that, right?
This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle name is a little harder to find among English speakers. The name, which TMNT took from the Italian artist Michelangelo, is still somewhat popular in Italy. In the TMNT cartoons and films, Michelangelo, often referred to as Mikie, is the fun one. He wears an orange mask and likes to party and eat pizza.
Well, they all like pizza, but he seems a bit more passionate about it. He gets silly and tries to cut loose when the other guys get a little too serious. In Italian, this name is actually two names - Michele and Angelo - brought together to become one. Michele, which is Michael in English, is a nice name on its own as is Angelo, which means "angel."
Michael refers to the rhetorical question, "Who is like God?" The name Michelangelo refers to the arch angel Michael, who led God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation. For lovers of art, the name Michelangelo will forever be linked to the man who sculpted David and painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, which is a masterpiece like no other.
The more brooding and aggressive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is Raphael, who wears a red mask. The color, in fact, is associated with fire and passion. He's the toughest and most rebellious of the turtles. Ask any fan. Like his brothers, Raphael is named after a famous Italian artist.
The Italian Renaissance artist Raphael was also an architect and was famous for his Madonnas, including the Sistine Madonna and large compositions in the Palace of the Vatican in Rome. The name Raphael means "God has healed," which is fitting for superheroes who seem to fix everything they touch.
It has Hebrew origins, and first became popular in Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy. Raphael also was among the seven archangels in the Bible. He is known for healing a man of blindness. Tennis player Rafael Nadal has a version of the name. Certainly, this is a strong name that can easily relate to the world of superheroes.
Like the others, this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was named after an Italian Renaissance artist, Donatello, who was born Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi in Florence, Italy. Donatello, the sculptor, was considered the best until Michelangelo came along. In fact, one of his most famous works is a bronze statue of David.
Interestingly, Donatello was the nickname family and friends gave to him. In the TMNT cartoons and film, Donatello, who is often referred to as Donnie, is the brains behind the team. He is always coming up with new schemes to defend against enemies, and he's a wiz with technology.
In one famous TMNT story, he actually created a robot to take his place fighting. It didn't exactly work out, and he learns that some things are too important to leave to technology. The whole storyline was to show how smart he is. Yes, he's a ninja warrior, but he's also an intellectual. While this is not a common name for children in English-speaking countries, people the world over recognize it.
Superman's secret identity is Clark Kent, the news reporter for the Daily Planet in the city of Metropolis. With his wiry rimmed glasses and affection for fellow reporter Lois Lane, Clark seems like your average guy. But there's something about him. Ladies love a nerd, right? Appropriately, Clark means "scholar," and has French origins, according to BabyCenter.
On the other hand, Behind the Name, suggests it comes from the English surname meaning cleric or scribe. It also cites the Old English word that meant priest. In the world of superheroes, Clark is Superman's alter ego. He comes off as more vulnerable and sensitive than the Man of Steel.
Comic books featuring Clark Kent and Superman first began to appear in the late 1930s. Along with Batman and Wonder Woman, Superman is among the top superheroes in DC Comics history.
Parents who don't want their nod to Superman to be as obvious might opt for Kent instead. Clark's last name is one he gets from his adopted parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raised him as their son in Smallville, Kansas. The story goes that his biological parents Jor-El and Lara sent their baby son in a rocket from their planet, Krypton, to Earth.
An alien here, the baby is found by the Kents. He grows up to work at the newspaper as Clark Kent and to save the world time and again as Superman. "Superman remains proud of his dual heritage, taking seriously the lessons of his birth-parents and his adopted parents," according to DC Database.
"Although he is an alien to this world, he heavily values his humanity, and fights with conviction for truth, justice, and the American way." Kent, as a first name, is a rarer name than Clark. It is definitely unique, and it comes from the surname of those from the county of Kent. It has Celtic-Gaelic origins.
This is Superman's original name, the one given to him by his birth parents, Jor-El and Lara from Krypton. They sent him in a rocket ship to Earth, where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who adopted him and raised him as their own. Kal-El is certainly more original than either Clark or Kent, both nods to Superman as well. If parents are thinking no one in an English-speaking country would name their kid Kal-El, think again. Actor Nicolas Cage and his wife Alice Kim did just that when their son was born in 2005. "I wanted a name that stood for something good, was unique and American, and that’s all three," says Cage, according to People. "I just thought it was a beautiful name and it had kind of a magical ring to it." Fans of comic books take heart. Scanning the colorful pages might offer up the perfect baby names, one that satisfies both mom and dad.
Fans of Spider Man will recognize this one. Peter is Spiderman's real name, and it is a common one for men in English-speaking countries. The Spanish version, Pedro, and the Italian version, Pietro, are also popular. It comes from the Latin word "petra," which means stone or rock. In the Bible, Peter is among the first disciples called upon during Jesus' ministry.
He had been a fisherman and Saint Peter is the patron saint of popes, the papacy, and fishermen for Catholics. Modern depictions of Heaven have Peter at the pearly gates deciding who may enter and who may not. Talk about a superpower. But in Spider Man's world, Peter is a mild-mannered, nerdy high school kid.
Much like Clark Kent, Peter works for the Daily Bugle, a newspaper, as a photographer. He gets picked on at school, but the kids don't realize that he's their lifesaver Spider-Man. Peter is smart, shy, and kind in the comic books, TV series, and movies. This makes him a target for bullies, such as Flash Thompson. But he's a superhero, so that doesn't matter. The bullies never win.
Peter's last name is Parker in the Spider-Man series. Actually, you might even like his middle name, Benjamin, which is less known to non fans. In any event, the surname is a unique way to show reverence for Spider-Man but also be original. The name means "park keeper" in Old English, which might be appealing to tree huggers looking for names.
It reached its height of fame in the 19th century, but it's still appealing now. Children of the 1990s will remember the TV series "Parker Lewis Can't Lose." Peter Parker gets his surname from his parents, Richard and Mary, who are CIA agents, who get killed when he's still young.
His aunt and uncle, May and Ben Parker, raise him in Forest Hills, N.Y. While parents probably don't think their kid will ever have to take on the likes of Doctor Octopus, they might like the idea of a child having Spider-Man's desire to help people, willingness to never back down, and understanding that with great power comes great responsibility.
Bruce is Batman's real name. Batman actually has many monikers. He's known as the Dark Knight, Caped Crusader, and World's Greatest Detective, according to DC Comics. Bruce began as a Scottish surname of Norman origin, and referred to the French town of Brix, according to Behind the Name.
Batman is a little deeper than most comic book heroes. He had a rough life despite being a millionaire. His parents were killed during a mugging in Gotham City, which is a lot like New York. His sidekick Robin is also an orphan. Together the two of them become best of friends and fight crime together. What's interesting is Batman is resourceful himself.
He does not have superpowers. He just has the will to defend what's right, not to mention a utility belt with high-tech tools, batarangs, and the Batmobile, of course. If none of this is enough for mom and dad, maybe knowledge that the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, carries the name, too.
Wayne is Batman's real surname, but it can be used as a first name, too. It is of English origin and means wagon driver. While that doesn't sound so tough, who is going to deny Batman's heroism and spunk? "Batman is the most feared superhero of all, because he’s pushed himself to the absolute pinnacle of human achievement," according to DC Comics.
"He’s a brilliant detective who’s mastered fighting techniques the world’s barely heard of. An Olympic-caliber athlete with a plan for every occasion, Batman’s seemingly always five steps ahead of his foes. But in his crusade against injustice, two questions always loom: How far will he go to protect the innocent, and will he sacrifice his humanity along the way?"
There are more questions than answers with Batman and sometimes there is a dark side to him. But he still always lands on the side of good and not evil. Plus, he has taken the initiative to turn himself into a superhero. What parents wouldn't want an overachiever like that for a son?
Iron Man's real name is Anthony Edward Stark. There are many options for those who want to offer baby an Iron-Man inspired name. Anthony goes way back to the times of Mark Antony. Its origins are Roman.
The name gained popularity in the Christian world with the rise of Saint Anthony the Great, who founded monasticism, and Saint Anthony of Padua, who is the patron saint of Portugal, according to Behind the Name. Antonio is another popular form of the name both in Spanish-speaking countries and Italy.
For his part, Iron Man is a genius, who can make all sorts of technological advanced armor and weapons, and he has a knack for business, according to Marvel. He has a virus, but he's surviving.
Tony is short for Anthony, and it is how many refer to Iron Man. Again, the name is derived from Anthony, so it goes back to Marc Antony as well. This is a catchier, cuter version of the name. But it still carries the same weight. Parents can either choose to name their child Tony directly or go with Anthony as the legal name and then simply use Tony as a nickname.
It's up to each individual family to decide. Tony Danza, Tony Bennett, and Tony Curtis are among the famous people with this name. Since Medieval times, the name has been used on its own, according to sheknows.com. On its own, it means praiseworthy, and that is certainly fitting for a superhero of Iron Man proportions. Women sometimes have this name, but they tend to replace the "y" with an "i."
Edward is Iron Man's middle name. This is a popular one and can be shortened to Ed, Eddy, or even Ned. The name comes from English and means rich guard, according to Behind the Name. When using it because of its relevance to the world of superheroes, parents have two ways to look at it.
For starters, the name can literally be broken down into the Old English for wealth or fortune and guard. But one can also interpret it as being about being a strong protector. Iron Man kind of fulfills both meanings, which is nice if mom and dad are big fans. Of course, Robert Downey, Jr. has Tony Edward Stark - the Iron Man - more popular than ever, thanks to his portrayal in the movies.
The name Edward has a long list of bearers, including Edward Norton, Ed Asner, and Ed Burns.
Better known as the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, is one of the comic world's most underrated characters. With a ring and will of pure energy, old GL can create anything he needs to defeat enemies. He is limited only by his imagination. He ends up having to take a position on the Green Lantern Corps, a peacekeeping troop for the entire universe.
From there, he goes on to have alien romances and be part of intergalactic wars. Sounds far-fetched, no? While parents might be thinking, "That has nothing to do with my kid," deeper reflection might be necessary. After all, someone who has the imagination and creativity necessary to solve problems with alien nations could be pretty useful to have around.
Interestingly, Hal is the Medieval diminutive of Harry, which is related to the names Harry and Henry, which means home ruler, according to Behind the Name.
Take your cues from Disney's The Incredibles and pick the name Dash. This name perfectly suited the middle child in the Incredibles family. His superpower is super speed, which he handily used to mess with his teachers and later to help his family save the world from Syndrome, a wannabe superhero wreaking havoc.
Dash is a sweet name for any parents, who want to inspire athleticism and a family-oriented attitude. Dash, of course, is also a bit mischievous but only in the best, most charming way. His mother asks him to hide his powers from the kids in the neighborhood because the supers are all in hiding in a witness protection type program.
And he yearns to run as fast as he can. By story's end, he gets his chance. Dash is also an appropriate name because it rolls right off the tongue and makes you think about the spice of life - a dash of this, a dash of that. Any name that suggests a future that is rich and a child that is full of life sounds good.
Dash's baby brother in The Incredibles is Jack Jack. He is quite adorable and for most of the movie has shown no evidence of superpowers. But the special DNA kicks in just in time as Syndrome takes over babysitting him and threatens his life. Suddenly, Jack Jack has the power to transform himself quickly into different characters, including the devil.
It's remarkable and a super power the world hasn't really seen before. Now, if repeating the name - Jack Jack - is too much for mom and dad, then they can opt for just Jack. Still, around the house, why not Jack Jack? It's cute. The name Jack was a diminutive of the name John in Medieval times.
In the Middle Ages, the name became slang for "man," according to Behind the Name. The actor Jack Nicholson and the fictional character Jack Tripper from "Three's Company" are among those with the name.
Some parents might actually prefer Jay's superhero name, the Flash. Let's face it, Flash is as cute as Dash and it rhymes to boot. But Jay, the Flash's real name, is a more traditional choice. After his mother is murdered and his innocent father takes the blame, Jay becomes obsessed with his forensic scientist job and solving this case once and for all.
Then, he gets struck by lightning in a freak accident and he suddenly has super speed. "Despite his speed, Barry can become so obsessed with crime-solving he can still lose track of everything else around him, leaving the fastest man alive constantly running a minute behind," according to DC Comics. The idea of having a child inspired and passionate about his work is definitely appealing.
After all, most parents want to teach their children to have a strong work ethic. Clearly, the Flash - err, Jay - is family oriented, too. Jay is an English name that means "to rejoice," according to sheknows.com. Like the name Robin, Jay is also a type of bird. There's something about those flying creatures that date back to the dinosaurs that seem to go hand in hand with superheroes.
Steve Rogers is Captain America, the superhero who took a soldier serum to make himself strong enough to be a one-man army. He is the "living, breathing symbol of freedom and liberty," according to Marvel. The patriots among us will appreciate, the Captain American reverence in naming a child Steven or Steve for short.
The "Super Soldier" has proven his exceptional intellect, physical strength, and undeniable loyalty, and all of these are excellent traits to be thinking about as people are naming their child. Most cultures have a version of this name - Stephen, Stefan, Stefano - and they all seem to mean crown. Steven Spielberg, Steven Seagal, and Stephen Colbert are among the famous people with the name.