Naming a child is not easy. It might seem like a trivial matter, but there are plenty of parents who lost sleep over the decision and will tell you otherwise. If the name is too common, there will be a million other “Matts” or “Sarahs” in their classes. But if the name is too uncommon, the teacher won’t be able to pronounce it, or spell it, and good luck finding a personalized keychain at the state fair!
But sometimes an uncommon name can be a good thing. This list has gathered 25 names that are both uncommon and edgy, each name carrying its own personality that paints a picture before someone even meets the child attached to the name. From good-hearted bikers to country club bad boys, nearly every kind of edgy is covered on the list below. Most of the names have origins that are easy to trace, some of which are exciting and some of which are just mildly interesting. Other names seem to have come from nowhere, with little to no information on their background but more than enough personality to make up for it.
Whether the name is from Old High German, Latin, or developed sometimes in the last twenty years, every name on this list has its own edge, its own weight, and its own story.
The name Jax is probably best known as the nickname of Jackson “Jax” Teller from the show “Sons of Anarchy”. Played by the ever-dreamy Charlie Hunnam, Jax started the show as an outlaw biker with a heart of gold who is ultimately drawn into the chaos of his biker gang. Despite the popularity of the show, however, the name is still incredibly uncommon. It first appeared on documents in the United States in 1992 and to this day is only used for roughly 1 in every 1,500 babies born in America. It is perfect as a nickname for the name Jack or Jackson, both of which are considerably more common, or as a baby’s first name. This is especially true if the baby is an active one, since the name “Jax” is perfectly suited for a rough and tumble boy who tends to walk the line between “active kid” and “troublemaker”.
The name “Maddox” has only been used as a first name in America since 2002. Angelina Jolie popularized the name when she named her first son Maddox after adopting him from Cambodia. It has lost some of its popularity in the last sixteen years or so, but it definitely has not lost any of its cool. Kids named Maddox just sound like kids that are on the front end of the fashion curve. Maddox is the kid on the playground who looks cooler than half the parents there and still manages to build the coolest castle in the sandbox.
Nobody is quite sure where the name came from, though some people think it is derived from the Welsh language and means “son of Madoc”, which roughly translates to “fortunate” or “lucky”. With the cool air of “Maddox” and the history of being “lucky”, any kid carrying around this name is bound to find himself king of the castle eventually!
Every name tells a story and sometimes it is so effective that people think they know a person before meeting them, based on their name alone. “Knox” is one of those names and it is all because of Fort Knox. It is still considered one of the most impenetrable military installations in the world. Fort Knox is considered so secure that it houses most of America’s gold reserves.
Any child with the name “Knox” is going to sound like the most stone-faced stoic at story time. He will be the last to crack up at a funny joke but have a heart of gold under all that seriousness. That will all have to come later, of course. There’s not a little kid out there who could pull of the calm quiet that a name like “Knox” says he should.
“Blaze” is not a name you give a child if you want them to be calm or orderly. It is the name you give to a child when you’re ready to wrangle your own personal tornado on a daily basis, whether that’s a tornado of energy or emotion. The name “Blaze” is for kids who have short fuses, which isn’t always a bad thing. They’re going to be first kid to jump up and down when they’re excited and the last one to calm down when the excitement is over.
Blaze is also the fastest kid on the playground, practically leaving literal circles around the other kids. Could you imagine someone with a name like “Blaze” working in a library or stocking shelves in a convenience store? Yeah, neither could we. He would get too bored and then out would come the roller skates!
If you’re an X-Men fan, this one is for you. Who else could come to mind but Charles Xavier himself, leader of the mutant superheroes? Xavier might be his last name, but it’s a name that rings with charm, compassion, and power. It is possibly one of the edgiest names out there for little boys who will grow up to be comic book lovers. Yes, he will like comic books, but he also stands up to the bully who tries to same him for it.
There isn’t much chance Xavier will have his namesake’s telepathy, but that’s not going to stop him from being the leader of the pack! There’s also a good chance the boy won’t grow up to be bald or wheelchair-bound, but those aren’t necessary to achieve the kind of charisma and leadership that the name “Xavier” conjures up.
Only parents who are feeling especially brave should bestow a name like “Xeno” on their kids. Parents of the any child carrying this name will be forever explaining that it is pronounced “Zee-no” no “Ex-ee-no”. And, of course, their child will be a little different because “Xeno” is derived from the Greek word for “strange”.
With a little bit of guidance, however, “strange” easily becomes “quirky” and the line between “quirky” and “brilliant” has always been pretty thin. A kid named Xeno is equally likely to be a fire swallower and perform in front of sold out crowds as he is to be the person who discovers cold fusion back yard while messing around in his garage. Putting it mildly, the kid is going to be an eccentric kind of brilliant.
Some might mistake the name “Zaccai’s” Biblical origin as as an indicator that anybody with this name is going to be pious and calm. After all, the name is assumed to be taken from a holy book and the few famous people attached to the name are an actor and a pianist. Those aren’t fields generally known for being edgy.
But a name like Zaccai makes it clear that this kid has roots and means business. He is a tough cookie that will trudge through hard work and hard conditions to get where he needs to go and do what he needs to do. The name might come from a book that preaches tolerance and peace, but you can be very sure that nobody gets in Zaccai’s way for very long.
Most people associate the name “Pax” with one of the Pitt-Jolie children, at least at the moment. But the name is much, much older than that. Pax is a Latin word that more or less means “peace”. It is also the name of the Roman goddess of peace, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this name is soft or sweet.
The Roman goddesses were anything but soft. After all, the goddess of love was hooking up on the sly with the god of war and most people were more afraid of her than they were of him! So do not mistake Pax as anything but the perfect name for a kid who likes peace and does not shy away from any fight they think is necessary to achieve the peace they want.
Classic rock fans and Viking descendant, this one is for you. The spelling might be a little different, but this Scandinavian name will conjure up Guns N’ Roses chords for decades to come. Axl Rose brought the name to the mass, making it much more than just a car part. He made the name rock.
Axel is the perfect name for the kid wailing on his dad’s bass guitar or banging out a mad solo on the pots and pans before he can even walk. He is a dreamer who lives big and lives loud without once thinking he should ever live any other way. And he might not make it to the level of superstardom that Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses have achieved, but he will make sure that his little corner of the world keeps rocking.
Zain is one of those names that seems to have always been around and always belonged to the cool kid. This name stems from the Arabic word for beauty and, if Zayne Malik is any indication, it bestows beauty on anyone carrying the name.
The name Zain rolls off the tongue and sounds at once suave and rugged. Zain is the kid who could and would jump into a lake or sea from a high cliff, run along a narrow mountainside hiking trail, or climb a steep rock wall that most people wouldn’t go near. He would do it all as much for the thrill as for the fun of it, the two intermingled for him until telling one from the other is probably an exercise in futility. But that same kid would end the day impeccably dressed. Fashionable without trying and too cool to worry about what other people think. It’s a name for the slick kid, the one who is both subtle and bold.
If the only thing you think of when you hear the name “Phoenix” is Arizona, you are in for a treat. “Phoenix” is quite possibly on the most magical names on this list and not only because Phoenix, Arizona is packed with literal magic seekers. No, the city itself was named for a magical creature whose life ends in a blaze of its own glory, only to rise reborn from the ashes looking more magnificent than before.
Anyone with a name like Phoenix would be impossible to keep down for this very reason. They would only rise again, wiser and more vibrant for the experience, renewed and ready to face down anything foolish enough to stand in their way. Kids who carry this name will soar right over trouble, leaving the mundane behind as they spread magic in their wake.
Some names are hard to pin down a meaning for, usually because they are spelling variants on other names. Rydder is a great example of this. “Rydder” is such an unusual name that there are several years in the recent record where nobody chose that name for their child. Even when it does make the baby name charts it is usually among the most uncommon names on record.
It is derived from the name “Ryder”, which is a name that roughly translates into “knight” or “rider” in older version of English. The two names are so closely linked that it is safe to say that the sense of nobility and action that “Ryder” gives off can be felt with the name “Rydder” as well. Rydder might not be a common name, but that will only make the little knight shine even more.
Storm, like Xavier, is a name that almost exclusively brings the X-Men to mind. The storm of comic book fame might seem an odd choice to name a boy after, at first. She’s a woman and it is still rare for female names to cross over and become male names, though the trend is shifting. With a character as powerful as Storm, however, the name’s appeal is obvious.
Boy or girl, it is impossible for a child to carry the name “Storm” and not end up a force to be reckoned with. No matter how calm the child is or how long their fuse is, once they lose their temper it’s all lightning and thunder, sound and fury. Kids with a name like “Storm” are going to feel powerful and strong, tied to nature and very aware of their own power. It’s not a name to be taken lightly, but it’s a name that will bolster up anyone who carries it.
Remember earlier when we said that nobody should name their child “Xeno” unless they were ready for a challenge? Add “Maverick” to that list. In fact, put it at the top of that list. A maverick is someone who knows the rules, understands the rules, and decides that the rules are dumb and shouldn’t apply to them. Mavericks are the ones who pull off risky stunts or make great discoveries by doing what others are told they shouldn’t.
But they are also the ones who get in trouble or get on the bad side of the authority figures in their life, at least when they act out. They knew they were breaking rules but since they felt the rules were stupid they choose to ignore them and they don’t always take well to punishments. It’s a great trait in a movie character but it can give parents hell when it’s time to teach a child discipline.
Some of the names on this list are very much dependent on context, such as the culture they come from, such as the name “Ruder” English speakers will likely see this name and see it as “more rude”. Yikes, talk about a parenting challenge! But in its native German, Old High German to be exact, it is a family name that means “fame” or “renown”. Which, we imagine, is a much more enticing name for someone!
This another name that might lead to the parents giving minor history lessons whenever they meet someone new. But if a German heritage is important to the family or there’s a chance that the name will bring the fame and renown it is connected to, all those little history lessons might just be worth it!
Most of the names on this list have a pretty cut and dry meaning, but Broderick is a little trickier. Some argue that it is Irish in origin while other argue that it is Welsh. No matter where it started, however, there is only one person it really brings to mind for most people these days and that person is Matthew Broderick. He is best known for his role as Ferris Bueller, a lovable troublemaker whose need for a day off leaders to a wildly good time. And despite the fact that Broderick is nothing like his iconic character, his name conjures up the same trickster ideal.
Broderick is the kid who will go through life living it to the fullest. That might not always mean following the rules - usually the opposite, in fact - but, hey, we only live once!
Lawson is an English name that means “son of Law” or “son of Lawrence”. The meaning isn’t exactly exhilarating, but the tone of the name more than makes up for the definition. Try to imagine someone named Lawson sitting at a desk processing tax returns of driving a bus. Both of these jobs are important, make no mistake. But they don’t have much thrill in them and “Lawson” is too strong a name for any job without at least a little thrill in it.
Someone name Lawson is almost guaranteed to find themselves fitting the strong, silent stereotype. He is not the type to say much, but he will be the first one to step up when things get rough and he will be the last one to back down. Nothing and nobody gets past somebody with a name like Lawson and, if they’re smart, they won’t even try.
Jericho is another Biblical name, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that any kid named Jericho is a saint. Jericho was a walled city in the Bible whose walls were brought low by Angels. Impressive as that is, however, the city’s name has its own meaning. It is an Arabic word that translates into “City of the Moon”. If you can think of any city name more regal, I would love to hear it because I definitely cannot think of one!
All that history gives a name some weight and any kid named Jericho is going to have to grow into that weight. Jerichos are not silly people by any means. They are the guys who run the show without trying and they are definitely not the type to give up power easily. It would be easier, in fact, to move heaven and earth first!
Brysen is not the edgiest name on out list but it’s got its own unique appeal. There isn’t much history on the name and it is most likely a blend of names like Bryce and Brian. This lack of history doesn’t take away from the power of the name, however, and it certainly adds to the rarity of it. Brysen is edgy in the way that a good boy from the wrong side of the tracks is edgy. He has a good heart but it is wrapped up in leather, chains, and chrome. He is just as likely to be found with his hands covered in motor oil as he is to have his nose in a book and he is not opposed to a brawl in the name of protecting those he loves. Think “Rebel with a cause”. That’s what the name Brysen gets you.
Does anyone really need the history of the name “Stone? No? Didn’t think so. I do think, however, that we all know a name like Stone will send a kid in one of two directions. On the one hand, Stone could end up as the cool guy that can shred a wave, skate wail, or snow drift without breaking a sweat. He is the guy who looks permanently tanned, even in the dead of winter.
On the other hand, Stone could also end up being a militant ecological advocate. He is the guy picketing and protesting, dispelling the notion that hippies won’t fight for what they believe in. Either way, Stone is in perpetual motion as if fighting against the fact that stone can be the most immovable substance on earth. He is the embodiment of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
I might be giving away my age here, but there is only one Max that is cool enough for the name and that guy is Max Dennison, reluctant hero of the movie “Hocus Pocus”. You probably think I’ve lost my marbles, but if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about.
Max is the perfect name for a guy who is cool in the face of danger or pressure but who will also admit that he’s scared at the same time. He knows you don’t have to act tough all the time to be brave and that is not a lesson everyone is able to learn. When everything is calm, he’s the hard to impress skeptic who only believes in what he can see, though he’ll admit he’s wrong if there’s enough evidence.
He is everyone’s favorite cool guy because he’s not a jerk about it. Literal hell could break loose around him and as long as everyone he cares about is alright, he can keep his cool and find a solution, probably dropping one-liners the entire way because that’s just how Max is!
As a name, Cooper has been around for a very long time. It was originally used to refer to someone who made barrels for a living, but it has since become a fairly common surname. It is rarely used as a first name, however, despite the fact that it gives off much of the same cool guy vibe as ‘Max” does.
Coopers are the guys who hang out at the skate shop or on the beach, helping everyone else get better at skating or surfing without even thinking about it. They’re sweet guys but they’re not pushovers and when things get rough, they’re probably the first to jump into the brawl. It’s safe to say that guys with a name like “Cooper” are just expected to have funny stories to share, though they probably got themselves into trouble a time or two before they had those stories under their belt in the first place!
Like many of the names that have come before it on this list, “Chett” is derived from an Old English word that generally means “fortress”. This name has its own edge that is very different from the names that all came before and is matched only by the next name on our list.
The edginess that comes with “Chett” has nothing to do with being from the wrong side of the tracks or being prone to brawls. A name like Chett has an edge like a sword. It brings posh Englishmen to mind, the young aggressive ones with the world at their feet. They know that their name brings power and they’re not afraid to use it, though we can only hope they use it for good. Chett sounds like the name of someone you meet when he is on horseback or just getting back from the club and it is not a name with any softness to it, letting the edge take the lead.
Like “Chett”, “Royce” is a name that gets its edge from the gold glint that just seems to shine off it. The name “Royce” immediately brings “Rolls-Royce” to mind, a luxury car company that has been around 1906. The weight of all those years and all that history comes to mind when the name “Royce” comes up, and it’s a safe bet that any kid who bears the name is going to be taken as posh, possibly even snooty. But not the silly kind of snooty, oh no. Royce is not a name for a silly person. Royce is the guy who can cause havoc or heaven just because he feels like it, his name practically bringing back the roaring twenties in one short syllable. This doesn’t mean that the kid is going to be harsh, not remotely. But the name speaks glamour and there’s only so many ways to live up to that!
This name is a more than fitting end to our list. You could put a hundred Americans in a room together and ask them to tell you who comes to mind when they hear the name “Wyatt”. Most of them will all give you the same answer: Wyatt Earp. One of the most famous gunslinging lawmen of the old Wild West whose deeds have been made into American legend by the telling and retelling of them. The man has been dead almost a hundred years but his legacy lives on and any child who bears the name “Wyatt” keeps the legend going just a little bit longer. It’s a name that says “lawman”, “justice” and “don’t cross me” in five small letters. The kid doesn’t even have to try, the name says it all for him!