When we think of rebellious kids, most of us think of pre-teens dressed to the nines in leather jackets with spiky hair, belting out "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol. Just because a child has a name that sounds rebellious doesn't mean they need to have the attitude of an anarchist, and we know just the right names to give a child a rad identity that's all their own. Little rebel names originated anywhere from the utmost of English loyalty to the Golden Hollywood era, when celebrities could sweep audiences off their feet and everyone loved the bad boy.
It seems that almost every era and decade has seen its share of trendy rebel names whether it was the 1950s when rebels had slicked back hair and shiny boots, the 1980s when hair was bigger than life itself, or the early 2000s when a new generation was just beginning and millennials came to be coined. The act of rebellion even goes as far back as ancient Greece, where gods fought amongst their worlds and had the power to destroy or create virtually anything; it's there that we see the most powerful of names. Whatever a child's style, there's sure to be a name on this list that will make people go, "wow, now that's a true rebel!"
This intriguing name is a rebellious twist on the name Anna.
With origins rooted in Sweden, Annika just sounds like the name of a strong woman who won’t take anything from anyone.
Whether you want your daughter to be a warrior princess in her own right or to just have a name that will help her stand up for herself, Annika is a good place to start! The alternate meaning of the name is "grace girl" and according to babynamewizard.com, also bears the meaning "full of grace" and has an interesting Hebrew origin as well. In Hebrew, Hannah is the name that all versions of Anna are derived from, and Annika is considered a variable pet name version of the popular name. Swedish pro golfer Annika Sorenstam also bears the name to add some Scandinavian fame to the name, and the name is found in Astrid Lindgren's famous Pippi Longstocking books as the name for Pippi's best friend. It became popular once again in the early 2000s, after remaining a dormant name for the most part through the prior four decades and has been found in India as the name of the goddess Durga. Durga, in Sanskrit, means "the inaccessible" or "the invincible". If that's not a totally rad name for a strong future rebel, then we don't know what is.
While often viewed as a cutesy and girly name, Zoe is so much more than that. It takes root in Greece, where the literal translation is "life". The cool part of the translation is in Greece, Zoe doesn't just mean life in a biological sense. It means "life" in a spiritual sense, as opposed to using the word "bios" which quite literally means plant and animal life as in the study of biology, which is where we get the popular science terminology.
This name will give your child all the empowerment in the world to be most awesome kid she can, and she won't even need a nickname!
People could call her Zo, but let's face it: The name Zoe is cool enough on its own without a cute pet name to go with it. Zoe is also popular in the celebrity world for people like Zoe Saldana and is found in popular songs like "Flowers for Zoe" which Lenny Kravitz wrote for his daughter, and in Aaron Lewis's song "Zoe Jane" (which is another great name!). The lead actress Rachel Bilson also bears the name Zoe in Hart of Dixie as she turns one town upside down to become the best doctor she can. There's a whole lot of positivity and progression surrounding this name, and it's perfect for a young rebel!
Jesse is a name notorious for literary and on-screen rebels and is traditionally used for both boys and girls depending on spelling.
Its origin is surprising and comes from the Hebrew name Yishai for a boy. It means "gift" or "wealth" by translation. Jesse has strong roots in the Bible as it was the name of the father of David and has a long-standing history as a name for males, which is evident in the fact that it's still popular today and never really lost its popularity. The name did peak in the 1980s (perhaps we can contribute that to heartthrob Uncle Jesse from Full House?) and continues to grow in number, so if you're looking for a unique name, this may not be the one. But that doesn't mean this name can't hold its own as far as the rebel life goes! It is most definitely among the most rebellious name in popular hit shows such as "Breaking Bad" with Jesse Pinkman and "Gilmore Girls" with Jess Mariano. Both characters showed rebellious behavior in its true form and both definitely had the look to back it up, so if you're looking for a name that'll automatically up the cool factor for your kid, Jesse is your go-to.
Chloe is a surprise because, with a traditional Greek meaning, it was also used by one of the most powerful gods in Greek mythology. Its true form in Greece is "Khloe", which, while being a less popular spelling, literally means "verdant" and "blooming". This traditional word in the Greek language was used to describe Demeter, as she was the goddess of agriculture and fertility, after all. When it's spelled modernly with a C instead of a K, it becomes a truly rebellious and hip name with a history of power to back it up.
A girl name Chloe is one that's sure to be a handful but will probably also possess a kind heart and love helping others, as her name clearly states.
This name founds its new life from the Classical Revival period, where the English drew inspiration from Greek mythology and its well-known names. Chloe appears in numerous poems from that time period, and most prevalently comes forth in the Romance of Daphnis and Chloe" translation in 1587. It's a beautiful and flawless name for a rebel and is particularly great at portraying one in the hit Indie video game Life Is Strange, where character Chloe Price wrecks havoc but also changes lives. Your kid doesn't have to have blue hair, but her name will definitely drive the rebel message home.
Uniquely mysterious and bold in its own right, the name Imogen has no distinct origin. It was first seen in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" play and hilariously enough, was created out of a presumed misprint of "Innogen". Innogen, however, does have a Celtic origin and supposedly hold its meaning from the Gaelic word for girl or maiden, "inghean".
The name also denotes female power in a sense, since other Celtic meanings include "image of her mother", "blameless", and "innocent".
While a rebel is not always blameless and innocent, your daughter can definitely follow the strong image of her mother and be an honest rebel with this name. It's not very popular but is found in the celebrity world such as with singer Imogen Heap who's popular alternative music speaks for itself. There are a crazy amount of nicknames that could go with Imogen, including Imi, Imo, Gen, Genny, and Mo, just to name a few. Even with its possible Celtic roots, it's still very English-sounding and modern when used in conjunction with its nicknames. Imogen is an ear-catching name that stands alone as a bold choice when naming your daughter, but you can be sure that no one else in her class will have it and that alone will make her a trailblazer.
Any guesses as to what this name means? Of course, it's literally translated to "the coldest season of the year", but surprisingly, the meanings vary from culture to culture. The origin of the name Winter is interesting, too, since it's been noted in several different historical time periods but almost always stands out as a bold name choice for someone fighting the rules. In the Teutonic, Native American, and Pagan cultures, it also means "renewal" which could totally pass for a renewal of rules or structure, thus cementing the name Winter in the top names for rebellious kids. It's quite literally an age-old name and has been found as far back as the 9th century and was initially a name for a boy in the 1670s, as it was common for sons to take their mother's maiden names as first names. The 1950s saw a revival of the name Winter, but it wasn't until the late 1970s when it became popular for girls. Up until that time it was only used for little boy rebels, but now we've seen it used as a unisex name with several different spellings, including Wynter.
The spotlight will definitely be on your child if this is your name of choice and if you can get past the "winter is coming" references, your child will be sure to shine in her bold, brilliant Winter light.
This retro-revived name was initially a nickname for Roxanne, but on its own, it becomes rebellious and edgy. It's another name that comes from the stunning country of Greece and is supposedly derived from the Persian Roschana name. In Persian, the meaning is "dawn of day", which makes for a great forthcoming rebel story. Roxy also has footholds in Rome as well, which as everyone knows, put forth some of history's greatest rebels and leaders. Alexander the Great had his own Roxana and it's just a testament to how much power and strength the name truly denotes.
Roxy is feminine in nature but strong in meaning and that makes it a great choice for your future rule-breaker.
It'll also come with the tres cool sounding nickname Rox which, to be honest, sounds even more rebel-like than Roxy does! Its popularity on television has brought this name back to life and is most famous for being the name of Roxy Roker from Hannah Montana. We have to admit, this name makes a pretty great-sounding alliteration when combined with a last name also beginning with an R. Worst comes to worst, your child will bear the name of a beachy-chic clothing brand.
There's something about rebel names and their origins being somewhat of a mystery, which is completely apropos if you ask us. The closest name to Blaze, which we can assume is a North American translation, is Blaise, which comes to us from France. Even in France, the name is a tad bit of a mystery, though, but the earliest it's been traced back is to the Latin name Blaesus -- which has a less than stellar meaning.
The modern version of Blaze is literally translated to an out of control fire, which is certainly fitting for that of a rebel nature, don't you think?
It's a unisex name and sounds equally righteous for either a boy or a girl, but it's really the unique spellings of this name that put it a step above the rebellious rest. Its variations include Blaize and Blayze, which make it completely customizable and add even more uniqueness to an already stand-alone name. Your child will have a running list of nicknames with this name and will probably be beloved and known as Blazer or Blay among his or her best friends. Blaze is a bold choice but chances are it's one name you're open to if you're looking for a real tiny rebel name.
How awesome is this name for a boy? The name Axel has strength in spades and is an attention-grabber for sure, so it's not for the quiet kids. This name lives up to its potential in rebellious nature with some noted fame to go with it. Axel comes from its Biblical origin of Absalom and is a name borrowed from Scandinavia. Already the firm roots this name has in history makes it a bold choice for a baby boy, and the meaning of its derivative is translated from Hebrew into "the father is peace".
Axel has several different spellings including Aksel but none are stand out so much as with an X. And something about the letter X makes things so much more rebellious.
This name is found in music, as with singing Axl Rose from Guns 'n Roses, but also in popular video game cultures such as in the game Kingdom Hearts, where a true rebel is born and holds his own with a fair share of sarcasm, wit, and intelligence. Surely anyone named Axel would have a heart of gold as well, and their rebellious nature would only lead them to do great things for the world. With a nickname like Ax, how could he not?
Let's dial it back a few hundred centuries. The name Hunter originally popped out of the Middle English language as the original "hunte" which literally meant a hunter or Huntsman. Fear not, vegetarian and vegan families, just because you love this name does not mean its meaning needs to go back that far to the actual meaning of a hunter. Popular American novelist Hunter S. Thompson also shares this namesake and with it, several novels of rebellion and bold living. He wrote well-known novels like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" but also created the idea of gonzo journalism in the 1970s. He was a revolutionary as far as American writing goes, and his effort to break the norm makes his name truly rebellious in every aspect. Hunter is a relatively popular name, but one that's fun and different as well. It comes with a great host of nickname options and it will be fun to watch your child grow up and see his friends find new ones for him.
It's a great middle-ground for parents who want their child to have individuality, but also don't want to give them a name that will stand too far apart from the rest.
It's been officially confirmed that all real rebels are actually Greek. We're just kidding, but the name Phoenix does have an origin set in Greek times and comes from the word "phoinix" and means "bright red" or "Phoenix" as in Greek Mythology.
Metaphorically, the story of the Phoenix goes that after its long life, about 500 to 1,000 years or so, it bursts into flames, turns into ash, and then something amazing happens...It comes back.
Traditionally the meaning of the Phoenix is "rebirth" because once it dies, it will come back as a new bird and begin a new life from the olds' ashes. There are other qualities noted such as its bird cry sounding like a beautiful song and the bird's tears having healing qualities, but you get the gist. The legendary creature was also thought to spit fire which would have made it stunning and dangerous. The Phoenix is a beautiful mythological legend and naming your son or daughter after it would give them both an honorable name with a magical history. A child bearing the name Phoenix would also have that in common with the popular town in Arizona as well as actors Joaquin and River Phoenix, who both had rebellion down pat.
When you hear the name "Dean" most people think of arguably the most famous rebel of our time, James Dean.
With James Dean's trademark leather jacket thrown over his shoulder, slicked-back hair, and "don't mess with me" face, it's hard to imagine the name Dean was around long before he roamed Hollywood.
There's quite a bit of historical merit in the name Dean, first seen in the Old English language as a variant of "denu" or "valley". The term was used to describe someone who lived near a valley, which we suppose is accurate for James Dean...Uh, if you count the Hollywood Hills valleys. The name is also prevalent in French as the name for a presiding official, usually, one who had a job for a church, cathedral, or university. Hence where we get the term dean for a school system. The nicknames are endless and one of the most popular and endearing is Dino, alternatively spelled Deano. Any kid earning this name is sure to be suave with a sense of humor and who knows, maybe he'll be a natural -- or Supernatural if you're talking Dean Winchester -- in front of the camera as well! The name denotes power and authority and is a great choice for parents who love the bold.
The first thought that comes to mind when you think of the name Ace is someone you would not want to lose to in a game of poker. While the name seems stark and cunning, it's quite a cool name for a boy. After all, Hollywood has shed a good light on the name since the movie Ace Ventura, creating a character named Ace who's highly intelligent, but also pants-peeing hilarious. The literal translation of Ace in Latin has a few meanings as some Latin words often do, including "one", "expert", and "one with the father". It has a separate meaning in English as well, being translated not to a type of playing card, but instead meaning "one who excels".
Along with being the highest ranking card in a deck, it's an attention-grabbing name and one that will help your child to stand out and be their own person with a name that's not commonly found elsewhere.
There aren't too many nicknames with this one, but one suggestion from babynamewizard.com is "Spade" to contrast with the playing card aspect of the name. It's not very widely used and even though some celebrities share the name, one of which is Ace Frehley of KISS, it seemed to peak in popularity in the 1970s, but has not since come back -- if you can count it as ever being "in". But hey, rebellion is about going against the trends, right?
Similar to Dean, Damon is just one of those names that sounds dark and broodingly rebellious. Surprise surprise, it's Greek! Well, not so surprising if you've stuck with the list thus far. It seems like all the best names come from there. In Greece, the name is presumably derived from "Damianos" which means "to tame". This meaning is the complete opposite of rebellion unless your Damon is the one doing the taming, but the historical context doesn't end there. Damon is also found in Greek lore in the story of Damon and Pythias, who were alive in the 4th century and resided on Syracuse. Their bond was so strong that Damon offered to take Pythias' place in prison before his eventual execution ordered by the king; because he did this, the kind pardoned Pythias on this gesture of the unconditional loyalty alone. That aspect of Greek history really makes up for the "tame" part of this name meaning, and we're big fans of any name that denotes loyalty and strength, two things you would definitely need as a rebel!
Kids with the name Damon are sure to be loyal to their family and friends and strong in the face of whatever comes their way.
Don't let this cute Final Fantasy IV name fool you; Vivi takes on quite the role of a rebel, considering its origins come from the great tale of Merlin the wizard. This name is surrounded by folklore and mystery and would make a great name for a boy or girl, although it's most popularly used when naming females.
Most obviously, the name Vivi comes from Vivien which means "alive" in French. If we trace that back even further you'll find the Latin word for "alive", Vivus.
As far as literal translations go, we're off to a pretty great start for name meanings. Now for the famous Arthurian legend of King Arthur and his knights! One of the most popular characters from the tales is one that is still used today in pop culture, and that's Merlin. The all-powerful, staff-wielding wizard is seen in both novels, books, television shows, and even video games. However, it's his other love who bore the name we love. The "Lady of the Lake" was named Vivian, thus giving the name alternate spelling and a new historical reference. It's a perfect short name for a girl or a boy and one that sounds friendly and joyful. No one ever said rebels couldn't be happy!
Now, this is a name that's both regal as well as elegant and uses those two traits to stand out from the crowd.
Any girl with the name Adelaide is sure to command a room and all eyes will be on her whenever she introduces herself.
The name itself is beautiful and it's German in origin which is fitting, as we know that Germans are known for the strength, intelligence, and stubbornness. In Germany, the name is traditionally spelled Adelheid, which is where we get the somewhat modern version of it today. Its meaning comes in two parts: First, "adel", meaning "noble". Then "heit", which means "kind". The two words form the compound for "nobility" which denotes qualities of kind-heartedness, strong morality, and dignity. Adelaide makes, literally, a noble name for any girl. The name is also immensely popular in music with several songs bearing the name, as well as in movies and shows featuring strong female leads who are brave and enduring. Several saints also bore the name Adelaide, including one from Italy during the years 931-999, which makes this name historically relevant as well as innocent and pure. It's also been the name of a queen and several poets, adding a creative and royal flair to any child who has earned the name.
Skye evokes images of a strong female who is both elegant and bold. It’s a name that has definitely become lost since the new millennia despite its beautiful meaning and sound, and one that many parents may not have considered yet for their daughter. Skye has an origin rooted in Dutch culture and means quite literally, “scholar”. Its rich history translates well for a baby girl with nods to love, beauty, and knowledge. The syllable of “Sky” makes for a lovely nickname that encompasses all the beauty of aerial nature into three letters.
Girls named Skye will surely always have a conversation starter when someone asks for her name, simply because it’s truly unique in nature – no pun intended!
It can be used for a boy or a girl and is also short for Skylar, alternatively spelled Skyler for a boy. For even more of an evocation of naturally beautiful scenery, the Isle of Skye in Scotland also bears the name and means "sheltering". Skye became popular in the 1990s and then fell short to the nuances of the avant-garde names of the 2000s, and we hope to see a comeback.
Teagan can be used for a boy or a girl but is most notably heard being used for baby girls. Teagan is a play on Megan and Regan and sounds utterly English in nature when the first syllable is pronounced as "tee" rather than "te".
It is popular in England, but its roots go deep into Ireland's history as a word meaning "beautiful" and occasionally "little poet", which is a perfect art and meaning for a rebellious soul.
There's nothing negative denoted by this name and would be a great addition to a child in an artistic and creative family. It's a name that is often complimented because it's not overly popular but does exist in various parts of the world, especially Europe. This makes it more unique in North America where people have borrowed from the Irish culture to give their children timeless and classic Gaelic names. It's particularly fitting for singer Tegan Quin of the band Tegan and Sara, as many of their songs are heartfelt, emotion-packed, and speak of going against the norms of society to break free of constraint and pitch the hierarchy. It's perfect for a little rebel and a stunning name in general.
June was a name more recently brought back into popularity because of the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, based on the best-selling novel of a future totalitarian New England. The main character, June, rebels in every way possible against the system that has rid women of their rights and in many aspects, their dignity, and fights with everything she has to get back to her old life.
The rebel runs deep with this one and it would be an honorable name for any girl, and at the very least she'll always have other Junes to look up to!
Pop culture references aside, the name June, as in the month, comes from the Latin name Juno who was the Roman goddess wife of Jupiter. Juno was also powerful in her own right, being the goddess of marriage and queen of the gods. The name is also seen in Ovid's poem the Fasti, with references to this mythology as well as the sixth month. While it peaked in the 1920s and was occasionally used in the 1950s, as in June Cleaver on Leave It To Beaver, It declined in popularity until 2012. June has a solid history and absolutely rebellious reputation, but it's also delicate and unique in the sense that not many people are heard bearing it.
For female rebellion, look no further than Lilith. Her Biblical character is the epitome of feminism for most, and her story to follow is both captivating and powerful. We see Lilith in two lights, both good and evil. Her good history is that of being the wife of Adam in Jewish folklore. Although they were both born of the same clay, Adam insisted that Lilith was inferior and should submit all will to him. Obviously not wanting to take this behavior as she was somewhat of an old-age feminist, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and that's how she got her wings to fly out of Paradise...Which, in hindsight, was anything but for a chauvinistic husband. It's a cool story of fight versus flight and how one woman rose to the top, however, the second Lilith from the Mesopotamian era does not have much in common with the first. In Mesopotamian history, Lilith was the name of a storm demon and had the ability to wield wind, and cause disease and illness. In Sumer, she appeared as a wind spirit bearing the name Lilitu in 4000 BC. What we can take away from both historical references is power and strength, two defiant rebel traits.
While Lilith is the queen of all things powerful and intimidating, Willow is quite the opposite.
The name contains every feminine quality you'd want to see in a baby girl and is the name of the popular weeping willow tree.
The name spawns from Middle English in its original form of "wilwe", which was the traditional word for the willow tree. The tree itself has meanings such as their grace in appearance, flexibility, and slender but proportional branches. The arboretum spectacle is also shockingly resilient, having the ability to withstand strong storms and high winds. It's beautiful in name and meaning and although it sounds gentle, it's a fitting name for a cautious and thoughtful little rebel. The name is most notably seen in the Disney movie Pocahontas as the name for Grandmother Willow, who was full of wise advice and held all of the knowledge in the world. The name Willow is also incredibly popular among music and song lyrics and peaked in popularity in the early 2000s. It has continued to rise in usage with the number of parents seeking unique names on the rise and generations changing to fit the new independent era. It's timeless and nature-inspired.
If you want a name that speaks for itself, particularly with one word, strength, then Athena will do the job. It hails straight from Greece and is the well-known name of the goddess of wisdom, skill, and also warfare.
Athena is a tough name that definitely has a specific edginess to it and entails great things. The goddess Athena was the daughter of Zeus, and if that doesn't denote power then we don't know what does!
To add even more independence to this namesake, the story goes that Athena didn't even have a mother -- instead, her birth consisted of popping right out of her father's forehead. If childbirth were that easy, I'm quite sure 99% of moms would totally opt for their husbands to do the work if it meant naming their daughter after a Greek goddess. She was rumored to be a fierce fighter on the battlefield and courageous in her own right and was also the favorite daughter. This meant she was able to wield her father's weapons including the most notable thunderbolt, but her reputation for revolutionary behavior doesn't stop there. Athena also created the brindle, which changed agriculture and horse taming for all of Greece, and was considered the patron goddess of Athens. The name Athena certainly has a reputation to live up to, but we're sure any child with the name will have no problem rising to the challenge!
In keeping with the theme of goddesses, Luna was another Roman goddess who commanded power.
She was associated with being the goddess of the moon which holds its own mysterious intrigue and folklore.
The name is found in several different languages such as Russian, Latin, Italian, and Spanish, but interestingly enough all with the same meaning: "moon". It's literally translated as "satellite", which is what the moon becomes as it orbits the earth. For astrology lovers, those with a child born under the sign of Cancer can rejoice in the fact that Luna will be a perfect astrologically accurate name for your child. Since Cancer is associated with being ruled by the moon, it's a perfect fit. The name is used very often in mythology-based novels, such as Serena's cat in the Sailor Moon manga series, and the best-selling Harry Potter book series. The character of Luna Lovegood is a powerful young witch, but also kind, gentle, soft-spoken, and extremely intelligent. Luna is a name ideal for those who could picture their child's life being one full of magic and intrigue, and it's no surprise that anyone bearing the name of Luna loves it. There are some unique nicknames that follow this name, some are overly cutesy but one that caught our attention was "Lunar Eclipse". Talk about one of a kind!
The name Raven isn't commonly seen. It's a great fit for a rebel for the same reason any of these names would be: It's unique.
The allure of a raven comes with its dark feathers, dark eyes, and generally mysterious demeanor.
We can attribute part of that to the ever so famous poem by Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven. In his work, he talks of a brooding raven who comes to his side every night and is the bearer of things to come, foreshadowing a fate that even he doesn't yet know. This mystery surrounds the name Raven and is fitting for a Fall or Winter baby, as it's literally the darkest time of the year according to the Equinox. As a historical reference, the name is seen in Norse mythology. For the Norse people, the name Raven denoted the meaning of "wisdom", which is interesting considering the much more modern poem named after the bold bird. Raven not so surprisingly peaked in the 1990s, in a time when unique names were the goal and babies were gifted with a strong sense of individuality. There aren't too many nicknames that are associated with the striking first name, but when you bear the same name as a popular Marvel X-Men, would you want to replace it with a nickname? We didn't think so!
If you have a baby boy and rebel is on your list of traits for him to hopefully follow, Liam is a great balance of loyalty and fierce bravery. The name is derivative of the Irish William or, traditionally, Uilliam. It's uber-popular but that doesn't stop it from having a beautiful, masculine meaning that will translate well to that of a little rebel. The meaning behind the name is "resolute protector", which was a traditional theme in early European history. In the time of kings and queens, knighthood was valued at the utmost loyalty to the kingdom, and anyone bearing the name Liam was worthy to be praised and fight in battle. It's a pleasant-sounding name and one that stands out royally as someone who will protect and fight for you. The name has been seen in movies, on television shows, and amongst celebrities, most notably in the countries of England and Ireland. Anyone with this name is kind-hearted and thoughtful, as they should be when they have a name with such a true meaning. Babies gifted with the name Liam will grow up to be little fighters, setting the stage for what they believe is right while still following what's in their heart and staying true to those around them.