While we are not fans of the term “hipster baby names” most baby name articles will group names in this class together. These hip baby names for boys simply are offbeat and original or either very vintage or even obscure. It’s not a crime for hip, new parents to want to choose an original baby name that imparts character and identity. Some have even gone “mainstream” with baby names like Magnus and Caspian, unthinkable a decade ago, are now very popular choices.
If you are an expecting parent who is merely looking for an imaginative name that makes an impression, you have come to the right place. We will look to retro names, nature, pop culture, and even other languages to discover hip baby names with a touch of whimsy which makes these baby names so unique. Check out these 25 hip baby names for boys that are so uncool they are actually very cool.
We all heard it on Seinfeld as the secret first name of Kramer, now some brave parents are wondering if this comprehensive Greek name that seems to encompass the whole cosmos could make an imaginative and modern choice for their baby. Cosmo means “order, beauty.” The name has not been popular in the US since 1926, so it’s past due for a return.
Lars is a boy’s name of Scandinavian origin meaning “crowned with laurel.” In Latin, you will find its origin, Laurentius. Lars is familiar enough for most Americans that it does not sound completely unheard of while still maintaining an exotic quality. The last time Lars was in the US top 1000 names for boys was 1984.
Puck has a long history in English mythology but the character was perfectly captured in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play, Puck is a mischievous, little pixie. Puck has never emerged as a top name in the US, but it is currently trending on several baby name databases. We expect this name to explode in the coming years so get ahead of the trend now and give this hip baby name ASAP.
If we could do one thing, and one thing only, it would be to forever erase the association of the handsome and classical name Homer with the Simpson’s patriarch with the same name. This name used to be one of the most popular names for boys in the US before it fell out of the top 1000 in the 1980s. This grand Greek name means “pledge” or “security.” Please bring back this storied favorite.
Derived from the same root as Anselm, Ansel is a medieval Germanic name that still feels crisp and stylish today. It means “wise protector.” The name is most familiar to Americans thanks to the beloved photographer Ansel Adams who captured sweeping images of the natural splendor in Yosemite Valley. This now hip baby name hasn’t been commonplace since the 1920s!
Boaz is a Hebrew classic and unlike others in its class like Moses and Elijah, Boaz has not been a favorite of contemporary parents in the US. While you will still hear this name in Israel today, Boaz is a name with untapped potential. Considering that hip baby names with a “Z” are hot items for new parents, perhaps Boaz will finally get the recognition it deserves.
Kit is the perfect gender-neutral option as it has classically been used as a nickname for both Christopher and Katherine. This English invention takes its meaning from Christopher which means “follower of Christ.” A perfectly sweet and concise name, Kit has, unfortunately, not been in the top 1000 for boys since 1958.
If you are looking for a proper Irish name with established roots, consider Nigel a name that means “black-haired.” Nigel has a history in the US as a mildly popular pick for boys. However, it has not been a common choice for decades.
The girls have Apple, Plum, Peaches, Cherry, and Berry. Why do they get to have all the fun? It turns out, there’s a fruit name for boys that’s ripe for the taking. Quince has emerged as an option for boys with Latin origins that refer to an apple-like fruit. Thanks to the established name Quincy (ranking at 595 last year), Quince is totally a possibility as it sounds much cooler without the Y-sound.
Sure, you could choose the name Huckleberry, but that certainly is a mouthful. Huckleberry is an American invented name gifted to us by Mark Twain. We prefer Huck which fits in with other hip baby names like Duke or Bix. Huck has yet to land in the top 1000 but expect that to change very soon.
Alfie is a playful nickname name that appeared in the top 1000 in the US only two years. 1967 and 1968. While it has never been as popular here as it is in the UK, parents should consider this amazing name once again. With the rise of Archie, Alfie is a logical alternative. Alfie is an English name that is short for Alfred which means “wise counselor.”
Elio is red hot in Europe and one of the most popular baby names for boys in France right now. Elio has Italian and Spanish origins and derives from the Greek name Helios, a sun god. Thus, this name means “the sun.” Does it get any better than that?
Ambrose returned to the top 1000 in 2019 for the first time in nearly 75 years! Ambrose is a beautiful, traditional name that has Latin origins and means “immortal.” The name shares its roots with the same word that gives us ambrosia, the food of the gods that confers perpetuity.
It’s little-used for boys and even rarer for girls (it is still very much a unisex name, however), but since Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons used it for their son, Ennis should be one to watch. Ennis feels like a hip alternative to ubiquitous Dennis or Ellis. Ennis has Irish origins and means “from the island.”
Chaz is a jazzy nickname for Charles that US parents first considered a given name in the seventies when it was popularized. This name has fallen from fashion over the last decade but we find it completely joyful and unfussy. This name shares its meaning with Charles, “free man.”
Ludo is a German name masquerading as an Italian one. Ludo is the cute, diminutive form of Ludovic. This name has been virtually undiscovered or ignored by US parents. We would love to see that change! Ludo means “famous.” With such a great meaning and sound, it would be a hip baby name choice more so than established Hugo or Nico (although those names are both very fine).
Never having made it onto the popularity list, Moss would make a distinctively fresh and attractive alternative to Ross. While it does evoke images of green forests, Moss is actually a proper English surname that means “descendant of Moses.” This is a darling nature name with plenty of pedigree.
The name Elvis is connected to the Irish Ailbhe, and the Irish saint of that name is also known as Elvis of Munster. The meaning of this name is debatable but we will share the meaning of the name Ailbhe, “noble.” Elvis has a long history in the US with it appearing in the top 1000 every decade since 1880 (when records start). It has not been popular since 2011, so we think this hip baby name is ready to rock again.
In Israel, Noam is a top 10 name for boys. Here, it has never taken off. We think that’s a shame. This gentle Hebrew name means “tenderness.” It, of course, is borne by distinguished linguist and social activist Noam Chomsky. If you are looking for an alternative to the ever-popular Noah, Noam is the perfect fit!
Clive is a handsome English name that means “lives near a cliff.” Clive was popular in the US until the 1930s. Unfortunately, the name became associated with a stereotype of a crusty British aristocracy. Now, we think it is safe to say that Clive has shaken off that image and makes for a lively option.
Zebulon is an Old Testament name with a contemporary feel especially if you plan on using the amazing nickname Zeb. Zebulon has Hebrew origins and means “exaltation.” This name enjoyed a brief comeback in the eighties before falling off the list entirely. Pike’s Peak was named for Zebulon Pike, the best known bearer of the name.
Laszlo is a curious option that has been peaking parents’ interest in recent years. This Hungarian name means “glorious ruler” as it is associated with royal heritage there. The O-ending has become a particular favorite for adventurous parents in recent years and you could do no better than picking Laszlo and introduce the name to the US! Lazlo is a streamlined spelling that is also an option.
Ira was one of the most popular names in the US for boys from 1880-1920s. However, the name faded over time and fell into middling territory before making strides again last year. Ira sounds so easy and agreeable as well has having a uniquely retro feel. This Hebrew name means “watchful one.”
Lev is a name with both Hebrew and Russian tradition that is correctly pronounced leev. In Hebrew the name means “heart” and in Russian tradition it means “lion.” Lev sounds like a cool-kid name that is just effortless. Surprisingly, Lev has never debuted in the top 1000 in the US. Let’s change that, new parents.
Basil was on the US popularity list quite regularly up till 1970, reaching a high of number 328 in 1904. Its history includes several rulers of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Orthodox saints. Basil has been a name employed for centuries ever since the ancient Greeks used it as a name meaning “regal.” Bring back this joyful, vintage gem!
There you go! We hope you feel inspired by these hip baby names that have been uncool but are cool again. Do not be afraid to go bold with the name you pick. Unique names help bring character and tell
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
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