October 20, 2008

How Your Hipster [Sic] Baby Name News Is Made

The magazine, book publishing and TV show didn't work out, so ex-New Yorker editor [seems so long ago] Tina Brown launches a website, The Daily Beast, which "sees itself as a must-read for hipsters in news, politics and pop culture."

And what are the hipsters talking about these days [when they're not talking about the entire hipster concept feeling like it's at least a year and a half past its expiration date, that is?] Why, they're talking about naming babies, of course. And so the Beast commissions the perfectly titled article: "10 Ways to Avoid Hipster Baby Names." Sweet! Servicey, but counterintuitive! And who better to write it than an actual hipster parent?

Whoops, not a rhetorical question. The answer is Pamela Redmond Satran, co-author of the Boomer era baby naming bible, Beyond Jennifer & Jason--and also The Baby Name Bible, released last year, and the co-founder of Nameberry, a baby name website that just launched the other day. In other words, she's one of the overlords of the Baby Naming Industrial Complex. Still, she does have experience:

Why do parents who are trying so hard to move ahead of the crowd end up simply jumping off a groovier bridge?

Maybe it's because the only thing a hipster hates more than being seen as a hipster is not being seen as a hipster. So hipster parents know enough to bypass the too-popular Avas and Aidens favored by the great style unwashed, but they're afraid to venture into uncharted territory in search of names that might turn out to be uncool in some other even-more-mortifying way.

The result: Every other Bugabooed baby in Brooklyn and Venice Beach is named Ruby or Oscar, Matilda or Hugo.

Mhmm. I will assume, on behalf of all the great style-unwashed, that it's a pure coincidence that Safran's newly revised book is called Beyond Ava & Aiden, due next spring from St. Martin's Press.

10 Ways To Avoid Hipster Baby Names [thedailybeast.com]
Uh, how about just checking the list? Hipster Names [nameberry]

8 Comments

There's a dead simple way to avoid too-trendy of names. Just go to the social security website, get the list of all names that made the top 200 anytime in the last 30 years, and declare them forbidden.

My cheap mechanism? Compile the list of all names in the top 100 from 1880 to 1930 (from Social Security), eliminate duplicates, eliminate any names that are now gender-inappropriate or just too anachronistic, then eliminate anything appearing in the top 200 anytime in the last 30 years. You'll have a nice long list of decent and interesting potential names that your kid's unlikely to share with everyone else in his class. Well, at least until everyone starts doing this.

We finally settled on Ira. He's now 8 months old and has expressed zero complaints about his name thus far.

Hey! You named your son after a financial instrument, too! Maybe your son and my little boy, 401K, will be friends one day!


Actually, my son's name was on the hipster list :( but it is okay, since we live in a non-hipster neighborhood...

I'm like, "Austin and Madison?" I thought we were beyond Madison.

"A hipster Dad in Madison WI calling out 'Odin?'" It's Eric Snowdeal!

We went with a Waspy name which is odd since we're a Jewish/Catholic couple. Of course, I'd rather go with waspy than hipster. especially in our neighborhood in Chicago.

Live in New Zealand...could have given middle name Roth after Ira and nobody would have batted an eyelash. Of course we didn't though.

I like to give baby names with saint's names..maybe if the hipster list have those names it is great..

Traditional names are still better.

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