Looking for Boys and Girls Names That Are Cool Right Now?

Finding names that are cool right now isn’t easy. Why? Names come in and out of favor over time, so many names, previously thought to be cool have lost their appeal and now seem stale or dated. I’ve created a list of cool names from a variety of sources and put them on an interactive website (Ranker.com), so you can find names that smart parents, like you, think are cool right now. If you’re looking for cool names for your baby, check out the top-ranked names by clicking on the links, below. And, while you’re at it, take a few seconds to vote for any of the newest or up-and-coming names on the lists that you think are cool–to help other parents find names for their baby boys and girls that are cool right now.

12 New-And Rising Cool Names for Boys: Dante, Rhett, Connor, Django, Bronson, Teo , Raj, Kendo, Chance, Flynn, Turner, Harley

8 New-And-Rising Cool Names for Girls: Camila, Carmen, Coco, Harper, Luna, Mia, Mila, Summer

The Shorter Your Name, The Larger Your Salary: Research Report

I knew that women earned less than men and that people of color earned less than Caucasians. But I had no idea that people with long names earned less than people with short names. The research for this finding was reported by Daniel  Cronyn of The Ladders who crunched data from 6 million members to find out how names and income might be correlated. Here are some interesting findings as it relates to the length of names and salary:

-The Ladders found an inverse correlation between the number of letters in names and the salary those individuals earned.

-More specifically, they found that salary decreases $3,600 per year for every additional letter in your name. (For example, when you compare Bill vs. William there are three more letters in William than in Bill, so Bill can be expected to make about $10,800 more than William.)

-And, when they compared nicknames to given names (e.g., Chris vs. Christopher; and Debbie vs. Deborah) they found that people with shorter names earned more in 23 out of 24 (formal name vs. nickname) pairings they tested.

After crunching millions of numbers, I was very surprised to read The Ladders’ erroneous conclusion:“In conclusion, it DOES make a difference what your mother named you. So, to all prospective mothers, our advice is to keep Baby’s name short and sweet – your child will thank you when they’re raking in the money one day.” Wrong! They completely missed the point.

It doesn’t matter what your mother named you. It matters which version of your name you choose to go by at work. (If your mother named you Elizabeth, you will earn more money if you encourage your colleagues to call you Liz; and likewise for Stephen and Steve.)  To be clear, they proved that the version of the name you go by when you take a job affects your chances for success (as measured by your salary). People who “go by” their “formal” names, earn less than they would if they went by their (shorter) nicknames.

I can think of two practical reasons why women and people of different ethnicity, national origin or color earn less than men and Caucasians:

1) When men and women or people of different ethnicity, national origin or color take different kinds of jobs (e.g., field work vs. office work or clerical job vs. a management position) the comparisons (for research purposes) are not what you’d call “apples to apples.”

2)  But, when men and women or people of different ethnicity, national origin or color take the same kinds of jobs, the most likely explanation for a different salary is probably discrimination.

Before reading the research results (to the effect that a guy named Bill would earn more money than a guy named William), I would have guessed the opposite–thinking that William is a more upscale, professional-sounding name hence it is more likely to be used by a well-paid executive than Bill. But now that I know that research clearly supports the finding that men named Bill and women named Debbie earn more money than men named William and women named Deborah, I can think of a reasonable rationale to support that finding (which is the opposite of what I thought, originally).

Here’s my new rationale: People with shorter names earn more than people with longer names because shorter, more informal names are easier to pronounce and spell and are also more accessible to people throughout the company. More to the point, having a short, informal name helps you come across as more approachable and less stand-offish (whether you are a man or women; whether you are white or black or brown or yellow).

So, don’t thank your mother if she gave you a short name. Don’t curse your mother if she gave you a long name. Choose a short, accessible version of your name to use at work. That will help you get along with people at work and, based on the research findings, it is likely to increase your take-home pay.

FYI I found a post about The Ladders’ research report on Nancy’sBabyNames.com. It’s a great place to look for fascinating information and stories about names.

Latest Voting Results for “Cool Names for Girls” and “Cool Names for Boys” Just in Time for Holiday-Season Births

Here are the latest voting results for our lists of “Cool Names for Girls” and “Cool Names for Boys.” All the names marked with an asterisk have moved up since our last update. And, sources for each name are indicated in parentheses after each name. (I’m sure you’ll quickly notice that I’m doing  better at picking cool names for girls than cool names for boys, but that could change as more blog-readers vote.) FYI, I have listed  several up-and-coming boys’ and girls’ names which could dramatically change the composition of the both lists. (I hope you’ll enjoy viewing the new names I’ve added to both lists–from a variety of sources–and vote for the names you think are coolest.)

On the “Cool Names for Girls” list, names moving up since our last report were Catalina, Danica, Elena, Serena, Skye and Emilia. Altogether, there are 37 names to choose from on this list, including a new name I just added. Other names to consider that are just below the top ten include Gianna, Sloane, Tori and Ryann.

Cool Names for Girls (as of December 10)

  1. Annika (Bruce Lansky)
  2. Amelia (Bruce Lansky)
  3. Catalina* (Bruce Lansky)
  4. Cleo (Bruce Lansky)
  5. Lola (The Art of Naming & Nameberry)
  6. Danica* (Bruce Lansky)
  7. Elena* (Bruce Lansky)
  8. Serena* (Bruce Lansky)
  9. Skye* (Bruce Lansky)
  10. Emelia* (Bruce Lansky)

On the “Cool Names for Boys” list, the three names that moved up since our last posting were Finn, Dante and Levi. Altogether there are 48 names to choose from on this list. Names to consider that are just below the top ten include: Rio, Hudson, Wyatt, Kendo, Cliff, Flynn, Turner, Bronson, Harley, Connor and Nico.

Cool Names for Boys (as of December 10)

  1. Chase (The Art of Naming)
  2. Finn* (The Art of Naming & Nameberry)
  3. Hunter (The Art of Naming)
  4. Jett (The Art of Naming)
  5. Taj (The Art of Naming)
  6. Dante* (Bruce Lansky)
  7. Levi* (Bruce Lansky)
  8. Cruz (The Art of Naming & Nameberry)
  9. Dash (The Art of Naming)
  10. Matteo (The Art of Naming & Nameberry)

More than 225 people have viewed each of our two lists on Ranker. To find them, just click on the link I’ve provided. I’d like reiterate how easy it is to vote: Just click on the blue “thumb up” icon to cast a positive vote; or click on the red “thumb down” icon to cast a negative vote. It only takes second to cast a vote. It’s easy and fun. And it will help expectant parents looking for the latest cool names for their babies. Because our Ranker lists include names from Nameberry, The Art of Naming and from me, they are the single most objective (and up-to-the-minute) source of cool names you can find. What a great way to “shop” for names that your friends (and your child’s friends) will think are cool.

The 5 Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2013

What are the five worst celebrity baby names of 2013? I voted in a survey developed by Celebrity Baby Scoop to answer that question. My reward for voting was a peek at the latest results. (Voting didn’t take more than a few seconds–so I hope you’ll vote too. It was fun!)

Meanwhile, here are the latest results as of today. (No drum-roll needed–everybody but Kim and Kanye could predict that North West would have a long lead on the rest of the lame names.) So here they are–the five worst celebrity baby names of 2013, based on results from almost 1,000 survey respondents (along with information about the parents plus a few snarky comments):

1. North West

Parents: Kanye West is a rapper and Kim Kardashian  is a reality TV star.

Comment: Kanye West told Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show that he was thinking about naming his unborn child North West. That comment got a laugh. Now the joke is on Kim and Kanye’s daughter.

2. Rainbow Aurora Rotella

Parents: Holly Madison is a former Playboy Playmate and Pasquale Rotella produces documentaries.

Comment Rainbow Aurora is a throwback to the psychedelic 60’s. It’s a perfect name for a child conceived at Woodstock.

3. Cricket Silverstein

Parents: Busy Phillips is an actor (“Cougar Town”) and Marc Silverstein is a Hollywood writer and producer.

Comment: Believe it or not, Cricket has a big sister named Birdie. The parents are disappointed that the girls don’t chirp and tweet when they are hungry or need a diaper change (rather than crying).

4. Rekker Gigandet

Parents: Cam Gigandet (pronounced JI-gon-day) and Dominique Geisendorff are both actors.

Comment: I worry about the impression Rekker will make on blind dates and job interviews.

5. Rhythm Myer Overbey

Parents: Whitney Whatley and Brandon Overbey are both reality stars on “Big Rich Texas.”

Comment: I’d expect musical parents to select a name like Rhythm (or Melody or Harmony). I  wonder if the reality-star parents picked the name Rhythm out of frustration with the rhythm method.

Popular TV Shows Are Driving the Popularity of Baby Names in the U.K.

Registration data gathered and analyzed by BabyCentre, a leading childcare website in the U.K., indicates that popular TV shows are playing a major role in driving the popularity of names associated with “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” and “Downton Abbey—based on an article in HeraldScotland.com. For example:

“Game of Thrones: The greatest rise in popularity registered by a character associated with a popular TV show was for Arya, which is 183% more popular than in 2012.

“Breaking Bad”: Skyler is 70% more popular and Jesse is 13% more popular than in 2012.

“Homeland”: Brody is 40% more popular and Nicholas is 11% more popular than in 2012.

“Downton Abbey: Rose, Ivy, Violet and Elsie are all more popular than they were in 2012 (though more detailed comparative statistics are not available).

With all the TV coverage and speculation about the royal birth, George (which was the 9th most popular boys’ name in the U.K. before the birth of Prince George) fell out of the top ten after his birth. It appears that popular TV shows are playing a more dynamic role in affecting the popularity of names in the U.K. than the royal family.

There Are 14 New Names on the “Cool Names for Boys” List: Which Are the Coolest?

There are now 14 new names on the “Cool Names for Boys” List on Ranker.com. They came from a variety of sources including Nameberry, The Art of Naming and Bruce Lansky (me). Here they are: Chance, Steele Flynn, Flint, Cliff, Cash, Crash, Blaze, Trig, Nico, Raj, Dante, and Django.

Altogether, there are now 49 names on the list. So, if you’re looking for a cool name to give your son, this is probably the best place to find one. It has the best names from three different sources, so the coolest names will  rise to the top as the clunkiest names will be”sunk” by  negative votes. While you’re “shopping” for a cool name, I hope you’ll add your vote to give the best new names a push in the right direction. It only takes a second to click on the blue thumb up (if you like a name) or the red thumb down (if you don’t like a name). I should also mention that there are already several new names in the top-10–including one of the new names. (It’s hot.)  I’ll recap all the changes in a week or two.

P.S. I’ve also added some brand new names to the list of “Cool Names for Girls.” Take a look (and vote).

The Latest Voting Results for “Cool Names for Girls” and “Cool Names for Boys” on Ranker.com

To be honest, the best way to motivate people to “vote” on our interactive Ranker.com lists of “Cool Names for Girls” and “Cool Names for Boys” is to publish the latest results. With more than 180 people viewing both lists and 18 people voting for their favorite cool names on both lists, here are the major findings:

1. Of the top-ten “Cool Names for Girls,” only one name (Lola) came from either The Art of Naming or Nameberry. All the other top-ten names came from my brainstorming sessions. Cool names moving up the list are marked with an asterisk: Annika, Sloane, Danica, Tori and Elena.

2. Of the top-ten “Cool Names for Boys,” ten of the names came from The Art of Naming’s list of cool boys names and three of the names were also on Nameberry’s list of cool boys names. One of the names came from my brainstorming sessions. (Note that Hudson and Wyatt are tied for tenth position on the list, so there are actually eleven boys’names on the list). Names moving up on the list are marked with an asterisk: Jett, Taj, Cruz, Matteo, Dash and Rio.

Here are the top-ten cool names for girls and boys from Ranker.com. (Notice that the source for each name is indicated in parentheses, after the name.)

Top Ten Cool Girls’ Names

1. Annika* (Bruce Lansky)

2. Amelia (Bruce Lansky)

3. Lola (The Art of Naming, Nameberry)

4. Cleo (Bruce Lansky)

5. Catalina (Bruce Lansky)

6. Sloane* (Bruce Lansky)

7. Danica* (Bruce Lansky)

8. Tori* (Bruce Lansky)

9. Maya (Bruce Lansky)

10. Elena* (Bruce Lansky)

Top-Ten Cool Boys’ Names

1. Chase (The Art of Naming)

2. Hunter (The Art of Naming)

3. Finn (The Art of Naming, Nameberry)

4. Jett* (The Art of Naming)

5. Taj* (The Art of Naming)

6. Cruz* (The Art of Naming, Nameberry)

7. Matteo* (The Art of Naming, Nameberry)

8. Dash* (The Art of Naming)

9. Rio* (Bruce Lansky)

10. Wyatt (The Art of Naming)

10. Hudson (The Art of Naming)

You may recall that I was motivated to research “cool names” because many of the names listed by The Art of Naming and Nameberry as “cool,” didn’t seem cool to me. I figured that time might affect the rankings. Names thought to be cool only one year ago might not be cool now.

Apparently, I have a better “feel” for cool girls names than cool boys names. But the purpose of this research is not to prove my infallibility; it’s to find out what the coolest names for girls and boys are right now.

I’m planning to keep my list of cool names up on Ranker so I can update you as voting significantly changes the top-ten rankings. If everyone who reads this article uses the links I’ve provided to vote on Ranker, we’ll all know a lot more than we do now. And, don’t forget, Ranker enables all voters to add names as well as vote. So, if you can think of a cool name that’s not on the list, please add it when you’re voting.

P.S. I almost forgot: there are 10 new boys names to check out on the “Cool Names for Boys” list (from a variety of sources). Be the first to vote for (or against) them.