Baby Name Submissions, Installment #3

News flash: More parents are choosing unique rather than traditional names for babies, according to the Houston Chronicle. Really? You don’t say!

But wait, what names does the Chronicle think are unusual? Aiden, Caden, Jayden… Sophia, Madison, Hailey, Addison. Sorry, those rank as ordinary.

Here are the next 30 submissions in the Name My Baby Boy Contest, with more on the way next week.

Illustration of the Justice League comprised of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other super heroes.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Justus

Story: I chose this name because it is the one we would have given our son, but I miscarried him at 15 weeks, but I choose this name because the baby will be born in an election year, and Justus seems to fit…”freedom and justice for all“…we all have the right to vote in our country. And I wanted our son to stand for justice wherever he found himself…to help all others achieve this goal, and to stand for goodness and decency!

Shoe: He would wear the Adam boot, because as he represents justice he would have to be able to walk through all the mucky waters of racism, inequality and apathy…and be able to be untouched by that part of the world and remain clean and unsullied on the inside.
—from Lori L.

Photo of a rock comprised of jasper.

Photo of Max footwear by Vincent.

Name: Jasper

Story: It’s more common in England, but still a little old school.

Shoe: I like the shoe Max — a little conventional and a little trendy.
—from Julie M.

Photo of a bookcover, titled Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Ransom

Story: After Elwin Ransom, the main character in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. A nerd, but a cool one.

Shoe: He’d wear Adam because he’s a British middle-aged guy who likes to hike.
—Kristen S.

Photo of Ender Wiggan's face from the book Ender's Game.

Photo of Lorenz footwear by Vincent.

Name: Ender

Story: I always thought the book Ender’s Game was pretty awesome [full text]. The name itself is very unique without being off-the-wall weird and it has literary and sci-fi ties.

Shoe: Ender would wear Lorenz rain (and by rain, they mean space. There was some confusion when writing the product description) boots. Ender has a need for a good solid pair of space boots and the Lorenz boots fit the bill.
—from Kayla M.

An artist's rendering of Sagittarius the archer.

Photo of Daniel footwear by Vincent.

Name: Archer

Story: It is a rare name. It is English and refers to the occupation of being an archer or bowman. Nobody famous is named Archer that I am aware of, but that doesn’t mean that your little boy won’t some day rule a country or be a famous artist. And that’s what’s so great about this name. It is unique and your child will embody this name and create a new meaning for it.

Shoe: The Daniel shoe. A little boy named Archer would be ALL BOY—jumping in puddles, climbing trees, laughing at silly jokes and just loving life. These shoes would be great for such a little boy!
—from Sarah P.

Photo of a bust of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.

Photo of Oskar footwear by Vincent.

Name: August

Story: Derived from Augustus, meaning great and magnificent.

Shoe: I would go with the Oskar shoe in brown…don’t know why…it just fits in the name August!
—from Amber W.

Close-up photo of a bucket of small fish.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Cade

Story: When my husband and I started researching names, we fell in love with the name Cade. Then we looked it up in the dictionary found this: cade: an old name for a cask, sometimes used as a unit of measure for fish. A cade of herring, for example, is 720 fish and while we liked that Cade also meant pet lamb, we couldn’t get over the fish part.

Shoe: Cade fits perfect with the Adam shoes, because as soon as I saw them they looked like a pair of water waders I used to have, and somehow I can imagine my son wearing the Adam boots and throwing fish over his shoulder!
—from Patti S.

Illustration of Astro Boy.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Atom

Story: Well, we just went through this last year (Jasper is five months now) so I feel your pain… Jasper’s middle name is Atom, which I am suggesting for your son’s first name.

We chose it because it’s the Japanese name of Astro Boy, the fifties sci-fi cartoon about a boy robot. It’s also the name of one of my favorite Canadian film directors, Atom Egoyan. (Next of Kin is my favorite movie by him but it’s kind of hard to find—searches tend to show the Patrick Swayze film of the same name!) And, best of all, it sounds just like Adam, so your kid won’t be saddled with a too-weird name.

Shoe: Adam boot in black. It has a very futuristic, Matrix-y look that is pretty uncommon in kids’ footwear. And they look almost tough enough to withstand Atom’s turbo rocket feet.
—from Naomi S.

Photo of Vin Diesel playing Xander in the XXX movie.

Photo of Stan footwear by Vincent.

Name: Xander

Story: It sounds very masculine and also most recently Vin Diesel played the role of Xander Cage in xXx, and he is definitely awesome! Xander is Greek and means Protector of Mankind. How cool is that?

Shoe: The Stan shoes would represent the character I have in mind. They are basic, nice, and not complicated.
—from Marcia R.

Photo of a sculpture featuring Milo of Croton by Étienne-Maurice Falconet.

Photo of Max footwear by Vincent.

Name: Milo

Story: This is a classic name, and evokes a feeling of nostalgia without it being out of date. The name doesn’t automatically make you think of a particular kind of child. A kid named Milo could be a football player or an artist — he could be anything!

You’ll love the name even more if you listen to one of my favorite songs, “Milo” by Matt the Electrician.

Here are some more interesting facts about the name Milo (taken from

  • Milo might come from the German ‘mild’ (mild, peaceful, calm), which is derived from the Old German root ‘milan’ (to mill, beat, crush, or rub until fine or tender).
  • Alternatively, it might be from the Old Slavonic root ‘milu’ (merciful), the Old Slavic ‘mil’ (grace, favor).
  • Milo was also a Roman personal name.
  • In the Middle Ages, the usual Latin form of Miles was Milo, which might have been in this case associated with the Latin word ‘miles’, meaning soldier.
  • Milo is also an Ancient Greek name. Milo of Croton was a famous Greek athlete in the latter part of the 6th century B.C. It might be a variant of the Greek Melos, a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea.
  • The Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture.
  • Milo is also the modern Greek word for apple.
  • It is the Hawaiian word for Hawaiian hibiscus.

Shoe: Max because they are classic, but also hip and a little funky.
—from Ellie

Photo of Wyatt Earp.

Photo of Hampus footwear by Vincent.

Name: Wyatt

Story: After Wyatt Earp of course. A great American farmer, teamster, sometime buffalo hunter, officer of the law in various Western frontier towns, gambler, saloon-keeper and miner. An amazing man, whom I love to read about. I think the name Wyatt is an adorable name for a little boy, a cool name for a teen and a strong name for a man. Plus the name itself means brave and strong. Totally American name!

Shoe: The Herman shoe in green looks totally like a shoe to be worn by an American boy.
—from Amber W.

[Note: While the two submissions above are "repeats," they were submitted before any contest entries were published.]

Close-up of Tom Sawyer from an illustration in the first edition The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Photo of Martin footwear by Vincent.

Name: Sawyer

Story: I picture him as smart, creative, hip, but in a geeky kind of way as an adult.  He’s not afraid to show his brains, and the girls think he’s adorable.

As a young boy, the name Sawyer reminds you of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, a mischievous little kid who is full of adventure. He’s persuasive and though not necessarily a toddler trait you always want… it’s one you always respect!!

The name carries him well through childhood to adulthood. Can’t you just hear yourself saying “Sawyer!! Pick up your toys please!!” and “Sawyer, I’m so proud of you. Your mother and I knew you could graduate Stanford with honors!”

Shoe: He would wear the Martin shoe in white and orange…it’s all about hip and geek.
—from Shari B.

Sketch of Soren Kierkegaard.

Photo of Linus footwear by Vincent.

Name: Soren

Story: I can suggest to you the name we are planning to call our son: Soren, which is Danish/Scandanavian, and it means many things, thunder, good communicator, and also things like severe and god of war.

We got the name from the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, one of the first existentialists. My husband and I feel that existentialism really opened up our minds when we were in our late teens/early 20s. We wanted a unique name, but nothing too out-there.

Shoe: The black or brown Linus boot most exemplifies the name Soren. I associate Danish names with wet, colder weather, so these boots would be perfect for a true Soren.
—from Kathleen W.

Photo of a small desktop zen sand garden.

Photo of Stripe footwear by Vincent.

Name: Zen

Story: Leap years are considered unlucky in some countries; one example is Kazakhstan where we adopted our son last year. For this reason, I was thinking your son should have a positive, upbeat name to balance out any bad karma!

While pondering, I was reminded of the Zen saying, “Leap and the net will appear,” which I recited almost daily during our adoption journey, and realized that Zen is a great name! It connotes peace and calm, just what is needed in today’s world.

Shoe: The shoes most reflective of that feeling are “Stripe” —- low-key, comfy, soft.
—from Jodi M.

Illustration of the planet Iscandar from the cartoon series Star Blazers.

Photo of Stan footwear by Vincent.

Name: Iscandar

Story: Iscandar is the only hope the people of Earth have in the year 2199 to defeat the Gamilons and save planet Earth [as per the 1970s Star Blazers cartoon series].

Shoe: Stan in Red/White to match Derek Wildstars snazzy space suit
—from Lacey K.

Screen shot of Fiver from the movie adaptation of Watership Down.

Photo of Jump footwear by Vincent.

Name: Fiver

Story: Sees a vision of his warrens destruction and sets out with his brother and several other rabbits to a safer home in Watership Down.

Shoe: Fiver would wear Jump shoes to help him out jump the Owsla rabbits.
—from Lacey K.

Photo of C. Thomas Howell playing Ponyboy Curtis in the movie adaptation of The Outsiders.

Photo of Mini Born footwear by Vincent.

Name: Ponyboy

Story: A daydreamer who wants there to be equality in everyone. One of the main characters in the novel the The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Shoe: The Mini Bjorn in Gold. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.
—from Lacey K.

Drawing of Gideon from a children's coloring book.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Gideon

Story: The name Gideon is very rare and goes well with a common last name. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is “feller of trees; powerful warrior.” Gideon was a Biblical hero and judge of Israel who won battles through skillful planning and faith rather strength of arms alone. (The story is pretty cool if you have never read it, look in Judges 6-8.)

Shoe: Gideon would wear Adams because when in the desert and fighting in battle he needed his feet protected and something to blend into the surroundings. Also Adam was the father of all…
—from Jessica S.

Photo of Louis Corbett who plays Avery in the movie adaptation of Charlotte's Web.

Photo of Adam footwear by Vincent.

Name: Avery

Story: As a pop culture reference, Avery is Fern’s brother in Charlotte’s Web. The boy’s and girl’s name Avery \a-ve-ry\ is pronounced AY-vree. It is of Old English origin, and its meaning is “elf or supernatural counsel.” It is transferred use of the surname, which originated in the Middle Ages from a Norman French pronunciation of Alfred.

Shoe: The Adam in brown to protect little feet whilst traipsing through the forest, on the hunt for supernaturals to counsel.
—from Holly H.

Image of Thor in the painting Thor's Battle Against the Giants by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, from 1872.

Photo of James footwear by Vincent.

Name: Tova

Story: Because the shoes are Swedish and I’m Swedish, I went with Tova — a traditional Swedish name. Also, in Hebrew it means “good.”

[AJ adds: Tova is a variant of Tove, and Tove is the modern form of the Old Norse name Tófa, which is a short form of ÞÓRFRÍÐR, which is derived from Þórr (thunder) and fríðr (beautiful). Thor, the god of strength, thunder and war, had his name also derived from Þórr. All according to]

Shoe: The James style boys dress shoes embody the name Tova best.
—from Jenny N.

Photo of Heath Ledger.

Photo of Tom footwear by Vincent.

Name: Heath

Story: The actor Heath Ledger has the best voice (and is quite a cutie as well). When I was a teacher our school only ever had one Heath (another cutie), so I know its not a trendy name. Manly enough, different enough, but not too out there or tease provoking!

Also: Heath Bars.

Shoe: The Tom boots would be the right choice because someone named Heath would like to go exploring and play in the mud.
—from Heather.

Photo of Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien from the Star Trek series.

Photo of Frog footwear by Vincent.

Name: Miles or Myles

Story: You mentioned sci-fi and so you must be a fan of Miles O’Brien [from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine]! What a lovable character and its not like you could name your son Warf anyway!

Shoe: Well its not very Star Trekky but the Frog boots are the cheeriest shoe choice and a kid named Miles would be a smiley little guy for sure!
—from Heather.

Photo of several graham crackers.

Photo of Max footwear by Vincent.

Name: Graham

Story: A very British name and they have some very distinguished and at the same time quirky names over there! But on the flip side can’t you just picture saying, “How’s my little Graham Cracker today!” You can’t go naming a kid s’mores, but Graham isn’t too food-like.

If you get the BBC America you should check out the Graham Norton show (only famous Graham I can think of at the moment but I’m sure they’re not all so goofy).

Shoe: Definitely the Max shoe!
—from Heather.

Photo of Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Photo of James footwear by Vincent.

Name: Atticus

Story: Atticus Finch is a memorable character in Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. A deep-South widower attorney with a heart of gold, he fought for morality and equality, making sure to instill those same values in his two children. A truly noble man.

Shoe: Being the smart and scholarly attorney that he is, the obvious shoe for Atticus would be James (the classy but sensible wing tips). But I think he would be much more comfortable in slipper-like Helmers. Atticus always stayed dressed in his professional attire, even when he was relaxing at home. But I can just imagine him having an equally classic and sensible favorite pair of slippers to wear as he sat in his chair every evening reading, with daughter Scout on his knee.
—from Tara N.

Photo of Phineas Bogg from the 1980s TV series Voyagers.

Photo of Hampus footwear by Vincent.

Name: Burton, Columbus, Edmund, Freemont, Henry, Hudson, Lander, Marco, Pike, Roald, Taz or Thor.

Story: I asked my son (4) for a name and he suggested Explorer (the name he gave his cat). Babies and cats do have in common that they like to explore. But no reasonable person would name their child “Explorer.”

Instead I offer you names of notable explorers. There are many good ones to choose from: Burton, Columbus, Edmund, Fremont, Henry, Hudson, Lander, Marco, Pike, Roald, Taz, Thor.

Shoe: Herman
—from Kristen M.

A wall carving depicting Xerxes at Persepolis, a capital of the ancient Achaemenid  empire.

Photo of Viktor footwear by Vincent.

Name: Xerxes

Story: King of Persia. How many other Xerxes will there be in his class—school—town—country? The only other X name?!

Shoe: He would wear Viktor because he’s a king among men & Viktor looks regal.
—from K.K.

A drawing of a man's silhouette with a large white question mark in the middle.

Photo of Jump footwear by Vincent.

Name: Tysen

Story: I chose this name because its uncommon, masculine, and its what I named my first son, so I obviously LOVE it! If baby boy decides he’s not a fan of the “uncommon name era,” it has a nice strong and still not overly used nickname (Ty) and if you pair it with a “J” middle name like we did (Joseph), there is also the nickname “TJ”. Also, it doesn’t have a pre-set meaning attached, therefore your little Tysen can be whatever and whoever he wants and make the name his own!

Also, I prefer the ending -en to the more common -on because its different, sounds out better, and because I love to hear people tell me that I spelled my son’s name wrong! Umm…Excuse me, but even if I spelled his name XYZ and wanted to pronounce it as Tysen, it would be correct because I’M THE PARENT!

Shoe: Tysen would wear the Jump shoes because, well…because that’s what I would buy for my Tysen!
—from Danielle S.

Photo of Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Photo of Toni footwear by Vincent.

Name: Atticus

Story: We named our second son Atticus for Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. We have gotten some weird comments from family and strangers, but we love it. Atticus is such a unique name and the character in the book is so strong and good I think it would be a great name for your son as well.

Shoe: I decided on the Toni because it’s very stylish but also very sensible.

—from Heather E.

Photo of Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.

Photo of Ivar footwear by Vincent.

Name: Jedi

Story: In my past name searching, I came across the name Jedi. It made me laugh because my brother is such a Star Wars nut and I thought he would love a nephew named Jedi. My hubby was not so into it, so I will give it to you. I think it is a good name because it isn’t too off the wall but little Jedi will not be referred to as Jedi Z. or Jedi R.

Shoe: I would recommend the Ivar shoe because it looks appropriate for battle.
—from Carrie Z.

Snippet of a painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres titled Ossian's Dream in which Oisin's body is draped over a harp.

Photo of Robin footwear by Vincent.

Name: Oisin

Story: Pronounced “o-sheen,” it’s a Gaelic (Irish) name and I love the sound of it. Oisin comes from the Gaelic legends of Tir-na-nog (a love story where he lives in the land of eternal youth) and of Fionn (his father, and ALSO a cool name). I love it even more because it means “little deer” because his mother (a fairy) was turned into a deer and he was raised in the forest. Here’s an Oisin tale.

Shoes: Oisin would wear the Robin shoes. In blue.
—from Maura K.

See also:


4 Responses to “Baby Name Submissions, Installment #3”

  1. Kate says:

    Now I like Ransom and Cade. This contest is turning up a gold mine of unusual baby boy names. I always thought that boys were harder to name than girls, especially now that so many boys names are turning into girl names.

    January 11th, 2008 at 9:17 pm

  2. Tara says:

    I’m adding a lot of these names to my boy list. There are some really cool ones here!!

    January 12th, 2008 at 11:55 am

  3. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Miles is also the name of the main character in most of the books in Lois Bujold’s Vorkosigan series — Miles Vorsokigan.

    Particularly: “Miles is one of the most striking characters in science fiction. He is both brilliant (especially in military tactics) and hyperactive; one of his girlfriends describes him as “addicted to adrenaline rushes.” He compulsively and constantly challenges the world in spite of (or because of) his stature: sometimes with disastrous consequences, although more often his mind overcomes his physical weakness.

    He has an ambiguous status on his home planet, being simultaneously a pampered and powerful aristocrat and a despised “mutie.” At times he contemplates running away from Barrayar and its prejudice against disabled people, but he never acts on this impulse, perhaps because of his loyalty to his family and his Vor code of honour.”

    Certainly a character with characteristics one would want a child to emulate.

    January 14th, 2008 at 8:41 am

  4. Christy says:

    My husband LOVES the name Atticus. I just wasn’t as thrilled about it.

    January 16th, 2008 at 11:57 am