Hipster Baby Names - And Our More Mainstream Alternatives

Hipster baby names are, like everything 'hipster' all about originality and getting there first. The price for all creativity, however, is the risk of failure - and baby names are no different.

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their firstborn Apple in 2004, a collective cry of 'what the heck are you thinking?' went up in the western world, and media outlets heaped derision on the pair for their bizarre name choice.

Little did we know that we were witnessing the start of a hipster naming revolution which wouldn't be content until every newborn was named Gage or Raven. Now the name 'Apple' would struggle to elicit more than a yawn as parents explore ever-weirder monikers for their beloved offspring. While we applaud creative naming, we recognise that hipster names aren't for everyone. So if you love the idea of a baby Byron or little Magnolia, but aren't quite brave enough to take the plunge, we've got some slightly more mainstream alternatives to some of the most popular hipster baby names:


Juniper - cute, but still almost unknown. Do you dare?

Tone it down: If the answer is no, think about June, Julia or Juliet.

Wren - a name that can't be shortened without sounding like an indigestion tablet.

Tone it down: Slightly more common bird-inspired names, like Robin, Phoebe, Jemima.

Zinnia - it may sound like a fictional chemical from a Marvel movie, but it is in fact a brightly-coloured flower.

Tone it down: Floral names are back in, so take your pick - Lily, Rose, Violet etc.

Cleo - it's not that we don't like it, but Queen of the Nile is a heavy mantle to put on a girl's shoulders.

Tone it down: Lighter names from Ancient Greek roots, ie. Alexandra, Helena, Zoe.

Clementine - oh my darlin', oh my darlin', sings everyone ever until the end of time. Sorry.

Tone it down: Similarly 19th century offerings like Florence, Georgina or even Adaline.

Lulu - weEEeeEeeeEEEEelllll... this name makes us wanna shout. And everyone else, too.

Tone it down: Lola, Layla, Lily

Callie - what is this name? What does it stand for? Calendar?

Tone it down: Clara, Molly, Allie

Clover - it's pretty, we must say, but also very strongly associated with marge. Risky.

Tone it down: Explore other plant names like Bryony, Ivy, Laurel.

Magnolia - the dullest of wall colours, not exactly a promising start in life.

Tone it down: Less adventurous but equally charming trees like Hazel, Olive, Willow.

Sia - less a name, more a faintly European-sounding word. May or may not catch on.

Tone it down: Mia, Sophia, Lucia all share the elegant sound, but have the virtue of being recognised as names.


Kale - a name which unavoidably provokes the feeling of spinach stuck between teeth.

Tone it down: Nature names don't have to be so goody-goody - Ash, Rowan, Dale, Glen.

Atticus - presumably after To Kill A Mockingbird's Atticus Finch, voted top movie hero by the American Film Institute.

Tone it down: Other characters who made the top 10 include James Bond, Rick Blaine and, erm... Rocky Balboa.

Otis - you say Redding, we say Aardvark.

Tone it down: Less polarisingly-named soul singers include Sam Cooke, Al Green and Bobby Womack.

Duke - only fine, if you want your son to grow up to be a charming cat burglar.

Tone it down: Convey classiness in a subtler way with a moniker like Hugo, Frederick or Laurence.

Hudson - presumably after the American river, this is one of these trendy 'surnames as first names'.

Tone it down: We know another great American river - the James River. As the Walker Brothers once said, make it easy on yourself.

Django - gaze into your sweet little boy's angelic face and think of the many scenes of gut-wrenching violence brought to us by Quentin Tarantino.

Tone it down: Pay a softer tribute to the Wild West with Jesse, Billy or even - yep, we're going there - Wyatt.

Edison - presumably after the legendary inventor.

Tone it down: More mainstream namesakes can be found in Alexander Bell, Michael Faraday and Charles Babbage.

Roscoe - we must admit we sort of like the '1920s sugar baron' retro vibe, but it's not for everyone.

Tone it down: Chester, Spencer, Emmett, Calvin

Jasper - yet another example of old-man chic. But is it really ready to come back?

Tone it down: Established yet distinctive perennials like Frank, Edward, Joshua, and Nathan.

Byron - an unscrupulous cad who slept with his own half-sister? No, thanks!

Tone it down: dig deeper into your Romantic poets for Blake, Samuel, Taylor or William

Dax - no offence, but this does sound like a detergent.

Tone it down: The good news is that 'x' names are very in at the moment, so why not consider Rex, Felix or Max?

More on Parentdish: Weird but cool baby names