There’s a strange trend popping up in America: super aggressive baby names, especially for boys. Names of guns and weapons of various kinds are gaining popularity. Weapons, warriors, and fighters have generally been associated with masculinity, so perhaps parents turn to these choices in an effort to find clearly masculine nontraditional names. I’ve wondered if the hyper-masculine naming trend has something to do with the andro-girly one: are parents seeking more masculine names in general, for both their sons and daughters? Is this trend a second amendment political statement? An expression of support for traditional gender roles? An assertion of cultural values? All of those seem possible, but unprovable. Consider the options below:
Gunner/Gunnar- It’s technically a form of Gunther, but has the obvious distinction of sounding like an occupational name for someone who handles guns.
Remington and Beretta- When alluding to just any old gun won’t do, there’s brand names Remington and Beretta.
Hunter- The most popular name on this list; Hunter stands at #41 for boys and #786 for girls.
Archer- Like Hunter, Archer is rising in popularity. The archers (in the literal sense, not people named Archer) of today are typically less aggressive than they have been historically. Most modern archers compete shooting inanimate targets rather than live animals, and archers obviously haven’t been used in war for hundreds of years.
Maverick- This one may not be technically aggressive, but it seems like it is. Maverick technically means a lone dissenter, nonconformist, or rebel of some kind. But the word came into usage in 1860’s Texas, so it has a bit of a wild vibe. I’ve always seen the connotation of Maverick to be a bit more suited to someone like Che Guevara as opposed to Malala Yousafzai- both are non-conformists, but “maverick” seems more fitting for someone prone to violence or instability rather than a peaceful and intellectual reformer.
Mace- Often used as a nickname for Mason, this weapon name fits in with rhyming names Jace and Trace.
Blade- Like Mace, it’s a non-gun weapon name with one syllable and a long a.
Rogue- Like Maverick, but more commonly used for girls.
Talon- The only non-human weapon on the list. Talon has caught on in recent years, probably due to its two syllable, -n ending structure.
Caliber, Pistol, Trigger- These names show up at the very bottom of the popularity list, used for only a few dozen babies or less.