Cool baby names can be tricky, and if you’re wondering what will suit your newbie, say these cool classics out loud and maybe check how they work with your baby's surname.
You will find that some of the coolest kids’ names below are also on the most popular baby names list. Names like Atticus and Beckett, Ophelia and Luna are considered cool and popular choices. And, they're also plucked from historic literature and may sound familiar yet also like they're part of the unique baby names set at the same time.
We know that whether a baby's name is considered cool is very subjective. What’s hip for some parents, is not so for others. For instance, some parents might believe that nature-inspired baby names such as Briar and Sorrel tick the cool boxes, whereas others might be inspired by celebrity baby names like Cosmo and Olive. According to baby-naming expert Taylor A. Humphrey, choosing a 'cool' baby name is all about timing. "What's cool now might not be in 20 years," she tells us.
But, one thing that isn't time-dependent is wholeheartedly loving a name. When it comes to cool baby names Taylor believes there are no rights or wrongs – you do you. “As a name consultant, I always recommend choosing the name that speaks most dearly to your heart,” she advises. “Don't overthink the name's popularity or other people's opinions. If you love the name, you're making the right decision.”
Cool baby names for girls
Althea Origin: Greek | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Al-thee-uh Meaning: A Greek mythology name, it carries around a whole lot of cool thanks to Althea Gibson, the first African American tennis player to win at Wimbledon. It means healing power.
Alma Origin: Latin, Hebrew | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: AL-mah Meaning: A classic name too, it means nourishing, kind soul'. A name appreciated for its simplicity and integrity.
Astrid Origin: Norse | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: As-trid Meaning: Astrid is an old Scandinavian name that means divinely beautiful.
Audrey Origin: English | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Aw-dree Meaning: Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of grace and sophistication, injecting a whole lot of cool into this baby name. It dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, deriving from Aethelthryth, which means noble strength. Strong and stylish - the perfect name for any little girl!
Aveline Origin: German, French | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Ah-veh-leen Meaning: Cooler than the ever-popular Ava, Aveline means desired or island, water.
Bay Origin: Latin | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Bay Meaning: Originally used as an English surname, Bay comes from Latin origins and means someone with chestnut or auburn hair.
Bibi Origin: French, Persian | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Bee-bee Meaning: If you're looking for a name with pizazz, this is it! It means lady of the house, so expect your little girl to be top of the pile if you give her this cool baby name.
Blanche Origin: French, German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Blan-sh Meaning: Blanche was a royal name in France and was then brought to England by the French wife of Henry I. A name with a 1920s feel, it means white or pure.
Coco Origin: Spanish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ko-ko Meaning: Nickname influenced by the word cocoa, it has long since been a fashionably cool baby name thanks to Coco Chanel.
Colette Origin: English, Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Kaw-let Meaning: A cool baby name that has returned to the popularity charts after going missing for 30 years. A female version of Nicholas, means people of victory.
Cora Origin: Greek | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Kor-rah
Meaning: Cora was another name for the goddess of fertility and the underworld, Persephone. As cool baby names go this is short and sweet and means daughter or maiden.
Cyan Origin: Greek | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Sy-an Meaning: Cyan is a mythological Sicilian nymph who lived in a pool. It means bright blue enamel.
Dixie Origin: Latin| Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Dik-see Meaning: Dixie is bold, punchy and sassy name. It's happy, upbeat, laid-back and casual all at once. It's an informal name choice that doesn't take itself too seriously. It means I have spoken.
Edie Origin: English | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ee-dee Meaning: A much hipper version of Edith, Edie gets an injection of cool thanks to socialite and Andy Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick. It means prosperous in war.
Elodie Origin: Spanish, French | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: E-lo-die Meaning: Elodie derives from Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, which means foreign riches. In Greek, the name means flower of the fields.
Etta Origin: English, Scottish | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Et-tah Meaning: This baby name gets a whole heap of cool thanks to soul singer Etta James. And for parents who love literature, it has the bonus of a fabulous meaning - poetry.
Esme Origin: French | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Ez-may Meaning: While this cool baby name began life as a name for boys, it's one for the hipster girls these days. It means beloved.
Freya Origin: Danish, Swedish | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Fray-uh Meaning: A popular name in Scandinavia, Freya – or Freyja – was a Norse goddess. The name means lady or noblewoman.
Gloria Origin: Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Glawr-ee-uh Meaning: A fabulously vintage name that has connections with 1920s Hollywood thanks to Gloria Swanson, and disco through the dulcet tones of Gloria Gaynor. The name means glory and was chosen by acting couple Maggie Gyllenhall and Peter Saarsgard for their second daughter.
Harlow Origin: English | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Har-loh Meaning: A gender-neutral name means army hill. With Anglo-Saxon origins, the name comes from the Olde English elements 'hoer' meaning a pile of rocks or stones and 'law' meaning a hill.
Isla Origin: Spanish, Scottish | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Eye-la' Meaning: Isla is the Spanish word for island, but the name is also said to be derived from Islay, the name of an island in the Scottish Hebrides.
Joni Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Jo-nee Meaning: A derivative of Joanie, this cute girl's name gets cool points thanks to singer Join Mitchell. It means God is gracious.
Juno Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Joo-noh Meaning: A Roman goddess name that has definite cool appeal. Chosen by Coldplay's Will Champion for one of his twins, it means queen of the heavens.
Kinley Origin: Irish | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Kin-lee Meaning: A name with plenty of attitude, Kinley means warrior or Viking.
Lena Origin: English, Scottish, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Lee-nuh Meaning: A name with a truly multi-cultural background, it means bright and beautiful.
Lila Origin: Arabic, Sanskrit | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ly-la Meaning: Well, if it's cool enough for supermodel Kate Moss and her daughter, it's certainly cool enough for us! Lila (which can also be pronounced Lee-lah) means night or play.
Lola Origin: Spanish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Lo-lah Meaning: This pretty girl's name gets the thumbs up from cool celebrities such as Lisa Bonet and Annie Lennox. It means lady of sorrows.
Madeleine Origin: French | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Mad-e-leine Meaning: The French variations of names always seem that bit cooler and that's certainly the case for Madeleine, which is the French version of Magdalen. It means woman from Magdala or high tower.
Malin Origin: Scandinavian | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: May-lin or Mah-lin Meaning: Swedish-born actress Malin Åkerman gives this name a bit of a cool factor. It means high tower or woman of Magdela.
Manon Origin: French | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ma-non Meaning: A French pet name for Marie or Marianne, this cool moniker means bitter.
Marla Origin: German | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Mar-la Meaning: This cool baby name, which means star of the sea, derives from Marlene and certainly has more edge than the old-fashioned name it comes from.
Margaux Origin: French | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Mar-go Meaning: The French spelling of Margo gives this name a fashionable edge. It's a diminutive of Margaret, which means pearl or, in its French version, daisy.
Maya Origin: Greek, Spanish, Hebrew | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: May-ah Meaning: When fashion designer Phoebe Philo picks this for her daughter, you know it must be cool. It means water, however, in Sanskrit it is illusion or dream. In Greek mythology, Maya was the mother of the legendary Hermes.
Mina Origin: Scottish, Hindi | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Mee-nah Meaning: Mina Loy was a modernist artist and writer, and as well as meaning Pisces in Hindu, it means child of the red earth.
Mirabella Origin: Italian | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Mir-a-bellah Meaning: Bored of Isabella? Then why not plump for this gorgeous Italian name, which means wonderful.
Noa Origin: Hebrew | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: No-uh Meaning: This cool baby name means motion in Hebrew.
Ophelia Origin: Greek | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: O-feel-ee-ah Meaning: Foo Figher's frontman Dave Grohl chose this cool baby name for his youngest daughter. A Shakespearian name, it means help.
Ottille Origin: German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Awt-tee-lee Meaning: A truly unique girl's name, it means prospers in battle.
Rae Origin: Hebrew | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Ray Meaning: The perfect name for your new ray of sunshine, Rae (a shortened version of Rachel) means ewe.
Rue Origin: English, Greek | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Roo Meaning: A herbal name with an injection of French, this short and sweet cool name means regret or street.
Skye Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Sky Meaning: The e at the end of this heavenly name gives it an added dash of cool.
Sloane Origin: Irish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Sl-own Meaning: One of the surnames enjoying a resurgence of cool, it means raider.
Sorrell Origin: French | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: So- ruhl Meaning: A colour and nature name in one. The unisex name means brownish-orange and is often used to describe the colour of a horse.
Stella Origin: Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Stel-ah Meaning: The perfect name for your little star as it means star.
Stevie Origin: Greek | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Stee-vee Meaning: Related to the Greek name Stephen, Stevie means crown. It's given an injection of cool thanks to singer Stevie Nicks.
Tallulah Origin: Irish | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Tuh-loo-luh Meaning: The name Tallulah is a girl's name of Irish, Native American origin meaning leaping water, lady of abundance.
Thea Origin: Greek | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Thee-uh Meaning: Thea is the Anglicized version of Theia, the Titan of sight, goddess of light, and mother of the moon and means goddess or godly.
Ursule Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Meaning: While Ursula seems a little old-fashioned, Ursule has a cooler, rock star edge to it. However, it has a super cute meaning - little female bear.
Vivian Origin: Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Viv-vee-an Meaning: This old-fashioned unisex name means life. Its cool factor was given a boost by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie when they chose the spelling Vivienne for one of their twins. Add Lake like Gisele Bündchen did to give it real A-list kudos.
Wren Origin: Latin | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Ren Meaning: Considered a bird of prophecy by the Druids, the wren is a small songbird. It’s a good animal-inspired choice for both girls and boys.
Zelda Origin: German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Zel-dah Meaning: While this name might mean grey fighting maid, it's definitely not grey! A cool vintage name with literary connections thanks to F Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda.
Zola Origin: Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Zoh-luh Meaning: Zola is a girl's name, meaning lump or mound of earth. If you're seeking an exotic Z-sounding name then look no further.
Cool baby names for boys
Ace Origin: Latin | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Eis Meaning: Ace means unity and was chosen by Emma and Matt Willis as the name for their son, born in 2011.
Arlo Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Ar-lo Meaning: Arlo is derived from Old English or Anglo-Saxon meaning fortified hill.
Atticus Origin: Greek, Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: At-ti-cus Meaning: Literary names are always cool - fact. Especially when that name is the hero in the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird. It means from Attica.
Auden Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Aw-den Meaning: The very stylish model and actress, Amber Valetta chose this name for her son. It means old friend.
Axel Origin: Scandinavian, Hebrew | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ax-el Meaning: While this cool baby name is a bit a classic in Scandi countries, thanks to Guns N'Roses frontman Axl Rose, it also has more than a touch of swagger. It means father of peace.
Beckett Origin: English, Irish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Bek-it Meaning: Rich in literary associations via the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, this unique boy’s name means beehive, little brook or bee cottage.
Bowie Origin: Scottish, Irish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Bow-ee Meaning: A unisex name ideal for both David Bowie fans and blonde-locked babes as it means blonde.
Cassius Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Cass-ee-us Meaning: Chosen by Damien Hirst for his son, Cassius means hollow. It has an ancient history going back to Roman times and appeared in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Also, the original name of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, meaning this names pack a real punch in the cool stakes.
Clyde Origin: Scottish | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Clide Meaning: While this baby name comes from the River Clyde that runs through Glasgow, it's always had an edge of cool factor thanks to being one half of the outlaw duo, Bonnie and Clyde.
Colton Origin: English | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Col-ton Meaning: Even though Colton feels very American, its roots are firmly in the UK - it means from a coal town. It has that two-syllable fashion factor, and throw in the nickname Colt, and you've got a cooler than cool baby name.
Connell Origin: Irish | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Con-all Meaning: A good Irish name that means strong as a wolf, Connell got an injection of cool thanks to the character in the BBC's version of Sally Rooney's book, Normal People. Anyone who can make gold chains a thing - and inspire a whole Instagram account to them - must be super cool.
Cosmo Origin: Greek | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Koz-mo Meaning: An out-of-this-world that makes a really unique choice for a boy. Scarlett Johansson named her first son Cosmo and it means order and beauty.
Dashiell Origin: French | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Dah-shull Meaning: Interestingly, Dashiell has an unconfirmed meaning. The name is an anglicised form of the French surname "de Chiel." Some think it is a form of the word ciel which means heaven or sky.
Dexter Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Dex-ter Meaning: Dexter was chosen by musical couple Diana Krall and Elvis Costello, so this name reeks of coolness! It means dyer, right-handed.
Eli Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Ee-lye Meaning: A strong Biblical name, it means ascended, uplifted, high. Want to be really cool? Give this name to your daughter.
Emmett Origin: Irish | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Em-met Meaning: Robert Emmet was a leader of the unsuccessful 1798 rebellion against the British. A hero among the Irish, many bestowed this name on their sons in his honour.
Ernest Origin: English, German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Er-nest Meaning: This cool baby name means serious or resolute. A great one for literature lovers thanks to novelist Ernest Hemmingway.
Everett Origin: German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Eh-vuh-rett Meaning: A retro name that has potential for both genders, it comes from Germany and means brave as a wild boar.
Fitzgerald Origin: German, French | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Fits-jeh-ruhld Meaning: A cool and bold choice of name, it means son of the spear ruler.
Fox Origin: German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Foks Meaning: The name Fox is both achingly cool and can be either a boy's name or a girl's name. Fox is one animal name backed by a longish tradition. It became popular in the 90s because of the lead character Fox Mulder on X Files. This name is simple, sleek, and a little bit wild. It means wild animal in the dog family.
Gene Origin: Greek | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Jeen Meaning: A, some may say, cooler diminutive of Eugene, it means of noble descent. First made popular by actor and dancer Gene Kelly back in the '50s, it's having a resurgence again now thanks to the likes of Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton choosing it for their son.
Hari Origin: Sanskrit | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Hah-ree Meaning: Hari is one of the names for the Hindu god, Vishnu. From Sanskrit, it means one who forgives all sins or the remover.
Hudson Origin: English | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Meaning: While we can't imagine many parents would want to name their son after the River Thames, the River Hudson in New York is certainly some cool inspiration for this baby name. It means Hugh's son.
Iggy Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Igg-ee Meaning: It comes from the Roman name Egnatius, which means fire or fiery. A cool rock star name through and through, both Iggy Pop and Iggy Azalea use the moniker for their stage names.
Ivo Origin: German | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Eye-vo Meaning: Popular in the Netherlands, this cool baby name means yew wood or archer.
Jones Origin: English | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Jownz Meaning: Part of the cool surname-as-first-name pack, Jones has a very hipster vibe about it and means God is gracious.
Jem Origin: Hebrew | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Jem Meaning: A Hebrew unisex name, it means supplanter. It gets its cool credential from its literary association - Jem is a character in the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Jett Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Jett Meaning: Jett refers to the black gemstone of the same name. It's also super cool and guarantees your son will grow up to be a rock star (probably).
Kester Origin: Scottish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Kes-tur Meaning: Whether you want to honour your Scottish heritage or just want a name that oozes cool factor, Kester is the one. It's the Scottish version of Christopher and means one who carries Christ.
Knox Origin: Scottish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Nox Meaning: Chosen by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for one of their twins, Knox is of Scottish origin and means round hill.
Lennon Origin: Irish | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Len-non Meaning: Taking inspiration from the very very cool John Lennon, this name has an Irish origin and means small cloak. Used by Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit for their son. Also, a cool choice for girls thanks to country singer Lennon Stella.
Levi Origin: Hebrew | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Lee-vi Meaning: A little more fun - and cool - than other Biblical names, it means joined or attached.
Miller Origin: English | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Lee-vi Meaning: Chosen by super stylish Stella McCartney for her son, this unisex occupational name literally means grinder of grain.
Orson Origin: Latin, French | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Or-sun Meaning: One for movie buffs, Orson was originally made famous by Citizen Kane director Orson Welles in the 1940s. It's cool but it has a cute meaning - bear.
Otis Origin: German | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Oh-tis Meaning: A variation of the German name, Otto, which means wealthy, this name gets it cool factor thanks to soul singer, Otis Redding. Actors Tobey Maguire and Olivia Wilde have both named their children Otis.
Philo Origin: Greek | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Filo Meaning: Cool name - cute meaning! This alternative to Milo, means loving - just what you want your little boy to be.
Rafferty Origin: Irish | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Raff-ur-tee Meaning: Chosen by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son, this Irish name means abundance and prosperity.
Remi Origin: French | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Rai-mee Meaning: The meaning of Remi is oarsman and has recently been made popular by Bond baddy, Remi Malek.
Roman Origin: Latin | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Roe-man Meaning: Cate Blanchett, Debra Messing and Molly Ringwald all chose Roman for their children - and of course, there's Roman Kemp, who bears this super cool moniker. It means citizen of Rome. And for those that like a little oo-la-la with their names, choose the French version Romaine.
Rex Origin: Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Rex Meaning: A popular name until the '60s, Rex has lost those dog-name associations behind and now has a cool vintage feeling. Chosen by various stars for their boys, including Coldplay's Will Champion and presenter Fearne Cotton, this is one short and sweet name that's on the rise.
Sidney Origin: English, French | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Sid-nee Meaning: Sidney means wide island or Saint-Denis. Super cool for both boys and girls.
Silas Origin: English, Latin | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Si-las Meaning: A name that's edging into the cool factor thanks to the likes of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel choosing it for their firstborn. It means wood or forest.
Smith Origin: English | Style: Modern | Pronunciation: Smi-th Meaning: A very common surname, why not turn the tables and choose it as a first name? It means blacksmith - but just don't choose it if your surname is Smith, maybe…
Soren Origin: Danish, Norwegian | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: So-ren Meaning: This Danish and Norwegian variation of Severus comes with no Harry Potter connotations and seems a whole lot friendlier, although it ironically means stern.
Tal Origin: Hebrew | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Tal Meaning: A cool nature name, Tal means rain or dew.
Theo Origin: Greek | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Thee-oh-dore Meaning: Gift of God. First made popular by US President Theodore Roosevelt, the nickname Theo is a popular choice for modern-day parents.
Wells Origin: English | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Wells Meaning: Surname names continue to have their moment in the spotlight. This old English name means spring.
Wilder Origin: English | Style: Boho | Pronunciation: Wile-duh Meaning: Wilder means untamed and wild. It was originally a popular English surname.
Wilf Origin: English | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Wilf Meaning: Wilfred sounds stuffy, whereas Wilf sounds cool and has a chilled-out meaning - desires peace.
Yves Origin: French | Style: Classic | Pronunciation: Eve Description: With a stylish nod to fashion legend Yves Saint-Laurent, this unique boy’s name means yew wood. The German variation Ivo is also a super stylish choice.
Zane Origin: Hebrew | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Zay-n Meaning: The literal meaning of this name is a gift from God. Zane is also taken from the Hebrew for gracious and merciful.
Zephyr Origin: Greek | Style: Vintage | Pronunciation: Zeh-fuh Meaning: Rooted in mythology, this fluid name means west wind and refers to the seasonal breeze controlled by the ancient god Zephyrus
- Celebrities that have changed their baby's names
- Cute baby names
- Christmas baby names
- Unusual baby names
- Unisex baby names
- Italian baby names
- Most popular baby names
Video of the Week:
Parenting advice, hot topics, best buys and family finance tips delivered straight to your inbox.
With over 22 years’ experience in journalism, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just as at home interviewing A-list stars as she is testing nappies. Having started her career writing about Pokémon, ponies and wrestling, Jayne moved into the world of film journalism, where she spent the next eight years pinching herself while she got paid to interview Hollywood film stars and attend premieres. Since then, she’s launched websites for major magazines, worked with top brands such as Westfield, LK Bennett and Hunter, and had her own tech column in Women’s Own.
This baby name is giving 'retro chic' vibes and it's predicted to be a top choice for parents in 2024 – would you choose it?
It’s stolen the limelight right at the last minute
By Daniella Gray Published
Rochelle Humes' adorable note left by her six-year-old shows how quickly kids pick up on big changes at home - psychologist shares her top tips on how best to prepare them
Valentina picks up on what will help her mummy while daddy is away
By Selina Maycock Published