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This post originally appeared on Maia’s blog on The Huffington Post.
We recently moved from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Brooklyn, and despite being less than five miles away, it feels like we’ve relocated to another planet.
Perhaps the biggest change is that, in this borough, no one recoils when we introduce our son as “Wolf.” I’ve stopped mumbling my answer or quickly changing the subject when faced with the “what’s his name?” question at the playground, and my husband has stopped apologetically adding, “it’s a family name” (which it’s not), to fill the awkward silence following my mumble. Yes, we’ve said goodbye to the legions of Williams and Charlottes (both lovely names, but in heavy, heavy use on Park Avenue), and Wolfie now has friends named Eisenhower or Strummer (for real).
Animal Names: You and Everyone Else!
When we settled on the name Wolf, we thought we were being creative, but turns out that would have been decidedly untrue if I had delivered my babies in Brooklyn. Here, animal names are, apparently this generation’s “J” names (I’m referring to the Jessica, Jeremy, Jason, Jennifer, etc. craze of the ’70s and ’80s). If you want to join me in my lack of originality, you might consider, in addition to Wolf: Eagle, Lion, Colt or Panther (all actual human beings over here).
If you’re not into any of those, but still want something unique, but not overly try-hardish, check my lists below. By the way, some of my very favorite names didn’t make these lists — like Henry, Esther and of course Felix and Wolf, the two I chose myself. The options below are names I’ve heard since moving here that I didn’t come across during either of my pregnancies, despite combing through about a jillion baby-naming websites (the one exception is Wild, which I wanted for both of my boys. My husband didn’t think this fell into the “non-try-hard” category).
If you’re searching for the perfect name, perhaps you’ll find it in my lists below. If not, the list may give you a good laugh, or, if you live on the Upper East Side, a good vomit.
My Top 10 Brooklyn Boy Names
My Top 10 Brooklyn Girl Names
Please share the cool but not try-hard names you chose for your own children in the comments! (When we shared these lists on Facebook most people had a strong negative reaction–don’t worry, I’m not offended!)