The Hottest Scientist Baby Names
A decade ago, this article couldn't have existed. Hot, fast-rising names inspired by scientists rather than movie heroes or sports stars? Not a chance. But parents are starting to look to new sources of baby name inspiration, especially sources that carry their own unique cultural energy. For some families, that means the high wattage of rock star names. For others, it's the heroes of science, technology and mathematics who light up the night.
At first glance, you might dismiss some of these trending names as mere coincidence. After all, Tesla is now an automobile brand as well as the name of inventor Nikola Tesla. Pascal is a French and German given name as well as mathematician Blaise Pascal. Carver means skateboards and short stories as well as a botanist George Washington Carver. But then there's Feynman. The 20 American boys named after physicist Richard Feynman last year make it clear that scientific names are for real.
Nikola Tesla. Image via commons.wikimedia.org
All of these scientist names have risen in popularity over the past decade, most doubling, tripling or more. If you like the idea of name inspired by the spirit of discovery, you should find plenty of ideas here—or perhaps you'll be emboldened to name after a scientific hero of your own.
FAST-RISING SCIENTIST BABY NAMES
Archimedes: The greatest mathematician of ancient Greece never even registered in American baby name statistics until this decade. Quirky, classical and unquestionably scientific, Archimedes is still a very rare name, but rising.
Carver: This name has many associations, but its links to George Washington Carver run deep. Before this generation, the name's historic peak was the year of the famous African-American botanist's death. For bonus scientist points, Carver Mead is a modern pioneer of microelectronics.
Edison: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison's surname fits in particularly well with contemporary name styles. It's the most popular name on this list, rising alongside other -son names from American history like Emerson and Jackson.
Feynman: This unlikely name trend is a tribute to the spirit of physicist Richard Feynman as well as to his scientific accomplishments. Feyman's popular memoirs show off an irreverent soul who lived life to the fullest.
Galileo: Astronomer/physicist Galileo Galilei's discoveries led to his conviction for heresy. Yet the baby name Galileo, with its lyrical sound and celestial associations, suggests the romantic, adventurous side of scientific discovery.
Joule: Physicist James Prescott Joule's name name made its first-ever appearance in the baby name stats last year. Pronounced like "jewel," it is given most often to girls.
Pascal: The most traditional given name on this list, the French name Pascal refers to Easter and was once a traditional choice for boys born on Good Friday. In English it's linked more strongly to mathematician/philosopher Blaise Pascal.
Sagan: Astronomer Carl Sagan is best known for popularizing his discipline with exuberance and awe. The name (pronounced SAY-gin) is given to both sexes, but more often boys.
Tesla: Long underappreciated, electrical pioneer Nikola Tesla is much admired among a new generation of inventors and engineers. Tesla electric cars were named in his honor, as were 166 girls (and 5 boys) last year.
Tycho: Groundbreaking 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe was no cloistered academic. Hugely wealthy, Brahe was known for eccentric indulgences like keeping a pet elk, and wearing a fake brass nose after his own nose was harmed in a duel over a mathematical formula. The name is usually pronounced TIE-ko.