Rocco, Rocky & Flint: Rock Names for Boys

by appellationmountain on January 4, 2013

A coastal rock formation that looks like...som... A coastal rock formation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for a strong name for a boy?  A nature-inspired choice that feels unexpected and solid all at once?  Maybe you should turn towards geology – and guitars – and go with one of these rock names for a son.

Hollywood has embraced rock names over the past few years.  Madonna kicked things off, welcoming son Rocco with Guy Ritchie in 2000.  Then along came:

  • Gwen Stefani made headlines with her second son’s name, Zuma Nesta Rock, in 2008.
  • Johnny Knoxville and his wife Naomi went with Rocko Akira for their son in 2009.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr.’s son, Rocky James, born in 2012.

Famous namesakes abound:

  • Rocco is a saint, though his name comes from the Germanic element hrok - rest.  He’s also known as Roch.
  • Rocky is a boxer – Rocco Marciano was a heavyweight title holder, plus there’s fictional Robert Balboa, the underdog-turned-American icon from the Rocky franchise.
  • He’s a flying squirrel, too – Rocket Squirrel, better known as Rocky, from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
  • Rock Hudson was a leading man in the 1950s and 60s – though he was born Roy.
  • Professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson is better known as The Rock; his dad was a wrestler called Rocky.

Ready for the rock names?

Names That Mean Rock

Peter – The ultimate rock name with Biblical roots, from the Greek petros - rock.  Variants abound: Pierce, Piers, Pierre, Per, and Pedro to name a few, plus feminine forms like Petra and Petronella.

Craig – The Celtic word crag refers to a rocky outcrop, rugged land.  Craig is a name derived from crag, though his most popular days are behind him.

Harlow – The Old English element haer means rock.  Harlow is originally a place name derived from haer, and it had some history of use as a boys’ name.  Today, though, Harlow is rising rapidly – for girls.

Langston – Langston literally means long stone, but he’s less rugged than many of these choices, thanks to poet Langston Hughes.

Winston – The -ston ending on lots of names can mean stone, and that seems to be the case for Winston.

Rocks That Could Make Good First Names

Flint – If Flynn follows Finn, could Flint ride both of their coattails?  Flint is a form of quartz that sparks when struck, and in the 1960s James Coburn played a JamesBond-parody character called Derek Flint.

Granite - Yes, it is a popular material for kitchen remodels.  But is Granite also a rock very much part of the natural world, favored by climbers from Yosemite to Patagonia

Jasper – Among the most stylish of the possibilities, Jasper is also a form of quartz.

Obsidian - Too much?  Maybe.  But if Jet, Orion and Gideon are wearable, Obsidian isn’t impossible.

Rock – Go with just Rock, and there’s no doubt.

Shale – Like Shane, he has a softer sound.  He’s not popular for children, but he’d be very wearable.

Slate – There’s something dramatic about a boy named Slate.  Blank slate, clean slate, the online magazine … There’s also surname Slater, an occupational name for someone who covered roofs with slate tile.

Stone – Nearly as obvious as Rock, but slightly more familiar thanks to anchorman Stone Phillips.

Names with element/sound

Jagger – I was convinced Jagger was related to jagged – rough, uneven – and that somehow it had something to do with rocks.  Turns out I was wrong.  Jagger is an occupational surname, another word for a peddler.  But just like Rocco doesn’t actually refer to a rock, I think Jagger’s sound puts him in this category – plus, there’s Mick Jagger, legendary frontman of the enduring rock band The Rolling Stones.

Rocco  – He’s a saintly Italian heritage pick that doesn’t actually mean rock – he comes from the Germanic element hrok - rest.  The saint was actually French, but the Feast of St. Rocco is associated with Italian immigrants in the US, thanks in part to traditional celebrations – and in part to a famous scene from The Godfather II.

Rocko – A respelling of Rocco, probably first worn by an animated wallaby in a Nickelodeon series from the 1990s, Rocko’s Modern Life.

Rockwell – Another surname possibility, Rockwell comes from the Old English element hroc - rook.  He seems like an unusual option, but Norman Rockwell makes him familiar.

What do you think of rock names for boys?  Are there any that you would use?  Have I left any off this list?

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