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
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?