Crew: Baby Name of the Day


Crew: Baby Name of the Day

Crew makes for a rugged name with a hint of prep school sensibility.

Thanks to Chantal for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day – and congratulations to the Gaines family of Fixer Upper fame on the arrival of their newest addition, Crew Gaines.

Crew: Motley

There’s something slightly split personality about this name. It fits with hyper-masculine modern choices, like Ryder and even Rogue. But it also blends in with buttoned-down surname names, like Carter and Easton.

That’s because there are two very different images associated with the word.

First, there’s a band of pirates or brigands – the original motley crew. Respell it slightly, toss in a heavy metal umlaut, and there’s 80s hair metal band Mรถtley Crรผe.

But then there’s the very short hair cut, and J. Crew’s sensible-but-stylish basics.

That takes us to the sport. Rowing seems the polar opposite of pirates and such, a refined pastime that brings to mind elite universities and well-heeled regattas.

But rather that detract from its appeal, this name’s dual-nature seems likely to speak to parents after a name that’s not too buttoned-down … but not too disreputable, either. It’s one of the reasons Wilder is white hot right now, and doubtless parents are looking for more candidates that are just on the right side of the line.

Crew: Recruit

The word originally comes from the Latin crescere – to grow. In Old French, a creue meant an increase in military recruits. By the sixteenth century, the word referred to the band of recruits themselves. We can assume that some were orderly; others, not so much.

Crew: NOLA

In New Orleans, you might belong to a krewe. Krewes put on the city’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations, sponsoring floats and parades.

I’d put these groups on the slightly rowdy side of the line. Though, of course, the best-established groups are full-blown civic organizations with serious charitable undertakings. The world-famous Krewe of Rex parades on Mardi Gras itself; the foundation associated with the club recently granted $1 million to New Orleans public schools.

Crew: Surname

So did Mr. Crew belong to a rowing club? A civic organization? Sail the seas as a pirate.

None of the above. Instead, it comes from an English town, north of London and south of Manchester. The name started out as Cryw in Welsh, or possibly criu. It originally referred to a weir, used in a stream to trap fish, though it can also mean crossing.

Despite the town’s long history, it’s not widely known in the US. I’d guess most American parents think J. Crew first.

The clothing company operated under other names for a few decades, before adopting its current name in 1989. The first retail store opened in Manhattan the same year. The brand joined catalog mainstays like Land’s End and LL Bean.

Crew: 21st Century Name

Up until the 1990s, the name was virtually unknown. Perhaps we should credit to the successful clothing brand for the name’s slow rise? In 1995, six boys were given the name, putting it in the US Social Security Administration data for the very first time.

The name gained slowly, but steadily.

Soap opera star Joshua Morrow, of The Young and the Restless fame, named his son Crew James in 2005. (His other children are sons Cooper and Cash, and daughter Charlie Jo.)

By 2011, the name appeared in the US Top 1000 at #942. It’s climbed and slipped over the last few years, currently sitting at #712.

Some of the name’s appeal is down to sound. We’re embracing single-syllable choices for boys like Cole and Chase and Flynn. But I suspect this name succeeds because of that flexible image: a preppy, polished little gentleman, but also undeniably strong, and maybe a little on the wild side. I can imagine Crew jumping off a dock into a Texas lake – and, based on scenes from Fixer Upper, that’s probably literally true for the newest member of the Gaines family.

If you’re after something less out-there than Blaze, but still bold and unexpected, Crew could be the perfect compromise.

What do you think of Crew?

First published on June 17, 2011, this post was revised substantially and re-posted on June 27, 2018.

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28 Comments

I really like the name Crew (Crewe, Krew, Crue, Kru, Cru). And with the recent trend of “boy” names being used for girls (ie. Lincoln, Wyatt, Wynn) I think it could work great as a spunky girl’s name! Although I would probably stick with the “c” spellings for a girl.

I love it. Found it under the category of “macho swagger” in a baby name book. We are preppy people and Fans of J crew as well. It sounds preppy to me. Adorable! We are using it and I hope it stays ranked 1000. Because I like the originality!

I love Crew! We just had our third child yesterday and if she had been a boy, we would have used Crew. I find it fresh, preppy, athletic, and fun spirited. Maybe next time!

I named my son Crue just four months ago, and we get tons of compliments! I like the spelling Crue much better than Crew. It seems more like a name, and we have a two syllable last name, so it sounds pretty strong with that. His actual full name is Hudson Crue, and we call him Crue. We think it is strong, but different. ๐Ÿ™‚

We named our son Krew. We love it….some people love it/some people don’t. I will say its very fitting for our little one. I’m pretty sure the name will grow in popularity in the next few years. Its definalty a strong/oroginal name.

I think Crew’s kind of cool, really. I can’t decide on the spelling. On the one hand, Crew has that preppy hipster connection to J. Crew, which is bad and good, depending on who you are and how you look at it. And, it definitely reminds me of collegiate crew teams, as in rowing. Preppy! But, the name itself doesn’t seem as preppy as, say, Reid (which I love). It’s like modern prep, yea? Then we’ve got Crewe, which has all the prep that Crew has with the added literary link to Sara Crewe and Captain – it is Captain, yes? – Crewe in The Little Princess, a timeless classic. Sure, the story’s about a little girl, but why not use it for a boy? Perfect.

Side note – my sister loves the name Brooks for a boy, also a rather preppy choice. My mom likes to tease her and say she should have two boys, Brooks and Crew. Brooks Brothers and J. Crew. Yep, that’s my mother for ya! She could throw in a Ralph, too, but my sis isn’t big on that, and she can’t use Lauren – it’s my name. Polo? Weird. The day in the life of a prepster’s sister… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve actually used Crew for a fictional character…except my character was a girl in a family of career criminals…so obviously my first thought for a “Crew of what?” is a crew of criminals ๐Ÿ™‚ As to using the name Crew in the real world…It’s a bit too ultra-modern wordy for me.

Eh, not one I would use. While I am not against ALL word names-heck, I like Honor and Violet-but this one doesn’t do it for me. I guess because I think of crew like a road crew (who pave our roads), not so much with the rowing and yachting crews. But this could be because I live in landlocked Nebraska, and no one here has a yacht as there is no where to sail it!

Crew really doesn’t feel, as Lola put it, “namey enough for me”. But Brayden doesn’t sound like a name to me either ๐Ÿ˜‰

I could see Crew on a little kid and I do feel his preppy vibe, but it’s definitely not my style.

@Rockingfetal: I could totally see Crew and Tucker as brothers! I could also see twins, Crew and Cole.

I really like it! Definitely has a preppy, athletic vibe–maybe to honor a dad or granddad who rowed crew. To me it is similar in feel to Lake, Gray, Cash (which I don’t like), River, Cage, Grant, Jack, etc.

I know a sixteen-year-old named Crew and I think the name fits him perfectly. He’s 100% athlete, super masculine, and very Southern (loves to hunt, fish, etc). I’ve always thought his name is cool but it isn’t something I would ever use. Crew was given his name because it’s his grandmother’s maiden name.

OK, I have never understood Crew and wondered what I was missing. It seems pretty well-liked and received on Nameberry, so I sort of expected that there was some history to the name that I didn’t know of. Now, it seems my initial reaction was right. I agree with Julie. Crew of what?

Upon reading today’s name, I imagined what my father would say “Crew?… A crew of what?” And then as I stepped away from the computer for a moment I realized I was singing:

If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

I’m pretty traditional when it comes to names, so to my mind Crew feels insubstantial. I’d prefer it as a middle name, but then it would probably just seem to be a stylish “filler” name like Bleu or Danger.

Crewe on the other hand, brings to mind the children’s book heroine, Sarah Crewe from “A Little Princess.” Take that as you wish.

I see this as a nn for the ultra-preppy set. Which is funny, because we have a family name that’s similar in sound to Cruz that I’ve thought about using.

Well, I really like the -oo sound in general but while I adore Rufus, Crew doesn’t do much for me. I like short names too: Rex, Leo, Cleo, but again, Crew doesn’t fit there either. Not “namey” enough for me. And yes, my first thought upon seeing today’s NotD: Pirate? My nephew’s in the middle of a huge ‘all thing pirate’ phase right now, hence the thought. Next thought? J. Crew and then the sport.

I have seen way worse ‘names’ as actual ‘names however, and Crew doesn’t fit in with those so all in all, Crew’s a solidly interesting choice witth some serious backbone. One could do worse! (I’d put Crew in the I have seen way worse ‘names’ as actual ‘names however, and Crew doesn’t fit in with those so all in all, Crew’s a solidly interesting choice witth some serious backbone. One could do worse! (I’d put Crew in the middle myself). ๐Ÿ˜€

I can only think of the slang term “crew”, as in homies, gang, clique, and the word “crew” as in the slaves who were forced to row a ship in times past. And the military haircut.

I may be missing something cultural, as here Crew sells refrigeration equipment, and to me the word “crew” is usually preceded by the words “road construction”.

That’s a nice point, Waltzing. J. Crew isn’t global, so it would be even more unusual outside of the US. (Is there J. Crew in Canada? My mind is going blank … I can’t picture seeing one in Toronto or Montreal, and surely that is where they’d be, right?)

The news bar thingy says they are opening in Canada this year, not sure when or if it’s already happened.

Crew definitely doesn’t have an upper-class sound here, as crewing is just called rowing, although I suppose the crew of a yacht might still make it sound a bit more elite. But generally it just means a team of workers, usually low-paid and overstretched.

I have definitely never seen a Crew here in a BA or news article or on popularity charts. He may exist, but if so, he is very rare! Crew may come in as a variation of Cruz, I can imagine seeing a Cru or Crue before I see a Crew.