Deckard is the kind of modern invented choice that has caught on in recent years.
Thanks to DJ for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.
Deckard: Bee and Puppycat
This name is rare. A mere seven boys were given the name in 2014.
So where did DJ find it? And why am I writing about it?
Bee and PuppyCat is a popular web comic. Bee is the twenty-something main character struggling to pay the rent. She meets a strange dog-cat hybrid – PuppyCat – and together the two have adventures. Deckard is Bee’s neighbor, a chef and possible romantic interest for Bee.
So that’s still pretty obscure, but stay with me – because there’s more to this name.
Deckard: Cousin to Decker
Deckard might be rare, but Decker is a fairly common surname that’s on the rise as a given name, too.
Decker is German, an occupational name for a roofer. (Or possibly a ditch digger. But let’s go with roofer.) The Dutch Dekker has the same meaning.
Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx is dad to a Decker.
And this name is rising fast. In 2013, there were 81 boys called Decker. By 2014, there were 179. It probably should have made my 2016 Trendwatch!
Deckert and Deckard are sometimes-seen variations of the name. It’s also possible that they come from old Germanic elements, tag – day – and hart – strong. I found Tagibod in the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources. That would make Deckard a cousin to Richard, Leonard, and Bernard.
Deckard: Silver Screen
There are two noteworthy bearers of the name on the big screen.
First, there’s Harrison Ford’s character in 1982’s Bladerunner, based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Rick Deckard is a police offer charged with arresting rogue androids. It’s a fascinating and memorable character.
Dick based the character’s name on seventeenth century French philosopher René Descartes, famous for his statement: Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. It’s an appropriate sentiment for a movie focused on androids.
Bladerunner didn’t inspire parents to adopt the name for their sons, at least not in significant numbers. It wasn’t until 2008 that five boys were given the name in a single year.
That could change, though, thanks to the next reference: Jason Statham’s character in Furious 7, Deckard Shaw.
Shaw appeared briefly in the prior movie in the series, Fast and Furious 6. But it was not until the 2015 movie that we met the character. He’s a bad guy, a rogue assassin with revenge on his mind.
Fun fact: the character was originally named Ian.
By the movie’s end, Shaw is locked up in a high security prison. But yet another installment in the series is due out in 2017, and word is that Statham will be back, presumably once again wearing the name Deckard Shaw.
Deckard: On Trend Rarity
Given the popularity of the Fast & Furious franchise, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see at least a few newborn Deckards in 2015 and beyond.
There’s also a character named Deckard Cain in Diablo, a video game series that’s been around since 1996. The third installment was released in 2014, and the character appears throughout the series.
It’s almost a perfect 21st century name. Parents have embraced plenty of surname names for boys, from the familiar Hunter and Carter and Mason to the rare, or even invented, Ryker and Maddox and Zayden.
We’re particularly fond of ‘r’ ending names at the moment, but Deckard’s appeal may be that it feels like a given name, a more current twist on Edward, Richard, and company.
What do you think of Deckard? Will this name catch on?