Once upon a time, Gus was a name bestowed with some frequency on newborn baby boys. From 1880 to 1900, it hovered between 122 and 199. It was no John, or even Robert, but still common enough that you might have a Gus on your family tree, hanging out with Great Aunt Esther and your third-cousin-twice-removed, Mabel.
For most of the 20th century, Gus slowly crept towards obscurity, and by 1978, dropped out of the Top 1000 entirely. And while it still feels a bit brief to bestow as a formal name, as a nickname it feels surprisingly fresh and modern.If you like the idea of calling your little tyke Gus, what should you write on the birth certificate? Here are a few obvious ideas:
- August – just like the month, and like playwright August Wilson. Slightly more user-friendly than the imperial Augustus, but August can claim a throne, too – a trio of Polish kings answered to the name.
- Augustin – more French-fried than the first option, with a certain amount of hipster-literary flair, thanks to Augusten Burroughs. Agustin is the Spanish form.
- Augustine – saintly, but if you’re planning to call your little guy Gus, no more burdensome than most of these choices.
But if you’re feeling adventurous, here are some Gus-getters that are a bit less expected:
- Angus – It’s tough to come up with a boy’s name that is simple, straightforward and not in the US Top 1000. Angus fits the bill – and leaves you with the cute nickname Gus.
- Fergus – It’s a bit farther out than Angus, but might work for an adventurous parenting pair.
- Ferguson – Somehow, tacking on an extra syllable tones down Fergus. Ferguson is an unusual surname choice that could work, especially with a shorter last name. And the middle syllable – Gus – is just begging to be used as the short form. File this one with Harrison, Emerson, and Ellison – all longer surnames that wear well.
- Gustav – This is one of those funny names that everyone recognizes, but few people consider for their sons. There’s something theatrical about this choice, and it probably wouldn’t wear as well as August or Angus.
- Mingus – If you’re a jazz fanatic, naming your child after jazz musician and activist Charles Mingus could be an interesting choice.
- Magnus – A Scandinavian heritage choice with Hollywood cred, thanks to Will Ferrell’s son Magnus, a brother for Axel and Matthias. Ferrell’s wife is Swedish, so those are some definite heritage choices. Actress Kristy Swanson has three sons, too – Ethan, Seth, and another starbaby Magnus. Gus is not exactly intuitive here, but there’s no reason he wouldn’t work.
Of course there’s always the option of putting good ol’ Gus on his birth certificate. With kids called Max and Cole and Jack, there’s no reason he can’t stand on his own. He’s friendly, homespun, and works as a short form of plenty of given names. There are plenty of good reasons to get to Gus!