He’s more likely to be the father – or even grandfather – than the newborn baby boy, but today’s choice might still work for a little one.

Today’s Name of the Day goes out to Skye, in honor of her husband: Craig.

Craig’s origins are straightforward. The Gaelic creag – rock – is usually given as the source. A handful of related words can be found, including the Old Irish crec and Manx creg. And so a fellow dwelling near an impressive boulder could eventually become known by this name. The words crag and craggy survive, too, especially to describe a particularly rugged landscape.

Craig’s heyday was from 1947 to 1988, when he was a Top 100 choice for US-born boys. From 1969-1970, Craig reached as high as #43. That’s why plenty of daddies wear the name these days – nearly 60,000 Craigs were born in the 1970s alone.

Famous Craigs include:

  • Even if you’ve never heard of Craig Newmark, odds are you’ve been to his site – Craigslist.
  • Actor Craig T. Nelson has had a lengthy career, from the dad in Poltergeist to television’s Coach.
  • The late Craig Kelly was an innovative snowboarder, known for turning his back on lucrative endorsement deals.

Clan Craig died out in the 1800s, but the name retains a certain Scottish vibe. You can find places called Craig on the map throughout the UK and the US. It’s worn as a surname with some frequency.

Today, Craig occupies an interesting place. While he was sometimes used in the 19th century, he’s truly a 20th century phenomenon, discovered the last time parents went searching for single syllable names for boys. Some will dismiss him as dated – like Scott, Chad and Todd, Craig may be not-quite-ready for a comeback.

But Craig has one advantage those names lack. His “ay” sound, shared with chart-toppers like Aidan, makes this one slightly fresher than his companions. Plus, with single syllable choices for boys making a comeback, it’s not a stretch to imagine Cade, Cole and Craig playing together in the not-too-distant future.

Still, Craig has fallen fast. As of 2007, he stood at #539 in the US. Less than 500 boys were called Craig that year, compared to nearly 1200 Cades and over 5600 Coles.

If you’re hoping for a fashion-forward choice, Craig comes up short. Innovative parents would probably favor Canyon or Calder. But if you’re considering passing down a family name, Craig might work nicely – familiar, in step with trends and yet shared by few in this generation.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Kind of has a dad image to me (dad of kids today, not my dad), but I don’t mind it at all and wouldn’t surprise me to hear a child called Craig. Good middle name too. I didn’t know anyone pronounced it Crayg.. I thought it was always Creg.

  2. Hmm, where I’m from we say them the same, Crayg and Grayg. I mean, I’ve heard it pronounced Greg, too, but not as often. Neither are names I hear much, though, so it’s not much of an issue.

    Craig is totally unappealing to me… but I also agree with Paige, it’s nice in the middle. Edward Craig sounds pretty sexy! Haha.

  3. Funny, Photoquilty, I grew up in an area where the two are pretty interchangable too. I now say Crayg & Greg to differentiate, but back home my siblings still say Creg & Greg.

  4. I agree with Paige, that Craig could be an unexpected choice in the middle name spot. Otherwise, it just doesn’t excite me, unlike some other “retro” type names that I find can be kind of cool and quirky these days… like Scott or Todd.

  5. Craig doesn’t excite me too much, honestly. I have an Uncle Craig, but I’ve never met him, so I have no real associations. I agree with Paige, though, it can be really interesting in the middle spot.

  6. Hm. Where I’m from, we don’t say Crayg. We say Creg, as in it rhymes with Greg. I’ve known three – my husband has an uncle Craig, and a cousin (said uncle’s son) Craiggy (Creggy). The uncle is 65 or older, I’d guess, and the cousin is 28 or 29. It’s not a bad name, not an eye-roller type, but it’s not spectacular. I’d be surprised to hear of someone naming a newborn Craig these days, but not dismissive of it.

  7. I like Craig- as a middle name. As a first, it seems rather dated, but as a middle I think it packs a reasonable punch. Think about it- there’s nothing eye-popping about Craig Edward, but Edward Craig, to me, is very interesting.
    And the Daniel Craig connection just gives it manliness and a rugged touch 🙂

  8. Craig’s fine. Nothing to get excited about, for me, either way. Like Lola, Craig and Greg are similiar for me… I had a Craig friend when I was younger, his little sister was Jennifer – they’re about the same for me – common names at that time, very neutral. But I agree, it would be absolutely alright to pass the name down – it’s not scary or even so dated that I necessarily think “middle-aged” when I hear it… more like, ‘hmmm, I don’t hear that name so much any more.’ Craig wouldn’t really catch my attention either way.

  9. I don’t mind Craig now but as a kid, I constantly mixed up Craig & Greg, saying them, I mean. First thought I had loking at Craig? Daniel Craig. *Swoooon*
    He does feel rather fatherly but that makes him warmer and friendlier than he used to be. A little softer ’round the edges. I think he’d make a pretty spiffy middle for anything polysyllabic.
    Craig’s alright, feels like one of Ken’s buds (actually, he has one, the others are Frank, Scott, Brian & Joe), yeah, definitely middle aged but in a nice way! He gets a :thumbsup: from me. Not enthusiastically, but definitely up. 😀