Upon first seeing Nameberry’s list of hipster baby names, as well as an article on hipster names I was confused and slightly exasperated. You see, the word “hipster” follows me around like a tin can tied to a dog’s tail, yet I still don’t have a clear idea of what a hipster is. It’s been applied to my music (Tom Waits, specifically), my penchant for shopping at the thrift store, my love of vinyl records, and now my names! Who are these people? You see, it’s hard to find a good definition because it seems to be a derogatory term. Urban dictionary:

Someone who thinks that they are being “special” and “unique” for liking some underground bullshit no one else cares about. And they pointlessly look down on people who don’t know anything about indie culture, because that’s the only thing they know anything about. They’re quick to call the rest of the world conformists when in reality, they are the ones conforming by partaking in a “too cool for mainstream so i am going to reject it by looking and acting like a grungy asshole” way of life only to seem uber-fashionable. They just end up looking like idiots.

So, then, what is a hipster, actually? I mean, this person seems to have some sort of vendetta against them. A more illuminating entry:

people in thier [sic] teens to 20s who generally listen to indie rock, hang out in coffee shops, shop at the thrift store and talk about things like books, music, films and art.

If you ask me, that sound like pretty much anyone. I mean, what do you talk about if not books, music, film, or art? That pretty much covers everything I talk about. I’m also confused about “indie” as a description of music. I take it to mean things that aren’t picked up by a big record company, but it seems to apply to anything anymore. So I’m still confused as to what a hipster is, really.

Anyway, my personal journey into “What-the-hell-is-a-hipster-dom” only continued with Rosenkrantz and Satran’s list. I like most of these names! For reference, the names I like on the hipster list are: Annabel, Asher, Clementine, Daisy, Delilah, Dexter, Edie, Flora, Frances, Georgia, Hazel, Hugo, India, Ione, Iris, Ivy, June, Leonora, Leopold, Lila, Luca, Matilda, Mamie, Millie, Milo, Minnie, Olive, Oscar, Otis, Pearl, Poppy, Romy, Ruby, Rufus, Sadie, Silas, Stella, Stellan, Tallulah, Theo, Violet. That’s a full 55% of the names on the list, quite impressive for a namesnob like me. Assume all nicknames are ones I like as nicknames.

In conclusion, I have to replace “hipster” with “having good taste.” Because honestly? The names on that list are good. (Well, most, anyway; Hudson is several shades of wrong.) Apparently, “Unusual but heard of,” the rallying cry of namenerds everywhere, has become some sort of formula for trend chasing. To borrow a bit of tryndee logic, wouldn’t it be boring if we were all Catherine and Elizabeth? They’re beautiful names, yes, but you can name a girl June without doing it to seem cool. Because June is beautiful, too.

What are your opinions on “hipster” baby names? I know I’ve departed from my general flavor of posts, but this is something I’ve been percolating on for a while. And I still have no clue what a hipster is.

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