Is this more than you bargained for yet? Choosing a name for a whole new human, I mean. Millennial parents will remember the emo music days of the early and mid-2000s, either fondly or with a big dose of cringe at how you dressed (like a walking Hot Topic ad). And while it’s maybe not the traditional route for
choosing the perfect name, considering some emo baby names might make you feel nostalgic and sentimental enough to actually fall in love with one. If nothing else, it’s a fun walk down memory lane, one that’ll have you pulling up old playlists to blare in the car.
If you somehow missed this cultural moment altogether, emo is a subgenre of rock and pop punk music that was all about the emotional lyrics and sappy subject matter. Naturally, that brought all the morose teenagers running, wanting to dress, cut their hair, and do their makeup like their favorite band members did. It spawned a generation of middle and high schoolers who looked a little scarier than your average, but really just had a deep, deep love for sad songs played a little too loud.
If you were one of them or still are now — giant side bangs, band tees, and all — then choosing an emo baby name might feel like a sweet homage to your own childhood, or a band who pulled you through the angsty years when no one else understood.
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Remember Motion City Soundtrack? If you’ve never blared “Everything Is Alright” while driving with the windows down, you’re missing out. Their song “Antonia” is about all the little quirks that make up this girl the singer’s in love with.
From the Bright Eyes song of the same name, Arienette is a unique choice you won’t hear on other kids at the playground. Plus, it has so many cute nickname options, like Ari or Nettie.
The band Jack’s Mannequin was a must-listen emo act, and they are a great source for baby name inspo. For example, take Arin, the name of the girl in their song, titled “Miss Delaney.” It’s a recognizable name with an interesting spelling, and is perfect for parents who want something gender-neutral. (Delaney is an equally gorgeous name idea you could lift from this track.)
As in queen of scene, Avril Lavigne. The “Sk8er Boi” singer’s pop punk sound and skater grunge aesthetic will come to mind when anyone new learns her name. If you don’t like the name Avril, her middle name might make a great alternative: Ramona.
Dashboard Confessional fans, rise up. The absolutely heart-wrenching ballad “Belle of the Boulevard” could inspire your baby name. Belle means “fair” and “beautiful,” and has ties to lots of other images: southern belles, being the belle of the ball, and of course,
Beauty and the Beast. 6 Benji
Benji Madden is half of the Madden brothers duo (along with bro Joel) who rocketed to fame with their pop punk band Good Charlotte.
7 Billie Joe
Billie Joe Armstrong is the unlikely, Southern-sounding name of Green Day’s lead singer. It would make a cute name for a boy or girl, and let’s be honest, you know you tried to learn the first few chords of “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on the guitar.
Conor Oberst has been writing and singing sad songs for us for years, both as the lead vocalist for Bright Eyes and as a solo act. The name Conor has Irish origins and means “lover of hounds.”
The emo music-to-
Twilight-fan pipeline was so real. If you have fond memories of waiting in line for the next book in the YA vampire saga, you could choose any character’s name, but the coven’s surname Cullen has the highest cool factor by far. 10 Dakota
Courtesy of emo band Between You & Me and their song “Dakota” comes this baby name, which also has a certain
Western appeal. 11 Delilah
The song “Hey There, Delilah” by Plain White T's was a real cultural moment. It tells the story of a long distance couple, and the singer shares his love and devotion for Delilah, singing “A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they've got planes and trains and cars. I'd walk to you if I had no other way.” Ugh, it’s still so sweet.
Much like the
Twilight series, kids who were deep into emo music usually had an overlapping interest with the dark fantasy elements of the Harry Potter books. Draco Malfoy is one of the more villainous students at the magic academy, and chances are if you were obsessed with punk rock at the time, you firmly believed you’d be sorted into Slytherin house right alongside young Draco. 13 Franklin
Paramore is to emo music what Beethoven is to classical — you just can’t talk about the genre without including them. Their song “Franklin” isn’t one of their best known tracks, but if you’re looking for a boy name inspired by your favorite band, it’s there for the taking.
While you have My Chemical Romance on the brain, an obvious emo baby name for boys is Gerard, the first name of the band’s lead singer. His vocals: bananas. His look: emo through and through. If you liked emo music even a little bit back in the day, you know Gerard Way when you see him.
If you love names like Eleanor or Helen, Helena (the title of a My Chemical Romance song) will steal your heart. It’s a Greek name meaning “shining light,” perfect for parents who love all things emo but also feel drawn to
light-related baby names like Lucy or Dawn. 16 Jack AleksandarNakic/E+/Getty Images
As in Jack’s Mannequin, of course. It can be short for John, Jackson, or Jacob, but it’s also strong enough to stand on its own for parents who like
one-syllable names. 17 Jamie
Jamie was a popular name in emo lyrics, popping up on albums by Dashboard Confessional (swoon) and Mayday Parade. It’s a solid gender-neutral name derived from James, which means “he who supplants.”
Did you scream sing at an All Time Low concert or two back in your day? Then you’ll remember the absolute banger that was “Jasey Rae.” Jasey is a spunky little name your child won’t have in common with anyone else, and is similar to Josie or Jamie, if those appeal to you but aren’t quite right.
Speaking of good old Mayday Parade, their song “Ocean and Atlantic” (a bop) tells the story of Jessie, an ambiguous gal eager to escape her hometown. It’s a super cute baby name option for a girl or boy.
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If “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World has never gotten you through a hard time, more power to you. For the rest of us, we owe one to this band. Jimmy is, of course, most often a nickname for James, but could be a fun nickname homage to a band that makes you feel all the things.
An absolute banger that also contains a beautiful baby name: “Check Yes, Juliet” by We the Kings. This spelling is exactly how Shakespeare wrote it, but you could opt for the longer Juliette, both of which mean “youthful.”
There’s no shortage of scene-slash-emo songs written about Katies, from “There, There Katie” by Jack’s Mannequin to “Miserable at Best” by Mayday Parade. Are they both incredibly depressing? Yes, but such is the emo way.
Be honest: you listened to “Konstantine” by Something Corporate way too many times to be good for your mental health. This Latin name, which can also be spelled with a C, means “steadfast,” kind of like your love for emo music, no?
The All-American Rejects’ song “Her Name Rhymes With Mindy” is, in fact, about a girl named Lindy who the singer is completely head-over-heels for. It’s most commonly used as a diminutive for Linda, which means “beautiful,” but could also work as a nickname for Belinda or Lindsay.
One more Bright Eyes shoutout: their long “Lua” is a must-discuss for baby name ideas. It’s a name with Latin and Portuguese roots that means “moon” (hello, perfect
alternative to the super-popular Luna). 26 Lyric
If you were always the kid with your hood up hiding the headphones to your iPod in class, you’ll appreciate
music baby names. Lyric is a subtle nod to all the bands and songs you hold dear, without paying tribute to one person or track in particular. 27 Travis
Travis Barker, who’s mostly known these days for his marriage to Kourtney Kardashian, is famous for drumming for Blink-182 back in the hey day of emo music. (Side note: who’s excited to see what
baby name Barker and Kardashian choose for their little one?). Fun fact: the name Travis is French and means “toll collector,” which has kind of a dark, spooky vibe going on. 28 Tristan Tristan is a less obvious emo baby name. It means “sad” or “melancholy,” so while it may not be directly related to a band from yesteryear, it still gets at the feeling of being emo. 29 Virginia Guido Mieth/Stone/Getty Images
“Drops of Jupiter” band Train has a lesser known track called “Meet Virginia” that makes perfect baby name inspo — the singer waxes on about this one-of-a-kind gal he just can’t get enough of. You’ll be even more obsessed with your little Virginia (and let’s be honest, Train was totally on your MySpace profile playlist at some point).
Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, most emo kids had a deep appreciation for Winona Ryder. The name was extremely rare in the 1980s, but has been steadily rising in popularity ever since, which surely has something to do with the beloved actress.
Maybe you found the perfect emo baby name on this list, or maybe you just remembered a song or two you used to love but haven’t heard in years. Either way, listen to a sad song louder than usual today. Your teenage self will thank you.