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Does This Name Cross the Line?

We have daughter named Malia and a son named Tytan, and are preparing for the birth of our second son. My husband and I both like Nytro with a possible nickname of "Nyte." Is this TOOO out there? The older people we ask do not like it at all: my mom said ABSOLUTELY NOT (repeatedly). But then my husband asked a group of high schoolers and they thought it was way cool. We like unusual names and my husband was inspired by American Gladiators. Are we delusional?
- Jen (from the 70s)

Jen from the 1970s, your bittersweet sign-off speaks volumes. When you’ve lived your whole life as one of many with your name, unconventional baby name choices can be tantalizing, full of that certain something your name never had. But you don’t want to go too far beyond the curve, giving your children names that move past edgy into burdensome.

I can understand your confusion in this case. If everybody's fine with Tytan, a creative twist on a brash word name straight out of American Gladiators, why would they object to Nytro...a creative twist on a brash word name straight out of American Gladiators? The two names share so many elements, from the y-for-i swap to their popularity as brand names for power equipment. How can a grandma who accepts one flip out over the other?

The simple answer is that even tiny steps of style can be enough to "cross the line" with a name. To start with, Tytan is more comfortably name-like, a mashup of popuar choices like Tyson, Tristan and Payton. You can get away with a lot more boundary pushing when you wrap the name up in familiar sounds.

Then there's the meanings. As words, titan and nitro both suggest explosive strength, but in different ways. Titans are mythical deities, or towering figures in real-world arenas. The word's associations are positive, bathed in the mist of legend. Nitro, in contrast, is a very real substance that shows the dark side of power.

It's telling that your mom hates the name so much, while high school kids love it. For teenagers, nitro may just seem like a vague power prefix, along the lines of "turbo." Their associations with the word probably run to snowmobiles or comic book supervillains.  Your mom, though, might know more about actual nitroglycerin, a substance so explosive that before Alfred Nobel figured out how to turn it into dynamite it killed many people, including Nobel’s own brother. An ever bigger turn-off for your mom’s generation could be the medical uses of nitroglycerin. In drug names like NitroMist and Nitrospan, the prefix nitro- has come to mean "heart disease."

Where does that leave you? The high school kids’ reaction tells you that the name should play well on the playground. The adult world, though, is likely to react strongly to it throughout your son's life.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

June 20, 2011 7:05 PM
By Abby@AppMtn (not verified)

I like unusual names - even wildly different ones bordering on the outlandish. I'd be good with Blaze. Tytan is, as the NameLady said, just on the right side of the line. And Malia is gorgeous.

But Nytro? I just can't imagine going through life introducing myself as Nytro. What's more challenging is that there's to room to hide. Nyte is equally dramatic. Ny doesn't feel quite like a nickname, plus I can imagine Tytan being known as Ty, which gives you Ny and Ty.

I'm not saying you have to use James or David or Roger. But I think this one is just a little too much for a child to live up to.

June 20, 2011 7:48 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Good point about the heart meds, and good suggestion with Blaze!

I'm not even thirty and I HATE "Nytro", sorry. Please don't saddle your kid with it just to spite fuddy duddies like me.

June 20, 2011 7:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm 19 and I think Nytro is a terrible name to saddle a child with.

June 20, 2011 8:31 PM
By Manda (not verified)

Well, if a class of high school boys say so, then how can you go wrong? Seriously? No. I think anonymous is right. Saddle would be a better name. Not that she suggested it, but it would be a better name.

June 20, 2011 8:35 PM
By mk (not verified)

Please don't name your child Nytro. All I think of when I hear that is nitroglycerin.

June 20, 2011 9:46 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I immediately thought of American Gladiators. I imagine a little boy being named Nytro to be the bully on the playground. What about when his girlfriend introduces him to her parents for the first time? Even though I know judging someone based on their name is unfair, as a mother of girls I would have a hard time not judging him as a "bad boy". And at a job interview? I hear, "Nytro? Are you serious?" It actually sounds like a character on a trashy reality show. Sorry to be so harsh but I just keep seeing a overly buff guy covered in body oil, kind of creepy when giving it to a precious baby.

June 20, 2011 9:50 PM
By StephanieKay (not verified)

Definitely not my style in the slightest (says Stephanie [from the 80s, no less]), but I suppose another nickname could be Ro/Row/Roe. That would be more at home amongst the Bo/Beau and Joe crowd.

June 20, 2011 10:20 PM
By hillary (not verified)

I feel like even Night or Knight would be better than Nytro. I am cool with creative names, but I don't think this one sends a good much so that I wouldn't even use it for a dog, fearing that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you haven't seen it before, there is a real boy's name spelled Nye. It has a similar sound, is unusual enough to be interesting, but isn't as controversial.

June 20, 2011 10:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It's sad that actual future men get stuck with names like Tytan and Nytro, when there are so many pit bulls available for adoption whom they would suit so much better.

June 21, 2011 7:23 AM
By Michelle (not verified)

So, inspired by American Gladiators and approved by highschool kids...that doesn't necessarily suprise me. You guys understand that those are stage names, right? Alter egos. Those dudes' real names are like Justin and Matt.

June 21, 2011 9:50 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

I'm not a huge fan of the name Nytro, but you mentioned Nyte. I like that a lot better. If you like the American Gladiator theme there are some other options, too. Like Atlas, Blaze (as already mentioned), Rebel, Hawk, Sabre...

June 21, 2011 9:50 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

I'm not a huge fan of the name Nytro, but you mentioned Nyte. I like that a lot better. If you like the American Gladiator theme there are some other options, too. Like Atlas, Blaze (as already mentioned), Rebel, Hawk, Sabre...

June 21, 2011 9:54 AM
By C in DC (not verified)

I can see the appeal based on the sound, and I'm not a Gladiator fan. It's a strong name, with the O ending that's trendy at the moment. I've seen crazier names.

I would think that the similarity between Tytan and Nytro might be a problem for your family. Which kid are you calling when?

Is there another "formal" name you can use to get you to the nickname Nytro? Trover and Troy come to mind. Tyron and Tryon are anagrams. (Nicholas Trover = Nytro?) Tytan and Tyrone - too similar?

June 21, 2011 11:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like Blaze or Hawkin better then Nytro. I think that the kid would be tourtured for sure!

June 21, 2011 11:43 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Look if you want to depend on what a bunch of high school students think go ahead but remember they are also the type if their friend jumps off a bridge they would follow. Seriously Nytro is a nickname you can come up with something better than that. I'm from the seventies and I see all kinds of problems with that name. As a mother of three girls and two step daughters if any of them came home and told me they were dating a guy named Nytro i automatically think the kid is a punk.
I myself have taken my daughters names and put a little twist on them like one of my daughter's middle names is Nickole at that time when she was born every girl was named Nichole I didn't like the " h" so I changed it. My second born is named after Angelina Jolie but I put a big twist on it I spelled it how it sounds AnnJewelina. Now my last one everyone likes Kaylee well I did Kayleigh. Basically what I'm saying is you can take a modern name andgive it your own personal twist on it and it can still be unique enough for your family. Nytro is not a good name.

June 21, 2011 11:46 AM
By Laurie (not verified)

I'm guessing you didn't like being one of thousands of Jennifer's your age. I am also guessing that your child wouldn't like being the ONLY Nytro (unique name also with unique spelling) his age. I think it would be better to try a happy medium. I have a friend who named her son Linus because she also had an extremely common name. I am not suggesting any particular name, but that is a good example of a different name that isn't, as you put it, TOOO out there. And yes, Nytro is TOOO out there.

June 21, 2011 1:30 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm in the chorus of nos to Nytro. Looking at the style you seem to have, you like word-names that are "manly" and a bit out of the ordinary. I think Nytro does go past manly and into associating into "bully-like".

In addition to Blaze, I think the following would meet your criteria, still be manly, but not too far into testosterone land that would scare off people.

Malia, Tytan, and ...

June 21, 2011 7:07 PM
By Lysis (not verified)

I would not trust high schoolers to choose my baby name. I love Hillary's suggestion of Knight (for you). It has a macho edge like Nytro but with a bit of a romantic side. Some other ideas: Wolf, Griffin, Rio, Slate.

June 21, 2011 7:54 PM
By L-Mary (not verified)

Baron? Bronson? Kaiser?

June 22, 2011 11:25 AM
By Lynnette (not verified)

I also love the "Knight" suggestion, being on par with the feeling of Tytan, with the sound-alike to "Nyte". I think sounds kind of awesome on a high school kid or superhero, but impractical for anyone else.

June 22, 2011 11:57 AM
By Sibyl (not verified)

I am a child of the 70's with a weird name and a "creative" spelling, and I hate it. Have always hated it. Not everyone is happy about their unique and "dyffrent" (sic) name. As an adult, I would have much rather had something more middle of the road.

June 22, 2011 12:13 PM
By Elisabeth (not verified)

I think the Name Lady is right on the money with her answer. "Titan" suggests immense physical strength in the same way that "Hercules" or "Atlas" does, whereas "Nitro" makes you think of dynamite and heart medication. Spelling these names with a y instead of an i does nothing to change those impressions. I'd give it a miss. Nytro just sounds too much like a fictional comic book character, and possibly a canine one.

June 22, 2011 12:14 PM
By Pamela (not verified)

No to Nytro!!! What about Brock? Or even Stone (ala Stone Philips)?

June 22, 2011 12:16 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

As a person who hires people, I ask you - does Nytro sound good on a resume? Sorry to say it but I would have a hard time taking this person seriously, even in a creative field (which I work in.) I think you can be cool/clever without putting a potentially burdensome name on your kid. Also, I think the litmus test of high schoolers is lousy. I wouldn't let most high school kids help me make important decisions about my life or my children's life and there are few things more important than a name you'll carry with you forever!

June 22, 2011 12:18 PM
By Nenya (not verified)

I also like Blaze.

Other possibles are

June 22, 2011 12:21 PM
By Heather (not verified)

Another "no" vote for Nytro here. It immediately makes me think of explosives, and not in a good way. The nitroglycerin drug connotation is bad in the other extreme.

I think Blaze would be a far better option, since it's actually an "old" name (Blaise, as in Blaise Pascal) that you don't hear very often.

June 22, 2011 12:30 PM
By OakStreet (not verified)

I have to agree with others that Nytro is just too out there. Think of his adult life. Studies have shown that names impact job seekers prospects and a name like Nytro just doesn't conjure reliable or educated (sorry).

June 22, 2011 1:44 PM
By Pamela S (not verified)

I don't mind it so much, and I was born in 1961. It's my experience that people will get used to whatever you name a kid and will find it suits the child no matter how odd it seemed before you got to know the kid. A friend from high school named his son Atomic, which sounds really good with his two-syllable Italian surname. He goes by Atom, most of the time. In either case, it suits him perfectly.

Or maybe he became Atomic to suit the title.

THAT is something to consider too. Do you really want to have to deal with a little boy who suits the name Nytro?

June 22, 2011 7:41 PM
By Another British Laura (not verified)

Have you looked at the name pool from the British version of Gladiators? We've got some that would work quite well as boys names-
Saracen and

From the US Gladiators I like-
Hawk and

These are all names I would consider and I particularly like Hawk, Hunter and Rebel.

June 23, 2011 12:40 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Don't listen to the haters, Nytro is a brilliant unique name. I love it.

June 23, 2011 2:01 PM
By nedibes (not verified)

The trouble with a name like Nytro is that either he'll live up to it--or he won't. Either way is bad news. A muscle-bound giant with an explosive personality named Nytro is bad enough, but a "90 pound weakling" or a 300 pound couch-potato named Nytro? Tragic.

June 23, 2011 8:18 PM
By Alison (not verified)

I don't want to be rude, but Nytro is a word spelled creatively and not even a name spelled creatively. Nytro does not sound like someone I would want to hire, or vote for as president, or have as my doctor, etc.

Sometimes words work really well as names, but I don't think this is one of those times, especially because nitro has many negative connotations. I had to google American Gladiators, I guess it's a wrestling game show or something...? If this is someone's wrestling moniker, that would be a big red flag to most people to NOT use it as a legal name.

June 23, 2011 9:57 PM
By Lynnette (not verified)

Another name popped into my head today, and that's Cairo, which I think pairs very well with Tytan and Malia. Too place-namey? Spell it Kyro, nickname Ky or Ro.

June 24, 2011 2:02 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

no. pick something else so your kid doesn't hate you

June 27, 2011 8:33 AM
By Allison (not verified)

Someone above mentioned the child being pegged a bully, but what is "Nytro" winds up being wimpy? If he's captain of the chess team, that would be a terrible name to have.

It's just a bad name. As is Tytan, but oh well, there.
All names should pass the Presidential test - does President Nytro have any appeal? Ugh - no! Skip it unless you want him to fail for life.

June 27, 2011 6:29 PM
By Rae (not verified)

No, no on Nytro. For all of the reasons that have been pointed out by previous posters - it just doesn't give a good first impression, and that's not something you want to impose on your child right out of the gate.

There are lots of great, unique names out there!


Best of luck!

June 28, 2011 12:28 PM
By Erin (not verified)

I'm a big fan of "unique" names.. my kids are Kayna & Kyleb. But, I think Nytro is just a wee bit presumtuous for a kid, and it really saddles him with a specific persona before he gets to figure it out for himself. What if "Nitro" really likes to play chess, act, play piano or paint when he grows up? That name screams "Martial Arts / Wrestler / Sports / Adreniline Junkie".. and if he doesn't fit that mold, he's going to feel like a fish out of water.

Tytan can always decide to go by "Ty" when he gets older if he doesn't like the feeling of his full name. Nytro wouldn't have that same luxury. Here are some other suggestions along the same line:

Jet (or Jett)

Good Luck!

June 28, 2011 8:38 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Nytro? Seriously? What an ugly name, and a wasted opportunity to bestow a truly great name on a child.
(And for the person who said she named her daughter AnnJewelina- WHAT?? That's horrible! Angelina would have been sooo much better.)

July 1, 2011 2:38 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with the KYRO and KNIGHT suggestions as replacements. They would be much better for your son.

(And I'm not even a fan of "k" names - go figure!)

Best Wishes

July 1, 2011 12:10 PM
By Janelle (not verified)

Wow, there's a lot of emotion in this thread. At the very least, we can say Nytro is powerful enough to create some serious divisions of opinion!

Jen, the first thing that I noticed about Nytro is how similar it sounds to Tytan. When I think about yelling out "Nyte!" and "Tytan!" across the backyard, I worry that they would be indistinguishable.

But this thread is full of good suggestions. I'd take a look at:

July 3, 2011 2:43 AM
By jomo (not verified)

How about Night or Knight as a first name and Rowan, Ronan, or Rohan as a middle? You could even go sedate with Robert or Roger as a middle. You could then call him Nytro as a nickname. Giving him a different first name and using Nytro as the nickname gives him more options.

Indeed, you could give him a more common first name that is completely unrelated and doesn't "cross the line" and just call him Nytro at home and with family.

July 5, 2011 9:35 PM
By Sasha (not verified)

You actually named a child AnnJewellina? I don't think you should be giving anyone else advice on what to call their children.

July 8, 2011 10:19 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Yes, Nytro crosses the line. Please don't name your son this--from day one, people will be judging him, and not with a positive outcome. As someone whose earliest memories include people mocking her name, believe me, you don't want to set your child up for that. Young kids might like it, but adults judge too, and their perceptions will have as big an impact on his life as his peers'. There are lots of suggestions above, but if you must call him "night," please, at least spell it correctly! There's nothing that shouts waywardness/illiteracy like your name being a misspelled word.

I'd suggest you sit down with a name book--there are many daring, unusual names that don't fly in the face of literacy and have scary, negative connotations like Nytro does!

July 10, 2011 11:48 PM
By Jen - the one who was thinking of the name Nytro for my son (not verified)

I want to start by saying THANK YOU to everyone that has posted a comment. That is exactly what I needed to hear! I couldn't picture my sweet ultrasound baby being named Nytro but my husband was convincing me it would be "way cool" :) You are all correct for the right reasons. So NOW help me come up with a "manly, athletic, unique" name that would be cute on a little boy but strong for a man. I have printed off all suggestions so far and will be sharing with my hubby (Matt, also born in 70s) tonight. Time is drawing near and I am starting to panic. I keep thinking I will know it when I hear it. Since our last name ends in "ER" we want to stay away from names that also end in "ER". Thank you!

July 12, 2011 7:01 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)


July 16, 2011 1:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The only way you could pick a worse name is if you named your son "Voldemort." Both are ALTER EGOS chosen to inspire fear and intimidation. Why would you choose to saddle your baby boy with that? (Nick)Names like this are better when someone chooses them for themselves for personal or career reasons. Bodybuilder who goes by the stage name Nytro? Fine. But what if your kid ends up a poet or an accountant? Then its just laughable. I doubt you want people to think of your baby as a joke.

July 19, 2011 5:48 PM
By Clara (not verified)

When I think of Nytro I imagine him beening a cool international news correspondent. I don't no why.

July 20, 2011 4:24 PM
By Lane

@Jen - Thanks for checking in! Best wishes as you make your decision and please let us know what you choose!

August 3, 2011 2:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, y'all are harsh.

March 12, 2012 3:11 PM
By LadyEdge (not verified)

HAHAHA!!! I thought something similar..

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