Cool Name of the Week: Bradley

My husband isn’t a big sports fan. So I don’t have to have my autumn Sundays or warm-weather plans revolve around a particular team’s schedule. (I feel very lucky in this—I have a friend who had to plan her wedding date around the football schedule of her husband’s alma mater’s team.) But there is one time of year when sports dominate my DVR. Every July, my husband spends the month glued to the biggest bicycling event of the year—the grueling, 4,000 kilometer road race, the Tour de France.

And yesterday, bicyclist Bradley Wiggins became the first British man to win the Tour de France. He’s also one of the most honored athletes in British history, having won six bicycling medals, including two golds at the 2008 Olympics.

But you don’t have to be a Briton (or a bicycling fan) to fall in love with the name. Bradley is a name with English roots, that means broad meadow. It remains extremely popular as a name in England and Wales, but still ranks in the top 200 names here in the U.S. Its simple nickname is Brad. It has a sort of preppy, white-collar vibe to it—you’d expect a Bradley to be working as a lawyer or doctor.

Celebrities who have the name include two former People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” winners, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper (putting your future son in good company). Its big claims to fame in pop culture is the nebbishy hero in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the nebbishy big brother on Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Bradley would pair perfectly with a good, one-syllable middle name, like Charles or James. It makes more sense with a more traditional middle name, rather than something offbeat like North or Oak.

One caveat to giving your baby this moniker: Bradley has started to be used for girls as well. It’s still more popular for boys at this point, but given the way that some other boys’ names have been co-opted for the ladies, it’s worth noting.

Would you name your baby after a sports hero? Who would you pick?

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com

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