The Wild West refers to an iconic time in American history filled with legends of gun-slinging cowboys and cowgirls, pioneers, American Indians and outlaws. The allure of the Wild West was heightened by fiction and film and continues to appeal to the imaginations of Americans and foreigners, alike. This time of Western Expansion gave us stories of cowboys, lawmen and outlaws who happened to have pretty memorable, and sometimes flashy, names. Having a baby boy? Consider the naming him after one of these legends of the Wild West.
Billy the Kid or William H. Bonney, as he was also known, was actually born William Henry McCarty in 1859. Billy the Kid is one of the most famous figures of the American Old West seen as both a notorious outlaw and a folk hero. His legendary outlaw status lives on through numerous films, books and music. Is your baby a sharp dresser with a crafty charm? Name him Billy after "the kid".
Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, better known as "The Sundance Kid" was a member of Butch Cassidy's famous Wild Bunch Gang. He was an outlaw who, along with the other members of the gang, performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history. Longabaugh and his girlfriend Etta Place (shown above) and Butch Cassidy left the U.S. and fled to South America to avoid being caught by the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
Jesse Woodson James was a celebrity of the Wild West. He was the most famous of the James-Younger Gang. Jesse and his brother were Confederate guerrillas of the Civil War. They later became robbers of banks, stagecoaches and trains. Jesse has been portrayed in various lights from being a Robin Hood figure, to Western Frontier hero to effective outlaw. Name your boy after this famous bandit and not the character from Full House.
Born in 1866, Robert Leroy Parker, "Butch Cassidy", was the notorious leader of the Wild Bunch Gang. Though we hope the only thing your little one robs is your heart (awwwww), name your little outlaw Butch, and your in-laws will be thrilled.
"Bat" or William Barclay Masterson was a buffalo hunter, U.S. Marshal and Army scout. He was also a gambler and helped Wyatt Earp run the faro tables at the Oriental Saloon of which Earp owned one-quarter interest and eventually became a columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph.
Born Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp in 1848, this lawman was one of the greatest icons of the Wild West. Wyatt was a policeman and a sheriff who worked to tame and capture the wild outlaws of the West. He is well-known for his feud with a local rancher at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona which ended up being one of the most famous gunfights in American history.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior fought against Mexico and the U.S. to prevent their expansion into Apache tribal lands during the Apache Wars. Is your baby boy a brave warrior? Name him Geronimo, whose Chiricahua name was Goyathlay.
Ok, you MAY feel weird calling your bundle of joy "Buffalo" but you can still give a "shout out" to this Old West bandit by naming your son William, after William Frederick Cody, a.k.a. "Buffalo Bill". Bill was an American soldier receiving a Medal of Honor for service to the Army as a scout. He was also a bison hunter (hence the name) and a showman. He organized "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" a touring attraction which included performers from around the world showing off feats of skill, staged races and sideshows.
"Arkansas" Tom Jones or Roy Daugherty, as him mama named him, was, you guessed it, an outlaw. He was a member of Bill Doolin's Wild Bunch gang and was sentenced to 50 years in prison after killing a deputy and a sheriff. Lucky for Arkansas, his preacher brothers influenced an early parole. Naturally, Arkansas headed to Hollywood to act in Western films, but when that didn't work out, he just robbed another bank. Once a bank robber, always a bank robber. Hopefully your little Arkansas will have positive role models and a good circle of friends.
Nat Love (pronounced Nate Love) was also known as, you'll never guess this one, Deadwood Dick. Love, an African-American cowboy, was born a slave in Tennessee and, when slavery ended, joined a group of cowboys in Kansas who nicknamed him "Red River Dick" (his name is not Richard. Am I missing something?) It is exceptionally clear from the photo that Nat Love had swagger. Just look at him. Does your baby boy? Nat, er, Nate it is!
Harvey Logan or "Kid Curry" was a an outlaw and member of the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's famous Wild Bunch Gang. Though he is one of the lesser known members of the gang, he was known as being the "wildest" of the bunch. Is your baby showing signs of being a wild one? Buy him a rocking horse, buy yourself a Costco size bottle of ibuprofen and name him Harvey.