Why aren't more people using the name Scout, for boys? According to the Social Security Administration data, there were only 59 boys (and 148 girls) named Scout in 2010. I have heard it used, in real life, as a girl's middle name (which her parents also used as a pet name for her), in homage to the character in To Kill a Mocking Bird. And I do like it for a girl, but I kind of love it for a boy.
I think it has a very adventurous/rugged masculine feel, like Hunter, Ranger, Colt and Sawyer, and the Boy Scout association makes it sound capable and good citizen like (although, I actually have some issues with the Boy Scouts of America's stance on certain issues, the idea of boy scouting remains positive in my mind) .
I do see the possible downsides of it sounding too much like and being confused for Scott (a name I find utterly lackluster due to personal associations and it being out of fashion) and it sounding like a dog's name, but I still kind of love it and imagine it being adorable on a little boy and handsome on a man. What do you and your readers think of Scout? I love your blog(s) and a would love to know what you think about Scout!
I have four associations with the name Scout:
1. Jean Louise Finch's nickname in To Kill a Mockingbird (female)
2. The daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (female)
3. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (either male or female)
4. A talent/sports/military scout (either male or female)
Considering that I think the To Kill a Mockingbird association is likely the strongest one in the U.S. (and re-emphasized by so many parents citing the book as the reason they chose the name), a 59m/148f split is more boys than I would have expected. I see the gap widened in 2011: according to the Social Security Administration, there were 51 male babies and 182 female babies named Scout.
It's an interesting question, because I think if the name had entered our culture without the book, it would very likely have been as a boy's name. As you've mentioned, it sounds like Scott, and it works well with names like Hunter and Ranger.
But instead it's considered a boyISH name for a scrappy girl---and meanwhile, the book To Kill a Mockingbird is commonly taught in high school year after year, which doesn't allow the association to fade. And the name remains unusual, which doesn't allow the association to dilute.
What does everyone else think about why Scout isn't used more for boys? Do you think it could be tipped by, say, another famous Scout, but this one male? Maybe a handsome, winking, rugged type?
And let's have a poll over to the right to see what we think of the name for a boy at this point. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Poll results for "Scout, but for a boy" (380 votes total):
I love it! I'd want to use it! - 16 votes (4%)
I like it! I'd want to consider it! - 32 votes (8%)
I like it for someone else's baby - 124 votes (33%)
No particular opinion - 39 votes (10%)
Slight dislike - 96 votes (25%)
Strong dislike - 73 votes (19%)