The Baby Name Buff: Places I’ve Lived–Newport News

As you can see from the other blog posts in this series, I have lived a lot of places in my life. But now, after years of transience, our family is settling down in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. We moved to Newport News this past June, and we are still getting to know the area. But I’ve already discovered some pretty interesting baby name possibilities related to our new home. So, please enjoy these names inspired by the final destination in this blog series–Newport News, VA!

Aberdeen Gardens is a neighborhood in Newport News that I haven’t been to yet. But I love the girls’ name Aberdeen (AAH-ber-deen) for its association with the city of the same name in Scotland. This name also has a similar sound to the last name of the title character in The Hunger Games, and I like that connection too. Possible nicknames include (any of the spellings of) Abby, Birdie or Bertie, Dee, and Dean.


Newport News is a coastal area, so there are plenty of beaches to choose from. The only one Kyle, Felix, and I have been to so far is Buckroe Beach, a quiet, family-friendly beach that is only a 1/2 hour from home. As a boys’ name, Buckroe (BUCK-row) has a bit of a hipster feel along the lines of a name like Roscoe. Buck, Bucky, or Ro would all be cool nicknames.

Carver is another neighborhood in Newport News that I haven’t been to yet and thus don’t have a particular association with. But Carver (CAR-ver) strikes me as a really cool boys’ name that would be a fresh alternative to the wildly popular name Carter (#24 on the 2018 U.S. boys’ top 1,000). I like Carr or Vern as possible nicknames for Carver.

Because Newport News is near / on the Chesapeake Bay, there are so many things in this area with the name Chesapeake in them. As a girls’ name, Chesapeake (CHESS-uh-peek) would be a tough sell for me personally as a first name, but I actually really like it as a middle name. For those who would consider this name as a first name, Chessa would be a very pretty nickname.


Denbigh is a neighborhood in northern Newport News. So far, there are only two things I know about this area: 1) there was recently a fatal shooting there, and 2) the DMV is there.  Those are obviously both very bad associations. Even so, Denbigh (Den-bee) is an absolutely adorable boys’ name, so maybe it could work well if you’re not from the Newport News area. Denn, Denny, and BB are all really sweet nickname possibilities.

Newport News is a big military town. In fact, over the last four months, whenever we have told people that we had just moved here, every single person, without fail, asked us “you military”? (Close–academics.) I believe there are several military bases around here, but Fort Eustis is perhaps the most prominent. Because Eustis (YOU-stiss) reminds me of Eustace, I tend to think of this as a girls’ name.

Grafton is a town north of Newport News. This is another place I haven’t visited yet but plan to. I love Graff as a nickname for the boys’ name Grafton (GRAFF-tin).


Hampton is the city just south of Newport News, between us and Norfolk / VA Beach. Hampton is the home of the aforementioned Buckroe Beach, as well as many other great attractions. The boys’ name Hampton (HAM-tin) has a sophisticated feel without being overly stuffy.

The Hilton neighborhood of Newport News is touted by many as the best place in town to live. So, of course, Kyle and I had to drive around there and see what all the fuss is about.We were expecting really nice, new homes with some space between neighbors. Instead, we found some very old houses right on top of one another, and there was way too much stucco going on for my tastes. The streets were also really small, so only one car could drive down a lane at a time. So…not really my cup of tea, but to each their own! As a boys’ name, Hilton (HILL-tin)–like Hampton–has a high-class aura about it.

There are two main roads in Newport News from which everything else is an offshoot: Jefferson Avenue and Warwick Boulevard. It sadly took me forever to realize that Jefferson Avenue was probably named for Thomas Jefferson; I just kept thinking about the TV show The Jeffersons. Also,whenever I drive down Jefferson (which is every day), I get the song “Oh, Virginia” by Blessid Union of Souls stuck in my head, since that song is about the Hampton Roads region and has a line that begins “down the road on Jefferson…” The boys’ name Jefferson (JEFF-er-sin) has always been in the U.S. top 1,000, but it lingers between about 400-700, making it a more unique option than its more common counterpart, Jeffrey (which peaked at #9 in 1966).

Another military base in town is Langley Air Force Base. I haven’t been to Langley yet myself, though my colleagues at my workplace–Fear 2 Freedom–recently did an event at the NASA location at Langley. The boys’ name Langley (LANG-lee) seems very trendy to me, so I was surprised that it has never been in the U.S. top 1,000. I love Lang as a nickname, though the more traditional name Lee could work as well.

One attraction in Newport News that I’ve been really wanting to check out is the Mariner’s Museum. But I’ve included the boys’ name Mariner (MARE-in-er) on this list not only because of the museum but because, in general, the town of Newport News is coastal, so Mariner makes sense. And trust me–these people really want you to know that they are nautical AF; it’s like the whole town is one long “Under the Sea” prom night or something. Part of me thinks this is cute; part of me thinks it is a little tacky.

The central icon of Newport News’s seafaring ambiance is Captain Christopher Newport. I have heard conflicting things about whether this figure is historical or mythical. Either way, the town of Newport News itself is named for this man. And, of course, Kyle’s workplace–Christopher Newport University–is an even more direct homage to the Cap. As a boys’ name, Newport (NEW-port) strikes me as spunky and cute but also a name that would age well on an adult human.

Phoebus is a part of town in Hampton. I haven’t been there, but it looks really close to Hampton University, so I’m sure I will visit at some point. And, I don’t know why, but I have always loved the boys’ name Phoebus (FEE-biss)–so cute!

Like Grafton, Seaford is another town north (and, in this case, also a bit east) of Newport News. I’ve heard Seaford is a little more rural, so it is somewhere I definitely want to visit (and maybe even consider as a potential place to eventually buy a home, since it isn’t extremely far from Newport News, and since I’m a country gal at heart). Seaford (SEE-ferd) is a unique boys’ name, and I like Ford for a nickname.

As mentioned above, Warwick Blvd. is one of two main streets is Newport News. Both my and Kyle’s workplaces are on Warwick. As a boys’ name, Warwick (WAR-wick) would be an especially great pick if you’re a huge Dionne Warwick fan. And though Warren would be an obvious nickname option, I actually really like Wick too.

Photo credit: Boston Public Library

Author: thebabynamebuff

Hi, I'm Vickie. I'm a baby name enthusiast, and I'm excited to share and discuss with others the unique baby names I find. Besides talking and writing about baby names all day long, I also enjoy spending time with family, hiking, astronomy, reading (mostly science fiction and dystopias), and all things Star Trek. (Are you noticing a theme?) I currently live in Champaign, IL with my husband, Kyle, and my son, Felix.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s