This interesting little one-syllable word name has been popping up more and more lately on birth certificates across the country. And it's fascinating to me, because it can have so many different connotations. Check out a sampling of some dictionary definitions for the word:
- a group of people who work on and operate a ship, boat, aircraft, spacecraft, or train.
- a group of people who work closely together.
- a group of rappers, breakdancers, or graffiti artists performing or operating together.
And there are plenty more that we think of when it comes to this word. For example...
Associations With the Word Crew
- rowing—crew is a word for a rowing team and the sport (more on that below!)
- crew cut—a military haircut
- crew neck—a t-shirt neckline
- J. Crew—clothing brand
- American Crew—hair products brand
- cast & crew —behind-the-scenes workers on a film set
- crew cab—a truck bed size
- tagging crews—graffiti teams
- The Crew—a video game
- motley crew—a diverse, poorly organized group
- Mötley Crüe—the heavy metal band
The Bottom Line
Despite the wildly different things this word can make us conjure, when Crew is used as a name, two associations stand out among the rest: rowing (by a landslide) and clothing. The name Crew strikes many as sporty, preppy, and muscular. It brings to mind a dedicated athlete who's a team player by necessity. And that's another reason this sport shines—it brings a team together like none other. There is no star in crew, just a unified group rowing as one perfectly choreographed unit.
If you're drawn to this name, but the sport is a bit of a question mark for you, here's a little more info from the River City Crew website out of Richmond, VA:
"Crew", as a noun, can refer to either the people in a specific high school or collegiate rowing boat or the entire sport of rowing in high school or college. The term "crew team" is redundant and is not properly used. After college, the term "crew" is no longer used to describe the sport or people in a boat, and "rowing team" or "rowing club" is proper. In the sport of rowing, "crew" is never, ever properly used as a verb, i.e., one does not "go crewing", rather one would "go rowing". When in doubt, the noun "rowing team" or verb "rowing" will always be correct when describing the sport.Consider yourself schooled. Even if you don't have a background in the sport, you can use the word "crew" confidently.
Does Crew Have to Be All About Rowing?
There isn't any one "right" interpretation of this name, so if you weren't inspired by the sport originally, don't let that shake you from using Crew. There are no guarantees as to how Crew will strike your friends, but chances are they will think of the same thing you first thought of. They're your friends, after all! The sport is just the most common association that will spring to mind for many, and that's not a bad thing.
No matter what, first impressions of a name will fade once the person attached to it makes his entrance in the world. If you want to set the record straight from the beginning, remember that your personal connection to Crew is a short explanation away. People will love your fashion-forward style and want to hear how you chose the name, so take questions as a compliment and be prepared to talk names the first time you introduce your son. Besides, who doesn't love a good name discussion anyway?
Does Crew Really Work as a Name?
I think it does. There are many examples of words that became successful names that work with the right trends (Chance and Maverick come to mind), and there's no reason why Crew should be an exception. If you weren't convinced before, think of Crew's quick sound and sporty feel. Add to that its connection (by sound only) to names like Drew, Cruz, and Bruce, and you may wonder why America didn't think of this name before.
Even though it's pretty rare, Crew is on its way up. It broke through the top 1,000 in 2011 and sits at 732 at last check. I expect it to continue wooing parents over the next few years.
Celebrity Babies Named Crew
One celebrity baby was all it took to get this name in the minds of today's parents.
- The Young & The Restless star Joshua Morrow and his wife welcomed a Crew in 2005. Crew has brothers named Cooper and Cash, and a sister named Charlie.
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