Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Sonny

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 846
Simple meaning:
Young son

Characteristics of Sonny

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Sonny

Developed from “son”, Sonny is a nickname used for young boys. The English vocabulary word “son” came from the Proto-Germanic “sunuz” from the root “su-“ meaning “to give birth”. Son is essentially an English noun defining a male descendent. In the 19th century Sonny developed as either a term of endearment for a younger person or else a form of address to one who was considered inferior. In terms of usage as a given name, Sonny is akin to naming one’s baby Junior. These are names preferred by parents with an extremely non-traditional and relaxed naming style. Sonny is most popular (on a per capita basis) as a boy’s name in South Australia. It is also used as a boy’s given name in the United States and Canada. Although rare, Sonny is occasionally used on baby girls, perhaps influenced by the Disney sitcom “Sonny with a Chance” (starring Demi Lovato as Allison "Sonny" Munroe). Lastly, Sonny is also considered a pet form of Italian names Salvatore and Santino. Santino/Sonny was the eldest Corleone brother in Mario Puzo’s 1969 iconic novel “The Godfather” (see literary references below). Boy, talk about some polarizing references to the name Sonny. On the one hand we have the goofy and naïve female Disney character and on the other we have a ruthless Italian-American mobster character. Take your pick.

Popularity of the Name Sonny

Sonny has been used as a legal given name in its own right since 1927. Actually, it showed up on the American male naming charts before 1927 but so sporadically it was hardly noticeable. Still, this very informal name has been around a lot longer than most people would have guessed. For the most part, the 1930s and the 1970s/80s were the decades that Sonny experienced his highest usage in the United States. We think we know why. The 1930s marked a period of time in American music history known as the Big Band Era when jazz orchestras came to dominate popular style. There were quite a few jazz musicians known as Sonny giving the name a very jazzy, bluesy and be-bop quality. The 70s and 80s may have found inspiration in The Godfather character, the boxer Sonny Liston (who died in 1970) or the pop-star Sonny Bono. Today Sonny resides near the bottom on the Top 1000 list of available masculine names but he’s hanging in there pretty well. As a term of endearment Sonny is a sweet name. It also has quite a bit of musical currency if you look at the list of Famous People named Sonny below. It may be a bit too colloquial for everyone’s tastes, but there’s no denying his “sunny” disposition.
Popularity of the Boy Name Sonny
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Sonny

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Sonny

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Sonny

    Santino “Sonny” Corleone (The Godfather) Santino “Sonny” Corleone is the oldest son of Don Vito Corleone in Mario Puzo’s 1969 bestseller, The Godfather, which provided the basis of the 1972 major motion picture by Francis Ford Coppola (followed by sequels in 1974 and 1990). Our idea of Sonny is brilliantly captured by James Caan in the role; he is as good-looking, entitled, cocky and brash as we had come to picture him. As the heir apparent to the don, Santino takes his role in the family very seriously. He is a good (if unfaithful) husband and father and loyal supporter of his father. Naturally, adhering to the romantic notion that the Mafia are merely “family” men, Santino is a soft spot when it comes to women and children, which serves his childishly brutal brother-in-law well for a while. Santino is also the reason why the family consigliere, Tom Hagen, had been adopted into the family as a boy. All this notwithstanding, Santino is ever ready to hold up the family’s honor and finances, and no act of violence is too dramatic for him to eschew in this pursuit. It all comes full circle for him while he is acting don; the opposing gangster Barzini’s men ambush him at a toll booth and riddle his body with bullets. And we, the audience, feel true sorrow along with Vito Corleone when he says: “Look how they massacred my boy.”

  • Popular Songs on Sonny

    Popular Songs on Sonny

    Song for Sonny Liston - a song by Mark Knopfler

    Sonny - a song by A New Found Glory

    Sonny - a song by Hayley Westenra

    Sonny - a song by Rod Stewart

    Sonny Boy - a song by Hank Snow

    Sonny Cried - a song by Harry Connick, Jr.

    Sonny Say You Will - a song by Alannah Myles

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Sonny

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Sonny

    Sam and Sonny go to the Circus (Marlene D Hughes) - A story is about Sam the plumber and his dog Sonny going to a Circus. It is a humorous story suitable for children and recommended for ages 4-8.

    Sonny and Sammy (Virginia Wallen) - In Sonny and Sammy, Virginia Wallen tells a heartwarming children's tale about faith, friendship, and the value of forming special relationships with animals. Sonny was once a beloved horse, until he is left in the desert to die by an owner who thinks it is not worth the trouble to keep and feed him. He is found by a little boy, Sammy, and his dad, who live on a nearby ranch. Sammy is lonely since he has no playmates his age, so they take Sonny home, and soon his coat is beautiful and shiny again. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Sammy begins to learn to ride Sonny. A poisonous snake causes Sonny to throw Sammy, who is hurt very badly. When he finally comes home, he is bound to a wheelchair; however, Sammy's dad finds a special saddle that allows Sammy to ride horses without falling. They even get a ranch with Sonny and Sammy's initials intertwined. More than an entertaining children's story about a special relationship between a lost horse and a young boy, Sonny and Sammy offers an important life lesson about perseverance in the face of adversity. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Sonny With A Chance #1: Welcome to Hollywood! (Ellie O'Ryan) - Book One in part of a series based on the Disney sitcoms. It’s Sonny Munroe’s first day on the set of the teen sketch-comedy show So Random, and already there is tension brewing. Tawni Hart, So Random’s longest-running cast member and star of the show, is jealous of Sonny’s talent from the start. And when Sonny suggests a new sketch idea that the producer loves, Tawni becomes even more resentful. Will Sonny be able to prove to Tawni that there is enough room on So Random for both of them to shine? Then, Sonny meets Chad Dylan Cooper, the totally cute star of a rival TV show, and things get even more complicated! Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Sonny's Dream (Noriko Senshu) - Sonny's Dream: a story which teaches children how to conquer their fear. Sonny, a young grizzly bear, lives happily in Alaska wilderness with his mother, but he has bad dreams - giant red "Monster Fish" swim through his sleep. Sonny's mother teaches him that there is no reason to be afraid, and after hibernating through the winter, Sonny wakes into the green Alaska spring and becomes a grown-up bear. Sonny's Dream shows children how to overcome their bad dreams with the gentle wisdom of Sonny's tale, while bringing the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness vividly to life. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Sonny's House of Spies (George Ella Lyon) - Sonny is only one of the spies at the Bradshaw house in Mozier, Alabama. But as a child he saw a tray full of dinner come flying across the front hall at his father. His mother's aim was dead on. And Daddy's departure promptly followed. Loretta, Sonny's older sister, spies by eavesdropping. As she tells him, "How else am I going to survive in a family tight-lipped as tombs?" But the kids' spying only scratches the surface of what's really going on in this 1950s family in the deep South. While Deaton, the youngest, worries about pirates and vampires, and Uncle Marty, family protector, serves up scripture with every bite at the Circle of Life donut shop, somebody is watching. Somebody unsuspected by Sonny. But at thirteen he knows something's fishy, and he intends to find out what. That's why one Friday after Uncle Marty pays him for dishwashing at the Circle of Life, he sneaks out of town, first by bike and then by bus. Selma, his mama; Mamby; Nissa; Uncle Sink; Aunt Roo; his sister and brother -- nobody from that all-too-serious but often hilarious crew has a clue where he's gone. And even Sonny can't say exactly what he's after, until those tight-lipped tombs start talking, and life in the house on Rhubarb changes for good. Recommended for ages 11-14.

  • Famous People Named Sonny

    Famous People Named Sonny

    Famous People Named Sonny - Charles "Sonny" Liston (boxer); Salvatore "Sonny" Bono (musician/politician); Paul Joshua "Sonny" Sandoval (from rock band P.O.D.); Sonny Moore (aka Skrillex, musician); Wilfred "Sonny" Siebert (baseball player); Sidney "Sonny" Hertzberg (basketball player); Christian "Sonny" Jurgensen (football player); Sonny James (country musician); Saunders Terrell (aka Sonny Terry, blues musician); Sonny Landreth (blues musician); Sonny Boy Williamson (blues harmonica player and singer); Sonny Boy Williamson II (blues harmonica player and singer); Sonny Black (British acoustic guitarist); Albert "Sonny" Cunha (Hawaiian musician); Joseph “Sonny” Burke (big band leader); Conrad "Sonny" Clark (jazz pianist); George T. "Sonny" Cohn (jazz trumpeter); William "Sonny" Criss (jazz musician); Sonny Fortune (jazz musician); Sonny Greer (jazz drummer with Duke Ellington’s band); Sonny Payne (jazz drummer with Count Basie’s band); Theodore "Sonny" Rollins (jazz saxophonist); Warren Harding "Sonny" Sharrock (jazz guitarist); Huey "Sonny" Simmons (jazz musician); Edward "Sonny" Stitt (jazz saxophonist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Sonny

    Children of Famous People Named Sonny

    Famous People Who Named Their Sonny Sonny - Jason Lee (actor); Sophie Ellis-Bextor (musician)

Personality of the Boy Name Sonny

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Variations of the Baby Name - Sonny

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