Monday, February 18, 2013


I see a lot of movies every year, and one that really stuck in my head in 2012 was 'Argo'. We came close to almost not seeing this one at the cinemas. We had some Gold Class vouchers that we had less than a week to use, and there weren't any seats available for 'Skyfall' (it was in its opening week), so we went to 'Argo' instead. It was a great choice, and I loved it. Ben Affleck did an outstanding job, both with the acting and the directing, and it's great to see him receiving so many accolades at the awards this season. Fingers crossed for the Oscars on Sunday!

I'm sure I can't be the only name enthusiast who walked out of the cinema thinking "you know what, Argo would make a really cool name". I can see it working best for a boy, particularly due to it's "o" ending and due to it's similarity to Arlo. Arlo has been getting quite a bit of attention recently. In 2011 it slipped back into the US top 1000, after an absence of just over 60 years. But for some reason I have found it hard to get on the Arlo train (so to speak), whereas Argo is a name I would love to see more of.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, 'Argo' is the title of the fictional movie used as the cover to get the escapees from the hostage standoff at the American embassy in Tehran out of Iran and on a flight to America. The concept is that it is a science fiction retelling of the Greek mythological hero Jason, whose famous quest was the search for the Golden Fleece. Jason was supported by a group of heroes otherwise known as the Argonauts. This literally meant 'Argo sailors', as their ship was christened Argo for its builder Argus.

Argus/Argos is a Greek name meaning 'vigilant guardian', so as a derivative I would assume that Argo has the same meaning. Argo has only charted four times in the US, and it seems that at the time it was popular there was a company in the US called Argo Electric Vehicle Company. Coincidence maybe, or perhaps naming a child for a luxury car is a phenomenon that is not as new as we like to think.

Argos has never charted, but the original form Argus first charted the same year Argo did (1912) and managed to hang around much longer than the short lived Argo. I'd be interested to know how these names fare in Greece.

While I can see a lot of positives to Argo, it could be said that the name is virtually unusable at the moment as people would only associate it with the movie. But Argo makes me think of that other famous two-syllable, ends in "o", mythology based movie name/title, 'Juno'. 'Juno' hit screens in 2007, and was a massive hit for first time writer Diablo Cody. Juno had charted once in the first half of the 1900's, and was just starting to see some increased (bu still rare) use for both boys and girls when the movie was released. Since 'Juno', use of the name has increased quite a bit for girls, although it has decreased for boys somewhat.

I'm guessing give it a couple of years and we'll start seeing Argo re-appearing in birth announcements. It feels like it could be the next cool hipster/bohemian name, or would feel right at home in a mythological or  "heroic" sibset. And now thanks to the movie, it even has a little sci-fi geek cred. Or maybe it just appeals to you as the little name that could - the movie concept that reportedly helped to rescue a group of innocent people when the odds seemed to be stacked against them.


  1. Haha, you're right, I WAS thinking of the name Argo during the movie!!!

    I think Argo would make a great name, very cool.

    It means "swift", which is a good meaning for a boat or a boy.

  2. I really like Argo it reminds me of Jason of the Argo, a tale that I used to re read all the time when I was younger (In my myths and legends book).

    Great post!

  3. My last name is Argo, all my life I've had to repeat it over and over and spell it EVERY-TIME when needed, its habit to spell it whenever I'm somewhere that it is wrote down. Not that I mind, it is a cool name, myself cant imagine it as a first other than lots of people call me ARGO. My daughters love there mane and say they will keep there last name.

    No one has never recognize the name in the past, now all I get is on your named after the movie, no MORONS I had the name first, how could that be? Anyway it is a cool name just that the movie has taken the individuality away somewhat

    1. My last name is also Argo. Meaning like stated swift but also vigilant daring courageous sturdy. A pursuer of Dreams and Glory so to be honest I'm on the name since I was young I had to get used to it so I might as well make it the best it could be it's great to be an Argo