Darry is the oldest brother. Of the three, he has the most normal sounding name. It seems like their parents wanted to play it safe when they named Darryl. His nickname makes him a little unique though. Sodypop and Ponyboy have whimsical, unusual names. It seems as if their parents became more colorful as their children were born.
Ponyboy says that he hates to tell people his name for the first time (ch 2). He does not seem to appreciate his unusual name. When Cherry comments that his name is unique, he says:
"My dad was an original person," I said. "I've got a brother named Sodapop, and it says so on his birth certificate." (ch 2)
Although it’s clear that his name’s unusual and he doesn’t like people’s reactions, he also says, “Ponyboy's my real name and personally I like it” (ch 2).
Ponyboy’s name is also on his birth certificate. His parents seemed to be not afraid to be original, and taught their kids to appreciate originality and be proud of who they were.
You can read the full text of the book here:
See the links below for more enotes information.
Hinton, S. E. "The Outsiders." : The Whole Book. Blogspot.com, 25 Sept. 2005. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. <http://theoutsidersbook.blogspot.com/2005/09/whole-book.html>.