Posts Tagged ‘ offbeat baby names ’

Under the Radar Girls’ Names: Beyond the Top 1000 Baby Names

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to really get a baby name gem. And while the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. list offers plenty of stellar options, there are lots of head scratchers, too. (Do we really need to spell Journey Jurnee?)

But sometimes, it’s the ones that don’t make the top 1000 list that really shine—especially if you’re looking for something unique. Skip all those creative spellings of Adeline and check out these options.

Tilda With Matilda on the rise, will this shortened version follow suit? It means “mighty,” and has accomplished actress Tilda Swinton as its namesake.

Kismet I’m generally not a big fan of word names, like Journey or Destiny. But there’s something about Kismet (a name that actually means fated) that just seems right.

Marae This relative of Mary means bitter, and evokes the sea as well. It’s a great way to pay homage to a Mary in your family, without using the name.

Jovia By Jove, this name is intriguing—it’s a feminization of the Roman king of the gods, but also has that connotation of happiness, thanks to the word “jovial.”

Aretha The legendary Aretha Franklin may be a tough act to follow, but you could consider this name, which means “blessed,” in lieu of the more popular Athena.

Briony If you like floral names, but are weary of the Rose/Lily/Daisy combo, consider this very offbeat choice, a lovely vine with green-hued blooms.

Dulcinea This ultrafeminine name has a cool past for literary folks—it’s the name of Don Quixote’s fictional true love in Miguel Cervantes’ classic. It means sweet.

Magenta A vibrant purple-red shade could be the next cool color name, after names like Violet and Scarlett. (For Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, there’s the character who goes by the name.)

Ione How has this gem never made it into the top 1000? Popularized by actress Ione Skye (of Say Anything fame), it’s the name of a violet-colored stone, and of a sea nymph in Greek mythology.

Tell us: What offbeat names do you love? Would you consider any of my choices for your daughter?

Check out the wild and weird side of last year’s baby names—and see if you’d pick any of those for your kiddos! You can rate baby names with our popular Baby Name Game—and keep up with the latest in baby name news by liking In Name Only on Facebook!

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

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Cool Name of the Week: Lilah

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

We had a whirlwind weekend—two birthday parties, plus one big reunion for the families we traveled with to adopt our oldest daughter in China. It’s amazing to see how quickly they’ve all grown, from the babies we met eight years ago in a Civil Affairs Office in the midst of China. They all have beautiful names—there’s Ava,  Julianne, Katharine, Anna, and Lilah.

I think Lilah has one of the cooler names in their crew. It’s an Arabic word that means night or dark beauty, and has been used on some of my favorite TV shows—often for characters with a someone questionable moral compass, like the devilish lawyer Lilah Morgan on Angel, and Dexter’s slightly creepy, amoral second-season girlfriend, Lila West. It feels like a shortened version of Delilah, the Biblical name that’s becoming hotter than ever.

The spelling Lilah (around #300 on the top baby name list) is less popular than the more common Lila (currently at number 182). It’s a nice alternative if you like some of the uberpopular names, like Ella and Lily, but want something a little more offbeat.

I’d pair Lilah with a funky middle name—like Spring, Ruby or Maeve.

What do you think of the name Lilah? Love it or leave it?

 

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Is Your Baby’s Name the One You Wish You Had?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I’ve been thinking about the latest spate of celebrity baby names, and I’ve noticed a trend—the celebs who have more unique names themselves gave their kids very traditional names (i.e. actress Shiri Appleby and her daughter, Natalie), while ones who have more common names themselves went offbeat for their babies (see Holly Madison and her daughter, Rainbow Aurora, and Kristen Bell and her daughter, Lincoln Bell Shepard).

So are we all looking to give our kids the names we wish we had? I know I didn’t like that my name was super popular and had no nickname possibilities, and so I gave my girls names that weren’t super common (Katharine and Margaret), and came with a slew of nickname possibilities. And I’ve seen that with some of my friends—one who loathed the fact that her name, Katherine, was always shortened to a nickname, gave her sons names that can’t really be shortened. Another who disliked the offbeat spelling of her name gave her kids names with classic spellings.

I think it’s only natural that we’d want to give our kids names in the style we wish we’d been named. But does that mean that my daughters are going to pick short and sweet names for their kids? Or that all the Olivias and Jacobs from this generation are going to rebel and give their kids offbeat names like Wheat and Amaryllis?

Let me know if my theory’s totally bunk! In the comments, let me know what you would have changed about your own name—and if you picked names for your kids don’t have that particular issue.

Image: Babies by Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

 

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Would You Name Your Baby Ikea?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

That’s the idea behind a brand new baby book that happened upon my desk this week, Hello, My Name Is Pabst, which bills itself as a list of names for nonconformist parents and hits bookshelves near you this month.

And the authors aren’t kidding around—many of the names in there I can’t ever imagine giving to a baby (though I guess by naming my kids Katharine and Margaret, I wasn’t exactly breaking new ground). Names like Nimrod, Mosquito, and Crazytrain are all suggestions on their lists, which are subdivided into different hipster/geek type subsets, such as names for architect’s kids, which include Wright and Eames, and names for computer nerds, like Bitmap and Linux.

Here and there you’ll find some gems sprinkled—I like the Art House movie collection, which includes names like Viggo and Vivien. But for the most part, I could really only see using this book as inspiration for creative pet names—or as a great gag gift for a baby shower.

Even the authors themselves recommend using these offbeat names as a middle name, which you can use for your child (kind of like a nickname), while still preserving the more professional first name. That way, you can call your daughter Adjunct, but when she decides to become an accountant, she can go with that perfectly nice Adeline you paired it with.

Of course, maybe these authors are looking to appeal to those crazy A-list celebrity baby namers, for whom names like Hybrid and Matrix are perfectly par for the course. (What else would you name the younger sibling of Moxie Crimefighter?)

What do you think? Would you pick up a book like My Name is Pabst? And would you consider giving your baby the name of Cheap-O or Casserole?

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