By Abby Sandel
Literary baby names are big – just look at Emma and Harper. Some of the most interesting influences come from novels aimed at younger readers. YA – young adult – literature has given us Luna (from Harry Potter), boosted Hazel (from The Fault in Our Stars), and exposed a generation of future namers to some dazzling possibilities.
There’s no shortage of series with fascinating characters and the names to match. Several of them – like the remade fairytale adventures of Cinder – could turn into movies, too. When that happens, it’s even more likely that an unusual name might catch on. Hunger Games-inspired names like Finnick and Primrose are already making more parents’ shortlists.
What makes a name everlastingly cool? Mix an element of edge and swagger, a seductive sound, a charismatic cultural association, plus a certain timeless quality and you get what the following 12 names have—the ability to stay cool over time.
Ray – Ray, with its many shades of meaning, is forever jazzy and cool via its association with several iconic musicians—most particularly the legendary Ray Charles. Other names that share this jazzy vibe include Dexter, Bix, Clyde, Quincy and Louis.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
If you’re looking for a same-letter namesake for your Uncle Derek or Grandpa Dean, you might surprised to see that there are only four—all equally dated—currently in the Top 100: David, Daniel, Dylan and Dominic. But why limit yourself to these obvious choices when there are so many other more distinctive—even daring—possibilities?
Here are the Nameberry Picks of the 11 most underused, undeservedly neglected D boy names. And none of them is in the Top 1000!
They love the name Josephine, but could their choice lead to family drama? Her sister has called dibs on the name, and says they ought to respect her wishes.
by Esmeralda Rocha
Nowadays, a lot more parents are looking to unique names to help their little boys stand out from the crowd. Fifty years ago, the Top 20 boys’ names represented 41% of all male children; by contrast in 2015, the Top 20 boys’ names were given to only 14% of baby boys.
Ironically, the greater variety of names being used today means that unique names for boys are more likely to be accepted at school or in the workplace. And a greater variety of unusual names given to a higher percentage of boys underpins values such as creativity and diversity.
There are lots of ways for names to be unique, from spelling to new creations, but here at Nameberry we’re often most inspired by those names which are at once unusual and yet filled with history and meaning. Here is a selection of our current favorites, including boys’ names that are Biblical, mythological, international– and simply wonderful: