Category: Unusual Baby Names
We may not control what race or gender we bequeath our offspring (unless, of course, we are utilizing a sperm bank in the Empire State Building for IVF), but we do have say over their names. If you play it safe with Bill or Lisa, it probably means your kids will be marginally more likely to avoid risk, too. If you’re like us and name them E or Yo, they are likely to grow up into weirdoes like their parents—or at least not work in middle management.
Just when it seemed like no one was having babies this week, the fashion stylist welcomed twin daughters. You might have caught Zanna talking fashion as a correspondent on The Today Show, or as a judge on Project Runway. She’s also senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, so no surprise that she and her husband, Milk Studios founder Mazdak Rassi, have chosen stunningly stylish names for their girls.
But the new arrivals’ names aren’t just stylish – they’re downright quirky.
Animal and bird names seem a lot less strange as given names than they once did. But what if you want an animal inspired name that is a little less literal? Maybe something a little more traditional. Or maybe something a little more light hearted and whimsical. So here’s a look at a select group of daring names that reference animals and are full of quirky charm – all with the benefit of a cute, inbuilt animal nickname, but carrying less of an aggressive edge.
This variant of the Old French/German name Bernard has the bear reference but is still a legitimate name with history. It means ‘strong, brave bear’, which is hard to go past if you’re looking for names related to fierce animals. Bearnard has never charted in the U.S. but Bernard was a top 100 for many years and only dropped out of the top 1000 in recent years.
The other night a friend asked me what happens to kids with really strange names. Not made up names, or names with crazy spellings, he clarified. Names like Apple. Or Bartholomew. Names that make you do a double take when you spot them on the birth announcement. Names that make you say “Really?” when you should be saying “Congratulations!”
Nothing. Nothing happens.
Actually, everything happens – the kids grow up and have the same kinds of adventures and heartaches and triumphs and debacles that we all have from cradle to grave. Their name is part of their story, but even if their name is Clove or Cashel or Cordelia, it is only a part.
When anything goes, how do you know if you’re going too far?
Naming a baby in 2014 is mostly about freedom. Gwyneth’s edibly-named daughter Apple regularly tops the list of craziest celebrity baby names, but we’re calling our own kids Clementine and Olive. Zuma Rossdale’s first name doesn’t sound like a name … except it does sound something like popular choice Ezra.
The list goes on. For almost every so-called “crazy” baby name, there’s a case to be made that it fits in with current trends. But that’s not a guarantee that anything goes.
This past week was filled with foreign imports, misspellings, nicknames that might be too casual, and hero names that might go too far. Take your favorite name, travel to another country, and it could become unwearable. Or name your child something that you really want to use, accept that you might spend the first few months explaining your choice, and then laugh when it makes the Top 100 by the time your kiddo starts kindergarten.