Category: Unusual Baby Names
Think you have to pick between names that are classics, with deep roots and centuries of use, and names that are unusual?
You don’t, as these classic girls’ names, all ranked below the U.S. Top 1000, attest.
Some were popular in recent years and are now sinking from view — Pamela, Jean — while others are rising stars we predict will soon appear on the official Top 1000: Imogen is a prime example, along with Mabel, the Margos, and Clementine.
That still leaves dozens of classic girls’ names that are neither coming into style nor sailing out but simply holding steady below the radar.
A note on how we chose the names: We did not include variant spellings of more popular classic names such as Emilee, and for the most part excluded short forms unless they have been traditionally used on their own. Our definition of classic embraces ancient names such as Phaedra and Keturah along with more recent widely-used girls’ names such as Maureen.
If you’re in search of a classic girls’ name that’s both traditional and unusual, consider these 100+ picks, ordered from those given to the highest number of baby girls in the U.S. in 2012 (Aurelia, at 250) to the least (Petal, used for just 5).
We’re back for Round Two of names from my Native American background. The other piece of my Native American side is Choctaw. Though the naming traditions and pronunciations of the Cherokee and Choctaw are very similar, I’ll give a brief overview all the same.
As a Choctaw child, you could have many names over the course of your life. The first name you were given was bestowed at birth by your parents and usually was related to an event that happened around the time of your birth or something that was seen during the event. The women birthed outdoors near streams and so the names tended to be related to nature and animals seen during the process. During the rest of your life, many namse could be added, based on anything from a small happening to a great victory in battle. Many names came from specific groups of names (color, animal type, etc), but there were exceptions to this, too. The red or humma group was one of distinction. Taking a red name called on the Choctaw to act with honor and courage, and was probably one of the largest name groups. Holahta was another name group, roughly meaning “leader,” and was reserved for special use.Here is a selection of Choctaw names:
You have only to look at the popularity lists to know which names are used most widely now. There’s Sophia, Isabella, Emma, and Olivia for girls; Jacob, Mason, and Ethan for boys. Which reminds us: Have you seen our new, searchable U.S. Top 1000 list? It’s awesome; have a peek.
Beyond the most popular names are the names we might think of as most stylish today. These are represented on the Nameberry Top 1000 list, which gauges the names that are viewed most often on our site, updated monthly. While the U.S. Top 1000 list tallies names used most frequently for babies born in 2012, the Nameberry Top 1000 surveys names capturing the most interest from prospective parents in 2014 — so it’s more theoretical, and up-to-date.
Based on the Nameberry list, we’d place the following baby names atop the current style wave. What many of them lack in popularity, they make up for in stylishness.
You’ll never guess the name that repeats in my son’s third grade.
The name that repeats? Micah.
But that’s no guarantee that our relatively uncommon choice won’t be shared. My kids know more than one Lucia and a couple of Finns, two Jareds, a Skyler and a Skye, a boy Jordan and a girl Jordan, a boy Seamus and a dog Seamus.