Category: Unusual Baby Names

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Influential Baby Names: The Songbirds

posted by: NancyMan View all posts by this author

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

It’s easy to see the how a catchy, name-centric song like “Jolene” or “Hey There Delilah” might make a particular baby name trendy. But did you know that the names of singers can sometimes be just as influential as the names in lyrics?

Each of the female vocalists below popularized her unusual name enough to boost it onto the U.S. baby name charts for the very first time. 

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So You Want A Unique Baby Name?

unique baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

A lot of people say they’re looking for unique baby names, but what do they really mean? A lot of the names tagged as unique often are anything but, including popular choices from Avery to Zoey.

So does unique mean different, as in names that depart from the traditional lexicon? Or maybe unique indicates names that have become widely-used only recently. Or names that are spelled differently from how anyone else has ever spelled them. And of course many people simply use unique to mean unusual.

But what if unique really means what it says: names that are literally one-of-a-kind. As in, no other babies were given this name, at least at this moment in this country. In the case of the US, that means names that don’t even make it to the Social Security complete list of names given to at least five babies.

The baby names here make that cut. So yes, theoretically, some of these names may have been used for two or four babies in the United States in 2015. And some of them may have been used for zero.

The point is, if you’re truly looking for unique baby names and want to make sure that nobody else has your name, then you’ll look to this list. Or to the thousands of other names on Nameberry that are authentically unique.

To hunt down unique baby names, check your favorites against the Social Security complete list, which you can download here by clicking on National Data. You can also find thousands of unique names in our book, The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names.

Once you find a unique baby name you love, then the question becomes: Do you really want to use it? Do you want your child to be the only person anyone has ever met with that name? For your child to spend a lifetime explaining and spelling and pronouncing his or her name? For there never ever to be a license plate on the rack that spells out that maybe-too-special name?

Maybe the answer is yes, and you feel that the advantages of a unique name — always standing out from the pack, feeling special and well, unique — outweigh the disadvantages. If so, you may find inspiration in the 40 truly unique baby names here.

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International Girl Names: Turkish delights

By Woohyun Myungeun

The baby names of Turkey are a combination of the traditional and religious examples like Fatma, Ayshe and Hatice to the modern Alara, Kayra and Selin. Here are 20 stellar Turkish girl names representing that mix of the familiar and those that might be new to you.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

When you’re looking for a name for a Christmastime babe, you can go the obvious route with Noel and Noelle, Mary or Merry, or you could consider a more subtle reference. Here are Nameberry’s 2016 picks of 12 great not-quite-under-the-mistletoe yuletide names.

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Names from Books: The Golden Compass

posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author

By Clare Bristow

Now that winter is here, it’s a good time to look at names from the frozen north and beyond in the worlds created by Philip Pullman in his young-adult trilogy His Dark Materials.

If you’ve read or watched the first part, The Golden Compass (called Northern Lights in some countries), it’s hard to forget the heroine, a girl called Lyra, or the friends and foes she meets on her journey to the Arctic. She comes from a universe similar but different to ours: it’s a bit steampunk and contains colourful characters like witches and armoured polar bears.

In the following books, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, we follow Lyra beyond the north into other worlds, including our own, inhabited by all manner of people: humans, angels, harpies, and even stranger creatures. With this eclectic mix of characters and Pullman’s love of symbols and hidden meanings, you can bet they have some good names.

Here’s a look at some of the most interesting names from The Golden Compass and its sequels, from wintry northern names to modern-sounding surnames. Warning: if you haven’t read any of the books or seen the film, there may be a few giveaway details here.

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