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starbabies 2014

By Linda Rosenkrantz

2014 was another amazing year for starbaby names, with some of the most varied, at times contradictory trends, ranging from classics like Rosemary, Frances, Evelyn and Eric to gender-benders,  oddball spellings, and words refigured as names.

Among the strongest trends of the year: more boys’ names borrowed by girls than ever– celebrity daughters included Wyatt, Asa, Bowie, River and Mars; a torrent of lofty aspirational names out to rule the world, generic nature names like Vale and Delta, sweet, soft vintage choices such as Hazel and Jane and Rose, and lots and lots of nickname names, including Drew Barrymore’s cute Frankie.

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posted by: Aimee Tafreshi View all posts by this author
unusual girls' names

By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi

Every year baby name enthusiasts and interested parents eagerly await the release of the Social Security Administration’s popular baby names list, which provides data on the top 1000 baby names for boys and girls. In addition to the most used names, the agency also provides statistics on names that did not rank in the top 1000 for the year.

I decided to check out the names that flew below the radar this past year to discover naming possibilities for parents seeking a unique name that is not too far out there. I began my analysis with the girls’ names. A foray into the name data can be comical at times and involves wading through misspelled names (Deisy, Serinity), made-up monikers (Lakelyn, Naveah), and “kreatif-lee” spelled baby names (Avarie, Kynnedi), in addition to luxury goods (Chanel, Lexus, anyone?). Beyond these types of choices, many names in the lower rankings are brimming with possibility.

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Opera Baby Names: Handles from Handel

posted by: Zeffy View all posts by this author
opera baby names

By Zeffy, Baby Names from Yesteryear

George Frideric Handel, born in 1685, is considered to be one of the most accomplished opera composers in history. Handel was German born but it was in England where he made his fortune and fame. He tapped into the English aristocracy’s obsession with all things Italian by creating beautiful, intricate Italian operas, and it’s his operas that show his talent for naming characters. I don’t know how many of the names below are actually usable, but they’re fun and so name-nerdy yummy.

Alceste – From the 1727 opera Admeto, this is the Italian form of the Greek mythological name Alcestis. Its possible meaning is ‘valiant, courageous’. Alceste is also the title of a mini-opera by Handel.

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literary lads

By Linda Rosenkrantz

We recently served up a dozen female literary names—some of the more unusual and interesting appellations for girls that have never gained widespread popularity the way Jane Austen’s Emma and GWTW’s Scarlett O’Hara have.

We promised to do the same for boys, and here they are—the creatively conceived names of twelve literary lad characters from a variety of novels and plays–names that move beyond the recently discovered Atticus and Holden.

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novel names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

I’m a sucker for tradition.

My personal shortlist is packed with moldy oldies: Caradoc and Marguerite, Edith and Asa.  If forced to choose Jaxon or James, Eden or Elizabeth, I’d go with James and Elizabeth, no question.

And yet there’s something appealing about the idea of choosing a completely novel name for your new arrival.  This week’s high profile birth announcements were all about the modern and the new.

It’s fitting for children who are going to grow up in a new world, one where tablets have always been digital, instead of stone.

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