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Unusual Baby Names: The Nameberry 9: Girls named Zinnia and Lincoln

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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel has found some intriguingly unusual baby names in this week’s name news.

It’s easy to belittle a parent’s search for a unique name.  Headlines call it self-centered and short-sighted.  But if you went through school as Jessica or Jennifer, one among many, is it so wrong to want your child to be one of one, at least in her kindergarten?

This week was all about the quest for a distinctive name.

There was nothing truly surprising in the baby name news – no Buddy Bear Maurice or Rainbow Aurora.  Instead, there’s been a treasure trove of very wearable names that all feel just a little bit different.

What makes them stand out choices?  For some, it’s a high value Scrabble letter, like V, X, or Z.  Others are super short, even brisk.  And giving a masculine name to a daughter is always a sure-fire way to grab attention, for better and for worse.

Not every parent would – or should – consider every trend, but it is exciting just how many choices manage to be both unusual and perfectly normal at once.

The nine most intriguing options from this week’s baby name news are:

Dixon – Walking Dead fans will recognize this as the surname of brothers Daryl and Merle.  It’s also the given name of Dixon Wilson, one of the main characters on the current version of 90210.  With the letter smack x in the middle, Dixon makes for a cool update to Richard.  He’s less common than Jaxon – and easier to spell, too.

Revere Isadora’s round-up of unusual virtue names at Bewitching Names included this one, notable for many reasons.  He’s the rare virtue name that works for a boy.  Plus the v sound is downright dashing.  Blogger Rebecca Woolf had this on her shortlist for a son before welcoming twin daughters Reverie and Boheme.

Zinnia – X and V are fine, but it is tough to beat the letter Z.  Zinnia is a zippy, seldom-heard botanical that picks up where Olivia leaves off.  Kelli mentioned this one in her post about The Sisters 8 series, a tale of mystery-solving octuplets with interesting names.

Veronica – Her heyday was in the 1970s and 80s.  Today Veronica is back in the headlines thanks to the big screen version of Veronica Mars, successfully funded through a Kickstarter campaign just last month.  Plus Kristen Bell, the actress better known as Veronica, made headlines as a new mom herself this week.

Lincoln Bell Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are first-time parents to daughter Lincoln.  Yes, a girl called Lincoln.  Borrowing from the boys can be controversial, but some were quick to point out that Lin is a staple in girls’ names, making this one less outlandish than, say, Harvey or Todd.  Plus mom’s maiden name makes for a very pretty middle.

Hartley Eric – Have you heard the story behind the baby name chosen by Veronica De La Cruz?  The news anchor lost her brother Eric to a heart condition several years ago.  Since then she’s raised money and awareness through a foundation.  The tag “<3 Eric” – literally, heart Eric – inspired her newborn son’s name.

Ty – Sometimes less is more.  Kelli suggested Ty on her round-up of baseball names.  The legendary Ty Cobb was born Tyrus.  Other names inspired by the major leagues include Nolan, Lofton, Mays, Shea, Catcher, and Cutter.  But if short is the new long, Ty could be a star.

Cale Hutch – Does this sound like a storage cabinet for leafy greens?  If Ty is the tiniest bit too brief, there’s no shortage of other possibilities.  Cale Hutch appeared in a recent birth announcement.  He’s short and almost choppy, but somehow the combination works.  Others recently spotted: Brye, Jad, Lane, as well as more mainstream picks like Finn and Jude.

Ava Berlin – Let’s end on a high note.  Hollywood loves an unusual place name, from Egypt to Milan to Bronx.  But Jeremy Renner and Sonni Pacheco got it exactly right, balancing the Top Ten Ava with the daring Berlin in the middle spot.

What are some of your favorite name trends of the moment?  Are you a fan of letters like X, V, and Z?  How about place names?  Short names?

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