By Linda Rosenkrantz
For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.
I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.
A little while back our question of the week asked berries to name their own Name Ticker family, choosing only from names in the name ticker at any given moment. It was a big success and a lot of fun with some truly fascinating results.
So continuing on that theme, today we’re asking you to name a family using only the names found on the Similar Names page of any name you choose.
I was inspired to ask this question by the Similar Names page for Eulalia, here. So many great choices! I might create a family of two girls and two boys named Eulalia and Corisande, Booker and Cyrus. Or I might go a bit more exotic and choose Aviva and Kamala, Dmitri and Vladimir.
If you’re looking for unusual baby names that are also attractive and intriguing, a good place to start is at the bottom of the extended US popularity list, at those names given to just five babies.
Down there, among the wacky inventions or truly terrible kree8tiv spelling variations, are dozens of intriguing choices that you won’t encounter coming and going.
A few of them — Jessamy and Amyas, Celestia and Inigo — might even be considered fabulous. But all are worth further consideration. And given that each was given to only five babies in the entire US last year, they qualify as truly unusual baby names.
Is the way we name our daughters changing?
The way we name our sons in 2014 feels different. For years we relied on Biblical favorites with a few hardy Germanic go-tos mixed in. But since the 1990s, we’ve seen names like Tyler, Mason, and Jayden reach the US Top Ten. Jackson is more popular than John, while former favorites like Richard and Steven are less and less common.
Girls’ names have always been more volatile. And yet, our ideas about what makes an appropriately feminine name were once more set. Sophia, Isabella and Charlotte might be today’s darlings, but they’re not so different from Amanda, Melissa, and Heather in the 1980s or Barbara, Cynthia, and Karen in the 1950s.