Category: Appellation Mountain
By Abby Sandel
There’s more than one way to choose an unusual name.
But if you think you’d like something different – maybe even dramatically different – for your child’s name, it can be tough to know where to start.
Here’s a road map with nine different paths to choose an unusual baby name. Celebrities are fond of each one of these strategies, but they’re not exclusive to Hollywood. Anyone can use these same approaches.
Here’s the beautiful thing about baby names: the well never runs dry.
No matter how many names cycle through Top Ten lists, no matter how many celebrities choose truly outlandish names for their children, there are always more names. Neglected gems from years gone by, novel words never before considered names, imports from abroad.
Need proof? Look no further than the overwhelming response to last week’s Invent a Name Challenge.
Or just read the baby name blogs, high profile birth announcements, and Nameberry message boards any day of the week. Plenty of parents, from Hollywood A-listers to the family next door, are choosing inventive, daring names for their children. The boldest might surprise us with their first name choices, while others play it safe with firsts but choose sparky, unexpected middles.
There are no guarantees, of course. An obscurity you choose in 2015 could hover just outside the US Top 100 by the time your kiddo heads off to kindergarten. But that just opens the door for another group of parents to innovate with the names of their children.
Would you pay tens of thousands of dollars to have a crack team of experts develop a one-of-a-kind name for your baby?
If you’ve got the cash, a Swiss firm has assembled the creative linguists prepared to do just that. It isn’t clear just how many bespoke baby names the firm has created.
Here’s my guess: the number is small.
Because while many parents crave meaning, and want their child’s name to stand out, we don’t hear a lot of truly unique names that seem pulled from thin air, even in Hollywood.
I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.
Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.
To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.