Category: “Cool Names”
A berry named Iamamiam gets credit for this question: What are your favorite unusable names?
Reasons people wouldn’t use the names they love? Association with a tragic story or character is one problem. Difficulty of spelling or pronunciation is another. And then there are those high-drama names that feel like they wouldn’t fit into the modern world.
What are your favorite names that nevertheless can never be used?
Bonus points for telling us why not.
In recent years, it seems that more and more writers are taking inspiration from classical mythology and medieval bestiaries. Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Supernatural and countless others are full of mythical creatures. This seems to be having an impact on parents, as many of these names are starting to see increased use on birth certificates.
Just in time for Halloween, here is a list of ten names inspired by mythical creatures that wouldn’t seem as out of place on the playground as you might at first think.
Cerberus – this three-headed dog (or hell-hound) seemed a lot less intimidating in Harry Potter when named Fluffy and guarding a trapdoor rather than the gates of the Underworld. The most commonly accepted pronunciation is SUR-ber-uss, meaning ‘formidable guard’ or some variation of this. Cerberus has never charted in the U.S, but it would be a very cool name for a boy.
Chimera – Pronounced ky-MEER– this one sounds like a smoosh of girls’ names Chiara and Mira. Thought to be a creature comprised of lion, snake and goat parts that breathes fire, it’s also used as a generic term to describe creatures that are composed of various animal parts. Despite the grim creature association, it has a pretty sound and could make a good girl’s name.
Dragon – Dragons capture our imagination like few other creatures, with depictions ranging from fiery vengeful beasts to wise advisers and companions. Dragon has only ever charted as a boy’s name, probably because on a boy it comes across as positive, conjuring images of strength and might, whereas calling a female a dragon is generally meant to be a slight, that her anger and “fiery” nature are uncontrollable.
Everyone’s always asked us what the cool baby names are.
Which is a much harder question to answer than it would first seem, as we discovered when we wrote our book Cool Names for Babies.
But more important than how the world defines cool baby names, how do YOU define the concept? Do you think cool names are names that are unusual or vintage names that have long been forgotten, names with personal meaning or those that are truly unique?
How would you define cool baby names, and which are your favorite cool names?
The hot baby names making the most dramatic leaps up the popularity list at Nameberry so far this year include several surnames newly favored as firsts; names inspired by a beloved literary character, a historic president and a new pope; the name of a cuddly animal and a term for a laid-back attitude.
Our 2013 hot baby names list is made up of those names whose views on Nameberry for the first half of this year show the largest gains over views during the same period in 2012.
While our hot list includes a couple of traditional girls’ names – Francine and Margo in all her spellings – along with one choice, the Irish Declan, that is decidedly a boys’ name, most of the hottest names today can work for either gender.
And most have until recently not been used as first names. Sometimes it’s a celebrity, like funny girl Rebel Wilson, who brings a new name to the fore. Celebrity babies or pop culture influences can also introduce new names to the lexicon.
But mostly, what makes a name hot is some combination of factors that catches fire in the moment.
Our hottest baby names for the first half of 2013 are: