Category: exotic baby names

girl names in translation

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Why would you choose a baby name from another culture? There are several good reasons. First of all, there is the sheer beauty of so many of them. Then there is the honor factor. Say you have a beloved grandmother named Barbara you want to pay tribute to, but you can’t quite see yourself as a parent of a baby Barbara. Then how about the more vibrant Russian version, Varvara?

Or maybe there’s a name you love but find too common or popular or plain? There are countless lovely foreign variations of Elizabeth and Margaret and Katherine that are still substantive but more distinctive.

So here’s a start on the almost endless possibilities for romancing a name.

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Baby Names That Mean Light

Spring flowers

If there’s anything we crave at this time of year, it’s light: Sunlight, daylight, the light at the end of the long dark winter tunnel.Light is also an inspiring meaning for a baby name, appropriate for a midwinter baby – or one due to arrive in spring or summer.  Our favorite baby names with meanings relating to light include:

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berry qow pic final

This week’s Berry Question of the Week comes from a Kansas mom named Amy, who is excitedly awaiting the arrival of a daughter to add to her trio of well named boys. Problem is, she’s waited so long to have a little girl that she feels the name she’s looking for can be nothing short of perfect. She writes:

My husband and I are having our first daughter after three boys and several years of trying for another without any luck. So this baby girl feels sooo special and I want her to have a name that’s perfect as she’ll definitely be our last.

The problem is that my husband and I just can’t agree on what we want. I have looked at SO many names and I feel like I’m running out of ideas- and I can’t even seem to stick with one style.

I like sweet and feminine, modern and spunky, hip and vintage, and word names. I can say I want something that’s not too common and that I’m not a fan of hybrid or invented names. My husband’s style just seems to lean to “no”. Aargh.

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What To Name Your Autumn Baby


It’s the first day of  fall…the air is getting crisper, the days are getting shorter…the moment to think about the names of autumn.

Unlike spring, summer, and even winter, fall is not a season that immediately brings a bonanza of name possibilities to mind.  But when you think about it, there are almost as many autumn blooms as there are springtime ones, there are harvest deities, and a palette-full of fall colors, among other options.

So if you’re expecting a fall baby, and are looking for a name reflecting the season of their birth, there are lots of colorful choices to consider, beginning with:

The autumnal flowers and shrubs:

Trees known for their brilliantly colorful fall foliage:

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Unusual baby names are becoming more and more, well, common these days. A mere one percent of babies are named Emma or Jacob, the most popular names, and only about ten percent are given one of the Top Ten names.  Compare that to a hundred years ago, when FIVE percent of babies were given the most popular names John or Mary, and 30 percent of boys and 20 percent of girls received one of the Top Ten Names.  For the first time, less than half of all babies get one of the Top 50 names.

And it’s not only American parents who are choosing unusual baby names.  Chinese parents, seeking individuality in a country with 1.3 billion people sharing only 129 surnames, are turning to unconventional combinations of letters, numbers and symbols for their children’s names.  One couple wanted to name their baby 1A while others use the @ symbol, pronounced “aita” and meaning “love him” in Chinese.

Many European countries restrict the pool of possible names, though many parents are testing the centuries-old boundaries.  But Belgium, with no such laws, over half of children receive such unique names as Testimony, Cherub, and Edelweiss.

If you’re considering giving your baby an unusual name, your biggest question may be: How will an unusual name affect my child for better and worse throughout his or her life?

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