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Category: question of the week

Unusual Baby Names: What’s your favorite?

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I was looking at the names similar to Pixie the other day — y’know, just to pass the time — and I thought: Wow, there’s an unusual collection of names.  From Alala to Kitto, Spartacus to Whimsy, there wasn’t a common name in the bunch.

Which got me thinking about how most people say they like unusual names, but do they really?  Which unusual, unique, rare, uncommon baby names would people say they liked best?

Which led me, of course, to this Question of the Week.

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unisex names

A lot of people complain about unisex names.

Names like Riley and Rory, they say — never mind Maxwell or James — should never be used for girls.  Those are boys’ names, and should stay on the boys’ side of the fence.

And then there are those people who campaign for names such as Ashley and Evelyn to be repossessed by the boys from the girls.

Other says that word names and place names such as Halcyon and Havana have no intrinsic gender and so are equally appropriate for girls and boys.

We’d like to spin this controversy to a more positive place and ask which names you think truly work best for both genders.  Please name names and let us know why you think  your choices go both ways with the most grace.

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We couldn’t resist this question on the forums: Which names do you wish you were brave enough to use?

Names you love….except nobody else does?

Names that are cool….but maybe a little too quirky?

Lovely literary names….with dark stories behind them?

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What Names Are Ripe for Revival?

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You know who are the biggest berries of all?  That’s right, me and LindaEven if we didn’t work here, we’d probably spend all our time obsessively tooling around the site.

And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew.  Wow, we think.  That’s a cool one.  Wonder if it will ever come back?

This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla.  The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.

So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?

Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.

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Name Your Nameberry Ticker Family!

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Quick!

Look up at the top of this page at the Nameberry Ticker. See it there, above the striped line — the thing that moves from left to right, broadcasting which names people are searching on Nameberry right that very moment?

(If you’re reading this on a phone, sorry, you’re not going to be able to see it.  But rush to your nearest computer and check it out right away!!)

We sometimes get mesmerized by the Nameberry Ticker. Sometimes we think: What if we had to choose all our children’s names from the 12 or 14 names that show up on the ticker at any one moment? Could we do it. and what would we choose?

Often, the ticker yields surprisingly compatible choices. A few minutes ago, for instance, I put together a little family of son Blaze and daughters Elodie and Lyra. I could live with that. And now, I’m intrigued by the possibility of sons Lafe and Reynolds along with daughters Tilda and Carmelita.

But what about you? We challenge you to look at the ticker right this very minute and choose your children’s names from the group that’s passing by. You can pick as few as one or as many as a dozen, but you have to like them well enough to really plausibly live with them.

As always, bonus points for telling us your reasons: similar vintage, style, rhythm? Or just the most compatible choices up there at the moment?

Okay, go!

Photo from Beverly & Pack via Flickr.

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