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Question of the Week:

Would you use an unusual name that, though legitimate, is one that most people wouldn’t have heard before?

For example, Matt Lauer and his Dutch-born wife named their second son Thijs, a name rarely heard outside The Netherlands, with a bewildering-to-most pronunciation (it’s TICE).  Would you use a name of another ethnicity that’s unfamiliar here?

Would you dig back into ancient history for a name that hasn’t been used in centuries, like Gretchen Mol’s Ptolemy (shown) or Cate Blanchett’s Ignatius?

Would you shy away from a name that required a lot of explanation or embrace its individuality?

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baby rider

So you think you’ve found a secret baby name.  One that nobody has ever discovered before.  Or a sleeping gem neglected by other baby namers.

And maybe you have.  But the distressing news is that a lot of the names that parents think are secret finds are really being scoped out at the same time by a lot of other parents.

How do we know? Because we’ve analyzed which names are spiking the highest in nameberry views at the start of 2011 compared with 2010, and among the biggest risers are obscure picks and long-neglected classics.

What makes these names suddenly so hot?  For the most part, it’s hard to say.  All we can tell you for sure is that they are hot — a lot hotter than you might guess.

Here, the 50 hottest obscure names and how high their traffic has jumped:

Girls

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