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Our first crowd-sourced blog, on original names that lead to popular nicknames, was such a hit that we’ve decided to give it another go.  Our new topic: Undiscovered baby names — undiscovered by you, that is, at least until recently.

I first thought of this subject last September at a Labor Day picnic, when I was introduced to a man named Hanan (it rhymes with cannon).

I was struck, as I always am in this situation, that even after writing ten books on names, after being professionally immersed in the subject for two decades, and after virtually a lifetime of name nuttery, I can still come across names that I’ve never heard before.

Hanan, as it turned out, was actually in the nameberry database: It’s an Old Testament name of a member of the tribe of Benjamin, just waiting to be rediscovered.

I started jotting down other names that were new ones on me and looking up their origins.  Other recent selections from my personal undiscovered baby names list:

JARA or YARA — A German friend who lives in Madrid and is expecting recently told me that, if she has a girl, she plans to name her Jara or Yara, a name that works in both Spanish and German.  This was a new one on me, and when I looked it up I discovered that Yara is an Arabic name meaning butterfly and also the name of a Brazilian goddess, while Jara (which can be pronounced with the Y or the J sound at the beginning) might be a variation of Yara or may be

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