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literary baby names

By Joanna Walker

Geoffrey Chaucer has been described as the father of English literature, so who better to turn to for name inspiration?

Chaucer was writing in the Middle Ages, between 1343 and 1400, and the Greek myths he alludes to are far older. Jacqueline de Weever has created a dictionary of the names in Chaucer’s works, found at: http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/garland/deweever/menu.htm. Some of the names are clearly too awkward for modern use. For instance, teaching 4-year-old Cresseyde to spell her name would be an extremely daunting task, Ceyx and Dictys could give rise to rather risqué pronunciations and although Cutberd or Huberd would make awesome pirate names, they could cause sniggers in the classroom. Many of Chaucer’s names are still in current usage and, for those that are not, we have selected eight names worthy of resurgence.

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Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends

Mormon baby names

by Hildie Westenhaver

Maybe it’s because we’re kind of different to begin with that Mormons love oddball baby names. We’re taught from day one to be “in the world but not of the world” and that apparently applies to the way we name our kids as well. While this holds true to Mormons all over the U.S, you’ll find the most outlandish baby names in the intermountain West: Utah and southern Idaho in particular. I have met children named Wrangler, Smokey, Mersadie, Corporate (for a girl), Maverix, Jenedy, Silver, Xacian, Versailles, Rafter, and—I kid you not—R2.

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Nominate the Best User Lists!

best user list

If you’ve spent any time on Nameberry, you’ve probably discovered our thousands of lists created by our users — nearly 12,000 public lists, and over 60,000 if you count the private ones!

We feature one of these user lists every day on the site, to help people discover the best lists created by Nameberry visitors and to help spotlight all our creative berries.  These user lists cover every topic imaginable, ranging from lots devoted to Favorite Names or Baby Name Ideas to such arcane topics as Names for Steampunk Aristocracy or Sky Gods and Goddesses of Greek Mythology. 

And now we’re looking for more wonderful user-created lists to spotlight. So please nominate your favorites for more attention, whether you created them yourself or discover them in our archives.

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Unusual Baby Names: 100 Under 100

unusual baby names

We’re always looking for baby names that are at once wonderful and unusual, and so today’s list compiles 100 great names given to fewer than 100 babies in the US last year.We included names from a range of styles: classic and under-appreciated as well as modern and under-discovered.  Half of the golden 100 are girls’ names and half boys’ names.  And the names are ordered from most-to-least used, with the number of children who received the name in 2013 noted after each.Our picks for 100 unusual and wonderful baby names are:

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Unusual Baby Names: What’s your favorite?

red-hong-yi-flower-bird-series-designboom-05

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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