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Category: unique girl names

Unique Baby Names: Do you dare?

alice and cat

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Reading the latest birth announcement from England‘s Telegraph newspaper, I can’t help thinking that a lot of the names, while wonderful, might give many sensible parents pause.

Wilfred may be cool, after all, but it’s also undeniably nerdy – by choosing this name, am I condemning my child to playground marginalization?  Is Zephyr too wacky, Ophelia too tragic?

The question isn’t really, Do you dare to give these names to your children, but should you dare?

As many Britberries have pointed out, the names usually found in the Telegraph represent not widespread British naming trends but eccentric aristocratic tastes, so perhaps most of us aren’t debating the merits of Digby and Venetia in any case.

Before we focus on our question, a few trendlets to note: Several girls named Jessica.  Middle names Tom, Sue, and Adventure.  And in a reversal of American style, boys’ names generally more daring than girls’.

Back to the issue at hand: What do you think of these adventurous, intriguing, but perhaps too-challenging names taken from recent Telegraph birth announcements?  Would they work in the U.S….or anywhere else, for that matter?

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The Newest Names on Nameberry

new baby names

We’re always adding new names to the Nameberry database, whether new discoveries or expansions of older listings.

Our latest collection includes word names and nicknames, international imports and mythological revivals.  We bring you these new entries not as our latest recommendations but as fresh additions to the lexicon.

Here, our 16 newest names:

Alcina, Alcie, and Alsie

Alcina is best-known as the name of the beautiful sorceress of the eponymous Handel opera drawn from the Orlando poems. Alcina and her sister Morgana live on an island where Alcina seduces every passing sailor but once their novelty wears off, changes them into plants, rocks, or animals. Alcina comes with modern-sounding short forms Alcie or Alsie, which feel more baby-ready now that names such as Elsie, Elsa, and Isla are becoming popular again.

Bruin

Bruin is the Old English term for bear, taken from the Dutch word meaning brown. Bruin might be a sports fan’s choice or an animal name in hiding. As a kind of hybrid of Roone and Bruno, it’s definitely got some cool.

Celestina

We are hearing more of such heavenly names as Celeste and Celia, which opens the door to the range of lovely variations rarely heard before, including the Italian and Spanish Celestina.

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coolunusualgirl

One of our most popular blog posts ever was on 100 wonderful names given to 25 or fewer girls each year.  (We did a boys’ version too.)

But what, we wondered recently, would happen if we narrowed the parameters even more?  If we looked only at names given to ten or fewer girls in the most recent year counted?   This still includes a mind-blowing total of nearly 10,000 names, but would we be able to find 100 great ones?

The answer, we believe, is a resounding yes, and we hope the list here proves it.

If you truly want an unusual name for your baby girl, this is the list for you.  It includes underused classics such as Maude and Rowena along with international choices such as Anwen and Timea; ancient names such as Hebe and Hero; and newly-minted names like Cairo and Blue.  And each given to only ten girls or fewer in the entire United States.

Our picks for the 100 best cool unusual girls’ names, with the number of children who received it in 2012:

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Baby Names 2013: Our newest choices

baby name Boo

Our newest crop of baby names 2013 are a modern mix of ancient and contemporary.  They include the name of the year’s coolest car made famous by an early electrical inventor, a name shared by this season’s hottest baseball player and a soldier in David‘s Biblical army, and a zippy new nickname for a classic Top 10 girls’ name.

The baby names 2013 newest on Nameberry are:

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avalon

by Pamela Redmond Satran

It’s a common baby name dilemma: You love a name like Cora or Lila forever, holding it close as your own special secret choice, and then bang!  Right when you’re finally in a position to use it, you discover it’s become a trendy new favorite, vaulting up the charts.

What are more unusual baby names that may relate to trendier names but are more distinctive?

Here, drawn from our new  book The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names are ten girls’ names that offer some of the feeling of today’s most stylish names but are more adventurous. 

AvalonIf you like Ava and Adeline, but want a name that’s more unusual, you might love AvalonAvalon is the name of a mythical island paradise – literally, “island of apples” — that offers a fresh take on several trendier girls’ names.  And okay, so it’s also a car name, but so are Mercedes and Portia.

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