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100+ Unusual and Exotic Baby Names

Unusual baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

One of our favorite name nerd activities is combing the bottom reaches of the official US list of baby names to find choices that are both high unusual and eminently usable.

The focus of our search this time: Names with an international flavor, better known in Italy or the Netherlands, Tokyo or Tehran than they are in the US.

Yet they’re names that easily translate.  They may have never fully assimilated into American culture the way Aidan or Anya have, but they’re not completely unknown either.

If you’re looking for an unusual and exotic name for your little girl or boy, consider these 100+ excellent choices all given to 25 or fewer babies in 2014 — the exact number follows the name.

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crazy word names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

With word names from Genesis to Justice, Miracle to Heaven now used for thousands of children every year, we have to ask where the craze for turning words into baby names will end. The answer? Nowhere, as proven by these words-turned-names from the extended Social Security list for 2014. Here, our picks for the most outrageous words that parents are using to name their babies.

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Amazing Names Below the Top 1000

unusual baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

The hallowed Top 1000 baby names in the US end with Kai, given to 262 baby girls last year, and Rylen, used for 205 little boys.

But what about the baby names right below the Top 1000, hiding just out of sight but prime for plucking by the clever baby namer?

We chose 25 names for girls and 25 names for boys we found swimming just beneath the surface of the Top 1000.  These baby names strike the perfect balance between unusual and familiar.

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Best 100 Cool Unusual Boys’ Names

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Cool unusual boys’ names come in styles to suit every taste.  Some of our favorite types:

Best Cool Unusual Biblical Boys’ Names – Are there really any good unusual boys’ names left in the Bible? Beyond Aaron and Asher, we’ve got hundreds of cool biblical names.

Undiscovered Classic Names for Boys —  These classic boys’ names have fallen off the radar but deserve a fresh look.

Cool Modern Names for Boys — Surname names newly used as first, place names and word names, and newly-invented names that sound fresh and cool…here’s what’s new in cool names for boys.

The boys’ names here are the best of all different styles.  They’re highly unusual, given to  only ten or fewer boys in the US.  These rare choices include names both classic and new-fangled, plain and fancy — as long as they are cool.

Among the 100 best are several names that are among our all-time favorites: Barnaby and Birch, Jupiter and Rafferty, Osias and Witt.

And there are many more great choices on the bottom rungs of the extended popularity list.  You can download the complete list here.

If it’s the Best 100 Cool Unusual Girls’ Names you’re interested in, click here.

Our picks for the Top 100 Cool Unusual Boys’ Names are:

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Is there only one Romeo?

Romeo

In our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason, we talked about One-Person Names — appellations like Elvis (at that time) and Oprah and Aretha that were tied inextricably to one person.

The same phenomenon applies to some names from pop culture, though these can change over time.  Juliet has definitely transcended its Shakespearean associations, though is Romeo still rooted to the tragic stage?  What about Clementine, which for decades would inspire a chorus of “Oh My Darlin'” but now may have escaped that fate?

Our question of the week is:

Which names are still tied to one person, character, association?

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