Category: unique names for girls
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?
The mythical secret vault of truly unique baby names is real, but only the US government holds the key.
To protect privacy, the Social Security Administration doesn’t release names given to only one child, drawing the line at five or more. So the names given to five babies are the most unique we’re able to learn about. Most of those on that rarefied level are tortured spellings of more familiar names: Mikeila and Scarlotte, Masun and Stanlee. And there are truly terrible names at the depths of the extended list too, as detailed in our recent blog.
But then there are those nearly unique baby names that are eminently usable, ripe for the picking for the parent who truly wants a distinctive choice. These are not for everybody, but we found over 50 excellent choices that were used for just five children each in 2012. Among them are names that are among our all-time favorites, such as Petal and Tiernan for girls, O’Brien and Poe for boys.
Our favorite nearly-unique (given to just five children) baby names:
Some weeks I’m astonished by the range of names we can choose for girls.
We love our children regardless of gender, but when it comes to talking baby names, many of us seem to be on Team Pink. The statistics bear this out: almost 79% of boys born in the US in 2011 received a Top 1000 name, while the same is true for just 67% of girls.
2012 social media babies Like and Facebook were both girls, and rumored baby Hashtag is also supposed to be a she. Meanwhile, former #1 name Mary has plummeted to #112, while her male counterpart, John, remains a relatively common #27.
Sometimes we feel we’ve heard every name in the book…..until someone introduces us to a new one.
Actually, that happened just now, when our friend the wonderful photographer Fran Liscio, who took the picture of me and Linda on the home page, just wrote to say she’d heard an unusual name in a 1941 movie called Smiling Through — Moonyean. Had we ever heard of the name Moonyean?, she wondered.
Nope, we told her: She’d stumped the masters.
Which made us think it might be fun to challenge YOU to stump the masters, i.e. tell me and Linda and the rest of the Nameberry community about an unusual name you’ve heard that you think we may not have come across.
All names already in the Nameberry database are off limits, naturally. When you suggest a new name, all documentation — movie character lists, newspaper stories, non-U.S. baby name sites — are helpful. Plus tell us as much as you know about the origin, meaning, and background of the name.
The writers of a new name book go out on a limb–and then some–to come up with some unusual baby names you never, ever, would have thought of.
People often ask us how the heck we, two colleagues who live on different continents, and with a total of zero children between us, came to write a baby name book.
It started with an office email about the names of our childhood pets—Miek gave all his tank pets outrageous names like ChunksOfLoveAndLikeAndStuff, A+ Nachos, and Wraaakkkk, while Kerry believed she had discovered the perfect name—July—and so whenever her fish died (which was often), she simply replaced it with a new one, but kept the same name.