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Category: unusual boy names

The Most Unusual Name You’ve Ever Heard

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Forget Oranjello and Lemonjello: We’re not talking about bizarre baby name urban legends here. We don’t want to know that your sister-in-law’s cousin’s best friend works as a delivery room nurse and swears some clueless mom named her daughter Female.

Nor are we noting strange celebrity baby names, as it’s not just you alone who’s heard of starbabies Moxie, Apple, and Bronx Mowgli. Names from movies, books, and television don’t count either.

What we want to hear are the most unusual real-life names you’ve ever heard. As in: I shook this person’s hand. Lived next door to her. Maybe even gave birth to him and chose his incredibly unusual name myself.

Any details you can give us about the name’s origins and meaning would be appreciated because, you know, we can never get enough.

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Nearly Unique Baby Names

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By Pamela Redmond Satran

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:

girls

Abbott

Adelisa

Anthea

Atlanta

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12 Awesome Off-the-Grid Baby Names

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By Pamela Redmond Satran

Looking for truly unusual and distinctive baby names?  Then we have an amazing collection for you: thousands of names never in the US Top 1000 collected in the very first Nameberry book, The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names.  Here is a sampling of a dozen of those wonderful names; for thousands more, download your copy of the book today!  

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photo by Elena Kalis

The big news in baby names this week has been the Most Popular Names 2012: Top 1, Top 10, Top 100, Top 1000.

But swimming just below the surface — not quite on the radar but not truly off, either — are dozens of more unusual baby names poised to find wider favor….or dropping from view.

Many Nameberry favorites exist in this limbo of baby names, including choices such as Aurelia and Wren for girls that missed making it into the Top 1000 by a single point.

Of course, that may bring relief rather than disappointment to many parents.  If you want to name your baby Magnolia or Clementine, Bishop or Langston — or already have — you may tremble on surveying the new Top 1000, hoping your favorites stay off the list.

We looked below the Top 1000 for girls and boys and found those names within 50 points of the cutoff that we felt were heading back into style, along with those sailing off into the sunset.

In raw numbers, 251 girls received the Number 1000 name Katalina while 197 boys were named Number 1000 boys’ name Dangelo.  The numbers after each name below represent the number of children given that name in 2012.

One note on the names we say are Heading Out: Some of these may appeal to parents in search of a name with Geek Chic or an unusual classic.  Hello, baby Ralph!  Or….dare I suggest….baby Pamela?

Here, the names just under the Top 1000 coming into style and heading out:

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Baby Names 2013: Our Latest Finds

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We’re always adding new names to the database, and here are Nameberry’s ten newest baby names 2013:

Sunniva — Thanks, Mom2Seven, for urging us to add the ancient saint’s name Sunniva to the Nameberry database.  Saint Sunniva was born in Ireland but fled to Norway when an invading heathen king wanted to marry her.  With her followers, she hid in a cave on a Norwegian island.  After her death, miracles on the island led to an excavation of the cave, where Sunniva‘s body was found intact.  Sunniva, pronounced SOON-ee-va, is the patron saint of Western Norway, making this a distinctive choice for a family with Norwegian ancestry.  That’s her above on a Norwegian stamp.

SwithinSaint Swithin, whose name is also spelled Swithun, is well-known throughout Britain for his July 15 feast day, which is believed to determine the weather for the next 40 days.  The original Swithin was the bishop of Winchester, where his remains are interred in the famous cathedral.

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