Category: unusual names for girls
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.
Our conclusion: No matter how unusual they are by the numbers, these names are drawing considerable buzz. And that’s bound to translate over the coming years into usage for a lot more babies.
Besides their incipient popularity, these names share several appealing qualities. Most relate to nature, but in a fresher, less obvious way than the Lilys and Roses we’ve heard so much of in recent years. Many have deeper roots than they first seem, plus intriguing cultural connections.
And is it coincidence that four of the 11 start with the letter C, and seven contain the letter L? We don’t think so.
Our picks for 11 unusual girls’ names we see destined for stardom.
There are a lot of names I love and enthusiastically encourage other people to use. But when it came to naming my own kids? No way.
The most common reason for championing a name that you wouldn’t use yourself is, of course, cowardice. I think of all the names I considered for my younger son but chickened out on actually using: Penn, Pike, Otis….sigh. I’d lead the cheer if a parent on the Nameberry forums was thinking of one of those wonderful names. But in the end, we went with the much safer Owen.
My husband would tell you that we never really seriously considered Otis, because he hated it. So there’s another reason you might only be able to envision a beloved name on someone else’s child.
Plus, with a last name that starts with S, the truth is we never would have used a first name that ends with an S sound, for fear of confusion. Similarly, you may love elaborate names like Orianna but wouldn’t pair them with your equally-elaborate last name, or shy away from a short name like Tom if your last name is Smith, or avoid favorite ethnic first names such as Maeve or Massimo if they clash with a last name of a distinctly different ethnicity.