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True Name Confessions: What’s yours?

pinocchio

Here’s my true name confession: We almost named our youngest son Pike.

So sue me.

I still like it.  Sometimes, about as often as I miss that bright orange sweater I gave away in 1994, I wish we’d actually named him that.  We like fish!  In fact, little coulda-been-Pike grew into a boy who loves to fish!

But we chickened out, and Owen he became.

I could confess to other name indiscretions I contemplated but now it’s your turn to tell all.

Did you spell your name with an i at the end with a little heart drawn over it when you were 13?

Attempt to change your name to Sigourney when you were in college?

Did you contemplate a baby name crime: name-napping, perhaps, or….well, I can’t think of any other baby name crime, but maybe you can confess to one anyway.

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Angry-Teen

Babies don’t care what you name them.  Abe or Zephyrine, whatever: any name is  fine as long as you deliver plenty of food and love.

But your teenager?  Your teenager is a different story.  Your offspring is going to dislike you for a lot of reasons during adolescence, but picking the wrong name 15 years ago is apt to be very high on the list.

We know some of these names are cool, in a name nerd kind of way.  But in anticipation of adolescent rage, try to avoid giving any of them to an actual baby.

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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 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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