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Unusual British Baby Names

British baby names

The British are known as much for their eccentricity as for their conventionality, two stereotypes evidenced in the names from the recent birth announcements in the London Telegraph.

Yes, there are plenty of boys named the traditional Henry and Oliver and lots of girls called the Number 1 Amelia and the very proper Charlotte.

Sometimes, the two images cross, with the same eccentric (to American ears, at least) names being used so often they begin to feel conventional.  The first three months of 2014, for instance, seem to be rife with girls named Matilda and Ottilie and boys named every variation of Fred: Frederick and Wilfred and Alfred and Freddie.

But what we’re focusing on today are the truly eccentric names, the one-offs and the unusual choices that may prove fashion forward or may just be evidence of the infamous British wackiness.  These eccentric new names fall into several different camps.

The first and largest might be thought of as the mainstream eccentric British names, such as:

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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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