Category: word names

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Unusual Baby Names: A search for the unique

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
unique baby names

They’re looking for a bold name for baby number two! Can you help brainstorm unusual baby names–word names or vintage gems that are seldom heard in real life – but still sound like names? 

Nikki writes:

My daughter will be 2 years old when this baby is born in late October.

Her name is Arliss Lorraine. I have a great aunt named Arlys but never really met her … that was random! I got the name from the little boy in Old Yeller. I knew that was THE name when I saw the movie as a child. It is unisex and we didn’t find out the sex of the baby so it was perfect. Lorraine is a family name on both sides, but honestly, I just like it – it’s a bonus that people thought it was in honor of them!

Our second child is another delivery surprise.

If it is a boy, I love word names, but my husband has said NO to a lot of them – Thief, Sweep, Season, month names. The middle name for a boy will be David.

For a boy, we’re considering Sterling – but is it too ritzy? We also like Revere, as in Paul Revere. But it doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

Roane is a family name on my side. It’s pronounced row – ane, like Jane or rain. It was my late grandfather’s name, but I think it would work for a boy or a girl.

If it is a girl, we like Maple, Mabel, Ardelle – another family name, but just like Arliss, not really naming her after anyone, and Mora Gene, a Southern double name. (We live in the South.) Another middle name option is Story.

Rudolph is our last name. Yup, like the reindeer.

I’m drawn to A, M, and S names. Marlowe and Sloane were both on the list at one point. I like water names, but I don’t love Lake, and River is too popular.

Having a name that no else has is a big thing for me. I’m not a huge fan of nicknames.

I love that I have a story about naming Arliss, and I’m kind of sad that I don’t have that for this one!

The Name Sage replies:

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My Name is Gay


By Gay Cioffi

As the youngest in my family of five, I am the only one who was not named for a grandparent or beloved aunt or uncle. As it happened, I was named for a fondly remembered childhood acquaintance of my mother.

While not only was breaking from that family tradition the cause of a bit of a stir, and it wasn’t a saint’s name to boot (also an expected practice) nothing prepared my parents or me for the fallout to come as I grew up with the name “Gay” in the fifties and sixties.

I remember hearing my mother’s account of the reaction she got from family members regarding her disregard for how children in the family were traditionally named. I also recall that she wavered a bit between the names Gay and Joy, but again the real controversy began in my later teens when the word “gay”, came to represent more than a synonym for happy or carefree.

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Summer baby name

We are particularly pleased to reprint this article by the distinguished name scholar, Cleveland Evans; it originally appeared on

By Cleveland Evans

The weather bureau says summer starts June 1 — and temperatures in Omaha this June show they have a point. Astronomers say summer started when the sun reached its annual highest place in the sky at 5:34 p.m. Monday.

Summer” goes back millennia to “sem,” the word for summer in ancient Indo-European.  Though not as ancient, “winter” also goes back thousands of years, to a Germanic word which probably meant “wet season.”

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posted by: E. Wittig View all posts by this author
Cancer baby names

By E. Wittig

Summer has just arrived, and with it, the celestial Crab. Cancer is the fifth sequential sign of the Zodiac and spans from June 21st to July 22nd. Crabs are sensitive, loyal homebodies and imaginative dreamers. They are ruled by the moon and the element of water. Blue-green, silver, and white are the sign’s colors, and rubies and pearls are its gems.

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Memorial Day names

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

During the First World War (1914-1918) — one of the largest and deadliest wars in history — the Allies fought the Central Powers for more than four grueling years.  While the war raged on, babies worldwide were given patriotic, war-inspired baby names such as Foch, Gallipoli, Heligoland, Lusitania, and Passchendaele. Not all WWI-inspired baby names were as conspicuous as those, though. Below are a dozen WWI-inspired baby names that could work quite well on modern-day babies.

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