Here, our latest collection of names that have been overlooked and are deserving of greater consideration:
ALOISA. Aloisa has several things going for it: It starts with A, which is nearly a guarantee of appeal these days; it’s superfeminine; it’s a grownup name ready to face the tough times ahead; and it’s also a distinctive spin on such up-and-coming choices as Louisa and Eloise.
AMITY. Virtue names like Hope, Faith and Grace have been on the rise for several years as parents look back to the righteous values of an earlier time in history; then Jessica Alba stepped out of the box with the less used Honor. Amity, taking it a step further, succeeds in combining virtue with an attractive feminine sound and a warm, friendly meaning.
POSY. Flower names have been well-used over the past decade or two, with such garden variety specimens as Lily, Rose, Violet and Daisy blossoming (sorry, can’t help it) everywhere and parents now looking to somewhat rarer blossoms like Aster, Lilac, Lotus, Poppy and Amaryllis. Our nominee for cutest underused flower name: Posy.
VARYA. President Obama has introduced an unprecedented sense of multiculturalism to our country, which is reflected in the global initiative of his daughters’ names, the Russian Sasha and the Hawaiian Malia. Varya is, like Sasha, a Russian nickname name (short for the rhythmic Varvara, the Russian version of Barbara), that starts with V, which happens to be the consonant du jour.
CASSIAN. A Latin clan name turned Irish saint’s name that means curly-headed and is ready for import.
FRANK. This is the perfect name for the new Era of Transparency: what could be more frank than Frank? Out of the Top 10 since 1922, Frank feels like a grandpa—or great-grandpa—name, and yet doesn’t carry the vintage baggage of names like Stanley and Marvin. It was picked by hip musical duo Diana Krall and Elvis Costello for one of their twin boys (the other was Dexter), and was recently portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio in Revolutionary Road.
HAMISH. Hamish is a Scottish name popular in Britain but nearly unheard of here, where it’s more familiar as hamishe, the Yiddish word for family-like, an increasingly popular value in an ever-more-impersonal world. Bonus: It’s a variation of the overused Jacob and James, so would make a perfect alternative to those.