By Linda Rosenkrantz
Let’s say your name is Jen or Mike and you grew up not so happily sharing your name with all the countless other Jennifers and Michaels in your world. So why would it be surprising for you to want to save your child from sharing a similar fate– maybe going so far as to avoid any name that appears in the Top 1000, even if it’s at Number 990.
Well, then this is the blog for you. I’ve found a surprising number of great names that were given to only ten (10!) babies across the whole of United States in 2016, so the chances of yours having to share one of these is infinitesimal.
Cressida—A dainty, delicate Shakespearean/Hunger Games choice that is #533 on Nameberry
Heloise—With Eloise zooming up the charts (US #209, 50 on NB), thanks to Harry Potter and Lost, how about considering the more venerable French Heloise, borne by one of the most beautiful and learned women of the Middle Ages?
Balthazar—The intriguing name of one of the Three Wise Men of the Orient also has lots of Shakespearean and other literary cred, was used by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor for his son, and is definitely ready for wider use.
Dryden—A handsome poet name that would fit right in with all the trendy en-ending boy names.
Moss –This soft and evocative green nature name has never received its due. Classic Broadway playwright Moss Hart was born Robert; prominent current surname bearers include model Kate and actress Elisabeth.
Ned—With midcentury nicknames like Ted and Hal making a comeback, I’d like to put in a word for Ed’s nostalgic Nancy Drew-ish cousin Ned. Game of Throne’s heroic character Ned Stark might just prove to be the catalyst. Ned was on the US list until the early 1970s, once as high as #237.
Quint—We’ve called it Clint with a glint; this Quinton/Quintin short form, related to the number five, has been heard on its own in cowboy flicks, while the fisherman known by his last name Quint is a major character in Jaws.
Rafferty—After Jude Law and Sadie Frost chose this jaunty Irish surname for their son in 1999– and now that Rafferty Law is himself a mini-me heartthrob–his name has taken off in the UK, where it is #289, and on Nameberry at 343, and yet there were only ten actual baby Raffertys born in the US in 2016. How can this be?
Remo—There’s Remy and Romy and even Reno, but only a miniscule number of baby Remos. An Italian form of Remus, it recalls the lovely Mediterranean coastal town of San Remo, host of the popular Sanremo Music Festival. Remo reached #40 in Switzerland in 1989.
Zebedee—The Greek form of Zebadiah, father of the apostles James and John, Zebedee has remarkable energy and zip for a biblical name. In the UK it’s associated with an old children’s TV character. Fabulous nickname Zeb is a definite plus.