Category: Unusual Baby Names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Happy Father’s Day! This year we are saluting some Dads whose little girls and boys grew up and landed in the celebrisphere. And as we focused—you guess it– on those with the most interesting names, we found it to be a terrifically multi-cultural crowd, hailing from places as far-flung as Israel, India and Italy. And with many of them having very distinguished careers of their own.

Here are some our favorite paternal parents of celebs:.


Natalie Portman’s father Avner Hershlag is a US-trained Israeli gynecologist and fertility specialist. Avner is the Hebrew form of Abner and is the name of the protagonist of the film Munich, played by Eric Bana.

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By Clare Green

This week’s news includes some of the rarest names of the year, what’s hot in Australia, what’s banned in Italy, and a girl named after a piece of candy.

Lovely Leigh names

Do you love names ending in -leigh? They’re not a new trend – parents have been using Ashleigh and Kayleigh for decades – but the sheer number of leigh names has boomed over the last few years. Here’s a rundown of all the names ending in -leigh (and just -eigh) used for girls in 2017, from Ryleigh to Zaileigh.

If you’re more of a -ly or -ley person, don’t feel left out: here are the most stylish names with those endings.

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The Top Cornish Names in Cornwall

By Eleanor Nickerson

Following on from my analysis of the top Welsh names in Wales and the top Scottish names in Scotland, it’s time to have a look at one of the most overlooked, yet up-and-coming, areas of Celtic naming Cornish names.

Unlike their Irish, Scottish and Welsh cousins, Cornish names are still the relative under-dogs in the world of Celtic names. When you look at the overall statistics for England and Wales, Cornish nameswith the exception of long-since-adopted-by-the-western-world Jennifer and Tristan—are pretty well hidden.

However, times are changing, and there are signs of Cornish names such as Elowen, Jago and Lowenna getting more wider exposure and usage every year. Quite possibly some of these choices will be the next Dylans, Ryans, Erins and Megans.

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By Clare Green

Let’s look at the comebacks in the US charts this year. These aren’t names that have returned to the Top 100, or even the Top 1000. I’m talking about names that disappeared completely from the official name data – because they were used for less than 5 boys or girls each year – and reappeared in 2017.

Some of them have been away for a long time. Esper, which was given to 6 girls in 2017, was last recorded for girls in 1912 and for boys in 1926. Addiemae (or AddieMae – the data doesn’t record punctuation) hasn’t been seen since 1915, while Rayo and Union last appeared in 1923.

Many of the returners are variant spellings of popular names. They’re not common enough to make it into the charts every year, but odds are that occasionally enough parents will name their kid Ferne, Izabele or Keagyn to put it in the rankings.

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Unique Tree Names for Arbor Day

By Linda Rosenkrantz

With Arbor Day arriving this week, our thoughts naturally turn to trees and their names. I was quite surprised to find that this holiday has very deep international roots: the first recorded celebratory plantation dates back to 1594, in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo, where lime and horse-chestnut trees are still planted annually. Modern Arbor Day was launched in another Spanish village in 1805, celebrated with festivals and feasts. The initial American commemoration took place in Nebraska in 1872, when an estimated one million trees were planted.

But I digress.

Looking at tree names and seeing the usual suspects that have started to be transplanted onto baby birth certificates—Maple, Ash, Aspen, Cedar, Magnolia, Juniper, Willow, Olive, etc., I got intrigued by some of their scientific names, and found, yes, a forest of lovely, undiscovered new possibilities. Here are some of the most usable—forming yet another category of secret nature names.

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