Category: Unusual Baby Names

Not Your Mama’s Baby Name!

By Clare Bristow

The names in the news this week probably aren’t ones you heard growing up. Some of them have exploded in popularity in the last decade or two. Others are still undiscovered, but would fit right into nurseries and playgrounds today.

Let’s take a look at some new names your parents wouldn’t have considered using.

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Unique Nature Names for Girls

nature names for girls

by Pamela Redmond

If you love nature names for girls, you have a world of choices beyond the obvious River and Rose.

The choices here live below the US Top 1000 baby names, yet are not so far out on the limb — like Apple, literally — that people will be shocked.

We looked for girls’ names that referenced plants and animals, the ocean and the sky. We also included names of places known for their beautiful natural features and times of year rich with natural qualities.

Some of these names, such as Clover and Ocean, announce their connection to nature in plain terms. Others, such as Acacia and Sedona, are more subtle.

All are worth consideration if you love unusual nature names.

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12 Best Beachy Names for Girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

If you want to give your summertime daughter a name that reflects the season of her birth, but don’t want to pick the most obvious choices, we’re here to suggest a dozen interesting names that more subtly reflect the sun, surf and sandy beach, either through meaning or reference.

Bruna

How about starting with the inspirational name of one of the top women surfers, Brazilian born Bruna Schmitz, who started her pro career at the age of 15. Unlike male counterpart Bruno, the Italian name Bruna still remains a rarity here; its meaning of brown makes it an unusual, beachy color name. Bruna is a Top 100 name in Portugal, Croatia and Catlaonia.

Cordula/Cordelia

If you’re looking for something truly unusual, consider the German name Cordula, one of the meanings of which is ‘jewel of the sea’, and which appears as a character in Nabokov’s novel Ada. Far more familiar is the Celtic-rooted Cordelia, the name borne by King Lear’s youngest—and only faithful –daughter. Meaning ‘daughter of the sea’, Cordelia is a Nameberry fave, now ranking at Number 106.

Darya

There’s a lot of love these days for Russian nickname names like Sasha and Misha, and the less familiar Darya, the name of a character in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, is another one to consider. It’s also heard in Iran, where its meaning is “the sea.”

Dune

What name could be more beachy than Dune, calling up images of sand between the toes? It can also be spelled Doon, as it was by the acclaimed photographer Diane Arbus for her older daughter, the name inspired by a walk on the beach.

Guinevere/Genevieve

Although the etymology of these related names is a bit complicated, one definition is ‘white wave’.   The vintage Genevieve is seeing a strong revival at the moment: it’s the 28th most popular name on Nameberry, with the Gen nickname feeling more au courant than Jen; Guinevere projects an intriguing Arthurian aura.

Marin

Among a number of  appealing girls’ names related to mare, the sea are Marin, Marine (chic now in France), Marina and the Scandinavian Maren. Marin is currently Number 433 on Nameberry, while Maren is 261, and also in the US Top 1000.

Morwenna

Morwenna is an old Cornish name meaning ‘maid of the sea’ that has been revived and is now quite commonly heard in Wales. It was the name of a 6th century saint, and in the modern world, of a character on TV’s Doc Martin.

Nerissa

More distinctive than Melissa or Marissa, the delicate Nerissa has Shakespearean cred via a witty character in The Merchant of Venice, for which the Bard is thought to have created it, based on the Greek meaning sea nymph.

Oceana

This name takes a straightforward path to the summer surf—or you could go Continental with the chic Océane version, which has been a Top 50 name (currently #31) in France for several years.

Roxy

What brings Roxy onto a list of summer beach names? Anyone in the surfing world will know it as a surfboard brand that’s been popular since its creation in 2009, widely used by female surfers. The saucy name Roxy, originally a nickname for Roxanne, was used by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin for his daughter, and has been seen in numerous plays, films, TV, comics and video games, sometimes spelled Roxie.

Soleil

The French word for sun, first heard here via 80s child TV star Soleil Moon Frye, has been catching some rays in this country, particularly on Nameberry, where it’s currently Number 680.

Thalassa

A lovely ancient Greek name meaning “the sea,” Thalassa was a Greek sea goddess and became a recently named moon of the planet Neptune. Thalassa could join other currently popular Th-names Theodore, Theodora, Theo and Thea.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

 Yes, there are still plenty of viable vintage names for boys that remain frozen in the popularity lists of the past. Some aren’t eligible yet for the 100-year-rule, some suffer from IDD (Image Deficit Disorder), and some have simply been forgotten. Here are 30 examples that we don’t think deserve to be dismissed.

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Baby Name News of the Week

By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes a wealth of names from Canada, lots of celebrity boy names, and naming stories from the worlds of rugby and baseball.

Names around the world: Octavian and Emilie

There’s a lot of online fanfare about the release of new name data, but have you ever heard of a real-life ceremony for the latest name stats?

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