Invented Baby Names: 84 awesome choices and 2 big winners!
Last week we challenged you to invent a great baby name. You took us up on it….and how! Over 200 entries later, Linda and I along with Nameberry’s senior editor and writer Abby Sandel made our individual lists of favorites.
There were only a handful of names on all three of our lists – and our two winners were chosen from those names that won unanimous approval. But before we get to those, let’s look at the long list of names we liked and the categories that sparked the best inventions.
The category with the most great names has to be the Smoosh, in which inventors combined elements of two wonderful names to create an original choice. By far the biggest subcategory in this group were names with the bel or bella suffix; runners up used the elements beth or dora.
A large collection of our favorites:
Finlan @ciottolo — (bonus points for smooshing a Welsh and a Chinese element)
Phinea and Phineo (@gmdx and @Whirligig respectively)
These inventions may not really have their roots in Ancient Rome or Greece, but they sure sound as if they might.
You might believe these names were fresh choices imported from another culture, if you didn’t know they’d been hatched in the creative minds of the berries.
Words are being turned into names at an active pace by baby namers, with a few – Genesis, Justice – gaining widespread popularity. The berries nominate these fresh choices for word name stardom, with tongue only sometimes in cheek.
Elysian and Elysium (@lesliemarion / @jtucker)
Valium (@peach25) – She knows it’s funny!
Nature and food names
A few nature/food names new to the mix:
Mazana (@marisarose) – type of apple
With place names from the familiar (Georgia, Dakota) to the adventurous (Scotland, Shiloh) finding widespread favor as baby names, it’s more difficult to come up with a creative choice. But these berries succeeded.
Zoan (@Kate_Kat_Bar) – A location in the book of Ezekiel
Like word names and place names, there are lots of surnames now familiar as firsts, but these two choices felt to us both original and eminently usable.
These names are not only invented but come with inspiring origins and definitions.
Alerion (@Aym)– Mythical bird, described as an eagle-like bird the color of fire, symbolizing strength, superiority and sacrifice.
And not to be confused with:
Crescadia (@ciottolo)– Latin “crescens” + Welsh ‘cad’ = “growing battle”
Pavonine (@lexiscross)– word name meaning ‘like a peacock’, a choice for brave parents who want their child to be brimming with confidence; similar to names such as ‘Clementine’.
Selva (@MissusAytch)– Spanish word for Jungle.
Tresna (@dewdropsandroses)– Meaning “love” in Javanese (sic), this name couldn’t be more perfect for your Valentine’s daughter.
Valerro (@xRedd)– A combination of the word valiente, meaning courageous in Spanish, and Guerrero, meaning warrior in Spanish.
Vivaxi (@Joiya)– Vivere, viv, “to live”, and –axi, Greek and from axios meaning “worth” or “merit”. “life of worth”.
Winko (@Waverly123)– has the word win in it. Winthrop means “Friends village” so Winko means Friends’ Homeland.
Isn’t that already a name?
And then there were a few choices that felt so much like real names that we couldn’t believe they’d been invented – which may be the best kind of invented name of all.
So which names were our winners? With so many wonderful entries, it was hard to narrow it down to just one, so we didn’t. We have two winners:
Avonlea – The fictional town that’s the setting for the Anne of Green Gables books. Besides being an evocative literary place, Avonlea has a lovely and name-appropriate sound. Congratulations to @6colorbracelet for coming up with this great name.
Julep – The first part of the word name Julep harkens to the rich ancient Jul family of names, and then the ep ending takes you by upbeat surprise, plus Julep is reminiscent of long summer afternoons sipping delicious concoctions – all tasty and positive associations. @lovelynames has lived up to his or her own name by creating it.
@6colorbracelet and @lovely names each win a complete library of our baby name ebooks.
Thanks to everyone for suggesting such wonderful names! We’ll be working on adding all of them to the Nameberry database and look forward to meeting real live babies named Avonlea, Julep, Sashabel, and Winko.
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on February 11th, 2015 at 2:36 am
I wasn’t thinking, I should’ve said Liabella! It was on the tip of my tongue. Giabella is lovely though, I’d actually use that in real life. There were some awesome made up names here–proves made up names don’t have to be stupid like Lakynn or Mckarty. yikes
on February 11th, 2015 at 9:38 am
Well said, indiefendi2!
on February 11th, 2015 at 9:53 am
My FI’s cousin has a daughter named Avonlea, so to me, it was already a name, haha.
on February 11th, 2015 at 10:30 am
Congrats to the winners and all of us who made awesome names.
on February 11th, 2015 at 10:55 am
This is fantastic! I don’t think there’s a single one I don’t like, they should all be added to Nameberry 🙂
on February 11th, 2015 at 10:58 am
I totally forgot about mint juleps! The first thing that comes to mind with me is the nail polish subscription.
on February 11th, 2015 at 11:55 am
Great list of names! I meant to add a boy’s name but missed the deadline. With the appeal of the X, I can’t believe someone hasn’t though of Xennox, or Xennex (for full palindrome effect). Pronounced zen-nex. not my taste but I could see this name around the playground today.
on February 11th, 2015 at 11:57 am
Congrats to the winners! There are some really rad inventions here. But I’d like to point out that Kahlia is already a name. I first heard it several years ago when reading about the Chamberlains, the couple whose baby daughter was killed by a dingo in the famous Australian case, made into a movie with Meryl Streep called “A Cry in the Dark.” Azaria was the baby daughter who was tragically killed, and Kahlia was the daughter born to Lindy Chamberlain while she was in prison for the murder of Azaria, before her exoneration. Apparently the name Kahlia enjoys some usage in Australia, where it is pronounced KAR-lee-uh.
on February 11th, 2015 at 1:45 pm
Congrats to everyone who got a mention, and the winners (and for everybody who took part). My own special mentions i.e. names I loved are:
Etherea (@amf0224- May have to put this on my list! So beautiful!)
on February 11th, 2015 at 1:57 pm
I actually really like Annavieve.
on February 11th, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Cress is the name of a character in a book series called The Lunar Chronicles
Faraday is the last name of a character in a TV show called Lost
Maybe not so invented there but I still love those names and all the other ones!
on February 11th, 2015 at 4:18 pm
I knew a little girl named Julep. She was named for the drink.
on February 11th, 2015 at 4:21 pm
Just want to point out that it was actually me who suggested Prose, not thesnowwhiterose 🙂
I love Avonlea, have always thought it would be a lovely name! Gorgeous. Annavive is really spunky, too. Love it!
on February 11th, 2015 at 7:09 pm
What about Janaina? It is a afro/native-brazilian girl name. It is a name that represents a God from the ocean in Tupi (native language), but also represents Yemanja, the goddess of the Ocean in the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomble.
on February 11th, 2015 at 7:49 pm
What larks! Great fun contributing and also reading others’ responses.
I love that nameberry is taking an especially active role in bringing forth new and different names since there are so many ugly ones in use at present.
I would love to see a place on the site where we can contribute new names as we find or think of them and the ones that Pam and Linda and Abby like best could be woven into the website.
Julep is a delicious name!
on February 11th, 2015 at 8:55 pm
Janaina is lovely.
This is great! I’ve been waiting for Avonlea to enter the database… 🙂
on February 11th, 2015 at 9:26 pm
Avonlea was invented by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
on February 11th, 2015 at 9:58 pm
Some great names here.
Congrats to the winners, Julep and Avonlea are lovely. I especially love Avonlea, the sound, the literary connection to one of my all time favorite series, equals total new name crush.
on February 11th, 2015 at 9:59 pm
I don’t think the point of this contest was for all the names to have never existed before.
I think it was to find surnames not usually used for first names, ditto word and place names like Avonlea, plus unusual name combinations.
And to find new names to the nameberry website.
on February 11th, 2015 at 10:49 pm
Congrats to everyone! Some of these names were really beautiful, like Julep and Operetta. I really loved Caralei; it was one of my favorites!
I forgot to mention that Zoan is also a unisex African name meaning “departure” or “one who leaves.” Sorry, just thought I’d put that out there in case anyone else was questioning it. 🙂
on February 12th, 2015 at 8:42 am
I’m a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables and have never thought of using Avonlea as a name, what a lovely idea! Great way to honor a beloved book series
on February 12th, 2015 at 9:04 am
@lesliemarion: The word “invent” does imply the process of making something new. Unless there’s a new definition of the word that I’m unaware of? I don’t think word names should have had a part in this contest either.
on February 12th, 2015 at 4:58 pm
Love so many of these, congrats to the winners, and I’m so happy to see one of mine, Etherea, made the list! Especially since I came up with all of mine on the spot!
on February 12th, 2015 at 6:43 pm
Oh my goodness I LOVE Elianthe! *adds to list*
on February 12th, 2015 at 10:48 pm
LOVE Avonlea and Laurelia! Gorgeous names!
on February 13th, 2015 at 4:17 am
You can invent something as a name, rather than inventing the word itself. Perhaps reinventing, but you’re still being inventive by doing so.
on February 13th, 2015 at 10:53 pm
Avonlea has been on my list since I was a kid and fell in love with Anne of Green Gables. I recently looked it up a few months ago and since it was invented by the author I broke it down into Avon and Lea. Avon got it crossed off the list. It’s a river but if you look deeper you see it comes from a Hebrew word relating to guilt & iniquity/immorality. Beautiful word but not a meaning I would ever use for a child.
on February 16th, 2015 at 10:36 am
A girl I went to school with has just welcomed a new baby sister, her name is Khami which is a ruined town in Zimbabwe (not sure if they know that though). I’m not a huge fan of it as it doesn’t go well with her older sisters more classic names, but it has a nice sound.
on February 17th, 2015 at 9:33 am
I also recommended Laurelia. I really enjoy the sound of it. I had NEVER considered Julep as a name but it’s so great.
on February 20th, 2015 at 3:16 pm
Loving Annavieve! Two favorite names in one!
Unfortunately, Ozymandia isn’t an invented name, but a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ozymandias) and also an amazing song by Mike Hubbard. Though a neat name, nonetheless!
on December 3rd, 2015 at 1:57 pm
“Armatilda” reminds me of armadillo. 🙂
Invent a Name Contest, 2016 Edition! – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on August 18th, 2016 at 11:40 am
[…] of amazing possibilities were submitted during our last round. We narrowed the finalists to a single blog post of amazing, never before heard names and crowned the […]
on August 23rd, 2016 at 11:39 am
Luxanna (lux an ah)
Luxa (loox ah) or (lux ah)
Margona (marg oh na)
on May 26th, 2019 at 11:23 pm
I like the names
Saralena, Shila, Shayden, and my name Shamra
Which I can’t seem to find on here nore the
on May 26th, 2019 at 11:45 pm
Oh also can’t find the name Sharold which was
My grandfather’s name.
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