By Linda Rosenkrantz
So you’ve come up with what you’re sure is a unique name for your baby. A Biblical/word/animal/place name no one else has thought of using. Right? Wrong! That special, singular, clever, utterly distinctive name that you imagine no one else has considered was actually used by as many as a few hundred other parents in the past year. Some have even already reached the Top 1000.
Here are 20 of these surprising names on the path to popularity.
There are lots of sweet, friendly names in the news this week, plus inspiration from French pet-owners and a whole alphabet of storm names.
Winter storm names from A-Z
Have you seen The Weather Channel’s list of winter storm names for this year? It’s not an official list like the tropical cyclone names decided by the World Meteorological Organization, but The Weather Channel says that naming a storm helps to communicate information about it. And it’s always fun to look at a list of names.
At a glance, it could almost be a nursery register. There’s Noah, Liam, Riley, Chloe (not Colbert)… in fact, 16 letters of the alphabet have names in the US Top 100. Of the others, 3 are in the Top 1000: Frankie, Toby, and high climber Kalani. The rest are outliers below the Top 1000, some of them way below: Benji, Inga, Polly, Uma, Wilbur, Xanto and Yvonne.
All those popular names and diminutives give the list of storms a rather cuddly feel, which I’m not sure is the desired effect – but maybe using well-loved favorites will help the public engage more with messages about the storms?
If you’re looking for a more obviously weather-related name, there are lots of ideas on this list.
It’s an international baby naming challenge! Let’s find a boy’s name that wears well in Italian and German, and might have just a hint of Irish, too.
Our daughter’s name is Lidia Isabella. We love the name. Lidia is vintage and not common, works well locally and internationally, is easy to pronounce in multiple languages and it keeps my Italian heritage, as the last name is German. Isabella was my grandmother’s name. It ticks all the boxes.
We are stuck with the boy’s name. It should work in multiple languages.
The Name Sage replies:
Parents have been naming babies after other people since they started naming babies. No other naming tradition has endured and thrived across so many different cultures and time periods. The exact approach varies — many Jewish families, for example, name babies after deceased relatives, and WASPs often name the firstborn son after the father — but the basic idea remains the same.
We asked you, a few weeks ago, what you thought of cross-gender namesakes for kids born today. But a super-hot thread on the Nameberry forums made us curious about you, our beloved Berries. Were you named after someone?
It doesn’t have to be a relative. Maybe you were named after Isabel Allende, Rosa Parks or Amedeo Modigliani! Nor does it have to be your first name — we’re certainly interested in your middle name as well. We want to know it all!
We’re also curious about how you feel about your namesakes. Do you feel a kinship with them? Have they influenced your own behavior?
A is the most popular first initial for all baby names, but somehow the girls’ names that start with A get more attention. Maybe that’s because there are six girls’ names in the US Top 25 — Ava, Abigail, Amelia, Avery, Aria, and Aubrey — but only two boys’ names, Alexander and Aiden.
But A is an amazing first letter for boys’ names, too, as the 25 choices here attest. These A names for boys include ancient names such as Atticus and Abel along with modern names such as Ansel and Arrow. There are classic baby names such as Arthur and Asher as well as trendy choices such as August and Arlo.
While a few of these names — Adrian and Axel — rank in the Top 100, most are much more unusual. Certainly more popular A names such as Andrew and Alex and Adam are attractive and eminently usable, but we are interested here in spotlighting those further down the list that you might not notice.
If you’re looking for an A-starting name for your baby boy, these are our 25 favorite.