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Sweet Spot Baby Names: Fitting in and standing out

Sweet Spot Baby Names: Fitting in and standing out

Obviously, everyone has their own definition of what a perfect name is, but for Pam and me, as expressed in our books, it has always been distilled into the phrase fitting in/standing out.

Located in the sweet spot between the hundreds of names that are epidemically popular–common enough for their distinctive images to be diluted–and those that are too unusual, too extreme– is a kind of golden triangle of lightly used names that have meaning, history, depth, and appeal, yet won’t provoke any raised eyebrows, names that will allow your child to both fit in with her peers and stand out among them.

Many such names are to be found in the lower half of the popularity list; the examples below, drawn from the names that rank between 500 and 1000, are our selection of names which we think fit into that special sweet spot. We’d love to hear if you agree or disagree–and what names you would add.

GIRLS

AdeleAdrienneAnnabelBeatriceBlakeBreeBrynCatalinaCeliaClarissaClaudiaDahliaDixieEdithElsaEsmeEveFelicityFrancesFrancescaGeraldineGloriaGretaGwynethHarlowHattieHelenaIngridIreneJuniperLaurelLibbyLilithLivLiviaMaeveMaiaMaraMarinaMarthaMatildaMercedesMeredithNatalyaNovaPalomaPatiencePearlRenataRoryRosaRosemarySamaraSimoneSloaneSylviaTabithaTessVeraVirginiaWilla

BOYS

AmosArloAsaBowenBrunoByronCallumCassiusClayClintonConradCrosbyCyrusDarwinDuncanEdisonFinleyFletcherFlynnFrederickGibsonHarryHayesHughJeffersonJensenKeenanLennonLennoxLewisLionelLucianMillerMosesNashQuincyRaphaelRayRexRolandRoryRossSamsonSorenSullivanThaddeusTheoTobiasTurnerVanWilsonWinston

So what names would you add?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.