Category: quirky baby names
By Joe Satran and Abby Sandel
States have official songs and sandwiches. So how about quirky favorite baby names?
It turns out that certain names, rare in the US, are over-represented in certain states. Our intrepid researcher looked at every name given to at least 100 babies in 2015. Then he calculated the percentage of babies with that name born in every state. When ranked, the results revealed the rare names most concentrated in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Some of these are easily explained. A hundred baby boys were named Brigham in 2015, 23 of them in Utah. Less than 1 percent of all Americans live in Utah, so that’s 23 times higher than you might expect. But, of course, Brigham Young was an early leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Utah, so it’s not a surprise.
Yiddish names Shimon and Faigy are the quirky favorites in New York, where there’s the largest concentration of Hasidic Jews, while Spanish names Santana and Estevan are favored in New Mexico and Hawaiian names Kalea and Keanu are popular in, boom!, Hawaii.
And it does make sense that nature names Wren and Wilder are the Quirky Favorites of rural Vermont, while nouveau names Oakleigh and Bridger are well-liked in Red State Montana, consistent with our analysis that found Red Staters prefer gender-neutral invented names while Blue State baby names are more likely to pick names that are ethnic and traditional.
Other stands-outs are harder to explain. Why is Ophelia so prominent in Alaska? Or Brecken in Iowa? If you have the secret to why these names are the favorites in your state, please share with the class!
Bohemian might be a good one-word description of what a lot of parents want in a baby name. A name that’s both creative and down-to-earth, that’s outside the boundaries of tradition but isn’t trying too hard to be hip.
Names of Bohemian heroes and heroines, real and imagined, fit the bill. So do many nature names, international names, and quirky choices. Bohemian baby names are usually on the unusual side, but not always: Such popular choices as Zoe, Dylan, and Ruby qualify.
But which are the best? We’ve narrowed it down to a selection of our favorite Boho names for each letter of the alphabet.
By Abby Sandel
The Olivers are the parents of Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice. The kids’ first names are pretty mainstream. Poppy and Daisy have been favorites with English parents over the last two decades; Buddy fits perfectly with the preference for nickname names; and while Petal is unusual, nature names of all kinds are more common than ever.
We can make a few guesses about the name of the littlest Oliver:
Just when it seemed like no one was having babies this week, the fashion stylist welcomed twin daughters. You might have caught Zanna talking fashion as a correspondent on The Today Show, or as a judge on Project Runway. She’s also senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, so no surprise that she and her husband, Milk Studios founder Mazdak Rassi, have chosen stunningly stylish names for their girls.
But the new arrivals’ names aren’t just stylish – they’re downright quirky.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
If you’re looking for a really unusual name, you might not have to look any further than your nearest library.
What follows is a melange of quirky character names—a mix of word names, surname names, nickname names, invented names–found in modern literature. To keep it from going on into infinity, I’ve limited the list to mainstream twentieth century novels and plays, avoiding for the most part the often bizarre nomenclature of sci-fi and other genre lit.