The Amazing Names That Won This Year’s Invent-A-Name Contest

January 29, 2018 joesatran

A sincere thank you to all the berries who submitted entries to this year’s Nameberry Invent-a-Name contest—all 244 of you. We were overwhelmed by not only the creativity and originality of the names themselves (giving us lots of new submission ideas for the NB database), but also the thoughtfulness of the reasoning behind them, and the overriding optimism for the improved state of the world in 2018 expressed by so many of you!

Among those under consideration were cool place names like Zealand and Zurich, word names including Veranda, Zenith and Truce, and some very usable smooshes like Miralba, Ellisander and Ellanova. More than one person suggested Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alabanza.

So choosing the winners was a far from easy task, leading to some spirited discussion among us. But here they are, with the reasoning behind them.


The lovely ROSALUNA by pindorama, who wrote, “The thorns of the rose represent the “danger,” the unstable world we are now living in, while the beauty of the rose represents the potential for greatness if we overcome our obstacles. Luna, the moon, so far and so perfect and mysterious is the ideal we have for all humanity.”


1. SPERO from Arthurian: “This ancient word for “hope” would make a great name for either a boy or a girl. It is short, sleek, easy to pronounce and its meaning is especially applicable for 2018. As we begin the new year, though continuing to live in times of uncertainty, hope remains the backbone of our society. With hope for a better future, we can all do our part to create a better year and, most importantly, a better world.

2. ELYSIAN by fictionalism: “The word elysian is defined as “heavenly, blissful or delightful”, which is a great meaning to have in this world of nothing but negative and depressing news. Elysian is a strong, slightly tomboyish name due to its ‘sian’ ending, with the benefit of a cute and currently popular style of nickname such as Elle, Ella or Ellie.”

3. XENNA, by Mermuse, “The letter X is hot right now, but I chose it more for its connotations of the future and the unknown. I feel like we are on the brink of a future where who knows what will happen—even a colony of an unheard of ‘Planet X’ isn’t too far-fetched of a near-future possibility!”

SPECIAL MENTION for thinking outside the box to pepperandprincess for coming up with MITU—a unisex name, “a name rooted in the #metoo movement, symbolizing giving a voice to the voiceless, courage, and the best use of our technology. The evolved spelling is because 2018 will be a year for the silence breakers to continue but also develop and evolve the movement.”

The Prize: A beautiful hand-crafted name bracelet. Congratulations to @pindorama!

Now for this week’s forums roundup, from Nameberry’s head mod @katinka:

— Lovers of unusual names this way! What would you suggest for this family of fantastically adventurous namers?

— And at the other end of the naming spectrum, is middle name popularity an issue?
— From Atticus to Aurelian, Latinate names for boys are red-hot right now — but how easy are they to wear?
— Honoring a strong Christian faith… without using overtly religious names? It’s a challenge all right! What would you add?
— Names you love, but no one else does: share your most underappreciated gems here!
— And lastly, tackling a naming taboo: do you love one of your kids’ names more than the other(s)… and would you ever admit it?


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