The Most Outrageously Outrageous Names of the Year

The Most Outrageously Outrageous Names of the Year

By Esmeralda Rocha

Over the coming weeks we’ll share some insights into themes and patterns of some of the rarer names that appeared on the 2017 USA lists, but we thought you’d like to jump ahead to some of the more outrageous ones that were given to American babies last year.

Money can’t buy that sort of publicity

There’s a whole subgenre of brand names that we will unpack in a future blog, but some of the more bizarre examples include:

Tesla: given to 130 girls and 11 boys

–Fanta: given to 24 girls

Beretta: given to 21 girls; firearms fans preferred Colt (which came it at # 269) for their sons

–Maybelline: given to 20 girls

Evian: given to 10 boys

Sports fans

There’s a love of sport and then there’s the sort of crazed devotion that saw 12 girls and 6 boys being named Espn.

It’s in the jeans

There are a few materials that were given as names but Denim, given to 141 boys and 53 girls, and Suede given to 5 boys, are two of the most out-there.

Babies are God’s gift

Religion has always been an important source of name inspiration, but some of America‘s choices are more inspired than others. We were surprised to see:

–Halo (given to 149 girls and 25 boys)

–Om (given to 96 boys)

Amen (given to 75 boys and 55 girls)

–Calvary (given to 16 girls and 7 boys)

Lucifer (given to 24 boys)

–The somewhat clumsy Getsemani (given to 11 girls).

–Yogi (given to 6 boys)

Prestige names

America loves giving names that bestow children with power, wealth and an regal air.

While Earl, Duke and Queenie are old favorites, some of the more outlandish given in 2017 include:

Kaiser (ranked at #929 on the boys’ list); cognate Caesar went to 74 boys

Pharaoh (given to 145 boys)

Empress (given to 106 girls) and Emperor (given to 9 boys)

–Heiress (given to 53 girls)

Milady (given to 12 girls)

General (11 boys)

–Czarina (given to 10 girls) and Czar (given to 6 boys)

–Duchess (went to 9 girls – somewhat dispiritingly, the misspelled version Dutchess went to 11 girls)

–Sirprince (given to 5 boys)

Natural wonders

It’s only natural to look to the world around you for the perfect name for your new addition. Though sometimes people either should have kept looking, or not looked quite so far… strange nature names include :

–Koi (given to 26 boys and 25 girls)

Lemon (given to 25 girls)

Talon (rated highly at #754 for boys but also given to 16 girls)

–Alp (going to 36 boys)

Maize (given to 8 girls and 6 boys)

–Fennec (which went to 7 boys)

Attitude names

This is a category of name that we will devote a lot more attention to in a future blog, but there are some values or attitudes that we’re surprised parents would want to promote in their children. These include:

–Vanity (given to 38 girls)

–Envy (given to 28 girls)

–Brazen (given to 32 boys)

–Riot (46 boys and 16 girls)

–Havoc (17 boys)

Shooter (14 boys)

–Arson (11 boys)

–Yoyo (given to 10 girls)

–Furious (to 10 boys)

–Slayer (6 boys)

Why would you do that?

We try to be forgiving of names as much as possible here at Nameberry, but there were some that had us shaking or scratching our heads. These include:

–I-am (21 boys)

Nil (given to 19 girls)

–Boy (given to 28 boys), Son (given to 6 boys) and Girl (given to 19 girls)

–Babyboy or Babygirl (given to 8 boys and 7 girls)

–Mister (which went to 18 boys)

–Paw (given to 16 girls)

Man (given to 13 girls)

–My (11 girls)

–Papa (9 boys)

–God (given to 8 boys)

–Moo (given to 7 girls and 6 boys)

–Abcde (given to 6 girls)

–Any (given to 6 girls)

Notorious Namesakes:

Similarly there were some namesakes from history getting honored that either have a lot of baggage or have pretty weighty names that we feel qualify them for a discussion on outrageous names:

Cleopatra (29 girls)

Jezebel (27 girls)

–JesseJames (17 boys)

–Cuauhtemoc (15 boys)

Attila (13 boys)

–Stalin (7 boys)

–Casanova (6 boys)

–Charlemagne (6 boys)

–Capone (6 boys)

Godiva (5 girls)

Note: We also think it’s too soon for Osama (13 boys) and Adolph (given to 6 boys), despite the nice etymologies or slight spelling adjustments.


Among the more traditional mythological names were:

Eros (given to 66 boys)

Ra (given to 14 boys)

Beowulf (given to 7 boys)

Isis (yes, yes we all love the myth but again, it’s too soon for this name that went to 51 girls to not still carry some pretty serious negative connotations)

Strange but intriguing

Some of the following names are arresting rather than outrageous – because while they’re definitely an acquired taste, they’ve got some meaning or pizzazz behind them. We think this demonstrates that it is possible to choose something really off-the-beaten track and get it right! Highlights include:

–Atreyu (131 boys)

–Nubia (56 girls)

Jetson (40 boys)

–Savvy (40 girls)

–Mazikeen (27 girls)

–Zorawar (27 boys)

–Aerabella (18 girls)

Porfirio (14 boys)

–Candelaria (14 girls)

–Bereket (12 boys)

–Calcifer (10 boys)

–Solaris (8 girls)

–Eureka (7 girls)

Aesop (6 boys)

About the Author

Esmeralda Rocha

Esmeralda Rocha

Esmeralda Rocha writes regularly for Nameberry. An expert on international names, she lives in Australia.