Undiscovered Baby Names: What New Names Have You Heard Lately?
Our first crowd-sourced blog, on original names that lead to popular nicknames, was such a hit that we’ve decided to give it another go. Our new topic: Undiscovered baby names — undiscovered by you, that is, at least until recently.
I was struck, as I always am in this situation, that even after writing ten books on names, after being professionally immersed in the subject for two decades, and after virtually a lifetime of name nuttery, I can still come across names that I’ve never heard before.
I started jotting down other names that were new ones on me and looking up their origins. Other recent selections from my personal undiscovered baby names list:
JARA or YARA — A German friend who lives in Madrid and is expecting recently told me that, if she has a girl, she plans to name her Jara or Yara, a name that works in both Spanish and German. This was a new one on me, and when I looked it up I discovered that Yara is an Arabic name meaning butterfly and also the name of a Brazilian goddess, while Jara (which can be pronounced with the Y or the J sound at the beginning) might be a variation of Yara or may be
an unrelated Slovakian name that’s also the name of the Hindu goddess of the household and happiness.
DARIEL — I met a woman recently who told me her grownup daughter’s name was the very pretty Dariel, a name she invented. She was torn, she said, between Dara and Mariel, so she combined the two to make Dariel. Many such hybrid attempts are dismal, but this one is a success.
KESTER — I discovered Kester in my guilty pleasure reading of the London Telegraph birth announcements. It is, I discovered in nameberry’s very own database, the Scottish form of Christopher. Very cute.
Now here’s the nameberry challenge: Tell us a name that was recently new to you. We’d love to hear the story behind your discovery of it (movie credits? travel experience? new friend?) and what you’ve been able to learn about its origin and meaning. Can’t wait to discover your undiscovered names!
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on January 29th, 2010 at 1:13 am
One that I like that’s rarely heard: Roemer. A Dutch couple who was featured in the magazine Dwell (years ago) named their son this. I don’t know anything about the history of this name, but it’s a not-uncommon surname here in the U.S.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:14 am
I just finished typing a long, long, long list of honor rolls. Some of the unusual names I saw were pretty bad, but there were a few that were fairly interesting.
One of the girls on an honor roll is named Juria, which was I thought was quite pretty and unusual. It seems to be a Japanese girls name by the Google hits I get for it, but I don’t know what it means and the girl’s surname isn’t Japanese. It could be that her mom and dad just made it up or plucked it from a baby name book. In any event, she’s the only one with that name among the hundreds of girls whose names I typed this week.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:16 am
A little girl named Abrial (rhymes with Gabrielle). Her family called her Abby.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:32 am
I discovered the name Nara after my husband got into the anime show Naruto and once my first daughter was born thats what I decided to name her
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:34 am
My friends from Church who are expecting a baby girl are naming her Tolulola. The dad is Nigerian, and at first when I read it it didn’t roll off the tounge but really it’s not far of from Lola or Tallulah. From what I understand it’s a popular female Nigerian name. Their older son is named Yemi.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:38 am
I recently went with my family to Disney World, and one of my favorite parts is looking at the name badges all the cast members wear. There were a few I’d never heard before, like Erfan and Bereny and Shereen. One name that stopped me in my tracks was Guylaine; it was a girl’s name. I felt kind of bad for her. Besides that, there were some really pretty names, like Flor Demaria and Isolina (many of the cast members were Brazilian).
on January 29th, 2010 at 2:11 am
This week I met a young toddler named Diesel, and a 5-6 y.o. boy named Stone. My husband in his travels has been friends with a Wych (Cambodian, male, pro “which”) and Yos (Indonesian, male).
on January 29th, 2010 at 4:33 am
A boy named Tymen from the Dutch Thijmen
on January 29th, 2010 at 5:02 am
Years ago I met my first and only Journey. She was a woman in her mid 20’s. I have since had a secret crush on this name. Not too long ago I saw Bliss on a name tag worn by a young lady who physically in my opinion fit her name perfectly. Sindri, the name of Bjorks son was new to me recently as well. It appeals to me as a girls name and maybe an alternative to Sidney/Sydney.
on January 29th, 2010 at 7:23 am
In my classes I have a couple of girls named Kimi, Eri, Yumi, and Rika.
on January 29th, 2010 at 7:23 am
I’ll contribute to your list “Hulya” — the name of a belly dancer (Hulya Babus) credited in the Hammer Horror film Countess Dracula. This is a Turkish name meaning “fantasy; dream.”
on January 29th, 2010 at 7:24 am
I go on Yahoo! Answers a lot and exchange baby names with people. here are some that i found on that site. some of these you can google and find meanings to, and other you cant. also, some of these i have made up on my own =)
Raylia- this one i made up as a shorter, more modern version of Aurelia
Atley– my good friend’s name. you don’t hear it often!
Calden- this one is Egyptian and was originally spelled Khaldun… my husband found it an just American-ized it!
on January 29th, 2010 at 8:36 am
Almost two years ago my sister named her son Adonijah (pronounced ad-o-NIGH-ya), which is a biblical name that I’d never heard before, but it is in the Nameberry database. Most people think the name is “too weird” but she wanted something unique and really once you get used to it it isn’t harder to say than Jeremiah.
on January 29th, 2010 at 9:27 am
I love Turkish names, but a lot of them don’t translate well into English! Here is one that could work:
Emine – it means “desire” or “wish” and is a girl’s name in Turkish. It’s pronounced e-MEE-neh. I could see it being a unique alternative to Emily.
on January 29th, 2010 at 9:53 am
It’s not new, but I’m hearing Denali as a given name.
And I love Kester – it’s on my middle name list for a girl!
on January 29th, 2010 at 10:18 am
My great grandmother’s middle name was Emeretta. We’ve yet to figure out its origins….
on January 29th, 2010 at 10:19 am
I live in the Midwest and a have an acquaintance friend that lives in Alabama, so maybe that’s why I had never heard this name… a couple of years ago, the friend named her new son Grayer. I wondered if it was a family name. It sounded like an interesting surname to me but kind of hard to say. It’s not in your name database so I can only assume its a surname or made up. Then, what I thought was really strange was that they had another friend in their town who used Grayer just a few weeks prior on their new baby, AND there was another little boy named Grayer in their neighborhood. I had never heard of it and all of sudden, I hear of three little boys with the same name. So much for being unique. I wonder how these little mini trends get started??
on January 29th, 2010 at 10:39 am
Friends of mine want to name their baby Lua if it’s a girl. They told me that it is a Catalan name.
I also had a great great aunt named Tolussa- that I never knew of course. Nobody really knows where that came from, but I’ve always been curious about it it’s origin.
My son’s name is Bowden (pronounced “bo-den”), which is also my older brother’s name. Very few people have ever heard of it when I tell them.
Karin Marie Said
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:01 am
I was reading a magazine and there son’s name was Branson. I thought it was made up but I just looked it up on nameberry and it means son of the raven. It’s new to me and a bird name, since I have a thing for bird names!
Jess- Your grandmothers middle name is which pretty! It’s kinda close to my daughters name Amerie (AM-mah-ree), which we got from switching around my middle name Marie. It looks like a cute alternative to Marietta.
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:05 am
I recently saw ‘Mim’ and LOVED it immediately. However, my daughter’s name is Amelia and we call her Mia or Mimi, so I’m afraid that Mim would too similar for our next daughter. Thought it was so adorable though.
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:26 am
I am a teacher, and within the past four years have had two different girls with the name Chenoa! One girl pronounced it “SHEN-o-ah,” and the other girl placed more emphasis on the o (“Shen-O-ah”). I find it so strange because I’ve never heard of this name otherwise!
Pamela Redmond Satran Said
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:32 am
Corey, the obvious solution is for you to (sometimes) shorten Mimi to Mim!
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:55 am
My cousin is naming his baby Cheris (pronounced Chair-is). I am not fond of the name but it isn’t my baby so I don’t get a say.
That being said….I had a great grandmother named Ouida pronounced Wee dah. I have no idea where that name came from.
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:07 pm
I read int eh pper about someone name Yanika (pronounced Yaan- ick- uh or Yawn- ick- uh)
I like the Yaan- ik- uh way better, but thats just me!
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:15 pm
(Love your name, btw…I’ve been in love with that name for years!)
Grayer is the little boy in the Nanny Diaries…The Nanny’s little charge. She calls him Grover as a nn…The Nanny Diaries is a book and was made into a movie starrint Scarlett Johanssen.
Met a woman at work (a customer-I always look at the names on the credit card slips) named Harmalee. Never seen or heard that one before. but I’m not really a fan…
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:17 pm
The daughter of one of my colleagues is named “Mazarine” (prn. maz-ah-REEN). Apparently, it’s a type of butterfly. It’s very cute and fits her daughter well. She goes by “Maz” or “Mazzy” some of the time, which I find adorable.
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Met a Lirit recently. Means musical I believe in Hebrew. (Was a girl)
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:54 pm
Does anyone know the meaning of the name Isolena? I think I’m in love!
My mothers name is Tahma (pronounced ta-ma) and my grandmother (named Betty) named her after hearing the name in a WW2 epic. My poppa’s name is Thomas, so it was fitting.
I have created a few names that I love, one a take on Elaine, the other a combination of two names, nothing too weird, but I am retisent to share.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:10 pm
Watching anime with my sons has introduced me to:
Seiji (Say jee)
I love them all.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:16 pm
@ Abby from AppellationMountain, Maybe Denali is getting popular because, in the Twilight saga there is a girl vampire whose last name is Denali. Just a thought.
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:16 pm
One of my friends from high school named her daughter Lorelai. I hadn’t heard the name before she named her daughter (and at the time Gilmore Girls wasn’t yet on TV). I loved the name immediately!
on January 29th, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Also, a long time ago I made up the name Keerzah, and a friend of mine liked it, and decided to use it for her daughter’s name, but she spelled it Kirsa.
on January 29th, 2010 at 2:09 pm
A few weeks ago the bank teller helping me was named Danubia. When I asked her about it, she said that her grandparents had grown up not far from the Danube river, and it was her mothers way of honoring them.
on January 29th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
I read in a magazine years ago of a girl named Rhapsody. That is a pretty awesome version of Melody. My cousin named her child Cambria after a band she likes.
I have friends named Alieza, Alla, Ania, Anisa, Asenath, Cirilo, Elitza, Gal, Kaylan, Kavya, Larami, Lisl, Mateer, Reva, Salem, Segolene, Sydnor, Taidghin…
My own made up names? Everet and Darwyn for girls!
on January 29th, 2010 at 3:46 pm
Curran: I first heard it on Ted Kennedy’s stepson over the summer…
Gabourey: The first name of the actress in “Precious”
Alethea: I once knew an Alethea, and recently saw the name in credits on T.V. (I can’t remember on what show, though.)
Alden: Every time I hear it on Little House on the Prairie, I think it would make a great surname-as-a-first-name name.
Great blog! 🙂
on January 29th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Chenoah is a name I’ve seen several times up here. It’s an American Indian name.
A few others I spotted on honor rolls today:
Hawkin (a boy)
McKeon (could be either a boy or a girl)
on January 29th, 2010 at 4:29 pm
I recently met a boy named Nylin (prn. Nye- lynn). I never heard it before but I’ve grown to like it.
on January 29th, 2010 at 5:15 pm
I have recently heard the name Corrine for a girl. I know this is really not new, but I hadn’t heard it before.
names 4 Real Said
on January 29th, 2010 at 5:28 pm
I recently came across a Dexy Adelaide in a birth announcement and that was the first time I heard it. I thought it was cute and spunky and would make a great nickname for something. Haven’t figured out what yet. 🙂
And lately, I’ve come across several Athaniel’s (Nathaniel without the ‘N’. I have tried to google it, but it asks if I mean Nathaniel and just gives me Nathaniel reference. Does anyone know anything about Athaniel? Thanks!
on January 29th, 2010 at 5:43 pm
My 1 year-old nephew is named Drayden. His mother and I have found the name on the web before but it wasn’t listed on here so I thought I’d mention it.
on January 29th, 2010 at 5:47 pm
This is great! Love hearing all these unusual names!
Just yesterday I heard of a new baby boy named Jacory, pronounced “jaw-cory.” (I think “JAKE-ory” or “JACK-ory” pronunciations would have been much better!) I’ve never heard anything close to it before and assume it’s a made-up name.
My in-laws also met a little girl years and years ago named Eramy (AIR-a-mee). If they had ever had a daughter, that would have been her name. They ended up having 4 boys though! 🙂
on January 29th, 2010 at 6:34 pm
One of the prettiest names I’ve never seen or heard of anywhere else is Marigny (French name taken from the Fauborg Marigny in New Orleans and pronounced Mare-ih-nee). I went to high school with a girl named Marigny and just always thought it was so unique and lovely.
This isn’t exactly unheard of but I’ve only ran across one in my lifetime – Nova (a little girl in my eldest’s preschool class). I just love the meanings – either the astronomical one that is listed on nameberry and the “chasing butterflies” one of both Greek and American Indian derivation that I’ve found on other sites.
Looking across my extended family tree recently, I noticed that my paternal great-grandmother’s name was Alta Plennie. Very different. My maternal grandmother also had a unique name (albeit prettier in my opinion) – Jewel Docia
on January 29th, 2010 at 6:46 pm
i recently found the name Lilyquist. i think it is very pretty! i don’t know where i found it, though…
on January 29th, 2010 at 7:47 pm
The main girls name in the movie Atonement, other than Keira Knightley, is Briony. I had never heard it before, but I fell in love with it! It’s different and I just really like it. Also, there’s a movie out called PostGrad with Alexis Bledel, and her name in the movie is Ryden. I thought that was super cute, as well. Kind of like a new take on Kate Hudson’s sons name Ryder. Also, I work at a school and we have 3 girls named Legend, Legacy, and Sonnet. All have the same last name, but none are related!! I thought those names were umm… Odd.
on January 29th, 2010 at 8:14 pm
My great-aunt’s name was also Alta.
A little boy in a class I taught was named Nicoma.
on January 29th, 2010 at 8:27 pm
I recently met a kindergartener named Paris Seraphina (First and middle name). I was surprised to find out that Seraphina was her middle name because she was born before Seraphina Affleck, so obviously Paris’s parents were not influenced by her.
on January 29th, 2010 at 8:51 pm
I met a baby girl named Zuri, which, according to the mom, means “beautiful” in Swahili. (The mom was Asian American.) A friend from college has a son named Ender, presumably after the book “Ender’s Game.” My friend adopted a boy from Ethiopia whose birth name is Halleluya.
UNDISCOVERED BABY NAMES: What New Names Have You Heard Lately? | Ondelet Said
on January 29th, 2010 at 10:47 pm
[…] Read this article: UNDISCOVERED BABY NAMES: What New Names Have You Heard Lately? […]
on January 29th, 2010 at 10:49 pm
I have a cousin named Chaselyn, I am pretty sure her parents just made it up, but I love the name!
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:35 pm
I know a little girl named Ryah (rye-uh). I met her last year and it was the first time I ever heard the name.
on January 29th, 2010 at 11:42 pm
Found a few more today!
Bentley-name of a kid at my work today…his mom was yelling at him
Tamantha-on a credit card slip…Tamara + Samantha=eww!
Timmery-A girl I met a at VBS when I was in high school
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:15 am
Jaime, my paternal great-grandmother’s name was Alta, too!
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:17 am
Oh, and I recently met a girl name Zazie – it’s her full name.
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:26 am
The 2 I’ve heard lately are Valancie (VAY-lan-see) and Aurielle (O-ree-ell). I think that Aurielle is very pretty and flowy for a girl, but I don’t about Valancie.
on January 30th, 2010 at 3:17 am
Some little ones with names I find particularly original:
Zuzu (girl) — I don’t know where the parents got it.
Mazen (boy) — Arabic name from the father’s family but I can’t find it in any name books/online.
Demeter (girl) — not unheard of but certainly unusual, nn Demi. Her brother is Cosmo.
Foxen (boy) — a family surname from 8 generations back.
To poster who likes the name Mim: I recently heard of this as a nn for Miriam.
on January 30th, 2010 at 4:39 am
I worked with a woman named Dadriann. She was named by the midwife that had delivered her, and wasn’t sure of the origin.
on January 30th, 2010 at 9:12 am
A friend of mine is named Ruya (pn Roya) which she says is Persian.
I have a friend named Rence (to honor his dad Lawrence).
on January 30th, 2010 at 11:36 am
hulya is arab not turkish.
Emine is the turkish version of the arab Amina meaning truthful, trustworthy.
on January 30th, 2010 at 12:55 pm
I have too too many names for this blog!
Two recent made-up names I found here in Norway are Vilenna and Tiliane, and to be honest I don’t like them, but they’re better that Khaylah.
Others I’ve been blithely surprised to see:
Franz (I’d forgotten all about him!!)
And of the ones mentioned already I love these:
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
I forgot Ermengarde!! I love the clunky German quality of Ermengarde!
Whitney Gigandet Said
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:08 pm
Kester and Solstice are two recent loves of mine; Kester honors a dear Kristopher and hubby was born on the Winter Solstice 🙂 My best friend’s three boys are named Zane, Axel, and Gabrian — an alternative to the more effeminate-sounding Gabriel.
on January 30th, 2010 at 1:45 pm
@Andrea – maybe Juria is the Japanese form of Julia? I know that’s how my name is spelt and pronounced in Japanese.
on January 30th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Araceli (female) – Spanish name, though I heard it used on a white American baby. I think it’s pretty.
Aprillia (female) – I think it was pronounced ah-PRIL-ee-ah (not April Leah)
Calper (male) – with nickname Cal
on January 30th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
I can’t believe Yara and Mirthe are listed here. I mean I understand the same names aren’t popular in all countries but a lot of people (especially little kids) are named Yara and Mirthe here.
And I saw someone write about Yos. Jos (prn Yos) used to be a popular name here. It’s like a dad-name. 😉
on January 30th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
Another name I have encountered recently is Harryo, from the movie The Duchess, with Keira Knightley. In the movie, her daughters name is Harriet but answers to Harryo.
on January 30th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
@Tamara – I know! Johs is fairly well known in Norway, and Liva like someone mentioned is also quite common, although Live is superpopular. Emine is also gaining in popularity here along with Emina… turkish names are actually well used by Norwegians, Emina and Emre being the top examples… ^^
Is the pronunciation of Mirthe accurate though? I’ve been wondering about that, so it’d be nice if you could tell me since you live around little Mirthes 🙂
Also, a couple I missed last post:
Demeter and Flor are lovely!
on January 30th, 2010 at 4:04 pm
I probably came a cross as a bit obnoxious, I just want to point out that I do understand that naming trends are different in each country, but It’s just funny for me to see those names on this list because they are common here. 😉
Mirthe is pronounched as Mir(as in MIRacle)-Tuh
And from your last post: Floor, with two o’s is a name in Holland! Also not the most uncommon name. 😉 Although I can not see that one catching up in English speaking countries for obvious reasons haha. It obviously does not have the same meaning in both Dutch and English. 😉
on January 30th, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Ani: I found it while researching names for my blog. Its an Armenian female name, it was the name of an ancient capital in Armenia and it is currently one of the most popular female names in Armenia.
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:14 pm
Throughout my life, I’ve heard these rare names on kids, adults, friends, family, and acquaintances. Some are great, some awful… in alphabetical order:
Adele, Afton (girl), Anja, Annarose, Amory (boy), Bennett (girl), Betsy, Bostyn (girl), Brecken (girl), Calypso (girl), Canaan (KAY-nen) (boy), Cascade, Cecily, Celine, Channing (girl), Charmian (CHARM-ee-in) (girl), Cherie (sha-REE), Clifford (Cliff), Coral (KOR-el), Daelan (boy), Davyn (DAV-in) (girl), Dexter (Dex), Divina (di-VEE-nuh), Eloise, Eloisa, Esme, Estella, Ford, Greer (girl), Henrietta, Honor, Janson (boy), Joella, Johannah (jo-HAHN-uh), Josette, Kalista, Kamaya (ka-MAY-uh), Katarina, Kaylene, Kelly Michelle, Laken (LAKE-in) (girl), Langley (girl), Lianna (lee-ANN-uh), Loréal (lor-ee-ELL), Louisa, Luana (loo-AH-nah), Lyrica, Marielle (mar-ee-ELL), Mariesa (ma-REE-suh), Marion, Marysunny, Mathya (ma-TIE-a), Meridien, Merrit-Grace, Milana (mi-LAHN-a), Milaya (mill-AY-uh), Miller (boy), Minerva, Nevin (boy), Nichelle (ni-KELL), Nicos, Nikki, Odette, Orion (boy), Paraskevi (Evi) (girl), Rowe (boy), Terese (ter-EECE), Teal (girl), Sarabrent (sarah-BRENT), Saxon (girl), Sayer (boy), Sinead (shin-AID), Siobhan (shiv-AHN), Sunny, Susanna, Suzannah, Theodora, Vesco (boy), West (boy), Wojtek (VOY-teck) (boy)
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:22 pm
My pastor’s daughter is named Hilah, which I’ve never heard anywhere else. My pastor’s grandson is named Beaumin (bow man). Also, my aunt wants her first girl baby to be named Oronya (a – rawn – yah).
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:24 pm
recently met a woman named Fiammetta which means little flame in Italian. I like the meaning but find it a little unwieldy.
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:33 pm
On one of those cooking competition shows there was a woman named Maristella. I thought it was quite lovely.
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
Also, I went to school with a guy named Shenendoah.
on January 30th, 2010 at 5:55 pm
@Tamara – Thanks for explaining Mirthe again! I really appreciate it!
And I think I’ve heard of Floor, the Dutch name! I think it’s nice apart from being a thing you walk on XD
The Dutch Thjis (I think that’s how you spell it) is also fascinating! We have Theis as a short form of Matheus in Norway, and Thjis makes me think of that! Are they by any chance related? And Johs is a short form of Johannes ^^
Also, Linnea is a super rare gem in America and England, but WAY overused in Norway. It’s just lost all of it’s value to me being so overused here, I just can’t bring myself to like it on a child born elsewhere, regardless of how uncommon it is there (and I LOVE uncommon names, often simply because they are uncommon)
on January 30th, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Friends of mine called their daughter Aeris (pronounced AIR-iss). Her full name is Aeris Alexandra and I’ve always thought it was a lovely name. It’s a combination of Eris (a goddess) and Aerith, a character from the video game Final Fantasy 7. They’re expecting #2 now; I can’t wait to see what name they choose for Aeris’s brother or sister.
on January 30th, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Gennesaret (with the gutteral G; it’s a place near the Sea of Galilee)
Kimorah (sounds like Cumorah; it’s a Mormonname)
Zarahemla (also Mormon)
Liet (girl’s name, lee-et)
One of my sons is named Musashi, after a famous feudal-era samurai.
We almost named one of our sons Ender too. 😀
on January 30th, 2010 at 7:17 pm
I like the name Parvaneh or Parvana.
on January 30th, 2010 at 7:19 pm
I guess I should have said, Parveneh means butterfly in persian.
on January 30th, 2010 at 8:18 pm
I have close family friends Sunindia (which I was told means sleeps well) and her brother is Rohit. Their folks moved to the States from India before they were born. They are names I have never heard on anyone else. I think Sunindia sounds lovely.
on January 30th, 2010 at 8:48 pm
I was served by two women today, both whose names I hadn’t come across before.
Petpetual, a African-American woman in her early 40s
Fior, a Spanish woman also in her 40s.
on January 30th, 2010 at 9:02 pm
We had a student named A-a. It’s pronounced Adasha. Instead of spelling out “dash” they used the symbol instead.
on January 30th, 2010 at 10:15 pm
My son’s name is Pacen (pronounced PAY-sen). My husband came up with it one night while we were watching Professional Bull Riding. Think there is a bullrider with the same name.
Ash SP Said
on January 30th, 2010 at 10:32 pm
There was a little boy in our play group named Sola (his father was Japanese and I think it means “moon”.) There is also a brother/sister grouping named Omer and Zola. I really wanted to reuse Sola for a girls’ name!
on January 31st, 2010 at 3:12 am
I knew a woman with a little girl named Myella. The parents came up with it themselves because they liked the name Ella but it was too common. One day the husband says, “I want MY Ella”… And Myella was born!
on January 31st, 2010 at 6:04 am
Not to be rude but I don’t think there are -that- many people with the name A-a (Adasha) or La-a (Ladasha). I think most of the people claiming to know these people are just passing on an urban legend and its completely lost its shock value!
I love Mirthe!
on January 31st, 2010 at 7:33 am
I’ve recently heard of an aquaintance who named her son Joris (Yo-reece) which apprently is a Dutch and lower German version of George.
Other than that I’ve come across a lot of Arabis, Turkish and Polish names I haven’t heard before like:
Chifee (Shi-fay), she’s got Tunesian parents
Timur (Tee-moor), turkish boys name I really like
Akin (Ah-kin), also a turkish boys name
Aylin (like Eileen but with a shorter e-Sound), liked especially by interracial German-Turkish parents.
Evgeni (Ev-gay-nee/Ev-ge-nee), polish version of Eugene
Dorota, polish version of Dorothea
There are a lot more of those, but I guess that’s enough. Two names I’ve only heard once on German children:
Damon and Silvan (Sil-vahn)
on January 31st, 2010 at 7:56 am
@ Dearest- The name Thijs, spelled like that, is indeed popular in Holland! I’m pretty sure it’s in the top 20, maybe even in the top 10 of most common boys names. And it’s been at the top for a long time now. I have a nephew named Mathijs, and we sometimes call him by the nn Thijs. I don’t know if Mattheus and Thijs are related.
@ Annika- Yes, I’m from Holland and I’ve heard the name Joris a couple of times. 🙂 It’s a lovely name 😀
on January 31st, 2010 at 11:24 am
@ Tamara: If Thijs is a form of Mathijs than it’s related to Matteus/Matheus which is the Scandinavian form of Matthew, like Mathijs is the Dutch version… I checked 🙂
And I got the ij combo wrong… Easy mistake I think 🙂
on January 31st, 2010 at 12:05 pm
@ Dearest: ah okay! I love names but I don’t always know their orgin, but I guess it should have been obvious to me after I pointed out the Mathijs/Thijs thing haha. Mathijs and Matteus/Matheus look so similar! I also know a guy names Mattias, I guess that’s another form of the same name then?
on January 31st, 2010 at 3:31 pm
I’ve heard a few…
Boston Girl Said
on January 31st, 2010 at 3:32 pm
I haven’t come across too many unusual names in my time, but I do remember a few… I know I’ve brought this name up before, but I fell in love with “Susina” many years ago. I was in a Girl Scout troop with an older girl who had this as a surname, and I always thought it would make a wonderful variation on Susan. If I ever have a daughter, that’ll be her name.
I also went to school with a girl named Honeybee. Her personality was much closer to the “bee” part of her name than the “honey” part though… 🙂
on January 31st, 2010 at 5:49 pm
Well, these aren’t necessarily new, but here are some:
-Chauncée: One of my friend’s names, and I think it’s really pretty. I had never heard it before, but she told me that her mom knew someone in college with that name and thought it was really pretty and ended up using it.
-Jael (pronounced hi-yel): Another one of my friend’s names, and I’ve seen it on the nameberry database, but not pronounced like this. Everyone pronounces her name like Jail, or misspells it like the name Joel, but she loves her name.
-Sedona: I actually just babysat for this little girl, and I think her name is just gorgeous. I had never heard it until I met her about a year ago, but it fits her perfectly.
A new one is Tanna. When I was babysitting Sedona, she had a list of her friends’ names for her birthday party, and I couldn’t help but check it out.
Tanna stood out the most. I’ve never heard it before.
on January 31st, 2010 at 6:51 pm
Some names I have not found on nameberry that i love most of the time.
Graylee-made up in my head
Ailey(eye-lee)-read it on the internet
Reed for a girl
there are others but i cant think of them right now
on January 31st, 2010 at 7:15 pm
I did not read the 90+ posts here, so forgive me if someone else has mentioned this, but recently I was thinking about using Valor as a given name. I was trying to think of a way to get to Val without using Valerie or Valeria. Valor occurred to me, and considering how many attribute names we have out there (Faith, Hope, etc., and Valor is similar in sound to Honor), I am surprised it hasn’t been suggested or incorporated. Can you include it in your next book? Then perhaps it will have some legitimacy for my husband. 🙂
on January 31st, 2010 at 7:16 pm
whoops – I just found it on your website. Sorry! It must be in your newest book – it’s not in the Baby Name Bible I have.
on January 31st, 2010 at 7:52 pm
For me the 2 names that really stick out are Zev and Artem. My husband worked with people who had these names. We loved Artem so much we used it for our son. If (a big if) we have another, Zev would be his brother.
on January 31st, 2010 at 8:55 pm
I saw Avatar this weekend. I predict a rash of girls named Netiri or Nateeri, etc.
I’d be surprised if the Juria I spotted on the honor roll is intended to be Japanese. Now that I think about it, I’ve seen the girl named Juria at a spelling bee and she’s white with a very English surname. It probably is a Japanese name too but I think this one must have a different origin.
I’ve known a few immigrants with interesting names too, though.
Rinat is a ballet school teacher here who used to be in the Moscow ballet. I saw somewhere that it’s actually derived from some old Soviet Communist acronym but it’s also a Latin version of Rene, meaning “reborn.”
I’ve met men from India named Arjun, Sunil, and Raj and women named Gayatri, Vina, Kimaya and Indira. A number of years ago I did a story on Kurdish refugees named Said and Parveen or Parween.
I interviewed a very pretty young ballerina named Cameo.
One of my high school classmates has a daughter named Mikaylyn.
I’ve also seen Jory/Jorie/Joree and Joby used several times for girls as well as boys.
I also remember hearing the name Viorica for a Romanian adoptee who had AIDS on a 20/20 news segment. The girl and her brothers were doing very well when they did the story. I hope she’s still alive. The name means “bluebell” in Romanian and is pronounced VEE-oh-REE-ka if I remember right. It seems to be a traditional name there.
on January 31st, 2010 at 9:28 pm
Some interesting names I’ve heard recently Cintia (pron. seen-cha), Surina, Bryer (for a boy) Atrenda, Shaylin, Dalon, Esai,Irais (Ee-dye-ees, a girl), Matisse (a girl) Shandy and Xanthy
on January 31st, 2010 at 10:13 pm
I once met a little girl named Naya, like the bottled water. She was cute, but I would never name my own kid that!
on January 31st, 2010 at 10:20 pm
My sons’ name is Ariston Much like Aristotle, in Greek it means the best
on January 31st, 2010 at 10:38 pm
These are not new, but just new to me. I have never met or heard of anyone with these names, but I really like them:
Abra–a little girl
Hill–a little boy
on January 31st, 2010 at 11:36 pm
In the end credits of a movie I watched, I spotted the name Merdyce. I’ve never seen this name before and honestly don’t now how to pronounce it.
on February 1st, 2010 at 3:21 am
@Peach: Zuzu is the name of George Bailey’s little girl in It’s a Wonderful Life. Remember Zuzu’s petals? My best friend named her cat that.
When I was a little girl I had a fairy-doll I named Meriweign (pronounced MER-i-when). I have no idea where it came from or what the deal with the spelling was, but I told my mother she was a Welsh fairy.
I recently came across a girl named Reality. I wonder how her parents landed on that one?
Charlotte Vera Said
on February 1st, 2010 at 3:24 am
I grew up with a Dutch guy-friend named Leendert (pronounced something akin to LANE-dirt)
Just today I met a little girl named Auriana
I used to know a little girl named Vurilla (not sure how it was spelt)
Khazana — a Hindi/Sanskrit word name that means “treasure”
Swarg — a Sanskrit word for Heaven
Megha — another Hindi/Sanskrit girl’s name — the “h” is enunciated (apparently it means “cloud”)
A couple I know have a Tryphena (a little-used biblical name)
I recently met an Andelina
A friend named her children Ayanna (a girl) and Zephan (a boy)
on February 1st, 2010 at 12:12 pm
Two more names:
Erez – (male) I believe it might be Israeli
Anash – (male) this name is a friend’s son. It is the Mongolian word for “giraffe.” She and her husband chose it because they are Mongolian but live in the States and wanted a name that worked in both English and their native tongue.
Alimaa – (female) also Mongolian – do not know the meaning. Said something like ah lee MAAH (I’m not sure that it isn’t actually pronounced with sounds that we don’t exactly have in English).
on February 1st, 2010 at 2:54 pm
At my first internship in college, I met an *Athan*. He was an all-around great guy so perhaps that influenced why I like the name so much. It is a variant of the (less charming, in my opinion) Athanasios which means “eternal life” in Greek.
In a world where Nathan, Nate and Nathaniel are quite popular, I think Athan is a nice alternative that still sounds familiar.
on February 1st, 2010 at 8:16 pm
Linelei: How cute is your Welsh fairy name! When I was a little girl, I made up the name Shauntaila (Shawn TAY la) and thought it was the prettiest name in the world!
on February 1st, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Abcde – I’m serious
on February 2nd, 2010 at 10:20 am
Stephanie_elizabeth – thanks for the compliment and for explaining. Guess i should have picked up that paperback a few years back. Actually, I think I did read it but it was such a ‘fluff’ book i guess it didn’t stick with me.
Jaime- I LOVE Marigny! I went to college with a girl named Marigny. She was just one of those very cool girls without even trying. She was from New Orleans. I have never seen it anywhere else nor can I find on most name sites!
on February 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Others I found interesting…
on February 2nd, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Hulya IS a Turkish name.
on February 2nd, 2010 at 10:03 pm
Evian (pronounced Ev-ee-on) has been a quiet favourite of mine for many years, I might take into account this is the blog I’m choosing to post it on, but I don’t think it’s too weird.
on February 2nd, 2010 at 10:51 pm
That was funny about the made-up “Welsh fairy” name. I have a similar story…when I was about 4 I had this fluffy stuffed dog whom I named Benetheo (a totally made-up name). Years later, I realized that this is really a Latin/Greek mixture meaning “good God” or “God is good”. 🙂
on February 3rd, 2010 at 1:20 pm
During some recent family tree searching I came across the list of my great-great-great grandparents children, including:
Iva and Idella will go into my pot for consideration, but poor Lois Manelva and Newton Clairmont!
on February 4th, 2010 at 8:35 pm
My great-grandmother’s name was Belzora…I think it’s wonderful when shortened to Zora, and it’s on my personal list that way.
Also, my great-great….grandfather’s name was Silus Tipton Harmon…I’venever seen Silas sp with a “u”, and thought Tipton was interesting….the nn Tip would be cute 🙂
on February 5th, 2010 at 1:27 am
I’ve recently become close friends with a girl named Berengere. Even living in NYC, where even the most foreign-sounding names are just shrugged off by most people, everyone in my group of friends was raising eyebrows at that one. Apparently her mother told her it was French, but she doesn’t know what the meaning is. Berengere is kinda embarassed by her strange name, but I think it’s elegant and suits her good looks and mature, gathered personality. I love when a name just looks and sounds right on a person!
on February 11th, 2010 at 7:42 am
Carmody. I found this name while trying to figure out if Carmindy from What Not To Wear was an actual real name. I must say I think Carmody is pretty nice.
on February 11th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
My mother-in-law told me a few family names. The most interesting was Alphage. It’s the name of an obscure Catholic saint. I guess a possible nick name would be Al or Alphie.
on February 24th, 2010 at 2:54 pm
I have a cousin named Brecklyn Not Brooklyn! I love it! I had never heard of that name until she named her! Since then we have only heard it probably 2 times and she is 10 now ( I think! )
on February 27th, 2010 at 2:03 am
Haakon (pronounced Hayken) is apparently an old family name that, we think, has Norwegian roots. I’ve never heard it anywhere else. But, then again, I’ve never been to Norway.
on March 16th, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Drayton- I love this name. It’s unusual without being weird. He was an old boss of mine. It’s not in the nameberry database.
Jerrica- evidently it was popular in the mid-80s but I never heard it until a coworker of mine was named this.
Wimberly- A girl in my VBS class; not in nameberry database. It is a small town in Texas so maybe that is where her parents got the idea.
Dublin- I can’t believe I have never heard this one before. Some name sites don’t even have it listed. It’s on the top of my list (it was my maiden name and I was so sad to let it go).
on March 16th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Adler. A girl I went to high school with just named her baby boy this and I love it. I haven’t been able to find it on any name sites or books.
Gracen, prounounced “Grayson” but I love this spelling. Usually I don’t like alternative spellings so much, but in this case I think it completely changes the meaning behind the name. It’s a nice take on the classic “Grace” for a little girl.
Michal for a girl. A friend of mine has this name and it’s perfect for her. Now I can’t meet a man/boy named Michael without thinking about how feminine the name sounds.
on March 17th, 2010 at 12:51 am
To poster who likes the name Mim: Don’t shorten it. I HATE it when people think it’s cute and shorten my name which is already too short to Mim (and pronounce it either Meem or Mim with a short i).
One of my favorite names is Chaya (pronounce ch like charlie– aaya). Means shadow in sanskrit. I’d use it on my own baby but my mother would kill me. Still I always like it.
on March 30th, 2010 at 8:59 pm
Yamila – form of an Arabic name that means beautiful
Aglaia – Greek Muse of Beauty
on April 4th, 2010 at 7:46 pm
My daughter was having friends over for her birthday party, it was going well until vitiare (i don’t think thats right) its from teheeti (again… spelling) prounouced vi tee air ee. i jst didn’t call her anything…
My eldest is called Apphia (a f ee a) most people think that is unusual.. her middle name is treasa after my nanny but by happy coincedence that means ‘increasing strength’
My eldest son is called Chaské which is another one where people look at you like ‘sorry did i hear right’
on April 17th, 2010 at 2:40 am
I’ve got two you’ve never heard:
they’re both old family names and I’ve never heard them anywhere else!
Also, Fielding is another family (first) name–supposedly it’s Irish, but not popular!
on April 17th, 2010 at 8:33 pm
my son’s middle name is karst. it’s the kind of rock caves form in & i love cave diving. i haven’t run across it as a name, though there’s at least one other little boy who has it as a middle because his daddy’s a cave diver, too.
Kirstan’s Mommy Said
on May 2nd, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Stoke- very masculine!!
on May 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 pm
My aunt was named Elloa, pronounced e-lo-a, and has a few namesakes but I’ve never run across it on any sites. Not sure of the meaning but it’s a nice alternative to Ellen, Eleanor etc.
on May 3rd, 2010 at 10:43 am
A few years ago, I lived in a neighborhood where two unrelated neighbors were both named Memory. I had never heard the name and it was such a coincidence that they happened to move in next door to one another! Oh, and I’ll bet the name “Grayer” came from the Nanny Diaries book!
on May 23rd, 2010 at 10:59 pm
A family that I sometimes babysit for have two kids, whose names I’d never heard before until I met them. Their oldest, a boy, is named Keelan. And their daughter is named Riyah.
on May 26th, 2010 at 5:05 am
These are all names of people I know-
Maruyi (pr. ma-ROO-ee)
Diandra (pr. dee-ANN-drah)
Kelia (pr. ka-LEE-ah)
on May 26th, 2010 at 5:07 am
Woops, forgot the boys. Only 2:
on July 1st, 2010 at 3:49 pm
I also know a Michal, and she is a dear friend of mine. She was named after her dad, but it’s also a biblical name (King Saul’s daughter and King David’s first wife.)
Oh, my sister’s name is D’Shea (French for “little one”). She’s 11, and I’ve never heard of another one.
on August 19th, 2010 at 11:29 pm
My cousins are half Nigerian and their names are:
Lanre (pn: lan-REE)
Waju (pn: WAH-jew)
Nabila (pn: na-BEE-la) – nn. Nabbie
Akeem – nn. Aki
The first four names belong to just one of my cousins – she was the first born child and got stuck with all of the family names, she just goes by Lanre though.
on August 20th, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Ouida Flor Valorie Evian Berengere Haakon Chaya
From this thread: Ouida seems like two words for yes (French and Russian) stuck together.
Flor is a Spanish name meaning Flower. I stayed with a family in Costa Rica, and the mother’s name was Flor. She didn’t like her name; she thought it sounded masculine.
To the woman considering Valor: my pastor’s wife is Valorie. I like it better than Valerie, now that I’m used to it, for the “valor” part. She says it is a legit spelling, possibly older.
Evian is also a brand of water, but I knew one in high school.
I know a woman on another naming board who loves Berengaria; I am betting Berengere is a French version. It was borne by a queen and means bear-spear.
Haakon is definitely Scandinavian.
Chaya is also a Hebrew name meaning life, pronounced Chy a (Ch like in Chanukkah, y like in sky) It can also be Chaia, and it is the same name as Chava, which is the root behind Eve.
I don’t run across many new names, but I did recently see Diella, which apparently means worshipper of God, on this board. I like the meaning.
on August 22nd, 2010 at 12:59 am
My great grandmother’s name was Ila Julana pronounce Jew-lay-nuh. I’ve never seen it anywhere else.
My bil is named Paeter. Pay-ter
Keliah is a Biblical name I’ve not seen in books or websites.
on August 31st, 2010 at 1:52 pm
I’ve heard of a little boy named Harker. I first thought of the Christmas song, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, but now I think it’s a nice alternative to Parker. I love it, so cute!
on September 17th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
I know a girl named Florentina (went by Tina) and another named Vera-Luana. Not unheard of names, but definitely uncommon.
As far as made up names, I invented a few for some characters:
Senrin (f) – Senka+Rin
Shirika (f) – from Shirina
Parika (f) – from Parisa (which I actually think is prettier)
Xehla (m) – No idea where I got this one from
Kenael (m) – Kenan+Lael
Kahlin (f) – From Kali
If anyone uses these in real life, I will be utterly shocked. Although I really do like Kahlin and Senrin.
on September 19th, 2010 at 7:54 am
here are a few
marato (Pr Ma-ra-toe) – never seen that name until i went to school with a boy of that name
Genesis- a boy that went to the kindy i worked at ( i love this name now at first i didnt)
balin(Pr ba-lyn) – a boy that went to the kindy i work at love this name
zye-(i pronunce it like jai but with a z) saw it in a magazine
on September 22nd, 2010 at 2:47 pm
I went to school with a girl named Jadiann (Ja-di-ahn)
on October 5th, 2010 at 4:24 am
Lorelai is a name out of an old German myth. She was a beautiful woman with long blond hair that sat on a cliff overlooking the Rhein (river). She sang so beautifully and was so gorgeous that many a man lost his life because he crashed his boat underneath her cliff.
I think Lilyquist could derive from the Skandinavian family name “Lillequist”
loove namess Said
on October 19th, 2010 at 7:18 am
Ellora (E-llora) means “from the sea”
Violet (nickname Vi?)
Noah (Yes for a girl lol)
on November 2nd, 2010 at 2:52 pm
I know a girl called Perianne, she says her mum made it up.
on December 1st, 2010 at 12:49 am
Ilea (eye lee uh)
Amma (Aw muh)
Tennille (after the musical group)
Jenivee (my ggrandmother)
Keturah (know this is Biblical and means “incense,” but never before had met one)
on December 30th, 2010 at 4:40 pm
I love the name Esmerine.
Other unusual girl names I love:
Also, my mom’s name is Felisa (Felicia + Lisa)
on January 3rd, 2011 at 5:56 pm
My friend’s dad is called Trevann – I’ve certainly never met another Trevann! I asked him about it once and he said that his parents just made it up. He gets called “Trev” quite a lot.
I’ve met one Ketura before, and one Lorelei, and in the past also have met one Breeze, one Honor and now teach a girl called Raven. I also once met a girl called Tulsa – I assume she was named after the city?? I went to school with a boy called Padraic (“Padrick”) – an early Irish version of Patrick. Inevitably he was known as Paddy!
Cambree Notes » Blog Archive » Butterflies and Blessings Said
on January 4th, 2011 at 2:37 am
[…] also love this artwork, a box of full of beautiful butterflies is a lovely surprise. Source nameberry. No Comments Apache Indian Blessing, Butterflies, Irish Blessing […]
on January 20th, 2011 at 8:28 pm
I read in a book the name Osbaldo. Yes, Osbaldo.
As for characters i made up, there are a few notable ones They are…
Orbel (I really actually like this one)
Sorry if i offened any one named Osbaldo!
on January 24th, 2011 at 5:04 pm
When I taught preschool years ago I fell in love with a little girl’s name. She was from a Jewish family and her name is Merav. I’ve checked a few lists and haven’t found a meaning for it yet.
on March 13th, 2011 at 3:27 am
I have a friend with 6 kids. I know, 6…
Kaiten (a girl, one liked Kathren, one Caitlyn)
Stellan (after the actor)
Those are definitely the strangest.
Jennifer Arnone Said
on April 5th, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Years ago in Hawaii, I opened a book of Hawaiian language to the word Olilli (Oh-lee-lee) which means “shimmering like the moonlight” and promptly decided it would become the name of my yet-to-be-born daughter.
Jennifer Arnone Said
on April 5th, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Oh, yes, I also love the names Shaed (pronounced Shade) and Moss for girls.
on April 7th, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Probably the most unique, yet appropriate name I’ve heard is my boyfriend’s name. His name is Averin.
Robin Williams, beard, star in ‘Zelda’ 3D ad | Contains Games Said
on June 16th, 2011 at 6:06 pm
[…] quite the devotion, but kudos to the elder Williams for choosing Zelda instead of something like Aeris or even Like, as an Israeli couple named their daughter to honor the Facebook […]
on June 25th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
I have had my first name, Graylee for 49 years now…. some like it, some love it…and a few “dislike/hate” it. It was given to me, so I LOVE it. (~_~)
on July 25th, 2011 at 9:55 pm
I seem to have a fascination with names. I have just read every one of these posts! I love the following names:
Emmett, Coen, Kieren, Levi, Malachi, Diesel
Callie, Daisy, Skyla, Brenna
Names that I have heard that are different:
Kellan, Codie (girl), Ronnie (girl short for veronica), Aijhalon (I-jha-lon), Scout, Garrance (girl), Conner (girl), Podraig (Pod-rick), Connell, Ruari (pronounced Rory), Aisling (pronounced Ashlene), Memphis
love this blog!
on March 4th, 2012 at 6:33 pm
@molly_locket Guylaine is a French name pronounced Ghee-LEN with a hard g and the Len sounds like you’re making a long ‘a’ sound, but moving your mouth like you’re saying a short ‘e’. LOL! Does that make sense? pn’s are so hard to explain on paper! So maybe it’s not as tragic a name for a girl as you thought? 🙂
on November 14th, 2012 at 7:55 pm
MY KIDS NAMES ARE UNIQUE I THINK MY SON NAME IS LEGEND AND MY DAUGHTER IS NAMED LEGACY LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ! 😀
on December 26th, 2012 at 12:16 am
Baylis, Boone, Marlon, Jovie
on April 21st, 2013 at 9:21 pm
Palden – a Tibetan boy’s name. Pronounced “Paul-den”. Means gloriousness. A nice twist on Paul and the entire “en” trend. Also apparently an Irish last name.
on August 16th, 2013 at 11:01 am
I like the name Kestrel for a girl nickname Kez or Kes and Aslan for a boy in a realistic world i can’t use them x
on June 14th, 2014 at 7:20 pm
I came across Elliana while looking for an alternative for Eleanor/Ellie. I saw a documentary with a girl in it named Jael and immediately fell in love with the name. I met a girl named Maylilly the other day. I came across Irelyn while looking for an alternative for Erin. I heard Georgianna the other day also.
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