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Classic Baby Names with a Twist

What if you love classic baby names but want something more original? Or if you're looking to honor a relative but want to spin their classic name a bit differently? Without getting into too-crazy spelling variations or too-easy international forms, here some twists on classic baby names.

  • Abilene

    Abilene is a rarely used place name, mentioned as such in the New Testament, that combines the cowboy spunk of the Texas city with the midwestern morality of the Kansas town where Dwight D.... Read More 

  • Adriano

    Adriano is a dashing Italian name which gets around the possible gender confusion of Adrian.Read More 

  • Alec

    Alec, though an old nickname for Alexander, is much fresher sounding than Alex, with the additional advantage, at least to some parents, of being distinctly male (there are as many girl Alexes... Read More 

  • Alexandrine

    Alexandra is a name with many international variations, elaborations and short forms, and Alexandrine is one of the more unusual. Another, Alexandrina, was the first name of Queen Victoria.Read More 

  • Amalia

    Amalia is a widely cross-cultural name, heard from Italy to Romania, Germany to Scandinavia. The current heir to the Dutch throne is Princess Catharina-Amalia of Orange. It can be pronounced... Read More 

  • Anja

    Anja is one of the most exotic of several versions of Ann/Anna now being imported, also including Anya and Annika.

    Anja is heard in several European cultures, including Germany,... Read More 

  • Annika

    Annika is a surprise hit of recent years, inspired by golfer Sorenstam; for Trekkies, it was also the name of a 'Star Trek:Voyager' character. Some people's first memory of it might be as Pippi... Read More 

  • Anton

    Cultured and cultivated in an old-style, Old World way. Sometimes associated with the classic writer Anton Chekhov. Al Pacino has a son with this name.Read More 

  • Arno

    Subtract the last two letters of Arnold, and you're left with a much more modern-sounding name. Arno is also the name of the main river in Florence, upon which sits the famed Ponte Vecchio. The... Read More 

  • Ashling

  • Beatrix

    Beatrix, has a solid history of its own apart from Beatrice, with that final x adding a playful, animated note to the name's imposing history. It has been largely associated with Beatrix (born... Read More 

  • Benedict

    Parents who like Ben and Benjamin but find those forms too popular sometimes consider Benedict as a more distinctive choice. Unlike the Old Testament Benjamin, Benedict is the name of the saint... Read More 

  • Benno

    Benno is a cool name in its own right -- there was a tenth century Saint Benno -- though it is also used as a lively nickname for Benjamin. Saint Benno of Meissen is the patron saint of anglers... Read More 

  • Carlotta

    Carlotta has a large measure of finger-snapping exotic charm and substance--despite being a not too pleasant character in The Little Mermaid. Carlotta is also the diva/prima donna in... Read More 

  • Carolina

    Languid, romantic, and classy, this variation heats up Caroline and modernizes Carol, adding a southern accent.

    Pronounced Caro-LINE-a in English-speaking countries, it is heard as... Read More 

  • Caterina

    If your ancestry is Italian, you may want to consider this elegant twist on a classic. Read More 

  • Cecile

    Cecile is a fairly common French saint's name, scattered throughout classic French literature--in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, in Balzac's Cousin Pons, and Zola's Germinal.

    Cecile, Cecily... Read More 

  • Ceil

    With the growing popularity of Celia and Cecilia, this vintage canasta-playing nickname name could be due for a comeback.

    Ceil had a few years of recorded popularity in the first decade... Read More 

  • Christiana

    Not cutting edge, but still graceful and feminine. Read More 

  • Christo

    This unusual name, which is jauntier than Chris when used as a diminutive of Christopher, is associated with the Bulgarian installation artist of that name, responsible for wrapping many public... Read More 

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