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Baby Names Sure to Shock Grandma

Baby Names Sure to Shock Grandma
The unusual and unique baby names on your list are likely to shock Grandma, especially since she probably thinks you should name the baby Helen, after her. You can tell her that Maverick and Messiah, even Khaleesi are all mainstream baby names, but she might not believe you.

Along with Khaleesi and Maverick, other names sure to shock Grandma in the US Top 1000 include Legend, Persephone, Ace, Brylie, Saint, Goddess, Seven, and Journey. If you really want to blow Grandma’s mind, tell her you’re calling the baby Vendetta or Bellatrix, Lucifer or Rocket.

After hearing these names, Grandma will probably tell you to give your baby a “normal” name, like Kevin or Linda or Gerald. But even if she's more open-minded than most, the following baby names will probably render her speechless — which may be the effect you're after.
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OpheliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "help"
  • Description:

    Ophelia is a beautiful name that has long been hampered by the stigma of Hamlet's tragic heroine—for whom he seems to have invented the name—but more and more parents are beginning to put that association aside. There is also a gutsy Ophelia in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin, which seems to have had some influence on baby namers at the time.

LilithHeart

  • Origin:

    Assyrian, Sumerian
  • Meaning:

    "ghost, night monster"
  • Description:

    Lilith is derived from the Akkadian word lilitu meaning “of the night.” In Jewish folklore she is portrayed as Adam's rejected first wife, who was turned into a night demon for refusing to obey him. Lilith is unrelated to most other Lil- names, with the exception of Lilita, which is the Latvian variation.

DangerHeart

  • Origin:

    American word name
  • Description:

    Prime example of the aggressive word names that are an off-the-grid branch of the new macho names. Makes Cannon, Maverick, and Ranger feel almost soft and sensitive by comparison.

PersephoneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Persephone is the esoteric name of the Greek mythological daughter of Zeus by Demeter, the queen of the harvest. After she was kidnapped by Hades to be Queen of the Underworld, it was decreed by Zeus that she would spend six months of the year with her mother, allowing crops to grow, and six in mourning, thus accounting for the seasons.

AceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "one, unity"
  • Description:

    No longer tied to the hapless Ace Ventura, this jaunty, high-flying nickname name is starting to take flight among celebrity and other parents, with its countless positive references to doing well in tests and poker games, on the tennis court and golf course, and in the air.
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MaverickHeart

  • Origin:

    American
  • Meaning:

    "independent, nonconformist"
  • Description:

    At the rate it's growing, Maverick soon won't seem like such a maverick anymore. Heard first in a 1950s James Garner western TV series, and then as the Tom Cruise character in Top Gun, Maverick symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit.

LuciferHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light-bearer"
  • Description:

    Lucifer is the name of the archangel cast into hell -- theologians disagree on whether he and Satan are separate beings -- and as such has long been on the forbidden list for religious parents. Still banned in New Zealand, Lucifer is occasionally used in the contemporary U.S.: Six boys were given the name in the most recent year counted.

CashHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
  • Meaning:

    "hollow"
  • Description:

    Whether it's due to its economic connotations, or its link to American legend Johnny Cash, this name is widely used, and has been used by several celebrities including Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.

BellatrixHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "female warrior"
  • Description:

    J.K. Rowling is a modern master of naming who brought a whole constellation of ancient and celestial names to modern parents. Bellatrix, of one of the stars of Orion, combines fashionable names Bella and Beatrix to make a convivial and original name. The down side: the Harry Potter character Bellatrix, played by Helena Bonham Carter, is a character so evil she's called a Death Eater, killing one beloved character and being murdered by another. And the name Bellatrix is so closely associated with that character that it might be challenging to sidestep the association.

LegendHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    Legend joins cousins Story, Saga and Fable in the baby name pantheon of narrative words. Unlike Story and Fable, however, Legend comes with additional weight, being used for fame ("living legend") and to denote a person who is fantastic "what a legend"). Who can live up to that?
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PandoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "all gifted"
  • Description:

    Pandora has occasionally been used by the British gentry (for girls with brothers who might be called Peregrine) but is rarely heard here, probably because Pandora was the mythological first woman on earth whose curiosity caused her to lift a forbidden box and inadvertently unleash all the evils of the world.

RaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "thunder and lightning"
  • Description:

    The name of the Japanese god of thunder makes an assertive choice, very much at home in the Western world. Because of the name's similarity to popular baby names Aiden and Jayden, most people will pronounce it RAY-den, but it's more properly RYE-den.

ColtHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Meaning:

    "young horse"
  • Description:

    Colt is the kind of unconventionally macho name that is so trendy right now, because of or in spite of its association with horses and guns.

JezebelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "not exalted"
  • Description:

    Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab in the Hebrew Book of Kings, has long had a bad girl reputation. But in the modern secular world, this is somewhat mitigated by the feminist perspective of her as a strong woman, the power behind the throne. Previously avoided as a baby name, Jezebel is now, along with the also previously avoided Delilah and Desiree, coming into use, helped by its relation to other 'bel' name such as Isabel and Bella.

MarsHeart

  • Origin:

    Roman mythology god of war
  • Description:

    The name of the Roman god of war began to sound less intimidating when Erykah Badu gave it to her daughter, and musicians Thomas and Bruno Mars (the latter born Peter Hernandez) have given it a modern edge. Mars actually could make a pleasant, planetary middle name for either sex.
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SevenHeart

  • Origin:

    English word and number name
  • Description:

    Only if your preceding children are named One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 broke that rule when naming their son.

ZeusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    The supreme Olympian god represents a mighty image for a little fella to live up to, but more and more parents are beginning to consider it seriously. The Roman equivalent Jupiter has also come down to earth. And Zeus wasn't just the supreme god, he was also the god of the sky, thunder, lightning, and fate, among other weighty responsibilities.

DreamHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Singular and serene noun name that's been used by a couple of celebs.

SaintHeart

  • Origin:

    American word name
  • Meaning:

    "saint"
  • Description:

    Saint as a descriptive word name was first chosen by rocker Pete Wentz for his younger son (baby brother is Bronx), and now Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have catapulted the name into the celebrity stratosphere by choosing it for their baby boy. The couple called their baby "Saint" throughout the pregnancy because his conception had been so difficult. Saint was named in our predictions for the top baby name trends of 2015, on descriptive word names which also include Royal and Noble, King and Rogue. Saint is moving beyond the group of names that are only celebrity baby names and into the general lexicon.

MoxieHeart

  • Origin:

    English slang
  • Meaning:

    "aggressive energy, know-how"
  • Description:

    Like Penn Jillette, you can have your own little brash babe.
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OzHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "strength, powerful, courageous"
  • Description:

    This may be a legitimate Hebrew name denoting power, but to any American kid, it will evoke ruby slippers and a yellow brick road. The full Hebrew name is Ozni, who was a grandson of Jacob in the Bible.

CapriHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place name
  • Description:

    Chosen by the late Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa for their youngest daughter, there is renewed interest in Italian isola name Capri.

LolitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, diminutive of Lola and Dolores
  • Description:

    In Nabokov's notorious novel, Lolita is the pet name given by the pedophilic narrator, Humbert Humbert, to his victim: a young girl called Dolores and nicknamed Lola or Lo by her mother. Still, it seems that a few parents are prepared to look past this problematic association, seeing this as a offbeat option for those who defy convention. We would recommend thinking seriously about the background of this name before bestowing it on your daughter.

StrawberryHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    Another entry in the fruit name category, this one borne by writer Strawberry Saroyan, granddaughter of William, so named by her hippie parents. While fruit names may become more familiar, they'll never pass without comment -- but maybe that's what you're looking for.

PixieHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish or Cornish
  • Meaning:

    "fairy"
  • Description:

    Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.
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SnowHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    There's definitely a cold front of names for winter babies moving in, with Summer, Spring and Autumn giving way to Winter--plus North, January, Frost--and Snow. This name feels brisk, fresh, pure, evocative -- and magical. A haunting middle name choice.

KhaleesiHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Khaleesi is an invented name introduced to the world by inventive and prolific author George R. R. Martin for his wildly popular Game of Thrones series—it's Dothraki for "queen" and is one of the titles of the character Daenerys. It entered the US Top 1000 in 2014.

MessiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic word name
  • Meaning:

    "expected savior or deliverer"
  • Description:

    A handful of years ago, a judge in Tennessee ruled that parents could not name their son Messiah, "because there's only one." That decision has since been overturned.

BambiHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "baby girl"
  • Description:

    Although Disney's cute deer was a male, Bambi's always been used for girls, but sounds far too flimsy to face the modern world.

CleopatraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "glory of the father"
  • Description:

    A royal name in ancient Egypt that's never quite made it to the modern world, though nickname Cleo is widely used. Other now-extinct Cleopatra diminutives, including Cleora and Cleola, achieved some popularity in the early 20th century when there was a crazy for all things Egypt-related as the ancient tombs were opened and artifacts displayed. In the US, Cleopatra became a popular silent film in 1917 starring Theda Bara.
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BanditHeart

  • Origin:

    Word or occupational name
  • Description:

    We hesitate to call Bandit an occupational name, any more than Rogue or Vandal are occupational names, yet its use by one of the bandmembers of My Chemical Romance (for his daughter: we're not even going to go there) undoubtedly owes a debt to occupational cousins from Pilot to Parker. Recommended for use by rock stars with full-time nannies only.

BelladonnaHeart

  • Origin:

    botanical name
  • Description:

    Literally meaning 'beautiful lady', Belladonna is the name of a poisonous flower also known as nightshade. This connection gives an otherwise flowery name a darker, more exotic side.

DaggerHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Dagger is one of the new badass baby names, a sharp and scary choice that some parents may feel arm their child for battle in a cruel modern world.

EnglishHeart

  • Origin:

    Surname name
  • Description:

    A surname not often heard as a first, except in the case of English Gardner, the American track and field Olympian.

GypsyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wanderer"
  • Description:

    Gypsy, long associated with the intellectual stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and the musical that was made about her life, was used by Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings as the middle name of their daughter Alabama. Be aware, however, that the word gypsy is now considered an ethnic slur when used for the Romani, or Roma, people.
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DaxtonHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    More and more parents are turning to this name as a route to the cool nickname Dax.

GoddessHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Talk about pressure! Too much name for any little girl to bear.

CinderellaHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "little ash-girl"
  • Description:

    One familiar name never used for real people, for obvious reasons.

JourneyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    One of the new word names, appealing to parents attracted to the idea of a spiritual -- or even an actual -- voyage. The Journee spelling is also being used. Unisex alert: Jenna Jameson used Journey for one of her twin boys, as did the Black Eyed Peas rock musician known as Taboo.

DaenerysHeart

  • Origin:

    Literary name
  • Description:

    Daenerys is yet another girls' name invented by "Game of Thrones" author George R. R. Martin that is beginning to gain some traction in real life. Daenerys was used for 67 baby girls in 2013 while one of the character's titles, Khaleesi, was given to 241 baby girls. And the name Arya, also from the hyper-popular series, is one of the fastest growing girls' names in the country.
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RocketHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Starbaby name that might prove too supercharged for real life, but if like director Robert Rodriguez you're interested only in boys' names starting with R, you may need to add Rocket (and Rebel and Racer) to your list.

ButterflyHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    Fluttery and flighty. But there are a couple of names that mean butterfly you might consider, such as Yara and Farasha.

MalaysiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    This exotic place-name is rising in popularity -- despite (or perhaps because of) the unfortunate association with an airplane that went missing in March 2014.

RyoHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "fact, reality, understand; distant; defy"
  • Description:

    A simple, importable Japanese name that is used for both males and females and carries a multitude of meanings depending on which character is used to denote it. While most westerners pronounced it rye-oh, its real pronunciation is closer to ree-uh. A similar male name, Ryu, means "dragon."
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BreakerHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    One of the aggressive new boys' names, ala Tracker and Heller, that have become fashionable among parents who are courting trouble.

RamboHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname name
  • Description:

    No one could seriously consider choosing this cartoonishly macho name for a real live child.

XenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Japanese Zen
  • Meaning:

    "form of Buddhism"
  • Description:

    Xen and Zen--both pronounced the same way--are two hip new options. Among the celebrity set, Corey Feldman has a Xen and Tisha Campbell Martin's son is Zen.

ButchHeart

  • Origin:

    Nickname name
  • Description:

    Old-school nickname ala Spike and Babe that's favored by some hipster parents.

DominoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lord, master"
  • Description:

    One of those ultimate cool-girl names, played by Keira Knightley in a movie about a supermodel-turned-bounty hunter, but kids might associate it with the game. High profile British designer India Hicks used it for her daughter. As a girls' nameit's still very rare, used in 2015 in the US for only seven baby girls.
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