Fun, Quirky Names

  1. Alonzo
    • Origin:

      Italian diminutive of Alphonso
    • Meaning:

      "noble, ready"
    • Description:

      Alonzo is dashing and debonair, with a large measure of Latin flair.
  2. Arizona
    • Origin:

      Place-name from Papago Indian
    • Meaning:

      "little springs"
    • Description:

      We usually think of place-names as a modern invention, but in fact Arizona ranked on the US Top 1000 from its inception in 1880 until 1911, when it vanished below the surface. It peaked at Number 510 in 1882, before Arizona became a state. One notorious vintage bearer: criminal "Ma" Barker, born Arizona Clark.
  3. Bruno
    • Origin:

      Germanic
    • Meaning:

      "brown"
    • Description:

      It’s ok, we can talk about Bruno now!

  4. Ebenezer
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "stone of help"
    • Description:

      Ebenezer is the name of a biblical place --the stone set up by Samuel to mark his victory over the Philistines--rather than a person. It was adopted by the British Puritans as a first name and then exported to America, where it had some early popularity, even entering the Top 1000 in the 1880s.
  5. Edmund
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fortunate protector"
    • Description:

      The sophisticated Edmund and its nearly-identical French twin Edmond are coming out of mothballs now that Edward, inspired by Twilight, is once again a hot name.
  6. Effie
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Euphemia, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pleasant speech"
    • Description:

      Effie is the old-fashioned short form for Euphemia. It shares a vintage charm with Hattie and Letty although is much rarer than either. Effie is a character in The Hunger Games and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
  7. Eloise
    • Origin:

      French and English variation of Heloise
    • Meaning:

      "healthy; wide"
    • Description:

      Well balanced between sleek, sweet, strong, and vintage, newly chic Eloise re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2009, following a 50 year absence. In 2022, it broke into the Top 100 in the US and across the pond in the UK. Given to nearly 3000 babies each year, Eloise is showing no sign of stepping out of the spotlight.
  8. Erasmus
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "beloved, desired"
    • Description:

      Erasmus has long retained the image of the bearded and bespectacled Dutch philosopher, but could be one that the audacious baby namer just might dare to dust off.
  9. Flynn
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "descendant of the red-haired one"
    • Description:

      Flynn, a charming Irish surname, is still used only quietly, despite its easygoing, casual cowboy charm, unlike Finn which is a star of this genre. Flynn was the choice of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr for their baby boy, and is also the middle name -- used as his first -- of a son of Miranda's fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson, of Gary Oldman's son Gulliver and Marley Shelton's daughter West.
  10. Huck
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Huckleberry, word name
    • Description:

      Though forever tied to Huck, short for Huckleberry, Finn, this is an undeniably cute short form that may have some life as part of the hipster taste for names like Duke and Bix.
  11. Hugo
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
  12. Jethro
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "excellence"
    • Description:

      Jethro, though the biblical father-in-law of Moses, has suffered for a long time from a Beverly Hillbilly image, but some really adventurous parents might consider updating and urbanizing it and transitioning it into the hip o-ending category.
  13. Jubal
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "ram's horn"
    • Description:

      This unusual name might be a possibility for musical families: Jubal was credited in Genesis with the invention of the lyre, flute, harp, and organ. It also has a jubilant feel through its sound and meaning, and has had some southern popularity via Confederate general Jubal Anderson Early. George Eliot wrote a poem called The Legend of Jubal.
  14. Lazarus
    • Origin:

      Latinized Greek variation of Hebrew Eleazar
    • Meaning:

      "God is my helper"
    • Description:

      Lazarus is a name that looks as if it could possibly be raised from the dead, just like its biblical bearer. Look for it in the next wave of Old Testament revivals that transcend their long-bearded images, the way Noah, Moses, and Abraham have for this generation.
  15. Lorenzo
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Laurence
    • Meaning:

      "from Laurentium"
    • Description:

      Latinizing Lawrence gives it a whole new lease on life. Like Leonardo, Lorenzo has been integrated into the American stockpot of names, partly via actor Lorenzo Lamas. Other associations are with Lorenzo de' Medici, the Florentine Renaissance merchant prince and art patron, Renaissance artists Ghiberti and Lotto, and the upstanding young man who married Shylock's daughter Jessica in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
  16. Mavis
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "songbird"
    • Description:

      Mavis, another word for the song thrush, is also a relative of the Welsh word for strawberries, mefus. Mavis has something of a British World War II feel, a friend of Beryl and Doris, but it was quite popular in the U.S. a couple of decades earlier, peaking in the Roaring Twenties. With the renewed interest in names ending in 's' — and in bird names — Mavis could make a return, especially with the new interest in Maeve, and in fact, it reentered the US Top 1000 after a 50-year absence in 2016.
  17. Milo
    • Origin:

      Latin and Old German
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Milo is most commonly considered to be Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning "soldier." However, there is evidence to suggest it also may have independently spawned from the Slavic root milu, meaning "merciful." Milo predates brother name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Mylo is an alternate spelling.
  18. Ophelia
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Floral, elegant, and bold, Ophelia re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2015 after more than 50 years off the charts. It has risen more than 700 spots since then and shows no signs of slowing down. Now in the US Top 300, could Ophelia one day become the next Olivia or Amelia?
  19. Oscar
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar is one of the most stylish Old Man Names of our era. While it's softened slightly in popularity over the past 20 years, that may be considered a very good thing.
  20. Otto
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy"
    • Description:

      Otto is cool again. Long a quintessential Old Man Name, Otto has been promoted to trending darling of adventurous baby namers.