Names I Would Never Use

  1. Adolph
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble wolf"
    • Description:

      World War II stamped a permanent verboten on Adolph.
  2. Bianca
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "white"
    • Description:

      Bianca, the livelier Italian and Shakespearean version of Blanche, has been chosen by many American parents since the 1990s, just as Blanca is a favorite in the Spanish-speaking community. Its meaning of white relates to snow, making it one of the prime names for winter babies.
  3. Bliss
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Description:

      A sweet, uplifting and still fairly uncommon modern virtue name. Its single syllable makes it especially good as a middle name, but it would also make a big impact in the first spot.
  4. Brianna
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Brian
    • Meaning:

      "strong, virtuous and honorable"
    • Description:

      Brianna's popularity in the US came later than father name Brian's, peaking in the 1990s, two decades after Brian's Top 10 reign of the 1970s.
  5. Carla
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Carl
    • Description:

      While Charlotte and Caroline are considered stylish and classic members of the Charles family, this somewhat severe Germanic form is fading. It reached its apex at Number 76 in 1965.
  6. Casper
    • Origin:

      Dutch form of Jasper, Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      This ancient name, also spelled Caspar, is finally shedding its ghostly image and moving into the 21st century. Popular in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where it's sometimes shortened to Cas, Casper could ride the style coattails of cousin Jasper. Casper was one of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus along with Melchior and Balthasar.
  7. Darla
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "darling"
    • Description:

      Dimpled Our Gang comedy name.
  8. Donovan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "dark"
    • Description:

      One of the first of the appealing Irish surnames to take off in this country, this boys’ name has long outgrown its "Mellow Yellow" association, which came via the single from a sixties singer-songwriter named Donovan.
  9. Drucilla
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "strong"
    • Description:

      Pleasingly quaint and dainty New Testament possibility; the nickname Dru modernizes it.
  10. Edith
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edith was a hugely popular name a hundred years ago that's being revived among stylish parents in Stockholm and London. It's currently beginning to gain traction in the US among those with a taste for old-fashioned names with a soft but strong image.
  11. Ethel
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "noble maiden"
    • Description:

      Ethel is a name we once declared as 'So Far Out They'll Probably Always Be Out,' but with the return of other names on that list and with its new starbaby cred via Lily Allen, its soft sound and admirable meaning, we're not so sure.
  12. Fern
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "plant name"
    • Description:

      Of all the botanicals, Fern has been one of the slowest to move back from the front parlor into the nursery, despite the appealing girl character in the children's classic Charlotte's Web. Fern was most popular from the turn of the last century through the 1940s, reaching a high of #152 in 1916. We can certainly see her rejoining the long list of popular greenery names.
  13. Garfield
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "triangular field"
    • Description:

      Despite the presidential pedigree, it's still hard to shake the image of the cartoon cat (named after his creator Jim Davis's grandfather). However, there are other Garfields, such as Barbadian cricket player Sir Garfield Sobers, who carries it with gravitas.
  14. Gaspar
    • Origin:

      Spanish variation of Casper
    • Description:

      The name of one of the Three Wise Men from the East is heard in several European countries, but rarely here.
  15. Jezebel
    • 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.
  16. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  17. Lars
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian from Latin Laurentius
    • Meaning:

      "crowned with laurel"
    • Description:

      Lars is a perfect candidate for a cross-cultural passport: it has been heard often enough here to sound familiar and friendly, yet retains the charisma of a charming foreigner.
  18. Myrtle
    • Origin:

      Greek botanical name
    • Description:

      Long in our category of so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out category, once seen as a gum-cracking 1940's telephone operator, we think it's time to reassess Myrtle, and look at is as a nature name, a plant with pink or white aromatic berries. Ruled by Venus, myrtle is a plant associated with love, peace, fertility and youth.
  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. Petunia
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "trumpet-shaped flower"
    • Description:

      Literary heritage: the "Loony Tunes" girlfriend of Porky Pig. But with the increasing popularity of all kinds of unusual botanical names, Petunia may be a name we start to hear more of. Perhaps-more-pleasing Petunia alternatives: Petal, Posy, Poppy.