What are your favorite unique baby names?

Updated Jun 7 2017
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Baby names are obviously a perennial parenting topic, but in all of our discussions about names we've never just point-blank asked: what are you favorite unique baby names?

Is your kid's name a combination of family names handed down through generations? Something you pulled from your favorite book or movie? A name you totally made up? Or does your kid have one name β€” but you secretly love a totally off-the-wall name? (I knew someone who wanted to name her kid Saturn but went with a much more traditional name.)

Scroll through the comments on this open thread to find out: What are your favorite unique baby names?

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  1. Our daughter's middle name is Cadence, and we plan to give all our kids arts-themed middle names: Lyric, Fable, Sonnet, Allegro, Legend, Harmony, Aria, etc. This theme does lead to some joking around about naming a child "Fourth Wall" or "Verfremdungseffekt" (German term for alienation effect). "Bildungsroman" is another one we use for a giggle.

    I also really love the name "Kalasin", who is a kickass princess from the Tamora Pierce fantasy novels. Bonus: it's a melange of my two older sisters' names! Family link+fantasy FTW!

      • I'm going to go ahead and jump in here– about two months ago I found out that a woman I share my office with is (and I'm not making this up) Tamora Pierce's sister.

        I about peed my pants with joy. Her sister was surprised I'd heard of her. I love that.

      • I absolutely love Kelandry (the name and character). Would've considered it for my daughter but I actually have a best friend nicknamed Kel–short for Mikkel–and we didn't want to use honor names. Go for it!

      • Kel is my.. inspiration for life. She's my favourite character of all time.. followed by Tris πŸ™‚

    • Ok.. I completely at first drew a blank at the name Tamara Pierce. Then I googled it because it sounded familiar. HOLY CRAP!!! I loved her books in elementary school and Kel was my favorite!

      • There are 3 girls named Cadence and one Kaydence all on my daughter's tiny preschool (less than 50 kids)….It's so popular now.

    • I work at a girl scout camp and we use camp names we choose and I named myself after a Tamora character! Briar, for the record, which is also an awesome real life name…. like almost all of her character names..
      except maybe Farmer

    • Stone. I like the name Bennett too. And Everett. My last name is Bowden and I don't agree with kids taking their fathers name so Stone Bennett Bowden it is.

  2. Mary B. and I should be friends! I love her name list and I love Tamora Pierce!

    Our daughter is six weeks old. Her middle name was always going to be Cary — my maiden name. If it had been solely up to me, her name probably would be Fable (nicknamed Fae). I also love the name Juniper, nicknamed June. My husband didn't like either of those names. He liked Sophia and Mallory. Needless to say, we were on opposite ends of the naming spectrum.

    We had a very hard time agreeing on a name. We seriously considered Juno/Juneau but couldn't decide how to spell it. In the end, we named her Fiona, and sometimes we call her Fae. Our family actually likes the name which is a relief. It's a bit more common than I would probably have chosen on my own (#209 on the social security list last year) but it is beautiful. And it's hers. That's what matters.

    If she'd been a boy, her name would have been Sullivan, called Sully. If we have a son in the future, I strongly believe this will be his name.

    • Jennifer β€” I wish your husband had been my husband!!! I campaigned strongly for Mallory for our youngest child, but my husband would not have it….we ended up going with Calysta. But we call her Chucky because she is redheaded and evil.

      • our daughter is juniper and i still love it every single time i say it! junie and june are lovely shortened names for her too.

    • Love Juniper. I feel like it straddles the line between familiar and unique, sweet grounded meaning, too (evergreen/youthful).

    • Funny! My four year old is Juniper Fiona. We chose Juniper because its similar to Jennifer, the name of two of my best friends and according to Wikipedia a common nickname is "Ginny," which is my mom's name, also we wanted a name ending in "er" because our son is Tucker. Fiona O'Felony was my derby name when I skated, so that's why we chose Fiona. We call her June (Tuck and June), or Juni and occasionally, Juni Fi. But she has stated quite frankly that she prefers "Juniper." Hahah

    • My sister's name is Jennifer. When I was really young, I had heard the name Juniper and thought it sounded funny that it was similar, so I started calling her Juniper. That last for a while lol

    • Good choice! I love Fable and Juniper too. Daddy wanted something "different but not weird" so we finally settled on Fiona for our sixteen year old, setting the following children up with Irish names as well. All four (16, 15, 13, and 2 – the 2 year old has the name that her 15 and 13 year old brothers would have had if they'd been girls) have greatly risen up the name charts! They didn't even register in the top 1000 fifteen years ago. From what I understand they're not terribly original in the UK or Australia, but none of them have ever met another person with the same name yet, not even babies. πŸ™‚

      Though I would have loved to use all the artsy names already listed (I'm especially in love with the musical names) or spices (ie Saffron, Sage, Cinnamon – which I keep being informed is a stripper name) those were always deemed too "out there."
      Some other random names off the top of my head that I've always loved: Calliope, Penelope, Persephone, Finnian, Kinnian, Keagan, Kiernan, Keenan, Teagan…

      Of course, can't forget Bronwyn and Rowan! Always tops on my girl list but never made the cut. I reeeeally wanted to make our youngest's middle name Bronwyn Morrigan Rowan, but Daddy drew the line at one first name and one middle name.

  3. I love Celtic names (since my mother is Irish). My dad named me while my mom was asleep – and he just picked one of the most popular names of the 80s (he is not creative). My daughter's first name is the same as my mom's. It is one of those names that does NOT look the way it is pronounced. Her middle name is my husband's mother's name, so she is named after her grandmothers. Irish first name, Arabic middle name. I like names that are "Old World" and have kind of fallen out of favor now, either because they are considered weird or too hard to pronounce. But frankly, we figured that just because its hard to pronounce doesn't mean that it should be off-limits. People can learn her name.

    • We seriously considered Aoife (pronounced EE-fa), and I'm really sad that we actually told anyone about it, because we got such negative reaction that we ended up not using it. In the end, we're really happy with the name we chose (Thora) – it's distinctive, but still recognizable, and uncommon without being unusual.

      • Katharine,
        We toyed with Aoife as well! But my husband and I are more paranoid about people teasing her because they can't pronounce her name. There was also Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha) but I have a hard time remembering how to pronounce it (I'm sure it would be totally different when she gets here).
        We're both of Irish/Scottish descent and want to honor our heritages and stray from more common names because we both suffered with being the multiple name in our classes. We might go with Rowan (here's to hoping she has her papa's red hair!) and now that I've seen Juniper here, I really want to bribe my better half into Rowan Juniper because how awesome is that?

        Also, Katharine, I haven't seen anyone with your name spelled like that. It really reminds me of my mom's name, Kathaleen. She's lucky in that I haven't seen anyone else spell their name that way either, even if she hates it because no one ever gets it right πŸ™‚

    • I have an Irish first name and Irish middle name! People always comment on how much they love it. I don't think that names have to come from the same background to be used together or to sound well together

      • Not necessarily, my youngest daughter has a clearly Hispanic last name. Her father agreed to and liked the Irish name I'd given my son 14 years earlier when I thought he would be a girl…My mother said "She can't have an Irish first name and a Puerto Rican last name!" lmao! I stuck to my guns because 1) I'd been strongly attached to the name for more than a decade and knew one day I'd have another daughter named Annora and 2) even though (especially since) she has a different father than the older three, it seemed important for her to have an Irish first name like her siblings. I joked about completing my matching set, but the older three are so close and have always been known as the kids with the Irish names, I didn't want to differentiate her more than she already was by an 11 year gap and a different father. So I started adding my SO's extended family and realized there are a LOT of hispanic women named Nora! (Which is what we call her.) So that Irish name picked out years ago was really meant for her. πŸ™‚

        Aside from the overly long back story, her name flows rather well though the last indicates a different ethnicity. Lots of O, R, and A throughout all three lol.

    • My kids names are
      Celtic-11-boy (prn Kel-tik)
      Guinevere-6-girl (as in Queen)
      Willow Fae- 4-girl (as in Tree fairy)

      • My daughter is named Willow Mae, but I really like the middle name of Fae with it. I kinda wish I could go back with that in mind.

  4. I love my niece's name Marlowe, and will likely name my first daughter Maelle (pronounced My – yell). I really like the spelling Ceilidh (pronounced Kayleigh), and it has connections to the university where my husband and I met but am worried about horrible mispronunciations and the constant having to correct spelling. I have a very traditional first name, and my sister's is a relatively traditional name that is spelled like it sounds with a silent gh on the end, and it always gets spelled wrong and pronounced wrong, – that being said, it is unique enough that you google her first name and she is the only thing that comes up.

    • My daughter's name is Eithne. It's pronounced as Enya. I know that it's gonna create pronounciation issues, but we've started writing the Anglicized version in parantheses under her real name. Most people (doctors, friends) only need to be told once. Honestly, if it's unusual, it's probably going to stick in people's minds, and they'll remember. I probably feel differently than most because I was raised in a very pro-Gaelic, ethnically aware community where changing Gaelic names to be more palpable to others is frowned upon; the logic goes that discomfort with pronounciation shouldn't keep people from enjoying their own names.

      I'd say to let your heart decide about a name. If you feel strongly about a certain name, go for it. It is your child, and your decisions about names should be front and center. Of course, many people don't think there's anything wrong with Anglicizing names, and if you are comfortable with it, go for it. I largely didn't want to because I wanted to use my mom's name (which is not Anglicized) and I also know that she has strong feelings on the subject and that Anglicizing her name would be hurtful to her. But you might have a completely different situation.

      • For some reason, Eithne is one of the few names spelled in Irish that I want to put an English pronunciation on when I read it. I have to consciously remind myself not to put the 'th' in there.
        One of my all-time favourite boy names is Tadhg – pronounced Tyg, like the first syllable in Tiger *g* – but for some reason my daughter's dad vetoed it when we were looking at baby names. He was a big fan of 'normal American' names. We would have gone with James (which I also love) if we had a boy.

        My daughter is SiobhΓ‘n, but I didn't actually name her that. I called her Megan, after my grandmother Peggy. She decided somewhere along the line that she wanted something a little more unusual, and also Irish. She enjoys watching people try and reconcile the spelling and the sound of her name. (Think of the word Chiffon, and make the 'f' into a soft 'v'.)

        Something I learned from the name Megan though – no matter how easy you think a name is to spell or say, somebody will get it wrong.

        • I also went gaelic! My son its named Cael Asher. However, my angel baby is also Lillian Alette, so I don't always choose gaelic

        • I went to school with a girl named Siobhan, and as someone mentioned before, she corrected my pronunciation once and I never forgot it after that. In fact, I ran into another woman with the same name a few years ago and she was floored that I knew how to pronounce it lol. I think its special to have a name that doesn't sound like the spelling

      • I wanted Gaelic for our kids too!
        my daughter's name is Laira Eilidh (Eilidh was my mother's name)
        we couldn't agree for the boys so the are cole and lochlan…

    • Yay for Gaelic names! I'm Kayleigh, and being 25 now, I didn't grow up with any other Kayleighs, or even any different versions of the spelling. Now the name is everywhere with so many different spellings (I work in a kid's hair salon so I get exposure to all the fun, unique names out there nowadays). Last week I had 3 clients in one day: Kaylee, Kailee, and Kaylie. Sometimes, if I have to give the spelling of my name, I say it in a dynamic rhythm; K-A-Y (pause) L-E-I (pause, but end the I on a sort of up-note in my tone so people understand that there's more coming) G-H (H is on a low-note so people understand that I'm finished). Some people say "Oh neat I like that spelling," and others often say "well that's different…" Can't help it, it's all my mom's doing!

    • My daughter's name is Seren. We love it although we pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable (as in the beginning of Serenity) and others find that difficult.

      • So if you give your daughter a big hug, that's a Seren Wrap, then? πŸ™‚
        Very cute name- and the Serenity connection would definitely put it on our short list, if we decide to bake any more kiddos from scratch.

  5. We named our daughter Zuzu after a character in my husband's favorite movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."
    If we'd had a boy, he would have been called Sherlock. While in utero, our baby was called Spock. I also like the names Garnet and Hazel.

    • One of the names on my husband's list for our daughter was Zizi, (But every time I heard it ZZ Topp songs would run through my head!) and I suggested Zuzu instead. We settled on Zora. It means dawn in Serbian.

      • My mom's name is Zoranna. 'Zora' because her father was Serbian, and 'anna' for her Italian mother. My younger sister's middle name is Dawn, after my mom.

        Funniest thing, all of my mothers siblings (there are 6) have very typical names: Sheila, Nick, Frank etc. My mom ended up with Zoranna.

      • My daughter is Zephyr, but we call her Zizi. πŸ™‚ My sister, who is a textile designer, screenprinted some onesies with little dwarf beards and the ZZ Top logo on them!

    • oh my goodness, i LOVE that. My mother's favorite movie is It's A Wonderful Life, as well.

      As for me, some of the names on mine and my fiance's list:

      Atticus James, (he could go by AJ) and Ronin for boys

      Tecumseh Lynne (We would call her Tess) and Isabelle Rose (Or Isobel- Izzy for short) for girls.

      Atticus, of course, is from To Kill a Mockingbird, which is my all-time favorite book, and Ronin means 'Samurai with no master,' which is something that really appeals to my fiance (although we still haven't decided whether we would spell it that way or Ronan, the Irish way)

      As for the girl names, Tecumseh comes from the Shawnee chief and General William Tecumseh Sherman- I love the idea of naming a little girl after a warrior as a reminder that she is strong. Lynne is mine and my soon to be mother-in-law's middle name; And Isabelle and Rose are my grandmothers' names.

      • My in-laws named their son Ronan, which means "little seal" in Gaelic. People keep saying, "Oh Ronin, like the movie?" which is funny because they had never even heard of the movie when they picked the name.

      • My sons name is Ronin, not from the movie but the Japanese tale of the forty seven Ronin, masterless samurai. Because I want my son to have his own thoughts and beliefs, therefor masterless. The Japanese, from what I understand believe this name is meaning as lowly, someone who won't go to college or something like that? The American movie was a total fabrication. To bad I was hoping it was stay true to the Chushingura. His full name is Ronin Robbie Roux then his last name. Robbie is a simple name, chosen in remembrance of my cousin who passed away before his time. And Roux, a basic mixture known for thicken sauces in French cuisines. I wanted it as his first name but my husband wasn't having it! And my husbands name is Ron so Ron to Ronin was an easy sell. He is a bit more conservative than I when it came to picking names. If we had a girl her name would have been Nalani Nyx. Which means something like from the heaves, night.

  6. For girls:

    For boys:

    These aren't super offbeat I guess. Maybe Tobin is – it's a friend's brother's name, and I've never heard it elsewhere, so I guess it's pretty unique. I like names that are not super common but not so unique that no one will know how to spell/pronounce them.

    • Is September a nod to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland? My daughter is named after Alice in Wonderland, and September would be a perfect companion to Alice.

      • Awesome! I haven't heard of it at all other than my friend's brother, so I'm glad to see it's being used. I think it's such a perfect boy name….sweet enough for a little boy, but not too childish for a grown man. πŸ™‚

    • My middle name is January! I have always loved having it as my middle name, and often prefer to use it instead of my last name (when I can get away with it).

      • I love the name January! It's the main character's name in Jacqueline Susann's "Once is Not Enough" and it's been on my short list for years (Susann is my favorite author). My husband, however, is not particularly on board, especially since our baby is due in February πŸ˜‰

  7. My son's name is Knox Daschel. Knox was inspired by a mountaineer that my husband admires, and we both happened to like the name. Daschel is for Dash from the Incredibles movie. We call him our mountaineering superhero!

    • I should add that the Subway radio commercial makes fun of avocado – I kinda think giving a kid the middle name of Avocado would be awesome.

    • Ha! Funny to hear how you guys chose that name! Also funny to recognize people I know on this site… We went for Edith because we both like Edith Wharton, but we can always tell if people like it or not because they are either really enthusiastic, or ask if it was a family name…

  8. We named our son Zen. My best friend named her daughter Vivian. Recently I met a little girl named Jessa. LOVE different names!

    • I agree. I have a three year old Agnes! I also love Edith, Evie, Olive…. Lots of older names.

      For boys I like Angus, Everley, Milo (pronounced Meelow), Dexter. There were lots of other boys names we liked (more so than boys), but I forget them now.

      • I have an Olive! I loved the older names as well and my favorite color is green, so Olive was a perfect choice. I have noticed that there are a lot more Olives around now – although I still get some odd looks when I tell people her name.

    • Yes to old-fashioned names! I loved in Despicable Me that the girls were Margo, Edith, and Agnes.

      I like going to http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ to look up the Social Security registry for baby names in the early 1900s. Helen! Marie! Louise! Irene! Frances! Ruth! Lucille!

    • Second the old fashioned names! My girls are Rebekah Evelyn and Charlotte Grace (not particularly offbeat at all!!)

      • My daughter is Eleanor West. West is my mother's maiden name. Eleanor we just liked because it was classic. I LOVE old names. Our top choices for a boy were Ezra and Walter.

    • I have an Ainsley! We went back and forward – my husband really wanted to call her Quinne, but it just wasn't right. We have a Gaelic surname so I wanted something that would match that, and Ainsley Grace it was. I also campaigned for Beatrix.

      I do love Edith, though – and Mallory.

  9. Jennifer — I wish your husband had been my husband!!! I campaigned strongly for Mallory for our youngest child, but my husband would not have it….we ended up going with Calysta. But we call her Chucky because she is redheaded and evil.

    • Mallory is a wonderful name….just sayin' πŸ˜‰ Being a child of the late 80's, my parents were often asked if they named me after Family Ties character. I wasn't, but my father campaigned strongly for Tabitha. Considering that my younger brother is named Darrin, someone clearly liked the old show Bewitched as a child….that's one of the only places I've seen his name spelled with an "I" instead of an "E".

  10. My mother sure had a way of naming. I got loaded with London Rhiannon Ophelia. My sister is Lilith Salem Carmilla, and baby brother is Vincent Anthony Memphis (surnames, Parisi). You may have guessed, they're sort of… punk rock, Halloween-loving sophistigoths. New sister on the way will be Lucretia Belle Laveau.

    I swore I'd never saddle my own kid with something hard to live with, but fell in love with "Leviathan" after my online roleplaying days in my teens when I had a redheaded garbageman by the same name. To make school easier, he can go by Levi!

    • My husband fought SO HARD for Leviathan! I couldn't get behind it, but you aren't alone in your love of the name ^_^

    • I wanted Rhiannon for my girl, because yes, Fleetwood Mac, but I felt bad picking a name that couldn't be shortened easily if it was hated. Still, I love it.

      • I was named Rhiannon after the Fleetwood Mac song, and am occasionally called "Rhi" for short. For about two months in the second grade I decided to be called "Annie", but it didn't stick. I LOVE my name.

        • My name is ALWAYS misspelled and mispronounced, so upon entering 6th grade I decided I'd go by my middle name, Ann. Except that didn't last very long because I would forget I changed my name and didn't answer when the teachers called on me. It lasted maybe a week or two lol

          • I did the same thing because my name was so common. In the fourth grade, I was tired of always being one of 4 Jessica's in my class, so I started going by my middle name, Elaine. But because there were 3 other Jessica's in my class, I kept answering when the teacher called on them! So going by my middle name didn't last very long.

      • I love that name! It has options – Rhianna, Anna, and the one I went to school with likes RiRi. I've even seen similar names like Arianna shorted to Rain.

    • Ahh! My husband and I LOVE leviathan! I come from a Christian background, and he very much does not- but he read some scripture when we were first dating so he could relate better, and found a verse about a Leviathan frolicking in the sea just to mess with sailors, and that idea of a playful god is one that we both really connect on, so love that name!

  11. I am actually afraid some of my friends will be bugged if I share their awesome kids' names here, so I'll only name a couple of my favorites: Aurelius Peach, Truman Loren, Lyra

    and my grandmother's sister's name that I'll never get to use because I don't think I'll ever have a little girl: Novaline (pronounced like novel-lean).

    • My oldest daughter's middle name is Lyra. It's been my favourite name since I first read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman when I was in about grade 6…but at the last second I chickened out and gave it to her as a middle name instead of a first name, since everyone who saw it written down pronounced it Leer-a, instead of rhyming with Tyra, as in Tyra Banks, and I was 22 and worried about her being that kid on the first day of school that everyone stares at because they have to correct the teacher on their names' pronunciation. So her name is Sophia Lyra Rae (Rae is my middle name, and my husband liked it enough to pass it on, even though I didn't!)

      With my son, I kind of got over the weird name worries, and we named him Judah Denys George. It was a toss-up between Judah and Jonah, as the only names we both liked were old-school biblical names, although we're probably as atheist as you can get. I can't believe how many weird looks we get when people hear his name! Neither of our mothers liked it when we named him, even my Catholic MIL, and I kept saying, "it's in the bible! It's from the musical Joseph! We didn't make it up!"

      Our youngest has I think my favourite name of the three, if I had to pick: Adelaide Virginia Rae. By the third kid, we no longer thought about what other people might say about her name, and we both fell in love with the old-fashioned-ness of her name.

      Other names I think are awesome: Aurea, Violet, Harriet, Coraline, Georgina, Genevieve, Clementine, Lorelai, Reagan

      Boys: Reuben, Silas, Isaac, Sebastian

      Too bad I think we're done having kids, I have way too much fun discussing potential names πŸ™‚

      • My great-grandmother was Lyra (Leer-a). She came from a family of five girls with some really interesting names. Her sisters had names like "Lovey" and "Vera" (rhymed with Lyra).

      • SHUT UP- My son's name is Jonah and we came within an inch of naming the second one Judah, but we had a dog with that name when we first met so we felt like we couldn't use it!

    • I'm due with a girl in October, and we're naming her Lyra. It's been my top name choice since reading the Phillip Pullman books years ago, but works doubly well since my wife (who has never read the books) happens to be a space nut, and Lyra is also the name of a constellation (named for Orpheus' lyre, used most famously in his attempt to save Euridyce from the underworld).

      • We named our little girl who was just born in November Lyra. We named her primaily after the constellation, although I loved the books as well. My mother always used to point out the constellation to me and, sadly, she passed away just 6 weeks before our daughter was born. We feel like the name serves as a nice tribute to her without specifically giving her my mother's name.

    • I saw that a bunch of people replied about Lyra and got all excited and sad at the same time–that's our 2-year-old daughter's name & I love it & SO hope it doesn't get crazy popular! At least this is an offbeat board so it's not yet totally mainstream.

      I actually came across it in a novel, when the name of the constellation was mentioned. We pronounce her name like lyrics/lyrical (Leer-ah) even though I know the constellation is pronounced Lie-ra. We considered a zillion different spellings but didn't like anything nearly as much as Lyra. It just looks like how we say it, to me. I think of music & melodies & beauty when I see it, and it fits her so well. I even took surveys online on baby naming sites for which pronunciation people would chose if they saw it spelled out (it was about 50/50).

      And it's true, you usually only have to correct people once when it comes to pronunciation. I've had to deal with that my whole life and while I used to complain about it, now I love my name and the fact that it's unique without being too off-the-wall, and I wouldn't spell it any other way. Plus, learning how to politely and definitively correct someone when you're called the wrong name builds confidence, I think.

  12. My husband and I love different names! Our son is a little more traditional with Xavier Dante. I love the book "The Divine Comedy of Dante" and my husband loves the game Devil May Cry so picking Dante was nice . Xavier is my great great grandfathers name.
    Our Daughter's name is Bowie Irene. Bowie of course from the man himself and Irene was my grandmother(my best friend).

    I also thought about names like Amelia (Ah-mel-lay-ah) , Gwenyvere, Lilith and Luna

  13. Our daughters name is Elorra Lynn! My husband and I were having a hard time agreeing on names. Our names are all the same amount of letters since he is a math nerd. He also some her name from the movie Willow(Elora Dannon). Next kid will probably have some sort of sci-fi/fantasy name.

    • We named our daughter Ellora also (though spelled a little differently as I am finding they always are). We chose it as a nod to our motheres (Erin and Lori) and went with two L's because of my husband's name spelling (Collin).
      We saw an old friend recently whose brother had a daughter and named her Ellorah. I have also seen Alorah/Allorah/Alora etc. Such a beautiful name!

  14. I am partial to Gory, which is what we call my toddler. It is short for Gregory, but he is a junior, and my husband is Greg. We needed a name to differentiate between both of them, so Gory it is! πŸ˜€ Though truth be told, the name totally fits his awesome spirit. πŸ˜‰

  15. All of the names in the previous comments are so lovely. Naming your child is such a fantastic honor! My daughters father chose the name Tallulah Dove, and as soon as I saw her i knew the name was perfect.

  16. In our family EVERYTHING with the slightest flare is "offbeat." We're made up of the Sarah-Carol-Dave-Bob type of names.

    We're naming our son Leonardo, which has been met with a mix of enthusiasm and eye-rolling. I have a special place in my heart for Nova, should we ever have a girl. But our names are chosen off something related to the birth or baby – time of year, astrological sign, spiritual impression, etc. Those things are pretty hard to explain to traditionalists.

    • I LOVE Leonardo! If you're into nicknames, you've got Leo (awesome), and Nardo for when you're (or he's) feeling weirder. There's a baby Leo at my son's daycare, and I was super disappointed that it's not short for anything.

      • The nickname aspect is what nailed it for us. I can't lie, as an Office fan I agreed after my husband mentioned his friends would probably call him Nard-dog…. lol

    • We love Nova too! It's actually unisex, and apparently is a common guy's name in Sweden. Our son has a friend named Nova (a girl).

    • Love the choices!
      In the absence of kids, I named my horse Leonardo (Leo), and one of my dogs Nova. The second dog is Max, but he already had the name when I got him.
      My fiance and I are pretty bummed out now that those three choices are "gone" for naming our first kid (which is due in January), cause we like all three.
      I like Astro, but it makes a friend of ours think about a crappy minivan, so maybe not… πŸ™‚

      My own name is Swiss and pretty unusual here (She was one of the city saints of Zurich). I'm a bit tired of explaining it every single time though.

      • My husband, friend and I had an awesome tour guide in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi named Astro. We assumed it was a nickname, especially as non-Indonesian names seemed quite uncommon. We finally got around to asking him a few days into the trip, and he explained that he was born around the same time of the moon landing, so his Mum went with Astro, after the brave astronauts.

        • Actually, I have a friend from Indonesia who is named Revival. Her mom loved the meaning of it (a new beginning), even though she definitely wasn't Christian. it was pretty cute, we ended up nicknaming her Revi.

          Personally, I love Italian names. Stuff like Sophia, Ava (love this name! reminds me of the badass girl from the Days of our Lives series), Giovanni (for a guy) and Maria.

          Another fun one is my cat's name: Enzio (or Enzie for a nickname). She's named after the car (Enzo Ferrari) but come to find out, it's an actual human name which means "ruler of the house".

    • I was gonna post later down the line but saw this. I named my son Wolfgang! I wanted something uncommon but not unheard-of. It's also a nod to my family's German heritage.

      His middle name seems normal (Patrick) but is actually in honor of his father's grandmother who was named Patricia.

    • This was actually going to be my name…and I'm a girl! My mother always said she wished she'd stood up to my dad and named me this according to my grandfather's (RIP) wishes.

  17. I'm more on the "old-fashioned" side of the offbeat/eccentric spectrum. There are some more modern names that I really like though. I wanted to name our daughter Sawyer, but my husband was not into that AT ALL.

    I had names like Clara, Cora, Emmeline, Matilda, Eleanor, and Stella for girls on my list and Theodore, Griffin, Dorian, Gabriel, and Franklin for boys. These kinds of names ARE more popular these days, but I still don't consider them common.

    In the end, we chose Charlotte June. Charlotte because we wanted a classic English name, since she was born in England (we're American expats) and June for my husband's grandmother.

    • My daughter's (10 month) name is Stella for her great grandma…turns out it was 88th most popular for a girl last year. I haven't met another young Stella yet though.

        • My daughters name is Stella Lucille also! Eek lol I haven't met another stella yet mine is 3 and a half I found out after she was born her name means star light !!! If you have Instagram check the tag #stellalucille that's my girl, I wonder what your stella is like ! We are now due with a little boy in October and haven't come up with a name nearly as delightful for the boy yet.

    • My sister in law is Emmeline, and she is very proud to be named after Emmeline Pankhurst. When she was little she'd always crack it when people called her Emily, and she was famous for saying "Emmeline, like vaseline". Now she's less particular and will use the name Emily when ordering take away food.

  18. I'm partial to my daughters' names.

    I knew before even having children that my first daughter's first name would be Lola so I gave her dad free reign over the middle. So now our oldest's full name is Lola Snow Whyte.

    We switched responsibilities with the second bean and he was dying for a C name (his name is Colton) so he went with Calamity. Her full name is Calamity Lu (after me) Josephine (after my grandfather that had just passed) Whyte. Quite a mouthful so often times it's shortened to Clam. πŸ™‚

  19. I have worked with hundreds of families in my career as a community health educator & doula….the names that struck me as the most unusual are Magnificent, Surreal & Superior (three beautiful brothers)! Hope they can live up to those monikers!

  20. My son is named Sterling which is old-fashioned and underused in my opinion. We had a very difficult time coming up with a boy name we both liked that fit our naming requirements.

    Arya is a favorite of mine (from a song of ice and fire and the inheritance series') for a girl.

    • Total nerdzor moment here. Even though my partner and I have already decided that the little fetus incubating in my womb will receive a name that appears somewhere in our family lines, every once in a while I put in a pitch for Arya. Arya is such an awesome character in A Song of Ice and Fire, but since the author has not yet written the last two books you never know where her storyline might go, and the only thing holding me back from seriously pushing for naming little fetus Arya is the fear/uncertainty of her becoming a super villain in the books. πŸ™‚

      • This! I was reading the SoI&F series just before/after my newest daughter was born, and had to restrain myself from suggesting Arya for similar reasons. I almost succeeded in calling my son Roland (family name/Dark Tower fan) – but hadn't read The Gunslinger in about ten years… when I finally re-read the whole series, I was REALLY happy my husband came up with a compromise at the last minute!

          • I absolutely love A names for girls, and Arya has crossed my mind as a potential, but I had the exact same thought process. The worst part is that I probably won't have kids for at least three years and I'll STILL have no idea whether Arya would be an appropriate name!

            So instead I'm leaning toward Alice (for now), which I think is a normal pretty name but my mom thinks is weird and old-fashioned and I should go with Allison.

      • There's also an Arya in the Inheritance series, and she's a badass elf… My little guy is Jack, which isn't really offbeat, but he's named for Jack Skellington, Jack Sparrow, and Jack Black (among other cool people named Jack)

    • I love the name Arya, I was going to use it if I ever had a daughter as she is an awesome character, but my sister in law named my lovely niece Aria and down went that dream, I love odd names (having one myself) My son is Thackery Calvin which is a very old English name and it gets odd stares (people think I have a lisp) but I simply fell in love with when I was pregnant with him. He refuses to go by TC which I thought up as a nick name. He corrects anyone and I mean ANYONE who doesn't say his name right πŸ™‚ he does the name justice!

    • I've got an Arya Emma (19m) πŸ™‚ we make sure people pronounce it "are-ya" too rather than aria. Emma is my sister in law. I've lots of acquaintances that have named their babies Aria but no one that's gone full Arya.
      Looking for names for number 2, I love Lyra (as was suggested higher up), but people keep telling me that it is too similar? Are-ya Lie-ra? Hmm.
      If number 1 had been a boy she'd have been Newton (after sir Issac) but my husband has gone off this for number 2.
      I currently harbour a secret love of Link for a boy as I'm a huge Legend of Zelda fan, or even Zelda for a girl (firstborn has initial A so the initial Z kind of goes). I prefer names that come from something like a book or game that means something to us. I do have a random unfounded love of the unisex name Wren however!

      I was named Kayleigh after the Marillion song that came out the year before I was born. It's very common in the UK now but the spelling was new from the song. I was one of 4 in my year at school.

  21. We named our daughter Tanner Lillian. Tanner because her dad liked the name for a boy (which I didn't) and when we found out we were having a girl I thought – Tanner sounds so strong and unique. Lillian was my grandmother's name. I'm pregnant with #2 and regardless of the sex, the middle name is going to by Lyle (after my grandfather). I have so many crazy girl names, but the dad just isn't on board. I like Freya, Gwenneth, Jackson, Georgia. I think we've settled on Evelyn Lyle for a girl – but I LOVE the name Sullivan for a boy. Or Tristan.

    • My whole family is pretty offbeat- I'm Carter Raven Stone, Raven as in my middle name, and my brothers are Night and Grayson. My parents ADORED odd names!
      I followed in their footsteps and had a son named Crimson-Layne, and my daughter is Guardian.
      Now, my daughter isn't just some random kid with a weird name. My son, Crimson, was diagnosed with Cancer when he was four, and he was going downhill badly.
      My wife got pregnant with a baby girl and after Crimson "met" his sister (feeling her belly) he slowly got better. We asked how this happened (we're not religious so we wanted to see what he'd say) and he said "My sister!" and then it was just.. there. Crimson is now 14, and a little grunge-rock terror who loves his name, and Guardian is 10, and follows in her brother's footsteps (This kid knows ALL of Alice In Chains' and Marilyn Manson songs by HEART!)
      My wife says she's done with kids for awhile, but I am really hoping for a little surprise- I adore the names Nova and Astrid (Both unisex).

      Guardian's middle name is Angela, for Angel, and we call her GA, pronounced just like GEE-AY. She loves this and proudly tells everyone!

      • If you want a nice giggle at the name Astrid, you should watch Fringe. The adorable father on the show, absentmindedly & unintentionally, calls the character Astrid by a different variation every week in the funniest and sweetest way. I think the last episode I saw, he called her aspirin and then astral. She takes it in wonderful stride with a smile…which is what I also do when called Nickolodeon or Ricola πŸ™‚

        Great names!

        • Haha- Fringe is pretty awesome! I'm mentioned the name Astrid when GA was going to be born, but naturally that faded!
          Our lists for Crimson's name were:


          And for our little mini Wed. Addams:
          Riley (I adored the name, so made sure it was a choice as well!)
          Taylah (Tay-Lah. Just like it sounds.)

          TA-DA! ^-^

    • When my boyfriend and I talk about our theoretical baby, its name is always Jethro Tull. No particular leanings toward their music or anything, it's just a catchy name for an imaginary baby.

  22. I do not know if my kids have offbeat names, i think they kind of do, well, you judge: my older daughter is Ellamae Josefina and the younger is Leonora Gwendalyn. It was hard work for me and my husband to choose, i wanted names like: Winton (yes for girls), Maya, Odetta, Apricott or Pollyanne, roxanne and such… he wanted: Emily and such…
    We did not go with either "extreme", we had a list for each of the baby which we worked on the whole pregnancy, we talked to the lil one inside about it, we listened to their movements and moods, that changed the lists a lot and then after each of them was born we looked at them and made the final decision. I do not regret any choice we made, i love those names and they fit well, except i really wanted Leonora to have mn Winton…. Maybe one more baby πŸ™‚

    • That would be cool, and it could follow the way my parents chose my name, Clare, from the town in South Australia where my dad proposed!

      This may only make sense to Aussie readers, but they were gonna call me Adelaide Victoria (as they are from those respective places) but with the last name Caulfield (a suburb in Melbourne), I would have sounded like a map!

      My middle name is Trudy, after my grandmother (Gertrude). I would continue this tradition and name my daughter ___ Averil, after my mum. I can't pick a girls first name I like-too many good ones! Though, I like the idea of something uncommon, yet accessible, like my name.

      If I was a boy I was gonna be a Luke, which I like as my Dad's family has all the names of the 12 apostles except that one (I'm not religious at all, but always liked the idea…plus partner can say 'Luke, I am your father').

      Lindsay and Delany are both family names which I also really like

  23. I'm still trying to convince my husband to name our future son Sirius! Or any name from Harry Potter for that matter. I couldn't convince him to use Ginny, Hermione, or Luna for our daughter, but I love our little Harper nonetheless.

    • I love Harper! If we hadn't already picked a name for this bub, he'd probably have ended up named Harper after Seamus Harper from 'Andromeda'.

    • I love HP too! Our son's name is Remus, because mythology is awesome for those people that don't get the reference, and for those that do? He's such a badass character, and we wanted our son to have a good strong name. My parents are SUPER traditional people, so I love that my mom chose my name and spelled it how she thought it should be spelled, instead of any of the traditional ways- as uncommon as Janine is, I've never met another Jenene! My husband is adamant that our future someday daughter's name is going to be Yayelle after a character I can't remember (and I'm probably spelling it wrong) Pronounced Yai-yelle, which I think would be a badass middle name.

  24. My husband named both of our boys: Fletcher Steelie and Rider Mydland. Fletcher is a family name and the rest is a nod to The Grateful Dead.

  25. I'm due the end of December, and I love unusual names. I love Hadley for a girl and Ottiley too. I "rediscovered" Chrysanthamum ( you know, the children's book!) I also like Winterlyn and Ember for a middle names.
    For boys, we are both in love with Wilder and Adler. With the middle name of Stone, which is a modified version of a family name.
    We have a really generic last name, so I'd like to have an offbeat first name:)

  26. I named my daughter after a prostitute and a deli, haha! Roxanne Etta. Roxanne the Police song, Roxy Delicatessen in Times Square (and Etta the daughter of Peter and Olivia on Fringe).

    Actually, my other daughter is also kind of named after a prostitute. Alice Chloe. Chloe from that French movie, remade with Amanda Seyfried a few years ago.

  27. my hubby and i strongly considered delta for our second girl, and i still think it's a pretty badass name.

  28. Anybody else get jumpy about sharing favourite future names out of some weird fear of them being 'stolen'?

    Promise me none of you will name your child, born at exactly the same time as mine and identical in looks, the same thing then move down the street from me. Because then clearly I'd have to commit suicide, taking my baby with me, because I had failed at the only important creative act of my life and my child would be doomed to a miserable life.

    Anyway, for our future children my husband and I have settled on October Atwood for a girl (Toby for short), and William Sagan for a boy. I also love Juniper (June for short) and Hester, but my husband once knew and hated a Hester so that's out of the question.

    For us there were a few considerations; our last name is Eastern European, so I'd rather not give a kid another name that's a nightmare to spell. October is the month that tells the best stories in a short story by Neil Gaiman, and Toby is my favourite character from The West Wing, though hopefully my daughter would not be so unhappy. William is a family name for me, and Will Parry from His Dark Materials was the first boy I ever 'fell in love with'. We went for middle names that honour the writers we admire the most. Mostly we want our kids' names to sound as reasonable for a politician as for a movie star. Something memorable and meaningful but not too 'othering'.

    My favourite baby name belonging to a friend is Margarita. Beautiful, and not that unusual except he's a bar owner and decided on it while hammered on Mezcal in Mexico. Bless his face.

    • OMG, Toby as a nickname for October? Brilliant!!!!

      I will not steal this, as we have a daughter's name picked out already, but hot dang, that is one awesome nickname/name combo!

    • LOVE LOVE LOVE The names!!!
      My baby girl is Aleksandriya Marie and my son is Xavius Vladimir. I rooted for Xavius and Marie- I'm from Russia but ADORE English/Irish names and such. Xavius was "Xavier" but we changed it when he was born for some odd reason. My daughter's name is pretty funny when we tell people how it's spelled! Our last name is long, and insane, so it was HARD to choose a good name.
      Aleksandriya Marie Arvolkskaya had to be my favorite!!
      Nicknames for Xavius are X and Avius. Aleks has more- Aleks, Driya, Alekmarie, etc etc.

      I have ANOTHER set of twins on the way and since we're now in America, I made sure I got more "common" names. Due to the fact my kids are bullied for it. Plus, kids hardly understand the accents. Thank the lords these babies won't have 'em. (My twins were eight when they left, now ten).

      Names are Lucy, Megan, Ella and Piper for a girl, and Tristan, Sterling or Trevor for a boy. Middle name for a girl is no-doubt Ruby, and boy's middle name will be Alexander from Vampire Kisses- HEHE! I wonder what'll happen with "Aleksandriya" and "Alexander"!


    • I shared my favourite name for a girl and a friend stole it (and kept it super quiet that she'd changed her mind until baby was born). This, on top of other things, makes me glad I'm not friends with her anymore!

      • That's an awful thing to do to someone! I wouldn't stay friends with someone who did that either.
        I am weird about sharing names (I have a super secret boys name I haven't shared here), but I'm glad other people are sharing their names. I had no idea how popular Ezra was! I may not be using that for my next son after all. I thought it would be cute to have Elijah and Ezra, but I don't want my kids to ever have another kid with the same name as them in their class ( I already blew it with Elijah).

  29. We named our Daughter Serena (always loved that name after watching sailor moon as a kid) Our son who will be born in a few months will be Oz. It sounded so nice put together with our middle names (yes we all have the same middle name, even my wife who was born years b4 me !!!)
    We have gotten a lot of bad comments for the name choice but we love it! " can't wait to meet you Oz Lee Jones! πŸ˜€

  30. My husband and I fell in love in Washington, DC, and any future daughter will have the middle name "Columbia." I love it as a first name too, but it seems so formal – and there aren't many nicknames that come to mind! Collie? Bia? The only nickname I like is Coco, but my husband HATES it. I think we'll go with a more traditional (even slightly "granny") route name for a first name, like Elinor, Evelyn, Vera, Dorothea, etc.

  31. We're planning to go for standard first names and offbeat middle names, like: Laura Eowyn, Emily Guinevere, James Merlin, etc.

  32. I love names with a story. My paternal grandmother was born in 1919, just after her father returned from fighting in World War One. He was based in northern France, and so they named her after the town where he was stationed – Lille. I shared my birthday with my nan – she turned 81 on the day I turned 18. She died a few years ago. My daughter was born four months ago. We named her Isla Lille.

    • I was really close to my paternal grandmother growing up and she passed away a few years ago as well. From day one, I always told my hubby that I wanted her first name (Agnes) to be included in my 1st daughters name. He didn't love the name so we agreed for it to be a middle name and we came up with a different 1st name that we both liked… but then we found out we are expecting a little boy! πŸ™‚ (Which we hadn't even talked about boy names… lol)

  33. We don't even have children yet but when we do we have the perfect girls name….Katherine Valentine. Katherine is a name from both sides of the family and Valentine is from the Ender's Game Books (his sister is such an amazing character).

    • I loved Valentine! I've been pulling for the name Petra for the same reasons – I love her character's strength and honor. Mr. Peached will take some convincing though. Maybe as a middle name!

  34. Our kiddo's name is Dexter Alonso…Dexter because we wanted something that sounded strong and a little old-fashioned. And Alonso, because…..Allons-y Alonso!

  35. Our daughter's first name is Asa, middle name Iris. Her last name is hyphenated. I suppose Asa is a bit offbeat for a girlchild since it's typically and old man's name. In our area, hyphenated last names are pretty offbeat, too.

    We didn't find out her sex before birth, and had she been a boy it would have been Asa Milo. If we have a second (big if), we still like Milo as a boybaby middle name. We also like gender neutral-to-us names, and are leaning towards Ezra. Ezra Milo for a boy, Ezra June for a girl.

    • We have an Asa πŸ™‚ His name still makes me smile huge and he's a toddler so I feel pretty great about it. His middle name is Sunshine and his last name starts with an A so his initials spell out ASA as well.

      • My parents named me Valerie, Val for short, and then made it so my initials spell VAL too. It's always been one of my favorite trivia bits about myself πŸ˜€

  36. My daughter's name is Susquehanna, after the river in the eastern United States. I love water names. Rivers are powerful and enduring, but also flexible. Drop a dam in their way and it may take them a few thousand years, but they'll wear a way through or around it. Most of the time we call her Hanna for short, so she can still blend in and sound average when she wants to. I wanted to keep going with the river theme for my son, but my husband vetoed all of my suggestions. We ended up going with Iain Alasdair, which has a lot of family history, but we went back to the Gaelic spellings so it would still be unique. (And also to level the playing field between him and his sister, it didn't seem fair to give one of them an easy to spell name and the other not.)

  37. Boys names are so much harder than girls when you want something different.

    Silas, Dartanian, Orion, Dawson, Orlando, Nash were all on my long list. We chose to go with a more common first name and a unique middle name. If he wants to go by his middle name when he is older then that is his choice!

    • OH MAH GAWD. My hubs and I are trying now to get me knocked up and I already had names picked out but I am SERIOUSLY thinking of changing my boy name to Dartanian now! The thought of a little dude nicknamed Dart is enchanting! (It's currently Franklin Eugene after his two grandfathers. Our girl name is Abigale Ann or Evelyn Ann (I can't decide yet) Abby for my first cat(!) or Evie for my great-grandmother, and Ann because my mother, my step-mother AND his mother ALL have Ann as a middle name. Honoring all the moms FTW! Our chosen names aren't particularly offbeat but I like 'em.)

      • I just told the man about this and he was all, "Yes! THE FOURTH MUSKETEER!" and ran away swooshing an imaginary rapier… I think we have a winner?

        • I love Dartanian as a name, and Dart even more, but the fourth musketeer was D'Artagnan :p I mention it only because I wouldn't want to name a child and then find out later it wasn't what I thought!

          • I actually didn't even know where the name originated at all! I heard it on a commercial (something about computers?) and looked it up online after. Every baby name website that I say popped up with Dartanian probably because it is literally spelled how it sounds and people would question the poor kid every time he said his name.

            I agree about the correct spelling though! What a disappointment it would be to find that out later!

          • Well, Dartanian might be a name in it's own right, I don't know. If it's not, it probably should be!

  38. Our child is called Winter and I like that very much πŸ™‚ she has a much more sensible middle name, after her grest grandmother and I think that overall she has a very beautiful name.

    My choice for a boy was going to be Idris. I kind of wish I was up for having another baby as I really like the name and also really wanted a little boy πŸ™‚

  39. Our daughter (who is due in 4 weeks!) will be Astrid! It amazes me how many people have never heard of it or who think we made it up.

  40. If my husband's father got his way, my husband and his brother would've been named Wolfgang and Thor.

    But I love my cousin's son's name: Gidiniah Canyon. His nickname is Gid. The first name is after a character in a book that my cousin loves and his wife picked Canyon as the middle name because that's where they had there fist date and where my cousin proposed to her.
    And I love my niece's name: Tabitha. I don't know if its offbeat, but I've only ever met one other one and she spelled it Tabatha. I just love the way it sounds and rolls off the tongue. And it's had great nicknames: Tabbi, Tab, Tabbit, the little ones usually say Bitha.

    • I do kids science parties for a living and I'm bad at remembering names so i try and associate them with something; today I met a Logan and said 'oh, after Wolverine?' and he was so excited that I knew about where his name came from (turns out his dad's a big fan of the comics)!

  41. My mother-in-law was a teacher in a very rural, Southern area, and she taught three brothers named Maverick, Rangler, and Bandit.

    I'm an English teacher and a big lit nerd. My only regret about having only one child is not getting to name more kids after books.

  42. My 3 month old is named Evie Margaux. Evie is because of the character from The Mummy, "… but I'm proud of what I am! I am… I am.. a librarian!" (Best line ever!) and Margaux is just because it is one of my favorites. If she ended up as a he, he would have been Korben Dallas, just because I'm obsessed and that's probably the most badass name I can think of! I still hold out hope for number 2! If that's a girl as well, probably Effy, always loved that name and it would be cute to have Evie and Effy!

    On a side note, I'm a Jessica because of my grandmother's love for Murder She Wrote. Guess it runs in the family!

    • That is why my sister wanted to name her daughter Evelyn. She's always loved it since the movie, and that line is epic LOLZ.

      Her man didn't agree so much, so they ended up with Sienna Skky. Still a beautiful name.

  43. If we have a girl, we are considering Alba Jacqueline Bria for the girl. The reasons we like these names are : 1) Jessica Alba, my man's favorite actress, 2) Jackie Kennedy plus the French part of my ancestry and the fact that my middle name also begins with J, and 3) the second middle name reflecting my man's Irish ancestry. We would call her "AJ" for short. However, I am partial to Priscilla and Twila as well.

    In the case of names for boys, we really like the name Royce because it means "prince," but we would use it as a middle name since the man's middle name begins with R. With that said, I am also open to the idea of the boy going by his middle name on a regular basis because I think Royce is such an awesome name! We still aren't done trying to come up with more cool and offbeat boys' names though.

    • Alba is on our short list should we have a second girl, but after the daughter in The Time Traveller's Wife, as well as a female version of Albus Dumbledore. πŸ™‚

  44. I really, really want to name ours Bellatrix if she's a girl, but I'm already getting raised eyebrows and forced smiles from my family when I mention it. If I can't handle *their* disapproval, I don't know if I can take it from strangers. I keep telling myself, "Just because one author used a name for a villain in one book series, does not mean you can never use that name again." But it's hard to believe on some days!

    • this is why we kept our baby's name a secret until he was born. too many opinions. but nobody has said anything rude now that he's born.

      Bellatrix could easily be shortened to Bella or Trixie.

      • That reminds me: We were thinking of using Belle (like from Beauty and the Beast) for a girl's name, that is until my man's brother and sister-in-law used it for their DOG!!!

        But yeah, definitely recommend keeping names hush-hush until the little one's born. Not just because of too many opinions, but also because someone in the family may like the name so much that they decide to use it themselves for their children or pets and then you have to try hard to pick something else that you might like just to avoid name confusion.

        • Oh! We sort of have the reverse dilemma… We have a dog named River (after the character from fire fly)… But my husband really likes it for our kid too!
          Personally, I'm pushing for Storm. Yes, like the Xmen!

    • Do they dislike it because of the name itself, or the Harry Potter connotations?…

      How many perfectly nice names get shot down because you remember someone with that name who was beastly to you at sometime?!

      • My mom is a teacher, and I'm studying to be one, and she has (mental) lists of names that bring back flashbacks of awful kids. I work with kids too, and I'm getting the same list.

    • When we found out we were having a boy, my hubby really wanted Drago for a 1st name (I don't care for it) after a dragon character in an older movie. But whenever it is mentioned to people, they always think we are saying Draco after HP character Draco Malfoy.

    • Reading this thread again 2.5 years later, in search of our next baby name. We did end up naming our first Bellatrix Rose, and I have never regretted it. We call her Bella most of the time, and I decide in the moment how I introduce her to new people, depending on if I want the extended conversation. Now I need something just as awesome for the next one πŸ™‚

  45. We're planning to name a son Strider, after the character in The Lord of the Rings. It actually started as a joke suggestion from my husband, and then we both realized that we loved it. Haha. We're a little less set on girls' names… I love Rosalind, from Shakespeare's As You Like It, but we're still pretty open on that one, whereas our boy name is pretty set in stone.

    • Oh, and we're planning to do William as the middle name. It's my husband's late father's name, plus we both feel he should have a more traditional middle name so that he can choose to go by that if he ever decides that he dislikes his offbeat first name.

  46. Our daughter's name is Ramona Dawn (after both her grandmothers). We also kicked around Zelda and Scout among others.
    For boy names, we like Scout and Augusto (Gus for short)

  47. So not really offbeat but I wanted to name a future son Travis James after two of my favorite bands, the husband has vetoed this. So far we've settled on Killian Thoren.

  48. I play around with names a lot. I won't be having kids anytime soon, but some of my favorite pairings are:
    Rory Neville
    Emrys Octavius
    (For boys, and
    Mary Wells
    Evelyn Ida
    (For girls.

      • Yeah I basically couldn't resist. I toy with adding Edmund (or Eustace) in as a second middle name but I think we are gonna go with double last names and that gets bulky fast.

  49. Our son is named Brewer.

    It was my husband's grandad's middle name, and a maiden name several generations back. I like that it's unique, but not too weird…there was a Brewer born three months earlier at our hospital and goes to the same pediatrician. They'll be in middle school together!

    Plus, he can go by Brewski if he ever joins a college fraternity. Ha!

  50. Our future daughter's name is Langley, after where we honeymooned. We're hoping to get pregnant this year and be able to use that name! But shh, it's a secret…

  51. My husband and are both fans of french names (primarily because my husband is Francophone), but I prefer the more modern names like Anique (my daughter's name), or LΓΆic (my nephew's name), I also love Etienne which is a more traditional name.

    I wanted to name my daughter Aydan (Gaelic for little fire), but my husband was worried about pronunciation. I'm a still a little disappointed we didn't use it, because it fits my daughter to a "t"

  52. Having been raised in a family with offbeat names (I'm Remy, and my sister is Kyrie; my dad AND my grandfather have traditionally female names, too), I swung the other way when it came to choosing names for future kids. They have to be understandable, spellable, nicknameable, initializable (new word!), and the first and middle names should work together as a pen name or stage name if they want to drop our very long hyphenated family name when they're older.

    I'm settled on James for a boy (Jamie, NOT Jim) and my wife gets to choose his middle name. She likes Xavier a lot, but Cole and Thorn are also in the running. I've said for many years that I'd name a daughter Diana Kathryn, but now I'm not so set on the middle name. Others that are awesome (and may never be used, if we only have two kids) are Elena Grace / Elena Rose and Sarah Grace. I will have to spend the rest of my naming on pets and plants.

  53. I love River, for a boy or a girl, and Song as well.

    It's not offbeat, but I wanted so much to name a boy Jake, but we can't, because we live in Glasgow.

  54. My husband is insistent on using family names, but fortunately there are some offbeat names in our family trees. The men in my family mostly have fairly common names so if we have a boy one day, he will be James Wilton. My grandfather, uncle, and brother all have Wilton as a middle name and I love it! I've never met anyone outside of my family with that name so I guess it's a bit uncommon. If we have a daughter, her name will be Felicity Sheree. Felicity is quasi common but Sheree is my mom's name and no one pronounces it right, but I think it's beautiful. (Sha-ree not Sherry). But I have a feeling we'll have two girls so the other girl name is Evelyn, but pronounced how my great-grandmother pronounced it – Eva-Lean – very southern. It was her middle name and my cousin will use her first name, Ora, if she has a girl one day. Other options in my family tree were:
    Artellie; sisters: Chlora and Cleo; sisters: Parlee, Pearlee, Estha, Myrtle, and Belle; Ollie, Inna; Lucreece; Jalinah; Mahala; and Ascenith.

    And since Pocahontas was my 12th great-grandmother…then I guess I could have added her name to the mix. =)

      • I've rolled both options around in my head. The one reason I want to possibly stick with James being the first name is that it is traditional on my dad's sides for males to have "J" names. My dad is James, brother is Jacob Wilton, grandfather is John Wilton, and my great-grandfather is Johnny. Also, my husband bears an uncanny resemblance to his quadruple-great grandfather James. But it may also just come down to what the kid looks like when/if (kids are still 5 years down the road for us) he arrives. Does he look like a Wilton or a James or just a wrinkled old man/alien thing?

    • Pocahontas was one of your foremothers?! Now THAT'S some interesting family history you could incorporate into your child's name!

      P.S. I love the name Felicity too. It reminds me of the American Girl doll.

      • Thanks! I have an interesting and fun lineage. My mom has declared that no matter what we name our future hypothetical daughter, she will call her Pocahontas, or Poco for short. I also have a Oconostata as my 6th great-grandfather (I've been doing lots of family tree digging) so she's going to call our future hypothetical son, Oco. So maybe one day, I'll have Poco and Oco running around wreaking havoc. πŸ™‚

        Felicity comes from two separate instances of tarot-card readers telling my husband that he will one day find his felicity – meaning happiness. Once he told me that, it was a done deal as our top choice girl's name.

    • My name is Velda Sheree, and no one ever pronounces it correctly! I didn't like it as a child, but I have grown to love it.
      Velda is a family name-my aunt was Velda Leon.

  55. We named out little girl (7 months at the moment) Zenelle Anya. We'd planned on maybe Emily Rose when we found out we were having a girl, but when she came out screaming for 20 min it was too placid a name, so we went with something much feistier!

  56. Surprisingly our offbeat name isn't so offbeat in my family. Our little one is named Wednesday Adventure. We knew Adventure would be the middle name no matter what the name or gender of our baby. But within the extended family there is Pyretta, Rourke, Felix, Brixton, Ixe, Ryker, Kashton, Jaxxon, Skii, Karys, Atlea, Brooklyn and many many more. It's sort of expected in my family there won't be any Johns or Mikes or Sarahs, not that there's anything wrong with those

  57. So many wonderful names! My niece is named River, after both the Doctor Who character and the Firefly character. My nephew's middle name is Barnabe because we all called him "Barney" while he was in the womb.

  58. We are due in October with a girl, and are naming her Lyra Dragon LeaVergne – Lyra for one of my favorite characters of all time (from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials books), Dragon because I let my wife pick the middle name(s), and she is a year of the dragon baby and a contrarian, and LeaVergne after her maternal grandmother. Our last name also starts with a D, so her initials will be LDLD, or (LD)squared, which totally sealed the deal on the name for me! πŸ˜‰

    Should our sonographer be wrong and we be surprised with a boy instead, his name will be Zen Alexander.

    • Your wife and my husband would be friends! When we found out we were having a boy, he really wanted the name Drago after a dragon character in a movie. πŸ™‚

  59. I didn't intend to use an offbeat name when I used my grandmothers name for babygirl, even though its greek. But it turnes out it's not a common name in Greece. Oops.

  60. I of course am biased toward my daughters' names, but we had a tough time with boy names. They are Paisley Rae and Evey Anais Pearl (and our last name starts with P). For boy's names, Atticus Fox and Averick Jax were always up there. Paisley is a Scottish name, which my husband's surname is, and Rae is my middle name. Evey from V for Vendetta, Anais for Anais Nin, and Pearl is a middle name in hubby's family.

    That said, I also love Clover, Hazel, Stella, Moxie, and Arrietty.

    Lately I've heard two boy names I love: Escher and Gatsby, that I might have to throw down if I ever have a boy.

  61. We named our girls after strong, smart characters – Jadzia (Star Trek: DS9) and Kaylee (Firefly/Serenity) – and they both fit their names perfectly. Our next bub appears to be a boy, and we're naming him Geoffrey after my husband's favourite grandpa. Thanks to reading Offbeat Mama, his middle name is going to be Danger because that is simply too much fun to pass up. If bub is actually a girl, she'll be Abigail Danger, thanks to Abby Sciuto from NCIS.

    • One of my best friend's named their daughter Jadzia πŸ™‚ When we were considering names for our little boy, we joked that we should call him Dax πŸ™‚

      We ended up with Griffin Alexander (nickname is Griff).

    • Well, Jadzia has been officially added to my list of girls names. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be perfect for a younger sister to Zellaweiss!

  62. I wouldn't use these for my kids, but there's an attorney in DC named Theophany. It's really lovely and they can go by Theo! I also think the story behind Beyonce's name is really sweet. It's her mother's maiden name and apparently the extended family was initially upset that she was given a last name as a first name. But it's cute and has worked out really well.

  63. We went with Xavian Tiberius. The best part is when someone hears the name and understands the reference to Star Trek. "Isn't that Captain Kirk's middle name?" Why yes, yes it is.

  64. We're planning on giving our kids Hebrew names. I love my brother's middle name, Lev, but, well, it's my brother's name. I also love the names:

    For a girl-

    For a boy-
    Ariel (pronounced Ah-ree-el, shortened to Ari)

      • I love Aviva! I'm rooting for it if we have a girl, because we're following the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition of naming our kids after beloved, recently deceased relatives, and my grandmother's name started with an aleph (Ellah). She passed a few years ago and I was really close with her. But my husband and I haven't talked too much about it, yet. His grandfather also passed away relatively recently, and he may want to name our kid after him. He had an "L" name…hmmm….

  65. My daughter's name is Ramona Soleil.
    My top boy names are Finnian (Finn), Soren, Callum, and Silas.
    My top girl names are Ophelia, Wren, Maple, Lark, and Fable.

  66. I have two daughters. My oldest is named Keireyana. We made it up based up our liking of Keira and names ending in Ana. We get lots of compliments on it. My youngest is named Kylena; Kylee for short. Kylee has become a popular name in the last few years, and I like that her name actually being Kylena is different. I have no plans of having more children, but while on the topic I really like boy names for girls, such as: Parker. These just seem so strong.

    • My name also is kylena joy.I had a love/ hate relationship with my name,
      People called me Catalina a lot or just couldn't pronounce it right. But it's a beautiful name an now that I'm in my late 20s I enjoy the uniqueness.

  67. Our names for our little nugget were ones that we thought would be unusual enough but approachable. For boys, Thatcher Alexander, Hector Rook, and Emmett Orion (or Mars Orion), and for girls, Gwendolen Irene, Persephone Andromeda (hubsand really likes celestial names, and I thought Percy would be a cute nickname), and my crown jewel favorite because it was my great-grandmother's, Zellaweiss (long e sound on the ei) with a middle name of Malena to represent his family. I get the strong feeling that our nugget is going to be a girl, so watch out world, Zellaweiss is coming!

  68. When my husband met me he was disappointed that I have both of the girl names he loves: Kayla and Alexis, and I'm not the type to give my child my name. So our compromise was that, if we have a girl, we will all share the same initials: K.C.

    Girl names we love are Kairi, Kiara, and Kira.

    For boys he wants to use Kurt, after Kurt Cobain who he admires greatly, and would also have the same initials as all of us.

  69. My daughter is Alyx Eleanor. Alyx from Half Life 2's Alyx Vance. Eleanor is her great grandmother. Her last name is an unhyphenated one of both my husband's and mine.

  70. Well I thought I was totally settled on Jude for my girl until I read Bowie. Bleerg that's beautiful! You guys making picking names so hard! Though I have decided if boys come around they will be Hendrix and Morrison.

  71. If you are looking for an unusual name, how common would you say is too common? Would you avoid anything that appears on the list of top 1,000 baby names? Top 100? Top 10? Anything you've heard used before?

    I have an extremely common name and I hate it. I hate it when other people have my name and I don't much like it when I know two people with the same name. It confuses my poor little brain:( So, I'd like to give my Future!Kid a name that is uncommon enough to avoid this sort of aggravation.

    How uncommon does a name need to be to avoid running in to people who share your name on a regular basis?

    • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-wattenberg/what-is-a-popular-baby-name_b_3071094.html answers exactly that! πŸ™‚

      Short answer, if it's out of the top 100, you're probably good. Long answer, it really depends on your community. Names can be super common in one geographic area or economic class, but not technically common in the larger population. For instance, "Solomon" is an uncommon name I was considering, but then I went on a daycare tour that had cubbies labeled "Solomon R" and "Solomon M", no joke. Turns out Solomon is an uncommon name statistically, but among middle/upper class people in the Pacific Northwest who like Montessori-style daycares, it's still common enough to have two in the same classroom.

    • My measure is twofold: have I met anyone with that name, and do I like them? If I have met someone with the same name, it has to be a neutral-to-good association. A vibe thing I guess.

    • My name was the third most popular name my birth year, and there were three kids in my grade school class with the same name.
      The number 1 name? There was 1.
      The number 2 name? 1
      4, 5 and 6? 0
      Out in the general public, it's pretty rare that I meet someone with my name. And I never meet anyone with the name I go by–Dootsie!

  72. We named our son Levi Koliyah. Levi was my father's Hebrew name so it honors him. Koliyah is a beautiful name my husband loves and is so offbeat we can't find it on virtually any name sites. Levi means "to unite" and Koliyah means "the victory of the people," so we loved the meaning. After we named him we finally bothered to look up how popular it is and to our great surprise learned that it's been steadily gaining popularity and is the 66th most common boy name. Despite this, I have never in my life met another Levi, so I often kind of feel like we made it up. We call him Leaf, which we especially love because his in-utero name was Sprout. He sprouted into a leaf. We like that he has this hippy name, but has the option of his full name.

    My absolute favorite, hands down, please don't steal it name for a girl is Aviva Rose. Aviva means spring. I would want to call her Avi, after the author, but my husband prefers Vivi. If we have another boy we are leaning towards Dario, after the amazing Dario Fo. I feel it is offbeat but pronounceable and recognizably a name. We could call him Rio. Leaf and Rio seem to go together. As you can see, nicknames are important to us.

    The most offbeat names of babies I've met are: Nova, Hendrix, Tyger,
    Ozma and Bandit.

    • Koliyah is the Russian nickname for Nikolay (most names ending in -ya are Russian nicknames, like Sonya for Sofia, Anya for Anna, Nadya for Nadezhda (meaning Hope), etc) lovely name!

      • Thanks for letting me know! That works out, as I am part Russian. We just knew it as the name of the singer from Burning Star. I also just loved how it sounded with Levi.

  73. I named my son Elijah. I wasn't happy with it but I couldn't think of anything better at the time. Two weeks later, I thought of it, I should have named him Indiana! Now I hear the name Indiana all the time! That was my idea!!
    His middle name is Eugene, which is a family name and I love it. It was never an option to pick a different name. But when I picked it several of my coworkers made fun of me, and one, who's name was Eugene himself, begged me not to do that to my kid! People are weird about names. I think Eugene is a fine name. I love it.
    My daughter has a very unique name. It's Freja. No one knows how to pronounce it and when I tell people her name (pronounced Fray-a) everyone asks how it's spelled, then ask why it's spelled like that, then if my husband and I are Norwegian because, I assume, they feel that's the only excuse for us picking such a weird name. I go back and forth between loving my daughters name (yeah, Viking goddess baby!), and feeling a little embarrassed about it, telling everyone that my husband picked it, but it has grown on me. Which is true, I wasn't sure about the name Freja at first. But my husband loved it and I couldn't think of anything better. And it has grown on me, except for those times when people ask a lot of weird questions about it and make me feel this need to justify our choice. But mostly I like it. Having grown up a Jessica in the 80's, I want my kids to have uncommon names.
    Our next son, should we be blessed with one, will probably be Ezra, to stick with the Hebrew names theme. Although I do have this dream of naming a baby boy after a river near our home. I don't share that name, I want it to be unique. We will probably name out next daughter after another goddess, or some other powerful woman figure.

    • I'm Freyja (same goddess, slightly different pronunciation, Fray-ya) and have spent my whole life being met by blank looks when people both hear or see my name. But I love my name and am sure your Freja will love hers too πŸ™‚

      • That's probably a better way of writing how we pronounce Freja as well. πŸ™‚
        I hope she loves it. Growing up, my sister and I both hated our names, me because my name was so common, and my sister, Joslyn, because hers was so uncommon. We're both ambivalent about our names now. It is what it is. But I hope my kids like their names.

  74. This morning my husband and I decided on a girl name, which has been the hardest thing for me! He loves the name Lyra, and I like Elise and Vega, so we're just going to put them all together to Lyra Elise Vega. Our boy name is fairly normal, Dean Alexander Deforest.

  75. We're due in late October:
    For a girl, we have Tesla Marie (Tesla after Nikola Tesla and Marie for Marie Curie)
    For a boy, we have Aemon William (Aemon is a great old Irish name and William for William Shakespeare)

    For about 3 months, our parents really were not digging on Tesla for a girls name but have come to love the idea. Now they tell everyone with pride at how their possible future granddaughter is going to have a kick-ass sciencey name πŸ™‚

  76. My son is Anakin (Star Wars reference) and my one on the way will most likely be Tiberius (Star Trek reference).

  77. When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we already had a nice list of names. More boy names than girl- and then we found out we were having a girl! Sabina (that's Sabina, not Sabrina with an 'r') was at the top of my list, but my husband wasn't totally in love. I wanted something unique, hardly ever heard, and said the same in Polish (my side) and Spanish (his side). Carina was on the list too, but internally my conversations with my Daughter, I called her Sabina.

    And Sabina is what she is today! My husband came around to the strength and uniqueness of her name- and it really matches her personality!

    Now, if we ever have another girl, we're screwed because there are no other girl names we agree on!

    But I kinda love Frida (as in Frida Kahlo)…. maybe we stick with the German theme?

  78. We named our daughter Aislyn Dawn. It means dream or vision. We wanted to go with something different with her name since we named our son Aiden, but when we named him it was not a popular name. As a nickname we call her Isy, pronounced like Izzy. We really like Irish names. If left up to my hubby our son would have been named Agamemnon and our daughter Arwen, he settled for naming the dog Arwen.

    • Just an FYI, the name Aisling (to give it the Irish spelling) is a pretty popular name in Ireland and would be pronounced Ashlin(g) by most people, so if you meet somebody who says your daughter's name that way it's not wrong just different. πŸ˜‰

  79. My partner and i dont have kids yet but we have talked about a few names, i aaways love offbeat names, him not so much…. and his surname is very difficult to put a first name with, however one day a while back his dad was joking with us about our love of sci fi and fantasy tv and talking about kids names and said what about Lannister (game of thrones for those who dont know…. supprisingly we dont watch it…)….. however, ever since then we cant get it out of our heads, it works perfectly with his last name too….. but what would we shorten it to? Lanny? Si? dunno…. but its gonna be a hard name to beat in our minds

      • ah how did i not think of Lann, thanks! thats way better….. well thats it, it has been decided….. Lannister for a boy, Evelyn for a girl. πŸ˜€

        • My two cents, for what they're worth – you should really read/watch Game of Thrones before naming a child Lannister. Overall, the Lannisters are depicted as terrible people who do terrible things (for example throwing a small child off of a tower and brother-sister incest, to name just a couple). If you want a Game of Thrones name, I suggest Arya. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks to this thread i now have a huge list of awesome names for potential future sprogs….

      for boys:
      Xaviar (Avi for short)

      For girls
      Aurora (Rory for short)

      sooooooo many names to choose from!

      • I have always loved the idea of naming a girl Aurora and calling her Rory! I also love the sound of Arrietty, how did you come across that one?

  80. My son is Cael Asher, and my angel daughter is Lillian Alette. My full list is (And it's quite long…)

    Boys: Ilia, Talieson, Dante, Leviathan, Remus, Severus, Iain, Kade, Gareth, Alasdair/Alastair, Sekani, Thorin, Rowan, Orion, and Idris.

    Girls:Iliana, Avalon, Astrid,Pandora, Luna, Adelaide, Kalasin (I'm not the only one! Hooray!), Aria/Arya, Zora, Vivienne, Lyra, Andromeda, Ember, Eowyn, Genesis, Ascenith, Kaia, Phoenix, Nova, Seren, Fiona, Zora, Cadence and Valeria.

    One thing I find interesting is that, while none of these names are "popular", they appear to be popular in the offbeat community!

    • My son is justice Raad. Justice is self explainitory (would love nickname suggestion as I am stuck). Raad is a nod to his arab side, it means thunder. So all together…. Justice Thunder! I hope I have a girl next and i cant spill the names yet but we're continuing with the english/arab word theme.

  81. Well I have 2 sets of kids in different age ranges:
    Dakota Jeffrey (22)
    Sawyer Christian (20)
    Parker Quinn (17)
    At the time, these names were fairly unique
    Judah Everett (2)
    Mariposa Allegra (2 months) – we call her Posey
    I also loved Clementine and Abilene.

  82. for me itΒ΄s all about the meaning of the names, so my sons are called
    Treasure-bearer, the beloved first son -jasper milan taro
    honorable ruler, beloved gift of god – erik jonathan tavi
    ruler of the home, beloved gift of god – henri valentin theo

    henri and erik are twins and i love how their names go together when it comes to meaning but still differ in sound, and the last name ties all three together.

    for a girl only the last name is set yet, tara. and i hope the next is a girl because iΒ΄m out of versions to call a boy "beloved one"..

    other names in play were

    linnea (the twin flower – soo beautiful!)

  83. My favorite offbeat name that I've come across belongs to an adorable little boy named Grizzly Brown. Grizz for short.

  84. We are having a hard time coming up with a list of names that we both like (our first baby is due in January).
    Might not be super off-beat, but I like Ellen – of course as an hommage to the very strong and beautiful Ellen DeGeneres. And also Portia, her beautiful wife and character from Shakespeare's Merchant of Vernice.
    I also read the entire list of suggestions yesterday and LOVE Calamity, er even better Calamity Jane :).
    Another favorite for a girl is Vega.

    The man is more "classic" and wants Emily or Sophia…

    If it'll be a boy, we're having an even harder time with naming. Up high on the list right now are Theodore, Ferdinand, Sebastian, and William.

    • My name is Ellen, as it's my grandmother's middle name. When I was a kid I didn't like it much, since it was "different" and, in my head, not very feminine. I wanted to be Rebecca. But now I love it! It's one of those names that is old-fashioned but never really goes out of style. It's easy to spell and pronounce, but it's uncommon enough that I've only met one other Ellen (besides Ellen DeGeneres) in 30 years.

    • My father wanted to have another baby with my stepmother after they got married. When they decided to not have any more kids (he already had me and soon after we moved into our house they brought my sister to live with us) he brought home two kittens and named them Emily and Sophia because that's what he wanted to name their daughter.

  85. Me and my brother both got pretty uncommon names. I'm Jacoba and he is Liam. Liam is quite common now but in the 80s, it was quite unheard of (where we are from anyways). My name was even in the paper as one of the most uncommon names of the year I was born!
    I hated my name for a long time, but I've since come to love it, and uncommon names in general.
    I have a shortlist in my head, and whenever I hear a nice name I add to it.

  86. I'm getting married in 5 weeks (eek!), and we hope to start trying to reproduce immediately (double eek!). Our last name will be Light, which simultaneously gives us more and less freedom for a first name. More, since a more complicated first name often pairs well with a monosyllabic last name (think Indiana Jones), and less because anything that could be interpreted as food related instantly sounds bad. Sad, since for a long time my favorite boy's name was Bran. But, I won't saddle a child with a name that sounds like a horrible breakfast cereal. Anything that is a color, season, month, or weather pattern also steers into dangerous territory (but could work, depending).

    For a girl, my favorite is Ember. Also Mabry, Ivy, Edith.

    For a boy, my favorite is Tobin.

    I also know a baby girl named Luthien (after a Tolkien elf), which I find very beautiful and unique.

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