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 — 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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Comments on What are your favorite unique baby names?
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 love Tamora Pierce, Kalasin would be a badass name!
Tamora Pierce is so awesome 🙂
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 kind of want to name a daughter after Kelandry in Tamora Pierce’s books. She’s pretty much my favorite heroine of all time.
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 🙂
OMG I love the Verfremdungseffekt joke. (Also love the Tamora Pierce.)
I like Alianne and Sandrilene 🙂
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!
Trisana is the Tammy Pierce inspired baby name of my dreams!
I love “Cadence,” especially spelled properly. Why “Cadence” isn’t as popular as “Kaydence,” I don’t understand.
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.
I’m biased towards my daughters name: Dexee. (Her middle name is Jane so sometimes we call her Dexee Jane too).
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 — 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.
“But we call her Chucky because she is redheaded and evil.”
I laughed so hard at that!
You made me
Laugh so hard. Sometimes kids seem that way after days of bad sleep .
My sons middle name is Sullivan. Named after James P. Sullivan of Monsters, Inc. hahaha
Juniper was on our short list. From the song by Donovan.
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
I have a 4 year-old Juniper too!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
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 Siobhán, 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!
Come to the UK! Kayleigh is by far the most common spelling of your name!
I always wanted Seren for a girl… Welsh, meaning ‘star’.
I love Seren! It’s on my list!
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? 🙂
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.
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. 🙂 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.
The funny thing is, Zuzu is so alternative-sounding, but I think it was often a nickname for Susan.
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.
Actually no, I just really love month names!
My son is named Tobin! We liked it for the very reasons you said: uncommon, but accessible.
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. 🙂
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 😉
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.
I love all this avocado, so I second this.
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…
We named our son Zen. My best friend named her daughter Vivian. Recently I met a little girl named Jessa. LOVE different names!
Zen is our boy name should there be a baby #2 (or should our sonographer be wrong in his guess!) 🙂
My son’s name is Zen Vader! Only boy name we liked.
Zen is on our shortlist of middle names for the impending Leonardo 🙂 I love this thread!
Leonardo Zen is an AWESOME name!
I really love old fashioned / old person names, like Edith or Ainsley.
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.
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’ 😉 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”.
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 knew a Rhian at school – that could be a shortened version!
I had a cousin with this name that went by Rio.
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!
Those are really fun names! Lucretia like the sisters of mercy song?
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 🙂
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).
i know a lovely little lyra and her brother is called lyan… ♥
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.
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
I LOOOOVE the name Lilith, I was amazed that it didn’t take off with the Lily/Lillian/Lila/Laila trend.
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!
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! 😀 Though truth be told, the name totally fits his awesome spirit. 😉
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.
Oh man, love that!
When I was a kid, there was a road named Tallulah we would drive on to get to the mountains every summer and I always wanted to change my name to that.
I would love to name a daughter Tallulah, for Tallulah Bankhead.
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
My boyfriend & I are naming our firstborn son Leo, for a family tradition. It’s also what Rob McElhenney & Kaitlin Olson named their second son.
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… 🙂
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 always liked Wolfgang.
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.
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.
I have a 16 month old named Stella Lucille!
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.
This is one of my favorite names for a little girl, and it’s because of Emmeline Pankhurst! Yay.
My little gal is Sawyer Rose (affectionately nicknamed “Soy Sauce”)!
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. 🙂
Calamity! I love it.
I’m in love with Calamity Lu Josephine! That is truly unique (never heard of it as a name, even online) yet beautiful and strong. I’m finished reproducing though so I can’t use it..
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!
I know a Marvelous who sounds like he’d fit right in!
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. 🙂
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 vetoed my husband’s choice of Arya for that very reason.
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.
I petititoned hard for Arya but it was because of Eragon. Ended up with Anya.
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 🙂 he does the name justice!
I love Thackery, always wanted to use Makepeace as a middle name too, but I’d already had my boys.
I’ve got an Arya Emma (19m) 🙂 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.
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 🙂
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.)
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