What are your favorite unique baby names?

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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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Comments on What are your favorite unique baby names?

    • 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.

  1. 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

  2. Girls:
    Nuea (new-ay-ah)
    Honora
    Verona
    Blair

    Boys:
    Javid (jah-veed)
    Blair
    Bryce
    Bruce

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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:)

  6. 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.

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

  8. I work at a parenting center so I hear lots of baby names. My favorite by far: Strummer Jean.

  9. 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!

    • Seanan McGuire has a series with a main character whose name is October and Toby for short.

    • 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”!

      -K

    • 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).

  10. 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˜€

  11. 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.

    • “cole” is what came to my mind. i have a strong love for ungendered names. i also love nicknames because of the variety – you and 4 friends could all have a kid named columbia and none of them be called the same thing. i think that is awesome.

    • This is such an old post, but still: I like the name Lumi as a nickname for Columbia. πŸ™‚ Maybe it’ll get to ya before you name any bebehs!

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

    • I always loved Asa for a boy, but our last name is Olson. Put them togthether, and well… ugh.

    • 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˜€

  17. 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.)

    • I grew up next to the Susquehanna River and attend Susquehanna University now! So cool!

    • Speaking of rivers, I’m fond of Shenandoah, though it’s a bit long and I can’t figure out a reasonable nickname for it.

      • Nan would be a good nickname for a girl. It’s got a nice old-fashioned sound.

  18. 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!

  19. 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™‚

  20. 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.

    • GREAT Name! The only times I’ve heard it were two of my favorite characters. From Fringe, and from The White Oleander. Wonderful name!

  21. 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)!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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