One of the most exciting things new parents get to do before the arrival of
their child is choose the baby’s name. Will it be something popular or
unusual? A family name or something original? We will explore the
top baby names as well as some of the more unique possibilities to help you
choose the perfect name.
Top Baby Names
In the 90s, the most popular name for a boy was Michael. For the past
five years, the most common name has been Jacob. Other popular names
include Joshua, Matthew, Ethan, Andrew, Daniel, William, Joseph, Gregory,
Jonathan, Benjamin, and Christopher. If you are looking for a classic,
these baby names have been popular for years.
The most popular name for a girl has not changed in the past fifteen
years. It continues to be Emily, and is currently followed by Emma,
Madison, Olivia, Hannah, Abigail, Isabella, Ashley, Samantha, and
Elizabeth. Except for Ashley and Elizabeth, the popularity of the others
is recent and affected by pop culture, especially television shows.
Other sources of popular names are best-selling novels and celebrities.
After Gweneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple, many people have done the
same. The Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings movies have also
added many names to the list of the most popular.
Unusual Baby Names
One way today’s parents have created unusual names for their children is by
changing the spelling of a popular name. Variations that are becoming less
unusual include Emilie, Elisabeth, Karin, and Erika. Names like Stacy can
be spelled in three different ways (Stacy, Stacie, Staci).
Another way to personalize a baby name is to use a nickname as the child’s
full name. For instance, Ben instead of Benjamin, Jon instead of Jonathan,
and Matt instead of Matthew are becoming more common.
Other unusual sources for baby names come from the world around us. The
popularity of names such as April and May continues to come and go, while names
such as Winter, and Hazel are still unusual. Consider choosing a baby name
reminiscient of the time of year when your child will be born or the time of
year they were conceived. Fruit, vegetables, colors, and the adjectives
that describe them are a good starting point (Pear, Lemon, Azure). Other
uncommon names are those of plants and flowers, such as Hyacinth, Daisy, and
Other ideas to get you
Names that describe an ideal or a personality, such as Hope, Grace, Prudence,
Patience, Temperance, or Chastity, are still unusual although not entirely
unique. Other descriptive baby names include Cadence and Candid.
Other unusual names come from sources that are not commonly used today.
While Biblical names are popular, Greek mythology is only rarely used.
Your child may be the only one in their class to have the name Athena, Minerva,
or Pan. Or you could give them a name from another culture, such as the
Swedish Carina or the Polish Aleksy.
Baby names from other cultures include:
Anuket – Egyptian
Augustyn – Polish
Crina – Romanian
Dimitriy (Dima) –
Freya – Norse mythology
Hestia – Greek mythology
The possibilities are endless! But as mentioned above, remember that if
the source of your baby’s name is a television show, novel, or celebrity, the
name may not be that unusual when they begin school several years down the
road. This is especially true for girls. Look for Apple, Reese, and
Uma to be popular over the next five years.
Perhaps you’d like something even more original.
Unique Baby Names
If you don’t want your child’s name to be the same as anyone else’s, you can
create a unique baby name. These names can have many sources. The
more common methods of creating something original are by the combination of
family names or the addition of a syllable or letter to a popular name. An
example of the latter is Kylen, a unique girl’s name which stems from the boy’s
name Kyle. Unique baby names which may come from a family name include
Stafford, Prestoff, and Kilin. While some people may find these better
suited for a middle name, others may prefer their unique nature.
A sampling of unique
The Meaning of a Name
For some people, it doesn’t matter whether a baby name is popular or unique,
it just has to mean a certain thing. Rather than choose a baby name with
an obvious connotation such as Spring, Grace, or Rose, they want a name that
will bring goodwill to their child through its ancient origin.
Some popular as well as unusual baby names include:
Alyssa, Allison) – noble
Albert – bright
Alethea – truth
Cara – beloved
Colbert – bright
Darwin – friend
Gertrude – stength
Hannah (Anna) – favor, grace
(Henrietta) – power
Isolde – beauty
Keisha – favorite
Manfred – strength
Osmund – protector
Robert (Bob) – fame
Tips For Choosing
There are many things to consider when you finally select a baby name.
Will this be a name your child can use for life, or will it sound silly when it
refers to an adult? Will this name cause your child to be picked on?
Will they have to constantly correct people in its pronunciation or spelling,
and does this concern you? Are there any stereotypes (good or bad)
associated with it?
One last concern is: does it fit with your last name? Generally it
sounds better if there are a different number of syllables in the first and last
names. Only rarely should the first letter of the first and last names be
the same. This is of course more of a concern for boys, as they will keep
their name for life. Of course, any decisions about hyphenation in the
last name should be made before the first name is chosen.
Try not to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. After all, you have
nine months to make this decision! Leave yourself open to the myriad
sources of ideas, and you will find the baby name for you. And of course,
if you let people know you’re looking, friends, family members, and even
coworkers might add their own suggestions!
Keep these things in mind, and you will choose a popular, or unusual, or
unique baby name that your child will be proud of for life.