Today one of the biggest trends in naming is choosing a
unique name. Those of us who grew up in the 70's and 80's
undoubtedly knew multiple Jennifers, Amys, Michaels and
Johns, and many parents want their child to have a more
unusual name. Parents have dusted off old classics, combined
names and altered spellings in the hopes of saving their
child from the fate of being known throughout their school
years as "Amy with a Y" or "Michael R, the one with brown
hair." So how do you find a name that is unique and unusual?
Here are some suggestions, along with a few warnings.
1. If you live in the US, look through the top 100 names
from the Social Security lists for the past few years to get
a sense of what names are currently popular. You may be
surprised at just how many children share a name that sounds
fresh and unusual to you.
2. Look for unused classics. Literature is a great source of
names that were once popular but have since fallen down the
charts. Read the names in your family tree or look at Social
Security lists from the early 1900's and you may just fall
in love with a forgotten classic.
3. Anticipate the trends. Right now, names from the
1900's-1930's are very hot for girls. In another decade,
that will probably move forward to names from the 1940's and
1950's. Look at those names now and see if any appeal to
4. Create your own name by combining two family names or
altering a name that you love. Be cautious in this, however,
as not all created names sound appealing. You may want to
ask family and friends for opinions before committing to an
And now for the warnings:
1. Keep in mind that names used in popular television series
or films are likely to skyrocket in popularity, as are names
of celebrity children. For example, the name Ella and its
variants have become extremely popular since a few
celebrities used it and it appeared as a baby's name on the
2. Beware of creative spellings. While it's true that
Keightl'nne looks very different from Caitlin or Katelyn, it
is still pronounced the same way and is still ultimately the
same name. You may be causing your child a lifetime of
confusion as she attempts to spell her name over the phone,
while she is still one of five or six Caitlins in her class.
3. Beware of punctuation in names, which could cause
problems when filling out computerized forms.
4. Be careful not to take the hunt for creative names too
far. Imagine the name as your own, or try the "profession
test". Would you wish to be known forever as Egwene? Can you
picture The Honorable Judge Tequila Mad'y'syn being called
to the bench?
5. Above all, remember that what really matters is finding a
name you love, one that grows well with your child. Even the
top names are being given to fewer and fewer children these
days, so if you fall in love with Emma or Jacob, don't let
fears of popularity force you to use another name you don't
really care for.
Copyright 2005 http://StorkNet.com
Written by Susan Harkavy for StorkNet's Baby Names Cubby
(http://www.storknet.com/babynames), a one-stop shop for all
things baby names. Visit StorkNet for support and
information related to preconception, pregnancy, and
parenting including childbirth, breastfeeding, pregnancy
loss and more.