For the 'different, not weird' baby namer

The Naming Climate: Unique but not weird

on November 28, 2013

“Unique but not weird.” This is the holy grail when it comes to baby names nowadays.  Parents today are wrapped up in a frantic search for that one special name that all their friends will think is clever. 

The phrase means something different to everyone.  Some parents choose to breathe new life into an old, forgotten, “granny” name turned suddenly stylish.  Think Arthur, Mabel, Walter, or the wildly popular Florence.  Others prefer a name with firm ethnic roots and a long history, but a history outside the parents’ own home country.  Consider Alessandra, Niamh, Luca, and Callum: names commonly heard in areas of Europe but obscure in America until recently.  Finally, there are parents that want to create something all their own, yet something that still sounds like a name.  These parents might turn to spelling changes (Rylee, McKayla, Jaxon), variations on common names (think Aiden clan members Zayden, Graydon, Kaydyn, etc), or gender-bending names (Maxwell, Elliott, or Parker for girls).  Note that several of the names mentioned here are firmly established names, but still might carry a bit of a shock factor when they reach the ears of a less name-savvy family member. 

Whatever your personal style, it is clear that the current baby naming climate is entirely different from what it was decades ago, as everyone searches for a name that both stands out and fits in.  Perhaps this is a silly, frivolous ideal. Perhaps it is a fantasy never to come to fruition, but certainly, once a child arrives the name will seem far less important.  Regardless of your motivation or your style, please share your thoughts on modern baby naming here at NameSplash!


3 responses to “The Naming Climate: Unique but not weird

  1. I think a good way to get an “unusual but not weird” name is to use a name that is rare in your own country, but popular in another. So suppose you picked a name that had never charted in the US, but it was Top Ten in Sweden or Croatia – it’s unusual where you live, and it can’t be weird, because it’s a Top Ten name.

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