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How to Choose a Unique Baby Name

Updated on October 3, 2012

I always wanted my name to be different. As one of five girls named "Amy" in my fifth grade class, I was jealous of my friends who had unique names. I still remember some of them, and always dreamed of being named something exotic or unusual. While I'm happy with "Amy" today, mostly because I never have to deal with misspellings or mispronunciations, I can still relate to the urge to name your child something a bit more unusual.

Unique Baby Names
Unique Baby Names | Source

Unusual Baby Names

When choosing an unusual or unique name for your baby, it's important to make sure that it won't hinder the child's future in any way. Although a unique name may be wonderful in your eyes, will your child like it when he or she is 12 years old? 15 years old? 21? 60?

I like unique names a lot, and am always impressed when someone gets it just right. It's important to use a unique baby name that will not hinder their future ambitions. For example, picture the name (first and last) on a business card or at the top of a resume. Does it look okay? Will it be a turn-off when he or she wants to find a job? Also, picture him or her as an adult, introducing themselves and shaking someone's hand. Will the name sound fascinating or just weird? Will it incite fear in the other person? While you may want to go way out on a limb with your name choice and completely avoid common culture, you also don't want to handicap your child's future in the process.

Historical Names
Historical Names | Source

How to Name a Baby

There are many places to look for unique baby names. One of my favorites is to look through your ancestry. Many names from the past are rarely used any more, and can be a unique moniker with a tie to your family's past. My daughter is named for her great-great-grandmother and, when she is older, I can't wait to tell her the story of her namesake.

You can also look through your family for last names that would work as a really unique first name. I knew someone who used the name "McLain" for their son's middle name, and it started as a family last name. I've also known many who use the mother's maiden name as a first name.

If you don't want to look to your family history for name ideas, you can also try religious or ethnic names. "Irish Names" on Google pulls up many results, as does "Hindu Baby Names". Biblical baby names are also easy to research and can provide a lot of interesting name options that are unique and rarely used.

Characters in books or movies are also good sources for potential names. However, be wary of any series or movie that is very popular, as the names tend to become overused within a few years after its release. Just look how many children were named after the characters from the "Twilight" series, when their names originally seemed so unusual!

You can also look to other languages for interesting and unique names. Be sure to check with someone who speaks the language to ensure you are selecting the correct spelling, and that you understand fully what the name means. You wouldn't want your child to end up in a bad situation if he or she travels in the future.

To make sure your baby's name is truly unique, check the Social Security Administration's name database. You can search by decade or by name to see the name's ranking among births.

Finally, consider a unique spelling on a popular name! Maybe your "Michael" could be "Mykal", or spell "Christine" with a "K". The options are endless.

I want a great name!
I want a great name! | Source

Baby Names Lists and Generators

Still unsure what unique name to choose? Try some online sites to help with your search! Here are a few resources:

Enjoy your unique name search!


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    • babynology profile image

      babynology 4 years ago from New York

      Few things to be consider while naming your baby.

      Want to know the suggestion visit

      Babynology - Baby names suggestions website for girls and boy baby names.

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Marcy - I LOVE the idea of using this for character names! What a great idea!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Oh, what a neat hub! I won't be naming any babies anytime soon, but I always look for clever ways to find character names for stories I have in mind! Love it!

      Voted up!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Really good info for expectant parents looking to think outside the traditional box when picking a name for their child.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Kittyjj! This was fun to write after we struggled with this a couple of years ago. We ended up going with a family name, but it's a fine line to walk!

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Great ideas on naming a baby, Amy. Your hub should help new parents finding unique names for their babies.

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Summerberrie - I suspect Marion Beauregard will be the only one in the class with that name!

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago

      Nice resource Amy. My son wants to name his kid Marion Beauregard (after Francis Marion and a civil war general)- good luck with that one.

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Carol7777 - I like old fashioned names too. That's one reason why I love looking into your family ancestry for names. You can find old, rarely-used names that also have family meanings. Thanks for the vote!

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nettlemere - I think I would veto Nipper too. That wouldn't look too great on a business card!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Some of the names today leave a lot to be desired. Sometimes the spelling is sobizarre. I am not so sure how I feel about unisex names either. I guess I like the old fashioned names. Great hub and very readable. Voted UP.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      You've come up with some great ideas for inspiration for interesting names and I couldn't agree more about making sure you can imagine the name on a business card. One name I came across which I felt would have been best left in the reject pile is Nipper. I asked the mum what was his actual name and that really was it.