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Unique, Popular, and Bizarre Baby Names

Amy loves writing about her favorite topics, such as health, alternative healing, dreams, crystals, and spirituality.

Unique and unusual baby name ideas

Unique and unusual baby name ideas

Traditions of Naming a Baby

It's a lot of fun to think up baby names when you are expecting. It can also be a bit of a challenge—after all, your baby will carry the name you give them for the rest of their lives. It is an important decision to make, and there are thousands of baby name books on the market.

Naming a baby wasn't always such a difficult decision to make. Names were much more traditional and sometimes even boring in past eras. As recently as the 1960s, people have been coming up with more unique and interesting names for their children. That's just the western part of the world. Many regions and cultures stick to the traditions.

Many African Americans give their babies unique names, while pride in their African roots has also inspired African and Muslim names.

Similarly, Mormons often give their babies unique names. One common practice is to combine a grandmother's and grandfather's names. Mormons may have also started the trend of using surnames as first names.

In the Jewish tradition, babies receive a naming ceremony about eight days after birth. Jewish people often believe in naming their children after a charitable person in hopes that the new baby will take after that person. Naming ceremonies are not so unusual. Indians and Buddhists also have naming ceremonies.

Many Europeans have customs of naming their children after their parents: a newborn boy will take the father's name, and although less commonly, a baby girl will take the mother's name.

In Italian, Greek, and Spanish cultures, the first boy and girl are named after their paternal grandparents. The French honor grandparents by using their first names as middle names for their newborns.

Americans tended to name their babies traditional names taken from the Bible, books, and loved ones. Naming the firstborn son after his father is still very common. Modern America is becoming more and more creative in naming their babies.

Top 5 Girl Names Through the Decades

Names were never that unique up until as recently as the 1960s. For example, the name Mary remained the #1 name in the US from 1880 all the way until 1960.

1900

  1. Mary
  2. Helen
  3. Margaret
  4. Anna
  5. Ruth

1910

  1. Mary
  2. Helen
  3. Dorothy
  4. Margaret
  5. Ruth

1920

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  1. Mary
  2. Dorothy
  3. Helen
  4. Betty
  5. Margaret

1930

  1. Mary
  2. Betty
  3. Barbara
  4. Shirley
  5. Patricia

1940

  1. Mary
  2. Linda
  3. Barbara
  4. Patricia
  5. Carol

1950

  1. Mary
  2. Linda
  3. Patricia
  4. Susan
  5. Deborah

1960

  1. Lisa
  2. Mary
  3. Karen
  4. Susan
  5. Kimberly

1970

  1. Jennifer
  2. Amy
  3. Melissa
  4. Michelle
  5. Kimberly

1980

  1. Jessica
  2. Jennifer
  3. Amanda
  4. Ashley
  5. Sarah

1990

  1. Ashley
  2. Jessica
  3. Emily
  4. Sarah
  5. Samantha

2000

  1. Emily
  2. Madison
  3. Hannah
  4. Ashley
  5. Alexis

2010

  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Olivia
  4. Emma
  5. Chloe

Top 5 Boy Names Through the Decades

In the last 100 years, the top boy names haven't changed much, and even recently, many of the names that were popular in decades past are still in the top ten. This could have to do with naming male children after their fathers. Male names have been getting broader; recently, names like Jacob and Jayden have come into fashion.

1900

  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Joseph

1910

  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. Robert
  5. Joseph

1920

  1. Robert
  2. John
  3. James
  4. William
  5. Charles

1930

  1. Robert
  2. James
  3. John
  4. William
  5. Richard

1940

  1. James
  2. Robert
  3. John
  4. William
  5. Richard

1950

  1. Michael
  2. James
  3. Robert
  4. John
  5. David

1960

  1. Micheal
  2. David
  3. John
  4. James
  5. Robert

1970

  1. Michael
  2. Christopher
  3. Jason
  4. David
  5. James

1980

  1. Michael
  2. Christopher
  3. Matthew
  4. Joshua
  5. David

1990

  1. Michael
  2. Christopher
  3. Matthew
  4. Joshua
  5. Jacob

2000

  1. Jacob
  2. Michael
  3. Joshua
  4. Matthew
  5. Christopher

2010

  1. Aiden
  2. Jacob
  3. Jackson
  4. Ethan
  5. Jayden
Gods of water and the sea: Doris and Poseidon

Gods of water and the sea: Doris and Poseidon

Names of the Ancient Gods and Goddesses

If you love mythology, why not take a name from a god or goddess from Greek and Roman mythology? Each god has a distinct personality and has a special purpose.

Powerful Male Gods

GodOriginDomain

Apollo

Roman and Greek

Music, healing, and light

Aquilo

Roman

The north wind

Ares

Greek

War

Auster

Roman

The south wind

Atlas

Greek

God who held heaven on his shoulders

Bacchus

Roman

Wine, parties, and festivities

Cratos

Greek

Strength and power

Dionysus

Greek

Wine

Eros

Greek

Love

Helios

Greek

The sun

Hercules

Roman

Strength and triumph

Hades

Greek

The underworld

Hermes

Greek

Messenger for the gods

Janus

Roman

Transitions, doorways, and new beginnings

Lares

Roman

Guardian of spirits

Morpheus

Fictional (The Matrix)

Dreams

Moros

Greek

Fate

Plutus

Greek

Wealth

Poseidon

Greek

The sea

Romulus

Roman

Founder of Rome

Sancus

Roman

Oaths and good faith

Virtus

Roman

Courage and military

Vulcan

Roman

Fire

Zeus

Greek

The sky; ruler of all gods

Strong Goddess Names

GoddessOriginDomain

Aphrodite

Greek

Love and passion

Artemis

Greek

Hunting and childbearing

Athena

Greek

Founder of Athens; goddess of wisdom

Aurora

Roman

Dawn

Chloe

Greek

The harvest

Demeter

Greek

Earth and agriculture

Diana

Roman

The hunt, virgins, and women

Doris

Greek

The sea

Fortuna

Roman

Fame and fortune

Hera

Greek

Marriage and women

Hestia

Greek

Family, hearth, and home

Iris

Greek

Rainbows; messenger for the gods

Juno

Roman

Marriage and women

Laverna

Roman

The underworld

Leto

Greek

Motherhood

Luna

Roman

The moon

Maia

Roman

Spring and rebirth

Meditrina

Roman

Wine and good health

Minerva

Roman

Wisdom

Persephone

Greek

The underworld

Phoebe

Greek

Intellect and prophecy

Rhea

Greek

Fertility; mother of Zeus

Roma

Roman

Rome

Selene

Greek

The moon and logic

Terra

Roman

The earth and fertility

Thalia

Greek

Festivity

Vesta

Roman

Fire

Biblical Names

While names taken from the Bible have been used for centuries, there are some less-common names that may suit your child.

  • Abel
  • Abraham
  • Claudius
  • Delilah
  • Eden
  • Eve
  • Jesus
  • Noah
  • Magdeline
  • Moses
  • Noah
  • Ruth
  • Samson
  • Saul

Names Taken From Places Around the World

A popular trend has been to name a child after a city, state, or country. Here are some places that would make excellent names for your baby.

America

Athena

Atlanta

Austin

Berlin

Bethany

Brooklyn

Cambria

Carolina

Carrick

Cheyenne

Dakota

Dallas

Devon

China

Florence

Georgia

Hudson

India

Ireland

Israel

Italia

Lena

Lourdes

Madrid

Milan

Montana

Odessa

Olympia

Orlando

Paris

Phoenix

Rochelle

Santiago

Savannah

Sierra

Sicily

Sydney

Trenton

Troy

Vienna

Venice

Virginia

Winona

Some Names for Your Flower Child

  • Alyssa
  • Blossom
  • Daisy
  • Flora
  • Heather
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Lilly
  • Rose
  • Saffron
  • Violet
  • Yasmin

Tough-Sounding Boy Names

  • Axl
  • Blade
  • Harley
  • Jagger
  • Knox
  • Sawyer
  • Wolfe
  • Wayne
unique-popular-and-bizzare-baby-names

Common Girl Names and Their Meanings

NameOriginMeaning

Amanda

English

Worthy of love

Amy

French

Beloved by all

Angela

Greek

Messenger of God

Ann

Hebrew

Favor of grace, prayer

Ariel

Hebrew

Lioness of God

Ashley

Anglo-Saxon

One who lives near the ash tree

Autumn

English

Born in the fall

Ava

German

Desired

Audrey

Anglo-Saxon

Nobility, strength

Bella

Italian

Beautiful

Brittney

English

From Britain

Christine

Latin

Follower of Christ

Dawn

Anglo-Saxon

Awaken

Deborah

Biblical

A bee

Donna

Italian

Womanly, feminine

Elizabeth

Hebrew

God's promise

Emily

French

Industrious, striving

Francesca

Italian

Free one

Hannah

Hebrew

God has favored me

Isabella

Italian

Devoted to God

Jeanette

French, Hebrew

God is gracious

Jennifer

English

Fair, yielding

Jessica

Hebrew

Rich

Julie

French

Youthful

Katherine

English

pure

Kimberly

English

Royal fortress

Laura

Latin

The bay or a laurel plant

Lisa

German

Devoted to God

Lois

Greek

Superior

Lucy

Latin

Light

Madison

English

Strong fighter

Mackenzie

Irish

Fire born, wise ruler, good-looking

Madeline

French

Tower

Mary

Biblical

Rebellion, bitterness, mother of Christ

Melissa

Greek

A bee or honey

Mia

Italian

Mine

Olivia

Latin

Olive, peace symbol

Raffaella

Hebrew

God has healed

Ramona

Spanish

Protecting hands

Rita

Spanish

Pearl

Sabrina

Italian

From the border

Samantha

English

Listener

Sarah

Hebrew

Princess

Sharice

English

The fruit and its tree

Sofia

Italian

Wise

Susana

Spanish

Lily

Teresa

Italian

To harvest

Tifany

Greek

God's incarnate

Vanessa

Greek

Butterfly

Victoria

Italian

Victory

Wendy

English

Friend

unique-popular-and-bizzare-baby-names

Common Boy Names and Their Meanings

NameOriginMeaning

Aaron

Hebrew

Mountain

Adam

Hebrew

Earth

Aiden

Gaelic

Fire

Anthony

English

Priceless, praised

Bailey

English

Bailiff

Brandon

Old English

Gorse hill

Brian

Celtic

He ascends, strength

Christopher

Latin

Follower of Christ

David

Hebrew

Beloved

Dean

Old English

Church official

Dennis

Greek

Follower of Dionysus

Dominic

Latin

Of the Lord

Ethan

Hebrew

Long-lived

Frank

English

Free and truthful

Jacob

Hebrew

He who grasps the heel

James

Hebrew

Supplanter

Jason

Greek

Healer

Jayden

American

Combination of Jason and Aiden

Joseph

Hebrew

God's will increases

Joshua

Hebrew

God is salvation

Justin

Hebrew

Just and righteous

Kenneth

Scottish

Handsome

Kevin

Irish

Handsome

Lance

German

Land

Matthew

English

Gift of God

Michael

Hebrew

God-like

Nathan

Hebrew

He who gives

Nicolas

English

Victory of the people

Paul

Latin

Small

Peter

Greek

Rock

Robert

English

Bright fame

Richard

English

Brave ruler

Sergio

Italian

Servant

Simon

Hebrew

To be heard

Steven

Greek

Crown

Thomas

Greek

A twin

Vincent

Latin

Victory

William

German

Protection

Zachary

Hebrew

The Lord recalled

Coming up with a name for your baby can be incredibly difficult!

Coming up with a name for your baby can be incredibly difficult!

Weird Names Celebrities Have Given Their Kids

Celebrities like to give their children unusual names. Some names, like Angelina Jolie's daughter, Shiloh or Katie Holme's daughter Suri, are quite different but could hardly be called bizarre. So as a final note, here are some of the craziest names celebrities have chosen for their unfortunate children. I know it looks like I made some of these up, but I didn't.

Baby Name(s)Celebrity Parent(s)

Talulah, Scout, and Rumer Willis

Demi Moore and Bruce Willis

Dweezil, Moon Unit, and Diva Thin Muffin

Frank Zappa

Lark Song

Mia Farrow

Zola Ivy

Eddie Murphy

Pilot Inspekter

Jason Lee

Fifi Trixibelle, Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily

Paula Yates

Calico and Sonora Rose

Alice Cooper

Destry

Stephen Spielberg

Zolten and Moxie Crime Fighter

Penn Jillette

Prince Michael I and Prince Michael II (aka Blanket)

Michael Jackson

Audio Science

Shannyn Sossaman

Hopper

Sean Penn and Robin Wright

London Emilio

Slash

Tu

Rob Morrow

Memphis Eve

Bono

Kal-El

Nicholas Cage

Sage Moonblood

Sylvester Stallon

Apple

Gwenyth Paltrow

Jermajesty

Jermaine Jackson

Comments

babynology from New York on July 20, 2013:

Your hub became a useful reference for them who looking for baby names. Many Thanks

Emily from Florida on April 07, 2013:

A lot of interesting information. I never knew some of the facts you dug up. Definitely going to keep this hub in mind if I have more kids!

Cecelia Kramer from Everywhere but mostly Cali on February 21, 2013:

Interesting list of names. It's hard to pick a name for a child now a days since the name will be the same as 900 other kids or a very unique name the kids might not like later in life because he or she gets teased for it. I know where to look though to find some good names right here.

Amy DeMarco (author) from Chicago on July 29, 2011:

Cabodavid- those are some great names you picked guys picked out! I love all of those names you chose for your daughter. Mercedes is very pretty, so is Arabella. Thanks for commenting!!

cabodavid from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Mexico on July 27, 2011:

We agonized over the first child's name in the early 1980's and finally agreed on Nicholas Alexander. Number 2 child was more difficult - after many fights - it came down to Alexander Channing (C. a famous Unitarian). Still can't figure out why she didn't like Basil...

Daughter came along and there was no compromising so we went with all of them- Mercedes Theresa Chouinard Arabella Ming Mandich we call her Mer, Mercy and Mercedes. No regrets on any of them and the children like their names. Living in Mexico - Mercedes is very common as was Ming when we lived in the Chinese community.

ruffridyer from Dayton, ohio on July 04, 2011:

I understand George Forman named his five boys george his daughter he name geogia. That just seems lazy to me.

I didn't name either of my boys after me, I don't believe in it. I think every boy deserves his own name. Also If I named him after me he would be called junior even when he's fifty or little earl even if he is built like a line backer.

KidsPartyFavors on June 29, 2011:

This is so important for me! Thanks again for posting!

Amy DeMarco (author) from Chicago on June 27, 2011:

Thanks for commenting! I hope the article gave you some ideas. Feel free to share this article with your sisters!

Cecelia Millhouse from Sanford, North Carolina on June 27, 2011:

Thanks for this very informative and intresting with 2 pregnant sisters I am always looking for unique suggestions

Amy DeMarco (author) from Chicago on June 26, 2011:

Glad you enjoyed it :)

mama_em on June 25, 2011:

Really interesting. Thanks for a great Hub!

Amy DeMarco (author) from Chicago on June 25, 2011:

Hi Alastar,

Thank you for the comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Jennifer is a beautiful name also the name to one of my best friends. I know the celebrity names would be a hit! As always, I appreciate all your warm comments!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on June 25, 2011:

Wow amymarie, you've done a great hub here on baby names, really well done with the research and how its written. Jennifer is one of my fave girl's names. Any boy baby named Eros will have a lot to live up for in life...lol. In the future from what I know and hear around, there's going to be a lot of Hunters and Conners running about. Thanks and that is the cherry on top with the weirdest celebrity baby names.

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