Unique, Popular, and Bizarre Baby Names

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 is going to carry the name you give her or him 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 name. 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 person who is charitable, 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.

Top Names For Girls in 1900

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

Top Names For Girls in 1910

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

Top Names For Girls in 1920

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

Top Names For Girls in 1930

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

Top Names for Girls in 1940

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

Top Names For Girls in 1950

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

Top Names For Girls in 1960

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

Top Names For Girls in 1970

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

Top Names For Girls in 1980

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

Top Names for Girls in 1990

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

Top Names For Girls in 2000

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

Top Names For Girls in 2010

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

Top 5 Boy Names Through the Decades

In the last one hundred 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.

Top Names For Boys in 1900

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

Top Names For Boys in 1910

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

Top Names For Boys in 1920

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

Top Names For Boys in 1930

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

Top Names For Boys in 1940

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

Top Names For Boys in 1950

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

Top Names For Boys in 1960

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

Top Names For Boys in 1970

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

Top Names For Boys in 1980

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

Top Names for Boys in 1990

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

Top Names For Boys in 2000

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

Top Names For Boys in 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

Apollo: Roman and Greek god of music, healing and light

Aquillo: Roman god of the north wind

Ares: Greek god of war

Auster: Roman god of the south wind

Atlas: Greek god who held heaven on his shoulders

Bacchos: Roman god of wine, parties and festivities

Cratos: God of strength and power

Cronus: Greek god, ruling god of the Titans

Dionysys: Greek god of wine

Eros: Greek god of love

Helios: Greek god of the sun

Hercules: Half god, half mortal who eventually became a full god. Hercules signifies strength and triumph.

Hades: Greek god of the underworld

Hermes: Greek god, messenger for the gods

Janus: Roman god of transitions, doorways and new beginnings

Lares: Roman god and guardian of spirits

Morpheus: God of dreams

Moros: Greek god of fate

Plutus: Greek god of wealth

Poiseidon: Greek god of the sea

Romolus: Roman god, founder of Rome

Sancus: Roman god of oaths and good faith

Virtus: God of courage and military

Vulcan: Roman god of fire

Zeus: Greek god of the sky. Zeus is the ruler of all gods.

Is Your Child Destined to Be a Goddess?

Aphrodite: Greek goddess of love and passion

Artemis: Greek goddess of hunting and child bearing

Athena: Greek goddess, founder of Athens and goddess of wisdom

Aurora: Roman goddess of dawn

Chloe: Greek goddess of the harvest

Demeter: Greek goddess of earth and agriculture

Diana: Roman goddess of hunt, virgins and women

Doris: Greek goddess of the sea

Fortuna: Roman goddess of fame and fortune

Hera: Greek goddess of marriage and women

Hestia: Greek goddess of family hearth and home

Iris: Greek goddess of rainbows, messenger for the gods

Juno: Roman goddess of marriage and women

Laverna: Roman goddess of the underworld

Luna: Roman goddess of the moon

Leto: Greek goddess of motherhood

Maia: Roman goddess of spring and rebirth

Meditrina: Roman goddess of wine and good health

Minerva: Roman goddess of wisdom

Persephone: Greek goddess of the underworld

Phoebe: Greek goddess of intellect and prophecy

Rhea: Greek goddess of fertility, mother of Zeus

Roma: Roman goddess of the city of Rome

Selene: Greek goddess of the moon and logic

Terra: Roman goddess of the earth and fertility

Thalia: Greek goddess of festivity

Vesta: Roman goddess of 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.















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.













































Some Names for your Flower Child













Tough Sounding Boy Names










Is it harmful to give your baby an unusual name?

A few years back, an article in New York Times was written about names. According to research, children with odd names got bad grades, were less popular and more likely to become "psychoneurotic". The theory was debunked when another study was done that interviewed adults with odd names who became successful.

Common Girl Names and Their Meanings

Amanda: English, Worthy of love

Amy: French, Beloved by all

Amber: Arabic, Jewel

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, yeilding

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

Tiffany: Greek, God's incarnate

Vanessa: Greek, Butterfly

Victoria: Italian, Victory

Wendy: English, Friend


What is the oldest name in recorded history?

Kent, first recorded in what we now know as Britain back in 55 B.C. and is still in use today.

Common Boy Names and Their Meanings

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 Dionysys

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


Did You Know??

Murderess Susan Atkins gave birth to a baby while living in a commune lead by convicted killer Charles Manson. Charles named her baby boy Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. After they were arrested, the baby was adopted and given a much more reasonable name: Paul.

Weirdest Celebrity Baby Names

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.

Talulah, Scout and Rumer Willis, daughters of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis

Dweezil, Moon Unit and Diva Thin Muffin, children of Frank Zappa

Lark Song, chld of Mia Farrow

Zola Ivy, child of Eddie Murphy

Pilot Inspekter, son of Jason Lee

Fifi Trixibelle, Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily, daughters of Paula Yates

Calico and Sonora Rose, Alice Cooper's kids

Destry, child of Steven Speilberg

Zolten and Moxie Crime Fighter, Penn Jillette's children

Prince Michael I and Prince Michael II (a.k.a Blanket), the late Michael Jackson's sons

Audio Science, Shannyn Sossaman's kid

Hopper, Sean Penn and Robin Wright's child

London Emilio, Slash's child

Tu, Rob Morrow's child (full name would sound like TOMORROW)

Memphis Eve, Bono's child

Kal-El, Nicolas Cage's child

Sage Moonblood, child of Sylvester Stallone

Apple, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow

and my personal favorite:

Jermajesty, Jermaine Jackson's son (in case you're wondering, the name is Jermine and Your Majesty combined--talk about an ego!)


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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