As someone who has — what I consider — a pretty cool and unusual name, you’d think that I’d be drawn to other cool and unusual names. And I am. While I couldn’t stand my name growing up in a sea of Jennifers, Jessicas, Tiffanys, and Stephanies, I finally learned to love it later — mostly because I was the only Aela. It feels good to never be confused for someone else, to be more easily remembered because of my name. Though, truth be told, my name itself often gets forgotten — but I’m always “that girl with the unusual name.”
Leave it to the ever-popular naming site, Nameberry, to give us the next generation of cool and unusual baby girl names that have been given to 10 or fewer newborn girls in recent years. The names here are my favorites from Nameberry’s list of 100. I picked them for their great sounds, their nickname possibilities, and their pretty combination of letters. These choices ensure that your daughter won’t drown in a sea of Sophias.
I absolutely love the sound of this place-name (which happen to be very trendy right now!). It's fun to say, with cute and more-familiar-sounding nickname options of Abby and/or Deena to offset it being so unusual.
Alice is classic, but also rising in popularity and on track to be another hit. Aliz is Alice's Hungarian counterpart. And the Z adds to its coolness.
What's not to love about this name with roots in the meaning of love?
Simply and pretty, Bette is a super hip name choice. One of my favorites on the list.
I've been in love with Blanche ever since, "A Street Car Named Desire." And because of the Golden Girls, of course.
A newer twist on the old favorites of Carly and Carla, Carlisle appeals to me because of its soft -isle ending. It has the strength of Carly and Carla, but with a quieter touch.
I actually knew a Christabelle growing up, and this name seems like a obvious marriage of the once-popular Christinas (and all of her variations) and the now-popular Bellas/Ellas. While its not generally the kind of name I like, the sing-song quality of this name works for me.
I adore the letters of this name and the way they appear together, and with names like Lulu, Lila, Lily, and the like being used today, this names seems to fit nicely among them. But: I can't get past it sounding so much like ukelele.
This is another one that is so much fun to say! But I don't know if I'd ever have the courage to use it.
Isabel and her variations are everywhere right now (and rightfully so; it's a great name). This unusual name follows suit, but offers a great twist.
Leda is a pretty and not-often-used name with a fabulous meaning: happy. The name also has strong roots, as Leda was the mother of Helen of Troy.
The surname of one of the greatest artist, this name is littered with reasons to use it today! First, it's beautiful. Second, it's not SO far off base from the trendy sounds of Madeline (Maddy) and Matilda. Plus, it has two fabulous and more-mainstream nickname options of Matty or Mati and Isa. I'm loving this name.
Neri is sweet and fresh with a dash of exotic, but without being overly strange and foreign. I think this name works, a lot.
Every time I say this name, it reminds me of something, but I haven't been able to figure out what. Maybe the salad green, endive (when its pronounced on-deeve)? I don't know, but I do know I keep being drawn to this name. There is something just so pretty about it.
Reece keeps working its way up the charts, but Reeve is way cooler. I mean, who can't say this name and not think of superman? -- and few things are as cool as superman. And with the uber-feminine ending of -eve, this name works magically for a girl.
Rowen is popular enough for boys and girls, why not Rowena?
It's a fun name with a touch of sass, but this name hasn't been on the charts since the early 1900s.
I'm a sucker for Matilda and all of her variations: Tilly, Mati, and -- now -- Tilda.
This name is sweet sounding and fun, but it also has strong roots. In Hindi, it means "basil," whose plant is considered sacred. Plus, the modern-day Tulsi Gabbard is a role model for young women. Hard to go wrong with this name!
Image Source: iStockphoto
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