Maybe it’s because we are the generation of Jennifers, Megans, and Brittanys, but it seems like everyone wants their child to have a unique name nowadays.
Gone are the days of picking a name from the “Top 20 Baby Names of the Year” lists. Now we pick the names of our babies years in advance and jealously guard them from our family and friends in fear of theft, because if I told you I was naming my next child Jaxyn — you would steal it in a heartbeat, you filthy name-pilferer. And no, I’m really not doing Jaxyn. Go ahead and steal it.
When it comes to finding unique names though, many soon-to-be mothers have difficulty. It’s easy to assume that all the unique names have been taken, but it’s not true! Here are seven ways to create a “unique” name.
1. Use a character name from your favorite book/movie/television show.
This can be a bit risky if you want a truly unique name – it’s highly unlikely that you are the only person who enjoys your favorite television show. If you go this route, it’s best to use the character’s middle name or surname, or even to choose a really obscure character in the show. Everybody and their mother is going to have a kid named Daenerys or Tyrion in the next couple of years, so it’s better to opt for Targaryen or even Quaithe.
These types of names are doubly satisfying because not only will you have a unique name, but you can choose potential friends based on recognition ability!
2. Name your child after a little-known color or a noun.
I’m not talking about naming your bundle of joy Apple or something ridiculous like that — it’s way overused by now anyway. I’m talking about a really unique color or noun. You could be the first mother on the block with a Thistle (a color AND a noun!), a Cyan, or a Slate.
If you’re really into European names (and who isn’t now?) take a trip to your nearest IKEA and find your next child’s name among the Fyrkantigs, the Dagstorps, and the Norroras! You’ll know you have a really unique name if nobody else can pronounce it.
3. Gender-bend a name.
This has been done before; Ryan Reynolds named his little girl James (and his wife’s name is Blake), Phoebe from Friends ended up naming one of her girls Chandler, and I went to high school with a female Michael. Need I go on? We all know using a male name on a female is edgy. But what if we switched it?
A boy named Sue. Or maybe something like Tabitha; you could call him Tabs. It sounds radical, but isn’t that what unique names are all about? Bend the rules!
4. Add extra letters or punctuation into the name.
Being a Megan has taught me the truth — people love to add unnecessary letters to names. I can’t count the times I’ve had my name spelled Meghean, Meagen, or Maghen. It’s so unique!
Right now the trend is to add “y” or “x” where other letters would be perfectly fine (Jaxyn instead of Jackson), so if you truly want to be unique, you have to come up with some different letters.
How many names do you see with the letter “Q”? Qellie. Qarter. Qonnly. Just leave out the “u” — we all know it’s superfluous anyway. What about throwing some silent “h”s around? Hrichard. Hennlhey. Ladies, the possibilities are endless!
And if new letters aren’t your thing, we all know that apostrophes and hyphens are vastly underutilized when it comes to names. How about Ni’Qwel? Ren-Nay? Sh’on-ly?
5. Look up some Greek and Latin roots to create a meaningful name.
You want beauty, you go to the most romantic of all languages — Latin.
Murial – like a mouse.
Lucidia – shining.
Latidia – wide.
Sibyneous – like a spear.
Diago – transmission.
All so lovely. All so full of history.
6. Create your own never-before-seen name.
It’s hard to realize how difficult this is until you’re sitting in your hospital bed post-birth with your pen poised over the birth certificate form, trying to come up with something amazing and different that your child will be proud to carry the rest of their life.
The simplest way to go about it is to combine two common (ugh) names that sound nice. Abilyn. Craigothy. Rebbenity. Tyoshua.
Mix and match, people. Mix and match.
7. Let your cat walk across your keyboard, or, if you don’t have a cat, let a toddler type on your keyboard.
My cat will provide an example: ,.l, oppppp’;njmazopl:UJIZUJSSS. Now how many kids do you know with that name? Zero? That’s what I thought.
Still not convinced? I’ll let my son Stormageddon show you how it’s done: ,., mnl,’?cv b
You’ll notice they both used punctuation I never even considered! From the mouths of babes. Or the fingers. Of babes. And dumb animals.
Now go out there and find your own unique name! You can do it!