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Eclectic Baby Names

If you want your baby to have an interesting, rare or customized name, put down the baby name book and start looking around you. Your own experiences, culture and life can provide a host of great names that may be quirky, different or special. Don’t give your baby the same name everyone else chooses just because it is popular. Choose a name with a story that will make you proud for years to come.


If you or your husband hold your cultures close to your heart, choose a name in the native language, with special meaning in the culture or from the popular list of names currently in that region. Pick up some books of fairy tales and folk tales from that area and read through the names of the characters for inspiration. You can also uncover a country’s current most popular names by searching online in that country’s department of statistics or department of health.


For a truly meaningful name, choose something that has special significance to you and your partner. Consider city names where you were born or where you met. Many cities, including Madison, Austin and Jackson, are chosen each year. You can also consider the name of the sports arena or symphony hall where you shared a date, a favorite professor at the college you attended or a flower or tree you both hold dear.

Change the Spelling

One way to achieve a truly customized name is to change the spelling of an otherwise popular or more common name. For instance, Isabella was the most popular girls name in 2009 in the United States, according to the Social Security Administration. If you like the name, you could consider spelling it different ways, such as Isebella, Issabella, Izabella or Isabelle. Just remember that you if vary the spelling from its original or most common spelling, your child will be spending a lifetime correcting those who write her name.

Family Tree

You know those outdated names that make people ask, “Who names their baby that?” Maybe you can be the answer to that question. Pull out a family genealogy book or head to the library to use genealogy software. Start digging into previous generations. If your own parents or grandparents don’t provide names that suit you, you may discover a great aunt or long-lost cousin with the perfect name for your baby. Gertrude, Fredrick or Ferdinand may not be the cutest, most popular names, but if they strike a chord with you, go with it.

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