|photo by laliseuse, via Flickr|
Here are some of the stand-out names used on only 7 children born in the US in 2011 —
Achyuth — a Sanskrit name, meaning "imperishable," referring to the god Vishnu
Alassane — an alternative transliteration of Al-Hassan ("the good" or "the handsome") used most often in French-speaking African countries
Arohan — the ascending scale of notes in a raga, in north and south Indian classical music
Baer — short form of Albaer, from the German for "bright"
Branch — a nature name that fits right in with names like Brock and Brandt
Caspar — it's weird that only 7 babies were named Caspar last year, right? I mean, there were 7 named Awesome born. Who'd have thought Caspar and Awesome would be equally unusual
Chipper — I hear "chipper," but I can only think "Fargo"
Covey — a word used to describe a group of birds
Edwing — a Google search turns up a fashion designer and musician with this name, but I'm not sure where that G on the end came from. Any insight?
Emmaus — from the Hebrew hammat, meaning "warm spring." The name of a town near Jerusalem, mentioned in the New Testament. Plagues, suppers, battles, etc etc ...
Hoss — one source says this means "good luck" in Norwegian, but it's probably more of a cowboy throwback name, Bonanza-style
Issachar — a Hebrew name meaning "hireling," this name was given to one of the 12 sons of Jacob (founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel)
McArthur, McCartney, McKai, McKinnon, McLean — these Mc-names were all used 7 times. I think the best of the bunch is maybe McArthur, since Arthur's a name on its own as well. McKai has a totally different vibe, doesn't it?
Mylon — a genus of butterfly in the family Hesperiidae
Niv — means "speech, expression" in Aramaic
Rally — from the word. Interesting, maybe? I like unexpected word names
Reason — here's another one, and I might prefer Reason to Rally, but then, I'm a pacifist like that
Redding — been thinking of the nickname Red since hearing it used as a middle name in a particularly cool combo. Bonus points for the Otis Redding connection
Zenith — pretty great meaning, if you can get over the brand name. Means "the highest point or state"
Aeon — sort of goes along with Zenith, actually. My favorite meaning is from Gnosticism, where it refers to one of a class of powers or beings said to emanate from the Supreme Being and perform various functions in the operations of the universe
Alda — Saint Alda was an Italian mystic and nurse. It's the feminine form of Aldo, meaning "old," or "noble"
Almendra — the name of a village in Spain and a parish in Portugal, means "almond nut" in Spanish
Blue — only 7 Blue girls born last year. I wonder if it will rise much after Jay Z and Beyonce used it in January of this year
Caledonia — the Latin name given by the Romans to the land north of Britannia (Scotland)
Courage — a nice virtue name for a girl. Not the prettiest to look at, but a nice sound
Dollie — I like Dolly well enough, and usually prefer a Y-ending to an "-ie" one, but for some reason Dollie spelled this way makes me smile
Holiday — I knew a girl named Holiday and always admired it. Lovely sound and not too hard to pull off
Kulsoom — an Arabic name meaning "one with a full face"
Lucine — a variant of Lusine, an Armenian name meaning "moon"
Mavi — I met a little Mavi at the park a long time ago and it's one of my favorite "out and about" finds. It's Turkish, and means "blue"
Ohanna — a name from Arabia, meaning "god's gracious gift"
Pessel — I'm a sucker for P-names that contain the S sound (favorites include Persis and Priska) and this one certainly stuck out. I think this is a Yiddish name, a form of Hebrew name Batya, meaning "daughter of god"
Roselee — I may prefer this to Rosalie, the standard Rose + Lee smush, for its simplicity. It seems less fussy
Tulip — a lovely little-used flower name
Vielka — perhaps inspired by Dominican talk show host and former beauty queen Vielka Valenzuela, whose full name is Vielka Yudelka Valenzuela Lama ... that's awesome. Wonder where it comes from ...