Looking for an unusual name for your baby currently cooking in the oven? You can make up a name, of course, and judging by the names I used to call for roll when I was a teacher, that does seem to be a trend these days. Some of those names! Wow. I mean…just…wow. But wouldn’t you rather choose an unusual name that has history or mythology attached to it? Baby names are a dimebag a dozen and it is becoming harder and harder to find a name that hasn’t already been co-opted to death (I cannot tell you how many Brittany/Britneys I called roll for during my teaching days). Here are some recommendations for unusual baby names and the background for why it is an interesting choice. I only include the background because I once was at the dentist and the technician was telling me that she had picked out the name Rhiannon from the Fleetwood Mac song for her still-cooking baby. I asked her if she knew the song was about a witch. I don’t think they named their baby Rhiannon.
Orenda: This potential baby name is Iroquois and means magic power.
Davin: Little blue-eyed babies should be named for this Scandinavian name that translates roughly into the brightness of the Finns.
Mavelle: Irish eyes will be smiling upon any baby named after this Celtic word for songbird. (Shades of Rhiannon?)
Desta: An Ethiopian-bred name that means happiness. What a great name for a baby!
Glaucus: Sounds like one of Plato’s idiotic discourse partners. Glaucus is actually a name of a sea god with the gift of prophecy who appeared to warn sailors of potential danger.
Cyhiraeth: (keh-HEAR-aeth). This baby name derives from a water goddess who brought warning of impending tragedy. If you think your kid may possess psychic abilities, you could do worse than this Welsh name.
Rana: You have to love those Norse mythological figures. I know I do, All Hail Odin! Rana was a goddess of the seas whose daughters became the Viking’s equivalent of sirens.
Kundalini: What a euphonious sounding name this Indian name is. A baby would be proud to have this for a name. It could be a boy’s name easily, but keep in mind that the original Kundalini was a female serpent force for enlightenment and fertility.
Fennel: Okay, I know that your first reaction to naming a baby Fennel is roughly equivalent to the reaction that George Constanza got when he proposed the name Seven for his future kid, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Here are some other herbs that have become established baby names: Sage, Rosemary, Anise, Basil, Ginger, Laurel and Cinnamon. Besides, you could do a lot worse than naming your baby Fennel: consider Coriander or Parsley. Or even Allspice.
Tamarisk: This is kind of the same deal as naming the baby Fennel. Tamarisk is a tree that has allegedly been used for conducting thousands of exorcisms. Okay, stick with me. Here are some baby names that were once just the names of trees: Rowan, Willow, Myrtle, Mandrake, Lavender, Ivy and Heather.