As parents, you spend so much time considering the name(s) of your children. You want the name to be something that inspires confidence, happiness, respect, and more. It has to sound good with your last name, endure as a good business name for the future, and not upset any family members. We agonized over what to name our child, ultimately settling on Melody. We considered family names, but with 14 cousins on Dad’s side there weren’t a lot of family names that hadn’t been taken and Borghild was definitely out. Then we looked on my side, and well, we pretty much have a monopoly on names like Harriet, Henrietta, and Mary. Plus, I have five cousins who have children, so a lot of the family names were taken here as well.
While joking about the crazy ways people spell names these days, we came up with KeLliE, Kassan’dra, and then Mel o’Dee. Melody. Yes, suddenly the quest was over and we selected Melody, not a family name, not an unusual name, but an uncommon name. Of course, there are lots of parents who come up with trendy or unusual names for their children, like ESPN (pronounced Espen) and Talulah, and that doesn’t even consider American “ethnic” names. Unusual names can be difficult to grow up with these days.
But, if you thought some of these trendy names were the original made-up sounding names that make you shake your head in confusion, let me just give you a sampling of names from my family tree, which goes back hundreds of years, but the greatest offenders are the Puritans.
On the male list, we’ve got Ebenezer and Elisha at least ten times; Ichabod, Barzillai and Bethul; Darius, Zeno, and Zophar; Balthazar, Elihu, Jabez and even Gustav, which suddenly sounds pretty normal; Ozias, Obed, Asahel, and oh my god, Nutter; rounding this out we have Pownall, Lyman, Elphias, Arashur and Azariah.
Two long lost relatives whose gender has been lost to the ages are named Freegift and Freeman.
Female names are equally unusual: Huldah, Love, and Experience; Hepzibah, Tamar, and Submit; Charity and Mercy are so common sounding now, next to Zerviah, Desire, Wealthy and Mehitable. We have a Hopestill, and we even have a Jemima.
Hmm, Dakota, Cullen and Piper are all sounding pretty usual, aren’t they?