Baby Name

Baby Name

Popular, unique and exotic baby names

What's in a name? More than you might imagine. The moniker you give your baby will shape how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them. That one word can reveal cultural influence, family relationships and more specific aspects of personality, like a professional demeanor or a carefree nature. Of course, another challenge is finding a name that both parents can agree on -- not a simple task, and one that can stretch on for months on end.


Too much choice can leave you feeling bewildered and frustrated, so tackle the baby name decision in steps. First decide if you prefer popular baby names to unique names, traditional over modern or vice versa. Think about what you personally appreciate in a name, why you like or dislike your own and what aspects make the biggest statement in your opinion. From here, you can narrow down your favorites by sound, meaning or any other characteristic you can think of.

Are Popular or Unique Baby Names Better?

There are definitely pros and cons to each side, and it may help to weigh those before you decide which route to take. Popular baby names are popular for a reason: they sound nice, often carry cultural or historical significance and won't stump anyone with spelling or pronunciation. On the other hand, you run the risk of having your child share a name with several classmates, and that can be frustrating for them.

If you're worried about your child being grouped with the other "Bellas" or "Aidans" in their year, consider some exotic baby names to set them apart. A name borrowed from a different culture or language can be a nice gesture and may start them off on the path to individuality. On the other hand, modified spellings and uncertain pronunciations can leave your child constantly correcting and explaining their name to everyone around them. And sometimes a very different name can set them apart too much in the social sphere -- hopefully the other children can get past that harmless difference, but you never know.

Choosing a Meaningful Baby Name

If you cannot decide whether to comb the lists of top girl and boy baby names or begin to experiment with new combinations of syllables, you can always go for meaning over sound. Almost every name means something, and many people wind up finding out the meaning after they've chosen the name. If you value a particular quality, place, person or even color, why not search through names that are based on that? Many girl baby names have meanings rooted in nature or virtue, both of which can lend a feminine grace or honorable strength to their identity. Begin by looking online or in a book that lets you search by definition instead of alphabetically, and you may stumble upon the perfect combination of sound, appearance and meaning before you know it!