If traditional kids' names like Jane or Andy don't do anything for you, maybe exotic baby names are what you're looking for.
Unique Name Concerns
Before signing that birth certificate and giving your child a name for life, think about what giving her an unusual name may mean. These are common concerns that face kids whose names don't fit into your usual baby name book:
- Spelling: Some parents want their son or daughter to have a more traditional name, but change up the spelling to make it more unique. Kimberly may then be spelled Kymberly or Kimberleigh. You should consider the likelihood that your child's name will be misspelled by others many times when it's spelled differently.
- Pronunciation: Will you and your child constantly have to correct people who pronounce his name wrong? This could be doctors, dentists, teachers and anyone else you meet. If you feel this will be a needless hassle, you may want to rethink giving your child such an unusual name.
- The future: Even though most people know that discrimination is wrong, some studies suggest that "ethnic-sounding" names hurt a person's job prospects by lowering the likelihood that he'll be called for an interview based on the name that's on his resume. On the flip side, some people may feel that a very progressive company will seek out employees with unique names in the hope that they'll provide diversity to the job environment.
Consider Your Location
What's considered an exotic baby name in the U.S. may be a common name across the globe, so think about where you live when choosing a name for your child. It may be easier for celebrities to get away with naming their kids Seven and Mars or Apple, but if you live in Small Town U.S.A., such unusual names may cause a child to be the object of ridicule.
List of Exotic Baby Names
Still convinced that your baby should have a name that's one-of-a-kind? Here are some names that would be considered unusual, unique or exotic in the U.S. Their origins are from all over the world, so if you travel to the other side of the globe, your little Guila may find that she's not the only girl with that name at school:
You might want to name your child based on your ethnic background. Some African-Americans choose traditional African names for their kids, while immigrants from other countries may want their children to have a connection to their home country through their name. Be sure and research the meaning if this is an important part of a child's name for you. Some names sound beautiful but don't have the meaning you may want your baby to grow up with.
Find More Unusual Baby Names
If you're having trouble thinking up an exotic baby name on your own, these books may help you, whether you want a name that signifies your ethnic origins or you just want your child to have a name like no other:
- The Baby Name Countdown: 140,000 Popular and Unusual Baby Names
- The Complete Book of Unusual Names
- 35,000+ Baby Names: The Largest Selection of Popular and Unusual Names from Around the World
The Name Game
Naming your baby can seem like a difficult task with the thousands of options out there. You can follow the latest trends and run the risk that there will be 10 kids with the same name in your child's first grade class, or you can set your own trend and choose a name that not only sounds good and has meaning, but is also just exotic enough for your family.