As fans of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief will no doubt be aware, “names have power”. They can let us know if there’s Viking blood coursing through our veins, indicate whether or not we have a successful career ahead of us, and (apparently) even determine our future happiness.
Above all else, though, our names help us to forge our own identity: they are a bright little flag for us to wave over our heads as we step out into the world – and, for many parents, it’s far preferable if that little flag is very different to everybody else’s.
Or, to put it more plainly, they would much rather that their child boast a unique name than share one with at least five other children on the classroom register. We’re looking at you guys, Amelia and Oliver.
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With that in mind, baby naming website Nameberry has analysed each and every single one of the names bestowed upon babies in 2016 and compared them with their extensive database of ideas.
They’ve found 5000 names that didn’t make the cut for a single child last year and narrowed it down to the top 100 – which means that these are legitimately the most unique and unusual monikers around.
Then again, there may be a very good reason for that…
The most unusual baby girl names
The most unusual baby boy names
We’re seeing a running nature theme throughout this list: think flower names, like Bluebell, Freesia and Daffodil, subtle nods in the likes of Auberon and Oberon (names which mean, quite literally, ‘bear-like), and real-life critters, such as Salmon, Trout, and Bee.
While naming your offspring after a fish might seem strange, there’s no denying that animal names are becoming more and more trendy.
Zooey Deschanel’s children are called Elsie Otter and Charlie Wolf, Busy Phillips’ daughter is called Birdie, Nicole Richie is the proud mum of a little Sparrow, and Alicia Silverstone, Kate Winslet, and Cheryl Cole have all chosen the name Bear for their respective sons. Proving that, even when you go rogue and pick out an unusual animal name, it can still belong to five other kids on the playground.
As well as all the nature-inspired names, there are a few others on the list that caught our eye – not least of all Roald, as in the brilliant children’s author, Roald Dahl.
A Scandinavian name, Roald means ‘powerful’ – and is actually pronounced “Roo-all”, with the ‘d’ at the end remaining as silent as the grave.
Or, in other words, when you say “Roald Dahl” correctly, it rhymes.
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