Thinking Outside the Popular Baby Name Box

Have you ever been frustrated to find that a name you’ve loved for years is actually more popular than you thought?

When I was ten or so, I remember thinking the names?Piper?and?Cooper?were adorable and unique. While my personal tastes have changed quite bit in the last fifteen years, I still tend to steer clear of names I deem “too popular.” Both of my “unique” choices are now in the SSA Top 100, and I can only watch helplessly as many of the?baby names?I’ve loved for years trend tragically upwards.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s that big a deal to use a popular name, especially now that a smaller proportion of kids actually have names that rank in the Top 100. But I also know that seeing thousands of other parents using a name is off-putting to many of us. Many of the most chic names today share similar sounds such as “den,” “ell,” or “ev.” Here I’ve compiled a list of names that share attractive sounds with some of the trendiest monikers, but haven’t reached the Top 500 (yet).

Two-syllable names ending in –er are extremely popular…there are seven such names in the boys’ Top 100. If?Harper,?Piper,?Carter, and?Hunter?are too common for you, consider?Denver,?Calder,?Wilder, or?Vesper.

It’s clear that this generation of namers loves surname-y sounding names like?Mason,?Hudson, and?Carson, with seven –son names appearing in the boys’ top 100. Less commonly used but equally adorable are:?Edison,?Pearson,?Wilson,?Tennyson, and?Judson.

If you love the –den trend and were once all about?Aiden, then?Auden,?Arden,?Alden,?Bohdan, or?Riordan?might appeal to you.

From?Lily?to?Lila?to?Layla, pretty and feminine L names have been popular for quite a while now.?Liliosa,?Lilou, and?Lilibeth?are some of my favorite outside-the-box alternatives.

Eight –elle/-ella names appear in the top 100 for girls, but there are tons of untapped options to choose from. Some great ones include?Antonella,?Ardella,?Fiorella, Israella,?Maelle/Maella, Kyrielle, and?Della/Adela.

Admirers of the beautiful -belle/-bella names, such as?Annabelle?and?Isabella, might consider?Mirabelle/Mirabella,?Bellamy,?Bellatrix,?Amabel, or?Maybelle.

If you’ve always been mad for?Maddie, consider?Matea?and?Madigan?as alternatives to?Madeline?and?Madison. If you’re willing to give up?Maddie?as a nickname, consider?Marceline?or Maybelline instead of?Madeline.

If you love?Ad– names like?Addison?or?Adeline, consider?Adair,?Adeliza, or Adaliz for your little?Addie.

From?Evelyn?to?Ava?to?Violet, V names are extremely stylish.?Geneva, Evanthia,?Aviva, and Teva are elegant alternatives. Perhaps even?Beverly?could make a comeback?

Love?Penelope?but hate the Kardashian connection and skyrocketing popularity? Consider?Calliope,?Ariadne, or?Xanthe?instead.

Leo?made the top 100 this year. Other cute –o names include?Arlo,?Eliseo,?Jericho,?Enzo, and the Hawaiian Kaleo.

Identifying precisely which sounds in your favorite names make them appealing to you is a great way to search for a new, less common choice!?Do?you think any of your favorites could be replaced by a similar sounding name?

[Originally published on?Nameberry?– the expert baby name resource.?Search thousands?of baby names by letter, ethnicity, gender, and more!]

Image(s): Adobe Stock

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