One of my least favorite parts about having my babies was coming up with names. It never fails: you love a name, and your partner hates it. Or your partner picks one, and you think, “You’ve gotta be kidding me with this name.” And don’t even get me started on what happens when family chimes in with their opinions! You either have to have one name you are 100% sold on, or a huge list to choose from. But name books can be repetitive, and maybe you don’t have a good crop of family names to use. It might be time to think outside the box for baby name inspiration. Some of these places may seem weird (and even a little morbid), but there is beauty there. You just have to look for it!
1. Baby name inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places.
Yes, I realize this is a bit morbid. But cemeteries, and particularly older cemeteries, are a goldmine of beautiful, classic names. Take a peaceful (and respectful!) stroll through an older cemetery, and don’t forget the notepad.
Now, I certainly don’t recommend naming your baby after your pregnancy cravings (Come here, Cholula, and give mama a kiss!), but there is so much baby name inspiration in the kitchen! Think of the cheese names alone: Brie, Cam/Cammy (short for camembert), Monty (monterey Jack, heeeeeeey). The possibilities are endless.
Literature is filled with gorgeous names, and what better place to discover them than at the library? Stay out of the parenting/self-help section, and take a stroll down the classics aisle instead. Louisa and Huck are two of our favorites you’ll find there.
Mother Earth has given us an abundance, and still, we can find more. So much beauty in the world, it makes sense to honor it with your baby’s name. Rose, Lily, Aspen, River – so much to consider.
Maybe the name of the little town you grew up in stuck in your mind. Or maybe you want to satisfy your wanderlust with an exotic name from some far-off place. The world is full of amazing names for girls and boys, like Savannah or Austin.
I know most people tune out or turn off the credits, but if you’re on the hunt for a baby name, I suggest letting them roll. Do you have any idea how many people typically work on a film?! And from all over the world! The credits are basically a giant name scroll, so maybe slow it down so you don’t miss any.
Are you a novice birdwatcher? Or maybe you spend your free time knitting. Look around you for baby name inspiration! Wren and Robin are lovely. Laine is French for “wool” and is gorgeous.
8. Foreign newspapers and magazines!
Looking for a name with an international flair? Pick up a few magazines or newspapers in a foreign language. Just make sure you google the names you find if you don’t speak the language of the publication, so you know you’re falling in love with an actual name and not the French word for toilet.
9. The animal kingdom!
Ok, bear with me here. I’m not suggesting you name your kid Panda. But there are literally hundreds of thousands of species of animals in the animal kingdom, and some of them would make great names. Think Coral, or Wolfe. You can even visit your local zoo and check out what they’ve named some of the animals there, they can be pretty creative.
True story: I picked my youngest daughter’s name after I saw a business of the same name from the freeway one day. I saw it and knew instantly it was the one. So pay attention to your surroundings! Street signs, business names, local landmarks: some of them bear really amazing names.
How much time you spend binging Netflix shows is between you and your lord, this is a judgement-free zone. But while you’re watching 8 straight hours of television, pay closer attention to some of the names of the characters. Your favorite shows are full of great names, like Luke, Arya, and Sawyer.
Personally, I get very overwhelmed by Sephora and end up buying a clear gloss because it’s all too much. But have you ever paid close attention to the names of the some of the cosmetics? Peony, Ophelia, Violet, Berlin – they’re gorgeous! Even some of the brand names are lovely, like Aerin, Kat, and Anastasia.
13. Pop Culture!
There’s no denying that some of today’s hottest stars are trendsetters in the baby name game. I’m pretty sure no one even considered the name North before it was Kardashianized, and it’s rising in popularity now. While some celeb babies are too off-the-wall for us peons, some of them are amazing (Penelope is way too cute!). And you can always play it off like the name you poached from a celeb was the one you’d chosen months before and just kept to yourself.
Let’s be honest, dad probably has a running list of names from his favorite athletes and teams. Brady or Peyton are good contenders. And we’re pretty sure Serena and Simone are about to become VERY popular.
15. The social security website!
So maybe a leisurely stroll through an old cemetery isn’t your thing. Did you know you can also check the social security website for names that were popular 100 years ago? Lois, Florence, Frances, and Samuel all had a spot in the top 50 from the 1920’s.
16. Other people’s middle names!
Be that weirdo who asks everyone for their middle name. Lots of people have hidden gems between their first and last! And it’s technically not stealing if it’s a middle name (is a rule I just made up).
17. Fairy tales!
I’m not talking so much about the main characters, although the name Briar is lovely. But fairy tales are chock full of secondary and supporting characters with great names! Maleen, Elsie, Moura, and Fiorita are just a sampling of the gorgeous names you’ll find when you dig a little deeper into your favorite fairy tales.
18. Instagram stalking!
Listen, we all do it. Scroll through our popular feed, just looking at pictures of people we don’t know. Well, keep looking, and start reading! Any name is fair game, including the #fitspo gal you follow while eating ice cream out of the carton.
Baby name inspiration is everywhere, when you really think about it. Did you get your baby name from an usual place? We’d love to hear it!
(Image: Facebook/Ireland Family History)