5 Unusual Places to Find Baby Name Inspiration

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Image adapted via Flickr/ jetsandzeppelins

Your name is an important part of your identity. It's one of the first things people know about you and one way you can stand out (or not). Whether you're happy with your name or not can play a big factor in your life. And while you can always change it, something about your name speaks to who you are.

When the time comes to give your own baby their very own name, there are many factors to take into consideration and many places to find your inspiration. For me, I love names that are not too popular, have some root in the family, or have meaning behind the name, and I like them to stand out.

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I've looked to television for inspiration, to my family tree, and I've also learned that if you're looking for the perfect baby name, inspiration may be where you least expect it.

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Image via Flickr/ bertobox

1. Cemetery

So, it may seem a little creepy to take a walk through a cemetery (especially at night), but if you're looking for names that are not common anymore and have a more old-school feel, you may find the perfect name on a tombstone.

Name examples popular in 1880s: Mabel, Ida, and Elmer

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Image via Flickr/ kaatjevervoort

2. Library

The library, when you think about it, houses thousands and thousands of names between all the pages of the books. There are endless ones to choose from, and sometimes, picking up your favorite book of all time and finding inspiration for names is the perfect place to start.

Name examples: Fern (from Charlotte's Web), Pippi (from The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking), and Jane (from Mary Poppins) are all from my favorite childhood books.

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Image via Flickr/ deanj

3. Old yearbooks

The next time you're feeling nostalgic and you're checking back on your old high school yearbook, why not use that as baby-name fodder? There are hundreds (or more, if you're from a big school) of names listed each year with all sorts of different feels, and who knows? You may just find the perfect one.

No one is saying you should name your baby after someone you hated, loved, or even knew back then, but if you're trying to stay away from the common names, it's a good place to start (if there are a million Jacobs, it's off the list!)

Name examples: Carlton, Emerson, Adelaide

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Image via Flickr/ Joe Shlabotnik

4. Other languages

If you want something you love that isn't going to be totally popular, try looking outside your language and take a look at baby names in other parts of the world and in other cultures. I am particularly fond of many names from India, and they're not too common where I live.

Name examples: Femi (means “love” in Egypt), Asmara (means “love” in Indonesia), Ines (means “chaste” in Argentina)

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Image via Flickr/ Adrian Dreßler

5. Food

Next time you're hungry, just think about how many names these days are inspired by food. If you have a love for an apple, why not show that in your baby's name? No, it's not traditional to name your baby after the food you just can't say no to, but it will be unique!

Name examples: Alfredo, Kale, Brie

Where have you found baby name inspiration? 

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What do you think?

5 Unusual Places to Find Baby Name Inspiration

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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3 comments

  1. Nicole says:

    My husband and I looked to our heritage for ideas. My husband is Celtic descent and my family is from eastern Europe and Native American. We went through name websites looking for names we liked from our ancestors homes to add to our list of potentials. We didn’t want to pick something until we actually met the baby (we did not even know gender ahead of time). When our son was born, a ball of screaming fury, my husband immediately said Jarek (a Polish word for someone fierce or strong). We settled on Donald as a middle name, both because it was Celtic in origin, and it was my father and maternal grandfather’s names.

  2. sandra says:

    when i was pregnant with my son, I didnt know what name him until my nise suggested to call him jonathan. I havent had a chance too look upon his name meanning. then i got pregnant with a little girl and this time my husband and
    I started looking for names and their meanings, we finally found a really good different name for her, her name is Mireille pronouns ( Meeray) it means ‘miracle’ and her middle name is Allyson. a lot of our families and friends are still having trouble to say her name…….

  3. JJAMES says:

    We learned we were having a son..& so my step daughter jumped in to the name game eagerly. Her name is Onnastasha, & I suggested Wayne.. But she wanted another”O” name in the family. After thinking about it, we came up with a version of the Celtic name of Wayne: Owaine ( meaning warrior). Or, modern name: Owen. Douglas was chosen as a middle name because it is a family name on both sides of the family.

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