Consider Giving Your Child an Uncommon Name.
Updated: Mar 22
Should you give your child an uncommon name?
With the exception of our first born, Lenore, who was named after Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" via my husband's Air Force basic training correspondence; agreeing on what names to give our children has been, by far, the biggest source of contention in my marriage. It is a huge decision-- one that neither of us could take lightly-- and was the source of much heated deliberation and lighthearted banter. After all, a name is something that will stay with a kid for the rest of their lives.
While more traditional names came up in our initial brainstorms (I liked 'Alice', for instance, and my husband suggested 'Martin' as a first name when we found out that we would be having a boy), we ultimately choose names that were unique, and perhaps even a little unusual for our children. We have four kids, all with distinctive, yet well-suited names: Lenore Antonia, Sloane Emily, Bard Harrison, and Hugo Wilder.
There is a growing trend, of which we are part, of parent's choosing uncommon names for their kids. I'm a big proponent of this practice-- I'm here to tell you that a unique name can benefit your child in the long run. Here's Why:
One of the main benefits of giving your child an unusual name is that it helps to increase their sense of individuality. There is only one Sloane in my daughter's class, what's more, she is the only Sloane in her entire elementary school! (Points if you guessed her cult classic namesake). When a child has a name that is not commonly heard, it sets them apart from their peers. This can be particularly helpful in situations where they need to stand out. Such as in the classroom, when making friends and meeting new people, or in a job interview later in life. By having a name that is unlike anyone else's, they'll have an easier time creating a personal brand and making a lasting impression on others.
Another benefit of giving your child an unusual name is that it can foster creativity. When a child has a name that is out of the ordinary, they may feel a sense of inspiration and imagination. They may be more likely to think outside of the box and come up with unique ideas and solutions. This creativity can help them succeed in many areas of life, from their professional careers to their personal relationships. As an example, we named Bard after the bowman and dragon slayer in Tolkien's "The Hobbit". I hope that someday, when he is old enough, he might read about himself and be inspired to be good and brave against all odds. Or maybe, he will be moved to take up a musical instrument and write an epic ballad... I'm up for some Bard-Core! Who knows what that boy of mine will get into-- but with a name that is loaded with meaning, there is potential for inspiration.
Having a unique name can also increase your child's confidence. A child with an uncommon name may feel proud of their name's individuality. This pride can help them develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth-- so crucial with today's kids. These children may also feel more comfortable standing up for themselves and speaking their mind. They already know what it means to be different, so sharing their unique opinion or perspective is less of a social hurdle.
Easy to Remember
Finally, having an unusual name can make it easier for people to remember your child. When someone hears a name that is not commonly heard, it tends to stick in their mind.... Oh Hugo, he must be Wilder! This can be particularly useful in school and in professional settings, where first impressions are especially important. By having a memorable name, your child may be more likely to be remembered by teachers and playmates, as well as potential employers, clients, or business partners.
In conclusion, giving your child an unusual name has many benefits, from increased individuality and potential for creativity to increased confidence and ease of remembering. Consider choosing a name that is not commonly heard, but still sounds beautiful and has meaning. Your child will thank you!