Onomastics Outside the Box

A lot of people don’t seem to think very much outside of the box when it comes to naming a child, a character, or a pet. They just pick something that sounds good, something popular, not something with a meaningful history, significance, or etymology.

My own taste in names runs primarily to the classical eccentric and classical unusual. I personally don’t get the appeal of a lot of Top 100 and tryndy names, nor kreatyv spylyngz or the trend of giving male names to girls. A name that sounds cute on a kid may sound perpetually juvenile on a 30-year-old, and some names give the impression that the parent thinks of a child as a doll or accessory, not a human being who’ll have to age with that name.

There’s a difference between a name like Sarah or David, which has been steadily popular over a very long time, and a name that suddenly becomes popular out of nowhere, like Madison or Braden. At least some names that only got very popular in recent memory have been around for much longer than they’ve been popular, such as Jennifer, Jason, Amanda, and Justin.

My real name is the next-most common female name in history after only Mary. It’s not fun having a name more common than dirt, though at least my name is pretty universal, with equivalents in all the European languages and some other language families.

If you want your child or character to stand out from the crowd, why not pick an under the radar name like Duvessa, Velira, Wolfram, or Fernand?


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