A child's name is of great significance in the child's life. After all, he or she will bear that name for as long as they walk the face of the earth. It will affect how people perceive them later on in life, from their first day in school, to introducing themselves to their crushes, to job hunting and etcetera. It represents who they are before people actually get to know them personally.
That is why more often than not, parents-to-be can be seen browsing the local bookstores, the internet and even pestering friends and relatives for the best baby names. While Johns and Janes carry an upper-class Englishman feel, some parents opt for names with more oomph, names that would make people stop and take notice.
These days, naming your baby after God or having a name that bears even the slightest affinity to the Big Guy is very much welcomed by parents all over the world. After all, it would be an honor for the child's name to be revered would it not? So here's a list of names guaranteed to turn heads (if not perk up the ears) that parents can consider for their children.
The name Azriel is derived from Hebrew and can be found in the old testament of the Bible. It is pronounced as Ayz-Ree-Uhl and carries the meaning 'help of God'. While this name has never in the history of mankind made it to the top 1000 boy names, it is undeniably unique and is bound to make an impression upon strangers.
Batman fans might recognize the name from one of the characters in the DCEU. Other less famous affiliations with the name would be Anne Rice's (you know, the lady who made it possible for Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to appear in the same movie..they made vampires hot even before Edward Cullen could even say Dada), main character in her novel Servant of the Bones. The name brings about a serious and enigmatic feel. Not exactly everyone's cup of tea but definitely one with a lingering taste.
Anja, which means 'grace of God' in Russian gives off an extremely feminine feel. It is pronounced as 'Ahn-Ya' and is also a derivative of Anna is Russian. The spelling Anja is also commonly found in Croatian, Norwegian, Danish, German, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Slovenian, Macedonian, Bosnian and Serbian cultures. Heck, it's everywhere! So in the event you choose to name your child Anja, she'll have no problem blending in with folks of other countries. Talk about fitting in. Ha!
While the name Anja has never made it to the top 1000 baby names, it's popularity did soar rather high back in the late 1990s. Recent celebrities who bear the name are Polish supermodel Anja Rubik (who is Karl Lagerfeld's current muse) and Anja Garberek, a noted Norwegian singer and songwriter (she looks somewhat like Bjork). Politicians and athletes like Anja Hazekamp and Anja Anderson might also fuel your interest to grace your child (no pun intended) with the name Anja.
Chi.... a short and attention grabbing name. One that is easy to spell and will guarantee your child first place when it comes to speed writing in names. This name hails from Africa and literally means God. Simple and straightforward. However, one might want to think twice before naming one's baby Chi. Sure, Chi might represent the Almighty in African languages, but bring your child to Vietnam, call him or her Chi and people will definitely raise an eyebrow or two there. Why you might ask. Well, the the great African God or Goddess would have been rendered into a twig. What? Yeap. A twig. Chi in Vietnamese means tree twig or branch. So there you go.
You might want to cross out Vietnam as places of interest to visit should you choose to name your child Chi. On the bright side, this name was mighty popular back in the eighties and famous people who dorm this name include Chi McBride (famous for his roles in Hawaii Five O and Gone In 60 Seconds) and Chi Onwurah.
Surprise! Betcha didn't know Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz didn't actually come from Kansas. Oh no honey. Dorothy is apparently a revered name from Greece and means 'God's gift'. Now we can all see the little girl who befriended the tin man and lion with a whole new light. The name was rather popular back in the swinging sixties but it's popularity declined towards the early 2000s and it last ranked top 1000 in American baby names in the year 2006. It dropped off the radar after that.
Still, a vast number of famous personalities carry the name Dorothy with pride. Dot and Dottie are cute nicknames for Dorothy too. Notable bearers for 'God's Gift' are Dorothy Bush (sister to George Washington Bush), Dorothy Mary Hodgkin (we have a Nobel Prize Winner here people) and Dorothy Allison, Dorothy Coburn, Dorothy Dell and Dorothy Philips (all actresses...very much like all the common Chris actors, you know, the Pratt, Pine, Hemsworth and Evans brood of brothers).
Elise, such a sweet and elegant name. It carries a sense of gentleness and grace that many names lack. This name is the French variation of Elizabeth and means 'Consecrated to God or Pledge to God'. Elise is an extremely popular name, having never been kicked out of the top 200 baby names since the year 2000, largely due to the upward trend of folks embracing European names.
Who can forget Beethoven's haunting piece of Fur Elise (no? Never heard of it? Go and crawl back under the rock you've been living in), or Elise in The Adjustment Bureau (played by the underrated Emily Blunt). Not many famous personalities carry this name, which makes it an even better choice to name your child Elise. Think about it. She could be the first lady to ever make it big with the name in the near future!
Now this is a tricky one. There is more than meets the eye with the name Ewan. First off, it is pronounced as 'Yoo-Un' (blink blink), and originates from the Gaelic name of Eghon. In short, the name has a rich history having been conceived from an extremely long lineage Kings. It means 'God is good ' in Welsh and 'God's Gift' in Irish. So if you're bored with safe names (aka boring names) like John or David , why not give Ewan a try?
While it has never made it to the top 100 names in any country whatsoever, one cannot deny that it is an extremely catchy name. The pronunciation would catch anyone off guard in the first place and undoubtedly leave a deep impression in them. Famous personas include Ewan Mc Gregor (Stars Wars, anyone?) and Ian McEwan (writer for the movie Academy Award nominated movie Atonement).
The origin of Hans can be traced back to its German, Dutch and Scandinavian roots. Pronounced as 'Hons', it means 'Gift of God'. A simple, easy to spell name with only one syllable. One would have thought parents would clamor for the name right? Eek. Wrong. Many have chosen to avoid this name for its 'old country image'. However there have been a few exceptions and these parents were rewarded with children who graced not only the entertainment scene, but also the educational and political aren.
Who would dare say to never have heard of Hans Christian Anderson? We all grew up reading and listening to their stories! How about Hans Zimmer? This music maestro has been entertaining us with unforgettable music (his list of accreditations span from The Lion King, The Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and Inception, just to name a few), Hans Frank (German war criminal and Hitler's personal lawyer. Methinks this is not a good example but hey, not everyone could end up being a trusty partner of the Big Bad) and Hans Bethe (nuclear physicist and Nobel Prize Winner).
Good ol Joanna descended all the way from the old Hebrew Testament and also dates back to ancient Greece where the people once decreed the name as 'God is gracious'. The name amassed much attention after appearing in the Bible as Mary Magdelene's BFF and having discovered Jesus's empty tomb. In the late 19th century, it's popularity rocketed sky high and has since been claimed by many famous personas.
Among the famous Joanna ladies are Joanna Navare (this hot lady was King Henry IV's consort, very much like the Kardashian of our time), Joanna Hayes (sporty lady did America proud when she won the 2004 Olympic Gold medal), and Joanna Gosling (British journalist). There are a slew of Joannas who made it to Wikipedia, famous for having dabbled in acting, writing, teaching, you name it, Joanna's got it.
If you've been hoarding your tablet to mine the infinite wisdom of the internet to find THE perfect baby name, then look no further. We present to you Ksena, which means 'Praise to God'. Ksena is of Polish origin and is undeniably a feminine name so one need not worry about people confusing your baby's name for a boy's. The good thing about the name is that it is widely unused in the States.
It is however quite popular in European countries though. Still the name would definitely leave an impression with your child's future teachers, employees and even possible suitors. I mean have you ever come across anyone by the name Ksena? (Gets ready to trip anyone who dares say yes). Even good old Google had trouble sourcing for anyone named Ksena. So there, if you are looking for a truly unique band, why not go with Ksena?
Sometimes spelt as Mina or Minna, this short and catchy name means 'Gift of God' or 'Heaven' in Muslim. It is pronounced as 'Mee-na' and first appeared in the general baby name charts back in 2011 as the top 5000 baby girl names but has never really gained much popularity. I believe we have a certain president to thank for this. Still the name is simple and sweet as is the meaning it carries.
In Indian, Minnah means 'beautiful fish shaped eyes' (aka exotic eyes that slant upwards giving off a really sexy vibe), in Persian, it means 'wine' and in Pashto (an Indo-Iranic language from Afghanistan), it means 'love'. The funny thing is, the people most famous with this name come from both Japan and Korea. With the hallyu stars like Shin Mina of Korea and Mina Asahi of Japan (both beautiful and respected actresses), one might just be tempted to name their child Minnah / Mina.
Nathaniel is a Hebrew name which means God's gift (which was very apt since one of the Nathaniels ended up as a member of the twelve apostles in the Bible). Called Nate or Nat for short and Bartholomew by some, the name gained widespread popularity in the early 2000s and has since remained high up in the popularity charts, never having dropped out of the top 300 baby boy names.
The most famous of all the Nathaniels having ever graced the face of the earth (besides Jesus's disciple) would be the undisputed king of Jazz, Nat King Cole. Other famous Nathaniels would be Nathaniel Bowditch (maritime navigators have this guy to thank), Nathaniel Saltonstall (considered a man of modern thinking for someone who lived in the 16th century. This guy was a judge who thought witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials were a bunch of bull***t). Marvel comic book character Nathaniel Essex can also be found in the X Men, having been a slave to Apocalypse and also the creator of Cable (fans of Deadpool would be happy to know this).
Sian is a Welsh name which means God is gracious or 'God's Gift'. Either way, the meaning of the name is just fine and dandy. Who wouldn't want to be God's gift? Betcha didn't know that Sian is also the Welsh variation of Jane. Now who would have thought that plain Jane could sound so zany in Welsh? The name is pronounced in an extremely peculiar manner as well, 'Sha-hn'.
One user from Behind The Name who is names Sian said: "Sian happens to be my name. I don't spell it with 'a roof'. I find it's quite often mis-read as Sean, which is rather annoying but I like my name. It's unique, I'm the only Sian in my school of 1500 pupils!"
While it doesn't sound as lovely as the spelling, there have been a number of people who named their child Sian, most notably U2's David Evans. Other notable Sians would be Sian Philips (a Welsh television actress) and Sian Mc Laren (Australian footballer).
The name Seth, which originates from the Hebrew language carries the meaning 'the anointed one'. Seth can be traced back all the way to the old testament (the book of Genesis) where he was the third born child of both Adam and Eve. Rumor has it Eve considered Seth a replacement for her dead son, Abel. Not exactly sure how that affected him psychologically.
Crude jokes aside, Seth has remained high in the popularity charts, never having dropped out of the top 300 names since 2000. Famous Seths include Seth Rogen (this actor will forever be remembered as Pumbaa for the rest of his life), Seth McFarlane (blink and you might miss him in Ted) and Seth Joyner (hardcore football fans should know this guy).
Originally spelled as Theia, this Greek name means 'Godly' and is one of the names that have been steadily climbing up the popularity charts in recent years. It's obvious why. If the meaning of the name itself is not enough to entice you then the captivating spelling or the pronunciation might (pronounced as Tay-yaa, in layman terms, just ignore the letter H in the name). Thea brings about a sense of artistic creativity and we often associate the name with classy women who can make any mumbo jumbo sound eloquent.
Famous Theas include Thea Beckman (a Dutch Children's storybook writer, she might not have been anywhere near JK Rowling's level but this lady was very much respected during her time), Thea Kano (American conductor. Who says conductors have to be men?) and Thea Tewi (we have this lady to thank for our lingerie).
God is gracious. That he is. And that is exactly what the name Zane (pronounced as Zayne) represents. Zane originates from the Hebrew language and has been adopted by many as their name ever since. A variant of Zane would be John. So instead of naming your child John, why not take a more attention grabbing version? While Zane has never really made it to the top of the charts, it has nevertheless maintained its stance at the top 500 names of all times.
With its short spelling and single syllables, there should be no reason why any parent would not want to name their son Zane. Wait, maybe except for the fact that the name starts with the letter Z. Think of how your kid will end up being the last one called in class to present his paper. That long agonizing wait. Oh the horror. But for those who fear no such thing then Zane might just be the name for your. Notable Zanes include Billy Zane (the villain in Titanic and the hero in The Phantom) and Zane Grey (dentist turned writer of the cult hit Riders of the Purple Sage).
Sources : Wikipedia.com, Babycenter.com, Mumjunction.com, Behindthename.com