Some people choose their baby's name based on the sound quality alone, or perhaps it's just a favored name they've wanted to use for years and now they can. Me? I love names and think it's one of the most precious gifts parents give their children.
We owe it to them to put in real thought since this is tied to their identities forever. One way to put in that thoughtful consideration is to find out the meaning of any potential name for a baby. While I love the name Cameron, I wasn't keen on it once I found out it meant, "bent nosed." Perhaps it's because of my own hump nosed, courtesy of a broken nose in high school. (Cheerleading accident, believe it or not!)
I also thought Calvin was a retro-cool nerd name, but since it meant 'bald headed', not so much for me... One thing we can all agree to as parents is that our children are blessings in our lives. That is sometimes harder to remember when they are destructive little beings in their toddlerhood, and again in teen years. But blessings, nonetheless. Many names convey that meaning in beautiful ways, and we are attempting to share some of the lesser-known blessing names from around the world here for you.
For those who love a fairy tale (who doesn't?) you should know besides meaning blessed and fair, Gwyneira also means "snow; white." How's that for a whimsical, romantic baby girl name? Gwyneira is Welsh name, and depending on what part of Wales you are in, you pronounce the name differently. In North Wales, it's gwin-EYE-rah while in South Wales it's gwin-AY-rah so pick the sound that is most pleasing to your ear, and perhaps best in combination with your chosen middle name.
It is a highly unusual name in the US, and isn't listed in Baby Center's top 1000 names for this year, or recent years. If you choose this moniker for your little girl, you could shorten it to Gwyn or Eira, possibly even Gwynie or Wyn. You'll be pretty confident that your little Gwyneira will be the only one in her class with this name; maybe her whole school!
Baruch is a Hebrew name and in the Bible's Old Testament, this ancient name was one of the prophet, Jeremiah's, scribes, as mentioned in Jeremiah 36:4. Baruch has also been the name of other Old Testament characters with other occupations, such as the repairer of the wall in the book of Nehemiah. Baruch Samuel Bloomberg is a Nobel prize winner, and Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century Danish philosopher who helped usher in the Age of Enlightenment.
Baruch is pronounced BAR-ook. It isn't a particularly often used name, and ranks currently at #6428 in the US for baby boys. It's highest point in contemporary American came in 2010, when 55 babies born were dubbed Baruch. It is a well-used named however in the country of Israel and throughout the world in Jewish populations primarily. An obvious nickname? Barry.
Tadala is a baby girl's name from the Chewa language, which is part of the Bantu language family. Chewa is spoken in Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. Tadala is pronounced, tah-DAH-lah. It isn't in the top 1000 for the US, but does rank at #15,518 for girls. It specifically means, "we have been blessed," which is the perfect sentiment for adoring parents to bestow on their precious new daughter.
According to Names Encyclopedia, the name Tadala was found as a first name in India, New Zealand and England over 11 times. As a last name it's more prominent, having been located in 6 countries for a total of 23 times. It is also used as a masculine name, but to most American ears, it probably has a more feminine sound. It could be shortened to Taddy, Dala or Dalli.
Sena is a world-traveler of a name. It's seen as having Greek roots, and there means, "moon." It is found in Hindi, Korean, African and Arabic traditions, with different meanings, including, "blessed;" "this world's beauty or grace;" or "to praise;" or "bringing heaven to earth." In some African languages it means, "history." It ranks #10,802 for US baby girls, and appears to have peaked in popularity back in 1916 when it came in #1381.
Sena was given to a total of 47 American baby girls in 2015. Notable Sena's include Sena Jurinac, who is an opera singer of Bosnian-Austrian descent, as well as Sena Jeter Naslund, and American writer. Sena is a soft name that would work well with a number of middle and surnames and sounds modern. While it can be used as a boy's name, it is much more likely to be a feminine one.
Karsten comes from Greek roots, and ranks at #2938 in the US for baby boys. It is most popular in American in the state of Utah, ranking #432, but not seen often in California, landing at #2,134. Karsten is translated to mean "a follower of Christ; blessed or annointed." Karsten Johansson is an architect and father of actress Scarlett Johansson. Karsten Braasch is a tennis player from Germany, while Karsten Kroon is a Dutch cyclist.
In America, Karsten hit its apex in 1992, and since then has been slowly sliding down the popular lists. However, it is commonly used elsewhere in the world, such as much of Scandinavia. I've loved the name personally since I was a youngster and first heard it. My son Keillor was almost given the name Karsten.
Jahzara is a lovely name from Ethiopia meaning, "blessed princess." Could there be a sweeter name meaning for a new daughter? Jahzara has the elements of distinction found in the now perhaps overused Jasmine, but it didn't even make the name chart in the US until 2008. It was given to 48 baby girls in 2012 in America, and is currently most popular in the state of Florida.
There are no famous folks with this name, so your daughter could be the one to make it famous with her achievements later in life...with her Academy Award, or maybe Grammy or why not a Noble prize? Nicknames for Jahzara could include Jay, Zara or Zari. For those seeking a unique, feminine and unusual name this could be the one!
Asher is a Biblical name, and as it's from the Old Testament, you can surmise it's Hebrew origins. Asher was a son of Jacob, born to Leah's handmaid, Zilpah. He therefore is the head of one of the 12 tribes, and you can refer to his story in Genesis 30:13. The name means, "happy; blessed," and what a perfect gift of a name meaning to bestow on a son.
Asher's popularity is rather unique on the name charts. It was a solid hit in the 1800s then disappeared around 1890 and then came back with a bang in the 1990s. Right now it lists at number 55 in the US. Campbell Brown, journalist, gave her son this name and there was a character on Gossip Girl with the name. Other famed Asher's include rapper Asher Roth. My Name is Asher Lev is a book by Chaim Potok about an artistic Hassidic Jewish boy in New York.
You may remember from Greek mythology that the Elysian Fields were the home and final resting place of the blessed, the virtuous and brave. It means from Elysium or "from the blessed place," or "sweetly blissful." In Hebrew, it means, "God's oath." An unusual and alternate meaning for the Greek form is, "struck by lightning." Maybe for that "surprise" baby? Today it ranks in the US at number 3497 for girls.
Elysia was given to a smattering of newborn US baby girls in the 1960s and 1970s, and then in 1980 it really started picking up. In 2002 it hit the apex at 152 baby girls being dubbed Elysia in the US. Elysia could be shortened to Elyse, Ely, Lysia or Lysie. I'm sure you can come up with your own original nicknames for Elysia as well.
Keitaro is pronounced kay-tah-ROH and is of Japanese origin. It means, "blessed," of course, and is generally a boy's name. Because it so rarely appears in the US, it could be suited to a baby girl just as well if parents would like, as few people would recognize it as a masculine name, anyway. For instance, in 2015 there were 5 baby boys named Keitaro in the US. However, in Japan, it is much more common, naturally.
There are a number of celebrities including actors and actresses bearing this name in the island nation of the name's origins. Keitaro could be shortened to Keito, Kei or Taro quite easily. Keitaro could be altered slightly to your needs as well, such as Keitaron or Keitaryn, for instance.
Aiman is a Muslim or Sanscrit boy's name that means "blessed," or "very brave." Other meanings include "lucky" or "on the right; righteous." It is also traced to the French or Albanian name Ayman. It is rarely bestowed on baby boys in the US, as the high point was in 2001 when it was given to 15 baby boys, and in 2016 it was given to 10 baby girls. So it definitely falls into the rare or unusual category. It is pronounced EYE-man.
According to the Social Security Administration, between 1880 and 2015 there have been 357 babies in the US given Aiman as a first name. Specifically, the first baby in the US named Aiman happened in 1976. Namespedia.com cites the usage of Aiman as a first name in 40 different countries, but it's rare here in the US so if you are looking for a more unusual name Aiman.
The name Devina has a few sources of origin, including Hebrew and Indian, and it can also be traced to Scottish roots through the name David, which means, "beloved." Otherwise, it means "goddess," "divine," and "blessed." It is also said to mean "eye of god." It is an unusual name, ranking #2253 in the US currently.
Starting in 1885 when the first American baby girl was named Devina, there have been a total of 1,086 babies given this name. The highest number of Devinas born in the US was in 1998 with 43 babies being dubbed Devina. Possible nicknames include Devin, Vin or Devi, or also Vinni or Vina. It is a rarely used name, but has a sort of familiar sound to it as there are other similar more widely used names such as Devin or Devon.
Boone is a name you may associate with the famed frontiersman, Daniel Boone, but it is actually of French and Latin roots, and means "blessed," "a blessing," or "good." You may know enough French to recognize that "bon" is the French word for "good." Currently it ranks #904 in the US for boys, and isn't charting this year at all for girls.
These old-West flavored names seem to be on the uprise in the last several years, but Boone is still likely to be unusual so if you name your child this moniker, he'll probably be the only one in his class. Famous people with the first name Boone include Boone Logan, a pitcher with the Cleveland Indians. Country singer Eric Church named his son, born in 2011, Boone, and there's a Canadian hockey player named Boone Jenner.
Jensina is a name from Hebrew origins meaning, "God has favored," or "God has blessed." Despite its middle Eastern beginnings, it is more widely used today in Scandinavia. It is unusual even there, but of the Scandinavian nations it appears most often in Sweden. It is also considered a variation of the English name Jane.
Jensina hasn't charted in the US since 2014, and even then it only got as high as #15,149. According to the Social Security Administration, the name Jensina has not been in the top 1000 names at any point since the year 1900. A baby girl named Jensina could be called Jen, Jeni, or Jenni, as well as Sina, Jens or Jensi. You could even try nicknames such as Jina or Ina if you liked those better.
Thaddeus is a name of Greek and Latin roots and is found in the New Testament of the Bible as one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. It also has an Aramaic origin. It means, "blessing," "heart," and "praise." According to one survey, it currently ranks down low in the top 1000 US boys' names, at #640. Its heyday was in the early 1900s, but it descended sharply by the 1970s until the low point in 2009.
It's made a modest rebound in the last few years, so it's hard to say if it will become more popular as many older-sounding names are, or if it will stay in relative obscurity. My grade school best friend had a little bro named Thaddeus, but he went by the standard nickname; Thad. It seemed at the time like a nice alternative to the then-omnipresent Chad.
Aksha is name with its beginnings in India, and the Hindi name is most often heard in Tamil language. It means, "God's blessing," and what new baby girl is not that? Aksha ranks so far down in current US rankings for girl names, at #10,854, that it would be considered a pretty rare moniker. Aksha has an exotic sound to most US ears, but yet seems not unlike some newer invented names.
It should probably not be paired with any names containing the sound /sh/ in order to avoid a tongue-twister of a name pairing. Aksha, according to namespedia.com has been seen 54 times in 6 different countries as a first name. It has been used for both genders worldwide, but primarily is a girl's name in the US. Countries Aksha is recorded as a first name include India, Russia and Indonesia, plus Hong Kong and Pakistan.
Benen is an Irish name from Latin roots, and means "blessed," kind; mild," and "benevolent." It also means "well born; from a good family." In 2016, Benen ranked in the US for baby boys at #12,618. In 2015, for instance, there were 5 baby boys named Benen in the US. In 2005 there were 11. It is a fairly rare name in modern US times. There was a saint Benen, a favorite of St. Patrick in fact.
An alternative spelling is Benon. It is most widely used in English speaking groups. Namespedia.com has found Benen used as a first name in 8 different countries for a total of 14 times. The countries were US, Germany, and Holland, as well as Russia, the UK and Indonesia. Obvious nicknames include Ben or Benny.
Beatrix comes from the Latin beātus for "happy," or "blessed." It also means to be a voyager through life. Beatrix was a 4th century saint, and it was a popular name among early Christians. It became rare in the Middle Ages, and then had a resurgence during the 1800s. It's used in the US, UK and Germany, as well as the Netherlands and Hungary.
Famed Beatrix's include Beatrix Potter the beloved author and illustrator of Peter Rabbit, as well as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, reigning since 1980. Full House actress Jodi Sweetin named her daughter Beatrix, and designer Kate Spade daughter Frances has it for a middle name. There are also a couple European princesses with this name. It has myriad nicknames attached to it such as Trixi or Trixie, and Bea, for starters.
Adom is an African name, specifically Akan, which in Ghanian means "God's blessing." It can also be traced to the Hebrew Adam meaning, "earth." Adom is also considered an Egyptian name. It currently ranks #3970 for boys in the US, which is a 958 jump over the numbers for 2016, when 8 boys were given the name.
It is primarily a boy's name, but it can be, and has been used for daughters as well. It's more common as a surname than a first name. Adom is so closely related to Adom, and sounds similar or identical depending on your pronunciation, so it will probably necessitate spelling it out at times. But that's true of plenty of unusual names, so parents have to decide just how different they want their child's name to be!
Venetia is a name that can be traced to three different areas and language groups. The first via the Celtic means, "blessed." The other origin is from Italy, and specifically, you may guess, Venice. In that language, it means "woman of Venice." From Wales, through the name Gwyn you get the meaning, "happiness," or "luck."
Venetia was the name of a 17th century beauty, Venetia Anastasia Stanley who married Sir Kenold Digby against his family's wishes. She was immortalized in the novel Venetia by Benjamin Disraeli, as well as by the poet Ben Jonson. Venetia in 2016 ranked #9849 for US baby girls. Another fun fact; the mathematician Venetia Katharine Douglas Burney as a school girl named the planet Pluto, back in 1930.
Carwyn is a unisex name meaning "fair love," blessed love," or "white fortress." Its origins are Welsh. Currently for baby boys born in the US it comes in at number 10,199. That's a drop of over 2000 from 2016. For girls, it's not ranked right now at all. So for those desiring a name meaning blessed that will work for a son or daughter and will not linked strongly to either gender, Carwyn will work.
It is also a pretty rare name, for those who want their child to be different, at least name-wise. There are also no famous Carwyn's so your child can be the trailblazer with this moniker. Cute nicknames would include Cary, Cari or Wyn, or possibly even Wynnie.
Sources: BabyNameWizard.com, BabyNamespedia.com, TheNameMeaning.com, ThinkBabyNames.com, OnceUponATimeBabyNames.com, BehindTheName.com, BabyNameScience.com