My partner and I have finally decided on a first name for our baby...should it be a girl that is, and I don't think we will change our mind unless something even more special sweeps us off our feet.
There's no second name as yet but I see making a choice on the first as great progress! The name we've opted for, by the way, is Saga.
We're still not decided on a name for a boy though (the baby is due April 1st...so no rush or anything...!) but there's a handful here that I'm going to suggest we think about. Einar and Ari are two names I'm swooning over.
When it comes to names, the meaning behind it is something that is massively important to me, and I think 'fearless' is just ideal! If you're like me, you'll be going through names and their meanings with a fine tooth comb. It's so important for it to be just right.
You'll find yourself encountering names that are 'out of the box,' but don't let their uniqueness put you off. Your child is one of a kind, so to give them a name which represents that is an incredible gift.
Love it. Love it. Love it. Though I'm surprised because before writing this article, I never would have given this name a second look. But after delving into its history, I'm finding myself enamored. The meaning 'fearless hunter' is, I think you will agree, impeccable.
Pronounced CHAYS, this 'just the right amount of different name' originates from Middle English, and was originally a nickname for a huntsman. Parents are fond of it in the US where it ranks at 86 and in England and Wales it comes in at 178.
While it's cute beyond compare on a baby, I think it ages remarkably well. If your other half isn't a fan of it, Chase is one of those names that works perfectly well for pets too, especially dogs. So bear that in mind!
Cedric was one of those names which, when I was growing up, cropped up in books and on the TV all the time. It's not been a name I've really felt anything for though, until now. It's growing on me, and I find everything about it fascinating!
English in origin and pronounced SED-rik, this regal name was actually invented by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his 1819 novel 'Ivanhoe.' It isn't ranked in England and Wales, but amazingly, it made it into the top 1000 in the US and stands at 913.
It's my sneaking suspicion is that Harry Potter might have something to do with the name's popularity in the US. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there was a character called Cedric Diggory. He was the captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team and one of Harry's rivals.
And here we have my favorite on the whole list! (For the record, I asked my other half about this choice, and he doesn't like it...sigh.)
This Norwegian name is pronounced AY-nahr and originates from the Old Norse name Einarr. The elements which make up this old version, 'ein' and 'arr' mean 'alone' and 'warrior.' It also shares the same roots as einherjar, which is, fascinatingly, the word for the slain warriors in Valhalla.
While it's not ranked in Norway - how absurd is that! - it's a very popular choice in Iceland and comes in at 27. There are dozens of famous Nordic musicians with the name Einar, including Einar Selvik from the outstanding band Wardruna. The meaning of the name Einar is 'he who is fearless.' Could you really ask for a more perfect meaning for your little one?
Whenever I hear the name Cliff being used, I always, always, always find myself thinking about Cliff Burton, the late bassist for heavy metal band Metallica. (As a kid I remember being devastated upon learning that he had died, even though he passed the same year as I was born...) If there was ever a good reason for using the name Cliff, this is it.
Cliff means 'a man who is brave, fearless, daring and bold.' It's English in origin and is pronounced KLIF. It's actually a short form of the names Clifford and Clifton. While I don't like Clifford or Clifton, I think Cliff works great as a name. It's short, simple and super easy to spell and pronounce. In the US in 2015 it was given to 17 little boys.
Another name which I shocked myself by liking. English in origin, Wyatt is pronounced WIE-at, and it has numerous meanings attached to it, including 'hardy,' 'brave,' and 'strong.' While I've read of people thinking it's becoming overused, I have to disagree. It's still uncommon enough to turn heads.
It's a rugged and handsome choice, and I guess that Sheryl Crow agrees that it's a good choice, as she named her adoptive son Wyatt Steven. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell also have a son called Wyatt and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis actually gave the name to their little girl!
Wyatt has had quite a lot of stick on the internet. Some say it sounds 'old-fashioned,' 'elitist' and 'pretentious,' and that it sounds 'like a toddler trying to say riot,' but I'm not perturbed. I still like it.
Name your little boy Mel, and the likelihood of people forever linking him to Mel Gibson is a real possibility. But that's not such a bad thing! You just need to take your mind back to the epic film Braveheart.
This English name has a powerful meaning: 'One who is fearless and daring, always having brashness and self confidence.' What's a better way to encourage your child to be brave than by telling them that their name represents bravery!
Mel is a unisex name, but I have to say that I much prefer it when it's used for boys. Can't put my finger on why. Another famous Mel you might not think of straight away is Mel Blanc, who did the voices of Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Porky Pig, Tweety Pie, Yosemite Sam and several other animated cartoon characters.
This Scottish name (though I have seen people argue that it is actually Irish or Bretton...) means 'a young warrior' and is pronounced YOO-an, though alternative pronunciations include YOU-in and Ewe-an. The pronunciation I've heard used most often is Ewe-an.
Interestingly, Ewan has several different spellings including Iwan, Ewen, Youenn, Erwan. In England and Wales it's ranked as the 314th most popular name.
One of the most famous bearers is, of course, Ewan McGregor who plays Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. Ewan is short, simple and has a definite 'mature' vibe to it. In the US the name Ewan was unheard of until 1972 and it didn't catch on until 1997. It's biggest 'hit' with US parents was in 2006 when...wait for it...148 babies were given the name.
This Swedish name is the Scandinavian form of Andreas (Andrew) and is pronounced AHN-desh. Though it can also be pronounced AHN-ders. You have the choice to go with whichever one you prefer!
It's a classic, down-to-earth, timeless name that works just as well on a 3-year-old boy as it does on an 80-year-old man. As well as being popular with Swedes, their neighboring Danes have a soft spot for it too as do the Norwegians. It's first recorded usage in Norway was in the 14th Century. Americans have a thing for it too, as in 2016 it was given to 277 boys.
I have met dozens of people called Anders in my lifetime, and all of them have been genuine and kind characters who wouldn't harm a fly.
While it might not be my favorite name on the list, I think that Bernard has my favorite meaning...which is 'brave as a bear.' What a sublime thing to tell your little one as they are growing up!
Pronounced BER-nard in American English - there are dozens of different ways to pronounce this name - it's derived from the Germanic element bern which means 'bear' combined with the word hard which means 'brave' or 'hardy. The Normans brought it with them to England and it was the name of several saints.
My first encounter with this name was actually through the Disney movie The Rescuers which featured Bernard, a little mouse whose mission it is to rescue a little girl. When I was growing up, it was common to hear it being used as a name for teddy bears.
I am infatuated with this name and I don't know why! There are plenty of people who don't share my infatuation though, and actually find this name 'harsh' and 'crude' and 'a stupid name for a child.' I think that's a bit over the top though, really, even if it is the name of a cleaning product. My kettle is called Melissa and I haven't seen anyone rant and rave about that!
Ajax (heck, I love just writing it!) is a Greek name which means 'eagle,' and we all know how fearless those birds of prey are! I mean have you ever seen a tentative eagle?! I think not.
Ajax was also the name of a warrior featured in the Greek myths. Pronounced AY-jaks, it's a short, masculine and memorable name that can really shine above all of the ignorance.
One of my very first crushes in school was a boy called Brendan, but it's only now, 20 odd years later, that I come to learn his name means 'brave!' (Though I have also read that it means 'prince.' Either one of them is good, I think.)
This Irish name is pronounced BREN-dan and it goes way back in time. Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish about and, according to legend, he crossed the Atlantic and reached the shores of North America with 17 other monks. I can see where that bravery meaning comes from...you'd have to be a brave soul to traverse the Atlantic in the 6th century!
Anyway...Brendan is one of those names that are really easy to grow up with. I can envisage it being the name of a newborn, just as easily as I can envisage it being the name of an elderly man.
Another name I can't help but love! I've never actually heard it used in 'real life' though, so that makes me think it's really quite an exclusive choice. It's good to note that it's actually a unisex name, so if you find out that you're having a little girl and you love this name, then bag it!
Pronounced ah-ree, Ari has had its fair amount of needless slack thanks to the internet, with one person calling it 'detestable.' Another person really loved the name, but wouldn't consider it because it was the name of the freakiest young man they'd ever met.
Personally, I think one of the only 'negative' things that could happen if you were to call your son Ari would be that they may be mistakenly called Air, and that really isn't all that bad when you think about it, is it!?
Probably one of the boldest names that we have on the list, Cale - which you pronounce KAYL - is another one of those names that I think grows on you. (It can also be a nickname for the name Caleb.) It's one of those names that people really like to have an opinion on.
One person was majorly bothered by the fact that you can't tell if it's a boy or a girl's name. Somebody else said that 'it's totally boring.' Far too plain and minimalist, while another thought it would make the owner 'sound like a sea plant.' I think I can skip those who ranted about the variety of cabbage!
Even after reading all these thoughts on Cale, I didn't find that I was deterred from liking it. I think that it has something special.
We have had plenty of names so far that are a bit 'out of the box,' and if you're looking for one that's a little more 'normal,' as it were, Andy could be a perfect choice. Meaning 'brave,' Andy is a variation of Andrew or Alexander (or sometimes Andrea, given that it's a unisex name).
Three of the most famous Andy's which come immediately to mind happens to be the late American pop artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol, Andy from Toy Story (of course!) and Andy Pandy...Andy Pandy was a show from England which I adored when I was growing up. While it's not a name that I love and would choose for my own, it is a name that has a lot of good and happy memories attached it to.
Meaning 'brave' or 'vigilant' Casey is a name that always makes me think of wildly active and deeply creative individuals. And skaters. Meet someone with a skateboard, and the chance that they'll be called Casey is pretty damn high, I'm telling you. Though instead of spelling their name Casey, they will probably spell it KC. I'm speaking from experience here.
Pronounced KAY-see, Casey has several variant spellings including Cayce - which I think I actually prefer. It looks different, as we know how I like different! For the girls (yep, it's another unisex name) some of the variants include Kaci, Casie or Kacy. A cute nickname you could opt for - for boys or girls - is Case.
One famous Casey you're probably familiar with is Casey Affleck, the younger brother of Ben Affleck.
I have never really thought about the name Dustin before this article, but it's been fascinating getting to know about it. Really! It has a much more interesting background than I thought it would. Meaning 'a fighter' and pronounced Dustin, it's from an English surname which was derived from the Old Norse given name Þórsteinn.
The name was popularised by the actor Dustin Hoffman (you saw that one coming...!) and he was named after an earlier silent movie star called Dustin Farnum.
While admittedly, it has an 80's vibe about it, and it can bring about images of, well, dust, it does have an element of intrigue about it that I really like. It's a ruggish, strong name and I kind of like the whole cowboyish thing going on with it too.
Emerson - pronounced EM-er-san - is an English name which means 'brave' or 'powerful.' While it's mostly known as a boy's name, it's actually unisex. Teri Hatcher from Desperate Housewives named her daughter Emerson Rose. A commenter on BehindTheName.com said that is sounds 'positively ridiculous' on a little girl, but personally, I think it's adorable.
There are arguments that the name Emerson sounds 'pretentious,' and there was a time that I actually would have agreed. But now I've had the chance to look at it and speak it out loud, I've left that opinion behind. It's a name that I would very gladly give to a little boy or girl.
While it might be an 'old fashioned' choice, I think in this case it can carry it off beautifully. If you are thinking about it as a second name, here are some handsome choices... Levi Emerson, Lyric Emerson, and Miles Emerson.
In my humble opinion, I think that Everett is one of the most sophisticated names that we have on this list. Meaning 'strong as a boar' - which is pretty bloody strong not to mention fearless - it's one of those timeless choices that ages superbly name. I absolutely love the nickname Ever too as well as Rett.
I read dozens of people's thoughts about the name Everett, and one which made me laugh was someone who thought it sounded 'backwoodsy.' I couldn't disagree more! In case you're wondering how it's pronounced, well, there are several different ways you could say it, though I suppose the most common is EV-rit though I think I prefer EV-e-rit.
If you're looking to have a second name for your baby boy, here are some suggestions of names that would brilliantly with Everett: Everett Spencer, Everett Ross, Everett SawyerEverett Gavin, Everett Hunter, and Everett Jared.
While I have never met anyone called Cohen before, I feel so good about this name. The late and brilliant Leonard Cohen might have something to do with that!
I've read accounts from several people who called their son Cohen because their favorite songs happened to be by him. One parent said, quite interestingly, that they named their son Cohen because no other name came to them.
The name Cohen has a rich history, and while the majority of people will know it as a Jewish surname which means 'priest,' I have also read of it having Germanic origins and meaning 'brave.' Pronounced KO-an, it has a really unique appeal to it. Some similar names that you could consider if it doesn't quite do it for you include Caden, Coltan, Logan, Brayden, and Mason.
Angus is one of those names that you hear used once in a blue moon! Gaelic in origin, Angus is pronounced ANG-gas and means 'one strength.' I was quite surprised to read that it's used in Australia...about as far away from its place of origin as you can get! There, Angus is regularly shortened to Gus, Gussie or Angie.
Whenever I think of the name Angus, I can't help but think of the late Angus Young from the legendary rock band AC/DC. I think he made the name cool again.
One commenter on BehindTheName.com had a particularly brilliant story about the name Angus. When their twin sisters were born, their father was drunk and had to be summoned from an AC/DC concert. He voted for the names Angus and Malcolm, unaware that he was a new father to two girls. They kept the names, though go by Mal and Angie.
Oscar is a strong name with fantastic connections and a timeless appeal. It's Old English in origin, and is thought to derive from the Old Norse name Asgeirr which is made up of two words meaning 'god' and 'spear.' Sadly it's falling out of favor in many countries - except Sweden where it's spelled Oskar and is immensely popular - which I think is a real shame.
Three of the most famous bearers would have to be Oscar Wilde and Oscar Schindler. A lot of people are put off by Oscar-the-grouch, but to be honest, I think it's a bit childish to let a cartoon character dictate what you will or won't call your child! Gillian Anderson can't have been bothered by the association because she and her boyfriend Mark Griffiths welcomes a son called Oscar in 2006.
I have never been much impressed by the name William, but Willard...it has something a little bit special about it, don't you think? Meaning 'resolute' or 'brave,' Willard is English in origin and pronounced WIL-ard.
I never knew this until a few days ago, but Willard is actually the first real name of actor Will Smith. (Who would have guessed!) Some people think that it sounds a bit too 'snobby,' and a little while ago I would have agreed, but it's a name that's really grown on me. Yes, it does sound a little bit old-fashioned, but I think that it should have its chance to make a comeback.
Actor Harrison Ford has a son called Willard. His siblings also have old-fashioned names too - Malcolm, Benjamin, and Georgia. In 2015 it was given to 44 boys in the US.
I have met plenty of people called Gareth - pronounced GAR-eth - in my time, and they have always been friendly, hardworking and honest, which is remarkable when you think about the meaning of the name, which happens to be 'gentle, modest and brave.'
The name Gareth is ancient and is Welsh in origin. It comes from the Welsh word 'gwaredd' which means 'gentleness.' The most renowned Gareth I can think of is Sir Gareth, who was a legendary knight of King Arthur's Round Table...I mean really, just imagine your little one's face light up when they're old enough to understand where their name came from.
It is a name that's losing its popularity though. The last time that it made it into the top 1000 in England and Wales was back in 2006 when it was ranked as the 445th most popular name for boys.
Even though I have met dozens of big-hearted people called Liam, it's a name that will, I think always have that bad boy feeling about it. You can thank Liam Gallagher of the British rock band Oasis for that! Funnily enough, it isn't actually his real name! The name he was given at birth is was actually William John Paul Gallaher.
Pronounced LEE-am and meaning 'determined protector,' it's most certainly a masculine name and it does roll really nicely off the tongue. I have to admit I was floored by the fact that it was ranked as the second most popular name for boys in the US back in 2016. That was something I really did not expect. I also didn't expect it to be popular in Norway and Sweden, but it comes in the top 5 names!
Besotted with this name, and it's not just because I'm a Tori Amos fan! Meaning 'brave' - though I have also read of it meaning 'carried' in Hebrew - as an English name Amos has been used since the Protestant Reformation and was a popular choice among the Puritans.
Until writing this article, I very rarely thought of Amos as a first name. But now that I've been writing with it, it's a name I want to shout about from the rooftops. More people need to be using it!
It was good enough for JK Rowling who used the name in Harry Potter. (It was the name of Cedric Diggory's father.) It's a short and simple choice, but it's also incredibly unique and definitely memorable. One of my favorite nicknames for Amos would have to be Ame.
Sources: MomJunction.com, BehindTheName.com, BabyNameWizard.com, BabyCenter.com