25 Names That Pack A Punch

It’s tricky choosing a name for a baby. All parents want something that’s going to stand out from the crowd yet not sound completely ridiculous, don’t they? There are many celebrity names around that parents might have heard of before, or they could name the baby after a historic or noble person. Perhaps they could follow the latest trend of simply making up a name?

Mom and dad are probably looking for a name that makes a statement for the baby: a name that other people will hear and think ‘wow, I wish I had thought of that one’. Most parents don’t want to call their child across the playground and have four other children running over to them, they want something unique.

The problem is, there are just too many fantastic, beautiful and artsy names to choose from and although they could end up reading a thousand articles it is hard to choose one that says just the right thing about the baby. It’s also really hard work finding one that both mom and her partner will agree on.

So have a look at this list of 25 Names That Pack A Punch for some inspiration. These names come from around the world, have fantastic meanings and will make people turn their heads and say ‘wow, what an amazing name’.

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25 Valencia

This stunning feminine name brings to mind warm sunny Spanish days, sitting out with an ice cold drink. Yes, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and famous for its oranges. Although it rolls off the tongue with a lyrical feel, the name itself means ‘brave and strong’.

This name reached a high of number 633 in 1970 and has since been languishing, but with variations such as Valerie and Valentina, we think it’s time for a comeback for this powerful name.

24 Maximus

This Latin name first appeared in the American baby name charts in the year 2000. What else happened that year? Oh yes, a rather popular film called ‘Gladiator’ was released. This name, meaning ‘greatest’ was a popular Roman moniker and in the film, Russell Crowe plays the heroic and morally upstanding protagonist General Maximus Decimus Meridius. By 2002 it had reached number 311 and has pretty much stayed there ever since. If Maximus isn’t quite for you, try other variations of ‘Max’, such as Maxwell, Maximilian, Maxx, Maxton, Maxim or even Maximiliano.

23 Bernadette

Here is a lovely old name that sounds bang up to date. Powerful and confident, Bernadette is a German name that translates as ‘strong and brave as a bear’. If you want a name that packs a punch, then being compared to a bear should certainly fit the bill.

You may have heard of this name in Minnie Driver’s film ‘Circle of Friends’, where she played Bernadette Hogan, or even from St Bernadette, who was famed for her visions of the Virgin Mary.

Modern-day bearers include Bernadette Peters and the name became particularly popular after the 1946 film ‘The Song of Bernadette’.

22 Magnar

Since the late 19th century this has been a popular name for Norwegian men. In mythology, Magnar was a half-dragon man, with good yet violent tendencies. He stole a magic shovel and liked to carry it around with him.

From the Latin name ‘Magnus’, or the Norse word ‘magn’ this great name means ‘strength’. Many claim that this is a Polish name, but whatever its origins it is very popular in some parts of the world yet an unusual name in America and has never appeared in any baby name lists there.

21 Ekon

This masculine Nigerian name means ‘strong’ and is so rare in America that it has never been in the top 1000 baby names. According to name analysis, boys with this name are quite inspirational. They are usually broadminded and generous and tend to follow professions where they can serve humanity. Although they are romantic and fall in love easily, they can also be quick-tempered.

Variations on Ekon include Acon, Econ, Eikon, Ekan, Eken, Ekin, Ekun, and Ekyn, giving parents a great range of strong names to choose from.

20 Rainey

This slightly old-fashioned name might remind us of the powerful Ma Rainey, known as ‘Mother of the Blues’. The name actually translates as ‘counsel power’ or ‘queen’, from the Latin ‘Regina’ so definitely holds allusions of power. Gaelic speakers believe the name to come from ‘Ó Raighne, Ó Ráighne’, from a personal name derived from the Old Norse name Rognvaldr.

Only 50 girls were given this name last year, with another 25 spelt Rainy and another 12 going for Rainie.

19 Hagan

This gorgeous name does not appear in top baby name lists, nor will you hear it across the playground as it is a unique boys’ name with several meanings.

From the Gaelic ‘Ó hÁgáin’, meaning 'descendant of Ógán', it has been used as a personal name meaning ‘young’ or ‘young one’. However, it also comes from the Gaelic ‘Aodh’ meaning 'fire’. In other places around the world, it translates as ‘son of Hugh’ and even ‘strong defence’. Whatever the translation, this one is sure to help your child stand out from the crowd.

18 Bree

Careful with the spelling here, you don’t want to confuse Bree with Brie and end up naming your daughter after cheese. The excellent meaning to this unusual name is ‘strength or an exalted one’.

Short and to the point, this girl’s name sounds sophisticated and glamorous without being over the top. It comes from the Irish name Bríghe, which is, in turn, a short form of Bridget.

You may have heard of it in the 1971 Jane Fonda movie ‘Klute’, or more recently as a character in ‘Desperate Housewives’. Bree has also been a vampire in the 2007 hit ‘Eclipse’.

17 Jedrek

This name is so masculine that it even translates as ‘manly’. In Greek it also means ‘warrior’, whilst the Polish translate it as ‘a strong man’ so this name definitely packs a punch.

Probably because Jedreks are so strong and manly, they are often practical people who are capable of obtaining great power and wealth. They tend to be successful businessmen and can achieve great material dreams. They make great leaders but are so invested in being strong and warrior-like that they often neglect their personal lives.

16 Emersyn

This is the female version of Emerson and we can thank the Norman Invasion of 1066 that this reached England. Although it sounds gentle and beautiful, the name translates as ‘bravery or powerful’, showing an underlying strength. Originally Germanic, it comes from the ancient name ‘Amalric’ and literally translates as ‘son of the brave and powerful one’.

Previously more commonly used as a boy’s name, Emerson became unisex in the 20th century and its use for girls has now outstripped its popularity among boys.

15 Kalmin

Nordic names are becoming more and more popular and this Scandinavian beauty is no different. Meaning ‘manly and strong’, it would make a great name for any boy or man. Variations in spelling include Kalman, Kalmen, Kalmon and Kalmyn. Name numerology shows us that a man with this name is usually an adventurous and highly passionate person who loves to travel and experience different cultures. However, being super independent guys, they tend to do their own thing on their own time.

14 Gesa

For almost 30 years this beautiful name has been in the Dutch top 100 for girls. It means ‘strength of a spear’, suggesting someone of strong character, who won’t be messed with. Pronounced ‘JEE-sa’, this name sounds a lot softer and more feminine than you might think, making it the perfect combination of strength and softness. In Germany, it is pronounced with a hard ‘G’, and other popular variations include Gisine, Gisella and Gertrude. This is a name that doesn’t appear a lot in modern society, making it a great unusual choice for your baby.

13 Kwan

Korea is not generally viewed as a great place for name inspiration in the west, but this hidden gem should make us think again. Meaning ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’, Kwan is short, punchy and to the point.

Kwan appears as a baby in TV’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ and as a character in the animated series "Danny Phantom", so is lurking on the sidelines of popular American culture.

If you are still not sure, try one of these variations instead: Kwon, Kuan, Wan, Kean, Kain, or Ewan.

12 Brighid

This Irish name not only sounds strong and solid, it also translates as ‘strength’. Brighid is one of the most powerful figures in Celtic mythology and is celebrated in many European countries. She is the goddess of fire (the forge and the hearth), poetry, healing, childbirth, and unity. She is known by many names including St Brigit, Bride, Bridey, Brighid, Brigit, Briggidda and Brigantia. It's a unique, eye-catching twist on a familiar name that definitely packs a punch and is perfect for any sassy girl.

11 Magni

Meaning ‘mighty’, the most famous bearer of this name was probably the mythological son of Thor. Along with his brother Modi, ‘brave’, Magni is said to possess some of Thor’s features and famously appears in a battle with a giant. At only three days old Magni saves his father, who has been trapped under the foot of the giant Hrungnir and is given a horse in celebration.

So a great name with a great story behind it, Magni could be used as a trendy alternative to the more common Magnusson.

10 Neron

This Spanish name translates as ‘strong’ and is a simple yet beautiful boys’ name. Famous as both a demon character in DC Comics and as an opera by Anton Rubinstein, this short name is a variation of the even punchier Nero. Nero is a much more well-known name thanks to its associations with the infamous Roman Emperor of that name. Compulsive and corrupt, Nero even had his own mother murdered, so if you like the sound of this name but don’t really want people to think of this when they meet your son, stick with Neron.

9 Braelynn

If you are not a fan of tradition and love the new trend of making up names then this one is for you. This trendy girl’s name is a combination of Brianna and Lynn and cannot really be found in history or cultural references at all, making it a truly unique name for your child. Whilst the translation is popularly ‘strength’, the two names going into this one actually mean ‘noble’ and ‘lake’.

Not forgetting that a lot of our common names are conglomerates from ancient times, Braelynn could become a new number one, so get in there quick before it becomes overused.

8 Takeshi

Anyone who loves slightly strange and wacky game shows will probably be thinking immediately of the hit Japanese mud-fest ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ right now. However, the name Takeshi actually means ‘strong’, which might explain the game’s name.

A very popular Japanese name, there is a huge number of famous people from all disciplines named Takeshi, along with fictional characters such as Takeshi Sendo, a character from the manga and anime ‘Hajime no Ippo’ and the real name of the villainous mutant assassin Tiger Claw in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’.

7 Tiger

This name translates in the exact way that you might think. Like the graceful and beautiful animal, Tiger really means ‘powerful and energetic’. Along with ‘Wolf’ and ‘Fox’, animal names are becoming increasingly common and this is a fun yet a stylish name for your boy. Most commonly used for boys, this name is becoming more popular for girls, which has led to a rash of spelling variations including Tyger, Tyge, Tygar, Tige and Tyghe.

With many famous people using this for their children currently, Tiger is a name on the prowl and ready to pounce.

6 Edrei

This is a Biblical name that is quite rare as a given name. You certainly wouldn’t be confusing your little girl with any others with this stunning moniker. It has several translations, some believing it to be ‘strong and powerful’, whilst others say ‘a great mass or cloud’. In the Old Testament Edrei is one of the chief towns of the Kingdom of Bashan, so a very important and powerful place.

Everything about this name demands attention and would make a bold choice.

5 Cayden

This is an ancient Gaelic name that currently sits at number 241 in the American baby name charts. It derives from the Gaelic word “cadáin” and possibly means ‘battler, fighter’. More popular spellings are currently Kaden and Caden. Along with Jaden, Haden, Braden and Aiden, it has enjoyed a meteoric rise to popularity this century and is now in danger of being overused.

Although it has the marvellous translation of ‘great fighter’, if you are looking for a unique name then this one is not for you.

4 Barin

Resembling Robin Hood in appearance, ‘Flash Gordon’ fans will recognise this name from the character in the popular stories. He is king of a region of Mongo called Arboria, is one of Flash's best friends, and is deeply in love with Princess Aura. Meaning ‘noble fighter’, this rare name is currently right down at number 14,721 in the naming charts. It is also a variation on Baron and is becoming more popular with girls now too with the more feminine spelling ‘Baryn’.

3 Andrea

The female version of Andrew, this lovely name means ‘strong’ and is certainly a name that has a powerful feel to it. With a large selection of pronunciations including ‘ahn-DRAY-a’, ‘ANN-dree-a’, and ‘AHN-dree-a’, this is a name that can sound as exotic or plain as you fancy.

Andrea has remained in the Top 100 American names for over 50 years although it is unpopular in other English-speaking countries. So a constant yet relatively underused name, Andrea could be a great choice for your daughter.

2 Cadmar

This sublime name is really as old as it sounds. It has Irish and Celtic roots and translates as ‘brave warrior’. If you like the sound of this name then you are in luck! There are a number of similar names including Cadmus and Cadmaer, which are direct variations of Cadmar. You could also choose from Cadarn, meaning ‘strong’, Caddaric, or ‘battle leader’ or even Cadda meaning ‘warring’.

A stylish and impressive name, Cadmar will give your son that edge over his classmates.

1 Alexander

The man that springs to mind for me when hearing this name is Alexander the Great. Tutored by Aristotle, Alexander was the Greek king of Macedon and famous for creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of thirty. Undefeated in battle, he is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

So it would seem that he lived up to his name, which means ‘defender of man’. Sitting at number 14 in the popularity list, this name may be well used but it certainly packs a punch.

References: momjunction.com, msn.com, nameberry.com, 

ohbabynames.com, thenamemeaning.com

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